To start I want to wish you the best as you deal with the coronavirus pandemic. I hope you and your family are happy and healthy as we go through this terrible and unpleasant situation. We must remain safe and smart but also be careful not to surrender our core liberties to government officials looking to capitalize on the situation.
I wanted to give an update on what I have been doing as of late. My hydroponics stores are rapidly expanding and holding up well during the crisis. We are helping people grow food and become self-sufficient as they realize that the benefits and blessings of civil society are very tenuous. If the supply chain breaks down amidst the pandemic, these farming supplies could save thousands if not millions of lives. That is the definition of “essential business” right there.
Since my run for Congress in 2012, I have remained active in politics as an activist and a truth teller in my community. Check out my body of work to see for yourself what I have been doing. I have called out corruption on both sides of the aisle, which is so rarely done in this age of extreme partisanship and division. I have not given up on my vow to reform the country I love that has given so much to my family. Keeping the American dream alive and well requires nothing short of eternal vigilance, as the Founding Fathers made clear.
Over the years I have exposed a tremendous amount of corruption in the marijuana industry, which has helped bring about changes in Lansing that allowed more patients to get their medicine. I have raised awareness on foreign policy, war and peace, government spying, whistleblowers’ rights, and other key issues of our day. Thank you for sharing my work and being in my corner as I have fought this good fight. I have put my livelihood on the line to hold the powerful accountable, and the reception has been humbling and awe-inspiring.
I have always desired to do more with my voice, with the massive platform the internet has given us all. Particularly through the various social media platforms, we are connected like never before and able to share information. It is still revolutionizing communications in ways we cannot even understand, and their censorship campaign cannot undo what has occurred. I want to play a role in this revolution, which is taking the power from a handful of powerful corporations and giving it back to the people.
With that, I am launching a news website with a support staff that will get the word out about what is exactly happening in our communities throughout the state. People have talked about draining the swamp in Washington D.C., but there is a swamp festering in every community that often operates in the shadows. While we are distracted or bickering with each other, a bipartisan group of criminals are robbing us blind and infringing on our freedom in a million different ways. And we are supposed to sit back and take it? HELL NO!
The Michigan Sentry is going to put the powerful on notice, speak truth to power, be independent and non-partisan, and restore the Fourth Estate to what it ought to be. I am looking for volunteer writers who would like to be published and contribute. It doesn’t matter where on the political spectrum you fall – left, right or center. It doesn’t matter if you support President Trump, Bernie Sanders, or whoever. We want you to be involved if your heart is pure and you want to fight corruption. Please reach out to me if you are interested.
Memorial Day was set up in the 19th Century to remember the memory of the soldiers who died in the United States Civil War. Today we use the holiday to honor all of the deceased military personnel who served in America’s wars and many citizens take time this weekend to decorate the gravesites of their deceased family members and loved ones. I hope that all of you take some time this weekend to remember everyone who has passed on.
War is a frequent part of man’s existence. There are some people who believe that the Civil War was an unnecessary war and did not need to happen. Many Americans died serving on both sides and countless families were irreparably shattered. To be honest, it’s rare to find a necessary war – the American Revolution is the best example.
It is important to not put the blame on a soldier for the military conflicts that they have been engaged in. Friends have shared stories with me of returning Viet Nam War veterans being spit at by anti-war protestors. If you disagree with a military action, hold the politicians and the generals responsible for it accountable. This really needed to be done World War One, where many infantrymen had to deal with trench warfare and an influenza pandemic. Deep state bureaucrats often use war to instigate regime change, and enlisted personnel are not the decision makers in those scenarios.
We have many Americans currently on active military service. At least it is a volunteer military service, unlike the situation with the Viet Nam War where there was a draft. It might be better for all of us if we had fewer foreign entanglements. If the big government types are going to insist on having a large military at least let them be stationed here in our own country.
Please show some respect on Memorial Day for the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Make this weekend about more than hot dogs and barbeque. It would be nice if we had fewer Americans deployed overseas. A foreign policy with less intervention is in order. In the meantime, let us remember to reason for the holiday.
