Underground USA
Underground USA
Trust But Verify: A Lesson Re-Learned

Trust But Verify: A Lesson Re-Learned

As we head into the season of gotcha politics and twisted narratives; the season of smear and assassination for anyone daring to message the truth simply for its delivery, I thought it prudent – especially as some in my particular sphere are being scrutinized – to reiterate my experience and background.

I have come to understand that this type of confirmation and reiteration helps readers and listeners consume my research, analysis, and opinion with a higher level of confidence.

In reality, journalism and journalistic activism would be better served if everyone with a keyboard or a microphone occasionally reiterated their bona fides and experience so people would know why they should actually care about what the journalist or activist is saying.

I am also doing this now to make a very important point; one that I have written and advocated for many times before. As Ronald Reagan put so succinctly, “Trust but verify,” or in other words, do your homework when it comes to verifying the facts being espoused and those who espouse them. More on this in a moment.

My History & Experience

I was born in a solidly middle-class neighborhood in 1961 to parents on their way up the societal and financial food chains. In the beginning – although I never really felt it – times were financially interesting, my parents having to borrow money in my infancy just to feed me.

That would change very soon. My father successfully founded a company and broke into defense contracting, specializing in housings for battlefield and space exploration electronics and communications components.

I went to parochial school until we moved to an upper-class neighborhood where I attended public school, excelling in the arts, and – for all intents and purposes – lived a normal – quasi-privileged but wholly grounded – childhood.

I was deemed gifted in junior high school and high school and excelled in music receiving a plethora of awards and accolades, eventually attending college in Texas to study jazz music performance. I took early leave from college to play professionally and while doing so had the honor of playing with a number of musicians – both in the blues and jazz genres – who are included in music history books and in the various halls of fame.

During this time, my parents became deeply involved in county and state politics, my mother rising to the level of Executive Director of the Republican Party for DuPage County, Illinois – then the 6th most Republican county in the United States and an “always stop” for all presidential candidates and those seeking statewide office. This is when I cut my teeth on politics, learning from the bottom up. From yard sign and petition duty to fundraising activities to strategizing at just about every office level including countywide and then statewide and national office campaigns. My interest in politics and government survives to this very day.

(As an aside and more contemporarily, I served as the campaign manager and chief strategist for a 2018 Santa Rosa County, Florida commissioners race that saw an outsider win by historic margins and achieving a historic voter turnout.)

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Prior to college, I took an interest in fire and emergency medical services after my father suffered a severe myocardial infarction. I volunteered at a number one-rated ISO fire department outside of Chicago, one that routinely enjoyed a ranking of number one by the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office. With the ability to attend college, pick up music gigs, and participate in an organization that gave back to the community, I felt well-rounded, blessed, and fulfilled.

Over that time I achieved EMT-A status and, because of the department’s rigorous training program, certified at the Firefighter II level. Both certifications are historically registered with the State of Illinois.

But that soon changed as I was bitten by the fire service and my music career took a backseat.

In 1987, I went full-time, as a firefighter and paramedic (EMT-P) for the same department for which I had volunteered. Over the course of the next four-plus years, I became certified as a Firefighter III and Fire Apparatus Engineer while attaining advanced levels in the areas of Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS). Additionally, I was trained in rapid water rescue, rescue scuba diving, hazardous materials awareness, EMS helicopter safety, advanced rescue techniques, and various other specializations.

As it happens to some who become so immersed in the EMS life, I burned out before my time was up where ambulance rotations were concerned. With three major highways traversing our locale, I saw my fair share of carnage; visions that are forever burned into my memory. I left the first-responder life for warmer climates in Florida where I temporarily worked as a harbor master.

Fast forward to 2001, when the online news and opinion industry was in its infancy.

After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 – while employed by the county Election Commission, I made the decision to dedicate myself to educating and informing the public. I launched a news and analytical website called TheRant.us (which soon transitioned into NewMediaJournal.us) which competed in a very small field of conservative online publications including Human Events, Townhall, NewsMax, and WorldNetDaily. Articles in my publications garnered I and my then-wife an invitation to counsel at the US Presidential Cabinet level.

I submitted my opinion editorials to several other websites when they emerged on the scene. These included GOPUSA, ConservativeDaily, and The Washington Dispatch, where I rose to the position of associate editor.

