Here are some hard and true facts: As long as Vladimir Putin wants war in Ukraine or elsewhere too, any idea of a negotiated peace is a waste of time, and second of all, Vladimir Putin quit honoring the nuclear arms treaties with the United States and free world years ago. The fact that Tuesday, February 21, 2023, Putin officially proclaimed that the nuclear arms treaties no longer apply is good news for American defense strategy. America’s political hands are now untied. If it’s war Putin wants, then a Stinger missile up his tailpipe needs to happen. That or the free world braces for nuclear war.
A well-planned drone strike on Putin would solve many problems, and for most Russians, it would give them a reason to celebrate. Russian soldiers don’t want the war in Ukraine. They didn’t even know they had gone to war when Putin sent them to Ukraine, telling them it was a planned military exercise. Lots of Russians have died, and at home the bread lines remind Muscovites of days gone by when a different despot commanded the Soviet Union.
As for the nuclear arms treaties, many uninformed Americans now worry in their basements, including the President. However, the meat of the nuclear arms treaties had little purpose other than perhaps slowing down the ultimate destruction of entire Planet Earth. The real nuclear threat never received any mention in any nuclear arms treaties: the small nuclear bombs that the United States, China, Russia, and other allies of both sides, can fire from their field artillery pieces. Yes the so-called short-range weapons that all sides counted for use in theaters of contained warfare. Ukraine is such a theater of contained warfare, and field artillery, such as the Russian 2S19 152-millimeter self-propelled Howitzer or its big brother, the 2S7M Malka 203-millimeter self-propelled Howitzer, or the M109A7 Paladin 155-millimeter self-propelled Howitzers or any of the thousands of its towed brothers that US and NATO forces use. All of these weapon systems have nuclear capabilities. They use something called “wrap-rounds” that propel the nuclear projectile that they fire precisely onto targets anywhere nearby, a few miles distance, to 70 or even 100 miles away.
The numbers of these nuclear weapons are a mystery. The United States has a highly classified count of them, along with locations, however, the Russians have no idea how many nuclear projectiles exist in their bunkers nor where they exist. But they do exist and they exist in large numbers.
With Vladimir Putin announcing that the nuclear arms treaties today are no longer valid, clears the decks for him to employ nuclear artillery and rockets, within the contained battlefield of Ukraine, without concern of violating any treaty anywhere. With the nuclear weapons employed in Ukraine, in addition to wantonly killing hundreds of thousands more innocent people (a war crime against humanity) the nuclear fallout will salt the highly productive farmlands of Ukraine, rendering them useless for decades if not centuries. Putin’s only drawback to the nukes are the prevailing westerly winds that will blow any nuclear clouds back into Mother Russia.
But does he really care? Most likely, he does not. Russian lives mean nothing to the dysfunctionally narcissistic leader.
What should the United States do? Probably our leaders won’t, but this approaching horror story will require leadership with resolve and iron courage, the likes of which Winston Churchill and a few others possessed. Not some blowhard loudmouth and certainly not some soft-spoken lily of the valley who waffles and worries about political winds and elections.
With the announcement of Vladimir Putin that Russia no longer regards any nuclear arms treaties valid, represents the big red banner of nuclear war standing at the threshold. Western leaders, not just Joe Biden but all leaders of NATO and the free world should stand in resolve, and gird their nations for nuclear war. Unless someone can engineer a drone strike that can penetrate the bunker where Vladimir Putin hides today.
Not long ago, my friend and fellow writer, Kirk Ellis, posted his contribution to his friend Stuart Rosebrook’s challenge to post on Facebook banned books and drive Facebook censors crazy. Yes, a worthy cause.
Of course, my heart went straight to Harper Lee’s brilliant novel that won her the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1961 and was voted by the American people its favorite novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. A book that has been banned multiple times since 1968 through today with other people knowing best what a person ought to be ALLOWED to read. Set in a time when Jim Crow laws caused many innocent poor people to suffer terrible injustices, like the railroading of Tom Robinson, innocent but convicted anyway because he’s Black. That was a time when mentally challenged people like Boo Radley suffered persecution no different than Quasimodo. Scout and Jem and father, Atticus Finch, knew better, despite that ugly world that told an American truth that held up a mirror to our biased faces and helped make us better for it.
