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Unraveling Illegal Immigration, DEI Initiatives, and Diplomatic Insights

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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 to this week’s episode of Breaking Battlegrounds! In this episode, we have an incredible lineup of guests and captivating discussions. First up, Anna Giaritelli, a Homeland Security Reporter for the Washington Examiner, dives into pressing topics like illegal immigration, the southern border, 'special interest aliens,' and the recent 'Day of Terror' announced by Hamas leaders. Jon Riches, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute, provides insights into the growing concerns of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) on Arizona State University's campus and the actions being taken to address it. Lastly, we welcome the Honorable Don Tapia, former United States Ambassador to Jamaica, who shares his valuable insights into the role of an ambassador, the appointment process, and the modern challenges of managing the Israel/Hamas conflict. Be sure to stay tuned for Kiley's Corner, where Kiley explores intriguing global topics, including the remarkable story of the world's largest pumpkin, affectionately named 'Michael Jordan.'

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ABOUT OUR GUESTS

Friend of the show, Anna Giaritelli, is a Homeland Security Reporter for the Washington Examiner focused on immigration, and border issues. Anna has traveled to the border on more than 40 occasions since 2018 and has covered human smuggling, the evolution of the war on drugs, domestic terrorism, and migration trends. She is currently based in Austin, Texas. Follow Anna on X: @Anna_Giaritelli.

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Jon Riches is the Vice President for Litigation for the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation and General Counsel for the Institute. He litigates in federal and state trial and appellate courts in the areas of economic liberty, regulatory reform, free speech, taxpayer protections, public labor issues, government transparency, and school choice, among others.

Jon has developed and authored several pieces of legislation, including the landmark Right to Earn a Living Act, which provides some of the greatest protections in the country to job-seekers and entrepreneurs facing arbitrary licensing regulations. He also developed legislation eliminating deference to administrative agencies in Arizona—a first-of-its-kind regulatory reform that can serve as a model for the rest of the country.

His work at the Institute has been covered by national media, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CBS This Morning, Bloomberg News, and Politico. Jon is also a member of the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project: State and Local Working Group.

Prior to joining the Goldwater Institute, Jon served on active duty in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. While on active duty, Jon represented hundreds of clients, litigated dozens of court-martial cases, and advised commanders on a vast array of legal issues.

He previously clerked for Sen. Jon Kyl on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, worked for the Rules Committee in the Arizona State Senate, and clerked in the Office of Counsel to the President at the White House. Jon received his B.A. from Boston College, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law.

Jon served as a presidentially appointed Panel Member on the Federal Service Impasses Panel. He is an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University School of Law. Jon is a native of Phoenix.

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Honorable Donald Ray Tapia, a prominent businessman, committed civic leader and compassionate philanthropist, was the Chairman and CEO of Essco Group Management the largest Hispanic owned business in Arizona for more than three decades before retiring in 2010 to devote his time to philanthropy. Essco Group Management provided front line management and back room production for twelve electrical wholesale branches located in Arizona and Southern California. Mr. Tapia’s philanthropic efforts have included serving on the Board of Directors of the Sun Angel Foundation & Endowment at Arizona State University, as Chairman of Board & Trustee at Saint Leo University in Florida, and as Member of the President’s Circle at Xavier College in Phoenix, Arizona. He has served on the Boards of social service organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix, Teen LifeLine Phoenix, Advisory Council of the Arizona Animal Welfare League and Advisory board for Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix Arizona.

Mr. Tapia is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force, Honorably Discharged (1955-1959). Mr. Tapia’s excellent management and entrepreneurial skills, demonstrated commitment to a culture of success and wide-ranging leadership in business, community and education make him well-qualified to serve as Ambassador to Jamaica. Additional enterprises Mr. Tapia has engaged in; include CEO, Sonapar USA, Chandler, Arizona (2008-2010) as well as employment with Cal Neva Corp., Los Angeles, California (1973-1977) and International Telephone & Telegraph Corp., Chicago, Illinois (1967-1973). He also worked as an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Mr. Tapia earned a B.A. and M.B.A. from Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, Florida, which also awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

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TRANSCRIPTION

Chuck Warren: Welcome to another show of Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren, and with my co-host, Kiley Kipper. Sam is out ill today. We're first going to start with Anna Giaritelli. She's a homeland security reporter for the Washington Examiner. She's been on the show before. She has a very specific knowledge. She's been to the border more than 40 times since 2018. And she's also covered human smuggling and the evolution of the war on drugs, domestic terrorism and migration trends. And she is based in Texas. Anna, welcome back to the show.

Anna Giaritelli: Thanks for having me.

Chuck Warren: So we have a day of rage, apparently. Hamas has declared it. Tell us a little bit about it. And what does the United States government doing to prepare to keep our citizens safe here and abroad?

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah. So yesterday the former leader of Hamas came out and said that, you know, people who sympathize with Hamas around the Muslim world and outside that that that just that region should take part and come out in public and protest and engage in a day of jihad and rage. And so the Israeli government put out notices yesterday saying, you know, people should take cover, should remain vigilant, should be, you know, braced for the worst. And so the United States has also followed suit. Typically, something happening in one region of the country wouldn't affect us. But the Department of Homeland Security said it's been in touch with for different faith leaders, 65,000 people in faith organizations, making sure that synagogues in particular, even mosques, are going to be safe today. I know here in Austin, Texas, police are are have been called in in full gear. So they're ready for anything they have to deal with. New York City, LAPD, Miami police, they're all being called in today to report to duty just to to make sure that their presence is there in case something does happen in any of these cities.

Chuck Warren: Anna, have you talked to any Jewish folks or synagogues or educators at Jewish schools about today? Have you had a chance to talk to any of them and how they're feeling?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, I haven't, but the secretary of Homeland Security had his spokesperson was saying on this white House call last night that he's been in contact with a number of different groups, and really, one of their top three priorities right now is being in constant contact with these faith based organizations. So it's not like these groups are on their own. You know, if you're a synagogue, you're on your own hope for the best. The federal government has billions of dollars in grants so that these facilities can what we say is hardened security. So make sure you have more security presence as well as police. Make sure you have private security, just especially at this point in time. So I think the department really is rolling out a lot. We've seen this for several years now, where DHS has even yesterday said that faith based organizations are considered critical infrastructure here. So that gives even more ability for the federal government to really surge resources and even push funding to to these entities.

Chuck Warren: Well, and that's fascinating. And the Biden administration is to be applauded for that. There's not much I would applaud them for, especially regarding immigration and so forth. But I applaud them for doing that because they are a critical infrastructure. Explain to our audience what a gateway is and how this relates to what is going on at the border. And because of the gotaways, how this may pose a threat to some of these faith based communities and to our our larger cities.

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah. So at the southern border you've got A 2000 mile border. Some with fence, some without. What we've seen over the past two and a half years is a real. It went up in March 2021 when Biden first took office and hasn't declined. Normally we would see 30 to 50,000 people cross the border in a month and get arrested. What we've seen. In each of the months since Biden took office is anywhere between 150,000 and 300,000 people in a month, which is just, you know, we can't detain people through court proceedings. There's things that bar families from being held more than 20 days. So it's the perfect storm of this mass releases.

Chuck Warren: And let me and let me ask you this. How big is Austin, for example?

Anna Giaritelli: Austin, I believe, is 1.1 million.

Chuck Warren: So over a course of a week, we get a new Austin. Over a course of 4 or 5 months, we get a new Austin in the United States.

Anna Giaritelli: We do. And that's and that's who's crossing, right? That doesn't mean they're getting released since since Biden took office, the best estimates we have are more than 2 million people have been released into the United States. And so we've seen the number one spot that people are going is New York City, based on where people tell Border Patrol agents and Ice, you know, when they're getting released, hey, I'm going to go to my sister who lives in Queens, and then let the immigration officials do is place them in removal proceedings. So, hey, you need to go to court and see if we're going to remove you down the road. And we're the closest court to Queens is the New York immigration court. So we'll put you in that system. And so based on all the court data, we're seeing that more people are being placed in the New York court system than any other in the country.

Chuck Warren: And is the Biden administration and Congress providing more resources so you can have more judges so they can do quicker rulings on these and not have these lengthy time periods. So they bring it back in.

Anna Giaritelli: You know, each administration the last few years has added judges. I mean, we only have under 700 nationwide and we have more than 2 million cases pending. So the thought is that even if you hired enough judges, you can't. You can't go through the backlog fast enough. You really need to do something up front. That that causes fewer people to either come through or you're immediately dealing with cases now so that more aren't being added to the system. But but this is something we've seen under President Obama, President Trump, and now President Biden each administration is guilty of. Well, not guilty of. But they have hired more judges. But but they're guilty of that number of the backlog just keeps going up.

Chuck Warren: Well, I'm sure the judges also work banker hours. I mean, it'd be interesting if you say working quadruple the amount of judges we have. We're going 24 over seven.

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah. And, you know, back to what you said about the Gotaways. Gotaways are people who, thanks to great technology and agents who are in the field, border patrol agents, you know what they'll happen. What will happen is downtown, in populated areas, at the border, you have a group of, say, 400 people come across at once. And that pulls all the agents in the nearby vicinity over here to take everybody into custody, to pat people down, make sure no one's carrying something they shouldn't be, and then to organize people by by country and by families here, adult men here, single women here, and then bussed them to the appropriate facilities where they'll be processed. That means that other areas of the border, maybe ten, 20 miles away, you've just pulled the agents that were there from their spots. And so what the cartels will do is run drugs across. They'll run the meth across. They'll run different stuff across the border because no one's there. And they'll also run the criminals. So say someone who's been deported previously knows they shouldn't be reentering the country, or someone who maybe is on the terror watch list, or someone who is a kind of a worldwide known criminal. So we can't look at databases for each country and see crimes, but they're well known, or they're a gang affiliation. They don't want to get caught like all the families coming across. So you'll see them on camera or agents will see them. But but they're too busy to make an apprehension. So it's like, okay, there's a group of 20 bodies we see in this infrared camera, and they're walking in and we have no one to get them. So, you know, add 20 to the list. And at this point we're over 1.6 million people. Who are we dubbed Gotaways. We've seen enter illegally. And then they got away. And that doesn't include the number who have entered illegally, not been observed and also got away.

Chuck Warren: How big? You know, look, this is purely a guesstimate on your part. So I'm not asking you to go to Vegas to put a wager on it. But okay. So we have the ones they've seen the gotaways right. And they've done an estimate on it. And let's say they're off ten, 15% one way or another, minus or more. How many do you think have come into the country that they never observed?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, I could not put a guess on that. So all sorts of numbers out there.

Chuck Warren: So give me the give me the. You've heard a bunch of numbers. You talked to a lot of people. Homeland security border. What's the low number and what's the high number you heard. And then Kiley and I will make some really gut wrenching comment here on it. But what is the lowest number? What's the highest number?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, I really just don't I focus on the numbers. We know for sure just because as a reporter, I want to make sure I'm putting out the most factual information.

Kiley Kipper: Do We, Sorry. Do we know how much, how many miles? There aren't cameras that we so that we aren't seeing them. Do we know how many miles there are that aren't being monitored, or are they like drones that are going back and forth?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, that's a good question. It's a it's a mixture of both drones have in the last few years, become a real big part of how Border Patrol is monitoring the border. The latest numbers we have are that the Mexican cartels actually have 17 drones for every one drone that the US has. So they're using that to surveil ports of entry. They're using that to see where agents are on the border. And oh, there's no one here, you know, run something across. And they're also some of them are capable of carrying, you know, just a couple pounds of something. So obviously you carry it. So you would carry a pound of marijuana over the border in a drone that's not worth a lot of money. But if you can carry, you know, fentanyl a pound or two, like that's, that's going to be worth a lot more money. So drones are really a way that cartels are surveilling US federal law enforcement and, and making moves here and there. And they're also you can't shoot it down with a gun half the time. You can't even hear them or see them at night. And so there's also no prosecutions. I think one has been prosecuted, one incident in the last five years, because you don't know where where it's going to or from.

Chuck Warren: I. It's just. It's just not getting. It's just. I don't even know what to say. It's just not getting better here. We're coming up to a minute left here and we to our next segment. We're going to talk to you. But one thing I want to talk to you about, how was the dysfunction of the Republican Congress right now affecting things like homeland security and border, if it is or if it isn't at all? We know you have to have operational government to get resources, so we want to do that. One other quick question before we go to a break, because of the legalization of marijuana in the United States, has that decreased the amount coming across the border?

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah, we do believe that. We used to see a couple million pounds coming across the border in a within a couple of years, easily over a million in a year of just marijuana. And that number has diminished significantly. And so overall, you would say Border Patrol is seizing far, far less drugs than it used to. But really, if you see a pound of fentanyl one year and then you seize £1,000 of the next year, but you're used to seizing £1 million of marijuana, you know, it's hard to sort of quantify. So we really try to look at it as a drug by drug. Right. But you're right. Marijuana is available here. So so yeah, it's still coming over, but it's not as profitable.

Chuck Warren: We make our own. We don't need to import that. This is Chuck Warner breaking battlegrounds with Anna Giaritelli. She is a homeland security reporter for the Washington Examiner. You can find her on X, which is formerly Twitter at Anda. Underscore gear brightly. This is breaking battlegrounds. We'll be right back.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren of Kiley Kipper. Today we have with us a friend of the show, Anna Giaritelli, Homeland Security reporter for the Washington Examiner, really asked you to follow her work. She does fantastic work telling us what's going on in our border, homeland security. And you'll be more knowledgeable for following her, folks. First of all, want to make sure and give a plug to our sponsor. If you're looking to increase your savings and your return, I suggest you go talk to Y refy. You can call them at 888 Y refy 24. That's 888Y Refy 24. You can go there. There's no fees for your investments, and you can get a 10.25% fixed rate of return while also helping college students with their college loans. So take a look and call Y refi and tell them Chuck and Sam sent you. All right, Anna, so let's talk about something people don't talk about. Canada has a big border up north. And I, you know, assumption is the mother of all screw ups. But I would assume that people are starting to go into Canada and crossing through our border there. Is that true or am I just making something up?

Anna Giaritelli: No, you're right on there. We see about 1% of the number of southern border crossings on the northern border. So it sounds like it's nothing really, but 1% of 2 million in a year. We do see a good amount of people who are coming across typically in Vermont, Maine and upstate New York areas. And we also see a lot of smuggling going from the United States into Canada. Those are typically things guns, the firearms, sometimes cigarettes, those sorts of things. And those are those are the old school bootleggers from 100 and so years ago who whose families are still involved and moving stuff. Um, but yeah, we do see immigrants coming across typically from Europe, sometimes Mexico and Central America. People will fly into Canada and then try to come down. But it is certainly there's no border wall across the 4000 mile northern border. It's double the length of the southern border. So yeah, it's very wide open. But again, we still have Border Patrol up there monitoring things. And and these are typically senior agents. They've they've paid their time on the southern border. Right. And now they're up north.

