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Uncovering Deeper Realities: Homelessness Crisis, Conservative Trends and Free Speech with Representative Matt Gress, Tim Chapman and Dr. Owen Anderson

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Konten disediakan oleh Breaking Battlegrounds. Semua konten podcast termasuk episode, grafik, dan deskripsi podcast diunggah dan disediakan langsung oleh Breaking Battlegrounds atau mitra platform podcast mereka. Jika Anda yakin seseorang menggunakan karya berhak cipta Anda tanpa izin, Anda dapat mengikuti proses yang diuraikan di sini https://id.player.fm/legal.

Welcome back to another episode of Breaking Battlegrounds that tackles a range of pressing topics. Our first guest, Arizona Representative Matt Gress, candidly shares his concerns about the homeless hotel conversion in Scottsdale. Join us as we dissect the intricacies of this issue and its potential implications. Representative Gress also provides insights into President Biden's recent visit to Arizona and his pivotal role in the ADE’s School Safety Taskforce.

Shifting gears, we sit down with Tim Chapman, Senior Advisor of Advancing American Freedom. Tune in to gain a comprehensive understanding of conservative trends and the impactful initiatives spearheaded by AAF.

Concluding our episode, we engage in a thought-provoking dialogue with Dr. Owen Anderson, a distinguished professor at ASU specializing in philosophy, religious studies, and theology. Building on our ongoing exploration, Dr. Anderson provides fresh insights into the nuanced landscape of free speech on ASU's campus.

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Representative Matt Gress

Matt Gress represents Arizona’s 4th Legislative District. Matt Gress is a former public school teacher, school board member and an active member of the local community. He is passionate about public service and solving problems. As our state representative, Matt will work with both sides – Republicans and Democrats – to find solutions to issues such as reducing the cost of living, increasing teacher pay, reducing crime and addressing Arizona’s water crisis.

Matt is endorsed by some of our community’s most respected organizations: Arizona State Troopers, the Arizona Police Association, the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, the Professional Firefighters of Arizona, the Arizona Nurses Association, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona.

Like many, Matt came here from somewhere else — small town Oklahoma. The youngest of four, he was raised by a single mom in a single-wide trailer. Growing up, Matt’s family didn’t have much, but that never stopped them from dreaming big. Matt learned the value of hard work, to respect his elders and to count his blessings.

Matt worked his way through college driving school buses, and became the first in his family to earn a degree. While attending the University of Oklahoma, Matt was selected for the distinguished Harry S. Truman Scholarship — awarded to only one college student in each state who possesses leadership potential and a call to public service. After graduating, Matt was accepted to join Teach for America, a national teaching corps focused on serving in high-need, high-poverty schools. Matt taught high school English.

From 2017 to 2021, Matt served as a Governing Board Member in the Madison Elementary School District. While on the board, Matt fought to keep schools open during COVID-19, supported increased school choice and advocated for parents and taxpayers to have a seat at the table in curriculum, hiring decisions and budgeting, including expensive procurement contracts.

Matt is a budget hawk. He holds a Masters in Public Administration, with a focus on state and local government finance and public management, from Syracuse University. Here in Arizona, Matt has served as a faculty associate at Arizona State University and as a budget analyst at the Arizona State Capitol, learning exactly where our tax dollars go. Currently, he serves as the state’s top budget chief in the Arizona Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. There, he has authored budgets directing billions of new dollars towards K-12 education and teachers.

Matt also has experience in energy, water and technology policy, previously serving as an advisor at the Arizona Corporation Commission, where he worked on issues related to expanding broadband, lowering energy rates, reducing regulations on small businesses, and enhancing the stability of our power grid.

Matt, along with his partner Daniel, is proud to call Arizona and District 4 his home. He's an avid volunteer in the community, and plans to focus in the Legislature on solutions that can bring both sides together.

Matt is a proud Rotarian and past president of the Phoenix-Arcadia Rotary Club, a Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy Fellow, a former board member of the Madison Education Foundation, and previously served as a commissioner on the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Tim ChapmanTim Chapman is a Senior Advisor at Advancing American Freedom (AAF), a public policy advocacy organization founded by Vice President Mike Pence. He is also a Principal at P2 Public Affairs where he works with clients to build national campaigns to influence public policy. Chapman has served as the Executive Director of Heritage Action, Chief of Staff at the Heritage Foundation, and as an adviser and staff to Senators DeMint, Nickles and Hutchinson.Chapman's experience in conservative policy advocacy is extensive as he was a co-founder of Heritage Action - the advocacy arm of The Heritage Foundation – and a former Executive Director at Stand for America, an advocacy organization founded by Ambassador Nikki Haley. Tim has built and maintained policy coalitions on the right that have helped shape the consensus within the GOP and he has helped craft messaging/activist campaigns that have resulted in policy victories.

Dr. Owen AndersonDr. Owen Anderson is a professor of philosophy, religious studies, and theology at ASU and he writes about the radical ideologies of class, race, and gender used by some to coerce students and prevent free speech. He is also a pastor at Historic Christian Church of Phoenix. Recently, he has been working on the problem of DEIB, antiracism, decolonizing the curriculum, secular universities, and the loss of academic freedom. The philosophy behind these movements is presented in our universities as “the fact of the matter.” Why is that? And are we still allowed to think critically and discuss alternative ways of understanding the world and our history? Rousseau, Marx, and Freud dominate the mind of the current secular university professor. We can do much better.

Substack:

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Transcription

Sam Stone: Welcome to another episode of Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Warren. I'm Sam Stone. Our first guest up today. He just won the legislator of the Year for the Republican caucus in the state of Arizona. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Big, big news. He didn't he didn't even highlight it for this show. He's so humble. He wouldn't even put that on there. The Legislator of the Year, Matt Gress, thank you so much for joining us. Welcome to the program.

Matt Gress: It's great to be on with the illustrious two of you for sure. So when you got this award for Legislator of the Year, is it just like a big gold medallion that you wear around your neck now? Maybe a target on my back, I think, hey, you were just appointed and join the school safety task force in Arizona. Tell our listeners a little bit about that and why that's important not only for Arizona, but other states should be considering this superintendent of public instruction, Tom Horn, has convened a number of different stakeholders across the state teachers, social workers, school counselors, school resource officers, sheriffs legislators. It ranges the gamut. And I think he is trying to be responsive to what we've all been hearing across the state and really across the country. It's one of the issues that I hear about in my legislative district quite a bit, which is how can parents know that when they send their kids to school, they will be safe and they will come home. And and there's a variety of ways of addressing this situation. And thank God, you know, Arizona has not witnessed one of these mass school shootings that we've seen in in other states. But that shouldn't dissuade us from acting to, you know, take clear, measurable steps to secure our school facilities. There's a balance for sure. You know, we we don't want schools becoming prisons, but but we do want them to be safe places that parents, staff and students themselves feel is a safe place for learning. So, you know.

Chuck Warren: Just I mean, you're going to dig more into this. So when we go and join these type of task force, we get more information than we currently have. Okay. So my question is, what is your gut reaction tell you that needs to be done on this right now before getting more details from the task force? What is your gut reaction tell you that it needs to be done to make schools more secure so parents and kids feel confident when they go to school, they're going to be safe.

Matt Gress: I think there are two two key measures. One involves personnel and one involves physical infrastructure. So on the personnel front, a few years ago when I served as the budget director, we worked on some changes to the school safety grant program, where we allowed school counselors and social workers to be part of a school safety apparatus. So you had your SROs, the so-called cops on campus, right? And then we added to that on the mental and social health side of this, because mental health is a major factor when you look at these shootings. So we recognize that. And we also increased funding. You know, the program started out at $13 million, I believe, back in, let's say, 2018 or 2019. We boosted that to now it's over $82 million that we're spending on the school safety grant program. And there still is excess demand versus supply. So I'm on the funding and grants subcommittee of this task force, and we're going to take a hard look at where we can free up resources. And I believe that there are plenty. So personnel is a side of it. And in particular, in addition to, you know, not just the social workers and school counselors, SROs have been something I've heard from from parents and and a number of different stakeholders about having an SRO in every campus. And the challenge with that is SROs are sworn peace officers from police departments.

Matt Gress: Correct. We have huge vacancies when it comes to filling our police departments as it stands right now. So we're exploring ways where we can tap into talent of perhaps retired sworn peace officers or, you know, staff that meet all of the criteria. But have not gotten the full, what we call a post certification. Maybe there is an alternate form that we can provide that opens up talented, capable people who care about keeping kids safe, that can be there to respond when a crisis occurs. So the personnel side is one element and then the physical infrastructure. You know, when I served on the school board in central Phoenix, we did a safety threat assessment of every building. We looked at the physical premises, fencing the doorways. How do you get in and out? Who lets people in and out, Cameras, locks, all of the above. And I think that if a school in Arizona is going to go out for a bond or a capital override, the first thing that they need to prioritize is the safety of their facilities. And if they don't have a safety assessment done, they are flying blind and I don't think they should be asking voters for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars if they don't know what they need to do to improve the security of their physical infrastructure.

Sam Stone: Matt that's a really good point because one of the things that's underrated, frankly, are the secured entry and exit points at schools. There was an incident, it barely got covered. I think it was the end of last month, July 31st. I had to actually go to duck, duck, go, because you can't find this link on on Google for an attempted school shooting in Memphis, Tennessee, at a Jewish school. The shooter could not get in. They opened fire outside the building and then were taken down by police and court. So no one was hurt. You know, nothing happened. Obviously, something happened. But it wasn't a traumatic incident in the way these others have been. And that was just a matter of simple physical security like you're talking about. It's not that hard to implement these, especially when the legislature is putting the kind of money you're talking about into it, right?

Matt Gress: Absolutely. And take, for instance, the study on Uvaldi, another case in point where the door was propped open. It was a, you know, lock and key type of door. You know, in this day and age, they need to be electronic locks, you know, the magnetic locks where you need a badge to swipe in and out. There needs to be alarms on these external doors when they're left open. I mean, you can go to a gym and you go out the wrong exit and within 15 seconds, you know, the the alarms are sounding. And if we can do it at some of these other places that that aren't as sensitive of spaces as schools, we can definitely prioritize that at at our school campuses. And that was something we included in this year's budget. Speaking of private or parochial schools, that. Department of Homeland Security is established a grant program that that these places of worship and and the parochial schools can access to help bolster their security. We had we heard from a rabbi that talked about the increase in anti-Semitic behavior and how they're taking great pains to ensure that these sacred spaces are kept safe for parishioners.

Sam Stone: Yeah, absolutely. Anything else on that before we move on? Because I do want to get on to this city of Scottsdale. Plan to house homeless in a hotel there. You have raised some concerns with that, as have others.

Matt Gress: Yes, let's let's chat about that one. That one's been a hot topic.

Sam Stone: Start by telling because we're on in markets across the country, literally coast to coast. Now, folks, if you're listening to Breaking Battlegrounds, you can be doing it in San Diego. You can be doing it in Miami. You can be here in Phoenix. You can be almost anywhere in the country and hear this program. You can be anywhere online and download and subscribe to our podcast and get all of our content. But folks probably don't know if they're not here in Phoenix, and even if they are, they probably don't know what's going on here. So can you give us a little background? What what is this situation?

Matt Gress: Well, here in Phoenix and in the Valley, just like everywhere else in the country, homelessness has really gripped communities. It has created such misery and tragedy for the people experiencing homelessness, as well as the surrounding communities that are affected by people living outside and this year at the legislature, we put in $60 million, $60 million to invest in homelessness programs. Um, that that can get people off the streets and into the treatment that they need. And that was the intent all along, is that we need to approach this from a treatment first modality versus a housing first modality, which I think a lot of cities and public policy has advocated for years. And I think it's failed.

Sam Stone: It has totally failed. And it's just warehousing. The problem is what they're doing.

Matt Gress: Absolutely. You're absolutely right there. And that's exactly what has happened in a quasi sort of way with an initiative. The Department of Housing has executed with a number of cities, not just Scottsdale, but the city of Phoenix, Mesa, Flagstaff and others. And what they're doing essentially is convert meeting rooms at an active operating hotel. Converting these rooms into homeless shelters in Scottsdale. Ten rooms. It ranged between 10 to 15. And as part of the contract with the Department of Housing, the city of Scottsdale has to set aside at least three of these rooms, and they're going to be operating year round for people who live in the zone, which is a which is a notorious place that has gained national attention about failing people in downtown Phoenix, just these large, massive encampments. So people from the zone in central Phoenix being moved up to Scottsdale, as well as foreign nationals who would have otherwise been deported under the now expired Title 42, which is now under litigation. The Florida attorney general is challenging the the Biden administration's approach to immigration. So what we said is whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. What is going on here with this program? Did you did you confer with the surrounding community? It's abutted the the property in question is is abutting the largest HOA in the United States. It's across from a school and other amusements that cater to kids. Are you doing background checks? I mean, there were just so many questions. And we reached out to the city of Scottsdale to ask those questions. And their answers have been have fallen short of satisfactory.