Oh, but why even enter such things in the mind? We must control the narrative that the people hear, so they can act pure and be pure and not hate. Right, that’s called brain washing. Censorship is in a way a means to wash the minds of the people, so they will agree on the prescribed politically correct path.
Me? I was always the kid who wondered why books got banned, so I searched out underground copies of the forbidden texts and read them.
Hate is hate. Thus, censors scurry today to rid us of such trash that perhaps might offend us or cause us hurt. So, they ban To Kill a Mockingbird, and of late, they remove from publication six books penned by Dr. Seuss, yanked by the sensitive publishers at Penguin Random House. Because they might be hurtful.
And that brings me to my entry of books best consumed in brown paper wrappers, for fear that the thought police might see us reading them.
As a writer, I find inspiration from an odd assortment of authors, poets and novelists, all tormented by inner demons, with which I use to mold myself into the writer I want to be, and perhaps explain why I share such demons with them. Among this sordid cast of mostly human trash, foreign to polite society, living in the shadow of down-looking noses, rises perhaps my all-time favorite, Charles Bukowski.
I find connection with such nihilistic social rejects as Hank Moody, the main character in Tom Kapinos’ creation, Californication. Totally depraved and yet inspiring. It did seven seasons on Showtime, so someone watched it. Besides me.
I liked it because I know Hank Moody’s heart. Since I have not talked to Tom Kapinos about his inspiration for Hank, I can’t say for sure. But I suspect that Kapinos, like me, draws much inspiration from the insufferable reprobate Charlie Bukowski and his even more deplorable alter-ego, Henry “Hank” Chinaski.
Hank Moody and Hank Chinaski are their own worst enemies. Very much alike. If you’ve watched the seven seasons of Californication, and related to Hank, then you must also read Bukowski’s five novels that take us through the life of Hank Chinaski.
Read the five novels in this order:
First, read Ham on Rye, then next slum your way through the pages of my offering for the list of books that offend the Facebook censors, Factotum. You’ll be hooked with Ham on Rye, and Factotum picks right up.
Then you can settle into the steamy drunk pages of Post Office, where we journey with Hank Chinaski, aspiring to be a novelist but needing to eat, gets a job delivering mail. That, and seducing women, and staying drunk as he tries to write, and keep afloat, resisting everything except temptation. Yet Hank finally reels out his first novel, as Post Office slides to a slow stop.
Next on the reading list we find Bukowski’s introspection of himself through Henry Chinaski in his novel called, Women. In it, life gets good for Henry Chinaski after his first novel takes him to stardom. Down on life, down on stardom, cynical yet fun-seeking, Hank Chinaski and Hank Moody would live well together, if they ever met. And somehow, I believe that Tom Kapinos probably did just that with these two howling mad writers.
A trail of lost loves in his own life, shown to us in the life of Hank Chinaski, I am not surprised that Charlie Bukowski wrote a book of poems entitled: Love is a Dog from Hell.
While the last in the life of Hank Chinaski, the novel Hollywood takes our hero to the land of crazy, phony and glitter, Los Angeles. Here we see Henry Chinaski write the screenplay called, Barfly.
And while Hank Chinaski lives the depraved, careless and self-absorbed life of a writer spinning out of emotional control in the novel, Hollywood, Charles Bukowski lives a similar, depraved life for real as he writes the screenplay for the 1987 feature film, Barfly, which starred Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway.
When you finish reading Hollywood, get a copy of the book form screenplay, Barfly. It’s the final edit of the script, all written by Charles Bukowski.
Charlie Bukowski died in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994, at the age of 74 years old. Same as my age now. And just as cranky and cynical.
He got his first story published in 1944 and never stopped smoking and drinking and living life with little to no control. His physical body’s worst enemy and his emotional being’s champion of self-abuse, Charlie never stopped writing for the next 50 years.
That’s when God stopped him.
In his tracks.
A few weeks before the Grim Reaper took Charlies Bukowski down for the count, Black Sparrow Press published the first edition hardcover of Charlie Bukowski’s (Hank Chinaski’s) final novel, Pulp.
While looking Lady Death square in the kisser, Bukowski dedicates his story told in Pulp to “bad writing.”
