Who is Pope Francis?

Updated 3/21/13:

First, a story that we covered last week, but we didn’t cover it like the rest of the media. We didn’t cover it wall-to-wall. They covered it wall-to-wall, but it was only about an inch deep. The media was making a spectacle out of the pope last week. No one really talked about what this really means for you if you are a Christian and somebody who believes in self-government, maximum liberty, and maximum responsibility. What does the pope – what side is he on?

If you’re somebody who believes in charity but not charity as defined by a government where they force you through taxes, if you know the meaning of liberation theology and you don’t want social justice as it was practiced when it was trying to overthrow the church in South America in the way Jim Wallis means it. Who is he?

This guy at this time is either going to be John Paul, who helped free the world from Communism, or he could be, and I hate to use this example because I don’t necessarily agree with what people say but, Pius XII, who some say collaborated with the Fascists and the Nazis. Which one is he? Because it would probably be one or the other because of the time that we live in now.

Well, the media took their usual tact of just hitting only their hot-button issues. The white smoke had barely cleared, and then they began defining the new pope as vigorously against gay marriage, fervently anti-choice, and I love this one, but he’s also “less energetic, however, when it came to standing up against Argentina’s military dictatorship during the 1970s.” Oh, and I love this one, too – he also testified on “the military junta’s systematic kidnapping of children, a subject he was also accused of knowing about but failing to prevent.”

Now, the media also told us within five minutes that he has something to do with liberation theology, and I love this quote, “the unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin” and real problems. Oh, no. Which is it? I mean, because I don’t know. The pope’s all one of these two things. Pope Francis is either a conservative bigot who four decades ago loved dictatorship so much, he only loved that slightly less than the systematic kidnapping of children, or Pope Francis is a Marxist radical who was in on subverting the church through liberation theology.

You know, I watched TV last week and I thought, Boy, you know what we need? We need a network that would, I don’t know, wait, do their homework, and then give us the truth. That’s what TheBlaze is going to do tonight, give you the truth. We waited. We did our homework, and we have lined up a few people that can actually tell us what all of this means.

Pope Francis was dubbed the “Pope of Hope” on Twitter, and that is exactly what the world needs now, because the world is on fire or about to be. There is going to be a new Axis and new Allied powers. Do you remember the old alignment from World War II? That was the Axis power, the evil power, and then this was the ones that fought against it in World War II.

I will tell you that – make this prediction out loud – in the next five years, there will be a country in Europe that is run by the Nazis. Five years ago, I said that, Hey, the Nazis were going to come up. That was crazy. Now I will tell you within five years, and I think it will be sooner than that, a country will be a part of this again.

The new lines have not been drawn yet, but we’re working on the show, I think for next week or the week after, where we’ll show you exactly what’s growing, where it’s growing, but you know about the radicals Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood. Sharia law is spreading throughout the Middle East, but up in Europe, politicians have lost credibility on all sides. Europeans are now throwing their support behind the Nazis we’ve told you, the Golden Dawn Party, gaining more seats in Parliament. It now is, I believe, up to 28% approval rating, and those two things will be the new Axis power, anyone who is anti the Western way of life, the free market, capitalism, anti-Israel. And it will be supposedly pro-democracy and social justice. Okay, but who’s on the other side?

Start with social justice here. I know social justice quite well. Remember, those are the two words that brought down the wrath of almost every church on the planet when I said on the radio, social justice, you better find what that means and run. Let me make the same statement that the media never reported on the first day that I said that, and that is Social justice as practiced by Jim Wallis and Jeremiah Wright is dangerous. Social justice as practiced by most Catholics, most Baptists, and most people of religion, where it is connecting with your heart and choosing as an individual to help those in need, that’s good. But which one does the new pope practice?

First, let me dive deeper into the difference between the two. Social justice can be used, and liberation, and all of this stuff, can be used for good and bad. Hitler actually, believe it or not, rode into power on social justice. It’s a classic tactic for the extreme left – you stir the masses, you get the bottom to rise up so the top can come crashing down. Hitler was actually talking about Jesus before he was elected, but he was only doing it because everything was out of control, and then as soon as that happened, then that Jesus thing – That guy was an atheist if not just out and out a Satanist.

It’s the oldest Marxist trick – you come in on something that means something good and you pervert it, and by the time people figure out what it is, it’s too late. It was perfected in South America, where it really becomes insidious because it merged with religion to overthrow the religion. You’ve heard me talk about black liberation theology, and that’s what Obama’s Pastor Reverend Wright preaches and just about everybody he surrounds himself with. It is Marxism poorly veiled as religion. That was born out of liberation theology which began back in 1968 at a Latin America Bishops’ Conference – think of this – where they proposed to combine the teachings of Jesus Christ with the teachings of Karl Marx.

Now, you often hear leftist politicians quote Jesus to support massive government redistribution of wealth programs, right? It puts the focus on the faith. You don’t focus on the saving grace of Jesus; instead, you focus on the way the government can fix liberating people from unjust economic or political or social conditions, social justice, a decidedly Marxist principle and evil. This happened in South America, exactly where the new pope is from, and so when you hear the words “social justice,” when you hear the words “equality,” “economic justice,” “fairness,” “income inequality,” “labor,” “struggle,” “redistribution of wealth,” all of these things, if you know what they mean can absolutely be Marxist or Communist in nature.