Nothing good can come from calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. It makes us look weak internationally and silly domestically. The current administration is right in any action it takes to stop this witch hunt. We have a legal system that could convict a ham sandwich. For the same reason that no businessman wants an IRS audit, no politician with common sense wants any government agency probing into their affairs.
If Americans are really upset about the possibility of a foreign government interfering in our elections, then where have they stood when our government has gotten involved with elections and regime changes overseas? The United States has a long history of meddling in Central America, the Carribbean, the Middle East, Southeast Asia. Where have these supposedly outraged Americans been when Israel and Saudi Arabia lobby our politicians?
Its unfortunate that Congressman Justin Amash has made strong statements about President Trump. It is also important to note that the Congressman has not actually called for Trump’s impeachment. There are a lot of activists in the Liberty movement who are getting in nasty arguments about the Trump-Amash conflict. This disagreement is unnecessary.
Attacking Congressman Amash is counterproductive. He is not the only Republican who is critical of the President. Reasonable people can disagree with the White House on matters like tariffs and immigration policy. There are some self-proclaimed standard bearers of Republicanism who are using other people’s blind allegiance to President Trump to promote another agenda. To be precise a significant number of Republican operatives have never cared for Amash due to his adherence to the United States Constitution. These operatives are trying to create a primary in Amash’s Congressional District.
Congressman Amash was first elected to the US House in 2010. Statists who claim to be Republican not liking Amash is nothing new. He faced a Republican primary opponent during his 2014 re-election campaign. There appear to be at least two other individuals who have announced that they will run as Republicans for Amash’s Congressional seat in 2020. If this is what the big government types want, then so be it. He is not a lightweight. I expect that Amash will win in 2020 if he chooses to run again.
There is nothing positive about this conflict. It is acceptable to disagree with a politician you like on one issue, and still support him/her because of their overall record. Leave Trump alone. Let Amash be Amash.
On May 2; Facebook announced that it was purging high-profile figures like Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan from its platform and labeled them as “dangerous”. Facebook also owns Instagram; therefore Jones, Farrakhan, and others will be banned from there as well. Facebook’s own statement was “We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.”
This is both a First Amendment issue and greater than that, an international freedom of speech issue. Since the internet can be accessed almost anywhere in the world, and is accessed by almost everybody in the world, websites and their content are indeed international. Facebook has become ubiquitous within everybody’s marketing mix. More people get their news via Facebook than thru CNN, Fox News, and newspapers. Facebook has an ethical responsibility to grant equality of access for the expression of all points of view, not just their corporation’s preferred opinions.
Hatred can be found everywhere. It is part of human nature. Who does Facebook think they are to tell us, the people, what constitutes hate? Who are they to arbitrarily decide who is “dangerous”? Many people express their religious opinions on the internet. Religious thoughts and beliefs are certainly subjective. What may be one individual’s sincerely held beliefs might be viewed as hateful or dangerous by another. Religious opinions affect and divide people on matters such as abortion, homosexuality and foreign affairs. You might express a certain view that his valid in your church but viewed as hateful by Facebook.
Our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they talked about freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Many people have moved to the United States because they needed one or both of those freedoms. When Facebook sets itself up as an arbiter of what is right and wrong, it is impinging upon these freedoms. Furthermore, its dangerous and goes against our American culture. All beliefs, no matter how distasteful, deserve to be expressed and openly scrutinized.
The freedom to exchange ideas and information on social media is a classic application of free market principles. If someone presents information that is goofy or inaccurate, other people call it out. Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan and others have their followers because some of the information they present resonates as true. It is too subjective to embargo their material. Let the general public decide and debate what is right and what is wrong.
Whether you agree or disagree with anyone, shutting down conversation is not the American way. This is an ongoing problem that extends beyond Facebook. Third world dictatorships like to muscle out dissenting opinions. We cannot let our country become like that. Where do we draw the line? If the American government allows this to happen now, what type of censorship will it allow in the future?
The Armenian Genocide was recognized this week on April 24th. It was the 104th Anniversary of the day the Turkish government arrested and executed a number of intellectuals in Constantinople. I wanted to wait until after that day to comment on the genocide out of respect for the Armenian community (some of whom are very good friends of mine). The Armenian people bore the brunt of Turkish atrocities and the focus and sympathy really belongs with them. We need to remember that the Turkish government also persecuted Chaldeans, Greeks and others. To this day the Turks still refuse to call it a genocide or admit they did anything wrong.