Chuck Warren: Yeah I mean, you know, this is your nice retirement, your gold watch opportunity to serve at the end. And now you've got this going here. Do they have like coyotes up on the Canadian border like we do in the southern border? I mean, how are they getting across? I mean, there's obviously has to be operations that help them do this.

Anna Giaritelli: There are. Yes. And some of the groups that smuggle stuff north are also working with people who are coming south. Some of those more irish-italian, sort of old school mafia groups are helping people. We do still have some coyotes, but but typically what we see are. People from Eastern Europe who have flown into Canada because they didn't need a visa. And then that's that's how they're coming down. And this winter, we saw a number of deaths of people who were trying to cross the border at night and, you know, freezing conditions and got lost. And, you know, those are really the really tragic things. But but, you know, people are going to there's a coast, there's the northern and southern borders and um, even Florida, Florida has seen extraordinary amount of people taking boats from Cuba and Haiti trying to reach the Florida Keys and get on land or trying to reach. We've even had West Palm Beach boats landing not far from Trump's home at Mar a Lago.

Chuck Warren: Maybe they were just. Maybe they were just real estate appraisers. We don't know this, but maybe so. Yeah. Let me let me ask you this question. So since the start of the fiscal year 2023, which is October. October through August, the Border Patrol caught 151 people who were processed and determined to be on the FBI's terror watch list. That's who they caught. Is this something people should be concerned about, or is this just the imagination of conservative media that these are bad people.

Anna Giaritelli: You know? And you explained it perfectly because these are people on the watch list. That doesn't mean that they are actual terrorists. I mean, they.

Chuck Warren: Have a cousin or something, right? Or a friend or. Exactly. Yeah, but but but but they've got but there's a link. There's a handshake in there somewhere.

Anna Giaritelli: Yes, exactly. It's not like you get on the list for no reason. Um, you know what we believe a lot of it to be is people, Colombian nationals who were affiliated with FARC. So during the the fight in Colombia a number of years ago, people who were involved in that are still sort of flagged in the system. But inevitably in the last ten days, we've seen people from 28 special interest countries. So that includes Egypt, Iran, uh, the whole of the Middle East, the Eastern Europe, Indonesia, certain countries, Uzbekistan, uh, apprehended at the border, which is not a normal but, you know, to see so many just just with what's happened in Israel and Palestine has given Republicans a lot of a lot of concern with, you know, we we know who we're encountering and we can screen them through the databases, but who we who gets away and hasn't been screened, we don't know.

Chuck Warren: And so well in 20. So in 21 we had 15 people. Right. So there's hundred and 51 now. So and before.

Anna Giaritelli: That it was like three. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: So the number. So the number is increasing. Let's just say they're not all bad people. I mean I know Kiley, but I'm still a good guy. So we have that situation. But if you have 151 people versus 15 and 21 three before that, 1 or 2 probably we don't want to have over for dinner. Is that fair to say? Maybe just based on numbers?

Kiley Kipper: And Tom cotton, I think you reported on it. And he said it took 19 terrorists to commit nine eleven. Right. So we have potentially, you know, so.

Chuck Warren: So, Anna, look, you've been you've done this for a while. We got about three minutes left in this segment. What needs to be done in your expert opinion. And you are an expert. But your reporter I just want an objective. And you can say Republicans stink at this, I don't care. What do they need to do to get this border situation under control?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, I think one of the interesting points is that under Obama, when he imposed the DACA program, Republicans said you overstepped your executive authority and you shouldn't have done that. Right. And so now what we're seeing with the Biden administration is they're using that to Republicans disadvantage. They're saying, well, the border, yeah, stuff is happening, but we can't do anything because we don't have the authority. It's only Congress that can do something. And so they're using Republicans argument against them as a means to do nothing. So, you know, in a way it's like you respect that, but it's nothing's happening. And it's we're heading into almost the fourth year now of the border. Just I mean, I would say remain unchecked. They've tried so many different programs that haven't worked. I don't think you necessarily need to return to Trump era policies to bring things down, but as long as people are seeing family members and friends, you know, hey, call, call them back home and say, I got released and I'm in New York now. What the Biden administration says, they can say the border is closed, but you have 2 million people who have been released and called home and said, yeah, you should come. Yeah, yeah. And so there's that stuff happening. Um, you know, whatever policy doesn't matter. You can have a policy, but are you going to enforce it.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. I mean, yeah, it's like a lot of parents, we threaten our kids, but at the end of the day, if we don't have the punishment aligned to it, they're going to just keep ignoring us. So it's it's hard to watch. And we appreciate you coming on the show. You've been fantastic as usual. Could you tell our audience a little bit where they can catch you at and follow your work?

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah. On X if you search Anna underscore Giaritelli just look up. Gia. If you also want to go to Elon Musk's page and search his followers, I, I don't know why, but Elon Musk follows my work.

Chuck Warren: That's amazing because you give good numbers and we hope you have a great weekend. Thank you for joining us on Breaking Battlegrounds. We'll talk to you soon. Thank you. This is Breaking Battlegrounds, folks. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host with my co-host Kylie Kipper. Sam is out with the sniffles today. Kiley we feel bad for Sam, don't we?

Kiley Kipper: We do. All right.

Chuck Warren: Well, we're here with a friend of the show, John Riches. John is the vice president for litigation for the Goldwater Institute. And he litigates on federal and state trial and appellate courts in the areas of economic liberty, regulatory reform, free speech, all those things. Good conservatives, libertarians care about things that the left says they used to care about, but they apparently don't care much anymore. He has a Boston Law School grad. He previously worked for John Kyl and he is a commander at the Navy Reserve. Thank you for your service, John.

John Riches: Yeah, Thanks for having me on, Chuck.

Chuck Warren: All right. So let's talk about DEI It's been an interesting conversation here on the show when the whole Barrett mess happened, and we had a professor on who didn't work at Barrett, but he was defending him because he just likes to talk all the time. And he said, oh, they don't require die. And what you found, what Goldwater found is that they were making was it staff or just professors take a loyalty oath.

John Riches: So that was new job applicants. And then we started to learn that they are requiring.

Chuck Warren: And how long ago was that for the did they implement this policy for new job applicants?

John Riches: It seems like a couple years back. Okay. What we found is that they'd post like a new job application and there'd be your traditional things, your resume cover letter, but then they would require and tell us in two pages or less your professional accomplishments wherein you advanced dei measures. Et cetera. Et cetera.

Chuck Warren: Really?

John Riches: And we found that they did that in like, more than 80% of all new job postings.

Chuck Warren: So, you know, conservatives like to yell and scream about Michael Crow. I think he's been a decent university professor in some ways. Is this something he would be unaware of because it's a department mandate that just happened?

John Riches: Yeah, it's entirely possible. And to ASU's credit, and maybe to Michael Crow's credit, once we pointed it out and presented the evidence and provided the report, they stopped doing it.

Kiley Kipper: What was Crow's response when you brought it to him? Well, we.

John Riches: Didn't have a specific one from Crow, but when we brought it to the university and published the report, the university stopped doing it. And that's and.

Chuck Warren: That's a decision probably he was well aware of at the time. And so when they when you brought this up with them about these loyalty oaths, what was their first reaction to you? Like, no, this doesn't happen. I mean.

John Riches: There was a denial at first.

Chuck Warren: So they lied.

John Riches: There was a denial at first from the school and from professors and others like, you know, this isn't happening. This isn't happening.

Chuck Warren: So John's talking legally, saying there's a denial. We're going to tell you on the radio show, folks, they lied because they knew they were doing it. Okay. So Johns saying denial hashtag Chuck lied. Okay. How long did it take to get the information from them that this was actually happening? And did you have to follow, you know, take the bat to this issue and say, you know, we're suing or what happened?

John Riches: So we requested the information through public records requests, talking with new hires, things like that. You know, put put the report together in a few months. And once we published it, they were pretty quick to act to their credit. And they eliminated it. But that got us thinking, you know, is this happening in other areas? Does this go beyond the loyalty oath? And so a few months after that, we had a couple professors reach out to us and say, hey, we saw what you did with the Dei loyalty oath. Do you know that ASU is requiring all faculty and staff to take a mandatory training that covers all these Dei initiatives? Not only that, after you complete the training, the university gives you a quote unquote test where they supply the right answers. So it'll say something like, you know, you refer to a student and it's not the student's preferred pronoun. What do you do? A apologize B whatever. And the university then supplies the right answer. And if you get it wrong, then you're reported to your dean. So when we heard about that, we go, well, that seems like a compelled speech problem. So we requested more information about that.

Chuck Warren: How long was DEI training? They had to take this mandatory training.

John Riches: Unfortunately, I sat through it once we got the public records. Well, I should because you're.

Chuck Warren: Because you're an associate professor at the law school. That's right. So you you had to participate in it?

John Riches: Well, I, I never actually, I think I got an email once or twice, but I didn't quite pay attention to those ones. But once we realized that it was happening, I requested the records to get to.

Chuck Warren: So how long did it take?

John Riches: It was several hours.

Chuck Warren: Just mind numbing word salad, progressive DEI. Don't offend anybody. Woke crap.

John Riches: Kendrick. Zebra. You know, intersectionality. You know, the.

Chuck Warren: Fraud, the fraudster they're promoting the fraudster. The guy who's basically bilked millions of dollars.

John Riches: I think he had his own little video segment in the training.

Chuck Warren: What a grift.

John Riches: Yeah, yeah, truly. You know, things like white supremacy is built into the foundational documents of our country, you know, that sort of stuff. And it just went went on and on.

Chuck Warren: It's just unbelievable what happened if you didn't take it?

John Riches: Well, we don't know for sure. We asked about that. We asked the university about that, and they said no one's been disciplined for failing to take it yet, or at least they didn't have records of anybody being disciplined for failing.

Kiley Kipper: Can you fail this said test? So if I fail it, I am just not a professor or.

John Riches: Well, I mean, that was the problem. They said if you failed it, they would report you. They would report the professor to the dean. But then we asked, has anybody been disciplined, reported, and they said, we don't have any records of that.

Chuck Warren: This is Breaking Battl Grounds today with John Riches. He is the vice president of litigation at the Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Litigation. He's general counsel for the institute. And this is Breaking Battlegrounds. You can find us at Breaking Battlegrounds .vote. We'll be right back with John to talk more about DEI and the craziness at the university, not the University of Arizona. Arizona State, we want to talk about University of Arizona as well. Breaking Battle Grounds. We'll be right back.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren. My co-host Kiley Kipper, also known for Kiley's Corner, which will be on later today on the podcast with John Riches, vice president of litigation for the Goldwater Institute. John, let's go talk further about the DEI situation at Arizona State. First of all, is University of Arizona, Northern Arizona. Are they also having these same type of issues?

John Riches: We think we've gone to their website and requested some records, and it looks like they're doing these sorts of trainings as well. We sent a letter to Arbor where we asked them to audit all the universities across the state, because it appears that this is a broader problem than just ASU.

Chuck Warren: How much money is ASU dedicated to DEI officers? Do you know that's.

John Riches: A good question I don't.

Chuck Warren: That'd be interesting for us to find out. Kiley, I think our audience would like to know. All right. So let's talk about the Board of Regents and die Staffing. Did the Board of Regents, were they aware of this? Did they? What did they do on it?

John Riches: I don't know, we sent them a letter just last month. So this is interesting. The Arizona legislature last session passed a statute that prohibits DEI esque trainings for state employees and prohibits the spending of taxpayer dollars to provide these trainings. And there's, you know, very quaint concepts like, you know, no race is inherently superior to another. People aren't inherently racist based on their race. You can't discriminate based on someone's race. All of these things were in the statute.

Chuck Warren: All common sense things. Most people would find common sense if we just went door to door.

John Riches: Exactly. Common sense, moral things. Right. And it said, you know, no state agency, including the universities, can require their employees to take training that advances things contrary to the, you know, to these common sense items, and you can't spend taxpayer money on it. So when we got the records on this training for faculty and staff, it was pretty clear that that training violated violated the statute. Yeah. Correct. Yeah. So that's what we sent the letter to Eburon. And we said, look, here's the training. We pulled out specific segments of the training and said, you know, you're in violation of state law. What you should do now is stop mandating the training and stop spending taxpayer dollars to provide it.

Chuck Warren: You have much money, just even the mandatory training cost, what they spend on that.

John Riches: It had to have been a lot. I mean, it was a it was a very comprehensive training with videos with, you know, people throughout the country because.

Chuck Warren: These people sure have no problem increasing tuition every year.

John Riches: Yeah, yeah. That's true.

Chuck Warren: Let's talk about the Cronkite's journalism school at ASU. It's a mandatory class there. Is it not or was.

John Riches: That's right. Yeah. So what we found they're requiring this loyalty oath for new hires. They're requiring the training for existing faculty. And then we're wondering, is it going into the student body? And it turns out that the Cronkite School has a required Dei course for every single journalism student at the school. So we requested those records. We asked for the syllabus. At first they didn't want to give us copies of it, but eventually they did.

Chuck Warren: What was what was on what was on the syllabus?

John Riches: You know, a lot of the same sort of Dei dogma stuff that you see, you know, throughout, throughout these sort of courses, a lot of the intersectionality stuff and that sort of thing.

Chuck Warren: We wonder why Kiley, our press is slanted.

Kiley Kipper: I don't wonder anymore. It all makes sense, and I don't think ASU is coming up with these ideas themselves.

Chuck Warren: So it'd be interesting to see surveying the students when they start the Cronkite School of Journalism if they think it's needed, and after four years, if they think it's needed.

John Riches: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I mean, think about how little time you have to actually do the few mandatory courses that are required that are required. And this is this is the thing that the school is focusing on, you know, and that limited chunk of time.

Chuck Warren: Do you is this happening in our public schools on the high school level? Is it happening on the junior college level?

John Riches: I'm not sure about junior college, but K-12 for sure. I mean, this has been a debate for for a couple of years now where, you know, K-12 are clearly introducing di CRT concepts into the classroom. They deny doing it. Then you come up with real clear evidence that they have. So yeah, this this goes obviously broader than higher. Ed.

Chuck Warren: John, explain to our audience why this fight is necessary. We all you know, we want we really do want a colorblind society, right? I mean, I think that's all we want. You know, that may be a goal. You know, sort of like the more perfect union. You know, we can get a little bit better each time each generation. Our kids will be better, hopefully. But why is this important for us? Just to put our thumb on it and say this, this nonsense has to stop. Why is it important for our country, for the state of Arizona?

