Books by Don Johnson

(This is a pinned post – please scroll down for recent posts)

Some travel adventures:
European adventures with good friends

My Amazon Bookstore

I invite you to take a look at books I have authored. Most of them are of a historical nature and contain much of what has been important in my life.


If you are wondering about my books and who I am, click on the image of my Amazon Book Store just above and read “About Donald L Johnson.”

For a more detailed and intimate look at me, my autobiography is at:
A Yearning for Publius – A Look at My Life 
I’ve added a chapter on heroes – 13 people who have made a significant impact on my life over the years.

Sam Jankovich – A Sports Legend.
Written by Sam Jankovich. Edited and published by Don Johnson.
The life story of a remarkable man. Beginning his career as a hard-rock miner in the depths of a mile deep copper mine in Butte Montana to national championships in collegiate football to CEO/GM of the New England Patriots. And a very fine man and dear friend.

A video companion
A video companion

Dennis Prager: As America has become more secular, it has become less free

I share this article with full credit to Dennis Prager:

Here is something any honest person must acknowledge: As America has become more secular, it has become less free.

Individuals can differ as to whether these two facts are correlated, but no honest person can deny they are facts.

It seems to me indisputable that they are correlated. To deny this, one would have to argue that it is merely coincidental that free speech, the greatest of all freedoms, is more seriously threatened than at any time in American history while a smaller-than-ever percentage of Americans believe in God or regularly attend church.

The United States became the freest country in the world, the sweet land of liberty, the recipient of the Statue of Liberty, the country whose flag freedom fighters around the world have often waved. This freedom was rooted in the deeply religious nature of its founding ideals. America was founded by God-centered individuals to be a God-centered country. The claims that America’s founders were mostly deists and that America was founded to be a godless secular society are not true.

Some of the Founders were not orthodox Christians, i.e., they did not believe in the Christian Trinity or in the divinity of Christ. But none of them were deists (with the possible exception of Jefferson). Deists believed in a creator God who was not only uninvolved with his creations, but he also did not even know them, let alone care about them. After creating the world, the deists’ God abandoned it. The deists’ God was Aristotle’s “unmoved mover.”

Every major Founder (again, with the possible exception of Jefferson) believed in the God of the Bible who heard prayer, acted in history, judged people in the hereafter, demanded ethical behavior, and without Whom morality did not objectively exist. Most importantly, they all believed that in order for a functioning democratic republic not to descend into tyranny, it was necessary to link freedom with God.

Whatever Jefferson’s view of God was, he was as influenced by the Bible as every other Founder. He and Benjamin Franklin proposed that the great seal of the United States depict Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt: Moses raising his rod to divide the sea; Pharaoh, in his chariot, overwhelmed by the waters; and the divine pillar of fire that led the Israelites by night. The seal’s proposed motto: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” Jefferson and Franklin believed that freedom and obedience to God were synonymous. No God, no freedom.

The Founders linked freedom inextricably to God. That is why the inscription on the Liberty Bell is from the Bible: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.” The verse comes from Leviticus, the third book of the Bible. The Founders knew their Bible. The present adult generation of Americans is more ignorant of the Bible than any in American history. And most young people know even less. I suspect that most students at Harvard could not identify Leviticus, let alone cite any of its verses.

The bell was named “the Liberty Bell” by the abolitionists. Their opposition to slavery was based entirely on the Bible. Their motivating principle, “All men are created equal,” came from the Bible. They did not get it from the ancient Greeks, who would have scoffed at such a notion. 

Freedom permeates the Old Testament: The Bible begins with the story of Adam and Eve, a story about man’s assertion of his God-given freedom … freedom even to disobey God. The primary story of the Old Testament is the Exodus, a story about God liberating slaves. 

For the Founders, the most obvious reason freedom was dependent on faith in God was that only if God is regarded as the source of freedom could men not rightfully take it away. If men are the source of the freedom, men can rightfully retract it. This is precisely what is happening today. Freedom is being destroyed primarily by those who scorn the idea that freedom comes from God.

The rule that the end of religion means the end of freedom does not mean that secularism would not be a welcome replacement for totalitarian theocracies such as Iran. But eventually that, too — a secular Iran — would lead to tyranny. Wherever God is delinked from freedom, freedom ultimately withers. When Christianity died in Europe, it was replaced by fascism, Nazism and communism. 

Freedom is central to the Bible. This is especially apparent in America, which until now has linked its unparalleled commitment to freedom to God and the Bible. But freedom is peripheral to leftism. That is why freedom in America is threatened as never before: The foundations upon which freedom rests — God, the Bible, Judeo-Christian values — are threatened as never before. 

Every American coin bears two inscriptions: “In God We Trust” and “Liberty.” Every generation of Americans prior to the 1960s understood why. Most Americans today, including secular conservatives, do not.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at

Dennis Prager provides a powerful narrative in his argument of why America is losing her freedoms. But perhaps his argument is persuasive only if you buy into his view of the connection between our Judeo/Christian foundations and our heritage of ever increasing liberty. In my book, I go further than Prager’s narrative and provide example after example of specific attacks occurring today against our basic constitutionally protected freedoms. Scan through just the Table of Contents to see for yourself, then make your own judgement.

He Left a War-Torn Country as a Refugee and Went on to Become a US Mayor Barnes

I met Mayor Wilmot Collins at his office here in Helena just three days ago (Sept. 15, 2021). I presented a book to him I had authored several years ago titled Immigration & Assimilation: A Hungarian Model. In this book I included stories of refugee immigrants such as Mayor Collins. I included Mayor Collins in my book shortly after our move to Helena back in March 2020, but because of COVID restrictions I delayed seeking him out.

