Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, for SHR Media Network

Freedom Fest Logo 1Ladies and gentlemen, Freedom Fest 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada officially wrapped up two weeks ago.  My apologies for posting this so late after the fact, but Life happened to intervene as it most certainly always does.

The Freedom Fest is typified as:

FreedomFest is an annual festival where free minds meet to celebrate “great books, great ideas, and great thinkers” in an open-minded society. It is independent, non-partisan, and not affiliated with any organization or think tank. Founded and produced by Mark Skousen since 2002, FreedomFest invites the “best and the brightest” from around the world to talk, strategize, socialize, and celebrate liberty. FreedomFest is open to all and is purely egalitarian, where speakers, attendees, and exhibitors are treated as equals.

And with that, the SHR Media Network was there — for the second year — to cover Freedom Fest 2016.

SHR MEDIAIt’s no secret that, many years ago, I was in radio.  I started in college radio at WWSU, then worked for other AM and FM stations.  I took any shift I could for any reason I could as many times as I could though few knew me.  After moving back west, I worked for KERS, KEG, KOBO in Yuba City, KNDE and KFBK in Sacramento.  I met Morton Downey Jr and, briefly, much later, a new guy from back east whom I knew was pitching a show.

Sparta Radio BoardThat was “back in the day” when radio consisted of now-primitive analog Sparta boards, a central VU meter, numerous pots, two turntables, a Shure or RCA microphone, two vertical Sparta cart deck arrays, cart holders, and production room editing conducted using Ampex reel-to-reel recorders on metal editing splicing blocks with either vertical or diagonal cuts utilizing razor blades and white splicing tape.

In May, after having corresponded with Sack Heads Radio owner Shaun on Twitter (@EdgeofLiberty) we met, had lunch, and he and co-owner Clint (@SackHeadClint) were willing to try me out on their radio media network.

I thank them for their confidence in me and, with that, I was taken in to the SHR Media Network team (@SHRMediaGroup), which includes two other very important members that I met whilst at the Freedom Fest, to include The Exceptional Conservative and The UnderGround Professor.

Hence my appearance at Freedom Fest on behalf of the SHR Media Network, because they quite closely mirror my beliefs and philosophies.

CnSQcFXUsAANy0OShaun (L) and Clint (R), the great nucleus of the Sack Heads Radio Show.

Both Clint and Shaun, co-owners of SHR Media, are talented, devoted, and have a passion for Conservatism, America, discipline, sacrifice, and the founding documents of this nation.  It also doesn’t hurt that they’re great friends and play off each other wonderfully.  They live by their motto, “Conservative Media, done right.”

Whilst at Freedom Fest, the SHR Media Network team, of which I am now quite luckily an emerging part — with luck — had occasion to interview not only a massive number of Libertarians — including the Chairman of the Libertarian Party itself — but supporters and freedom fighters too numerous to count.

But first, the drive; I had volunteered to transport the SHR Media broadcast equipment in my automobile to Las Vegas whilst Shaun and Clint boarded a Southwest 737.  That drive was a journey unto itself as I had never before driven to Las Vegas and opted to enter Nevada and then, from Reno, drive south on Highway 95.  Yes.  One of the most damned desolate roads I’d encountered.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 355The miles rolled by as did the drudgery and the lack of pee and poo stops.  I was thankful I hadn’t had crab cakes and broccoli the night before or my customary tankard-o-cola to start the morning.  But I knew I was finally approaching civilization when the road opened from two to four lanes and I spied what appeared to be a very small private plane hugging the nap of the earth about a mile to the east.  How very odd and quite dangerous, I thought.  Then it Predator Drone, Prop Drivencrested a tall ridge and disappeared.  Once I passed the ridge there appeared to be an airport or some sort of installation to the east of Highway 95.  The next thing I knew there was a prop-driven Predator drone pacing me southbound paralleling 95, about 150′ above the ground.  It wasn’t a private plane I had watched vanish over a ridge.  It was a Predator drone and I was adjacent to Creech AFB, home of the USAF UAV-Logistic and Training Facility.  I can say this unequivocally: a Predator drone is larger and creepier than I ever suspected.

Because of a somewhat lethargic lack of planning on my part, it took me three passes around Planet Hollywood before I found somewhere to park.  I had apparently rather adroitly managed to completely avoid the proper place to unload my bags and equipment with the help of PH staff and, instead, parked in the voluminous and confusing public garage to the massive Miracle Mile Shopping mall (remember that word: confusing; you’ll see it applied again shortly).