Sam Stone: Yeah, absolutely. Matt, I want to continue on with with this a little bit more. When we come back from our break here. We've got about 45 seconds before we go to break. One of the points that I was going to make on that is it's $940,000 state grant to house 15 people, 10 to 15. So anywhere from 94,000 down to a cheap price of $63,000 per person to house them for the year. And you ask a bunch of questions that I think need to be answered about what's going to happen when they're in that housing. We're going to be coming back with more from Matt Gress here on Breaking Battlegrounds in just a moment. Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Sam Stone and Chuck Warren continuing on the line with us in just a moment. Arizona Legislator of the Year Matt Grass, freshman legislator, win that award. Pretty darn impressive, folks. But you know what else is impressive? Being able to earn a 10.25% fixed rate of return in this Biden economy. The stock market is all sorts of volatile. Inflation continues to rage out of control. This is not a time to take a lot of risks with your finances.

Sam Stone: You need a reliable product that delivers a high fixed interest rate of return. Then you need to talk to our friends at invest. Why Refy.com that's invest the letter Y, then refy.com give them or give them a ring. They're at 888 y refy 24 and make sure you tell them Chuck and Sam sent you. Okay. Matt Continuing on, when we went to break, I mentioned that the cost of this program, it's a $940,000 state grant, as you mentioned, Scottsdale's planning to house 10 to 15 people. That's a lot of money per person, over 60,000, maybe over 90,000 per person, depending on how many there is. And you asked you sent a letter to the city of Scottsdale that raised a bunch of questions that I thought were frankly, really important about community outreach program implementation. What's going to happen to these people? Are they just going to be housed, you know, warehoused like we were talking about, or is there going to be a treatment program to help get them back on track? Matt, what have you gotten any answer? What are some of these questions that citizens in Scottsdale need to be asking and then get those answers to?

Matt Gress: Well, it's it's a mixed bag. And one of the reasons why I'm concerned about this program, it's been portrayed as it's helping grandma who couldn't afford the rent anymore and has just recently been evicted from her apartment. Let's keep her from becoming homeless or same situation with a single mom with kids. That's a very different type of situation versus what we call chronic homelessness, or Mayor Gallego is referred to as service resistant. And you're going to be putting those participants in this program. And there is just this unfounded confidence that they're going to be able to solve the issue. And your regionalizing what is a tragedy that has been unfolding for quite some time now in central Phoenix, your regionalizing that to places like Scottsdale. But what's even worse and you is that it's one thing to take an entire hotel facility and go through the process of converting it to a homeless shelter. But what you're doing is operating the hotel simultaneously to a homeless shelter in the same location. So a family on vacation is right next to someone who's just experienced one of the most chaotic, traumatic times of their life right next door. Unknowing of what's happening, the hotel paying customers are not given the benefit of the doubt. They're not given any information about whether this is an active homeless shelter. I think that's pertinent information to know for a paying customer. And I think it's very it's very problematic. And it hasn't worked in other places. Look at San Francisco. L.a. Is going to be having a measure on the ballot next year related to forcing hotels to accept homeless vouchers. This is just not the approach.

Sam Stone: You brought up. A good point about the type of person who's homeless, who's going into this, whether it's someone who's very recently on the street, what I would tend to describe as transitionally homeless people who were generally able to get off the streets fairly.

Chuck Warren: Quickly, What is that, 10%, ten, 15% of homeless?

Sam Stone: It's probably half, chuck. Half are transitionally homeless, but they don't stay homeless for very long. We don't even consider them.

Chuck Warren: Those are people generally go to shelters or.

Sam Stone: Something to correct. They will go to shelters, they will couch surf. They will do whatever they need to do. And very soon they will get off the street. We dealt with this a lot in Phoenix, the type that Matt was talking to, the service resistant homeless are your chronic street homeless. They're who people actually think.

Chuck Warren: Of as homeless. They're the ones that won't go to the Salvation Army because they require them not to take drugs there.

Sam Stone: It's exactly right. Yeah. And so that's a very different population. You're dealing with a lot of pathologies, including criminal pathologies that you're dealing with at that point. And you're clearly right to bring this up. There's another element to this I want to touch on, which is what you said about the Zone. Phoenix had had allowed this enormous homeless, sprawling encampment near downtown, totally out of control. Judge They were sued. Judge stepped in and said, you've got to mitigate this. The judge clearly in their order, in his orders, was saying, hey, you have to provide alternatives, including structured camping and all this. One of the things that's going on right now is Phoenix spent a bunch of money on a structured camping site that now they. Can't use because they put it in a in an area with a toxic environmental problem. They knew that problem existed before it went. They they went out there. They spent all this money, achieved nothing, and are back at square one and are pushing the problems off on people in your district and elsewhere around the state. We're seeing it throughout the entire valley now much more, much more significantly because of that. How I mean, how do we start getting some of these liberal cities on track to to start actually doing their part the right way?

Matt Gress: Well, we've the state has provided money and we've we've tried to do our part in investing in programs that should be evidence based. But unfortunately, I think that the executive has incorrectly interpreted what the legislature was trying to do with, you know, we included $150 million for the housing trust fund. That's to help people stay in their homes, $60 million for homelessness, people who aren't in their homes anymore. And we need to find a place for them to be. There just seems to be more of a focus on climate change in this context versus finding real solutions for people experiencing homelessness. And I think we have to sue, I think, and the courts are going to have to force the cities to do what they have been loathed to do. And until you can clean up these tragedies like the zone, it's going to be hard to engage in a more holistic conversation about how we address homelessness in the Valley.

Chuck Warren: Let's change topics here real quick. We have we have two minutes left. Biden's visit. What are your thoughts? He came to Arizona this weekend. He decided to take more property away from rural miners. What are your thoughts on it?

Matt Gress: A million acres removed from the tax rolls. And you'd think that, by the way, how much.

Chuck Warren: By the way, let me ask you a question real quick. How much does that hurt schools, public schools? How much does it take out gently?

Matt Gress: Oh, significantly, because they're tied to either state trust land or they're tied to private taxpaying owners. And all of those dollars go into the equalization formula that helps fund schools. But not a peep, actually. Praise from from the Democrats. No real engagement with half of the monument. They decided to go to Flagstaff and do their public outreach, but not two hours, 2.5 hours to the west in Kingman, where there was a clearly different point of view. And then, you know, we talk about there are so many precious minerals here on these claims that could help us achieve more clean energy or help us achieve energy independence or other key areas.

Sam Stone: Precious minerals.

Sam Stone: That are.

Sam Stone: Precious, minerals that are being mined all over the world using much dirtier mining techniques, using.

Chuck Warren: We're using child labor. Yeah, child labor across the overseas. Yeah.

Matt Gress: And by countries who hate America. Yes. If this was an opportunity to make America stronger.

Chuck Warren: Clearly missed the mark. Quickly, real quick here, I want to get back to this question. How much money I know we got 30s. Real quick, how much money do you think it takes out of public education for Arizona? Just a guesstimate. Give a range.

Matt Gress: That's that's hard to say depending on the number of mining claims because there are property taxes.

Chuck Warren: 30 million. 40 million. 30. 40 million.

Matt Gress: Oh, I would have to be more than that. You have to be more than that over the lifetime. Over 20 years. Say, I think you're going to see much more than that.

Sam Stone: Matt, real quick, 15 seconds. How do folks stay in touch with you and your work?

Matt Gress: You can look me up, Matt Gress. MattGrress.com You can follow me on Twitter at Matthew Gress two T'S and just feel free to reach out. All right. Always yours.

Chuck Warren: Thanks, buddy. Have a great day, man. We appreciate you.

Sam Stone: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Warren and Sam Stone. Up next today, Tim Chapman, senior adviser at Advancing America Freedom, a public policy organization founded by Vice President Mike Pence. He's also a principal at P two public affairs, where it works with clients to build national campaigns to influence public policy. Former executive director of Heritage Action Action, chief of staff at the Heritage Foundation and has advised Senators DeMint, Nichols and Hutchinson to a heck of a resume. Tim, thank you so much for joining us and welcome to the program.

Tim Chapman: Hey, thank you.

Tim Chapman: Both for having.

Chuck Warren: Me. Excited to be here. So tell us about what advancing American Freedom is working on right now.

Tim Chapman: Well, thanks for asking.

Tim Chapman: Advancing, as you mentioned there in the intro. Advancing American Freedom was founded by.

Tim Chapman: Vice.

Tim Chapman: President Mike Pence.

Matt Gress: And he founded.

Tim Chapman: This thing about a a little more than a year and a half ago. And he you know, I've always loved him. I came to Washington in 2001 and he came to Washington a little after that time as a congressman. And so I followed him and always had great admiration for him because, you know, as we were working on the outside to try to influence Congress towards conservative ends, he was on the inside and he was always fighting for the limited government perspective and the conservative perspective and the pro-life perspective in the House of Representatives. And he did that in many different ways there. And so he was super policy focused. And then, you know, once he left the administration, you know, he was thinking about ways that he could continue to be focused on policy. He worked a little bit with with the Heritage Foundation. And then he began to build out his own organization, which was advancing American freedom. And he asked he asked me to come on board there a while back. And he said, look, like we knew that he was thinking about running for for president. But he said, look, I need people who are going to come on board with this organization.

Tim Chapman: I need this organization to exist irrespective of my political future. And, you know, Tim, will you come in and work with this team? And I was you know, I jumped at the chance because I've always like I said, I've always liked being dead. So, you know, our focus is on kind of the traditional three legs of the stool and the conservative movement, social, social values, fiscal values and a strong national defense. And we kind of see, you know, there's a lot of things, as you both know, probably better than I. There's a lot of trends happening in the conservative movement and the Republican Party right now. And one of them that kind of worries me a little bit is a trend away from fiscal conservatism. Yes, it is a trend away from American leadership around the globe. Well, Tim Tim, let me ask. I think we wanted to talk about that. Yeah, Tim, let me let me ask you this. We talk about this a lot. You know, look, it's not as sexy as hitting some woke issue, right? It's it doesn't doesn't it's not good for fun conversation.

Sam Stone: It's also complicated.

Chuck Warren: It's complicated. Yeah. Tim, how do we get out of this mess? It's a mess. I mean, I'm so worried about it and what it's going to start doing in reality in the next five.

Sam Stone: Had our credit rating downgraded. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: I mean, people don't understand interest rates are going to be higher. I mean, what people don't get is how this you know, they always talk about trickle down economics. And we just recently had our show about Biden's inflation. Biden's inflation caused people $14,000 dollars per family extra dollars. Yeah. Which means they either use their savings, which we know most people don't have. They borrow from friends or family, which a lot of people don't have friends or family. You can loan them money or they use credit cards, which have minimum 19 to 20% interest rates. So really, inflation is in the high teens when you think of it that way. Right. How do we. Yeah, I mean, I don't think in our lifetime you and I and Sam here are going to be able to pay off $30 trillion. But what do we need to do to show the world, to show the markets to strengthen our currency, keep low? What is the plan we need to do? Do we just need to say we're not going above this level anymore? What do we need to do? Yeah, I mean, your show, right on what has happening right now with inflation and Biden's inflation is basically just a tax on, you know, on average families across this country. And that's the first wave of what's going to happen to people if the fiscal profligacy continues. The second wave is actual raising of taxes on people.

Tim Chapman: So you'll you'll not only be taxed by the inflation, but eventually it's going to catch up to us and to pay for all the programs that we're running right now and we're going to have to raise taxes. And that's actually the left game plan. That's where they want to go with this. They you know, they're they are comfortable to wait out having discussions about Social Security reform, Medicare reform, welfare spending, you know, any kind of spending. They're comfortable to wait out that discussion because they think when push comes to shove, we'll get to the point where we just have to, you know, raise taxes. Right. But I'll tell you the first thing to. Do you know to address this is not to run away from it. And that's what we're afraid of right now. We see a party that, you know, we love this party. We've been Republicans and conservatives a long time. But I see some of my best friends in some of the greatest think tanks in this country and some of my best friends who are working with some of great leaders on Capitol Hill, refusing to talk about the spending issues. And so that's one thing that AAF wants to do, is to is to raise the issue again, even though it's out of step with where we are right now. It's a populist moment. We're going to raise it and we're going to keep talking about it. Good.

Sam Stone: Yeah, fantastic. We're going to be coming back with more from Tim Chapman in just a moment. Folks, you can follow him at Tim Chapman on Twitter. Tim, thank you so much for joining us. Stick around, folks, for the next segment. We're going to be talking a little bit more about the fiscal health of this country and some other things happening in Washington. Breaking battlegrounds coming right back. Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Warren and Sam Stone continuing on the line with us in just a moment, Tim Chapman, senior adviser at the Advancing American Freedom Public Policy Organization, founded by Vice President Mike Pence. They're focused a lot on classical conservative issues like fiscal fiscal responsibility. And folks, if you want to be fiscally responsible, one great way to do that is to get some quality diversity in your in your portfolio. And one and a fantastic way to do that is to go to our check out our friends at invest y Refy.com that's invest the letter Y, then refy.com you can earn up to a 10.25% fixed rate of return. That's right. 10.25% fixed rate of return. The market goes up. The market goes down. You keep making money. Check them out. Invest y refy.com or give them a call at 888 YREY24 and make sure you tell them Chuck and Sam sent you.