John Riches: It's contrary to the founding ideals of the country, right? If you take a concept like equity, what does that mean? It's the opposite of equality of opportunity. It's they're trying to get equality of outcome, which of course, you can't do. And that's essentially a Marxist theory. But, you know, our country is predicated on the belief that all people are created equal and everybody should have an equal opportunity. Not that some people are given special privileges, not that some people should be discriminated against based on race. You know, the content of our character is determined by our choices and our actions, not by immutable characteristics.

Chuck Warren: Kiley, do you feel like folks in their 20s and early 30s believe in that concept at all?

Kiley Kipper: Yes. Yeah, yeah yeah I was.

Chuck Warren: I mean, you have some friends who are Democrat liberal, I imagine. I mean, you've not cut him off, I'm sure.

Kiley Kipper: No, no absolutely not.

Chuck Warren: No, no, I have recommended it. But anyway, continue. What do you find their beliefs are on this, this type of thing.

Kiley Kipper: I find that my friends who. They think Republicans are racist. Yeah, like, but when I was in high school, in college, I was really not political. And none of my friends were like, we did not discuss this and how I got in because.

Chuck Warren: Because you're a normal human beings.

Kiley Kipper: Yeah. And we just and we all. That's why we became best friends. And then obviously 2020 when the whole Trump everything, that's when it all started coming out. And I'm like, you have known me for this long, and have you ever.

Chuck Warren: Seen me say racist thing in the world?

Kiley Kipper: Exactly. And so I'm like, you guys need to look, reflect back and like, look at this and really look at the people. They really their character.

Chuck Warren: They really don't look at the content of the character. No. It's been it's been very odd to see John as a Goldwater and you do litigation there. Okay. You've been doing this how long now? Goldwater? Ten years. How have things changed with the left and governments are trying to do ten years ago versus now? What is it? Have you seen a change? Has it gotten worse? What's what's going on.

John Riches: Sure. So we got to decide, of course, what cases we're going to take. Are we going to do an economic freedom case? Are we going to do a free speech case? Are we going to do a regulatory case? And for the first five years, six, six, maybe even seven years, I was there. Things that everybody basically agreed on. Free speech is a good thing. People shouldn't be discriminated against based on their race.

Chuck Warren: It was it was a liberal ideology in the 70s and 80s. Right. And Republicans are always trying to suppress it.

John Riches: Supposedly it's essentially a liberal notion. Right, right, right. But these things that everybody that we thought everybody agreed on, you know, it appears they don't. And now things like free speech, you know, equality of opportunity are controversial concepts. And that's been that's been something of a surprise.

Chuck Warren: Have you noticed attorneys you work with who are on the left or, you know, have they changed on this. Do they feel things are going too far? In one extreme, I think they're.

John Riches: Saying, I think there's a divide in the, you know, on the left between classical liberals and this.

Chuck Warren: Israel massacre. What's happening? It's been interesting to watch. And I know this isn't your forte, but we talk about this a lot on the show. I've noticed a lot of liberal journalists, traditional liberals, I'll call them. They're appalled. Like, I can't believe how much anti-Semitism is on the left. It's like, well, you never talk to anybody because it's been there forever, right? Right. I mean, talk about people with their heads in the cloud. Do you find that type of eye opening moment has come to some of these folks on the attorneys on the left you've known and you respect, just like, oh my gosh, what is going on here? Yeah.

John Riches: And I've had I've had conversations with some that say, hey, look, I mean, I've been so disenchanted with what's happening with the progressives and this, this, you know, this animosity towards free speech that it's made me want to leave, for example, the Democratic Party. But I feel like it's necessary for me to stick around so that there's an adult in the room and so that there's a sane voice. But I think they're that voice is becoming quieter and the progressives are becoming louder.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. I don't know where they go. I know we've had that on the right. We have our Never-trumpers or Trump. Of course, our side, in all their self-righteousness, stomp their feet, held their breath and just felt like, I'm just going to leave and take my ball and go home. And it's been an absolute catastrophe that they've done that because there's not this intellectual rigor of debate in the party right now. What else is Goldwater working on right now that you feel our audience should know about?

John Riches: All kinds of things? You know, we do a whole lot of things where we try and protect taxpayers against subsidies. We got a case going up to the Arizona Supreme Court next month on an issue where City of Scottsdale is subsidizing one of its favorite parties. We're always working on people's right to earn a living, right? So everybody has an inherent right to work in the job of their choice, free from government interference. Courts have sort of relegated that right to second class status. So we're frequently in courts arguing.

Chuck Warren: Talk a little bit about that, about the hairdressers and so forth. Occupational licensing talk a little bit what Goldwater has helped do versus your Michelle Ugenti sponsored the bill. Governor Ducey signed it. You folks are intellectual power behind that to a degree. Explain what difference that made for people. Sure.

John Riches: Yeah. So you think about this about 50 years ago, only 5% of jobs required an occupational license, a government permission slip to work in the job. And it would be like lawyers, doctors, things you'd think about today. Depending on the state, it's about 25% to a third of all jobs require an occupational license. And some of the stuff is bizarre.

Chuck Warren: Is that because of certain people in their industries have gotten together, created a cabal, and said, you need to be licensed? Precisely.

John Riches: It's rent seeking. You know, it's rent seeking. It's a lot easier to go to the government and ask them to prevent competition than it is to actually compete and beat your competitor.

Chuck Warren: I don't think people realize that's where a lot of it comes from, right? I saw it a lot. My dad owned a dental lab, and they're always trying to get people to have to be licensed to do it. Right now it's medical, I get it. It's a little bit different than nails or hair or, you know, things of that nature, but it does seem like it comes from people who've done well and have time to devote to let's create a trade organization. And then our next step is let's get these suckers. All licensed here.

John Riches: 100%. Yeah. You'll like this story. In Florida, they decided to license florists. So if you wanted to sell flowers, you had to take a test. And then the second part of the test is you had to make a floral display and show it to a panel of licensed florists, and only if they deemed it sufficiently beautiful could you have the privilege of selling flowers in the great state of Florida.

Chuck Warren: How long ago was that?

John Riches: They still have the licensing requirements.

Kiley Kipper: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Chuck Warren: Is Goldwater do anything in Florida to knock down that nonsense? It is the free state of Florida, so I've been told.

John Riches: So there was a case. In fairness, there was a case I think brought it a few years back that that attempted to challenge it. And I think they had some some victory in there. But the the licensing regime is still in place.

Chuck Warren: Well, that sounds like something DeSantis probably should. Sounds like something he'll do if he gets excited about it. Yeah. You had a question. You know, I was just.

Kiley Kipper: I was just thinking about why licenses are necessary in the first place. Because if I'm going to like my hairdresser and she doesn't have a license, but she cuts my hair, well, then I'm going to keep going to her. If she doesn't cut it, well, then.

Chuck Warren: You go elsewhere.

Kiley Kipper: You go elsewhere.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. I mean, I get it for like, doctors I get for attorneys for medical.

Kiley Kipper: Stuff and nails. I do because.

Chuck Warren: They're basic things now. So I'm sure now for medical boards you have to pass some other sort of DEI training, as well as actual medical things that make people get better. Right? Yeah.

John Riches: They're building all that stuff into a lot of licensing requirements.

Chuck Warren: So we got we got a couple of minutes there left. How do people stop this? What do they need to do to prevent this die, this progressive organ control your thought patrol progress first.

John Riches: Notice it. I mean, people got to got to understand this is happening, you know, throughout government, throughout universities, throughout K-12. So, you know, figure out what's going on in your school district, figure out what's going on in your state universities, identify the problem first, and then, you know, be willing to stand up. And sometimes that takes takes courage. You know, people don't want to get quote unquote canceled. But, you know, if there's a professor that's like, hey, this training's going on, I shouldn't have to do it. I shouldn't have to take this test where they're telling me what the right answer is. You know, it requires people willing to say, this is wrong and we shouldn't be doing this.

Chuck Warren: So it's a really good point. I think people I think it's a problem is it takes people like you because most people don't have the time to spend on these issues. I mean, they've got a, you know, a lot of people working two jobs now trying to get extra income. They got their kids, they got soccer practice, all the things you do except during the day. You get to be sort of this watchman at the tower doing this. One final thing. You recently had a new baby. Yep. And you had a son before. What? How has fatherhood made you a better attorney?

John Riches: Oh, that's a that's a really interesting question. I guess maybe fatherhood at bottom makes you more empathetic. And I think a lot of attorneys lack in empathy, you know, of course, for opposing counsel, but maybe even sometimes for your own clients. And I think, you know, there's nothing like having responsibility over a human life, developing a person's character. And, and, you know, being able to achieve those really important things that make you more empathetic and focus on the things that truly matter in life.

Chuck Warren: 15 20s left. What's the hardest part about being a father for you?

John Riches: Making sure they're protected while also giving them the freedom to grow?

Chuck Warren: That's hard. You can scrape your knee. I just don't want you to break the leg. Got one of the two, right? That's right folks, this is thank you, John Richards, for joining us from Goldwater Institute. This is breaking battlegrounds. You can find us at Breaking Battlegrounds. Vote. Pay attention for our podcast. Coming up, we're interviewing former Jamaican ambassador Don Tapia. This is breaking battlegrounds. Have a fantastic weekend. Share the podcast. We love you guys. Take care.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Bad Grounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren with Kiley Kipper. Sam is out with the sniffles today. We are honored for this portion of the show to have my friend and community leader, ambassador Don Tapia. He's former ambassador of Jamaica, and he's been a community leader and led a business here in Arizona for many years. He's also served on various charitable boards and whatever you think in Arizona, that's happened in the last 30 years, 40 years John's been doing it. Don's been doing it. Sorry, John. Don's been doing.

Kiley Kipper: Just moved from John to Don.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. Ambassador Tapia, welcome to the show. Well, thank you very much for inviting me. Well, we're so glad to have you on. So what was the process like becoming an ambassador?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, the first thing is, is you've got to be nominated, of course, by the president of the United States. And whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, it's great an honor to have the president nominate you. And then after the nomination, the process is you've got to go through the confirmation. And that's a confirmation of the US Senate. And you have to go and visit Washington, and you must make your rounds to the senators and so forth to let them ask you questions and so forth. And one of the things that always set me back is that what they call a motor, a motor, a motor board, and what that is, is that you go before the the opposition, which would be the Democrats, since I was a Republican, to go before this board and they take you down the road, believe me, they take you down the road with questions and so forth. And I always remember one I sat across from Menendez's attorney, know his office, and he said, I've been a liberal Democrat all my life, and I'm going to die a liberal Democrat. And of course, there's five other people in the room. And so you sit there and you listen to the questions and so forth. So when it came around to my time to respond, I said, well, I'm a Republican, but if in fact, I'm confirmed as a US ambassador, I will represent you as a liberal Democrat because I represent the American people. On which side of the aisle you're on, it makes no difference. And after the after we got through with that as we were walking out, he says, that's the best answer anybody has ever given me in 20 years that I've been on the murder board.

Chuck Warren: Oh that's amazing. How many senators did you have to visit with?

Ambassador Don Tapia: I visited with probably about 15 to 20, basically the foreign minister, the Foreign Relations Committee, and that was.

Chuck Warren: Over a couple of days.

Ambassador Don Tapia: They had oh, no, that's over. You got to go with their schedule. So that could be over a couple of weeks that it could take place.

Chuck Warren: Once you got the phone call until you were confirmed. How long did that process take?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Just about 11 months.

Chuck Warren: It's a long process.

Ambassador Don Tapia: It's a long, long process, yes.

Kiley Kipper: So is what is that seat open? And then the president nominates someone. Or does every time a new president come in, a new nomination happens. You got to keep.

Ambassador Don Tapia: In mind that it was some trying times back there. So Trump being the president and you coming in normally you would be you would be confirmed through, you know through a a committee. And then it goes to the floor and the floor then would actually call you up and it'd be unanimous. But because of the situation in Washington at the time, they were taking individuals. So we had to wait and wait and wait until he got called up. And out of all of them by acclamation, there was only two ambassador nominees that went before the full the full Senate, and that was myself and the one out of Georgia. There was only two of us that was that actually had to go through the complete roll call vote.

Chuck Warren: Really?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Yes. We thought that was pretty good. I came across out of all of the 100 senators, I got 68, I think it was 68 US senators across the aisle, which meant that I had Democrats and Republicans across the aisle. You're a.

Chuck Warren: Bipartisan choice.

Ambassador Don Tapia: I'm not real sure about that because you know it. But it was by eye that year was the highest that anybody ever received. Going through confirmation to the Foreign Relations Committee.

Chuck Warren: We're with the honorable Don Tapia. He's a former ambassador to Jamaica during the Trump administration. What being an ambassador, what did you think it was about going in and when you left, how had your opinion changed on the role?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, going into it, the first thing you got to look at is what is an ambassador? You know, what does the duties of an ambassador? And I always relate it to being the CEO of a large company. And that's basically what you are. You're the ambassador. You're the what they call the commander, the chairman of the board. When you go there, you have an embassy. And I had just under 500 people at the embassy that reported to me in different agencies. I had 18 law enforcement associate companies, or you might say, units that reported to me across the board from the CIA, down to the FBI, down to, you know, the. Dea and so forth. So you go all of those people were reporting to you to tell you what's taking place in the not only in Jamaica, but in the world.

Chuck Warren: As an ambassador. Let's say today is supposedly the day of rage. Hamas has asked people to go out, express their rage. What would you be doing right now as an ambassador in Jamaica with such a warning throughout the world today? What would you be doing?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, let's take a step back and talk about Martin Luther King Day. You know, when we had the we had the Black Lives Matter that was going on and throughout the Caribbean and throughout the world, right at the embassy, of course, you have you have people showing up, you know, to demonstrate. And one of the things that I did is you have your detail. You're always around with your detail, your security detail. One of the things that I did that surprised everybody in Jamaica, and in fact, even the Caribbean, got a lot of a lot of press on. It is the fact is that I went out into the Black Lives Matter demonstration. And when I walked out there, they were all aghast at the US ambassador, who would actually walk out of the embassy and walk into a demonstration, right to meet with the people.

Chuck Warren: Yeah, it would be. They wouldn't. They don't see that. No.