Not knowing quite where the holy hell I was, I exited and walked from one end of the mall to the entire opposite side before locating the PH lobby.  I checked in, told them where my car was stashed and, after pointing and larfing vigorously at me because I could only have parked farther away if I’d stopped in Boulder City, they relented and disgorged directions to their valet service.  All went well — somewhat well — afterwards, having tramped around in 110-degree heat at my advanced and febrile age.

So endeth Tuesday, my driving day.  I had dinner at some forgettable Mexican food place because I could find it from my hotel room on the 12th floor.  The mall was confusing, finding my car was confusing and certainly the interior of Planet Hollywood was confusing as well.  Of course, that is purposeful because, as a gambler, the casino’s goal is to welcome you in, have you spend copious amounts of cash, forget about the time, and waylay you to another table or another locale in which to part you from your cash.  That said, it’s not just Planet Hollywood; it’s been the goal of every casino ever built.

Frankly, the room was great.  Spacious, a king bed, no smoking, lots of Judge Dredd memorabilia stashed around the room and in display cases.  The pièce de résistance?  A wonderful, deep jetted tub in the bathroom.

Clint & Shaun Enroute Las Vegas

Clint and Shaun enroute Las Vegas, as opposed to leaving Las Vegas.

Wednesday saw the arrival of Shaun and Clint, and we gathered the equipment from the back of the Kraut Kar in order to reassemble it in the rotunda of the Planet Hollywood mezzanine.  Ably aided and abetted by Valerie and Mim (shoutout to both!), we were able to — ahem — “liberate” and “acquire” what we needed.  Ahem.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 379 Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 380SHR Assembles the BoothBit by bit the booth took shape as we arranged tables, draping, chairs, signs, banners and the various accoutrements that comprise a burgeoning radio network.

The next day, Thursday, I had occasion to meet two unique radio personalities on the SHR Media Network — Ken McClenton, The Exceptional Conservative, and Dr Michael Jones, the Underground Professor.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 393The effervescent, ebullient and ubiquitous Sir Kenneth McClenton at Freedom Fest.

Ken McClenton lives and broadcasts on the SHR Media Network live and direct from Washington DC, the proverbial belly of the beast, every Monday through Thursday from 9 to 11 PM Eastern, and 6 to 8 PM Pacific.  Ken is on Twitter @MrExceptional1.  Ken’s site says:

Kenneth McClenton is an Urban Conservative whose mission Is to spread the good news of Christianity, Conservatism, Capitalism and Constitutionalism throughout the world.  Devoted to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, Ken believes that in order to save the United States, we must mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to save Urban America.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 395Ken broadcasts with Sackheads Shaun running the board, at the SHR Media booth.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 388Ken with Salem Radio Network’s Larry Elder, the Sage of South Central, both displaying astounding sartorial splendor and elegance.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 414Colorado Senatorial candidate Lily Tang Williams and Ken.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 521Ken interviews former presidential candidate Steve Forbes prior to the Bourbon Smackdown.  But wait; more on that in just a bit.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 471Kenneth McClenton, The Exceptional Conservative.

Having never met Ken before, I must say it was a pleasure to encounter he and his wife.  They are two of the kindest and most considerate persons you would ever want to meet.  Ken’s laugh is loud and infectious (necessitating, later, a painful series of injections to counter same).  Truly, if there were ever a Great Guy placed on planet earth by God, it would be Ken.  And, of course, someone should ask Ken two extremely important things: 1) how he managed to acquire the moniker of “Kitten,” and 2) how the interview with Ali’s fight promoter, Don King, went.

It was my next pleasure to meet Michael Jones, the Underground Professor, whose site indicates:

Host Michael Jones comments on political commentary on current events, tidbits from history, comparative religion, literature, philosophic arguments, and scientific progress. Because while current events are important, UGP Radio is about more than entertainment and political intrigue. Our goal is to deliver a liberal arts education through a one hour broadcast every day. Each episode spans a series of subjects that will enable you to draw conclusions, rather than fuel you with talking points. Learn more about the Underground Professor at or catch him on

Once I met Dr Jones, I immediately understood why I overheard some of the Sack Heads personnel — specifically, the personal servants for both Shaun and Clint (Shaun and Clint travel with a retinue of three private assistants each) — say: “they look like twin sons of different mothers” in reference to myself and Dr Jones.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 445Dr Jones, the Underground Professor, live at Freedom Fest (with Ken McClenton).