My book contains stories of immigrants from various parts of the world. The original edition of the book emphasized refugee immigrants from the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 because I have known several of them. But the book has since expanded to include people from various parts of the world: Hungary, Ukraine, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba … And now Liberia.

The story below is compelling, not unlike so many I have come across. And the story is inspiring as it shows the amazing contributions these men and women have made to our American nation. Perhaps I will be updating my book in the future to include some amazing stories of refugees from Afghanistan.


Days into the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan, amid reports of a terrorist attack at the Kabul airport and thousands of refugees trying to flee the country, Mayor Wilmot Collins logged onto Twitter.

“When I was a refugee, of all places it was Helena, Montana that offered me and my family a second chance at life,” Collins wrote. “I will gladly support any and all federal efforts that offer the same beacon of hope to Afghan refugees and welcome them to Helena with the same grace I was shown.”

Collins, the first Black mayor elected in Montana since it became a state in 1889, came to the United States in 1994 at age 31 as a refugee from his native country of Liberia, then embroiled in the first phase of its civil war. As a result, his views on refugees are fairly straightforward—people in need of a new start should be able to find one, particularly in the case of Afghanistan, where America’s actions helped create the urgent need to flee.  

“When I saw the people at the Kabul airport trying to leave, it brought back some memories that were tough for me,” he said. “It was hard. And so I felt it was necessary to show that Helena is a welcoming community.”

Mayor Wilmot Collins (courtesy Wilmot Collins)

‘We Have to Get Out’

The day that Collins decided to leave Liberia had not been that different from the days before it. The country had been at war for several years, and Collins, his mother and his now-wife Maddie Muna Collins were holed up in a spare room in a house near the American embassy in Monrovia. 

Each morning, one member of the trio would venture out to look for food; that day, Collins said, he and Muna Collins, then his fiancee, went together. A day-long search turned up only a tube of toothpaste, which the couple split between themselves, slurping the minty gel like a snack. As they passed through the final checkpoint to return home, the couple was stopped by a soldier.

“My wife was interrogated, and after about 20 minutes, the soldier asked her, ‘Is that your man?’” Collins said.  “And she said, ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘You’re lucky. I’m done killing today. I’m going to let you go.’”

Collins and his fiancee backed away from the soldier slowly. They kept their eyes on him, walking backwards, scared that if they turned to run, the soldier would shoot them in the back. 

Safely back in their room, Collins turned to his mother and his fiancee. He’d heard that a peacekeeping ship from Nigeria, departing in the next few days, was allowing Liberians on board. He knew it was time to leave.

“I said, ‘This is it. I’m not going out anymore,’” he said. “I told them, ‘We have to get out of here, or we will die.’”

Collins’ mother declined to leave, but his sister and her family, also were living in Monrovia, agreed to make the trip. The group left for the port on a Friday morning and waited in line for days. Among the crowd of thousands, the couple lost contact with Collins’ sister, but boarded the ship on Sunday evening with his sister’s husband, their baby, and a cousin and his girlfriend.

“By that point, we had lost contact with our relatives, because the place was so packed,” Collins said. “There were an estimated 10,000 people on board. There was only standing room.”

The ship docked at Ghana after a three-day voyage, during which the couple went without food or water. They saw people die and watched families tip their deceased relatives into the sea. When they disembarked two days later, Collins went in search of a local branch of SOS Children’s Villages, an international organization he had worked for in Liberia. The director there asked Collins for identification. He had none.

“In Liberia, we couldn’t travel with IDs, because it could link us back to someone,” he said. “I couldn’t prove who I was, but I knew that some kids I had worked with had come on the first ship.”

If the children could identify Collins, the director agreed, he could come inside. When the children saw him, they started crying, which Collins thought at first was a happy reaction to reuniting with him safely after such a long time.

“But then I went to use the restroom, and for the first time in six months, I looked in a mirror,” he said. Months of malnourishment had left him severely emaciated; he’d later weigh in at just over 90 pounds. “I understood, then, why they were crying.”

SOS Children’s Villages drove Collins back to the port to pick up his family. The group stayed with the organization for three months, recuperating and considering their options for resettlement. Muna Collins had previously studied nursing in Montana as part of an African exchange program. She had often spoken of the state’s beauty, and suggested that they try to relocate there. She contacted the family that had hosted her during the program, who helped her secure a nursing scholarship at a nearby college. They said she could return to their Helena home.

The couple married in Ghana. Two weeks before Muna Collins was scheduled to leave, she learned she was pregnant. 

“We talked about it, and decided it was best that she still go,” Collins said. “So we agreed she would go, and I would stay.”

Their separation would last for nearly three years. Finding a way to join his wife in America was, Collins said, “almost impossible.” He registered with the United Nations Refugee Agency, hoping to join his wife as a refugee. His daughter was born while he worked through that process, his presence in her life limited to phone calls and photographs. Eventually, by virtue of his daughter’s citizenship, Collins finally was allowed to join his family.

At that time, “Liberians were able to join their relatives in America, but only if their relatives were either permanent residents—a green-card holder—or a citizen,” he said. “And I did not meet any of the criteria until my daughter was born. Then I applied again and became eligible.”

Two years and seven months after his wife came to Montana, Collins boarded a plane to Helena. There, in the terminal, he met his 23-month-old daughter for the first time.

“My wife was holding her up in her arms, and as I entered the terminal, my wife put her down and said, ‘There’s Daddy, go to Daddy,’” he said. “She started to walk towards me and I stopped, because I thought she wouldn’t know me, and I didn’t want to startle her. But then she started to run.”

Collins dropped to his knees and opened his arms. His daughter flew into his embrace.

“She hugged me, and I hugged her,” he said. “So, so tightly.”