Ambassador Don Tapia: And I'm not real sure of the way that with the organization that's out there now demonstrating that you would want to be in that, in that group of people. You know, it's it's a different type of you're talking about terrorists versus a demonstration. Correct. So that's one of the things that you're seeing here in, in the US that when you look at the demonstrations taking place in New York and in Los Angeles and so forth, Hezbollah, and you're seeing things that that truly we never have seen on our on the US soil, where you see terrorists. Actually, I shouldn't say they're all terrorists, but yet the the matter that they're, that they're demonstrating against or for is terrorism. It has been terrorism. So that's one of the things that you look at. And you're going to ask me about, about what my thoughts are about what's taking place in. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. What would you do as ambassador to prepare your staff today and obviously protect them and so forth on this type of day?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, they tell you to, to stay in place, which means when they say that, it says stay where you are, don't go out in the streets, don't get involved, stay where you are. And that's what you basically train. And we actually have things within the embassy that you train. All the people that went something like that happens to stay in place. So if they start storming the embassy like they did I did a few years back, that's different. You have there's no way that you can control that. There's no way that you you have your of course you have your military there, that that guards the gate and so forth, but there's not enough of them that could take that could stop a major demonstration coming over the wall of an embassy in Jamaica.

Chuck Warren: How many people worked at the embassy? I mean, you told us you had this big crew, about 500 people. How many people were career people that worked at the embassy had been there for a decade plus.

Ambassador Don Tapia: There's no such thing as a decade plus. Plus in an embassy. You're all your all your organizations that are that are assigned to the embassy is a three year, basically a three year run. You have your career, people that come in and they they're there for three years. The worst part about that is that that on their second year, they have to bid out to their next job.

Chuck Warren: Oh, okay.

Ambassador Don Tapia: They actually have to bid out. So you have them for one year when they knowing that that that they're leaving within a within that year period of time to go to their next assignment. So that's one of the things I hold the career people or the people in the State Department that are in the US embassies because they're traveling around the world. If you really want to, if you really want to see the world, join the Foreign Service, because that's where you will see the see the around the world. And if you have children, they'll get an education around, you know, different countries around the world and so forth.

Kiley Kipper: So did did you find that people would join to see the world? So they would say, I'm going to go work at this embassy for three years, and then I know that I can be assigned to another one. Is that kind of their goal or.

Ambassador Don Tapia: I don't think that that's anybody's goal to know that, you know, it sounds you're going to keep switching. It sounds, you know, romantically, you know.

Chuck Warren: It sounds like the Navy recruitment. Right.

Kiley Kipper: So they would prefer just to stay in like, well, there's an assignment.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Or I think that they would like to stay longer. But you've got you got a three year because keep in mind, in two years you're only there two years and you're bidding, you're bidding out for your for the next three years or next four years. So and you're still maintaining your position there and in the embassy.

Chuck Warren: What do you feel the difference is between ambassadors like you who are appointed men and women of great integrity, background substance versus these great career Foreign service folks who are appointed? What do you feel the difference is? Is it that folks like you, who have been appointed and not been part of the Foreign Service, just comes with fresh eyes? Is that helpful as an ambassador, to come in with fresh eyes and say, we can do this better?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, let's take a look at a career, a career ambassador. In an appointed or a political ambassador. A career ambassador, of course, is is a employee of the State Department. Keep that in mind. So for them to get things done, they have to actually more like tag based constantly with the with the State Department to do anything if they want to. If I wanted to talk to if they wanted to talk to, let's say, the DEA director, they actually would have to go back to the State Department to have somebody within the State Department make the appointment, tell them what they want to discuss with and who they wanted to talk with. Well, as a as a political appointment, you're you're appointed by the president of the United States and you're representing him directly. So therefore, you pick up the phone and I've talked to the vice president, I've talked to the secretary of defense and so forth, where you pick up the phone and you just call the secretary, or you have your secretary set up an appointment and you and you can get more things done as a political appointment than you can as a career.

Chuck Warren: That makes sense in your weekly schedule is ambassador, how much time were you actually at the residence versus being out and about in the country?

Ambassador Don Tapia: I started at 730 in the morning, got home normally about 4 to 6:00 in the evening.

Chuck Warren: And so you're out every day?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Yes, yes.

Chuck Warren: What is something about Jamaica that the American public doesn't know about it? Besides, it's a great place to go for a vacation. What? Tell us about the people. And I'm sure you fell in love with these people. You feel like it's probably a second home now. Tell us a little bit about that.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, Jamaica, there's a couple of things. There's the security thing that that you've got to look at. One of the things is Jamaica is sits in a location, of course, in the Caribbean, as we know, just south of, just south of Cuba. There's only two ways into the Gulf of Mexico. And that's one of the things that a lot of American people don't realize, that you either go north to come into the Gulf of Mexico, and that takes you that takes you by the D.R. and into by Cuba, into the Gulf of Mexico. If you're coming out of the Panama Canal, which most of the big ships are coming out of the Panama Canal going into going into the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans to drop you to drop the goods off that they've picked up in Europe is the fact is that you're going by Venezuela, you're going by Colombia into the Gulf, into the Gulf of Mexico. So what we have seen in one of the things that you've got to look at is the CCP, which is the communist, the Chinese Communist Party, which becomes a factor around the world. And that's one of the greatest threats that we have. It's not Russia is a threat, of course, it's they bring Russian. But we found out that Russia in the Ukraine did not did not have the where to to really fight a world war.

Chuck Warren: Right.

Ambassador Don Tapia: That's some of the things that you look at as an ambassador, because you were involved looking at what's taking place around the world. These are some of the things that that I think the American people in the Caribbean is seek the Caribbean actually is our first line of defense. When you look at it, the first line of defense. And during the Cold War, we put a lot of money and a lot of effort into the Caribbean. Once the Cold War was over, after after Reagan, we more like took him, took advantage of them. We we didn't pay attention to them. We paid more attention to to Europe, in South Africa and so forth than we did to our own home base. You might say to the beaches that that really protect us in the long run.

Chuck Warren: What should we do? What should be the policy going forward in the Caribbean from the United States government?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, I think there's a certain areas that that need to be that need to be beefed up. You know, whenever you get down to El Salvador, down in that area and so forth, that the people that are coming from El Salvador, El Salvador, what you found out that just crossed over the border just about two weeks ago ago, about 50,000 Venezuelans that are coming into the US. So when you turn around and you start taking a look at who is coming across our border today, it's very scary because there's busloads of Chinese. How did the Chinese get to get to Mexico?

Chuck Warren: Yeah, they didn't walk. They didn't.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Walk. So you so when you start taking a look at the people that are crossing the border, we have no way to vent those people. No way to vent. Thousands of people crossing the border on foot. So we have a we have a major security line. And I always say that a country is not a country without a border. We are not a country today. We have no border to the south.

Chuck Warren: No, we do not. We do not what right now, there's a there's a number of countries that do not have a United States ambassador for various reasons. And I'll get into all those. But what does it mean when a country does not have a United States ambassador in it? Who's running the the.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Charge d'affaires is he's the second. Normally when the ambassador there you have what they call a DCM, which is actually the deputy commander, your deputy chief of staff is what they call him. Once that once the ambassador leaves, his title changes to charge d'affaires, which means that he is in charge. Charge of thee takes the place of the ambassador. He didn't have all the authority that the ambassador would have, but he has the authority to run the embassy and to take care of the day to day business.

Chuck Warren: But to the president of a country or so forth. It's not the same as having the actual ambassador there. They know there's somebody, they know there's a manager at the place, at the business. They know there's somebody there, maybe an assistant manager. But the person who really can give yes or no is not there. And that and that has to play some role.

Ambassador Don Tapia: That's exactly right. Is that without the ambassador, the ambassador in many countries, believe it or not, the ambassador has the same voice as the prime minister or the president of that company, that country. Because the fact is, he is the representative, the direct representative of the United States. So his words and what he says is taken very seriously. In a lot of times you can get yourself in trouble. So you've got to watch. You've got to watch what you're saying, too.

Chuck Warren: How many how many countries had ambassadors in Jamaica when you were there?

Ambassador Don Tapia: You know, that's a good question. I'm not sure, but we I know that I could be out probably 17, 17 or 18.

Chuck Warren: Did you did you become close to to any particular ambassador from another country?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, the Chinese ambassador kept trying. The Chinese ambassador kept trying to meet me. And of course, my my detail. Your detail comes up and whispers in your ear as you see that the the Chinese ambassador would like to to meet with you and shake your hand. And I my comment was, I don't believe that I need to shake his hand, you know so so. But the differ the different embassies had would have certain kind of affairs and so forth that you were invited to. And a lot of times you sent your deputy instead of instead of you.

Chuck Warren: Interesting, interesting. Well, ambassador, we sure appreciate you coming on the show today. You've been fantastic.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, thank you very much. I wonder how I looked before.

Chuck Warren: You look fantastic, and I appreciate your service. Would you do it again if they called you tomorrow? Would you do it again?

Ambassador Don Tapia: You know, that's a that's a question that I get asked a lot. And it'd have to be depending on the, on the country and so forth in which you're going to. The reason at my age is I had a choice of a couple of countries, but I went to pick when they gave me Jamaica, I thought, you know, at my age I'm not that far away from the US. If something happened, I could be flown back to the US. So you take a look at things. I always, I always like to say that I'd like to be the ambassador to to Iceland, but that's. But that is covered by a different. There's three countries that are in there Iceland, Newfoundland. And I forget what the other. It's either Finland or one of them that actually has the responsibility. Oh, Norway. Norway actually has the responsibility for for those three areas.

Chuck Warren: Oh, fascinating. Well, ambassador Don Tapia, thank you so much for coming on our show today.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, thank you for the invite. And I'm.

Chuck Warren: Anytime.

Ambassador Don Tapia: We're happy to come back and give you you know, I had I get a lot of calls from still from around the world of people that I know, ambassadors and so forth. And we talk about the systems, the things that are taking place. And like in Israel, we it's been a lot of chatter on that one, I bet.

Chuck Warren: What are they saying about it?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well. That you've had so many, you know, upstarts with Jamaica in the in the I'm sorry, the Israel and the Palestinians, you know, you've got to come to some some conclusion and let it and run its course. That's a heck of a thing to say, because that means that there's going to be a lot of a lot of deaths and so forth, a lot of innocent life, a lot of innocent life, a lot of innocent people that are going to that's going to suffer. But at the same time, are we going to continue? Are you going to let Israel and the Palestinians fight this battle every 10 or 15 years and so forth? This one seems, from what I from what I've been reading and what I've been told by some people that are actually in Israel, that this has been planned out for for quite a long time.

Chuck Warren: Sounds like a year or two where I've been reading this morning. It's been coming out. It's you know, it is. We have the Wall Street Journal reporter on last week who covers Eastern Europe. So he's been covering the Ukraine war. And we asked the question, how does this come to a resolution? And his comment was someone has to win. That's and I feel sadly you brought up. I appreciate you bringing up the stark reality and not talking a word salad here. Somebody has to win for this to sort of end. And I was sort of stunned. He took it was, you know, a very unreported like statement. But he's been there for 12 years, speaks Russian and just says someone has to win. You know, you could do a peace agreement, but it's basically a recess. They'll be back at it in a year or two again. And that's what we're seeing in the Middle East and our prayers are there. Sadly, a lot of innocent people are going to lose their lives on this.

Ambassador Don Tapia: That's a very dangerous spot in the world, because if that place explodes, keep in mind you've got Egypt, you've got Iran, you've got Syria, you've got Jordan. Well, you're talking now. You're talking about not just one country that can that the explosion can take place. And if it does World War, World War two will look like it. It was a training.

Chuck Warren: Well, we can pray for some wiser heads prevail. And everything right now is what we definitely need in the world.

Ambassador Don Tapia: All right, I know our prayers. I'll tell you. You have to pray. Pray for the people that are suffering, the people that are going to suffer, you know, and and of course, our people, that we have to pray for them and hope that we can work our way through this. But we haven't been able to. So I somebody would call me a hawk because the fact is, I say, let's get let's get the job done one way or the other. Like you say, somebody has to win, right? Let's get this. Let's find out who's going to win and move on from there. We haven't done that. It's over the last 50 years. We have not done it since the young Kippur War.

Chuck Warren: Exactly. Well, ambassador, thank you for joining us today.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, thank you for the invite.

Chuck Warren: This is Breaking Battlegrounds. We'll be right back.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck. Weren't my co-host, Kiley Kipper today. Kiley. Thanks. You've done fantastic today.

Kiley Kipper: It's very exciting to be here.

Chuck Warren: Very, very exciting here.

Kiley Kipper: The big.

Chuck Warren: Roll. Kiley and I before the show were harmonizing, trying to figure out a closing song. We'll get with you on that in a couple of weeks as we practice a little bit more. So Kiley what do we have on Kiley's corner today?

Kiley Kipper: Well, I felt since today's Friday the 13th a little spooky season. October I wanted to talk about the world's largest pumpkin. Okay, so Travis Gienger, he has been growing enormous pumpkins for 30 years now. It's one of his hobbies. He grew one so large that this year it was the it weighed as much as a small car.

Chuck Warren: Really?

Kiley Kipper: Yes. But in his previous year. So in 2020, he grew a pumpkin named Tiger King, which weighed £2,350. Last year, Maverick, his pumpkin was £2,560. Still hasn't did not beat any world records, however. This year it was the 50th annual World Championship pumpkin Weigh-off and he has been growing Michael Jordan for six months now, and he is the world's largest pumpkin, officially weighing £2,749. And he transported this. He drove 35 hours to this competition with this pumpkin in the back of his truck.

Chuck Warren: How how did he grow them so big? I mean, what's different from, say, you and I go in our backyard and grow pumpkin? What does he do that gets them so big? Is there a certain a certain seed he's using? What does he do?

Kiley Kipper: You know he does not tell his secrets. However, he did say this pumpkin. He sat out there and he watered him every 30 minutes. I'm not really sure what his day job is. However, he sat out there. Well, he's probably even watered him.

Chuck Warren: Does he look older? Is he retired? Maybe.

Kiley Kipper: No, he's not retired every 30 minutes.

Chuck Warren: Huh?

Kiley Kipper: Yeah, every 30 minutes. He was watering because he really wanted Michael Jordan to beat it this year.

Chuck Warren: So what we're seeing is he's the poster child for the termination of remote work and get back in the office. Is that what we're telling us?

Kiley Kipper: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Chuck Warren: Every time they said he says I'm on a conference call or something. We know he's out watering his pumpkin.

Kiley Kipper: He's on mute, but he says that he names all of his pumpkins fantastic. But he names all of his pumpkins off of what's happening in this year. So this year it's 2023, so named after Michael Jordan. But you know Tiger King in 2020 and so so be it. That's how he names him.

Chuck Warren: Well Kiley I think this was a needed ending today to our show where there's a lot of chaos going on in the world. Folks, this is breaking bad grounds. We hope you have a great weekend. You can of course find us on Breaking Battlegrounds dot vote. We also ask you to go to anywhere you get your podcasts, or listen to one of our 12 stations that has our radio show on every week. We hope you have a great weekend! Stay safe!