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 472Dr Jones, possessing three doctorates, always displays a serious and professional mien.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 440Operating under the banner of the Underground Professor.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 523Dr Jones, I presume, interviewing Steve Forbes.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 441Wyatt McKee interviewed by Dr Michael Jones, the Underground Professor.

The Underground Professor, a frightening conglomerate of knowledge packed into his brainulus, can be heard on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 6:00 PM Central — and Sundays at 8:00 PM Central.  You can listen in at blogtalkradio.  Dr Jones can also be found, Saturdays, on WNJC 1360 Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware at 5:00 PM Central.

In all, a great and wonderful time was had.  On the wrap-up night, however, a rather interesting event occurred.  On the cusp of hosting the Bourbon Smackdown at the SHR Media booth in which persons of all stripes — vertical and horizontal — were invited, Steve Forbes ambled towards the booth having just spoken to a massive audience.  He was corraled by the UP and Shaun, whereupon he sat for an interview as documented above.

Shaun mentioned the upcoming Bourbon Smackdown and produced a glistening and pristine glass for Mr Forbes, introducing some Bookers into same.  Mr Forbes, not knowing who the hell we were at all, accepted the glass with grace and proceeded to speak to us and knock back some bourbon.

Please note the glass in the hand of Mr Forbes — a remarkably brave and courageous man.  His bodyguard was a rather nice (and attentive) individual as well, professional and unobtrusive.  We heaved a collective sigh when he decided not to Tase each and every one of us for handing his principal a glass of untested liquid.

20160715_200411Ken, tenuous, awaits the stinging barbs of a Taser gun, knowing the black guy would be the first recipient of any electronic ire.

Steve Forbes Signs Shaun's Booker's Bourbon BoxSteve Forbes was kind enough to sign Sack Head Shaun’s box of Booker’s bourbon — which is now prominently displayed at the SHR studios in beautiful downtown Burbank.


Liquid remnants.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 406In all, it was a grand time and I was made to feel welcome and part of the team, thanks to the gracious and stylish ministrations of Shaun, Clint, Ken and Michael.

Some random photographs and memories of the Las Vegas Freedom Fest 2016, for all to peruse.  Many thanks once more to Valerie and Mim for their timely and appreciated assistance on every level imaginable.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 390Shaun with Larry Elder.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 397 Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 403Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 447The Sack Heads Radio team of teams.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 405Interviewing Mim on the Exceptional Conservative show.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 422Sack Heads Clint, Lily Tang Williams, Dr Jones, Ken and Sack Heads Shaun.  Yes, we liked Lily a lot; she was fun, animated, intelligent, driven and inspiring.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 433Judge Andrew Napolitano at the Freedom Fest — one of the finest speakers I’ve seen.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 475Shaun was kept busy most every hour, posting the shows to the SHR Media Network website, updating the social media, sending out Tweets and attending to Facebook.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 485Steve Forbes interviewed by Dr Jones, with Shaun taking a photo in the background.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 499The SHR team interviews Heather Wagenhals, financial advisor.  Please note the great, toned, ripplingly-muscular calves and legs of Dr Michael Jones.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 502Even Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton came to call upon the SHR Media booth.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 504Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 511The SHR Media team interviews George Foreman during the Bourbon Smackdown.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 512Sack Heads Clint speaks to boxer and entrepreneur George Foreman.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 516The conclusion to a great Freedom Fest at Planet Hollywood, as glasses clink during the Bourbon Smackdown.

Samsung Photos As Of 7-24-2016 560Your SHR Media Network team at the 2016 Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, under the Planet Hollywood rotunda — remarkably apropos for BZ.

Shaun & Clint Planet HollywoodBreakfast, before we all head back to our homes at the conclusion of Freedom Fest.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, my most humble thanks to Shaun, Clint, Ken, Michael, Mrs Ken, Valerie and Mim, as I wrap up coverage of the 2016 Freedom Fest.

I look forward to becoming an integral part of the growing SHR Media Network, and to attending next year’s Freedom Fest as well.




A moment of clarity about the The Realist

BZ Logo For BlogI’ve received a few emails from lost souls who actually follow my blog (they must be the ones who also religiously clean their fish tanks and balance check books), and are asking about the new header and its meaning.  Actually, I received more emails about the new header than I’ve ever received in the history of the blog.

They all asked: so, what does “I am The Realist” mean?

I decided it was time to explain and clarify.

