Tags: Glenn Beck

The United States Never Volunteered to Be the World’s Orphanage


From the Thursday Morning Jolt:

Glenn Beck’s Charity is the Best of America. It’s Also No Substitute for a Coherent National Immigration Policy, nor a Secure Border.

Glenn Beck is a big-hearted man:

Glenn Beck on Tuesday announced that he will be bringing tractor-trailers full of food, water, teddy bears and soccer balls to McAllen, Texas on July 19 as a way to help care for some of the roughly 60,000 underage refugees who have crossed into America illegally in 2014.

[Note from Jim: Notice the use of the term "refugee." Is that term really accurate for all of these children? Aren’t refugees usually fleeing a war, anarchy, or a natural disaster? Do you get refugee status if you’re leaving an area with a high crime rate?]

Beck said he will be joined by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and a number of pastors and rabbis.

“Through no fault of their own, they are caught in political crossfire,” Beck said of the children. “And while we continue to put pressure on Washington and change its course of lawlessness, we must also help. It is not either, or. It is both. We have to be active in the political game, and we must open our hearts.”

“Everybody is telling me I’m seeing subscriptions down; I’m seeing Mercury One donations down,” Beck said, growing emotional. “I’m getting violent emails from people who say I’ve ‘betrayed the Republic.’ Whatever. I’ve never taken a position more deadly to my career than this — and I have never, ever taken a position that is more right than this.”

“We sure could use your help,” Beck continued. “I would like to ask you to donate to If you don’t want to be involved in this, you don’t have to be. You can donate and earmark your money to be for preserving American history; we have a museum to build. . . . You could do it to help education. . . . We’re building hospitals. . . . But all the things that we do, they’re not about politics, because politics is turning us ugly. Politics is the vehicle that is driving us to the fundamental transformation of America.”

We’re fools if we criticize Glenn for his massive act of charity . . . but I also think we as Americans need to loudly proclaim that we are not set up to be, nor have we volunteered to be, the orphanage for the rest of the world. We may help out these kids because we’re kind-hearted souls; some will say it’s the Christian thing to do. But we’re not obligated to do this. This isn’t our responsibility and this isn’t our fault. The parents of those kids are the ones who should be taking care of them — feeding them, clothing them, sheltering them and educating them. And I don’t think it’s cold-hearted to ask whether our immediate effort to take care of these kids — because they so desperately need care — is setting us up to be their long-term caretaker.

We, the citizenry, did not make the choices that led us to this point.

Okay, a few of us did. Businesses, big and small, made the decision to employ illegal immigrants in violation of the law. A generation of Washington politicians made the decision to under-react to a largely open border with Mexico, even after 9/11. That same generation of politicians, running a government infrastructure capable of reading all of our e-mails and vacuuming up the metadata from all of our cellular phones, also shrugged as millions of visitors overstayed their visas and disappeared from the system. Local governments that will nail you for an expired parking meter announced they were “sanctuary cities” that would not cooperate with efforts to deport those here illegally.

Most of us had nothing to do with all of that. We lived our lives, periodically expressing the view that our immigration laws ought to be enforced, our borders ought to be secure, and legalizing an illegal immigrant is unfair to those who were willing to go through the (too-long, too-complicated, too-bureaucratic) process of naturalization — the ones who should be welcomed with open arms. For this view, we were called racist, hateful, and xenophobic.

And now we’re stuck with a humanitarian crisis on our border, one driven in part by the perception in some Central American countries that the United States is offering “permisos” for children who cross the border illegally — a rumor that picked up steam after President Obama announced he would not deport children who had come into the country illegally with their parents.

Some of the folks labeled “restrictionists” — I’ll let you decide whether that’s the fairest or most accurate description of that side of the debate — argued that just publicly discussing an amnesty creates new waves of illegal immigration, as foreign citizens rush to get over here to be in place to enjoy the amnesty. Give them credit for their ability to foresee the consequences of policy options.

President Obama could have mitigated, if not resolved this issue early on with a clear statement from the Oval Office declaring, “There are no ‘permisos.’ There will not be an amnesty. You have been lied to, or misinformed, by smugglers who want to take advantage of you. U.S. immigration law is still in effect. You will not be allowed to stay. Turn around and return to your homes. If you wish to live in America, begin the process of applying for a green card and be prepared to be patient.”

President Obama will never say things that simply because he wants to enact an amnesty — or at least a “comprehensive immigration reform” with “a path to citizenship” for those who entered the country illegally.

Last night’s presidential statement was sort-of, kind-of in the neighborhood when he said that the children were “unlikely” to be allowed to stay. But are poor families in Central America going to hear that? Or do they perceive that as “there’s a chance your children will be allowed to stay?”