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Welcome to this week’s episode of Breaking Battlegrounds! In this episode, we have an incredible lineup of guests and captivating discussions. First up, Anna Giaritelli, a Homeland Security Reporter for the Washington Examiner, dives into pressing topics like illegal immigration, the southern border, 'special interest aliens,' and the recent 'Day of Terror' announced by Hamas leaders. Jon Riches, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute, provides insights into the growing concerns of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) on Arizona State University's campus and the actions being taken to address it. Lastly, we welcome the Honorable Don Tapia, former United States Ambassador to Jamaica, who shares his valuable insights into the role of an ambassador, the appointment process, and the modern challenges of managing the Israel/Hamas conflict. Be sure to stay tuned for Kiley's Corner, where Kiley explores intriguing global topics, including the remarkable story of the world's largest pumpkin, affectionately named 'Michael Jordan.'

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ABOUT OUR GUESTS

Friend of the show, Anna Giaritelli, is a Homeland Security Reporter for the Washington Examiner focused on immigration, and border issues. Anna has traveled to the border on more than 40 occasions since 2018 and has covered human smuggling, the evolution of the war on drugs, domestic terrorism, and migration trends. She is currently based in Austin, Texas. Follow Anna on X: @Anna_Giaritelli.

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Jon Riches is the Vice President for Litigation for the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation and General Counsel for the Institute. He litigates in federal and state trial and appellate courts in the areas of economic liberty, regulatory reform, free speech, taxpayer protections, public labor issues, government transparency, and school choice, among others.

Jon has developed and authored several pieces of legislation, including the landmark Right to Earn a Living Act, which provides some of the greatest protections in the country to job-seekers and entrepreneurs facing arbitrary licensing regulations. He also developed legislation eliminating deference to administrative agencies in Arizona—a first-of-its-kind regulatory reform that can serve as a model for the rest of the country.

His work at the Institute has been covered by national media, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CBS This Morning, Bloomberg News, and Politico. Jon is also a member of the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project: State and Local Working Group.

Prior to joining the Goldwater Institute, Jon served on active duty in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. While on active duty, Jon represented hundreds of clients, litigated dozens of court-martial cases, and advised commanders on a vast array of legal issues.

He previously clerked for Sen. Jon Kyl on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, worked for the Rules Committee in the Arizona State Senate, and clerked in the Office of Counsel to the President at the White House. Jon received his B.A. from Boston College, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law.

Jon served as a presidentially appointed Panel Member on the Federal Service Impasses Panel. He is an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University School of Law. Jon is a native of Phoenix.

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Honorable Donald Ray Tapia, a prominent businessman, committed civic leader and compassionate philanthropist, was the Chairman and CEO of Essco Group Management the largest Hispanic owned business in Arizona for more than three decades before retiring in 2010 to devote his time to philanthropy. Essco Group Management provided front line management and back room production for twelve electrical wholesale branches located in Arizona and Southern California. Mr. Tapia’s philanthropic efforts have included serving on the Board of Directors of the Sun Angel Foundation & Endowment at Arizona State University, as Chairman of Board & Trustee at Saint Leo University in Florida, and as Member of the President’s Circle at Xavier College in Phoenix, Arizona. He has served on the Boards of social service organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix, Teen LifeLine Phoenix, Advisory Council of the Arizona Animal Welfare League and Advisory board for Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix Arizona.

Mr. Tapia is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force, Honorably Discharged (1955-1959). Mr. Tapia’s excellent management and entrepreneurial skills, demonstrated commitment to a culture of success and wide-ranging leadership in business, community and education make him well-qualified to serve as Ambassador to Jamaica. Additional enterprises Mr. Tapia has engaged in; include CEO, Sonapar USA, Chandler, Arizona (2008-2010) as well as employment with Cal Neva Corp., Los Angeles, California (1973-1977) and International Telephone & Telegraph Corp., Chicago, Illinois (1967-1973). He also worked as an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Mr. Tapia earned a B.A. and M.B.A. from Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, Florida, which also awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

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TRANSCRIPTION

Chuck Warren: Welcome to another show of Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren, and with my co-host, Kiley Kipper. Sam is out ill today. We're first going to start with Anna Giaritelli. She's a homeland security reporter for the Washington Examiner. She's been on the show before. She has a very specific knowledge. She's been to the border more than 40 times since 2018. And she's also covered human smuggling and the evolution of the war on drugs, domestic terrorism and migration trends. And she is based in Texas. Anna, welcome back to the show.

Anna Giaritelli: Thanks for having me.

Chuck Warren: So we have a day of rage, apparently. Hamas has declared it. Tell us a little bit about it. And what does the United States government doing to prepare to keep our citizens safe here and abroad?

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah. So yesterday the former leader of Hamas came out and said that, you know, people who sympathize with Hamas around the Muslim world and outside that that that just that region should take part and come out in public and protest and engage in a day of jihad and rage. And so the Israeli government put out notices yesterday saying, you know, people should take cover, should remain vigilant, should be, you know, braced for the worst. And so the United States has also followed suit. Typically, something happening in one region of the country wouldn't affect us. But the Department of Homeland Security said it's been in touch with for different faith leaders, 65,000 people in faith organizations, making sure that synagogues in particular, even mosques, are going to be safe today. I know here in Austin, Texas, police are are have been called in in full gear. So they're ready for anything they have to deal with. New York City, LAPD, Miami police, they're all being called in today to report to duty just to to make sure that their presence is there in case something does happen in any of these cities.

Chuck Warren: Anna, have you talked to any Jewish folks or synagogues or educators at Jewish schools about today? Have you had a chance to talk to any of them and how they're feeling?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, I haven't, but the secretary of Homeland Security had his spokesperson was saying on this white House call last night that he's been in contact with a number of different groups, and really, one of their top three priorities right now is being in constant contact with these faith based organizations. So it's not like these groups are on their own. You know, if you're a synagogue, you're on your own hope for the best. The federal government has billions of dollars in grants so that these facilities can what we say is hardened security. So make sure you have more security presence as well as police. Make sure you have private security, just especially at this point in time. So I think the department really is rolling out a lot. We've seen this for several years now, where DHS has even yesterday said that faith based organizations are considered critical infrastructure here. So that gives even more ability for the federal government to really surge resources and even push funding to to these entities.

Chuck Warren: Well, and that's fascinating. And the Biden administration is to be applauded for that. There's not much I would applaud them for, especially regarding immigration and so forth. But I applaud them for doing that because they are a critical infrastructure. Explain to our audience what a gateway is and how this relates to what is going on at the border. And because of the gotaways, how this may pose a threat to some of these faith based communities and to our our larger cities.

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah. So at the southern border you've got A 2000 mile border. Some with fence, some without. What we've seen over the past two and a half years is a real. It went up in March 2021 when Biden first took office and hasn't declined. Normally we would see 30 to 50,000 people cross the border in a month and get arrested. What we've seen. In each of the months since Biden took office is anywhere between 150,000 and 300,000 people in a month, which is just, you know, we can't detain people through court proceedings. There's things that bar families from being held more than 20 days. So it's the perfect storm of this mass releases.

Chuck Warren: And let me and let me ask you this. How big is Austin, for example?

Anna Giaritelli: Austin, I believe, is 1.1 million.

Chuck Warren: So over a course of a week, we get a new Austin. Over a course of 4 or 5 months, we get a new Austin in the United States.

Anna Giaritelli: We do. And that's and that's who's crossing, right? That doesn't mean they're getting released since since Biden took office, the best estimates we have are more than 2 million people have been released into the United States. And so we've seen the number one spot that people are going is New York City, based on where people tell Border Patrol agents and Ice, you know, when they're getting released, hey, I'm going to go to my sister who lives in Queens, and then let the immigration officials do is place them in removal proceedings. So, hey, you need to go to court and see if we're going to remove you down the road. And we're the closest court to Queens is the New York immigration court. So we'll put you in that system. And so based on all the court data, we're seeing that more people are being placed in the New York court system than any other in the country.

Chuck Warren: And is the Biden administration and Congress providing more resources so you can have more judges so they can do quicker rulings on these and not have these lengthy time periods. So they bring it back in.

Anna Giaritelli: You know, each administration the last few years has added judges. I mean, we only have under 700 nationwide and we have more than 2 million cases pending. So the thought is that even if you hired enough judges, you can't. You can't go through the backlog fast enough. You really need to do something up front. That that causes fewer people to either come through or you're immediately dealing with cases now so that more aren't being added to the system. But but this is something we've seen under President Obama, President Trump, and now President Biden each administration is guilty of. Well, not guilty of. But they have hired more judges. But but they're guilty of that number of the backlog just keeps going up.

Chuck Warren: Well, I'm sure the judges also work banker hours. I mean, it'd be interesting if you say working quadruple the amount of judges we have. We're going 24 over seven.

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah. And, you know, back to what you said about the Gotaways. Gotaways are people who, thanks to great technology and agents who are in the field, border patrol agents, you know what they'll happen. What will happen is downtown, in populated areas, at the border, you have a group of, say, 400 people come across at once. And that pulls all the agents in the nearby vicinity over here to take everybody into custody, to pat people down, make sure no one's carrying something they shouldn't be, and then to organize people by by country and by families here, adult men here, single women here, and then bussed them to the appropriate facilities where they'll be processed. That means that other areas of the border, maybe ten, 20 miles away, you've just pulled the agents that were there from their spots. And so what the cartels will do is run drugs across. They'll run the meth across. They'll run different stuff across the border because no one's there. And they'll also run the criminals. So say someone who's been deported previously knows they shouldn't be reentering the country, or someone who maybe is on the terror watch list, or someone who is a kind of a worldwide known criminal. So we can't look at databases for each country and see crimes, but they're well known, or they're a gang affiliation. They don't want to get caught like all the families coming across. So you'll see them on camera or agents will see them. But but they're too busy to make an apprehension. So it's like, okay, there's a group of 20 bodies we see in this infrared camera, and they're walking in and we have no one to get them. So, you know, add 20 to the list. And at this point we're over 1.6 million people. Who are we dubbed Gotaways. We've seen enter illegally. And then they got away. And that doesn't include the number who have entered illegally, not been observed and also got away.

Chuck Warren: How big? You know, look, this is purely a guesstimate on your part. So I'm not asking you to go to Vegas to put a wager on it. But okay. So we have the ones they've seen the gotaways right. And they've done an estimate on it. And let's say they're off ten, 15% one way or another, minus or more. How many do you think have come into the country that they never observed?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, I could not put a guess on that. So all sorts of numbers out there.

Chuck Warren: So give me the give me the. You've heard a bunch of numbers. You talked to a lot of people. Homeland security border. What's the low number and what's the high number you heard. And then Kiley and I will make some really gut wrenching comment here on it. But what is the lowest number? What's the highest number?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, I really just don't I focus on the numbers. We know for sure just because as a reporter, I want to make sure I'm putting out the most factual information.

Kiley Kipper: Do We, Sorry. Do we know how much, how many miles? There aren't cameras that we so that we aren't seeing them. Do we know how many miles there are that aren't being monitored, or are they like drones that are going back and forth?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, that's a good question. It's a it's a mixture of both drones have in the last few years, become a real big part of how Border Patrol is monitoring the border. The latest numbers we have are that the Mexican cartels actually have 17 drones for every one drone that the US has. So they're using that to surveil ports of entry. They're using that to see where agents are on the border. And oh, there's no one here, you know, run something across. And they're also some of them are capable of carrying, you know, just a couple pounds of something. So obviously you carry it. So you would carry a pound of marijuana over the border in a drone that's not worth a lot of money. But if you can carry, you know, fentanyl a pound or two, like that's, that's going to be worth a lot more money. So drones are really a way that cartels are surveilling US federal law enforcement and, and making moves here and there. And they're also you can't shoot it down with a gun half the time. You can't even hear them or see them at night. And so there's also no prosecutions. I think one has been prosecuted, one incident in the last five years, because you don't know where where it's going to or from.

Chuck Warren: I. It's just. It's just not getting. It's just. I don't even know what to say. It's just not getting better here. We're coming up to a minute left here and we to our next segment. We're going to talk to you. But one thing I want to talk to you about, how was the dysfunction of the Republican Congress right now affecting things like homeland security and border, if it is or if it isn't at all? We know you have to have operational government to get resources, so we want to do that. One other quick question before we go to a break, because of the legalization of marijuana in the United States, has that decreased the amount coming across the border?

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah, we do believe that. We used to see a couple million pounds coming across the border in a within a couple of years, easily over a million in a year of just marijuana. And that number has diminished significantly. And so overall, you would say Border Patrol is seizing far, far less drugs than it used to. But really, if you see a pound of fentanyl one year and then you seize £1,000 of the next year, but you're used to seizing £1 million of marijuana, you know, it's hard to sort of quantify. So we really try to look at it as a drug by drug. Right. But you're right. Marijuana is available here. So so yeah, it's still coming over, but it's not as profitable.

Chuck Warren: We make our own. We don't need to import that. This is Chuck Warner breaking battlegrounds with Anna Giaritelli. She is a homeland security reporter for the Washington Examiner. You can find her on X, which is formerly Twitter at Anda. Underscore gear brightly. This is breaking battlegrounds. We'll be right back.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren of Kiley Kipper. Today we have with us a friend of the show, Anna Giaritelli, Homeland Security reporter for the Washington Examiner, really asked you to follow her work. She does fantastic work telling us what's going on in our border, homeland security. And you'll be more knowledgeable for following her, folks. First of all, want to make sure and give a plug to our sponsor. If you're looking to increase your savings and your return, I suggest you go talk to Y refy. You can call them at 888 Y refy 24. That's 888Y Refy 24. You can go there. There's no fees for your investments, and you can get a 10.25% fixed rate of return while also helping college students with their college loans. So take a look and call Y refi and tell them Chuck and Sam sent you. All right, Anna, so let's talk about something people don't talk about. Canada has a big border up north. And I, you know, assumption is the mother of all screw ups. But I would assume that people are starting to go into Canada and crossing through our border there. Is that true or am I just making something up?

Anna Giaritelli: No, you're right on there. We see about 1% of the number of southern border crossings on the northern border. So it sounds like it's nothing really, but 1% of 2 million in a year. We do see a good amount of people who are coming across typically in Vermont, Maine and upstate New York areas. And we also see a lot of smuggling going from the United States into Canada. Those are typically things guns, the firearms, sometimes cigarettes, those sorts of things. And those are those are the old school bootleggers from 100 and so years ago who whose families are still involved and moving stuff. Um, but yeah, we do see immigrants coming across typically from Europe, sometimes Mexico and Central America. People will fly into Canada and then try to come down. But it is certainly there's no border wall across the 4000 mile northern border. It's double the length of the southern border. So yeah, it's very wide open. But again, we still have Border Patrol up there monitoring things. And and these are typically senior agents. They've they've paid their time on the southern border. Right. And now they're up north.