His novel, you see, takes dead center aim at writers and publishers and spoofs their pretentious, over-inflated, narcissistic world.
No ground is sacred.
Replete with everything vile and reviling, lewdness, drunkenness, debauched, hurtful, insulting, immoral but downright funny and heartbreaking.
No Facebook censor could ever allow any of these novels to appear on these hallowed, sensitive and politically woke webpages.
So, I offer to the Facebook censors Charlie Bukowski the man, and Hank Chinaski the fictional hero, and maybe his sidekick, Hank Moody. I guarantee them to be fairly and justly insensitive, insulting and hurtful to all.
But, God bless them, our world would be pretty sad without them.
Today, I watched in horror and agony as thousands swarmed the Kabul airport hopelessly trying to escape the wrath of the Taliban with their bare-rock tyranny and unbridled cruelty that lies ahead for all Afghan people who did not side with the Muslim extremist rulers. My stomach twisted as I saw Afghan people clinging to the wheel wells of a US Air Force C17 transport aircraft as it taxied to the runway and took off. What happened to those who helplessly clung to the wheel wells and any other surface of the aircraft’s exterior where they could take a handhold?
President Joe Biden denies that this is another American war won by US Warriors but lost by America’s political leaders who lacked the fortitude nor the will to arm and equip the Afghan people and transition to their own defense. A process that takes years and cannot be done in a matter of a few months. It is just like the way that the United States Congress tied the hands of the President and quit and ran from Viet Nam in 1975.
President Gerald R. Ford told me in 1994, when I spent time with him in New York, working on my book, Goodnight Saigon, (Berkley Books, Penguin-Random House, 2005, New York, NY) that the fall of Saigon was the most tragic day of his life. He said, “It was terrible to be President of the United States and sit and watch as America quit and ran.”
No, America should not have gotten ensnared in Afghanistan, just as they should not have gotten ensnared in Viet Nam. Not with the weakness of a Congress of men and women who have no idea of the cost of war, and the horrors that the innocent people caught in the jaws of that war suffer.
When we see our beloved brothers in arms die at our sides; when we see the innocent people caught in that war suffer and get maimed and killed, collateral damage sloughed off no better than flotsam and jetsam in the wake of a war waged by cowards and prosecuted by the valiant who believe their rhetoric, it brands the memories with a hot iron of we who were there to see these things while we fought the war and endure it.
We veterans keep saying, “Never again.” But the fools in Congress and the White House keep doing it. We keep warning that the cost of going to war is not in money but in blood, and not just an enemy’s blood but the blood of the innocent and blood of the loyal. Yet those cautions go ignored when the politicians have a political status to keep, and votes to get.
For those narcissistic wastes of skin who sit in high office, basking in their self-aggrandizing glory, human life and human misery do not affect their souls, because they have no souls.
A nation cannot go to war and still go shopping at the mall, as if there is no war. Going to war means total commitment by the nation, not just the warriors that the nation treats like disposable hired help who matter for nothing. All of the people of the nation that goes to war must put themselves into the effort, share the bleeding. That is, if they desire to win it.
The last war where America totally committed to war was World War II. Every conflict, every military action in which America has stuck its big toe in the water, since World War II has failed.
President George W. Bush should have listened to his father, who warned him sternly against getting America entangled in the nation building that takes place after America quashes an enemy. He should have pounded Afghanistan into submission for the crime that they helped Osama bin Laden and his zealots commit, but instead of remaining in the country, nation building, winning the hearts and minds of the populous, he should have just left them to their misery and the Taliban to continue governing. If the Taliban hosted more terrorists, bomb them again and again and again.
That’s why President George H. W. Bush left the boss thug in charge in Iraq when America blew his armies back to Baghdad when they invaded Kuwait. No nation building. And President father warned President son to leave Iraq alone.
But son did not listen to the wisdom of his father.
Thus, with the ouster of Saddam Hussain, radical zealot armies like ISIS emerged.
Once the blood bath in Kabul ends, as the Taliban exercises its wrath on all those who supported the Americans, filling the gutters with blood, I fully expect to see Afghanistan rise up as the Phoenix of Islamic terror, home base for ISIS and others who live to kill Americans and destroy the Christian nations and the Christians wherever they exist.