Yes, I am still the Bloviating Zeppelin.  I have been so since this blog’s inception on Blogger in 2004.  I have kept this blog running for 11 years now.  These days that is unheard of.  Most blogs last a few weeks or a month, if that, then are abandoned.  The Blogosphere is replete with the abandoned floating remnants of good intentions ignored.

BZ Beard Avatar 1But, in my 60+ years on the planet, never have I encountered times such as these, where the 180-Paradigm is so completely embraced.

That is to say: if something is good, wonderful, fantastic, honest, clear, loyal, brave, powerful, proud, supportive of the United States, you can be assured that the current administration will do or embrace the complete reverse.

I am so done with that.  I am done with receding, with subsuming, with parsing my words, with taking care, with hesitating, with trying to acquire a readership, with attempting to appeal to more readers.  I am in my 60s, my days are numbered, I am done with tolerance, with acceptance, with any form of political correctness.

Let me make this plain.  I have “mine.”  I purposely purchased food for me and my wife to continue living.  I have a water source.  I have a defensible cabin far away from population centers.  I have a bangstick and one bullet.  I have the mindset and the training and the education and experience to utilize all of these things when necessary.  Further, I have a modicum of fiscal security.  I may have been a cop, but I was not a stupid cop.

I planned for my retirement when I was only in my single digits.  Shame on you if you haven’t planned for your retirement.  It’s not my responsibility to take care of you, that you haven’t had the insight I had or if you’re stupid.  Which reemphasizes: I have “mine.”  If you weren’t equally smart then shame on you.  Which translates to: if I advocate against the GOPEE or take certain stands, it’s because I don’t so much mind if the nation collapses.  I am better off than 99% of the rest of the US.

I don’t have to equivocate or worry about what anyone thinks about me.  That, frankly, is rather liberating.  And, as The Realist, it’s time to yank the covers off the national bed and expose the soft white underbelly of politics.  Because I am done.

This nation is not going to survive “compromise.”  It is not going to survive “bipartisanship.”  It is not going to survive communal thoughts or bicameral decisions or deconfliction or Progressives or Socialists or Demorats or Leftists or the SEIU or illegal immigrants or Muslims or open borders.

It’s time to be a Realist.  It’s time to realize what can be done and what must be done.  It’s time for me to fish or cut bait.  It’s time to be even more plain than ever before.  Because, in my estimation, the literal life of this nation, this great nation, is literally on the line.

There are elements, many elements, that wish to see this nation go down in flames.  They exist from without but way too many of these elements exist from within the nation.  I must identify them, call them out, be Politically INcorrect, and use plain and coarse language.

It’s not about me.  As I said, I have “mine.”  I can survive when pushed against the wall.  Too many Americans cannot.  And too many Americans are stupid and dull and groomed for extinction.  They don’t realize that they are the frog in the boiling pot.  They are dulled by their television and their news and their indifference to life around them.  They cannot see two inches in front of their faces.  They have been groomed and petted and coddled to be the dullards they have turned out to be.  The Millennials are the worst.  And they are in for a massive shock.  They are the least prepared for it.

There is a huge societal “thump” coming.  It may be revealed in a physical sense, in a geographic sense, in a fiscal sense, in a budgetary sense, in a stock sense, in an internet sense, in a viral sense, in a technological sense.  Or all of these.

But there is a major “thump” coming and oh-so-very-few people are prepared.  With that in mind, I have to ratchet up my rhetoric because ratcheted-up rhetoric is about to be banned.

You doubt me?

Just you wait and see.

Hence: I am now The Realist.

I must be more clear than ever before.



“Net neutrality” to censor Drudge, Fox and ME?

Freedom of Speech StoppedAh yes, Leftists soon to get what they want, the censorship of those who oppose their policies?

As per normal it isn’t Republicans or Conservatives or those on the right who want to remove your freedoms and specifically your First Amendment freedoms, it is those who profess to be the most embracing and the most understanding and tolerant who wish to remove your freedoms: the Demorats and Leftists and so-called Progressives.

From the

Drudge, Fox News could be censored under new federal rules, experts warn

by Rudy Takala

A Washington, D.C., appeals court is set to hear arguments later this year on new net neutrality rules, which critics say could lead to government regulators censoring websites such as the Drudge Report and Fox News.

In its February vote on net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission stated that broadband providers do not have a right to free speech. “Broadband providers are conduits, not speakers … the rules we adopt today are tailored to the important government interest in maintaining an open Internet as a platform for expression,” the majority held in its 3-2 vote.