Chuck Warren: Yeah I mean, you know, this is your nice retirement, your gold watch opportunity to serve at the end. And now you've got this going here. Do they have like coyotes up on the Canadian border like we do in the southern border? I mean, how are they getting across? I mean, there's obviously has to be operations that help them do this.

Anna Giaritelli: There are. Yes. And some of the groups that smuggle stuff north are also working with people who are coming south. Some of those more irish-italian, sort of old school mafia groups are helping people. We do still have some coyotes, but but typically what we see are. People from Eastern Europe who have flown into Canada because they didn't need a visa. And then that's that's how they're coming down. And this winter, we saw a number of deaths of people who were trying to cross the border at night and, you know, freezing conditions and got lost. And, you know, those are really the really tragic things. But but, you know, people are going to there's a coast, there's the northern and southern borders and um, even Florida, Florida has seen extraordinary amount of people taking boats from Cuba and Haiti trying to reach the Florida Keys and get on land or trying to reach. We've even had West Palm Beach boats landing not far from Trump's home at Mar a Lago.

Chuck Warren: Maybe they were just. Maybe they were just real estate appraisers. We don't know this, but maybe so. Yeah. Let me let me ask you this question. So since the start of the fiscal year 2023, which is October. October through August, the Border Patrol caught 151 people who were processed and determined to be on the FBI's terror watch list. That's who they caught. Is this something people should be concerned about, or is this just the imagination of conservative media that these are bad people.

Anna Giaritelli: You know? And you explained it perfectly because these are people on the watch list. That doesn't mean that they are actual terrorists. I mean, they.

Chuck Warren: Have a cousin or something, right? Or a friend or. Exactly. Yeah, but but but but they've got but there's a link. There's a handshake in there somewhere.

Anna Giaritelli: Yes, exactly. It's not like you get on the list for no reason. Um, you know what we believe a lot of it to be is people, Colombian nationals who were affiliated with FARC. So during the the fight in Colombia a number of years ago, people who were involved in that are still sort of flagged in the system. But inevitably in the last ten days, we've seen people from 28 special interest countries. So that includes Egypt, Iran, uh, the whole of the Middle East, the Eastern Europe, Indonesia, certain countries, Uzbekistan, uh, apprehended at the border, which is not a normal but, you know, to see so many just just with what's happened in Israel and Palestine has given Republicans a lot of a lot of concern with, you know, we we know who we're encountering and we can screen them through the databases, but who we who gets away and hasn't been screened, we don't know.

Chuck Warren: And so well in 20. So in 21 we had 15 people. Right. So there's hundred and 51 now. So and before.

Anna Giaritelli: That it was like three. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: So the number. So the number is increasing. Let's just say they're not all bad people. I mean I know Kiley, but I'm still a good guy. So we have that situation. But if you have 151 people versus 15 and 21 three before that, 1 or 2 probably we don't want to have over for dinner. Is that fair to say? Maybe just based on numbers?

Kiley Kipper: And Tom cotton, I think you reported on it. And he said it took 19 terrorists to commit nine eleven. Right. So we have potentially, you know, so.

Chuck Warren: So, Anna, look, you've been you've done this for a while. We got about three minutes left in this segment. What needs to be done in your expert opinion. And you are an expert. But your reporter I just want an objective. And you can say Republicans stink at this, I don't care. What do they need to do to get this border situation under control?

Anna Giaritelli: You know, I think one of the interesting points is that under Obama, when he imposed the DACA program, Republicans said you overstepped your executive authority and you shouldn't have done that. Right. And so now what we're seeing with the Biden administration is they're using that to Republicans disadvantage. They're saying, well, the border, yeah, stuff is happening, but we can't do anything because we don't have the authority. It's only Congress that can do something. And so they're using Republicans argument against them as a means to do nothing. So, you know, in a way it's like you respect that, but it's nothing's happening. And it's we're heading into almost the fourth year now of the border. Just I mean, I would say remain unchecked. They've tried so many different programs that haven't worked. I don't think you necessarily need to return to Trump era policies to bring things down, but as long as people are seeing family members and friends, you know, hey, call, call them back home and say, I got released and I'm in New York now. What the Biden administration says, they can say the border is closed, but you have 2 million people who have been released and called home and said, yeah, you should come. Yeah, yeah. And so there's that stuff happening. Um, you know, whatever policy doesn't matter. You can have a policy, but are you going to enforce it.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. I mean, yeah, it's like a lot of parents, we threaten our kids, but at the end of the day, if we don't have the punishment aligned to it, they're going to just keep ignoring us. So it's it's hard to watch. And we appreciate you coming on the show. You've been fantastic as usual. Could you tell our audience a little bit where they can catch you at and follow your work?

Anna Giaritelli: Yeah. On X if you search Anna underscore Giaritelli just look up. Gia. If you also want to go to Elon Musk's page and search his followers, I, I don't know why, but Elon Musk follows my work.

Chuck Warren: That's amazing because you give good numbers and we hope you have a great weekend. Thank you for joining us on Breaking Battlegrounds. We'll talk to you soon. Thank you. This is Breaking Battlegrounds, folks. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host with my co-host Kylie Kipper. Sam is out with the sniffles today. Kiley we feel bad for Sam, don't we?

Kiley Kipper: We do. All right.

Chuck Warren: Well, we're here with a friend of the show, John Riches. John is the vice president for litigation for the Goldwater Institute. And he litigates on federal and state trial and appellate courts in the areas of economic liberty, regulatory reform, free speech, all those things. Good conservatives, libertarians care about things that the left says they used to care about, but they apparently don't care much anymore. He has a Boston Law School grad. He previously worked for John Kyl and he is a commander at the Navy Reserve. Thank you for your service, John.

John Riches: Yeah, Thanks for having me on, Chuck.

Chuck Warren: All right. So let's talk about DEI It's been an interesting conversation here on the show when the whole Barrett mess happened, and we had a professor on who didn't work at Barrett, but he was defending him because he just likes to talk all the time. And he said, oh, they don't require die. And what you found, what Goldwater found is that they were making was it staff or just professors take a loyalty oath.

John Riches: So that was new job applicants. And then we started to learn that they are requiring.

Chuck Warren: And how long ago was that for the did they implement this policy for new job applicants?

John Riches: It seems like a couple years back. Okay. What we found is that they'd post like a new job application and there'd be your traditional things, your resume cover letter, but then they would require and tell us in two pages or less your professional accomplishments wherein you advanced dei measures. Et cetera. Et cetera.

Chuck Warren: Really?

John Riches: And we found that they did that in like, more than 80% of all new job postings.

Chuck Warren: So, you know, conservatives like to yell and scream about Michael Crow. I think he's been a decent university professor in some ways. Is this something he would be unaware of because it's a department mandate that just happened?

John Riches: Yeah, it's entirely possible. And to ASU's credit, and maybe to Michael Crow's credit, once we pointed it out and presented the evidence and provided the report, they stopped doing it.

Kiley Kipper: What was Crow's response when you brought it to him? Well, we.

John Riches: Didn't have a specific one from Crow, but when we brought it to the university and published the report, the university stopped doing it. And that's and.

Chuck Warren: That's a decision probably he was well aware of at the time. And so when they when you brought this up with them about these loyalty oaths, what was their first reaction to you? Like, no, this doesn't happen. I mean.

John Riches: There was a denial at first.

Chuck Warren: So they lied.

John Riches: There was a denial at first from the school and from professors and others like, you know, this isn't happening. This isn't happening.

Chuck Warren: So John's talking legally, saying there's a denial. We're going to tell you on the radio show, folks, they lied because they knew they were doing it. Okay. So Johns saying denial hashtag Chuck lied. Okay. How long did it take to get the information from them that this was actually happening? And did you have to follow, you know, take the bat to this issue and say, you know, we're suing or what happened?

John Riches: So we requested the information through public records requests, talking with new hires, things like that. You know, put put the report together in a few months. And once we published it, they were pretty quick to act to their credit. And they eliminated it. But that got us thinking, you know, is this happening in other areas? Does this go beyond the loyalty oath? And so a few months after that, we had a couple professors reach out to us and say, hey, we saw what you did with the Dei loyalty oath. Do you know that ASU is requiring all faculty and staff to take a mandatory training that covers all these Dei initiatives? Not only that, after you complete the training, the university gives you a quote unquote test where they supply the right answers. So it'll say something like, you know, you refer to a student and it's not the student's preferred pronoun. What do you do? A apologize B whatever. And the university then supplies the right answer. And if you get it wrong, then you're reported to your dean. So when we heard about that, we go, well, that seems like a compelled speech problem. So we requested more information about that.

Chuck Warren: How long was DEI training? They had to take this mandatory training.

John Riches: Unfortunately, I sat through it once we got the public records. Well, I should because you're.

Chuck Warren: Because you're an associate professor at the law school. That's right. So you you had to participate in it?

John Riches: Well, I, I never actually, I think I got an email once or twice, but I didn't quite pay attention to those ones. But once we realized that it was happening, I requested the records to get to.

Chuck Warren: So how long did it take?

John Riches: It was several hours.

Chuck Warren: Just mind numbing word salad, progressive DEI. Don't offend anybody. Woke crap.

John Riches: Kendrick. Zebra. You know, intersectionality. You know, the.

Chuck Warren: Fraud, the fraudster they're promoting the fraudster. The guy who's basically bilked millions of dollars.

John Riches: I think he had his own little video segment in the training.

Chuck Warren: What a grift.

John Riches: Yeah, yeah, truly. You know, things like white supremacy is built into the foundational documents of our country, you know, that sort of stuff. And it just went went on and on.

Chuck Warren: It's just unbelievable what happened if you didn't take it?

John Riches: Well, we don't know for sure. We asked about that. We asked the university about that, and they said no one's been disciplined for failing to take it yet, or at least they didn't have records of anybody being disciplined for failing.

Kiley Kipper: Can you fail this said test? So if I fail it, I am just not a professor or.

John Riches: Well, I mean, that was the problem. They said if you failed it, they would report you. They would report the professor to the dean. But then we asked, has anybody been disciplined, reported, and they said, we don't have any records of that.

Chuck Warren: This is Breaking Battl Grounds today with John Riches. He is the vice president of litigation at the Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Litigation. He's general counsel for the institute. And this is Breaking Battlegrounds. You can find us at Breaking Battlegrounds .vote. We'll be right back with John to talk more about DEI and the craziness at the university, not the University of Arizona. Arizona State, we want to talk about University of Arizona as well. Breaking Battle Grounds. We'll be right back.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren. My co-host Kiley Kipper, also known for Kiley's Corner, which will be on later today on the podcast with John Riches, vice president of litigation for the Goldwater Institute. John, let's go talk further about the DEI situation at Arizona State. First of all, is University of Arizona, Northern Arizona. Are they also having these same type of issues?

John Riches: We think we've gone to their website and requested some records, and it looks like they're doing these sorts of trainings as well. We sent a letter to Arbor where we asked them to audit all the universities across the state, because it appears that this is a broader problem than just ASU.

Chuck Warren: How much money is ASU dedicated to DEI officers? Do you know that's.

John Riches: A good question I don't.

Chuck Warren: That'd be interesting for us to find out. Kiley, I think our audience would like to know. All right. So let's talk about the Board of Regents and die Staffing. Did the Board of Regents, were they aware of this? Did they? What did they do on it?

John Riches: I don't know, we sent them a letter just last month. So this is interesting. The Arizona legislature last session passed a statute that prohibits DEI esque trainings for state employees and prohibits the spending of taxpayer dollars to provide these trainings. And there's, you know, very quaint concepts like, you know, no race is inherently superior to another. People aren't inherently racist based on their race. You can't discriminate based on someone's race. All of these things were in the statute.

Chuck Warren: All common sense things. Most people would find common sense if we just went door to door.

John Riches: Exactly. Common sense, moral things. Right. And it said, you know, no state agency, including the universities, can require their employees to take training that advances things contrary to the, you know, to these common sense items, and you can't spend taxpayer money on it. So when we got the records on this training for faculty and staff, it was pretty clear that that training violated violated the statute. Yeah. Correct. Yeah. So that's what we sent the letter to Eburon. And we said, look, here's the training. We pulled out specific segments of the training and said, you know, you're in violation of state law. What you should do now is stop mandating the training and stop spending taxpayer dollars to provide it.

Chuck Warren: You have much money, just even the mandatory training cost, what they spend on that.

John Riches: It had to have been a lot. I mean, it was a it was a very comprehensive training with videos with, you know, people throughout the country because.

Chuck Warren: These people sure have no problem increasing tuition every year.

John Riches: Yeah, yeah. That's true.

Chuck Warren: Let's talk about the Cronkite's journalism school at ASU. It's a mandatory class there. Is it not or was.

John Riches: That's right. Yeah. So what we found they're requiring this loyalty oath for new hires. They're requiring the training for existing faculty. And then we're wondering, is it going into the student body? And it turns out that the Cronkite School has a required Dei course for every single journalism student at the school. So we requested those records. We asked for the syllabus. At first they didn't want to give us copies of it, but eventually they did.

Chuck Warren: What was what was on what was on the syllabus?

John Riches: You know, a lot of the same sort of Dei dogma stuff that you see, you know, throughout, throughout these sort of courses, a lot of the intersectionality stuff and that sort of thing.

Chuck Warren: We wonder why Kiley, our press is slanted.

Kiley Kipper: I don't wonder anymore. It all makes sense, and I don't think ASU is coming up with these ideas themselves.

Chuck Warren: So it'd be interesting to see surveying the students when they start the Cronkite School of Journalism if they think it's needed, and after four years, if they think it's needed.

John Riches: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I mean, think about how little time you have to actually do the few mandatory courses that are required that are required. And this is this is the thing that the school is focusing on, you know, and that limited chunk of time.

Chuck Warren: Do you is this happening in our public schools on the high school level? Is it happening on the junior college level?

John Riches: I'm not sure about junior college, but K-12 for sure. I mean, this has been a debate for for a couple of years now where, you know, K-12 are clearly introducing di CRT concepts into the classroom. They deny doing it. Then you come up with real clear evidence that they have. So yeah, this this goes obviously broader than higher. Ed.

Chuck Warren: John, explain to our audience why this fight is necessary. We all you know, we want we really do want a colorblind society, right? I mean, I think that's all we want. You know, that may be a goal. You know, sort of like the more perfect union. You know, we can get a little bit better each time each generation. Our kids will be better, hopefully. But why is this important for us? Just to put our thumb on it and say this, this nonsense has to stop. Why is it important for our country, for the state of Arizona?