The Collins family (courtesy Wilmot Collins)

‘I Had to Get Adjusted’

Collins’ first days in Montana were disorienting. He had arrived in February, a frigid month in Helena but a balmy time of year in Liberia. He struggled to adapt to the customs in his new country, including different foods and mealtime rituals.

“In Liberia, lunch is our big meal, but here it’s dinner, and that threw me off completely,” he said. “My first lunch was a sandwich, and after an hour I asked my wife when we were having dinner. She said, ‘You just ate,’ and I said, ‘But I didn’t have any rice.’ In Liberia, we can eat bread all day—that’s not eating. We have to have rice. I had to get adjusted to that, and it was hard.”

Every morning for the first few weeks, Collins would explore Helena on foot. One day, he stumbled upon the capitol building, headed inside, and saw a sign pointing to the governor’s office. 

“Something in me just said, ‘Go and visit the governor,’” he said. “So I turned left.”

Then-Gov. Mark Racicot walked into the office as Collins filled out paperwork to request an appointment with him. The two men talked, and Racicot helped Collins, who held two college degrees from Liberia, find a job as a counselor at Intermountain Children’s Home. He worked for several other agencies before landing at the state Department of Health and Human Services, where he specialized in child protection. 

During that time Collins also served in the National Guard, the United States Army Reserve and the United States Naval Reserve, a 22-year military career that began with a cold call from a recruiter.

Citizenship wasn’t required to enlist, and Collins was intrigued, thinking the idea sounded like an interesting challenge. Boot camp went well enough, until the weapons training, which included a rifle qualification exam. Holding, aiming and firing a gun immediately brought back memories of his life in a war-torn country.

“When I got on the shooting range, I broke down. I couldn’t do it,” he said. “They called the chaplain and pulled me off the range. We talked, for several days, and finally I said, ‘OK, I’ll give it another shot.’”

He passed the test, but the experience was emotionally difficult. Collins avoided weapons until he needed to requalify, though he is more comfortable with them now, he said.

For much of their first year together in Montana, Collins, his wife and their daughter lived with Muna Collins’ host family, who provided lodging and financial support. They found additional community support from a local Methodist church. After saving some money, the family moved into low-income housing in the city, then eventually bought a house. 

At the time, Collins said, they were the only Liberians in the city, and are still among its only Black residents. (As of 2019, Helena’s population of 33,000 was nearly 94% white, and only .5% were Black/African American, according to federal data.) Collins found the community largely welcoming, though there were instances of racism. One morning, several years after he arrived, a neighbor woke him early on a Saturday to ask if he’d been outside yet.

“I put some clothes on and went outside, and on my garage was spray-painted ‘KKK go back to Africa,’” Collins said. “I just told her, ‘OK, I’ll call the police, I’ll take care of this.’”

He went inside to use the phone. When he came back out, he found a group of neighbors washing the words away.

“That told me, right there, that I belong here,” he said. “That said, ‘You are a part of us.’ When I came to America, yes, I did experience racism. But there was always a positive, overwhelming outcome from it.”

‘I Threw Myself Out There’

Collins was required to live in the country as a refugee for a year before applying for a green card. Once he received it, his wife was eligible to apply. Five years later, they became citizens.

Politics came after his military retirement in 2017. His son, born two years after he arrived,  suggested he enter the Helena mayoral race, saying, “This year is your year.” After so many years in Helena, Collins knew a ton of people in the community, through his full-time job, his work as a substitute teacher, and a host of volunteer positions—coaching kids’ soccer teams, singing in his church choir and serving on boards of various nonprofit organizations, including the United Way of the Lewis & Clark Area and the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance. 

“I just threw myself out there,” he said. “It got to the point that when people would see my kids they’d say, ‘You’re Wilmot’s kids,’ and my children would get mad and say, ‘Can you please tell these people that we have names?’”

The family voted on the idea, with Collins’ wife casting the lone dissent. He defeated a four-term incumbent mayor in the general election, garnering  51% of the vote to become the state’s first Black mayor. 

All of this, he noted, was possible because of the second chance he found in Helena, after being accepted as a refugee. Others should have that opportunity, he said.

“All you want to do is show someone that help that you were given when you were in need,” he said. “It’s hard to just sit back on the sideline and do absolutely nothing, you can’t do that. You want to share. You want to be able to share what you went through with these people.”

‘They Need Help. We Should Help’

For now, a majority of Americans support welcoming Afghan refugees, though recent polls have shown that support is fractured along political lines. However, Republican support has fallen in recent weeks following commentary from right-wing pundits, including Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, that frames resettlement as a ploy by Democrats to flood “swing districts with refugees they know will become loyal Democratic party voters.” 

Collins views it differently. He believes that withdrawal from Afghanistan was the correct decision, though “we could have done it in a better fashion.” As a city-level official, Collins does not have the authority to offer asylum to refugees, a process that’s controlled by federal immigration laws. But people in Helena want to help, and Collins is trying to help them do it, both by connecting them to rescue organizations within the state and by working with those groups himself.

“I’ve had so many people contact me saying, ‘I have a place, I have an apartment, I have a house,’” he said. “I’m trying to tell them who to contact within the international rescue community, and I’ve been in touch with them myself. I think we’ll have a welcoming event for a group of refugees soon in Missoula.”

People fleeing their country deserve a chance to rebuild their lives safely, he said—particularly those who helped the United States during its 20-year mission in Afghanistan.

“I know that most times, people tend to be afraid of the unknown, and that’s understandable. But refugees that are fleeing war and fleeing their country—they’re not fleeing to cause harm, they’re fleeing because they need help,” he said. “I’m not saying we need to take all the refugees. I’m just saying we should help. I will always support that.”