It was when I was writing for The Washington Dispatch that I was asked to guess on the number one news program in the United States at the time, The O’Reilly Factor, on FOX News Channel.

From there I and my then-wife launched a non-profit organization that focused on Constitutional Literacy and the threats – both foreign and domestic – to our nation and the free world. The organization was called BasicsProject.org.

A grassroots movement whose success was achieved without a dime from the conservative beltway swamp crowd, BasicsProject.org successfully partnered in producing the first-ever national symposium series on the threats posed to the West by Islamofascist terrorism. We had a slate of over a dozen speakers for these two-day events including former CIA director James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, Robert Spencer, Dr. Paul L. Williams, Walid Phares, Wafa Sultan, Brigitte Gabriel, and Hamid Mir, a journalist from Pakistan who provided proof of the last media interview of Osama bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, prior to bin Laden’s disappearance into Pakistan.

These symposiums resulted in fatwa death sentences being decried against me and my production partner by the most respected cleric in Saudi Arabia.

My writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention and has been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, and Accuracy in Media, among many other nationally syndicated outlets.

Today, I publish my work – as well as produce my podcast, at UndergroundUSA.com. The podcast is syndicated on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Pandora, Audible, Amazon Music, and anywhere podcasts are heard.

And, as regular readers and listeners know, I have just released my new book, Nullification: The Case for Decentralizing the Federal Government, which reached number one on Amazon in the Political Leadership category in its first week. This title joins six other monographs on various issues.

It has become evident that my diverse life experience – from professional musician to firefighter/paramedic to my political involvement as a campaign strategist – as well as my work on several presidential campaigns – affords me the unique ability to craft narratives and messaging vehicles considered consumable by the American people, all devoid of the poison of spin and the misdirection of the disingenuous operatives of “The Swamp.”

So Why Say All This Now?

I re-state my bona fides at this time to illustrate that even the most diligent, dedicated, and knowledgable among us can find themselves deflected and/or led astray from truth and accuracy.

For over 20 years I have conversed regularly – first on a podcast and then on a nationally syndicated radio program – with someone who led people to believe that he was not only a combat veteran, but associated with the FDNY activities on September 11, 2001. As it turns out, a reporter from a local publication to his flagship radio station dug into his past and his claims and, as it turns out, his history was significantly embellished.

This changes nothing with regard to my accreditation, certification, or history, nor does it change any of my answers to his politically targeted questions; questions that came my way twice each week. But it does change how I view the man himself.

Do I believe his heart was in the right place; that he would have engaged, given the opportunities, to have actually done what he espoused? Yes, I believe he would have acted as he claimed he did. But wanting to have done something – wanting to “have been there” – is no excuse for embellishing stories to insert yourself into history. For engaging in that type of deception – especially as someone who painted himself as a truth-teller – a price must be paid, and I am certain it will be.

But that cross is only for the embellisher to bear.

Yes, it will be up to us to judge his heart and to weigh whether forgiveness is warranted. To that end, I would remind everyone that we have all stumbled in life. Moving forward, we must all – including myself – re-double our efforts to “trust but verify,” doing so with a humble heart and an eye toward the truth.

Going Forward

As that nationally syndicated radio program moves forward I will continue to participate as long as the network affords me the opportunity to speak to the nation. My overriding goals remain exactly the same no matter who is asking the questions: to provide fact-based information while inciting listeners to utilize their critical thinking skills about government and politics.

To my regular readers and listeners – and especially to my subscribers and premium subscribers – thank you for your support and for your trust. It is an honor to have both.

In the coming weeks, I will be introducing a new program format on the Underground USA podcast. Once launched, please let me know what you think of it and offer any comments or suggestions.

In the end, we are all Americans with much more in common than we have in difference. And while division serves the opportunistic globalists and the K Street/Inside-the-Beltway, swamp crowd, communication – discussion, honest and calm dialogue, vetted facts, and truthful information – is what will save our Republic from those self-important, miscreants who believe they know better than everyone else what is best for us all.

Stay low, my friends…

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Underground USA
No Fear. No Wokeism. No Political Correctness. An irreverent podcast heard and read across 48 US states and 28 countries.