John Riches: It's contrary to the founding ideals of the country, right? If you take a concept like equity, what does that mean? It's the opposite of equality of opportunity. It's they're trying to get equality of outcome, which of course, you can't do. And that's essentially a Marxist theory. But, you know, our country is predicated on the belief that all people are created equal and everybody should have an equal opportunity. Not that some people are given special privileges, not that some people should be discriminated against based on race. You know, the content of our character is determined by our choices and our actions, not by immutable characteristics.

Chuck Warren: Kiley, do you feel like folks in their 20s and early 30s believe in that concept at all?

Kiley Kipper: Yes. Yeah, yeah yeah I was.

Chuck Warren: I mean, you have some friends who are Democrat liberal, I imagine. I mean, you've not cut him off, I'm sure.

Kiley Kipper: No, no absolutely not.

Chuck Warren: No, no, I have recommended it. But anyway, continue. What do you find their beliefs are on this, this type of thing.

Kiley Kipper: I find that my friends who. They think Republicans are racist. Yeah, like, but when I was in high school, in college, I was really not political. And none of my friends were like, we did not discuss this and how I got in because.

Chuck Warren: Because you're a normal human beings.

Kiley Kipper: Yeah. And we just and we all. That's why we became best friends. And then obviously 2020 when the whole Trump everything, that's when it all started coming out. And I'm like, you have known me for this long, and have you ever.

Chuck Warren: Seen me say racist thing in the world?

Kiley Kipper: Exactly. And so I'm like, you guys need to look, reflect back and like, look at this and really look at the people. They really their character.

Chuck Warren: They really don't look at the content of the character. No. It's been it's been very odd to see John as a Goldwater and you do litigation there. Okay. You've been doing this how long now? Goldwater? Ten years. How have things changed with the left and governments are trying to do ten years ago versus now? What is it? Have you seen a change? Has it gotten worse? What's what's going on.

John Riches: Sure. So we got to decide, of course, what cases we're going to take. Are we going to do an economic freedom case? Are we going to do a free speech case? Are we going to do a regulatory case? And for the first five years, six, six, maybe even seven years, I was there. Things that everybody basically agreed on. Free speech is a good thing. People shouldn't be discriminated against based on their race.

Chuck Warren: It was it was a liberal ideology in the 70s and 80s. Right. And Republicans are always trying to suppress it.

John Riches: Supposedly it's essentially a liberal notion. Right, right, right. But these things that everybody that we thought everybody agreed on, you know, it appears they don't. And now things like free speech, you know, equality of opportunity are controversial concepts. And that's been that's been something of a surprise.

Chuck Warren: Have you noticed attorneys you work with who are on the left or, you know, have they changed on this. Do they feel things are going too far? In one extreme, I think they're.

John Riches: Saying, I think there's a divide in the, you know, on the left between classical liberals and this.

Chuck Warren: Israel massacre. What's happening? It's been interesting to watch. And I know this isn't your forte, but we talk about this a lot on the show. I've noticed a lot of liberal journalists, traditional liberals, I'll call them. They're appalled. Like, I can't believe how much anti-Semitism is on the left. It's like, well, you never talk to anybody because it's been there forever, right? Right. I mean, talk about people with their heads in the cloud. Do you find that type of eye opening moment has come to some of these folks on the attorneys on the left you've known and you respect, just like, oh my gosh, what is going on here? Yeah.

John Riches: And I've had I've had conversations with some that say, hey, look, I mean, I've been so disenchanted with what's happening with the progressives and this, this, you know, this animosity towards free speech that it's made me want to leave, for example, the Democratic Party. But I feel like it's necessary for me to stick around so that there's an adult in the room and so that there's a sane voice. But I think they're that voice is becoming quieter and the progressives are becoming louder.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. I don't know where they go. I know we've had that on the right. We have our Never-trumpers or Trump. Of course, our side, in all their self-righteousness, stomp their feet, held their breath and just felt like, I'm just going to leave and take my ball and go home. And it's been an absolute catastrophe that they've done that because there's not this intellectual rigor of debate in the party right now. What else is Goldwater working on right now that you feel our audience should know about?

John Riches: All kinds of things? You know, we do a whole lot of things where we try and protect taxpayers against subsidies. We got a case going up to the Arizona Supreme Court next month on an issue where City of Scottsdale is subsidizing one of its favorite parties. We're always working on people's right to earn a living, right? So everybody has an inherent right to work in the job of their choice, free from government interference. Courts have sort of relegated that right to second class status. So we're frequently in courts arguing.

Chuck Warren: Talk a little bit about that, about the hairdressers and so forth. Occupational licensing talk a little bit what Goldwater has helped do versus your Michelle Ugenti sponsored the bill. Governor Ducey signed it. You folks are intellectual power behind that to a degree. Explain what difference that made for people. Sure.

John Riches: Yeah. So you think about this about 50 years ago, only 5% of jobs required an occupational license, a government permission slip to work in the job. And it would be like lawyers, doctors, things you'd think about today. Depending on the state, it's about 25% to a third of all jobs require an occupational license. And some of the stuff is bizarre.

Chuck Warren: Is that because of certain people in their industries have gotten together, created a cabal, and said, you need to be licensed? Precisely.

John Riches: It's rent seeking. You know, it's rent seeking. It's a lot easier to go to the government and ask them to prevent competition than it is to actually compete and beat your competitor.

Chuck Warren: I don't think people realize that's where a lot of it comes from, right? I saw it a lot. My dad owned a dental lab, and they're always trying to get people to have to be licensed to do it. Right now it's medical, I get it. It's a little bit different than nails or hair or, you know, things of that nature, but it does seem like it comes from people who've done well and have time to devote to let's create a trade organization. And then our next step is let's get these suckers. All licensed here.

John Riches: 100%. Yeah. You'll like this story. In Florida, they decided to license florists. So if you wanted to sell flowers, you had to take a test. And then the second part of the test is you had to make a floral display and show it to a panel of licensed florists, and only if they deemed it sufficiently beautiful could you have the privilege of selling flowers in the great state of Florida.

Chuck Warren: How long ago was that?

John Riches: They still have the licensing requirements.

Kiley Kipper: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Chuck Warren: Is Goldwater do anything in Florida to knock down that nonsense? It is the free state of Florida, so I've been told.

John Riches: So there was a case. In fairness, there was a case I think brought it a few years back that that attempted to challenge it. And I think they had some some victory in there. But the the licensing regime is still in place.

Chuck Warren: Well, that sounds like something DeSantis probably should. Sounds like something he'll do if he gets excited about it. Yeah. You had a question. You know, I was just.

Kiley Kipper: I was just thinking about why licenses are necessary in the first place. Because if I'm going to like my hairdresser and she doesn't have a license, but she cuts my hair, well, then I'm going to keep going to her. If she doesn't cut it, well, then.

Chuck Warren: You go elsewhere.

Kiley Kipper: You go elsewhere.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. I mean, I get it for like, doctors I get for attorneys for medical.

Kiley Kipper: Stuff and nails. I do because.

Chuck Warren: They're basic things now. So I'm sure now for medical boards you have to pass some other sort of DEI training, as well as actual medical things that make people get better. Right? Yeah.

John Riches: They're building all that stuff into a lot of licensing requirements.

Chuck Warren: So we got we got a couple of minutes there left. How do people stop this? What do they need to do to prevent this die, this progressive organ control your thought patrol progress first.

John Riches: Notice it. I mean, people got to got to understand this is happening, you know, throughout government, throughout universities, throughout K-12. So, you know, figure out what's going on in your school district, figure out what's going on in your state universities, identify the problem first, and then, you know, be willing to stand up. And sometimes that takes takes courage. You know, people don't want to get quote unquote canceled. But, you know, if there's a professor that's like, hey, this training's going on, I shouldn't have to do it. I shouldn't have to take this test where they're telling me what the right answer is. You know, it requires people willing to say, this is wrong and we shouldn't be doing this.

Chuck Warren: So it's a really good point. I think people I think it's a problem is it takes people like you because most people don't have the time to spend on these issues. I mean, they've got a, you know, a lot of people working two jobs now trying to get extra income. They got their kids, they got soccer practice, all the things you do except during the day. You get to be sort of this watchman at the tower doing this. One final thing. You recently had a new baby. Yep. And you had a son before. What? How has fatherhood made you a better attorney?

John Riches: Oh, that's a that's a really interesting question. I guess maybe fatherhood at bottom makes you more empathetic. And I think a lot of attorneys lack in empathy, you know, of course, for opposing counsel, but maybe even sometimes for your own clients. And I think, you know, there's nothing like having responsibility over a human life, developing a person's character. And, and, you know, being able to achieve those really important things that make you more empathetic and focus on the things that truly matter in life.

Chuck Warren: 15 20s left. What's the hardest part about being a father for you?

John Riches: Making sure they're protected while also giving them the freedom to grow?

Chuck Warren: That's hard. You can scrape your knee. I just don't want you to break the leg. Got one of the two, right? That's right folks, this is thank you, John Richards, for joining us from Goldwater Institute. This is breaking battlegrounds. You can find us at Breaking Battlegrounds. Vote. Pay attention for our podcast. Coming up, we're interviewing former Jamaican ambassador Don Tapia. This is breaking battlegrounds. Have a fantastic weekend. Share the podcast. We love you guys. Take care.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Bad Grounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren with Kiley Kipper. Sam is out with the sniffles today. We are honored for this portion of the show to have my friend and community leader, ambassador Don Tapia. He's former ambassador of Jamaica, and he's been a community leader and led a business here in Arizona for many years. He's also served on various charitable boards and whatever you think in Arizona, that's happened in the last 30 years, 40 years John's been doing it. Don's been doing it. Sorry, John. Don's been doing.

Kiley Kipper: Just moved from John to Don.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. Ambassador Tapia, welcome to the show. Well, thank you very much for inviting me. Well, we're so glad to have you on. So what was the process like becoming an ambassador?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, the first thing is, is you've got to be nominated, of course, by the president of the United States. And whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, it's great an honor to have the president nominate you. And then after the nomination, the process is you've got to go through the confirmation. And that's a confirmation of the US Senate. And you have to go and visit Washington, and you must make your rounds to the senators and so forth to let them ask you questions and so forth. And one of the things that always set me back is that what they call a motor, a motor, a motor board, and what that is, is that you go before the the opposition, which would be the Democrats, since I was a Republican, to go before this board and they take you down the road, believe me, they take you down the road with questions and so forth. And I always remember one I sat across from Menendez's attorney, know his office, and he said, I've been a liberal Democrat all my life, and I'm going to die a liberal Democrat. And of course, there's five other people in the room. And so you sit there and you listen to the questions and so forth. So when it came around to my time to respond, I said, well, I'm a Republican, but if in fact, I'm confirmed as a US ambassador, I will represent you as a liberal Democrat because I represent the American people. On which side of the aisle you're on, it makes no difference. And after the after we got through with that as we were walking out, he says, that's the best answer anybody has ever given me in 20 years that I've been on the murder board.

Chuck Warren: Oh that's amazing. How many senators did you have to visit with?

Ambassador Don Tapia: I visited with probably about 15 to 20, basically the foreign minister, the Foreign Relations Committee, and that was.

Chuck Warren: Over a couple of days.

Ambassador Don Tapia: They had oh, no, that's over. You got to go with their schedule. So that could be over a couple of weeks that it could take place.

Chuck Warren: Once you got the phone call until you were confirmed. How long did that process take?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Just about 11 months.

Chuck Warren: It's a long process.

Ambassador Don Tapia: It's a long, long process, yes.

Kiley Kipper: So is what is that seat open? And then the president nominates someone. Or does every time a new president come in, a new nomination happens. You got to keep.

Ambassador Don Tapia: In mind that it was some trying times back there. So Trump being the president and you coming in normally you would be you would be confirmed through, you know through a a committee. And then it goes to the floor and the floor then would actually call you up and it'd be unanimous. But because of the situation in Washington at the time, they were taking individuals. So we had to wait and wait and wait until he got called up. And out of all of them by acclamation, there was only two ambassador nominees that went before the full the full Senate, and that was myself and the one out of Georgia. There was only two of us that was that actually had to go through the complete roll call vote.

Chuck Warren: Really?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Yes. We thought that was pretty good. I came across out of all of the 100 senators, I got 68, I think it was 68 US senators across the aisle, which meant that I had Democrats and Republicans across the aisle. You're a.

Chuck Warren: Bipartisan choice.

Ambassador Don Tapia: I'm not real sure about that because you know it. But it was by eye that year was the highest that anybody ever received. Going through confirmation to the Foreign Relations Committee.

Chuck Warren: We're with the honorable Don Tapia. He's a former ambassador to Jamaica during the Trump administration. What being an ambassador, what did you think it was about going in and when you left, how had your opinion changed on the role?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, going into it, the first thing you got to look at is what is an ambassador? You know, what does the duties of an ambassador? And I always relate it to being the CEO of a large company. And that's basically what you are. You're the ambassador. You're the what they call the commander, the chairman of the board. When you go there, you have an embassy. And I had just under 500 people at the embassy that reported to me in different agencies. I had 18 law enforcement associate companies, or you might say, units that reported to me across the board from the CIA, down to the FBI, down to, you know, the. Dea and so forth. So you go all of those people were reporting to you to tell you what's taking place in the not only in Jamaica, but in the world.

Chuck Warren: As an ambassador. Let's say today is supposedly the day of rage. Hamas has asked people to go out, express their rage. What would you be doing right now as an ambassador in Jamaica with such a warning throughout the world today? What would you be doing?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, let's take a step back and talk about Martin Luther King Day. You know, when we had the we had the Black Lives Matter that was going on and throughout the Caribbean and throughout the world, right at the embassy, of course, you have you have people showing up, you know, to demonstrate. And one of the things that I did is you have your detail. You're always around with your detail, your security detail. One of the things that I did that surprised everybody in Jamaica, and in fact, even the Caribbean, got a lot of a lot of press on. It is the fact is that I went out into the Black Lives Matter demonstration. And when I walked out there, they were all aghast at the US ambassador, who would actually walk out of the embassy and walk into a demonstration, right to meet with the people.

Chuck Warren: Yeah, it would be. They wouldn't. They don't see that. No.