Its time for the government of Turkey to man up and accept responsibility for their atrocities of 100 years ago. There is no good reason not to accept the blame. Everyone who personally was involved in these acts of evil, such as Enver Pasha, are deceased. There is no way to do a war crimes trial like the civilized world was able to do against the Nazis or the Khmer Rouge. The world knows what happened and it is ridiculous to deny it.
Those of us who are members of Metro Detroit’s Chaldean community need to stand in solidarity with the Armenians. There were over 100,000 Assyrian and Chaldean Christians killed by the Turks concurrent to the Armenian genocide. Armenian-Americans in Michigan have done an exemplary job in raising and maintaining awareness of the genocide. The Turkish government has spent many dollars lobbying the United States in an attempt to prevent our government from calling the genocide they carried out as just that.
This genocide is something that we should never forget. Hitler used the Turkish example as his template to orchestrate the persecution of Jews, Gypsies and many others. He was famously quoted as stating “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”. The government of Israel and many others never fail to remind us of the Holocaust.
Everyday is a day we should the remember genocide. Today is an especially good day to do so since it is Easter for the Eastern calendar, which is what is observed by the Armenian Church.
A great quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin when asked by someone at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 if our new government was a republic or a monarchy is this – “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Part of ensuring that our federal government was a Republic was the creation of the Electoral College.
There has been legislation introduced in Michigan that involves the National Popular Vote. This legislation, if ever approved, would award Michigan’s Electoral votes to the Presidential candidate who receives the most nationwide votes. It would award these votes regardless if that candidate did or did not receive the most votes in Michigan. This is just wrong.
Donald Trump became President Trump because he won the Electoral College in 2016, 304 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 227 votes. Michigan has 16 Electoral votes. Trump won Michigan in 2016, but even if he had lost Michigan he still would have won the Electoral College with 288 to 243 margin.
National Popular Vote seeks to disenfranchise Michigan’s voters by making the awarding of their Electoral College votes dependent on what the rest of the country thinks. This creates an opportunity to voters from New York and California to tell us, as Michiganders, who our Electoral votes are awarded to. There is something wrong with letting liberal out-of-state elites have influence in what we do and who we vote for.
The National Popular Vote bill was introduced in our State House in 2018. I believe that this is being done to undermine President Trump, and was only introduced here because Michigan’s 2016 Electoral votes went to the Republican candidate for the first time since 1988. This is why we need to elect politicians who will support the Electoral College and oppose the National Popular Vote.
President Trump is running for re-election in 2020. Maybe he will win Michigan again. Maybe he won’t. Either way, let us keep our Republic and keep the Electoral College as it is.
Happy Easter to all of you from the Brikho Household! He has risen!
If Jesus walked on Earth today what would he think about the United States of America? Would he like what we are about? Would he like our laws? Would he approve of our government?
In certain situations the answer is “Yes”! I think the Lord to this day approves of our freedom of religion. We are created with the freedom to choose to believe. Our federal government allows us the freedom of choice in whether or not to believe in him, as well as how to worship him. As an example, Americans, especially here in Metro Detroit, can observe Easter with either the Eastern or Western calendar. There are many different expressions of the Christian faith and our country is blessed with an acceptance of all of these interpretations of The Resurrection.
On the other hand, I doubt that Jesus would approve of our interventions into foreign wars. Christianity is a religion of peace. The United States’ involvement in the Viet Nam War was a disaster. I am saying this not as a disrespect to the soldiers who were drafted and fought the war, but to the politicians and the deep state bureaucrats who made the decision to send Americans to die for no good reason.
With World War One, a Democrat President sent American troops to fight a war in Europe and prop up the Allied Powers. Our support of Great Britain and France allowed those two nations to dictate postwar settlements and territorial carve-outs in the Middle East. We are still paying a terrible price for those decisions. The root cause of many of problems that we have seen in Iraq and Syria were only made possible by the enabling actions of the American government between 1917 and 1920. I cannot believe that Jesus would approve of our involvement in that war.