Yes, America should have departed Afghanistan long ago, but with an exit strategy that gave the people at least a fighting chance. What President Biden has done is cowardly and cruel. The blood of these people is on him today. It is not just like Viet Nam. No. The North Vietnamese were a nicer bunch.
If you are an American, you should watch it. If you are an immigrant, legal or not, you should watch it. And especially, if you are an African American, you absolutely should watch it!
Uncle Tom is the raw, unvarnished, unapologetic TRUTH.
Elder and every person whose voices we hear in this nearly two hours of facts and testimony unashamedly speak the TRUTH. Yes, TRUTH with all capital letters.
As parents, what do you suppose will happen to our children if we raise them under a constant berating of: You’re too stupid. You will never accomplish anything because the cards are stacked against you. You might as well give up because the oppressors will keep you in your place. And the negativity goes on and on.
What kind of person will that child grow up to be? A great success? Doubtful.
Very likely that child will grow into a person not expecting anything of himself, not trying because it is of no use. He might turn to drugs and alcohol to sooth his bereavement of a useless life. Made useless because his parents did not believe in him from the beginning and oppressed him with hopelessness. That child will also likely grow up outraged, bent on vengeance against his envisioned oppressors. That child may take to the streets with his outrage and become violent against everyone who confronts him.
What kind of person will the child grow up to be if his parents praise him? If his father stands tall in his household, beside his mother. And together they teach the child good ethics of working hard and accomplishing goals. They set an example of high values. They teach their son and daughter that accomplishment does not come for free, but requires dedication, effort, persistence, never quitting, and most importantly, those parents reinforce to the child that he or she is not stupid but has a beautiful mind, filled with potential that is capable of wondrous vision and greatness.
What kind of person will that child grow up to be? A beaten dog? A violent, outraged person? A criminal?
Not very likely. More likely, this child surrounded with love and encouragement from his or her parents, despite the ugliness that confronts most, if not all, people of color, will grow into a person who does find success. Success grown from parents who set the example of high standards, high moral values, desire for achievement and education, and belief in God and in him or her self.
In his documentary, Uncle Tom, Larry Elder shows us an array of testimony, good examples of success and well-founded facts and examples that should leave every American furious. Filled with contempt.
Slavery and Jim Crow laws were horrible, and those ugly pages of American history must be remembered. Must be taught to our children so we can raise them better.
But is that America today?
Yes, we have horrible crime and danger in the minority communities of America, not just African American but in Latino, Chinese, Korean Arab, Indian, Native American, and in white impoverished communities too. And what is the common denominator of their despair? Oppression. Much of it made real by the conditions that not just surround them but bury them.
Oppression by whom?
By those who seek to keep these mostly minority people in the ghettos, keep those people ignorant, unread. Keep them not filled with hope but hopelessly angry with their despair.
Hitler learned that if he repeated a lie often enough that the people will believe it as truth. They will join his line of thinking–his narrative.
Here is the lie that we realize while watching Uncle Tom: The oppressive lie is that if you are born from African ancestry, you have no hope. The white man has everything, all the power, and he is keeping you in this place that you hate. And you hate him for it. You have no opportunity because of systemic racism, where people like you are deprived of reaching levels of decision-making power. Positions where you can make change and a difference.
Filled with this outrage, you believe that your only course of action to make change possible is to take to the streets and burn the cities to the ground. Meanwhile, you need to depend on a benevolent, overseeing government who will give you money, take care of your abortions, and perpetuate families with single mothers and lost fathers who live somewhere else.
Uncle Tom shows us how the same people that used Jim Crow laws and slavery to keep Black America deprived of opportunity, deprived of education, deprived of hope, those same people continue to do it today, but with filters and politics and rhetoric that convinces the people that they need the government to take care of their needs, because they have no opportunity to do anything for themselves.
And how is that so much different in this way of life from how your African ancestors lived in slavery?
You will have no Constitutional Freedom if you believe you do not have Constitutional Freedom!
You will simply be angry. Very angry!
I challenge every American and especially Americans with African heritage, and I likewise challenge every Latino and other minority to watch Uncle Tom. From beginning to end.
I promise that you will want to shut off the show. Because these people will contradict nearly everything you believe to be true. And it is NOT.