Losing Liberty – a review

Awhile back I sent an earlier edition of this book to some folks for review. What follows is a review I received a few days back. I don’t know Jim, but am very appreciative of his remarks.

The questions in bold are mine in asking for comments.

Hi Don,

I enjoyed reading your new book, Losing Liberty very much.  My perspective is similar to yours, since I served in the active duty U.S. Navy between 1967 and 1973.  I spent a lot of time on the USS Inflict (MSO 456), an ocean-going minesweeper.  Here’s my take on the book:

1) Does the book have/lack impact?

I believe this book should be compulsory reading for every high school student.  And, that it will have an increasing impact over time.  I really liked the way you presented the story of Liberty/Freedom from the perspective of a true patriot.  I found a couple of minor typos somewhere around page 40 – 44, but nothing that detracted from the story.  The book/story is appropriate for our crazy times and exposes the monsters we have in Washington, D.C. Their communist agenda clearly shows the indoctrination of our youth and their plan to turn the United States into a third-world country.  It’s shameful, and I’m happy that your book identifies the key components of the extreme leftist plan of critical race theory, identity politics, removing our heritage, destroying our currency, defund the police, etc.  I would like to have seen some emphasis placed on the need for our Country to return back to God, but maybe that’s a theme for another book.

2) Does the table of contents in-and-of-itself tell a story?

Absolutely, it does.  The overall story is very well laid out in the TofC’s.

3) How does the front cover come across? Does it have a punch?

Outstanding front cover.  It serves the contents of the book very well.  I also liked the back cover.  I believe most people, especially young people don’t have a clue about what’s about to hit them square in the forehead.  I hope that your book receives wide-scale attention.

4) How does my conclusion at the end come across?

It could use a little more information about how our Founding Fathers envisioned a God-supported environment in which the principles of Liberty could shine and prosper.  “In God We Trust” is a fundamental foundational principle that allowed our country to be the miracle that it is, still standing 250 years later.  Otherwise, the conclusion is right on!

5) Take a few samplings in PART 2 and delve into my references as well as my own narrative.

I enjoyed PART 2 very much.  It states, I believe very clearly the case for Liberty, by example.  Since I lived through most all of the examples you present, it is easy for me to agree with the premise of “fighting for liberty” as an extremely important component of preserving the United States as a constitutional republic for future generations.  Truthful history education is the key to our survival as a free nation.  If we fail, our future generations will have nothing and not want to work for anything.  A grim prospect.

6) General comments and suggestions you may have.

I believe your book is extremely important.  It puts down in writing exactly what is happening to our incredible country from outside sources that would tear us down.  Unfortunately, most of our people are like frogs in a slow boiling pot.  They are not going to know what hit them until its too late.  You have captured the essence of the problem brilliantly.  I know of no other book that lays out the case for Liberty as well as this book. 

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to take a first look.

All the best,

Hayden, ID

I invite you to take a look and make your own judgements.

Don Johnson — September 2021

9/11/2001 – at twenty years.

I wrote and posted this essay at the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and now post it again at 20 years.

September 11, 2001 was to be just another day on the road in Fairbanks Alaska. As on every other morning I awoke with the TV still on from the night before; a noise to awaken to; a way to get myself oriented to the oncoming day. Except this morning was to be so different.
As I slowly awakened from my groggy sleep, the image on my TV reached out and tried to stop my heart; an image of  the Trade Center towers in flames, filled with people at work, struck by an airliner filled with passengers traveling to business meetings, vacations and reuniting with loved ones.
Soon the stark reality came to me that my son Don and his wife Stephanie, and my new daughter in law, could have been on one of those American Airlines planes that crashed into the towers. They were flight attendants working the LA to NY flights on a regular basis.

I was afraid to make that phone call, and did everything I could to delay it. I made and ate some breakfast; shaved and showered in preparation for work at nearby Eielson AFB. Finally I took a deep breath and made the call. Stephanie answered the call and said “we’re OK, we’re home and we’re OK…” I don’t remember the rest of the conversation other than that we were both crying.

It’s funny, but after almost 10 years [now 20] I still remember the layout of that hotel room; the kitchen off to the right of the entry door, the living room just beyond the kitchen, the bedroom to the left with the TV facing the bed, the bathroom just to the right of my bed.

Somewhere in the fog of that September morning I remembered that my daughter JoAnne and her family lived in nearby New Haven Connecticut and it was not uncommon for them to visit “the city”. I called them and all was well with them as well.

A day or two later I got word that my niece Beth’s husband Mike was also OK. Mike was an Air Force officer stationed at the Pentagon. Beth got word of the Pentagon attack while shopping at Wall Mart that morning, and was frantic in worrying and wondering about Mike. It turns out that Mike was at an off-site meeting and was OK, but it was an agonizing several hours before Beth heard from Mike.

We went to work that day, or at least we tried. The base was closed to all non-essential personnel and we were turned away at the gate. The next day, September 12, it took several hours to finally get on base and to work; by then the base had taken on an entirely different atmosphere despite the fact that we were far removed from potential attack. Security was tightened to the point that you had to show an id to buy a hamburger at the base Burger King.  One day we were evacuated (twice) from our secure cinder block building because of a suspicious package at the enlisted man’s barracks several blocks away.

September 11, 2001. A day that changed my life.

Losing Liberty – A book far, far too easy to write.

An excerpt from the book:


I have learned much in writing on liberty, much of it coming from personal experience and meeting some amazing people as you will see in the many pages of my book Yearning for Liberty.

