Three Things You Need to Know - January 9, 2018

Vindication for the Bundys

It all went down four years ago. Cliven Bundy and his sons refused to pay federal grazing fees, and then stared down government agents as they attempted to confiscate their cattle. It kicked off an armed standoff with many people fearing outcomes like Ruby Ridge. After the situation cooled, Cliven, two of his sons and a militia member were arrested, and - in the words of Cliven Bundy - they’ve been “political prisoners” ever since.

Yesterday, a federal judge threw out the government’s case against the Bundy’s and set them all free. Judge Gloria Navarro used the words “flagrant” and “reckless” in describing how the government withheld evidence from the defense. It turns out, the information federal agents was withholding was information regarding:

  • Records about surveillance at the bundy Ranch
  • Maps about government surveillance
  • Records about the presence of government snipers
  • FBI logs about activity at the ranch leading up to the standoff
  • A 2012 law enforcement assessment that found the Bundy’s posed no threat
  • And Internal Affairs reports about misconduct by BLM agents

Wow. Imagine if we went to war with a country, our soldiers misbehaved and the CIA tried to cover it all up. That’s kind of what this all sounds like.

Although the outcome for the Bundy family turned out happy, this story is troubling for three different reasons. Number one: the Bundy’s and everyone involved in the standoff enabled this to escalate way out of control. It should never have gotten as far as it did. But… Number two: the government, likewise, went off the rails with the way they dealt with this. A massive surveillance operation, snipers, out of control BLM agents, and then trying to cover it all up?

Number three - and this is the most important - this story is much larger than the Bundy’s, the misconduct of government agents, and most of the other headlines you’ll see about this today. This story is mainly about one thing: The federal government has NO business managing public land. Judge Navarro called the government’s actions in handling the Bundy case a “reckless disregard for Constitutional obligations,” but I contend that the entire premise for the government seizing land and then charging private citizens to work on it is ALSO a “reckless disregard for Constitutional obligations.”

To Washington D.C., you have NO RIGHT meddling or managing public land. It belongs to the 321 million people that live here. We neither want your help there nor do we need it.

Google's Ideological Echo Chamber

Remember James Damore? He was the senior software engineer at Google who was fired last August for his internal memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”. His memo criticized Google’s diversity policies that he said actually result in reverse discrimination and suppress conservative political views.

The memo got a lot of media attention at the time, mainly because Damore’s memo was painted as being sexist. You see, Damore dared to point out that men and women have biological and personality differences that may account for different professional and personal priorities. What a Neanderthal.

He said Google’s culture of bias included programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race, and that they prioritized “diversity” candidates.

Well, Google didn’t like that very much, so they canned Damore. It was a ridiculous overreaction by Google. By firing Damore, Google basically confirmed the criticism in his memo. No one at Google or in the media seemed to appreciate the respectful, well-reasoned arguments Damore made in his memo. Instead, they only had blind rage toward his discussion of gender.

Now Damore is fighting back. Yesterday he filed a class action lawsuit against Google. His claim? You don’t hear this every day – that Google “unfairly discriminates against white men who have perceived conservative political views that are unpopular with its executives.”

Another former Google employee, David Gudeman, joined Damore in the lawsuit, and they are really going for the jugular. The suit alleges that Google uses “illegal hiring quotas to fill its desired percentages of women and favored minority candidates” and that the “presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with ‘boos’ during companywide weekly meetings.”

Google’s unhinged response to the Damore memo is the end result of progressive extremism. When you promote “diversity” as the end-all, be-all of virtues, and then you fire someone for actually being diverse, you violate your own ultimate virtue. It is insane hypocrisy.

But don’t point that out at your workplace. It might just get you fired.

Oprah 2020?

Everyone is going gaga over the fantasy of Oprah Winfrey running for president in 2020 after her Golden Globes speech.

Some people called her speech about sexual assault victims “empowering.”

British actress Kadian Noble would call it hypocritical.

She claims that Harvey Weinstein used his relationship with Oprah to seduce young actresses like herself.

Weinstein would cavort around parties with Oprah by his side—duping young women into thinking he was a charming and safe person to be around.

He used Oprah to make him look like a good guy.

To Oprah’s credit, she may have been unaware that she was being used as a wingman for Weinstein’s sordid intentions, but that seems rather impossible to me.

Oprah has been friends with Weinstein for decades. She co-produced “The Butler” with him just a couple years ago.

She couldn’t even bring herself to blame him personally at the Golden Globes saying "If we make this just about Harvey Weinstein, then we will have lost this watershed moment.”

How can Orpah, who is a multiple rape survivor herself, not be utterly disgusted by Harvey Weinstein?

Because he is her friend.

Just like Bill Clinton is Oprah’s friend.

During the Golden Globes Juanita Broaddrick tweeted Oprah about never once mentioning her story about Clinton raping her even though Bill had been on her show many times over the years.

How can someone who so passionately called for sexual abuse victims to have a voice, silence them with her own actions and relationships?

If Oprah does decide to run in the future, I think she will have a lot of explaining to do.

There is an old proverb that goes like this: “If you want to know a man, look at his friends.”

If you want to know Oprah Winfrey, look at her friends.

MORE 3 THINGS

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.