Watch Uncle Tom to the bitter end. Then sit and stew. Think about it. Think a lot about it. And ask yourself this: Is there anything that Elder or anyone else in this documentary say that is not the bitter, unvarnished, cold truth?
Two things that I realized after watching Uncle Tom are these:
1. Every student in every school in America, every person in America must watch Uncle Tom. Take it to heart, and realize that all of us must do better by each other. All of us!
2. Every student in every school in America, as well as every person in America, should read the biography of Booker T. Washington. Mister Washington shows us how a man born as a slave can rise to greatness. In his life we deplore his suffering as a fellow human being, as a child of God who told all of us to love each other as He loves us. But in his life we also cheer his heroism, his determination against daunting challenges to rise to greatness. Not simply as a former slave, a man of African heritage, but as an American. A great American.
We must do better. We must set up the ladders for our minority American brothers and sisters to climb to the heights, along with everyone else. And we as a society and a government must stop oppressing minorities by convincing them that they are hopelessly mired in oppression, have no hope except to fall in line with slaves behind a government that will provide for all their needs, and encourages their poverty and dispair.
One other thing that I realized after watching Uncle Tom: The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, if he lived today, given his values and his great faith, would likely get branded an Uncle Tom. Because he too believed that Black America needed equal rights, equal access and all the Constitutional Guarantees that every citizen of the USA is given. Opportunity to obtain a good education. Opportunity to pursue his or her dreams and realize them by his or her own hard work. Opportunity to achieve success in life.
I know that my left-bank friends will greatly criticize me for the stand that I take. It flies in the face of much of what they believe is true. How can I know anything about this subject, I am not Black?
No, I am not Black. I can never know what that life feels like. I can only try to help and not stand in the way.
But I do know this: Facts are Facts. Truth is Truth. Like them or not, Truth and Facts are Truth and Facts.
It is the liars and cheats and corrupt villains in our world who will try to convince you otherwise.
Don’t believe me. But watch Uncle Tom. It will make you angry, but it will also give you hope.
God bless Larry Elder for making this documentary, Uncle Tom. It is a beacon of light, and the darkness of oppression and hate cannot hide from the Truth that it shows us.
While India may today celebrate its so-called “democracy,” according to its own definition of modern India’s “democratic” government, it sags heavily with socialist tyranny. Such as controlling the press, ensuring that the narrative supports the government’s agenda, and that controlled narrative is the only perspective of India’s government that the people see and hear.
Not a lot different than the controls on media enforced by communist states such as the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or as the Russian Federation continues currently with authorized media vehicles like Russia Today. India’s controlled political narrative is as communist China and North Korea likewise do today.
After all, the first victim of tyranny is free speech. This includes a free press and the people’s freedom to peacefully assemble and express dissent against their governments.
Today, in America, we see an increased and often casually overt effort by the ruling powers of government to likewise control, if not popularize the narrative by stifling voices of dissent. This repression of dissent finds blind and willing collusion among the so-called American free press that today appears to voluntarily help control the narrative, spinning a version of truth that supports the ruling political power’s agenda.
To voice words of criticism of policy or political ideals of the ruling power, to disagree with any perspective, or to express dissent against the system today, that person who fails to see the world as the narrative says we should see it finds himself or herself branded despicable, deplorable, labeled with insults such as bully, Nazi, bigot, racist, domestic terrorist and worse. All for simply uttering dissent against those in power who now control the public agenda and narrative.
For example, the Biden Administration ordered an investigation of Major Andrew Calvert, an Army chaplain with the 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, after he made a dissenting comment critical of a change in Defense Department policy on the Army Times’ Facebook page. The chaplain suggested that someone who is transgender is mentally unfit for military service, responding to an Army Times article about President Joe Biden’s executive order to drop the ban against allowing transgender people to openly serve in the military.
Major Calvert wrote, “How is rejecting reality not evidence that a person is mentally unfit, and thus making that person unqualified to serve? There is little difference in this than over those who believe and argue for a ‘flat earth,’ despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The motivation is different, but the argument is the same. This person is a Med-Board for Mental Wellness waiting to happen. What a waste of military resources and funding!”
Bear in mind that Chaplain Calvert did not direct his word at any person, but at a policy change directed by President Biden.