Chuck Warren: So, Tim, I want to go back to talk about what you're doing. So Sam and I were talking before the show today that Republicans are like a two note pony. It's like, okay, we're going to the moon. Well, how does this affect abortion or Second Amendment rights? We seem to. Right. We we just seem to have the political mailing thing. Here's a checklist. And, you know, those are important issues. I'm not disagreeing, but there are so many other issues. You know, you know, for example, I do not have on my bingo card in 22, 23 that Republicans that there's a segment of Republicans, not all of them, but a segment who are sympathetic to Russia and the Ukraine war. Right. And then they try to couch it and say Putin's evil. It's like Democrats talking about crime. Well, I'm right. I'm not. I hate crime, but I don't want to fund cops. Right. Yeah, right, Right. Has this caught you? I mean, you've been in this you were you worked at Heritage Action. You worked for some of our great senators. Has this caught you by surprise that this this this isolationist movement has taken such strength? So, you know, it's always been latent in our movement. And as you all know, there were times in our movement where we were more isolationist than not. You know, as the as we rolled through the Reagan years, that changed and we projected American strength and led the world to a better place. But, you know, that latency has now caught up and there's and you see it everywhere. And I think it's caught steam for a few reasons. And, you know, the first reason is that just you know, we did we didn't do, you know, a great job in our foreign entanglements over the last 20 years. Right. So and that may be almost.

Sam Stone: Over the last hundred years, like Exactly World War two forward.

Tim Chapman: Yeah. So I understand that. Okay. So there's a track record there and there's a problem. There's also this is one area we were just talking about spending. I think there is still within the conservative movement, you know, a desire to be fiscally responsible. And this is low hanging fruit that they perceive a lot of, you know, people perceive. Sure. Why are we going to spend another 24 billion to Ukraine now? But I think the biggest thing driving this right now, especially with respect to Ukraine, is just good old fashioned politics. If you look at the politics around Ukraine, this is one where Democrats just accidentally got one, right. They they they they're supportive of the Ukrainian effort. But it's not because they somehow found principle on this. It's because they perceive, you know, in their in their version of history. The only reason that Donald Trump ever won in 2016 was because Vladimir Putin handpicked him and used all sorts of, you know, machinations to install them in office. So this is Ukraine versus Putin. And Putin is the guy in their minds who put Trump in the in the in the White House. And so, therefore, Ukraine must be protected at all costs. They're fighting a knee jerk. Yeah, there's a knee jerk reaction there from Republican voters, grassroots conservatives, who are like, well, if all these Democrats are flying Ukrainian flags, this must be the wrong cause. Right?

Sam Stone: Right. Yeah. Democrats are there or want us to be there to fight Trump in reality. Right. And you've got a handful of Republicans who are obviously against that.

Chuck Warren: As Sam and I talk a lot with guests, We had Congressman Issa on last week, as you can agree that Ukraine has much corruption in it. You can also agree that it's not cool for Russia to go take over a country that it wants to take over because it doesn't stop there. I mean, they're not mutually exclusive. Right. And so, yeah, it's interesting, you know, and talk about the foreign policy. The last, you know, 75 years or so. I think that's sort of a cheap shot. People take. I mean, if you look at cities that practice practice the broken window theory and then they abandoned it with cops. Looks what happened to them. And I hate to break it to people, but the United States is not doing a lot of this. This rule is a bigger crap hole than it is now. Well.

Sam Stone: Chuck, I mean, one of the things that's happened, we've pulled back from a lot of our engagement and a lot of our economic and. Military engagement from the Pacific Theater, from Latin America, to focus.

Chuck Warren: On the Middle East.

Sam Stone: But in China has has stepped into that breach in a way that's very damaging for us.

Chuck Warren: I agree. All right. Let's talk about trade. Does the Republican need to start becoming more productive and proactive on getting trade agreements again, or are we going to let China and other people just do it? Yeah. So the way we think about this is we have learned some lessons about trade over the last 20 years. Free trade is still an overwhelmingly good thing. You know, people producing things and trading those things and bringing, you know, profit to their nation and their communities is a wonderful thing. And then people get to have the benefits of that. But we did not do it right with China. That's very clear. And China is is far and away our biggest global challenge for the United States over the next couple of decades. So what we need to be thinking about, the world's already doing this in its own kind of in its own way. The world is dividing into free countries, you know, free spheres of influence and those that are run by authoritarians like China, like Russia, like Iran. And we need to we need to make lots of great trade agreements with our allies, period, You know, and we need to think about how to do this in a way where we're not relying on China for the things that we really need.

Tim Chapman: So we we're stuck right now. We're stuck dealing with kind of the residue from some bad policy decisions that are in the rear view mirror. And we have to figure out how to get out of it, you know, So, for example, like, you know, China is so intertwined in our economy right now. We've got, you know, great American companies like Ford that are opening plants, you know, with Chinese batteries, Chinese battery plants in Michigan and other places around the country. You know, and that's a problem like that is a problem because China having that foothold in our economy is not a good thing. So we need to think, All right, well, what is it that we need to do as Americans to wean ourselves off of, you know, the need for Chinese renewable energies or batteries or whatever it is, and build our own source of domestic energy here. Tim You guys, you know.

Sam Stone: Yeah, go. Can I stop you on that front? Because that's relevant to the discussion we just had with our previous guest on this program. It's something that just happened here in Arizona. It's not just previous bad policy. We just had Joe Biden come out to Arizona, take a million acres. That is key mining territory for any number of precious minerals that we need for these things and declared a national monument and take it off the table. Exactly. That is that is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing, right?

Tim Chapman: That's exactly right. I mean, we if and why would Democrats be doing that when they are the ones demanding that we produce green vehicles and use all these renewable sorts of energy because it's an elitist party, it's an elitist party. It's amazing how they've become. I guess they've always been latte liberals, right? There's always been that group. But it has been exasperated since Trump. It's just like, because I hate this guy, I'm going to become a latte liberal now. It's just so out of the realm of moral consciousness. I don't know where to begin. Yeah, and it's a logical disconnect according to their own principles too. So if you want us to have more, more electric powered vehicles in the United States, but you also say that you are against authoritarian regimes who, you know, punish religious, you know, dissent or any sort of political dissent, You know, China, then why are you forcing Ford and other companies to use Chinese resources to build the things that you are forcing us to to do, you know, in your own the bill that they just passed. So it's a complete mess. They're all over the place on it. Republicans and conservatives really have a chance to come in on the energy issue and to double down on what we produce, whether it's, you know, gas or oil. Et cetera. You know, or to or to even win over some of that renewable stuff. Yeah, well, we should be we should be using those mines in Arizona. Minnesota has the same thing.

Sam Stone: Why are we not hammering? Why is our party not hammering the left on the very simple fact that mining activity here in the United States is far less environmentally damaging than mining almost.

Chuck Warren: I'll raise my hand on that because it's not abortion or gun rights. We don't talk about anything else. Right? Yeah. No, I you look, I'm with you on that. I think that's one of the reasons we created Advancing American Freedom. And that's what Vice President Pence really wanted, is to try to bring a policy discussion back to the party, because right now it's so personality based. I mean, it is personality based. It's based on whatever the latest thing on Twitter is. I don't even I can't even check Twitter anymore because it's driving me insane. Although I do, I'll admit to it. I do. You're an addict. You're an addict. We'll get you. We'll get you help. Yeah. Sorry. I guess it's not Twitter or whatever we're calling it, you know? But it is a it is a bad situation. Like if we're able to focus this on the policies, the left is such so bent and pretzels as we were just discussing on so much of this stuff. And they're on the wrong side of the American people. We'd be a 60% party pretty easily if we do this stuff. And energy is just huge and it all ties together. It's the energy stuff. It's what we were talking about earlier on. The spending stuff and the spending stuff also leaves us very weak to China. Um, so there's a lot of opportunity here, but we kind of got a, um, we kind of got to pull it together as a movement.

Sam Stone: What are you seeing ahead of these upcoming budget negotiations? I mean, are is there any real appetite on our side to stand firm and get real concessions during this negotiation?

Tim Chapman: Yeah, I mean, look, there is there certainly is. You know, the the House Freedom Caucus guys are have been consistently saying they want to use these leverage points to score some wins on fiscal discipline there. So that's you know, but really, that's like 20 Republicans in the House who want to do that. And then there's probably another 60 to 70 that also would be on board fighting with those guys if they can identify an achievable, you know, outcome that makes sense and that is politically popular. There's a debate right now as to whether or not you use this this leverage point for fighting on the border or whether you use it for fiscal stuff. And frankly, guys like I don't know, I don't know where they're going to go with it. I hope they I think they should use it for fiscal stuff because I think anytime you're having a spending fight, it makes more logical sense to me to just attach it to spending rather than some of the other issues. As much as I want a victory on the border, um, so but, but, but I can't I can't handicap it for you because I think we'll end up in a shutdown. And I think once we end up in a shutdown, you know, it's like, is this a three day shutdown? Is it a 13 day shutdown? I don't know if I don't know where they land. If they go shut down, they just need to keep it shut till they get what they want. If you're going to take the political prize, just say, I don't care if I lose. That's right. We're going to just do it. So multiple have a have a quiz for you here. What's more realistic that we get to a balanced budget annually within ten years that we get the border secure or the Cleveland Browns win the Super Bowl? And you ask this, he's a Browns fan. That I'm a Cleveland Browns fan. Yeah. Look, Hope springs eternal. This is the best time of the year to be a Cleveland Browns fan. We're going all the way this year. Keep the dream alive, buddy. Chuck.

Sam Stone: Their team is not terrible anymore.

Tim Chapman: Oh, yeah.

Sam Stone: You never know. I got. I got to say, I put my odds on the Browns.

Chuck Warren: Oh, I do, too. That's the point. I put my odds on the Browns. That's how bad this is. I know. Look, guys, we're off season champs every single offseason, all right? We always win the off season. I don't know if anyone saw the the number one movie on Netflix right now is the Johnny Manziel special. And that just peels back The Onion about how dumb the decisions we make as Browns, you know, as a Browns team are.

Sam Stone: That was a stunning documentary, by the way.

Tim Chapman: Like, yes, it's a good watch.

Chuck Warren: Maybe, maybe, maybe. You really do need to hire Kevin Costner from Draft Day, who is a pretend general manager. Tim, with limited time left, tell us how you got into this. I came to DC, you know, right out of college. I knew in college that I wanted that I wanted to be involved in politics and that I thought I think politics, despite, you know, the bad rap it deservedly gets, is a noble profession if done right. And I think we need to find a way to make politics work for this country. I came here in 2001 and kind of got the bug and got hooked. And and the longer I've stayed here, the more I think we got to find a way to get it right. And I tried to escape many times. I tried to escape, but DC sucks you back in and so, you know, we'll just keep working. I got into it that way and and we're going to stick it out and see if we can make something really big. Great.

Sam Stone: Fantastic. Thank you so much. Tim Chapman, senior Advisor at Advancing American Freedom. You can follow them at Advancing American Freedom.com and follow Tim at Tim Chapman on Twitter. Tim, thank you so much. Folks, stay tuned. We've got a continuation of an education fight, a professor fight here in Arizona. You don't want to miss it on the podcast only segment.

Chuck Warren: Thank you, Tim.

Sam Stone: Welcome back to the podcast segment of Breaking battlegrounds with the host Chuck Warren. I'm Sam Stone. Folks, if you've been following our show, you've been in tune with what happened at the Barrett Honors College at ASU with a protest by a number of the professors trying to, despite whatever they might claim, trying to shut down a free an event featuring some conservative speakers Charlie Kirk, Dennis Prager and Robert Kiyosaki and others, They called it a white supremacist event. They did everything they could on campus to chill the free speech of these individuals and to to basically to hide this event. Students were bullied and threatened by professors. The materials for this event were taken down. There was I mean, really, it was a very concerted effort. We have been talking about this. We had an Atkinson who was the director of the program that put the event together, who was subsequently fired. We've had her on the program after we had her on, we had a professor, Brooke Simpson. You may have heard his segment. He said we were completely wrong. Then we had him on the air. We gave him 40 minutes. And frankly, I didn't feel like Chuck, he contributed anything particularly to the conversation. I mean, he told us we were wrong, but he could never say why we were actually wrong or why an was wrong or any of this.

Sam Stone: It really came down to a convoluted logic. And so we have another professor from ASU who's been part of this discussion, Dr. Owen Anderson, Professor of Philosophy, religious Studies and theology at ASU. He writes about the radical ideologies of race, class, race and gender used by some to coerce students and prevent free speech. So obviously really, really relevant to what we're talking about here. He's also a pastor at Historic Christian Church of Phoenix. He's been working on the problem of DEIB anti racism decolonising the curriculum, secular universities and the loss of academic freedom that has attended those movements. And, you know, this is something I don't think is going away anytime soon. This is a major problem when you have universities stifling free speech and the free exchange of ideas. So, Dr. Owen Anderson, thank you so much for taking the time today and joining us to continue this discussion. We really appreciate it because we know that every time someone like you comes on a program like this and talks honestly and openly about it, you're putting yourself under the gun from a lot of your colleagues. And so thank you for joining us. And and thank you for being willing to participate in this discussion. Well, yeah.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Thank you for having me on. I'm really looking forward to talking to you about this. And and, you know, there is some of that pushback. I've I was told at one point by my dean not to speak to the media without getting ASU approval and that that that got me to appeal to fire, which is the foundation for individual rights and expression. And that's a that's a fire is a group that kind of monitors universities. Universities all want to be rated as a green light, including ASU. So fire got involved and ASU took that back. But what they did tell me was my provost specifically said, before I talk to the media, I have to say this is my own personal opinion. I don't represent ASU.

Sam Stone: And so and so, yeah, folks, let's be clear. We're talking to Dr. Owen Anderson. This is his own personal opinion and he does not represent ASU. He simply.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Works. What? I'm curious. I'm sorry. I didn't mean.