Ambassador Don Tapia: And I'm not real sure of the way that with the organization that's out there now demonstrating that you would want to be in that, in that group of people. You know, it's it's a different type of you're talking about terrorists versus a demonstration. Correct. So that's one of the things that you're seeing here in, in the US that when you look at the demonstrations taking place in New York and in Los Angeles and so forth, Hezbollah, and you're seeing things that that truly we never have seen on our on the US soil, where you see terrorists. Actually, I shouldn't say they're all terrorists, but yet the the matter that they're, that they're demonstrating against or for is terrorism. It has been terrorism. So that's one of the things that you look at. And you're going to ask me about, about what my thoughts are about what's taking place in. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. What would you do as ambassador to prepare your staff today and obviously protect them and so forth on this type of day?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, they tell you to, to stay in place, which means when they say that, it says stay where you are, don't go out in the streets, don't get involved, stay where you are. And that's what you basically train. And we actually have things within the embassy that you train. All the people that went something like that happens to stay in place. So if they start storming the embassy like they did I did a few years back, that's different. You have there's no way that you can control that. There's no way that you you have your of course you have your military there, that that guards the gate and so forth, but there's not enough of them that could take that could stop a major demonstration coming over the wall of an embassy in Jamaica.

Chuck Warren: How many people worked at the embassy? I mean, you told us you had this big crew, about 500 people. How many people were career people that worked at the embassy had been there for a decade plus.

Ambassador Don Tapia: There's no such thing as a decade plus. Plus in an embassy. You're all your all your organizations that are that are assigned to the embassy is a three year, basically a three year run. You have your career, people that come in and they they're there for three years. The worst part about that is that that on their second year, they have to bid out to their next job.

Chuck Warren: Oh, okay.

Ambassador Don Tapia: They actually have to bid out. So you have them for one year when they knowing that that that they're leaving within a within that year period of time to go to their next assignment. So that's one of the things I hold the career people or the people in the State Department that are in the US embassies because they're traveling around the world. If you really want to, if you really want to see the world, join the Foreign Service, because that's where you will see the see the around the world. And if you have children, they'll get an education around, you know, different countries around the world and so forth.

Kiley Kipper: So did did you find that people would join to see the world? So they would say, I'm going to go work at this embassy for three years, and then I know that I can be assigned to another one. Is that kind of their goal or.

Ambassador Don Tapia: I don't think that that's anybody's goal to know that, you know, it sounds you're going to keep switching. It sounds, you know, romantically, you know.

Chuck Warren: It sounds like the Navy recruitment. Right.

Kiley Kipper: So they would prefer just to stay in like, well, there's an assignment.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Or I think that they would like to stay longer. But you've got you got a three year because keep in mind, in two years you're only there two years and you're bidding, you're bidding out for your for the next three years or next four years. So and you're still maintaining your position there and in the embassy.

Chuck Warren: What do you feel the difference is between ambassadors like you who are appointed men and women of great integrity, background substance versus these great career Foreign service folks who are appointed? What do you feel the difference is? Is it that folks like you, who have been appointed and not been part of the Foreign Service, just comes with fresh eyes? Is that helpful as an ambassador, to come in with fresh eyes and say, we can do this better?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, let's take a look at a career, a career ambassador. In an appointed or a political ambassador. A career ambassador, of course, is is a employee of the State Department. Keep that in mind. So for them to get things done, they have to actually more like tag based constantly with the with the State Department to do anything if they want to. If I wanted to talk to if they wanted to talk to, let's say, the DEA director, they actually would have to go back to the State Department to have somebody within the State Department make the appointment, tell them what they want to discuss with and who they wanted to talk with. Well, as a as a political appointment, you're you're appointed by the president of the United States and you're representing him directly. So therefore, you pick up the phone and I've talked to the vice president, I've talked to the secretary of defense and so forth, where you pick up the phone and you just call the secretary, or you have your secretary set up an appointment and you and you can get more things done as a political appointment than you can as a career.

Chuck Warren: That makes sense in your weekly schedule is ambassador, how much time were you actually at the residence versus being out and about in the country?

Ambassador Don Tapia: I started at 730 in the morning, got home normally about 4 to 6:00 in the evening.

Chuck Warren: And so you're out every day?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Yes, yes.

Chuck Warren: What is something about Jamaica that the American public doesn't know about it? Besides, it's a great place to go for a vacation. What? Tell us about the people. And I'm sure you fell in love with these people. You feel like it's probably a second home now. Tell us a little bit about that.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, Jamaica, there's a couple of things. There's the security thing that that you've got to look at. One of the things is Jamaica is sits in a location, of course, in the Caribbean, as we know, just south of, just south of Cuba. There's only two ways into the Gulf of Mexico. And that's one of the things that a lot of American people don't realize, that you either go north to come into the Gulf of Mexico, and that takes you that takes you by the D.R. and into by Cuba, into the Gulf of Mexico. If you're coming out of the Panama Canal, which most of the big ships are coming out of the Panama Canal going into going into the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans to drop you to drop the goods off that they've picked up in Europe is the fact is that you're going by Venezuela, you're going by Colombia into the Gulf, into the Gulf of Mexico. So what we have seen in one of the things that you've got to look at is the CCP, which is the communist, the Chinese Communist Party, which becomes a factor around the world. And that's one of the greatest threats that we have. It's not Russia is a threat, of course, it's they bring Russian. But we found out that Russia in the Ukraine did not did not have the where to to really fight a world war.

Chuck Warren: Right.

Ambassador Don Tapia: That's some of the things that you look at as an ambassador, because you were involved looking at what's taking place around the world. These are some of the things that that I think the American people in the Caribbean is seek the Caribbean actually is our first line of defense. When you look at it, the first line of defense. And during the Cold War, we put a lot of money and a lot of effort into the Caribbean. Once the Cold War was over, after after Reagan, we more like took him, took advantage of them. We we didn't pay attention to them. We paid more attention to to Europe, in South Africa and so forth than we did to our own home base. You might say to the beaches that that really protect us in the long run.

Chuck Warren: What should we do? What should be the policy going forward in the Caribbean from the United States government?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, I think there's a certain areas that that need to be that need to be beefed up. You know, whenever you get down to El Salvador, down in that area and so forth, that the people that are coming from El Salvador, El Salvador, what you found out that just crossed over the border just about two weeks ago ago, about 50,000 Venezuelans that are coming into the US. So when you turn around and you start taking a look at who is coming across our border today, it's very scary because there's busloads of Chinese. How did the Chinese get to get to Mexico?

Chuck Warren: Yeah, they didn't walk. They didn't.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Walk. So you so when you start taking a look at the people that are crossing the border, we have no way to vent those people. No way to vent. Thousands of people crossing the border on foot. So we have a we have a major security line. And I always say that a country is not a country without a border. We are not a country today. We have no border to the south.

Chuck Warren: No, we do not. We do not what right now, there's a there's a number of countries that do not have a United States ambassador for various reasons. And I'll get into all those. But what does it mean when a country does not have a United States ambassador in it? Who's running the the.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Charge d'affaires is he's the second. Normally when the ambassador there you have what they call a DCM, which is actually the deputy commander, your deputy chief of staff is what they call him. Once that once the ambassador leaves, his title changes to charge d'affaires, which means that he is in charge. Charge of thee takes the place of the ambassador. He didn't have all the authority that the ambassador would have, but he has the authority to run the embassy and to take care of the day to day business.

Chuck Warren: But to the president of a country or so forth. It's not the same as having the actual ambassador there. They know there's somebody, they know there's a manager at the place, at the business. They know there's somebody there, maybe an assistant manager. But the person who really can give yes or no is not there. And that and that has to play some role.

Ambassador Don Tapia: That's exactly right. Is that without the ambassador, the ambassador in many countries, believe it or not, the ambassador has the same voice as the prime minister or the president of that company, that country. Because the fact is, he is the representative, the direct representative of the United States. So his words and what he says is taken very seriously. In a lot of times you can get yourself in trouble. So you've got to watch. You've got to watch what you're saying, too.

Chuck Warren: How many how many countries had ambassadors in Jamaica when you were there?

Ambassador Don Tapia: You know, that's a good question. I'm not sure, but we I know that I could be out probably 17, 17 or 18.

Chuck Warren: Did you did you become close to to any particular ambassador from another country?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, the Chinese ambassador kept trying. The Chinese ambassador kept trying to meet me. And of course, my my detail. Your detail comes up and whispers in your ear as you see that the the Chinese ambassador would like to to meet with you and shake your hand. And I my comment was, I don't believe that I need to shake his hand, you know so so. But the differ the different embassies had would have certain kind of affairs and so forth that you were invited to. And a lot of times you sent your deputy instead of instead of you.

Chuck Warren: Interesting, interesting. Well, ambassador, we sure appreciate you coming on the show today. You've been fantastic.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, thank you very much. I wonder how I looked before.

Chuck Warren: You look fantastic, and I appreciate your service. Would you do it again if they called you tomorrow? Would you do it again?

Ambassador Don Tapia: You know, that's a that's a question that I get asked a lot. And it'd have to be depending on the, on the country and so forth in which you're going to. The reason at my age is I had a choice of a couple of countries, but I went to pick when they gave me Jamaica, I thought, you know, at my age I'm not that far away from the US. If something happened, I could be flown back to the US. So you take a look at things. I always, I always like to say that I'd like to be the ambassador to to Iceland, but that's. But that is covered by a different. There's three countries that are in there Iceland, Newfoundland. And I forget what the other. It's either Finland or one of them that actually has the responsibility. Oh, Norway. Norway actually has the responsibility for for those three areas.

Chuck Warren: Oh, fascinating. Well, ambassador Don Tapia, thank you so much for coming on our show today.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, thank you for the invite. And I'm.

Chuck Warren: Anytime.

Ambassador Don Tapia: We're happy to come back and give you you know, I had I get a lot of calls from still from around the world of people that I know, ambassadors and so forth. And we talk about the systems, the things that are taking place. And like in Israel, we it's been a lot of chatter on that one, I bet.

Chuck Warren: What are they saying about it?

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well. That you've had so many, you know, upstarts with Jamaica in the in the I'm sorry, the Israel and the Palestinians, you know, you've got to come to some some conclusion and let it and run its course. That's a heck of a thing to say, because that means that there's going to be a lot of a lot of deaths and so forth, a lot of innocent life, a lot of innocent life, a lot of innocent people that are going to that's going to suffer. But at the same time, are we going to continue? Are you going to let Israel and the Palestinians fight this battle every 10 or 15 years and so forth? This one seems, from what I from what I've been reading and what I've been told by some people that are actually in Israel, that this has been planned out for for quite a long time.

Chuck Warren: Sounds like a year or two where I've been reading this morning. It's been coming out. It's you know, it is. We have the Wall Street Journal reporter on last week who covers Eastern Europe. So he's been covering the Ukraine war. And we asked the question, how does this come to a resolution? And his comment was someone has to win. That's and I feel sadly you brought up. I appreciate you bringing up the stark reality and not talking a word salad here. Somebody has to win for this to sort of end. And I was sort of stunned. He took it was, you know, a very unreported like statement. But he's been there for 12 years, speaks Russian and just says someone has to win. You know, you could do a peace agreement, but it's basically a recess. They'll be back at it in a year or two again. And that's what we're seeing in the Middle East and our prayers are there. Sadly, a lot of innocent people are going to lose their lives on this.

Ambassador Don Tapia: That's a very dangerous spot in the world, because if that place explodes, keep in mind you've got Egypt, you've got Iran, you've got Syria, you've got Jordan. Well, you're talking now. You're talking about not just one country that can that the explosion can take place. And if it does World War, World War two will look like it. It was a training.

Chuck Warren: Well, we can pray for some wiser heads prevail. And everything right now is what we definitely need in the world.

Ambassador Don Tapia: All right, I know our prayers. I'll tell you. You have to pray. Pray for the people that are suffering, the people that are going to suffer, you know, and and of course, our people, that we have to pray for them and hope that we can work our way through this. But we haven't been able to. So I somebody would call me a hawk because the fact is, I say, let's get let's get the job done one way or the other. Like you say, somebody has to win, right? Let's get this. Let's find out who's going to win and move on from there. We haven't done that. It's over the last 50 years. We have not done it since the young Kippur War.

Chuck Warren: Exactly. Well, ambassador, thank you for joining us today.

Ambassador Don Tapia: Well, thank you for the invite.

Chuck Warren: This is Breaking Battlegrounds. We'll be right back.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck. Weren't my co-host, Kiley Kipper today. Kiley. Thanks. You've done fantastic today.

Kiley Kipper: It's very exciting to be here.

Chuck Warren: Very, very exciting here.

Kiley Kipper: The big.

Chuck Warren: Roll. Kiley and I before the show were harmonizing, trying to figure out a closing song. We'll get with you on that in a couple of weeks as we practice a little bit more. So Kiley what do we have on Kiley's corner today?

Kiley Kipper: Well, I felt since today's Friday the 13th a little spooky season. October I wanted to talk about the world's largest pumpkin. Okay, so Travis Gienger, he has been growing enormous pumpkins for 30 years now. It's one of his hobbies. He grew one so large that this year it was the it weighed as much as a small car.

Chuck Warren: Really?

Kiley Kipper: Yes. But in his previous year. So in 2020, he grew a pumpkin named Tiger King, which weighed £2,350. Last year, Maverick, his pumpkin was £2,560. Still hasn't did not beat any world records, however. This year it was the 50th annual World Championship pumpkin Weigh-off and he has been growing Michael Jordan for six months now, and he is the world's largest pumpkin, officially weighing £2,749. And he transported this. He drove 35 hours to this competition with this pumpkin in the back of his truck.

Chuck Warren: How how did he grow them so big? I mean, what's different from, say, you and I go in our backyard and grow pumpkin? What does he do that gets them so big? Is there a certain a certain seed he's using? What does he do?

Kiley Kipper: You know he does not tell his secrets. However, he did say this pumpkin. He sat out there and he watered him every 30 minutes. I'm not really sure what his day job is. However, he sat out there. Well, he's probably even watered him.

Chuck Warren: Does he look older? Is he retired? Maybe.

Kiley Kipper: No, he's not retired every 30 minutes.

Chuck Warren: Huh?

Kiley Kipper: Yeah, every 30 minutes. He was watering because he really wanted Michael Jordan to beat it this year.

Chuck Warren: So what we're seeing is he's the poster child for the termination of remote work and get back in the office. Is that what we're telling us?

Kiley Kipper: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Chuck Warren: Every time they said he says I'm on a conference call or something. We know he's out watering his pumpkin.

Kiley Kipper: He's on mute, but he says that he names all of his pumpkins fantastic. But he names all of his pumpkins off of what's happening in this year. So this year it's 2023, so named after Michael Jordan. But you know Tiger King in 2020 and so so be it. That's how he names him.

Chuck Warren: Well Kiley I think this was a needed ending today to our show where there's a lot of chaos going on in the world. Folks, this is breaking bad grounds. We hope you have a great weekend. You can of course find us on Breaking Battlegrounds dot vote. We also ask you to go to anywhere you get your podcasts, or listen to one of our 12 stations that has our radio show on every week. We hope you have a great weekend! Stay safe!

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