Major Jefferson Grimes, Public Affairs Officer for the 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade issued the following statement after Chaplain Calvert’s post on the Army Times Facebook page stirred attention from on high: “Major Calvert’s social media post on the Army Times Facebook page is currently under investigation. We support the Commander in Chief, Secretary of Defense and all DoD policies and directives.”
Grimes added, “We are soldiers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and that means always treating others with dignity and respect. This includes online communication. We direct our soldiers to Think, Type, Post when engaging in conversations on social media platforms and to follow DoD policies and regulations. When our online conduct does not follow these rules and regulations, we investigate and hold individuals accountable if they are found to be in violation.”
What is damning about the official government statement made by Major Grimes is that everything that a soldier says on social media must follow the government’s rules and regulations, and “when our online conduct does not follow these rules and regulations, we investigate and hold individuals accountable if they are found to be in violation.”
While all people in military service fall under rules of good order and discipline, those rules do not void a person in military service from retaining his or her rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. Military people must follow Lawful Orders, however, prohibiting Free Speech and Expression of Dissent when speaking as a private person, not speaking for an agency of the government, violates the First Amendment. No different than the government prohibiting that person from his or her free exercises of religious freedom, such as personal expressions of religious faith and exercises of prayer and worship.
This is not to confuse free speech and expressions of dissent with vulgarness, rudeness, insubordination or insults, nor of acts of violence or mutiny. Just as the Constitution provides for Free Speech, it likewise requires that freedom to gather and dissent to be peaceful and orderly. The right to free speech is not a right to riot or stand on the public square and shout profanity and obscenity.
Consider that all branches of the United States military services have privately operated foundations and affiliated organizations not part of the government or military command that publish journals and magazines aimed at audiences that include both leadership and rank and file service members. Active duty, reserve and retired officers and enlisted men and women, along with many civilians who have military interests, regularly author essays, articles and even commentary that is critical of military policy as well as critical of strategy and tactics and leadership. The Marines have Marine Corps Gazette and Leatherneck magazines, published by the Marine Corps Association and Historical Foundation. They encourage dissent and criticism of policy, strategy and tactics. Because quite often from criticism comes improvement.
In fact, Marines are noted for their freely expressed honest words that criticize or bring ideas to debate and greater critical examination.
In the past, numerous articles that were not only critical of policy but controversial in position were published and read by the highest among leaders as well as the broad base of Marines. Topics such as women serving in combat or in combat arms occupations addressed all sides of criticism as well as advocacy. A sharp contrast with today’s investigation of a Fort Hood chaplain who criticized a popular progressive left agenda carried out by executive order. He dared to express a dissenting opinion of a policy that could well disrupt the good order and discipline among the front-line combat organizations and affect the outcome of missions.
Another example of the government controlling the narrative and violating constitutional free speech appeared in the Denver Post on January 8, 2021, when University of Colorado at Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano chastised constitutional scholar, Professor John Eastman, for “spreading conspiracy theories about election fraud,” but, at that time, held short of firing the former Chapman University law professor.
Eastman teaches at the University of Colorado, Boulder campus as a visiting scholar from Colorado’s Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization.
Professor John Eastman is not merely a constitutional scholar but a constitutional nerd who has spent his adult life as a scholar studying the Constitution and its legal and social impacts on the history of the United States. He is an outspoken conservative among a sea of avowed progressive liberals at the University of Colorado, Boulder. And he has a history of expressing his conservative perspective publicly and addressing it to large audiences that include appearing on national media.
However, following months of emotionally charged complaints, campus protests and boycotts of Professor Eastman among the largely progressive-left student body and faculty, then exacerbated by a controversial constitutional essay published in Newsweek magazine in August and further inflamed by Eastman’s pro-Trump words and appearance at the Trump rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC on January 6, the University of Colorado leadership finally banned Professor Eastman after cancelling all of his classes on January 13, 2021.
University leaders cited that no one on campus had enrolled in any of Eastman’s classes, therefore, they cancelled them. However, a week later, Chancellor DiStefano announced that the University of Colorado, Boulder had banned John Eastman from performing any outreach (public speaking) or speaking anywhere at the University for the duration of his association with the institution. Only recently, prior to his virtual firing, Professor Chapman officially resigned his tenured faculty position as a law professor at Chapman University, which would allow him to officially join the University of Colorado faculty.