Sam Stone: No, I was just going to say, you work there and you've been part of this discussion. So thank you for taking the time.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah, I'm curious to see if that's done for everybody or just the conservative guy.

Chuck Warren: Well, Professor Simpson, in fairness, made very clear that he was not speaking for ASU. So I think you I think you all got the same memo.

Sam Stone: And actually, I agree with that memo. I think professors should be able to say whatever they want and not speak for the university.

Chuck Warren: I agree. I agree.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, and that's one of the issues with this letter by the Barrett faculty is they wrote it on ASU resources. And as Barrett professors, they didn't say they're speaking as private citizens. So that is one of the issues.

Sam Stone: Yeah, absolutely. That's an issue. I mean, look, and I'm sure you would say and I've seen a lot of the comments you made online and this and other issues, and I would generally assume you agree with the statement that, hey, no one's trying to stop these professors from saying that they do not like these speakers or that they think that these speakers don't have anything to offer. That's their opinion. Fine. But there's a difference. That's perfectly.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Fine. Exactly. And so that's actually been ASU's point is to say, well, the event happened, so that's free speech and the professor's objected and that's their free speech. But the concern has never been that they objected. The concern was how they did it, that they used ASU resources, they use their classrooms and they intimidated students. Those are things that are clearly violations of our ASU faculty manual. And so that's been the problem.

Sam Stone: And how much do you see this because of the work you're doing? How much do you see this? I mean, to me, this is a really fundamental. This incident highlighted a really fundamental underlying fight in academia between a handful of what I would call traditionalist free speech and and free thought advocates and then this new D-I bureaucracy.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah, well, exactly. I think so. I think the letter itself written by 39 of the Barrett faculty, which is a supermajority, didn't get any issues. It spent his time calling the people they disagree with purveyors of hate, white nationalist bigots. And so you left. If you read the letter, you left it thinking, well, what what do you disagree with, though? Like, what's the issue that you would take and what's your argument against it? And so that's really what happens when you have this Dei philosophy, which those are all very positive words. Diversity is a good word. Inclusion is a good word. We want to do those things, equity. But they're actually part of a social philosophy which says from the outset things like America is structurally racist, and if you don't agree with us, you're one of the racists. And so it shuts down actual conversation because you're just not allowed to doubt it or debate it.

Sam Stone: I want to focus real quick, doctor, on on equity, because if we're talking about equity, as in I have equity in my bank account, it's an unmitigated good thing. And for anybody. But when you're talking about equity in an academic setting, that's a very loaded and charged word that's very different, whose actual meaning in practice is very different from the perception that the average member of the public has about it. Right.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Exactly. I mean, all three of the words in Dei don't mean what the public thinks they mean, because I mean, that's really what you do, right? You're both involved in politics and in politics. You pick positive words. You say, well, we're pro-choice. Everyone likes choice. You don't say, well, we're pro killing babies, Right? So that's what you do is you pick a positive term. So that's what they've done here. So equity means because America is structurally racist, we need to redivide wealth appropriately. And so that means that some people have been getting privileges and they need to have their wealth taken away and given to other people who, although they may not have been direct objects of the discrimination, they're maybe their ancestors were. And so they should be given that wealth.

Sam Stone: Correct? Yeah. There's also a tie to to just Marxism and equality of outcomes, right?

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, yeah, exactly. Well, that's one thing is, you know, the Barrett faculty have said, well, we said they're white nationalists, but then we're getting called Marxists. Well, wait, there's a big difference.

Chuck Warren: Well, they don't.

Dr. Owen Anderson: It doesn't believe he's a white nationalist. Well, yeah, these professors, many of them, identify as Marxists. So this is not name calling. It's just saying this is what they believe they are.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, they don't. It's a funny pattern. And I think conservatives probably do it, too. But you see it a lot in academia. They like to go and tattoo people with these phrases, Right. I mean, look, there's there are many things to be called that have a very ill effect on all of us mentally. But being called a bigot. Yeah.

Dr. Owen Anderson: It's basically.

Chuck Warren: And it stays with you. It stays with you. Yeah.

Dr. Owen Anderson: That's the worst one. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. I mean, it's just. And it's just horrible. And they know this. And so when you turn around and say, Well, you're a Marxist, you're a commie, they're like, We're being attacked. Well, yeah, you started this idiot conversation to begin with. Why don't you just shut up?

Dr. Owen Anderson: And if someone told me, Hey, I'm not a Marxist, I'd be fine saying, okay, well, tell me what you are. I'll use that term. But the truth is, they teach that all of history is a conflict between economic classes and that the rich rule over the poor and that money should be redistributed. I mean, that's all straight out of the Communist Manifesto. So. So that's not an insult. It's just a it's just to say that's what they are. Whereas no one thinks white nationalist is a title people take and say, Yeah, that's what I am. Whereas Marxists, yeah, a lot of professors identify as Marxists or they're greatly influenced by Marx.

Sam Stone: Yeah, and that's an important difference too. I mean, but also to Chuck's point, there's this attitude I think, that has crept into academia where they can criticize society and elements of society, individuals.

Chuck Warren: And it's free speech for them.

Sam Stone: Too. It's free speech. But but then when they come under criticism, it's it becomes this, you know, soul altering thing that they have to roll around in distress and scream for help. It triggers them. Yeah.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah. Well, that's what happens is I think they go from calling their opponents white nationalists, biggest hate hatemongers and these, these these guys like Charlie Kirk, especially Dennis Prager, that's really mainstream conservative thought. If he's a hatemonger, that's labeling all conservatives hate mongers. I mean, he's not somehow an extreme conservative.

Sam Stone: And so and he's a practicing Jew.

Chuck Warren: He's devotional. He's devout, strictly speaking.

Dr. Owen Anderson: I mean, when the event started, Charlie Kirk wasn't on the panel. He introduced it. And I asked people about the event. And I tell I asked them, do you know what he talked about? And they say, no. He told people to observe the Sabbath day. That's what he spent his introduction on. And he said, Dennis Prager has been helping me as a Christian learn how to observe the Sabbath. So that's the kind of advice that was being given. Its not exactly political and.

Dr. Owen Anderson: So.

Dr. Owen Anderson: It was objected to.

Chuck Warren: I have a question for you. So this brings up a point. Okay. So is that the type of program that, you know, here's what it is. I feel academia and I you know, look, I support ASU financially, various things there significantly. I feel college has become sort of pay for play now, you know, Sam and I and you can say we want to do an endowment chair for X And look, I think Michael Crow deserves a lot of credit for a lot of things. And one thing is if you come in with 1.5 for an endowment chair, you come on in. I mean, that's just that's just how he is, right?

Dr. Owen Anderson: A university organized like ASU, we don't have lots of state taxes. We don't have any money from oil or things like that.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. So. So he does that and he would do it for right or left. I don't think Michael Crow cares one way or another. Right. I mean, that's the problem.

Dr. Owen Anderson: With their letter also is they're saying Lewis is paying he's to have his his position taught to students. Well, wait a minute. If that's what worries them, are they writing letters for all of the leftist centers at ASU or just the one?

Chuck Warren: Well, it's not only that. How many of them are less of an endowment from a leftist endowment? Yeah. Which no one Has anybody even looked at that, Sam?

Sam Stone: No, but you know what? When you said that Chuck and Dr. Anderson, when you said that it occurred to me something from my time at the city of Phoenix, because the city of Phoenix was repeatedly partnering with ASU to reach out to get grants from far leftist charitable institutions and to endow chairs to study whether it was global warming or some something that Phoenix had some interest in. And in the five years that I was in Sal Deceases office at the City of Phoenix, there were probably, if I would remember off the top of my head, 12 or 15 of those positions that came through on our budget.

Chuck Warren: So should we. So should colleges just stop accepting this? I mean, that one way to solve this, I mean, so for the for the Lewis for this Ted Lewis thing at Barrett, was it was that the right entity to be having that type of thing at And I think that's a fair question. How it gets.

Dr. Owen Anderson: How it gets politicized. I just I just put up on my YouTube channel, which is Dr. Owen Anderson, a interview I did this week with Representative Austin Smith, and we were talking about this exact issue of how do we avoid politicizing public education. And this goes back to using these special words because we have a center for American institutions at ASU, right. Which doesn't believe America is structurally racist and teaches the value of our founding principles that considered far conservative. Right. So so those words aren't telling you to vote for Republicans. They don't tell you how to vote in the next election. It's just saying, hey, Thomas Jefferson has some really good ideas and that's considered to be on the right. Whereas the political stuff on the left is very political. So this spring we also had Ibram X Kendi come out and he's one of the guys who said discrimination is good as long as you do it the right way, which means you discriminate against white people. He's very clear about that. That's not me putting words in his mouth. And we hosted him and no professor said, Wait, this is political. We shouldn't have that on campus.

Sam Stone: My favorite Ibram X Kendi moment is when Joy Reid didn't realize that and started asking him that question. You know, she's asking him, Hey, you didn't really say this, right? And he's like, Well, yes, I did. That's exactly what I meant to do.

Chuck Warren: I appreciate his honesty.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah, yeah. Last week we had a drag event at ASU and NAU. Professors wrote and said, Hey, this might hurt some of my students because. Well, because.

Chuck Warren: Because. Because you're not a Marxist. I mean, at the end of the day, that's what it is. People who oppose to anybody else speaking that opposes their view of the world is a Marxist. They can say whatever they want, but that's what they are. They're suppressing free speech.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Right. I think that's and one of the classes I teach is logic. I'm a philosopher, so like my whole job, I'm paid to question people. So the more someone says, Hey, don't question me, the more that, you know, red flags are going off, right. To say, Hey, I got a question this person and use logic to do it. So what really disappoints me is that professors couldn't get into the substance. What I would have loved to have seen if they said, look, in their letter, they said they're worried for their LGBTQ plus students. Well, why? Presumably it's because Dennis Prager believes that marriage is ordained by God between one man and one woman. So they should have written a letter debating that and said, hey, we don't believe in God. We think marriage is a social construct. Right. That's been used to oppress women. That would have been a great debate. And I know for sure Dennis Prager would have had that. And if he didn't want to, I'll debate it. But that's not what they did. They got right into name calling. And I guarantee they expect their students to actually provide evidence in their papers and give arguments, not just resort to name calling.

Chuck Warren: Who knows.

Dr. Owen Anderson: For.

Chuck Warren: That? I mean, I don't know. I question that.

Chuck Warren: It depends.

Chuck Warren: It depends. It depends if they like the way their their views are. I don't question. I question that. I think that's where we're at now and that's what's frightening about it. I think the guests we have talked about who much of the right would find repulsive. They deserve the right to speak.

Sam Stone: There was a really good tweet by Scott Walker, the former Wisconsin governor, a couple of days ago, where he said he had been at a forum and someone criticized him on the basis saying, well, conservatives don't want college students to hear these things that we disagree with. And Walker said, no, that's not it. We just want them to hear that there are two sides.

Chuck Warren: It's very.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, that's. Oh, yeah, I read that tweet. That's exactly right. They don't even give the two sides. And and then maybe I was somewhat pampered as a philosopher because as a as a student, I expected that. And my professors were good at doing that. I never really got the sense that, okay, my professors teach me his view. I would we'd we'd go to philosophers who disagree with each other, and I got to figure out how to think about that. So, yeah, I think those days are pretty well gone. And that's what really bothers me. That's what we need to bring back, is the ability to teach students what is logic and how do we use it to evaluate different belief systems.

Chuck Warren: And and and sort of grow up. There are people you walk by every day, people you live with. They had just opposite views on various things happening in our world. And if you can't handle that, get some help.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, that's that's exactly why they go to the word hatemonger and white nationalist bigot, because if they just said, hey, these guys disagree with us about marriage, you'd say so. You know, we're adults. Lots of people have different opinions. So they have to go to something shocking and say, no, not just that, but these guys are white nationalists. And you think of Nazis or something and you say, Wow, really? I didn't know that. And you don't want to go to the event. Yeah. And that's really the sad part.

Sam Stone: That and that that is where I felt Professor Simpson fell so short on this program is he didn't understand the connection that what they're doing are really just ad hominem attacks designed to suppress speech that that in doing so, they are committing an act against free inquiry and against free thought at that university. Whereas like you just said, Doctor, had they gone out and said, we disagree with them on these points and we would like to have open debate on these issues. That's the purpose as most of us understand it, of a university.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah, that was wonderful. And I said that three of us wrote a letter and that's one of the things I said in there by myself was since I'm the philosopher in the group, I'll debate any of them or all of them at the same time. Let's do that. But I don't I'm surprised to find this out. But it doesn't I guess it doesn't surprise me. Debating is considered a form of of violence. So if you say, hey, let's debate this, they view that as using the coercion of reason and reason is probably also white nationalist or something.

Sam Stone: Oh, geez. Well.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Even asking for public debate gets dismissed.

Sam Stone: Yeah. No, and that's got to stop. And folks, for any of those Barrett professors, if you want to come on, we will provide the platform on our podcast with Dr. Anderson or others. You can debate it with us. You can debate it with him. Any of those letter signees who want to join us and have that open discussion on these issues, we'd welcome it. We'll set it up. We'll provide the time and place. Chuck, thank you so much. We really had a great show today, folks. Thank you for tuning in. I want to thank Dr. Owen Anderson for his time today. Doctor, we really appreciate you having on the program. And if you are not subscribed, folks, make sure you subscribe so you get our all of our podcasts, all of our content directly to your mailbox each week.