Here are some things I have learned along the way:

  • Liberty is exceedingly rare in human experience.
  • Achieving liberty is difficult and costly.
  • Maintaining liberty is difficult and costly.
  • Recovering lost liberty is exceedingly rare.
  • Horrific evil is unleashed when liberty is absent.
  • Liberty has great value in many different ways.
  • My generation of Americans has lived in the “sweet spot” in the story of liberty.
  • Those who have lived under tyranny and escaped to liberty are the most passionate about liberty.
  • Those who have lived under tyranny and escaped to liberty are among the most productive in their new nation.
  • There has been “A Shinning City On A Hill” – and it has been America.
  • There are many living in that shining city that don’t understand it, and don’t understand why it is not utopia. (Yes, I understand, there is still more work to be done.)
  • There are many living in that shining city that seek to destroy it.
  • Accurate remembrance of the successes and failures in the quest for liberty is vitally important.
  • Even in the darkest days of man’s inhumanity to man, I find humanity – I find hope – I find a ‘Yearning for Liberty.’
  • Liberty offers a free will choice: To choose God, the source of joy, wisdom, and love. Or to reject the author of joy, wisdom, and love – to choose the path of evil.  

I hope you will never take liberty for granted.

I invite you to look at my examination of the threats and events I see which could very well bring an end to the liberty we have experienced. I urge you to do your own homework, and I have endeavored to bring my own homework to you in this book.

Yearning For Liberty

 An excerpt from the chapter “Liberty – its rarity”

Authors Chris and Ted Stewart in their book “7 Tipping Points that Saved the Worldmake the case that in all the history of humanity, in all places and at all times, a small sliver of people could be considered to have lived in a free society such as we have experienced here in the United States – they estimate perhaps on the order of 4%. Further, they point out that, for the most part, this tiny sliver of free people has lived in the United States of America since the founding of our nation, and in nations who have adopted a similar form of constitutional representative governance.  

Condoleezza Rice adds confirmation to this in her book “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom In the early pages of her book she presents three maps showing the presence of democracies around the world; the first map shows only the United States in 1800 – in 1900 a few European countries are added – in 2000 we see more democratic nations added in many parts of the world. 

Credit: Condoleezza Rice – Democracy:  pg. 24

So, forgive me for being just a little passionate about liberty and America’s role throughout its history in achieving it, defending it, promoting it, and recovering it as in the case of World War II.

Join me in exploring this thing called “Liberty.” I liken Liberty to the various facets of a precious gemstone.

A warning letter from the niece of Osama bin Laden

Noor bin Ladin

With another anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attack on American orchestrated from Afghanistan by the uncle of this writer just ahead, we are witness to the demise of that flickering and struggling flame of liberty in that nation. With the snuffing out of that small flame of liberty, so too goes hope.

Don Johnson

September 20, 2020

Dear America,

Two-hundred-and-forty-four years ago, the resolve, courage, and wisdom of your Founding Fathers forever changed the course of history. For the first time, with the ratification of your Declaration of Independence, mankind was offered an unmatched societal ideal. Human beings were recognized for what we truly are by nature: all created free and equal, endowed with unalienable rights derive from our Creator. With your Constitution, your Founders sealed these God given rights, and protected them by instituting a limited form of self-government along with a robust justice system.

This, America, is what makes your nation exceptional. It is why you have stood as a beacon of democracy and hope for all subjugated peoples over the past two centuries. During some of our darkest hours, we remember how you fought for those who couldn’t defend themselves from tyranny, at the cost of your own brave men. The world is forever in debt to your sacrifice, and we are grateful for the refuge you provide those who can flee persecution.

This, America, is your heritage and the reason we still look to you as our champion of liberty. Those currently fighting for their freedoms across the world value your brave Founding Fathers. From the peaceful Hong Kong protesters who proudly brandish the American flag in the streets, to the Iranian students who refused to walk over the painted star-and-stripes on the ground of a Tehran university, people who live under oppressive regimes know first hand that being free has no price. And they know that America is the ultimate shelter for the downtrodden.

Watching the gratuitous violence, streets burn, buildings and statues being defaced in America over these past months, I am heartbroken to see how an entire generation was successfully brainwashed into hating the very nation that has yielded the most freedom, justice and equality anywhere in the world.

I am also highly distressed by the blatant erosion at various levels of your most basic individual rights and freedoms as guaranteed by your Bill of Rights, from arbitrary censorship of speech to unlawful, politically motivated abuses of justice.

America, this is why I feel compelled to address you. Though I am an unlikely messenger at first glance — rest assured that the name that I carry is antithetical to the values I hold — my heart is in the right place: with you. The level of urgency coupled with the platform afforded to me by my circumstance compel me to speak up and warn you before it is too late.

The question is, how did we get to this point? The truth is that the undoing of America has been decades in the making. The globalists, Deep State, the swamp, whichever name you call them, have been hard at work to weaken America’s sovereignty and standing as world leader. Intent on erecting a new system of world governance where they would be in total control, they are seeking to undermine the fundamental principle of your country, ‘a government for the people by the people’, replacing it instead with a world order of international institutions ultimately puppeteered by a caste of technocrats, oligarchs and international bankers.

Though your Constitution stands firmly in their way, it never deterred them. They infiltrated governmental and intelligence agencies, and all realms of society — education, media, entertainment, culture. At their disposal, tools of mass population influence: propaganda, fake news and censorship. They set out to destroy your fundamental values and divide you. They negated God, dissolved the family unit and dissevered us from moral objectivity, effectively leaving a vacuum of degeneracy, cognitive dissonance and absurdity. This social engineering operation took place as we were lulled into a sense of comfort and complacency due to modernity’s technological progress and liberalism’s appeal. In reality we were being driven further down a path of enslavement while they solidified their plans for a covert power grab.