But social justice can be good. Equality is great. Economic justice – okay, maybe. Fairness, income inequality – maybe. Labor – you should work. Struggle – yes. It builds us. Redistribution of wealth – no, no. Redistribution of wealth and Capitalism, they’re one or the other. Capitalism – I believe redistribution of wealth is really only Marxist, and Capitalism can only be used, true Capitalism, not Statism, Capitalism, it can fall into the hands of evil, but it also can lift people out of poverty and squalor. It’s like jihad – it’s either evil or it’s about a struggle to make things better.

You have to investigate these words, and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve spent the last week really looking into this pope and looking into these words. And we’ve assembled a couple of people here, three or four people that I think can help you understand is he a good guy or a bad guy, and I think you’re going to like the message here. The media looked at this pope and within ten minutes saw things like lack of equality, social justice, why he’s just like us. Uh huh.

We need to know exactly what he means by those things. We need to know, does he practice what he preaches? That’s an important one. It’s really not too hard to spot a fraud on things, because a real leader will lead by example. Progressives don’t. Dictators don’t. They tell you how to live your life, and then they do something different. Let me give you an American example – in fact I’ll give you three of them. President Obama told the American people that we are in a time of crisis, and so we all have to tighten our belts. Do you remember?

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President Obama: When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize.

Got it? Prioritize. Prioritize and tighten your belt. Now, he shut down the student White House tours and threatened to cancel the White House Easter egg hunt because of the sequester cuts. That’s him tightening his belt. Quite honestly, you can keep the White House closed forever and the White House Easter egg hunts I could care less about, but that’s how he’s tightening his belt. But is he really living it? Is he concerned about saving every penny of taxpayer money he can? And is he walking the walk himself? He’s telling us we have to as families – don’t go to Vegas, yet his family keeps going on very lavish vacations with and without him.

Taxpayers last year spent $1.4 billion on the Obama family, $1.4 billion, and I get it, he needs security, but is it too much to ask to at least have him vacation with his own family at the same place at the same time? I mean, Michelle is in Spain. Their daughter is in Mexico on spring break, and he’s spending millions of bucks, you know, golfing with Tiger Woods. That golf game a couple of weeks ago cost $1 million in your hard-earned money.

It is so blatant that even his adoring fans in the press have recently questioned him about his lavish lifestyle.

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Report: How does the president justify lavish vacations and a golf trip to Florida at taxpayer expense, and does he plan to cut back on his travel?

Jay Carney: I can tell you that this president is focused everyday—

Okay, stop. What he can say is, Do as he says, not as he does. Same thing for Michael Bloomberg. He passed strict idling laws. We told you about ’em this week. Next three months, he paraded around New York City with a fleet of SUVs that idled for hours at a time, all the time, and when confronted, his solution was to have people strap an air-conditioning unit to the outside of his car. He can get around it, but you cannot.

Same thing with Al Gore. He tells everybody cut back for the sake of the earth, yet he owns multiple energy-consuming mansions, yes, mansions. This green warrior has a 20 – look at these mansions that Al Gore lives in. Really? His father was a senator, and then he was a senator and a vice president. How does he have this? One of his mansions consumes 20 times the energy of the average American home. Now, his response when confronted with irrefutable fact that he is a hypocritical energy hog, he says, “I think what you’re seeing here is the last gasp of the global warming skeptics. They’ve completely lost the debate on the issue so now they’re just attacking their most effective opponent.” No, no, Al, no.

Pretty sweet mansions for a guy who by the way has also been accused of just getting rich off of this global warming scheme, but he says, remember, I am putting every penny, every penny I have into nonprofits.

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Al Gore: I believe that the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us, and I have invested in it. But every penny that I have made, I have put right into a nonprofit, The Alliance for Climate Protection.

Okay, so it’s all for a nonprofit, and maybe he’s telling the truth, I don’t know. I haven’t looked at his taxes. And you know, maybe he’s just buying all of those houses, you know, with the money he earns from, I don’t know, selling TV networks to the sworn enemy of America. Anyway, the point is on those three examples is a strongman, a dictator, a Fascist, an Uber-Progressive, will always fail to live the life and practice what he preaches.

So how does the pope live? Where does this pope stand? Which side of social justice is he on? Does he see liberation theology as a goal or a problem? How about Capitalism? Does he see wealth inequality as something caused by rich not paying their fair share, or that people all around the world have lacked the heart now to see the need for charity, personal charity, so their hearts are going to need to be changed? Is he a guy who says the rich just isn’t paying their fair share while he dresses in only the finest Italian tailor-made clothes and shoes, and lives in a palace?

Let me tell you, we’ve been planning this show for a while, and I’ll tell you, one of my first glimmers of hope was this picture that came out on Saturday. Look at his shoes. Now I know he wasn’t the pope, but I think they could’ve gotten him a new pair of shoes if he wanted one. These are real shoes. These are people shoes. These are not pope shoes. Does this pope see Jesus as someone who believed big government was the answer, or does he believe as I do and I think you do that Jesus was a radical transformationalist and the radical transformation was of the individual?

Bible-quoting leftist like Jim Wallis will twist the Scripture to fit their Marxist ideology, but that’s where Communism and liberation theology go wrong every time. Jesus came to change hearts, not government laws.

If the pope believes in collective salvation, if he worries about the collective and fails to speak about the individual salvation, individual empowerment, individual responsibility, individual potential, then there is trouble. But if he recognizes the individual and then leads by example and demonstrates how you change the world not through a big government but you change the world by being more kind, more gentle, more humble, we will see one of the best popes, I believe, in the Catholic Church’s history, and we just might see a man who’s not on our side but on God’s side. Tonight, the perspective I don’t think you’re going to see anywhere else but on this network, TheBlaze.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.