Chuck Warren: Thanks, Doctor.

Chuck Warren: Appreciate you. Yeah, thank.

Dr. Owen Anderson: You for having me.

Sam Stone: Thank you. Folks, breaking battlegrounds back on the air next week. See you then.


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Welcome back to another episode of Breaking Battlegrounds that tackles a range of pressing topics. Our first guest, Arizona Representative Matt Gress, candidly shares his concerns about the homeless hotel conversion in Scottsdale. Join us as we dissect the intricacies of this issue and its potential implications. Representative Gress also provides insights into President Biden's recent visit to Arizona and his pivotal role in the ADE’s School Safety Taskforce.

Shifting gears, we sit down with Tim Chapman, Senior Advisor of Advancing American Freedom. Tune in to gain a comprehensive understanding of conservative trends and the impactful initiatives spearheaded by AAF.

Concluding our episode, we engage in a thought-provoking dialogue with Dr. Owen Anderson, a distinguished professor at ASU specializing in philosophy, religious studies, and theology. Building on our ongoing exploration, Dr. Anderson provides fresh insights into the nuanced landscape of free speech on ASU's campus.

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Representative Matt Gress

Matt Gress represents Arizona’s 4th Legislative District. Matt Gress is a former public school teacher, school board member and an active member of the local community. He is passionate about public service and solving problems. As our state representative, Matt will work with both sides – Republicans and Democrats – to find solutions to issues such as reducing the cost of living, increasing teacher pay, reducing crime and addressing Arizona’s water crisis.

Matt is endorsed by some of our community’s most respected organizations: Arizona State Troopers, the Arizona Police Association, the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, the Professional Firefighters of Arizona, the Arizona Nurses Association, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona.

Like many, Matt came here from somewhere else — small town Oklahoma. The youngest of four, he was raised by a single mom in a single-wide trailer. Growing up, Matt’s family didn’t have much, but that never stopped them from dreaming big. Matt learned the value of hard work, to respect his elders and to count his blessings.

Matt worked his way through college driving school buses, and became the first in his family to earn a degree. While attending the University of Oklahoma, Matt was selected for the distinguished Harry S. Truman Scholarship — awarded to only one college student in each state who possesses leadership potential and a call to public service. After graduating, Matt was accepted to join Teach for America, a national teaching corps focused on serving in high-need, high-poverty schools. Matt taught high school English.

From 2017 to 2021, Matt served as a Governing Board Member in the Madison Elementary School District. While on the board, Matt fought to keep schools open during COVID-19, supported increased school choice and advocated for parents and taxpayers to have a seat at the table in curriculum, hiring decisions and budgeting, including expensive procurement contracts.

Matt is a budget hawk. He holds a Masters in Public Administration, with a focus on state and local government finance and public management, from Syracuse University. Here in Arizona, Matt has served as a faculty associate at Arizona State University and as a budget analyst at the Arizona State Capitol, learning exactly where our tax dollars go. Currently, he serves as the state’s top budget chief in the Arizona Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. There, he has authored budgets directing billions of new dollars towards K-12 education and teachers.

Matt also has experience in energy, water and technology policy, previously serving as an advisor at the Arizona Corporation Commission, where he worked on issues related to expanding broadband, lowering energy rates, reducing regulations on small businesses, and enhancing the stability of our power grid.

Matt, along with his partner Daniel, is proud to call Arizona and District 4 his home. He's an avid volunteer in the community, and plans to focus in the Legislature on solutions that can bring both sides together.

Matt is a proud Rotarian and past president of the Phoenix-Arcadia Rotary Club, a Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy Fellow, a former board member of the Madison Education Foundation, and previously served as a commissioner on the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Tim ChapmanTim Chapman is a Senior Advisor at Advancing American Freedom (AAF), a public policy advocacy organization founded by Vice President Mike Pence. He is also a Principal at P2 Public Affairs where he works with clients to build national campaigns to influence public policy. Chapman has served as the Executive Director of Heritage Action, Chief of Staff at the Heritage Foundation, and as an adviser and staff to Senators DeMint, Nickles and Hutchinson.Chapman's experience in conservative policy advocacy is extensive as he was a co-founder of Heritage Action - the advocacy arm of The Heritage Foundation – and a former Executive Director at Stand for America, an advocacy organization founded by Ambassador Nikki Haley. Tim has built and maintained policy coalitions on the right that have helped shape the consensus within the GOP and he has helped craft messaging/activist campaigns that have resulted in policy victories.

Dr. Owen AndersonDr. Owen Anderson is a professor of philosophy, religious studies, and theology at ASU and he writes about the radical ideologies of class, race, and gender used by some to coerce students and prevent free speech. He is also a pastor at Historic Christian Church of Phoenix. Recently, he has been working on the problem of DEIB, antiracism, decolonizing the curriculum, secular universities, and the loss of academic freedom. The philosophy behind these movements is presented in our universities as “the fact of the matter.” Why is that? And are we still allowed to think critically and discuss alternative ways of understanding the world and our history? Rousseau, Marx, and Freud dominate the mind of the current secular university professor. We can do much better.

Substack:

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Transcription

Sam Stone: Welcome to another episode of Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Warren. I'm Sam Stone. Our first guest up today. He just won the legislator of the Year for the Republican caucus in the state of Arizona. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Big, big news. He didn't he didn't even highlight it for this show. He's so humble. He wouldn't even put that on there. The Legislator of the Year, Matt Gress, thank you so much for joining us. Welcome to the program.

Matt Gress: It's great to be on with the illustrious two of you for sure. So when you got this award for Legislator of the Year, is it just like a big gold medallion that you wear around your neck now? Maybe a target on my back, I think, hey, you were just appointed and join the school safety task force in Arizona. Tell our listeners a little bit about that and why that's important not only for Arizona, but other states should be considering this superintendent of public instruction, Tom Horn, has convened a number of different stakeholders across the state teachers, social workers, school counselors, school resource officers, sheriffs legislators. It ranges the gamut. And I think he is trying to be responsive to what we've all been hearing across the state and really across the country. It's one of the issues that I hear about in my legislative district quite a bit, which is how can parents know that when they send their kids to school, they will be safe and they will come home. And and there's a variety of ways of addressing this situation. And thank God, you know, Arizona has not witnessed one of these mass school shootings that we've seen in in other states. But that shouldn't dissuade us from acting to, you know, take clear, measurable steps to secure our school facilities. There's a balance for sure. You know, we we don't want schools becoming prisons, but but we do want them to be safe places that parents, staff and students themselves feel is a safe place for learning. So, you know.

Chuck Warren: Just I mean, you're going to dig more into this. So when we go and join these type of task force, we get more information than we currently have. Okay. So my question is, what is your gut reaction tell you that needs to be done on this right now before getting more details from the task force? What is your gut reaction tell you that it needs to be done to make schools more secure so parents and kids feel confident when they go to school, they're going to be safe.

Matt Gress: I think there are two two key measures. One involves personnel and one involves physical infrastructure. So on the personnel front, a few years ago when I served as the budget director, we worked on some changes to the school safety grant program, where we allowed school counselors and social workers to be part of a school safety apparatus. So you had your SROs, the so-called cops on campus, right? And then we added to that on the mental and social health side of this, because mental health is a major factor when you look at these shootings. So we recognize that. And we also increased funding. You know, the program started out at $13 million, I believe, back in, let's say, 2018 or 2019. We boosted that to now it's over $82 million that we're spending on the school safety grant program. And there still is excess demand versus supply. So I'm on the funding and grants subcommittee of this task force, and we're going to take a hard look at where we can free up resources. And I believe that there are plenty. So personnel is a side of it. And in particular, in addition to, you know, not just the social workers and school counselors, SROs have been something I've heard from from parents and and a number of different stakeholders about having an SRO in every campus. And the challenge with that is SROs are sworn peace officers from police departments.

Matt Gress: Correct. We have huge vacancies when it comes to filling our police departments as it stands right now. So we're exploring ways where we can tap into talent of perhaps retired sworn peace officers or, you know, staff that meet all of the criteria. But have not gotten the full, what we call a post certification. Maybe there is an alternate form that we can provide that opens up talented, capable people who care about keeping kids safe, that can be there to respond when a crisis occurs. So the personnel side is one element and then the physical infrastructure. You know, when I served on the school board in central Phoenix, we did a safety threat assessment of every building. We looked at the physical premises, fencing the doorways. How do you get in and out? Who lets people in and out, Cameras, locks, all of the above. And I think that if a school in Arizona is going to go out for a bond or a capital override, the first thing that they need to prioritize is the safety of their facilities. And if they don't have a safety assessment done, they are flying blind and I don't think they should be asking voters for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars if they don't know what they need to do to improve the security of their physical infrastructure.

Sam Stone: Matt that's a really good point because one of the things that's underrated, frankly, are the secured entry and exit points at schools. There was an incident, it barely got covered. I think it was the end of last month, July 31st. I had to actually go to duck, duck, go, because you can't find this link on on Google for an attempted school shooting in Memphis, Tennessee, at a Jewish school. The shooter could not get in. They opened fire outside the building and then were taken down by police and court. So no one was hurt. You know, nothing happened. Obviously, something happened. But it wasn't a traumatic incident in the way these others have been. And that was just a matter of simple physical security like you're talking about. It's not that hard to implement these, especially when the legislature is putting the kind of money you're talking about into it, right?

Matt Gress: Absolutely. And take, for instance, the study on Uvaldi, another case in point where the door was propped open. It was a, you know, lock and key type of door. You know, in this day and age, they need to be electronic locks, you know, the magnetic locks where you need a badge to swipe in and out. There needs to be alarms on these external doors when they're left open. I mean, you can go to a gym and you go out the wrong exit and within 15 seconds, you know, the the alarms are sounding. And if we can do it at some of these other places that that aren't as sensitive of spaces as schools, we can definitely prioritize that at at our school campuses. And that was something we included in this year's budget. Speaking of private or parochial schools, that. Department of Homeland Security is established a grant program that that these places of worship and and the parochial schools can access to help bolster their security. We had we heard from a rabbi that talked about the increase in anti-Semitic behavior and how they're taking great pains to ensure that these sacred spaces are kept safe for parishioners.

Sam Stone: Yeah, absolutely. Anything else on that before we move on? Because I do want to get on to this city of Scottsdale. Plan to house homeless in a hotel there. You have raised some concerns with that, as have others.

Matt Gress: Yes, let's let's chat about that one. That one's been a hot topic.

Sam Stone: Start by telling because we're on in markets across the country, literally coast to coast. Now, folks, if you're listening to Breaking Battlegrounds, you can be doing it in San Diego. You can be doing it in Miami. You can be here in Phoenix. You can be almost anywhere in the country and hear this program. You can be anywhere online and download and subscribe to our podcast and get all of our content. But folks probably don't know if they're not here in Phoenix, and even if they are, they probably don't know what's going on here. So can you give us a little background? What what is this situation?

Matt Gress: Well, here in Phoenix and in the Valley, just like everywhere else in the country, homelessness has really gripped communities. It has created such misery and tragedy for the people experiencing homelessness, as well as the surrounding communities that are affected by people living outside and this year at the legislature, we put in $60 million, $60 million to invest in homelessness programs. Um, that that can get people off the streets and into the treatment that they need. And that was the intent all along, is that we need to approach this from a treatment first modality versus a housing first modality, which I think a lot of cities and public policy has advocated for years. And I think it's failed.

Sam Stone: It has totally failed. And it's just warehousing. The problem is what they're doing.

Matt Gress: Absolutely. You're absolutely right there. And that's exactly what has happened in a quasi sort of way with an initiative. The Department of Housing has executed with a number of cities, not just Scottsdale, but the city of Phoenix, Mesa, Flagstaff and others. And what they're doing essentially is convert meeting rooms at an active operating hotel. Converting these rooms into homeless shelters in Scottsdale. Ten rooms. It ranged between 10 to 15. And as part of the contract with the Department of Housing, the city of Scottsdale has to set aside at least three of these rooms, and they're going to be operating year round for people who live in the zone, which is a which is a notorious place that has gained national attention about failing people in downtown Phoenix, just these large, massive encampments. So people from the zone in central Phoenix being moved up to Scottsdale, as well as foreign nationals who would have otherwise been deported under the now expired Title 42, which is now under litigation. The Florida attorney general is challenging the the Biden administration's approach to immigration. So what we said is whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. What is going on here with this program? Did you did you confer with the surrounding community? It's abutted the the property in question is is abutting the largest HOA in the United States. It's across from a school and other amusements that cater to kids. Are you doing background checks? I mean, there were just so many questions. And we reached out to the city of Scottsdale to ask those questions. And their answers have been have fallen short of satisfactory.

Sam Stone: Yeah, absolutely. Matt, I want to continue on with with this a little bit more. When we come back from our break here. We've got about 45 seconds before we go to break. One of the points that I was going to make on that is it's $940,000 state grant to house 15 people, 10 to 15. So anywhere from 94,000 down to a cheap price of $63,000 per person to house them for the year. And you ask a bunch of questions that I think need to be answered about what's going to happen when they're in that housing. We're going to be coming back with more from Matt Gress here on Breaking Battlegrounds in just a moment. Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Sam Stone and Chuck Warren continuing on the line with us in just a moment. Arizona Legislator of the Year Matt Grass, freshman legislator, win that award. Pretty darn impressive, folks. But you know what else is impressive? Being able to earn a 10.25% fixed rate of return in this Biden economy. The stock market is all sorts of volatile. Inflation continues to rage out of control. This is not a time to take a lot of risks with your finances.