So give those kids soccer balls and teddy bears, hot meals and fresh water, real cots, real blankets, and real clothes. And then give them a plane ticket back to their own country.

Tags: Illegal Immigration , Immigration , Border Security , Glenn Beck , Barack Obama

Break a Leg, Glenn Beck: Politics’ Loss Is America’s Gain


The Hollywood Reporter catches up with Glenn Beck as the former Fox talker and media mogul of TheBlaze gets ready to dive into the movie business in the Lone Star State:

Beck says he is developing three original stories as theatrical films — one set in ancient history, one in modern history and a third he considers “faith-based” — and has optioned several other ideas, some of which could be adapted into VOD features. He adds that he has purchased rights to his 2008 best-seller The Christmas Sweater back from Sony and will turn the story into a movie for television or theatrical release.

The Christmas Sweater is a semi-fictionalized recounting of a 12-year-old Beck celebrating his last Christmas with his mother before she died. He says his later real-life problems with drugs and alcohol (he’s been sober since 1994) can be traced back to that Christmas . . . 

Beck notes it’s too early to specify budgets or potential financing partnerships, though he probably has leverage to attract interested parties, considering TheBlaze lands an estimated $40 million in revenue annually and he earns $20 million a year hosting the radio show, according to sources familiar with his business. He also declined to identify the Hollywood moviemaking talent he has hired so far.

“I bought a movie studio for a reason,” he says. “I have every intent of finding great artists who will tell great stories that aren’t typical. Everybody thinks they know who I am because of my stint on Fox — that was two years of my life. I’m much more into culture than I am into politics, and that’s where I intend on making my stand.”

The very successful 50-year-old political-media entrepreneur says the move will take him not just into a new business but largely out of retail politics:

“The message of that film is: Help each other and just be decent,” says Beck. “We’re beginning to agree that Republicans and Democrats suck — they’ve built this machine to grind people into the ground. I hate this stuff. I hate politics. I hate politicians and I feel like I’m wasting my life. Don’t we all know what’s happening? George W. Bush was taking us down a road, and Barack Obama is taking us down that same road. What difference does it make? I don’t want to waste my life anymore.”

Without any irony, sarcasm, or japery, I wish Beck the very best, for a variety of reasons. I find Glenn Beck’s personal journey in some ways the most interesting thing about him. One of the really enjoyable things about his blackboards-and-org charts Fox show was the sense that you were following along with Beck in his own discoveries. Even if you already knew yourself that Woodrow Wilson was not just another president due some measure of reverence but a priggish, racist, tyrannical monster who contributed more than possibly any other single American to the general horribleness of the 20th century, it was fun and exciting to see Beck sharing the news with everybody, fired by the zeal of a recent convert.

I also, though my own moviemaking experience is so far limited to one feature film, understand absolutely where he is coming from. For starters, making movies is better than political journalism in a strictly technical sense: You don’t have to worry about having your facts straight or quoting people accurately; you can just make stuff up and force people to say what you need them to say, and the actors (and hopefully the audience) will actually be grateful that you did. Your stuff gets read more closely, by highly intelligent and accomplished professionals, than any journalism you’ll ever produce. And if you’re lucky, the end product is something that people might actually pay to see and even feel like they got a good deal.

More people in political journalism would be happier, and probably better at their jobs, if they realized what a small percentage of a normal human life is taken up with politics, and that that percentage is a deadweight loss. The other parts of our lives — the parts including culture and family and money and personal goal-setting and friendship — are far richer and more interesting. Good on Glenn Beck for figuring that out, and for doing his best to share the news with everybody.

Tags: Glenn Beck

We’re Divided Because One Half of Us Won’t Leave the Other Half Alone.


Also in today’s Jolt:

Did Glenn Beck ‘Tear the Country Apart’? Did Anybody?

You won’t believe who’s accusing Glenn Beck, formerly of Fox News and currently running The Blaze, of “helping tear the country apart”!

Well, maybe you will believe, but I’m not sure you’ll agree:

Later in the segment, [Megyn] Kelly asked Beck to reflect on his time as a TV host at Fox News. His answer may surprise some people.

Though he remembers the job being a lot of fun, Beck also revealed that he has some regrets about the way he handled himself on the air.

“I remember it as an awful lot of fun and that I made an awful lot of mistakes, and I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language,” he said. “I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart.”

First, has the country been “torn apart”?