However, they didn’t count on a great awakening of people tired of being crushed by their self-serving economic policies. Nor did they foresee that COVID-19 would highlight their system’s gross failings, from an over dependence on a global supply chain to corruption in major institutions such as the World Health Organization. They didn’t anticipate that we would all rally online to share information and real news, bypassing their controlled mainstream media outlets. Above all, they never thought Hillary Clinton would lose.

Since President Trump’s victory, these nefarious forces have done everything in their power to stop him from reversing past administrations’ destructive policies. They have failed, hoax after hoax. Despite their relentless attacks on all fronts, President Trump has demonstrated he is the only leader who can save us from a bleak future. As evidenced by his first term, results of his America First policy speak for themselves.

Domestically, he removed handicapping regulations to American economic growth; rebuilt a depleted military; brought back manufacturing and revamped dying industries by renegotiating trade deals and cutting taxes; achieved energy independence; curbed immigration — all of which contributed to setting record unemployment rates. He also saved your tax payer dollars by withdrawing from corrupt international organizations and agreements. Remarkably, he tackled neglected issues such as human trafficking and unjust incarceration; defunded Planned Parenthood; took care of your disregarded veterans; lowered prescription drug prices. All these undertakings prove just how much he values the lives and wellbeing of ALL Americans.

By strengthening America from within, President Trump bolstered his plans when it comes to foreign policy, and thanks to his vision and tactical use of diplomatic avenues, has made the world a much safer place since taking office. To name a few achievements: he stood up to China, kept us out of new wars, made Europe comply with their Nato requirements, solidified ties with Israel, overturned the disastrous Iran deal, obliterated Isis, took down other key terrorists, and facilitated a historic peace deal between Israel and the UAE. His administration has also made Christian persecution worldwide a top priority with the State Department instituting the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, the first of its kind.

With President Trump at her helm, America has a chance to restore her principles, pride, independence and true place in the world as beacon of liberty and hope for all. This to me, is what ‘Make America Great Again’ means. Looking back at your country’s foundation, and preserving what makes it truly great. But also knowing that the best is yet to come.

All the above achievements will be torpedoed with a Biden/Harris presidency, and the dream of America’s enemies to see her weak and on her knees would be fulfilled. Make no mistake America, you are under attack. Supported by the fake news propaganda machine and violent marxists groups such as antifa with their Isis-type tactics, they have pushed their agenda through fearmongering, hypocrisy, lies and destruction onto you, the American people, and for one motive only: power. The escalation of the past four years is your preview of what to expect should we lose: an abject repudiation of our Judeo-Christian values and utter disregard for your individual rights. This insurrection, if successful, would cause the unravelling of law and order and the end of your Republic as we know it. Tyranny would inevitably ensue.


America, you are at the very edge of the precipice. Please wake up! Take hold! Fight for your country, and be proud of your roots! Uphold your values. Stand for your flag and your anthem. Defend your history. Don’t relent in the face of those who seek to rewrite it to serve their narrative and justify the destruction of your nation. You have much to cherish and protect for your sake, and ours.

We need you to stay the course, America. You are our last safeguard from an imminent civilizational collapse and if you lose, all humanity loses.

Be assured, we are with you in this decisive hour in your history. All of us freedom-seeking and loving people across the globe pray for you to succeed.

Your fellow patriot,

Noor bin Ladin

This is an edited extract from a letter published on Noor bin Ladin’s website.

Defenders of Civilization?

Our grandees seem too exhausted, too guilty, or too ignorant to pass on and improve the civilization they inherited for others to come.By Victor Davis Hanson

January 3, 2021

The year 2020 witnessed a long series of writs lodged against an America beset with plague, quarantine, recessions, riot and arson, and the most contested election since 1876.

What was strange was not so much the anarchist Left’s efforts in the present to wipe away the past to recalibrate our Animal Farm future. What was odder were both the absurdities of the complaints against American civilization, and the unwillingness or inability of Americans to rebut them and defend their own culture.

Demonizing Our Past

In just a year, thousands of memorials and icons have vanished. Names have changed, words are banned. Careers were ruined. As new totalitarian rules were enshrined, old freedoms became despised.

Yet most of the country sat in lockdown quiet, as it was told that it, and its history, were toxic and culpable—and by whom exactly? Moralists like LeBron James? Steve Kerr? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

Were Americans in their 244th year suddenly to write checks, apologize, and pay penance to their angry self-described moral superiors?

A few schools apparently are no longer to be named after Abraham Lincoln, the president who saved the Union, destroyed the slave-holding Confederacy, and freed the slaves at a cost of nearly 700,000 American lives. Now 155 years after his assassination, the present generation—the most leisured, entitled, and wealthiest cohort in civilization’s history—deems him unworthy and unfit for any commemoration. Do any of the street-brawling Antifa radicals seem tough guys in comparison to the Union troops at Gettysburg or those who marched with Sherman?

Who or what does the Left offer in place in Lincoln—Che? Fidel? Malcolm X? Cesar Chavez? Margaret Sanger? Xi Jinping? FDR? Barack Obama? All would fall well short of the alleged standards applied by cancel culture. So what are we left with other than nothing? Diversity Academy A? Equity High School No. 3? Inclusion College IV? Campus 1619?about:blank

What happens if one principal, just a single superintendent, a few parents, three board members say, “Nope, we are not erasing Lincoln’s name, no way, no how”?

Little need be said of increasing tense racial relations, given that the collective optimism of a year ago during the booming 2019 economy—record low minority unemployment and the undepreciated powers of assimilation and integration were beginning to make race more incidental than essential—has dissipated. That was then, and this is now after pandemic, lockdown, recession, George Floyd’s tragic death, riot and looting, a bitter election, and an ongoing cultural revolution.