Sam Stone: You need a reliable product that delivers a high fixed interest rate of return. Then you need to talk to our friends at invest. Why Refy.com that's invest the letter Y, then refy.com give them or give them a ring. They're at 888 y refy 24 and make sure you tell them Chuck and Sam sent you. Okay. Matt Continuing on, when we went to break, I mentioned that the cost of this program, it's a $940,000 state grant, as you mentioned, Scottsdale's planning to house 10 to 15 people. That's a lot of money per person, over 60,000, maybe over 90,000 per person, depending on how many there is. And you asked you sent a letter to the city of Scottsdale that raised a bunch of questions that I thought were frankly, really important about community outreach program implementation. What's going to happen to these people? Are they just going to be housed, you know, warehoused like we were talking about, or is there going to be a treatment program to help get them back on track? Matt, what have you gotten any answer? What are some of these questions that citizens in Scottsdale need to be asking and then get those answers to?

Matt Gress: Well, it's it's a mixed bag. And one of the reasons why I'm concerned about this program, it's been portrayed as it's helping grandma who couldn't afford the rent anymore and has just recently been evicted from her apartment. Let's keep her from becoming homeless or same situation with a single mom with kids. That's a very different type of situation versus what we call chronic homelessness, or Mayor Gallego is referred to as service resistant. And you're going to be putting those participants in this program. And there is just this unfounded confidence that they're going to be able to solve the issue. And your regionalizing what is a tragedy that has been unfolding for quite some time now in central Phoenix, your regionalizing that to places like Scottsdale. But what's even worse and you is that it's one thing to take an entire hotel facility and go through the process of converting it to a homeless shelter. But what you're doing is operating the hotel simultaneously to a homeless shelter in the same location. So a family on vacation is right next to someone who's just experienced one of the most chaotic, traumatic times of their life right next door. Unknowing of what's happening, the hotel paying customers are not given the benefit of the doubt. They're not given any information about whether this is an active homeless shelter. I think that's pertinent information to know for a paying customer. And I think it's very it's very problematic. And it hasn't worked in other places. Look at San Francisco. L.a. Is going to be having a measure on the ballot next year related to forcing hotels to accept homeless vouchers. This is just not the approach.

Sam Stone: You brought up. A good point about the type of person who's homeless, who's going into this, whether it's someone who's very recently on the street, what I would tend to describe as transitionally homeless people who were generally able to get off the streets fairly.

Chuck Warren: Quickly, What is that, 10%, ten, 15% of homeless?

Sam Stone: It's probably half, chuck. Half are transitionally homeless, but they don't stay homeless for very long. We don't even consider them.

Chuck Warren: Those are people generally go to shelters or.

Sam Stone: Something to correct. They will go to shelters, they will couch surf. They will do whatever they need to do. And very soon they will get off the street. We dealt with this a lot in Phoenix, the type that Matt was talking to, the service resistant homeless are your chronic street homeless. They're who people actually think.

Chuck Warren: Of as homeless. They're the ones that won't go to the Salvation Army because they require them not to take drugs there.

Sam Stone: It's exactly right. Yeah. And so that's a very different population. You're dealing with a lot of pathologies, including criminal pathologies that you're dealing with at that point. And you're clearly right to bring this up. There's another element to this I want to touch on, which is what you said about the Zone. Phoenix had had allowed this enormous homeless, sprawling encampment near downtown, totally out of control. Judge They were sued. Judge stepped in and said, you've got to mitigate this. The judge clearly in their order, in his orders, was saying, hey, you have to provide alternatives, including structured camping and all this. One of the things that's going on right now is Phoenix spent a bunch of money on a structured camping site that now they. Can't use because they put it in a in an area with a toxic environmental problem. They knew that problem existed before it went. They they went out there. They spent all this money, achieved nothing, and are back at square one and are pushing the problems off on people in your district and elsewhere around the state. We're seeing it throughout the entire valley now much more, much more significantly because of that. How I mean, how do we start getting some of these liberal cities on track to to start actually doing their part the right way?

Matt Gress: Well, we've the state has provided money and we've we've tried to do our part in investing in programs that should be evidence based. But unfortunately, I think that the executive has incorrectly interpreted what the legislature was trying to do with, you know, we included $150 million for the housing trust fund. That's to help people stay in their homes, $60 million for homelessness, people who aren't in their homes anymore. And we need to find a place for them to be. There just seems to be more of a focus on climate change in this context versus finding real solutions for people experiencing homelessness. And I think we have to sue, I think, and the courts are going to have to force the cities to do what they have been loathed to do. And until you can clean up these tragedies like the zone, it's going to be hard to engage in a more holistic conversation about how we address homelessness in the Valley.

Chuck Warren: Let's change topics here real quick. We have we have two minutes left. Biden's visit. What are your thoughts? He came to Arizona this weekend. He decided to take more property away from rural miners. What are your thoughts on it?

Matt Gress: A million acres removed from the tax rolls. And you'd think that, by the way, how much.

Chuck Warren: By the way, let me ask you a question real quick. How much does that hurt schools, public schools? How much does it take out gently?

Matt Gress: Oh, significantly, because they're tied to either state trust land or they're tied to private taxpaying owners. And all of those dollars go into the equalization formula that helps fund schools. But not a peep, actually. Praise from from the Democrats. No real engagement with half of the monument. They decided to go to Flagstaff and do their public outreach, but not two hours, 2.5 hours to the west in Kingman, where there was a clearly different point of view. And then, you know, we talk about there are so many precious minerals here on these claims that could help us achieve more clean energy or help us achieve energy independence or other key areas.

Sam Stone: Precious minerals.

Sam Stone: That are.

Sam Stone: Precious, minerals that are being mined all over the world using much dirtier mining techniques, using.

Chuck Warren: We're using child labor. Yeah, child labor across the overseas. Yeah.

Matt Gress: And by countries who hate America. Yes. If this was an opportunity to make America stronger.

Chuck Warren: Clearly missed the mark. Quickly, real quick here, I want to get back to this question. How much money I know we got 30s. Real quick, how much money do you think it takes out of public education for Arizona? Just a guesstimate. Give a range.

Matt Gress: That's that's hard to say depending on the number of mining claims because there are property taxes.

Chuck Warren: 30 million. 40 million. 30. 40 million.

Matt Gress: Oh, I would have to be more than that. You have to be more than that over the lifetime. Over 20 years. Say, I think you're going to see much more than that.

Sam Stone: Matt, real quick, 15 seconds. How do folks stay in touch with you and your work?

Matt Gress: You can look me up, Matt Gress. MattGrress.com You can follow me on Twitter at Matthew Gress two T'S and just feel free to reach out. All right. Always yours.

Chuck Warren: Thanks, buddy. Have a great day, man. We appreciate you.

Sam Stone: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Warren and Sam Stone. Up next today, Tim Chapman, senior adviser at Advancing America Freedom, a public policy organization founded by Vice President Mike Pence. He's also a principal at P two public affairs, where it works with clients to build national campaigns to influence public policy. Former executive director of Heritage Action Action, chief of staff at the Heritage Foundation and has advised Senators DeMint, Nichols and Hutchinson to a heck of a resume. Tim, thank you so much for joining us and welcome to the program.

Tim Chapman: Hey, thank you.

Tim Chapman: Both for having.

Chuck Warren: Me. Excited to be here. So tell us about what advancing American Freedom is working on right now.

Tim Chapman: Well, thanks for asking.

Tim Chapman: Advancing, as you mentioned there in the intro. Advancing American Freedom was founded by.

Tim Chapman: Vice.

Tim Chapman: President Mike Pence.

Matt Gress: And he founded.

Tim Chapman: This thing about a a little more than a year and a half ago. And he you know, I've always loved him. I came to Washington in 2001 and he came to Washington a little after that time as a congressman. And so I followed him and always had great admiration for him because, you know, as we were working on the outside to try to influence Congress towards conservative ends, he was on the inside and he was always fighting for the limited government perspective and the conservative perspective and the pro-life perspective in the House of Representatives. And he did that in many different ways there. And so he was super policy focused. And then, you know, once he left the administration, you know, he was thinking about ways that he could continue to be focused on policy. He worked a little bit with with the Heritage Foundation. And then he began to build out his own organization, which was advancing American freedom. And he asked he asked me to come on board there a while back. And he said, look, like we knew that he was thinking about running for for president. But he said, look, I need people who are going to come on board with this organization.

Tim Chapman: I need this organization to exist irrespective of my political future. And, you know, Tim, will you come in and work with this team? And I was you know, I jumped at the chance because I've always like I said, I've always liked being dead. So, you know, our focus is on kind of the traditional three legs of the stool and the conservative movement, social, social values, fiscal values and a strong national defense. And we kind of see, you know, there's a lot of things, as you both know, probably better than I. There's a lot of trends happening in the conservative movement and the Republican Party right now. And one of them that kind of worries me a little bit is a trend away from fiscal conservatism. Yes, it is a trend away from American leadership around the globe. Well, Tim Tim, let me ask. I think we wanted to talk about that. Yeah, Tim, let me let me ask you this. We talk about this a lot. You know, look, it's not as sexy as hitting some woke issue, right? It's it doesn't doesn't it's not good for fun conversation.

Sam Stone: It's also complicated.

Chuck Warren: It's complicated. Yeah. Tim, how do we get out of this mess? It's a mess. I mean, I'm so worried about it and what it's going to start doing in reality in the next five.

Sam Stone: Had our credit rating downgraded. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: I mean, people don't understand interest rates are going to be higher. I mean, what people don't get is how this you know, they always talk about trickle down economics. And we just recently had our show about Biden's inflation. Biden's inflation caused people $14,000 dollars per family extra dollars. Yeah. Which means they either use their savings, which we know most people don't have. They borrow from friends or family, which a lot of people don't have friends or family. You can loan them money or they use credit cards, which have minimum 19 to 20% interest rates. So really, inflation is in the high teens when you think of it that way. Right. How do we. Yeah, I mean, I don't think in our lifetime you and I and Sam here are going to be able to pay off $30 trillion. But what do we need to do to show the world, to show the markets to strengthen our currency, keep low? What is the plan we need to do? Do we just need to say we're not going above this level anymore? What do we need to do? Yeah, I mean, your show, right on what has happening right now with inflation and Biden's inflation is basically just a tax on, you know, on average families across this country. And that's the first wave of what's going to happen to people if the fiscal profligacy continues. The second wave is actual raising of taxes on people.

Tim Chapman: So you'll you'll not only be taxed by the inflation, but eventually it's going to catch up to us and to pay for all the programs that we're running right now and we're going to have to raise taxes. And that's actually the left game plan. That's where they want to go with this. They you know, they're they are comfortable to wait out having discussions about Social Security reform, Medicare reform, welfare spending, you know, any kind of spending. They're comfortable to wait out that discussion because they think when push comes to shove, we'll get to the point where we just have to, you know, raise taxes. Right. But I'll tell you the first thing to. Do you know to address this is not to run away from it. And that's what we're afraid of right now. We see a party that, you know, we love this party. We've been Republicans and conservatives a long time. But I see some of my best friends in some of the greatest think tanks in this country and some of my best friends who are working with some of great leaders on Capitol Hill, refusing to talk about the spending issues. And so that's one thing that AAF wants to do, is to is to raise the issue again, even though it's out of step with where we are right now. It's a populist moment. We're going to raise it and we're going to keep talking about it. Good.

Sam Stone: Yeah, fantastic. We're going to be coming back with more from Tim Chapman in just a moment. Folks, you can follow him at Tim Chapman on Twitter. Tim, thank you so much for joining us. Stick around, folks, for the next segment. We're going to be talking a little bit more about the fiscal health of this country and some other things happening in Washington. Breaking battlegrounds coming right back. Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Warren and Sam Stone continuing on the line with us in just a moment, Tim Chapman, senior adviser at the Advancing American Freedom Public Policy Organization, founded by Vice President Mike Pence. They're focused a lot on classical conservative issues like fiscal fiscal responsibility. And folks, if you want to be fiscally responsible, one great way to do that is to get some quality diversity in your in your portfolio. And one and a fantastic way to do that is to go to our check out our friends at invest y Refy.com that's invest the letter Y, then refy.com you can earn up to a 10.25% fixed rate of return. That's right. 10.25% fixed rate of return. The market goes up. The market goes down. You keep making money. Check them out. Invest y refy.com or give them a call at 888 YREY24 and make sure you tell them Chuck and Sam sent you.

Chuck Warren: So, Tim, I want to go back to talk about what you're doing. So Sam and I were talking before the show today that Republicans are like a two note pony. It's like, okay, we're going to the moon. Well, how does this affect abortion or Second Amendment rights? We seem to. Right. We we just seem to have the political mailing thing. Here's a checklist. And, you know, those are important issues. I'm not disagreeing, but there are so many other issues. You know, you know, for example, I do not have on my bingo card in 22, 23 that Republicans that there's a segment of Republicans, not all of them, but a segment who are sympathetic to Russia and the Ukraine war. Right. And then they try to couch it and say Putin's evil. It's like Democrats talking about crime. Well, I'm right. I'm not. I hate crime, but I don't want to fund cops. Right. Yeah, right, Right. Has this caught you? I mean, you've been in this you were you worked at Heritage Action. You worked for some of our great senators. Has this caught you by surprise that this this this isolationist movement has taken such strength? So, you know, it's always been latent in our movement. And as you all know, there were times in our movement where we were more isolationist than not. You know, as the as we rolled through the Reagan years, that changed and we projected American strength and led the world to a better place. But, you know, that latency has now caught up and there's and you see it everywhere. And I think it's caught steam for a few reasons. And, you know, the first reason is that just you know, we did we didn't do, you know, a great job in our foreign entanglements over the last 20 years. Right. So and that may be almost.