I think you can set the bar for “torn apart” pretty high, considering how we’ve had an actual civil war in this country. We’ve had unsuccessful secession movements pretty regularly. Mansfield University geography professor Andrew Shears built a map to depict what the country would look like if every local secession movement had succeeded, a country of 124 states:

If Beck really means America is deeply politically divided, indeed, it is, but I’m not so sure our divisions would look that much better or different if Glenn Beck had remained a wacky “Morning Zoo” radio DJ his entire life. I’m glad Beck developed his interest and passion for politics, and developed The Blaze; he and his folks have been kind enough to have me on several times, including on Election Night 2012. Beck articulated a viewpoint, and built a devoted following, but he didn’t create the division in this country, he just reflected it.

We’re a divided country because we have 317 million people, and at least two major strands of thought and philosophy about the role of the government.

It’s a broad generalization, but we have red states and blue states. Ideally, we would have let each part of the country live the way it wants, as long as its laws didn’t violate the Constitution. You want high taxes and generous public benefits? Go ahead and have them; we’ll see if your voters vote with their feet. Let Illinois be Illinois, and let South Carolina be South Carolina.

Last fall I took a trip to Seattle, Washington, and the surrounding area. It seemed like every menu, store display, and sign emphasized that the offered products were entirely organic, biodegradable, free range, pesticide-free, fair trade, cruelty-free, and every other environmentally conscious label you can imagine. (The television show Portlandia did a pretty funny sketch about the ever-increasing, ever-more-specific variety of recycling bins, with separate bins for the coffee cup, the coffee-cup lid, the coffee-cup sleeve, and the coffee-cup stirrer; there’s a separate bin if the lid has lipstick on it.) Maybe it’s just a natural consequence that when you have Mount Rainier and Puget Sound outside your window, you become a crunchy tree-hugging environmentalist. If that’s the way they want to live up there, that’s fine. The food was mostly excellent. Let the Seattle-ites elect a Socialist to their city council. Let Sea-Tac try a $15/hour minimum wage and see if the airport Starbucks starts charging 20 bucks for a small latte.

As long as other parts of the country are allowed to pursue their own paths, that’s fine.

But a big part of the problem is that we have an administration in Washington that is determined to stomp out the state policies it doesn’t like. The president doesn’t want there to be any right-to-work states. His Department of Justice is doing everything possible to obstruct Louisiana’s school-choice laws. They’re fighting state voter-ID laws in court, insisting that it violates the Constitution, even though the Supreme Court ruled, 6 to 3, that requiring the showing of an ID does not represent an undue burden on voters.

This you-must-comply attitude can be found in the states as well, of course. Hell, in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to drive pro-lifers, Second Amendment supporters, and what he labels “anti-gay” out of his state. Mayors decree that they won’t allow Chick-fil-A in their cities because of the opinions of the owners. In Oregon, state officials decreed that a baker must make a wedding cake for a gay wedding; the state decrees you are not permitted to turn down a work request that you believe violates your conscience or religious beliefs.

The country would be “torn apart” less if we were allowed to address more of our public-policy problems on a local or state basis. But anti-federalism is in the cellular structure of liberalism. All of their solutions are “universal,” “comprehensive,” or “sweeping.” Everything must be changed at once, for everyone, with no exceptions. Perhaps it’s a good approach for some other species, but not human beings.

That’s not Glenn Beck’s fault.

Tags: Glenn Beck , Politics , Federalism , Barack Obama

Glenn Beck, Preferring Third-Party Ron Paul Over Gingrich


From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt, a look at the latest potential headache for Republicans…

Say What? Glenn Beck Would Prefer a Ron Paul Third Party Bid Over Newt?

Uh-oh: “Glenn Beck said this morning on his radio show that if Newt Gingrich is the nominee and Ron Paul runs third party, he’d consider voting for Ron Paul over Newt Gingrich, and he hates Ron Paul’s policies on the Middle East.”

Bryan Preston is in disbelief: “Beck notes that he hates Paul’s Middle East policies but, gun to his head, he would consider Paul over the “progressives” Romney and Gingrich. There’s much more about Paul to oppose than just his MidEast policies, particularly for someone like Beck who has done so much to promote “9-12″ thinking on terrorism. Ron Paul is a Truther. His 1990s newsletters run straight off into racism and anti-Semitism. The only thing a Paul third-party candidacy would do is re-elect Barack Obama. And if Paul thinks he may have someone of Beck’s influence behind him, he’s that much more likely to bolt once the GOP nomination goes to someone else. Glenn Beck is playing with fire.”

Playing with fire? Well, Beck has been known to pour gasoline every now and then.