Recently, President Trump vetoed a resolution to stop the United States’ support for the Saudi-backed war in Yemen. I respect President Trump, but he is wrong on this issue. It was a resolution that received votes from Congressmen of both major political parties. It would have removed American armed forces from Yemen (with the continuing exception of actions specifically against al-Qaeda). His veto is very contrary to Christ’s teachings.
If we wish to call ourselves a Christian country and a Christian people then we have to stay away from these foreign wars and their entanglements. Jesus’ teachings of peace demand that we do better as a nation.
A great number of words have been written about the Notre Dame fire in Paris on April 15. There is a large outpouring of sympathy and claims of solidarity with regard to the situation. It will take many years to rebuild and restore the building. While Americans are focusing on this, I would like to respectfully point out that there are many other churches as well as buildings of international significance that have been damaged or destroyed and these deserve just as much attention.
Here in the United States, specifically Louisiana, some scumbag arsonist burned down three churches only a few weeks ago. All of the buildings were over 100 years old. All of the churches are Baptist and are historically and predominately black. It would have been nice to see people pay as much attention to this as they did to Notre Dame. Paris is over there, Louisiana is over here. Its too bad that is took some public shaming to finally get people to address this.
Christian churches in Iraq have been systematically destroyed in the 21st Century. Much of the destruction was attributable to ISIL, but it started as far back as 2003. Our nation’s war to overthrow Saddam Hussein began a sequence of events that lead to widespread destruction of Christian heritage in Mesopotamia. It would have been nice if the mainstream media had paid more attention to this as well as the massive human suffering that occurred with these multiple wars.
If the reason to focus on Notre Dame is because of its importance to the world, then let us look at some other worthy and overlooked buildings. The roof was blown off The Parthenon in Athens during a wartime bombardment in 1687. Maybe we should talk about rebuilding The Parthenon. Aleppo was destroyed during the battles that lasted between 2012 and 2016. When you consider our federal government’s role in screwing up the Middle East, then Aleppo should be an equally deserved recipient of our goodwill.
Perhaps more charity at home or a focus of charity towards war zones is what we should be doing as Americans. It’s going to take a long time to rebuild Notre Dame. The Cologne Cathedral was damaged by Allied bombing raids during World War Two and restoration work has been occurring there for 70 years. There will be plenty of money to fix Notre Dame. Let the French government take care of it and let’s start giving equal attention to other worthwhile.
(and underappreciated) projects.
The recent arrest of WikiLeaks cofounder Julian Assange in London is an outrage. There are so many things wrong with this situation that I could write a book. A long book. Assange had been granted asylum by the Ecuadorian government back in 2012, and became a citizen of Ecuador in 2017. Now, they have revoked that asylum, invited the London Police into their embassy to arrest him, and he is sitting in jail cell presumably awaiting extradition. Many international human rights groups believe that he should be released.
This is a cautionary tale about governments and government agencies. The behavior of Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, is reprehensible. It is proof that all too often a government can say something or promise anything one day, and change its mind on a different day. That becomes very true when there is a change of leadership in a government. It is known that Moreno has been implicated in a corruption scandal in Ecuador by his country’s legislature. As always, governments show they cannot be trusted.
Assange may appeal to the government of France for asylum on humanitarian grounds (he has a son who lives in France). But what would come next? Does anyone really want to trust the French to do the right thing? Assange will always be on the run unless the United States drops its legal case against him.
The international media should be praising the work that Assange and WikiLeaks have done over the years. Assange should be as revered as Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Our United States Constitution guarantees freedom of the press. Assange should be treated as a reporter and WikiLeaks considered a news reporting organization.
It should be stated that Assange is not accused by the United States government of hacking. He is a reporter who has used a hacker as a source. He is a journalist who has sought to protect his sources, which earned the enmity of several national governments. If we value freedom of speech then we have to stand in support of him.
If we care about holding our own government accountable, especially when it is engaging in unjust warfare overseas, then we need people like Assange doing the very work that they have done. The justifications for our military misadventures have often been spurious. We need to admit that the United States either has no clue about what it is doing in the Middle East, or (worse) is an intentional bad actor. Ellsberg, Assange and others have done the necessary work over time to expose our foreign policy misconduct.
It’s time to free Julian Assange!