Sam Stone: Over the last hundred years, like Exactly World War two forward.

Tim Chapman: Yeah. So I understand that. Okay. So there's a track record there and there's a problem. There's also this is one area we were just talking about spending. I think there is still within the conservative movement, you know, a desire to be fiscally responsible. And this is low hanging fruit that they perceive a lot of, you know, people perceive. Sure. Why are we going to spend another 24 billion to Ukraine now? But I think the biggest thing driving this right now, especially with respect to Ukraine, is just good old fashioned politics. If you look at the politics around Ukraine, this is one where Democrats just accidentally got one, right. They they they they're supportive of the Ukrainian effort. But it's not because they somehow found principle on this. It's because they perceive, you know, in their in their version of history. The only reason that Donald Trump ever won in 2016 was because Vladimir Putin handpicked him and used all sorts of, you know, machinations to install them in office. So this is Ukraine versus Putin. And Putin is the guy in their minds who put Trump in the in the in the White House. And so, therefore, Ukraine must be protected at all costs. They're fighting a knee jerk. Yeah, there's a knee jerk reaction there from Republican voters, grassroots conservatives, who are like, well, if all these Democrats are flying Ukrainian flags, this must be the wrong cause. Right?

Sam Stone: Right. Yeah. Democrats are there or want us to be there to fight Trump in reality. Right. And you've got a handful of Republicans who are obviously against that.

Chuck Warren: As Sam and I talk a lot with guests, We had Congressman Issa on last week, as you can agree that Ukraine has much corruption in it. You can also agree that it's not cool for Russia to go take over a country that it wants to take over because it doesn't stop there. I mean, they're not mutually exclusive. Right. And so, yeah, it's interesting, you know, and talk about the foreign policy. The last, you know, 75 years or so. I think that's sort of a cheap shot. People take. I mean, if you look at cities that practice practice the broken window theory and then they abandoned it with cops. Looks what happened to them. And I hate to break it to people, but the United States is not doing a lot of this. This rule is a bigger crap hole than it is now. Well.

Sam Stone: Chuck, I mean, one of the things that's happened, we've pulled back from a lot of our engagement and a lot of our economic and. Military engagement from the Pacific Theater, from Latin America, to focus.

Chuck Warren: On the Middle East.

Sam Stone: But in China has has stepped into that breach in a way that's very damaging for us.

Chuck Warren: I agree. All right. Let's talk about trade. Does the Republican need to start becoming more productive and proactive on getting trade agreements again, or are we going to let China and other people just do it? Yeah. So the way we think about this is we have learned some lessons about trade over the last 20 years. Free trade is still an overwhelmingly good thing. You know, people producing things and trading those things and bringing, you know, profit to their nation and their communities is a wonderful thing. And then people get to have the benefits of that. But we did not do it right with China. That's very clear. And China is is far and away our biggest global challenge for the United States over the next couple of decades. So what we need to be thinking about, the world's already doing this in its own kind of in its own way. The world is dividing into free countries, you know, free spheres of influence and those that are run by authoritarians like China, like Russia, like Iran. And we need to we need to make lots of great trade agreements with our allies, period, You know, and we need to think about how to do this in a way where we're not relying on China for the things that we really need.

Tim Chapman: So we we're stuck right now. We're stuck dealing with kind of the residue from some bad policy decisions that are in the rear view mirror. And we have to figure out how to get out of it, you know, So, for example, like, you know, China is so intertwined in our economy right now. We've got, you know, great American companies like Ford that are opening plants, you know, with Chinese batteries, Chinese battery plants in Michigan and other places around the country. You know, and that's a problem like that is a problem because China having that foothold in our economy is not a good thing. So we need to think, All right, well, what is it that we need to do as Americans to wean ourselves off of, you know, the need for Chinese renewable energies or batteries or whatever it is, and build our own source of domestic energy here. Tim You guys, you know.

Sam Stone: Yeah, go. Can I stop you on that front? Because that's relevant to the discussion we just had with our previous guest on this program. It's something that just happened here in Arizona. It's not just previous bad policy. We just had Joe Biden come out to Arizona, take a million acres. That is key mining territory for any number of precious minerals that we need for these things and declared a national monument and take it off the table. Exactly. That is that is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing, right?

Tim Chapman: That's exactly right. I mean, we if and why would Democrats be doing that when they are the ones demanding that we produce green vehicles and use all these renewable sorts of energy because it's an elitist party, it's an elitist party. It's amazing how they've become. I guess they've always been latte liberals, right? There's always been that group. But it has been exasperated since Trump. It's just like, because I hate this guy, I'm going to become a latte liberal now. It's just so out of the realm of moral consciousness. I don't know where to begin. Yeah, and it's a logical disconnect according to their own principles too. So if you want us to have more, more electric powered vehicles in the United States, but you also say that you are against authoritarian regimes who, you know, punish religious, you know, dissent or any sort of political dissent, You know, China, then why are you forcing Ford and other companies to use Chinese resources to build the things that you are forcing us to to do, you know, in your own the bill that they just passed. So it's a complete mess. They're all over the place on it. Republicans and conservatives really have a chance to come in on the energy issue and to double down on what we produce, whether it's, you know, gas or oil. Et cetera. You know, or to or to even win over some of that renewable stuff. Yeah, well, we should be we should be using those mines in Arizona. Minnesota has the same thing.

Sam Stone: Why are we not hammering? Why is our party not hammering the left on the very simple fact that mining activity here in the United States is far less environmentally damaging than mining almost.

Chuck Warren: I'll raise my hand on that because it's not abortion or gun rights. We don't talk about anything else. Right? Yeah. No, I you look, I'm with you on that. I think that's one of the reasons we created Advancing American Freedom. And that's what Vice President Pence really wanted, is to try to bring a policy discussion back to the party, because right now it's so personality based. I mean, it is personality based. It's based on whatever the latest thing on Twitter is. I don't even I can't even check Twitter anymore because it's driving me insane. Although I do, I'll admit to it. I do. You're an addict. You're an addict. We'll get you. We'll get you help. Yeah. Sorry. I guess it's not Twitter or whatever we're calling it, you know? But it is a it is a bad situation. Like if we're able to focus this on the policies, the left is such so bent and pretzels as we were just discussing on so much of this stuff. And they're on the wrong side of the American people. We'd be a 60% party pretty easily if we do this stuff. And energy is just huge and it all ties together. It's the energy stuff. It's what we were talking about earlier on. The spending stuff and the spending stuff also leaves us very weak to China. Um, so there's a lot of opportunity here, but we kind of got a, um, we kind of got to pull it together as a movement.

Sam Stone: What are you seeing ahead of these upcoming budget negotiations? I mean, are is there any real appetite on our side to stand firm and get real concessions during this negotiation?

Tim Chapman: Yeah, I mean, look, there is there certainly is. You know, the the House Freedom Caucus guys are have been consistently saying they want to use these leverage points to score some wins on fiscal discipline there. So that's you know, but really, that's like 20 Republicans in the House who want to do that. And then there's probably another 60 to 70 that also would be on board fighting with those guys if they can identify an achievable, you know, outcome that makes sense and that is politically popular. There's a debate right now as to whether or not you use this this leverage point for fighting on the border or whether you use it for fiscal stuff. And frankly, guys like I don't know, I don't know where they're going to go with it. I hope they I think they should use it for fiscal stuff because I think anytime you're having a spending fight, it makes more logical sense to me to just attach it to spending rather than some of the other issues. As much as I want a victory on the border, um, so but, but, but I can't I can't handicap it for you because I think we'll end up in a shutdown. And I think once we end up in a shutdown, you know, it's like, is this a three day shutdown? Is it a 13 day shutdown? I don't know if I don't know where they land. If they go shut down, they just need to keep it shut till they get what they want. If you're going to take the political prize, just say, I don't care if I lose. That's right. We're going to just do it. So multiple have a have a quiz for you here. What's more realistic that we get to a balanced budget annually within ten years that we get the border secure or the Cleveland Browns win the Super Bowl? And you ask this, he's a Browns fan. That I'm a Cleveland Browns fan. Yeah. Look, Hope springs eternal. This is the best time of the year to be a Cleveland Browns fan. We're going all the way this year. Keep the dream alive, buddy. Chuck.

Sam Stone: Their team is not terrible anymore.

Tim Chapman: Oh, yeah.

Sam Stone: You never know. I got. I got to say, I put my odds on the Browns.

Chuck Warren: Oh, I do, too. That's the point. I put my odds on the Browns. That's how bad this is. I know. Look, guys, we're off season champs every single offseason, all right? We always win the off season. I don't know if anyone saw the the number one movie on Netflix right now is the Johnny Manziel special. And that just peels back The Onion about how dumb the decisions we make as Browns, you know, as a Browns team are.

Sam Stone: That was a stunning documentary, by the way.

Tim Chapman: Like, yes, it's a good watch.

Chuck Warren: Maybe, maybe, maybe. You really do need to hire Kevin Costner from Draft Day, who is a pretend general manager. Tim, with limited time left, tell us how you got into this. I came to DC, you know, right out of college. I knew in college that I wanted that I wanted to be involved in politics and that I thought I think politics, despite, you know, the bad rap it deservedly gets, is a noble profession if done right. And I think we need to find a way to make politics work for this country. I came here in 2001 and kind of got the bug and got hooked. And and the longer I've stayed here, the more I think we got to find a way to get it right. And I tried to escape many times. I tried to escape, but DC sucks you back in and so, you know, we'll just keep working. I got into it that way and and we're going to stick it out and see if we can make something really big. Great.

Sam Stone: Fantastic. Thank you so much. Tim Chapman, senior Advisor at Advancing American Freedom. You can follow them at Advancing American Freedom.com and follow Tim at Tim Chapman on Twitter. Tim, thank you so much. Folks, stay tuned. We've got a continuation of an education fight, a professor fight here in Arizona. You don't want to miss it on the podcast only segment.

Chuck Warren: Thank you, Tim.

Sam Stone: Welcome back to the podcast segment of Breaking battlegrounds with the host Chuck Warren. I'm Sam Stone. Folks, if you've been following our show, you've been in tune with what happened at the Barrett Honors College at ASU with a protest by a number of the professors trying to, despite whatever they might claim, trying to shut down a free an event featuring some conservative speakers Charlie Kirk, Dennis Prager and Robert Kiyosaki and others, They called it a white supremacist event. They did everything they could on campus to chill the free speech of these individuals and to to basically to hide this event. Students were bullied and threatened by professors. The materials for this event were taken down. There was I mean, really, it was a very concerted effort. We have been talking about this. We had an Atkinson who was the director of the program that put the event together, who was subsequently fired. We've had her on the program after we had her on, we had a professor, Brooke Simpson. You may have heard his segment. He said we were completely wrong. Then we had him on the air. We gave him 40 minutes. And frankly, I didn't feel like Chuck, he contributed anything particularly to the conversation. I mean, he told us we were wrong, but he could never say why we were actually wrong or why an was wrong or any of this.

Sam Stone: It really came down to a convoluted logic. And so we have another professor from ASU who's been part of this discussion, Dr. Owen Anderson, Professor of Philosophy, religious Studies and theology at ASU. He writes about the radical ideologies of race, class, race and gender used by some to coerce students and prevent free speech. So obviously really, really relevant to what we're talking about here. He's also a pastor at Historic Christian Church of Phoenix. He's been working on the problem of DEIB anti racism decolonising the curriculum, secular universities and the loss of academic freedom that has attended those movements. And, you know, this is something I don't think is going away anytime soon. This is a major problem when you have universities stifling free speech and the free exchange of ideas. So, Dr. Owen Anderson, thank you so much for taking the time today and joining us to continue this discussion. We really appreciate it because we know that every time someone like you comes on a program like this and talks honestly and openly about it, you're putting yourself under the gun from a lot of your colleagues. And so thank you for joining us. And and thank you for being willing to participate in this discussion. Well, yeah.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Thank you for having me on. I'm really looking forward to talking to you about this. And and, you know, there is some of that pushback. I've I was told at one point by my dean not to speak to the media without getting ASU approval and that that that got me to appeal to fire, which is the foundation for individual rights and expression. And that's a that's a fire is a group that kind of monitors universities. Universities all want to be rated as a green light, including ASU. So fire got involved and ASU took that back. But what they did tell me was my provost specifically said, before I talk to the media, I have to say this is my own personal opinion. I don't represent ASU.

Sam Stone: And so and so, yeah, folks, let's be clear. We're talking to Dr. Owen Anderson. This is his own personal opinion and he does not represent ASU. He simply.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Works. What? I'm curious. I'm sorry. I didn't mean.

Sam Stone: No, I was just going to say, you work there and you've been part of this discussion. So thank you for taking the time.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah, I'm curious to see if that's done for everybody or just the conservative guy.

Chuck Warren: Well, Professor Simpson, in fairness, made very clear that he was not speaking for ASU. So I think you I think you all got the same memo.