The Ace of Spades is pretty furious: “The Rodeo Clown really wants Obama to stay in office, huh? This, of course, will encourage Ron Paul to do what he probably is already inclined to do. Wonderful. Apparently some among us talk a good game about the crucial need of removing Obama from office, but sort of have a kind of Battered Wife Syndrome, and just can’t quit the big lug. Some of us are apparently going to work our very hearts out to make sure the batterer who gives our lives meaning remains president.”

Nice Deb is ready to quit Beck, declaring that he has jumped the shark: “I’ve always been inclined to like the guy – but no more.  No more. I can’t see how any right-minded, self-respecting Republican can  have anything to do with Glenn Beck at this point. He’d throw Israel under the bus over Gingrich?

Unbelievable. I understand that politics gets a little heated at times, and we have our little disagreements over candidates – but this? This is crazy and suicidal. Beck has a large audience, and I hope to heck most of them leave him over this. I can only hope (and pray) that Ron Paul has enough love for his country that he not do this.”

…As for how Newt thinks of Beck’s criticism, he said Monday, “ I don’t know,” Gingrich responded to the charges, laughing. “It depends on what standard you’re using, you know? The fact is that I balanced the budget for four consecutive years. And we did so while cutting taxes and increasing employment so people went back to work, they left welfare, they left food stamps, they left unemployment, they left Medicaid. Who else has a record of that level of achievement? I worked with Reagan in ‘79, ‘80. I worked with Reagan for 8 years in defeating the Soviet Empire. I think those are relatively conservative credentials.”

Tags: Glenn Beck , Newt Gingrich , Ron Paul

Hey, We’ll Get Through This in the End, Right, Glenn? . . . Glenn?


Look, I know America’s going through some tough times right now. I know that some days, the news can be depressing, as if there’s no sense of hope. Sometimes it feels like the epic problems are stacking up like a Dagwood sandwich — unbelievable debt, long-term unemployment, a housing market with no signs of rebound, a war in Libya that’s poorly explained with no long-term strategy, a fight in Afghanistan that just seems to go on forever with no sense of progress, maniacs in Afghanistan and Pakistan killing over a burned book, violence on our southern border getting worse, natural disasters, nuclear reactors on the edge of disaster, governments shaking and falling in the Middle East with no real sense of what will replace them . . .

But we know that we don’t need to worry about it all coming to a horrific end until somebody who watches and worries over all of these crises, like Glenn Beck, suddenly stops doing his show and . . .

. . . Oh, fudge.

(Actually, rumors of a Beck–Fox News split had been going around for a while . . . so this isn’t a sign of the Apocalypse.

I think.)

Tags: Glenn Beck

Is That Glenn and Bill I Hear?


This anecdote strikes me as pretty revealing:

“When our canvassers call on our members on their doorsteps, they hear Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly in the background,” says Dan Heck, who heads a massive union-sponsored program in Ohio devoted to persuading its members to vote this November for candidates who would mightily displease Beck and O’Reilly.

Heck’s organization, Working America, was created by the national AFL-CIO in 2004 to reach out to white, working-class voters in key swing states such as Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. “Right now, we talk to 25,000 people every week,” says Karen Nussbaum, the program’s national director, “and we’ll knock on a million doors in the next two months. The people we talk to are the volatile 40 percent in the middle of the electorate. They’re angry, and they’re not sure who to blame or what to do about it.”

Perhaps the AFL-CIO can override what their members are hearing from Beck, O’Reilly, and the rest. But I would note that most of them had to join a union to work in the jobs they did (Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are not “right to work” states); they’re voluntarily watching Fox News Channel.

Tags: 2010 , Glenn Beck

Guns Are More Popular Than Politics


A couple of closing thoughts from the NRA convention in Charlotte:

* Newt Gingrich is really starting to look like an elder statesman. Then again, sooner or later we all do.

* There were more than 600 booths at the NRA convention; I would be lucky if I could name 50 of the companies. If you’re wondering where America’s small businesses went, here they are: small manufacturing companies from just about every state in the union, making sights, hunting equipment, knives, holsters, safes and cases, gloves, winter gear, and of course, firearms.

* I watched Glenn Beck’s address to the NRA audience at the Time Warner Cable Arena from the floor of the convention center after it was closed. A couple of the cleaning guys who were around to vacuum the carpet and clean out the trash cans stopped to watch a good ten minutes of Beck’s speech. They are, I expect, not who the MSM pictures as Beck’s demographic of fans.

* I’m informed that David Keene, member of the NRA’s Board of Directors, said Smith and Wesson sends a survey with every gun sold. In 2008, 9 percent said that it was their first purchase of a firearm. In 2009, it was up to 30 percent.

* This year’s turnout at CPAC hit a record with more than 10,000; this year’s NRA convention had “close to 80,000 attendees.”

Tags: Glenn Beck

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