Cornell University is now mandating flu shots for its on-campus students, but with allowances for nonwhites to petition for exemptions, in the manner of those pedigreed epidemiologists who all but said science should be ignored in ranking those to be vaccinated by their race. Had someone in 1980, 1990, or 2005 predicted such things, he would have been written off as a dystopian crackpot.

What happens if an elderly so-called white person dies of COVID-19, when a state medical policy ignores science and substitutes racial preference instead? Will his estate file a class action suit that the state has violated the Constitution and is culpable for needless death?

What Legal System?

Is there really a legal system any more, at least as we once knew it, in our major cities—New York, Portland, Seattle, and Los Angeles? Violent crime has soared. Murders are up 30-50 percent in many of those places.

In 2020, whether an arsonist, looter, or rioter was arrested, indicted, and jailed depended on the ideology of the perpetrator and the political context of the crime. Old ideas like “broken windows” preventative enforcement went down the memory hole. Did Rudolph Giuliani’s crime-reduction miracle in New York City ever really exist? Is it legal for a district attorney simply to announce that he will no longer enforce the legal code? Can victims of ensuing crimes sue such somnolent prosecutors?

Police forces operate under a “defunding” sword of Damocles amid a general collapse of spirit. Officers assume that if they arrest violent criminals, three things are likely to happen and all of them are likely deemed bad.

Either police can make an in-vain arrest in their no-bail, Soros-funded prosecuting attorney jurisdictions and see the arrested subject released, angry or defiant or both. Or they can risk being attacked or shot by emboldened criminals, given police deterrence has vanished. Or, in extremis, they can use force and find themselves charged with a felony and likely to have their careers ruined.

So police pull back, deterrence is lost, the elite rely on their money, influence, connections, and distance from the mayhem for their security. The poor and middle classes fend on the front lines as they can.  Will the working classes establish their own security teams to police their neighborhoods? If they did, would that be vigilantism, or is vigilantism what the rich already practice with their armed guards who patrol their properties?

The homeless population of more than half-a-million seems to grow ever larger, as they line the boulevards of our major cities. How could a wealthier more sophisticated society of 2020, the greenest in world history, allow feces on its sidewalks, random harassment of its passersby, and garbage, and worse, strewn in its parks? Are there homeless outside the French Laundry restaurant? Do they camp at the curb outside Gavin Newsom’s mansions? Why could not our Silicon Valley multibillionaires endow a health campus, or Ivy League campuses translate their abstract caring into concrete welcoming of the homeless into their empty summertime dorms?

Americans know that purging the word “vagrant,” “liberating” the ill from mental asylums, and allowing public urination and defecation did not solve the problem. They sense they know the solution is the restoration of hospitals and health care halfway houses, but are too weary to hear the furious outcry.

Barry Chin/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Losing a Generation

The American university, once the global model of higher education, is in veritable shambles in ways that translate the value of its steep tuition reduced to laptop zooming.

There is no First Amendment on campus. The culture of the Salem Witch Trials applies: save yourself by going woke while going on the offensive to accuse others of witchcraft.

Administration has become a memo-writing contest, as both endangered and aspiring white males issue edicts condemning items in the news to illustrate their superior woke bona fides. Most pay as much attention to them as did the vandals to purple toga magistrates reading edicts to the wind in Rome circa fifth-century A.D.

We hope only that the firebreaks thrown up around the social sciences and humanities can prevent their infectious nihilism from crossing into the sciences and professional schools. What is most striking is the self-righteousness of the university faculty, administration, and students, despite their collective culpability for the current chaos.

Statue topplers were taught to hate dead white males, but never taught about the particular historical, literary, or cultural contexts that fuel their deductive hate. Is spray painting easier than reading?

All the ingredients for civilizational stasis—delayed or nonexistent marriage and child-bearing, massive unsustainable student debt, ideological indoctrination without learning, and superficial credentialing—originate in the university.

And yet no one in academia steps forward to offer ways to slash costs, or to promise the campus will guarantee its own student loans, or to take some responsibility for the current demographic, financial, and ideological crisis of our twentysomething lost generation, as it stagnates in prolonged adolescence. Can we at least have the university endowment substitute for the federal government as the last guarantor of student loans?

The media has proven deadly but not serious. Few believed in the “Russian collusion” yarn; all assumed its weaponizing of the original Christopher Steele/Hillary Clinton/Fusion GPS mythography was to paralyze the Trump Administration.

All knew that Trump was far harder on Russia than his predecessor. And none cared. The Ukrainian hysteria that led to impeachment—like the Brett Kavanaugh hit and like the news blackout of Biden Inc.—did the country terrible damage, but again was so farcical that even the purveyors of the lies knew that their charges were not serious.

Now after they have destroyed their credibility and lost the trust of the American people, what is next for the media? We are left with a bad version of a Ministry of Truth, as supposed muckrakers and young Zolas vie with each other to find out what color socks or which flavor milkshake “President-elect” Biden prefers. Like Pravda that often translated Leonid Brezhnev’s incoherent mutterings into truth speak, so too after January we will be reminded that an often incoherent Biden is really Cicero.

Importing and Nurturing Ingratitude and Decline

There are more immigrants in the United States than at any time in its history. More arrive here each year, legally or illegally, than to any other nation. And they do so not for the New Green Deal or abortion on demand. Instead, as mostly minorities, they expect to find more freedom, economic prosperity, meritocracy, and personal safety in America than they did as majorities in their home nations. Do they know, but cannot say, that?