On January 21 Andrew Sorensen, a University of Colorado, Boulder spokesman, issued this statement: “The University of Colorado Boulder relieved John Eastman of duties related to outreach and speaking as a representative of the Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization. University officials determined Eastman’s continued pursuit of these duties would likely be disruptive and damage the interests of the campus and the Benson Center.”
While technically retaining Eastman on faculty at the Benson Center, the university leadership has formally silenced Professor Eastman. His narrative sharply disagrees with the university’s own narrative and agenda. So much for free speech and freedom of diverse thought at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Since the university, as a state-owned public institution, is a branch of the State of Colorado government, it represents a government action that silences a voice that often criticizes politically left ideals, because his dissent and critical commentary disagrees with the progressive left agenda. The government shut up Professor John Eastman to control the left-dominant university narrative, citing his words as damaging and “disruptive.”
It does not matter if the majority of students at the University of Colorado disagree with Eastman’s politics or ideals of Constitutional Law, the professor still has the right, protected by the First Amendment, to freely express his opinion in the public forum, such as he expressed in Newsweek magazine or at a Republican rally in Colorado or the one on January 6 at the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Eastman’s very presence on the Boulder campus immediately raised progressive left hackles. He is a person who voices strong conservative views, citing the United States Constitution as the superior law of the nation, and as Justice Antonin Scalia had held, Eastman agrees that “It says what it says, and does not say what it does not say.” However, the University of Colorado, Boulder is not a welcoming place for anyone who does not subscribe to the progressive left world view. Thus, in a sea of gasoline, he represented a thimble full of nitroglycerine and a match.
Igniting the first firestorm of campus controversy, Professor Eastman wrote an essay published on August 12, 2020 in Newsweek magazine. The constitutional scholar questioned whether vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris was eligible to serve as Vice President because her parents were not born in the United States. In the essay, Eastman based his argument on the fact that while Harris was born in the United States, her parents resided in the United States on visas. Eastman questioned whether Harris’ parents were lawful permanent residents at the time of her birth, or were they merely temporary visitors?
The constitutional argument addressed at Harris stems from the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that states, “…all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.”
The question raised by Eastman and other constitutional scholars and lawyers alike, asks if this 14th Amendment clause includes visitors who are not residents of the United States and others who live in the United States illegally? The United States Supreme Court has not addressed this question, nor has it issued any clarifying opinions. Thus, the debate continues.
After a wave of highly vocal outcries against the opinion essay written by Eastman, on August 14, Newsweek editors, trying to divest themselves from the article published two days prior, apologized for publishing Eastman’s opinion, and said:
“This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia. We apologize. The essay, by John Eastman, was intended to explore a minority legal argument about the definition of who is a “natural-born citizen” in the United States. But to many readers, the essay inevitably conveyed the ugly message that Senator Kamala Harris, a woman of color and the child of immigrants, was somehow not truly American.”
Newsweek editors did not say that Professor Eastman had expressed any racist or xenophobic views but had addressed the question of citizenship of a child born in the United States of parents who are not citizens but reside in the United States as visitors or as illegal immigrants. However, the inflammatory words, Racist and Xenophobe had now surfaced. Thus, Professor Eastman automatically received the racist and xenophobe brand too.
This despite the fact that Professor Eastman’s opposing editorial opinion had addressed the question of citizenship based on matters of legal argument. A debate that continues today and will likely finally find argument before the United States Supreme Court for resolution. However, to suggest that perhaps vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, a woman of color and daughter of immigrant parents, might not qualify as Vice President, to the progressive left represented racist bigotry and xenophobia. How dare he even raise the question?
On August 24, 2020, an article published in The Denver Post described the upheaval stirred on the Boulder campus resulting from the published article that brought outcries against Professor Eastman. They accused him of floating a conspiracy theory akin to the so-called, “Birther” accusations leveled against President Barak Obama by then presidential candidate Donald Trump and many other strong-right leaning conservatives.
Chancellor DiStefano wrote in a faculty memorandum distributed by email that Monday (August 17) following the Newsweek publication of Eastman’s essay, “Even if he did not intend it, Professor Eastman’s op-ed has marginalized members of our CU Boulder community and sown doubts in our commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equality and inclusion.”