The rules, which went into effect in June, require that broadband providers — such as Verizon or Comcast — offer access to all legal online content. It did not place such a requirement on “edge providers,” such as Netflix and Google. The FCC defines edge providers as “any individual or entity that provides any content, application, or service over the Internet, and any individual or entity that provides a device used for accessing any content, application, or service over the Internet.”

No right to free speech?

Writing in separate briefs, former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth and the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology argues that the rules violate the First Amendment right of Internet providers to display the speech they choose.

“If rules such as these are not reviewed under the most rigorous scrutiny possible, government favoritism and censorship masquerading as ‘neutrality’ will soon cascade to other forms of mass communication,” the center argues.

“If the court upholds the FCC’s rules, the agency’s authority over the Internet would extend from one end to the other,” Fred Campbell, president of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology, told the Washington Examiner. “Because the same theories the FCC relied on to impose its new regulations on Internet service providers are also applicable to companies like Apple and Netflix, the FCC could extend its regulatory reach much further in the future.”

Could that “reach” mean me?  And you?  Our opinions on social media?  Any bit of written expression that involves an opinion or even a viewpoint?

More pointedly, our political opinions?  Opinions that could contradict those of the regime in power, as Mr Obama or others of power in DC?

Specifically, Campbell said, the FCC will likely try to control political speech.

“This possibility raises the risk that Congress or the FCC could impose restrictions on Internet video and other services that have traditionally been imposed on over the air broadcasting and cable television, including the fairness doctrine that once put the government in charge of determining whether broadcasters were fairly representing both sides of an issue,” he explained.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who voted against the net neutrality rules, has said such restrictions may be coming if net neutrality is allowed to stand, warning in March that online political content like the Drudge Report could face greater regulation.

Why is it, however, that only Drudge and Fox News should be targeted?  Is it because the “rest” of the news agencies are so terribly unbiased — such as NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN?  It is no shock that there is much Left-wing bias in the newsrooms of what most would term the “mainstream media.”  Bernard Goldberg knew this years ago.  There are very few Republicans and right-wingers in MSM newsrooms.

Further, clearly the ignorant don’t know that Drudge doesn’t write news; the DrudgeReport is nothing more than a news aggregator.  It collects and collates news from sources around the globe, then slugs stories with a headline that catches.

Is this really the United States of America, when something like this could actually happen?



BZ’s 10-year Bloggiversary

BZ 10-Year BloggiversaryBloviating Zeppelin began on June 19th of 2004.

I never thought it would last more than a few months.  I never thought I would be interested in posting more than a few months.

Surprise, surprise.

I was convinced I’d lose interest.

First it went five years.

I wrote only for myself. I had no idea how to embed links, how to post photographs. I could do nothing but write and click the “PUBLISH POST” button.

My continuing thanks to Texas Fred and Robert from American & Proud for bringing my graphics into the 20th Century, and then on my conversion from to WordPress.

I’ve written for me; I’ve written to document portions of my life so I won’t forget; I’ve written to bloviate, to excoriate, to yell, to educate. I’ve written when stone cold sober and remarkably inebriated. I’ve written with tears running down my cheeks. And I’ve written as the snow fell and stacked up, over six feet, on my deck.

Throughout all this, my greatest thanks go to you, my readers. Thank you for trusting me, for visiting, for taking the time to comment and interact.

With all the hubris, arrogance, violence, hate, discontent, confusion, lack of understanding and, mostly, lack of time, I know that each and every one of you are challenged in your lives.

Yet you still find the time to come by.

I stand amazed. And incredibly thankful.

Thank you again.



Waves of Change coming to BZ: a NEW “The Usual Suspects” blogroll!

Things are about to change.

Waves Of ChangeThe BZ Blogroll has to change.

It has become too stagnant and I had become unwilling to look and link to new and exciting talent.  People who don’t blog regularly as I do — well, I can’t have time for them. Life is too short.

Though I’m getting older, the political issues are morphing faster as are the changing and evolving technological realms — which have a massive effect on our lives.  I, we, cannot afford to get kicked to the curb because we do not have time to become aware.

Thusly: the blogroll of The Usual Suspects is markedly changing later this week.

The Usual SuspectsAnd I will be going back to personally introducing or deleting various blogs on my TUS blogroll.

Look for the change, and please visit those who will inhabit my new The Usual Suspects blogroll.