Yet we are hellbent on transmogrifying the immigrant experience into one in which the newly arrived must lodge complaints against their hosts, as if we are to assume they chose to immigrate to what they didn’t like and to abandon what they did. What happened to requiring every immigrant to have familiarity with English, a high school diploma, and legal entry? Does anyone believe such requirements would make newcomers less successful? Or is the rub that they would arrive more independent, more upbeat about America, and less inclined to be patronized—and therefore not so needed by the Left?

Some days decline is ascendent. On Sunday, I drove through Fresno on Highway 41. The landscaping on the berms of both sides has become a veritable homeless village of the desperate and forgotten. Oddly, some abodes were subterranean, as the homeless, in World War I fashion, had dug under trees to pitch tents over their burrows.

Last night, walking through our almond orchard, a truck was parked on the alleyway, the driver standing outside with an automatic rifle. I had no idea whether he was working for a neighbor to shoot squirrels, or the renegade who shoots doves that sometimes drop wounded or dead in our yard, or the one who shot the majestic red-tail hawk who rotted for weeks on a power pole transformer with a bullet in him. The stranger was polite and put the gun down, but spoke no English as I walked on by with four dogs. Does Nancy Pelosi encounter such people in her environs?

In between these two incidents I read the local news, with its daily fare of gang shootings, and fatal drunk-driving wrecks—both are way up in the San Joaquin Valley in 2020. During this lockdown, there are the now-familiar details that the lethal driver was out without bail or had a host of prior DUIs—the equivalent of mere traffic tickets in 2020. There seems a new boldness too in the modus operandi of speeders, drunks, and criminals ramming police cars when purportedly pulling over.

Not long ago when two young women were having sex in the back of their car parked in the orchard, then gave me the finger when I walked by, and then spun out and sped away, it was deemed a calm day—no drug injectors, no trash tossers, no stolen car strippers.

Searching for Common Denominators in Our Malaise

Is there some common denominator in our malaise? A look back at Athens 340 B.C., or Rome 440 A.D., or Constantinople 1440, or France 1940? Perhaps.

Is the culprit an estranged elite of the keep—wealthy enough to ensure that the consequences of its own toxic ideology fall only upon others?

Our grandees seem too exhausted, too guilty, or too ignorant to pass on and improve the civilization they inherited for others to come. Instead, the elite justifies its leisure, privilege, and affluence by medieval penance, virtue signaling and offering confessionals about their own “unearned” white privilege. It is strange to see the Volvo brigade of our most privileged Americans on the metaphorical barricades, as if they are the real revolutionaries who fuel BLM and Antifa.

Why do $20,000 refrigerators, trying to torch a federal courthouse, and spitting in a policeman’s face all seem to have something vaguely in common? Revolutions with ensuing chaos usually follow from the professional and upper-classes joining the mob, either in expectation their solidarity will earn exemption, or as a lark out of boredom, or in ignorance about the venom of those who destroy monuments and burn, or in furor their own upward mobility did not quite land them among the most chosen of the elite.

For now we wait for one local PTA member to refuse to change the name of his Lincoln school, or a crusading prosecutor who issues 40 federal racketeering indictments the next time Antifa drives in to town to take over a house, torch a courthouse, or reclaim a street, or a judge who sentences a violent arsonist to a 20-year sentence pour encourager les autres, or an exasperated college dean who will say no to segregating dorms or no-go zones by race, or one honest journalist who finally presses Joe Biden to answer what have Hunter and his family done.

About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He was a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict was Fought and Won 

American Greatness logo

Three Looks At Liberty

We seem to be at a tipping point in America where our hard won liberties are being threatened. These threats are not simply political debates over tax rates or debates over funding foreign aid. No, these threats to liberty are aimed at our fundamental liberties as framed in our Constitution.

Here are three books that examine liberty from several angles. I urge you to take a look at them.

This book examines various facets of liberty using the analogy of a precious gemstone. It is a book of history and brings many real world stories of liberty to the reader. Most of these stories from history depict the dark side of liberty, or more accurately the stories where liberty is absent. The book also presents stories of the struggle to achieve, expand, and maintain liberty. Stories of the emergence of humanity even in the midst of horrific inhumanity.

In this book Mark Levin exposes the very real threat of Marxism that resides now – today – in American culture, government, academia, and elsewhere throughout our nation. This book is academic in nature and establishes the philosophical and ideology of Marxism and why it is so dangerous to human life, freedom and dignity. Levin is engaged here in not just another academic exercise contrasting different ways of governance. He is exposing a real threat that is with us today. The ideology of Marxism underlies the horrific record of the twentieth century where 10s of millions people lost their lives, and billions more were impoverished under the tyrannical rule of Nazism and Communism. Levin also offers ways to fight back and retain our fundamental rights as guaranteed by our Constitution.

In this book I bring to the reader example after example of specific attacks on our fundamental freedoms. Attacks on our First Amendment rights of free uncensored speech; attacks on our Second Amendment right to bear arms; attacks on our Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures; rewriting and distortions of American history; erasure of the great American progress in race relations and the protections of basic civil rights for all American citizens; and more … .

Take a look at this small sampling of the liberties we have been afforded by the circumstances of living our life in America. These liberties have been absent for most people throughout history and in all places around the world. Which of these are worth the struggle to retain? Which of these are you willing to surrender?

Don Johnson — Sept 2021

Prague/Saigon/Kabul – 1938/1975/2021 it’s hard to tell the difference.

I sit hear reading todays news out of Kabul Afghanistan while reading this book about the German invasion and capture of Vienna Austria.

Nazis then … Communists then … Taliban now. Terror then … terror now.

Nazi ideology then … Marxist ideology then … Islamic ideology now.

Talking heads comparing the downfall of Afghanistan with the downfall of South Vietnam. An apt comparison, as would be a look back at the fall of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, France … .

Some things never change.