In fact, Newsweek even said that Eastman did not express racist or xenophobic views, but that his op-ed essay was being used as a tool by some to perpetuate racism and xenophobia.
Interestingly, the Newsweek opinion essay credits did not cite Professor Eastman’s association with the University of Colorado, Boulder nor with Colorado’s Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization, but cited his credentials as “Professor of Law, Chapman University and Senior Fellow, Claremont Institute.”
One must wonder how the publication of Eastman’s essay in Newsweek sullied the reputation of the University of Colorado when it nor the Benson Center do not have mention in the article or in Eastman’s credentials or professional citations. Thus, one must conclude that the University of Colorado used the admonition to try and gag Eastman from publicly expressing his opinions which do not support the university’s political tilt. A preemptive step to silence his dissent.
Citing Professor Eastman’s right to free speech, Chancellor DiStefano wrote: “Without minimizing those harms, and recognizing that we must repair that trust, I must speak to those who have asked whether I will rescind Professor Eastman’s appointment or silence him. I will not, for doing so would falsely feed a narrative that our university suppresses speech it does not like and would undermine the principles of freedom of expression and academic freedom that make it possible for us to fulfill our mission.”
However, the actions against Professor Eastman stand in stark contradiction to Chancellor DiStefano’s statement. Judging from the matters of fact and historical record, it appears that the University of Colorado, Boulder does suppress speech that it does not like, thus undermining (utterly quashing) the principles of freedom of expression and academic freedom. The Chancellor’s words clearly do not align with the university’s actions against Professor Eastman, which stand testament to the University of Colorado’s suppression of free speech and academic freedom.
As to Professor Eastman’s response after reading Chancellor DiStefano’s email, in which the Chancellor had said that Eastman’s argument for Ms. Harris’ potential ineligibility did not align with the Constitution, Eastman said that it seemed to him that perhaps Chancellor DiStefano has never read the original debates about the Constitution’s citizenship clause.
Professor Eastman commented to The Denver Post, when interviewed about the controversy, spurring the CU Buffalo even harder, “That seems to me to be an admission that he (DiStefano) has not read the original materials himself, nor the significant amount of scholarship that has come to the same conclusion (that) I have. Pity. He might have learned that there is a serious constitutional dispute here, one that remains unresolved by the Supreme Court.”
Then on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the day that thousands of conservative protesters gathered on The National Mall in Washington, DC, the same day that some of the people in the protest moved on the United States Capitol, broke across barriers and violently laid siege to the Capitol Building and Halls of Congress, Professor Eastman spoke at a rally in support of President Donald Trump on the National Mall. In Eastman’s remarks, he alleged that there was widespread voter fraud in the November 3, 2020 election and in the January 5, 2021 runoff election in Georgia. Millions of people who voted for President Trump share this viewpoint.
Following the protests and riot in Washington, DC, Chancellor DiStefano again criticized Professor Eastman for his public statements but stopped short of firing Eastman for his remarks: Expressions that the majority of students and faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder regarded as advocating conspiracy theories. They demanded that the Chancellor fire Eastman for his inflammatory public statements.
Even though not firing Eastman at that time but later virtually firing him by silencing his voice on or off campus, Chancellor DiStefano spoke harshly against the conservative Constitutional scholar and said, “His (Eastman’s) continued advocacy of conspiracy theories is repugnant, and he will bear the shame of his role in undermining confidence in the rule of law.”
These two instances serve as examples of the government Controlling the Narrative to support the ideals of the ruling agenda. If anyone raises a voice or publishes words against them, they punish and ridicule those voices of dissent.
In India, police shot and killed a protester who spoke in dissent of the government while on the same day the government celebrated its “democracy.” The Indian media published the official statement that the protester, twenty-five-year-old farmer, Navreet Singh, had died during the protest because of a so-called, “tractor accident.”
Tyrants and dictators control the narrative and quash dissent, either with a bullet shot from a policeman’s gun or by gagging the outspoken voice while he or she suffers through powerful ridicule and shame hurled by the minions of that tyrant who sit in positions of power and control the public narrative with it, serving the national agenda.
For tyrants, the press is the handmaiden of government. Free speech represents the narrative supporting the agenda that they control.