Sam Stone: And actually, I agree with that memo. I think professors should be able to say whatever they want and not speak for the university.

Chuck Warren: I agree. I agree.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, and that's one of the issues with this letter by the Barrett faculty is they wrote it on ASU resources. And as Barrett professors, they didn't say they're speaking as private citizens. So that is one of the issues.

Sam Stone: Yeah, absolutely. That's an issue. I mean, look, and I'm sure you would say and I've seen a lot of the comments you made online and this and other issues, and I would generally assume you agree with the statement that, hey, no one's trying to stop these professors from saying that they do not like these speakers or that they think that these speakers don't have anything to offer. That's their opinion. Fine. But there's a difference. That's perfectly.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Fine. Exactly. And so that's actually been ASU's point is to say, well, the event happened, so that's free speech and the professor's objected and that's their free speech. But the concern has never been that they objected. The concern was how they did it, that they used ASU resources, they use their classrooms and they intimidated students. Those are things that are clearly violations of our ASU faculty manual. And so that's been the problem.

Sam Stone: And how much do you see this because of the work you're doing? How much do you see this? I mean, to me, this is a really fundamental. This incident highlighted a really fundamental underlying fight in academia between a handful of what I would call traditionalist free speech and and free thought advocates and then this new D-I bureaucracy.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah, well, exactly. I think so. I think the letter itself written by 39 of the Barrett faculty, which is a supermajority, didn't get any issues. It spent his time calling the people they disagree with purveyors of hate, white nationalist bigots. And so you left. If you read the letter, you left it thinking, well, what what do you disagree with, though? Like, what's the issue that you would take and what's your argument against it? And so that's really what happens when you have this Dei philosophy, which those are all very positive words. Diversity is a good word. Inclusion is a good word. We want to do those things, equity. But they're actually part of a social philosophy which says from the outset things like America is structurally racist, and if you don't agree with us, you're one of the racists. And so it shuts down actual conversation because you're just not allowed to doubt it or debate it.

Sam Stone: I want to focus real quick, doctor, on on equity, because if we're talking about equity, as in I have equity in my bank account, it's an unmitigated good thing. And for anybody. But when you're talking about equity in an academic setting, that's a very loaded and charged word that's very different, whose actual meaning in practice is very different from the perception that the average member of the public has about it. Right.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Exactly. I mean, all three of the words in Dei don't mean what the public thinks they mean, because I mean, that's really what you do, right? You're both involved in politics and in politics. You pick positive words. You say, well, we're pro-choice. Everyone likes choice. You don't say, well, we're pro killing babies, Right? So that's what you do is you pick a positive term. So that's what they've done here. So equity means because America is structurally racist, we need to redivide wealth appropriately. And so that means that some people have been getting privileges and they need to have their wealth taken away and given to other people who, although they may not have been direct objects of the discrimination, they're maybe their ancestors were. And so they should be given that wealth.

Sam Stone: Correct? Yeah. There's also a tie to to just Marxism and equality of outcomes, right?

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, yeah, exactly. Well, that's one thing is, you know, the Barrett faculty have said, well, we said they're white nationalists, but then we're getting called Marxists. Well, wait, there's a big difference.

Chuck Warren: Well, they don't.

Dr. Owen Anderson: It doesn't believe he's a white nationalist. Well, yeah, these professors, many of them, identify as Marxists. So this is not name calling. It's just saying this is what they believe they are.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, they don't. It's a funny pattern. And I think conservatives probably do it, too. But you see it a lot in academia. They like to go and tattoo people with these phrases, Right. I mean, look, there's there are many things to be called that have a very ill effect on all of us mentally. But being called a bigot. Yeah.

Dr. Owen Anderson: It's basically.

Chuck Warren: And it stays with you. It stays with you. Yeah.

Dr. Owen Anderson: That's the worst one. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. I mean, it's just. And it's just horrible. And they know this. And so when you turn around and say, Well, you're a Marxist, you're a commie, they're like, We're being attacked. Well, yeah, you started this idiot conversation to begin with. Why don't you just shut up?

Dr. Owen Anderson: And if someone told me, Hey, I'm not a Marxist, I'd be fine saying, okay, well, tell me what you are. I'll use that term. But the truth is, they teach that all of history is a conflict between economic classes and that the rich rule over the poor and that money should be redistributed. I mean, that's all straight out of the Communist Manifesto. So. So that's not an insult. It's just a it's just to say that's what they are. Whereas no one thinks white nationalist is a title people take and say, Yeah, that's what I am. Whereas Marxists, yeah, a lot of professors identify as Marxists or they're greatly influenced by Marx.

Sam Stone: Yeah, and that's an important difference too. I mean, but also to Chuck's point, there's this attitude I think, that has crept into academia where they can criticize society and elements of society, individuals.

Chuck Warren: And it's free speech for them.

Sam Stone: Too. It's free speech. But but then when they come under criticism, it's it becomes this, you know, soul altering thing that they have to roll around in distress and scream for help. It triggers them. Yeah.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah. Well, that's what happens is I think they go from calling their opponents white nationalists, biggest hate hatemongers and these, these these guys like Charlie Kirk, especially Dennis Prager, that's really mainstream conservative thought. If he's a hatemonger, that's labeling all conservatives hate mongers. I mean, he's not somehow an extreme conservative.

Sam Stone: And so and he's a practicing Jew.

Chuck Warren: He's devotional. He's devout, strictly speaking.

Dr. Owen Anderson: I mean, when the event started, Charlie Kirk wasn't on the panel. He introduced it. And I asked people about the event. And I tell I asked them, do you know what he talked about? And they say, no. He told people to observe the Sabbath day. That's what he spent his introduction on. And he said, Dennis Prager has been helping me as a Christian learn how to observe the Sabbath. So that's the kind of advice that was being given. Its not exactly political and.

Dr. Owen Anderson: So.

Dr. Owen Anderson: It was objected to.

Chuck Warren: I have a question for you. So this brings up a point. Okay. So is that the type of program that, you know, here's what it is. I feel academia and I you know, look, I support ASU financially, various things there significantly. I feel college has become sort of pay for play now, you know, Sam and I and you can say we want to do an endowment chair for X And look, I think Michael Crow deserves a lot of credit for a lot of things. And one thing is if you come in with 1.5 for an endowment chair, you come on in. I mean, that's just that's just how he is, right?

Dr. Owen Anderson: A university organized like ASU, we don't have lots of state taxes. We don't have any money from oil or things like that.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. So. So he does that and he would do it for right or left. I don't think Michael Crow cares one way or another. Right. I mean, that's the problem.

Dr. Owen Anderson: With their letter also is they're saying Lewis is paying he's to have his his position taught to students. Well, wait a minute. If that's what worries them, are they writing letters for all of the leftist centers at ASU or just the one?

Chuck Warren: Well, it's not only that. How many of them are less of an endowment from a leftist endowment? Yeah. Which no one Has anybody even looked at that, Sam?

Sam Stone: No, but you know what? When you said that Chuck and Dr. Anderson, when you said that it occurred to me something from my time at the city of Phoenix, because the city of Phoenix was repeatedly partnering with ASU to reach out to get grants from far leftist charitable institutions and to endow chairs to study whether it was global warming or some something that Phoenix had some interest in. And in the five years that I was in Sal Deceases office at the City of Phoenix, there were probably, if I would remember off the top of my head, 12 or 15 of those positions that came through on our budget.

Chuck Warren: So should we. So should colleges just stop accepting this? I mean, that one way to solve this, I mean, so for the for the Lewis for this Ted Lewis thing at Barrett, was it was that the right entity to be having that type of thing at And I think that's a fair question. How it gets.

Dr. Owen Anderson: How it gets politicized. I just I just put up on my YouTube channel, which is Dr. Owen Anderson, a interview I did this week with Representative Austin Smith, and we were talking about this exact issue of how do we avoid politicizing public education. And this goes back to using these special words because we have a center for American institutions at ASU, right. Which doesn't believe America is structurally racist and teaches the value of our founding principles that considered far conservative. Right. So so those words aren't telling you to vote for Republicans. They don't tell you how to vote in the next election. It's just saying, hey, Thomas Jefferson has some really good ideas and that's considered to be on the right. Whereas the political stuff on the left is very political. So this spring we also had Ibram X Kendi come out and he's one of the guys who said discrimination is good as long as you do it the right way, which means you discriminate against white people. He's very clear about that. That's not me putting words in his mouth. And we hosted him and no professor said, Wait, this is political. We shouldn't have that on campus.

Sam Stone: My favorite Ibram X Kendi moment is when Joy Reid didn't realize that and started asking him that question. You know, she's asking him, Hey, you didn't really say this, right? And he's like, Well, yes, I did. That's exactly what I meant to do.

Chuck Warren: I appreciate his honesty.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah, yeah. Last week we had a drag event at ASU and NAU. Professors wrote and said, Hey, this might hurt some of my students because. Well, because.

Chuck Warren: Because. Because you're not a Marxist. I mean, at the end of the day, that's what it is. People who oppose to anybody else speaking that opposes their view of the world is a Marxist. They can say whatever they want, but that's what they are. They're suppressing free speech.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Right. I think that's and one of the classes I teach is logic. I'm a philosopher, so like my whole job, I'm paid to question people. So the more someone says, Hey, don't question me, the more that, you know, red flags are going off, right. To say, Hey, I got a question this person and use logic to do it. So what really disappoints me is that professors couldn't get into the substance. What I would have loved to have seen if they said, look, in their letter, they said they're worried for their LGBTQ plus students. Well, why? Presumably it's because Dennis Prager believes that marriage is ordained by God between one man and one woman. So they should have written a letter debating that and said, hey, we don't believe in God. We think marriage is a social construct. Right. That's been used to oppress women. That would have been a great debate. And I know for sure Dennis Prager would have had that. And if he didn't want to, I'll debate it. But that's not what they did. They got right into name calling. And I guarantee they expect their students to actually provide evidence in their papers and give arguments, not just resort to name calling.

Chuck Warren: Who knows.

Dr. Owen Anderson: For.

Chuck Warren: That? I mean, I don't know. I question that.

Chuck Warren: It depends.

Chuck Warren: It depends. It depends if they like the way their their views are. I don't question. I question that. I think that's where we're at now and that's what's frightening about it. I think the guests we have talked about who much of the right would find repulsive. They deserve the right to speak.

Sam Stone: There was a really good tweet by Scott Walker, the former Wisconsin governor, a couple of days ago, where he said he had been at a forum and someone criticized him on the basis saying, well, conservatives don't want college students to hear these things that we disagree with. And Walker said, no, that's not it. We just want them to hear that there are two sides.

Chuck Warren: It's very.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, that's. Oh, yeah, I read that tweet. That's exactly right. They don't even give the two sides. And and then maybe I was somewhat pampered as a philosopher because as a as a student, I expected that. And my professors were good at doing that. I never really got the sense that, okay, my professors teach me his view. I would we'd we'd go to philosophers who disagree with each other, and I got to figure out how to think about that. So, yeah, I think those days are pretty well gone. And that's what really bothers me. That's what we need to bring back, is the ability to teach students what is logic and how do we use it to evaluate different belief systems.

Chuck Warren: And and and sort of grow up. There are people you walk by every day, people you live with. They had just opposite views on various things happening in our world. And if you can't handle that, get some help.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Well, that's that's exactly why they go to the word hatemonger and white nationalist bigot, because if they just said, hey, these guys disagree with us about marriage, you'd say so. You know, we're adults. Lots of people have different opinions. So they have to go to something shocking and say, no, not just that, but these guys are white nationalists. And you think of Nazis or something and you say, Wow, really? I didn't know that. And you don't want to go to the event. Yeah. And that's really the sad part.

Sam Stone: That and that that is where I felt Professor Simpson fell so short on this program is he didn't understand the connection that what they're doing are really just ad hominem attacks designed to suppress speech that that in doing so, they are committing an act against free inquiry and against free thought at that university. Whereas like you just said, Doctor, had they gone out and said, we disagree with them on these points and we would like to have open debate on these issues. That's the purpose as most of us understand it, of a university.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Yeah, that was wonderful. And I said that three of us wrote a letter and that's one of the things I said in there by myself was since I'm the philosopher in the group, I'll debate any of them or all of them at the same time. Let's do that. But I don't I'm surprised to find this out. But it doesn't I guess it doesn't surprise me. Debating is considered a form of of violence. So if you say, hey, let's debate this, they view that as using the coercion of reason and reason is probably also white nationalist or something.

Sam Stone: Oh, geez. Well.

Dr. Owen Anderson: Even asking for public debate gets dismissed.

Sam Stone: Yeah. No, and that's got to stop. And folks, for any of those Barrett professors, if you want to come on, we will provide the platform on our podcast with Dr. Anderson or others. You can debate it with us. You can debate it with him. Any of those letter signees who want to join us and have that open discussion on these issues, we'd welcome it. We'll set it up. We'll provide the time and place. Chuck, thank you so much. We really had a great show today, folks. Thank you for tuning in. I want to thank Dr. Owen Anderson for his time today. Doctor, we really appreciate you having on the program. And if you are not subscribed, folks, make sure you subscribe so you get our all of our podcasts, all of our content directly to your mailbox each week.

Chuck Warren: Thanks, Doctor.

Chuck Warren: Appreciate you. Yeah, thank.

Dr. Owen Anderson: You for having me.

Sam Stone: Thank you. Folks, breaking battlegrounds back on the air next week. See you then.


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