Why is government doing everything it can to destroy individual sovereignty?

If there is one thing that we have learned through the course of all of human history is sticking our big, fat nose in other people’s business always works.  And number two, best path to peace, strongly worded letter or like the UN or something like that or maybe a meaningful walk and chat on the beach, a.k.a. diplomacy.

That’s why the president was in San Francisco yesterday, the home of peace, to tout his diplomatic efforts in the Middle East.  Here he is:

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President Obama:  We’re testing diplomacy.  We’re not resorting immediately to military conflict.

He looks almost like Patton there, doesn’t he, with the big flag?  We’re testing?  There’s no reason to test diplomacy.  The history of peace through diplomacy speaks for itself.  Adolf Hitler when he called off his plans for world domination after a pleasant phone conversation with Neville Chamberlain worked out really well, or the Iranian Revolution being averted when a sweet-talking Jimmy Carter formed an unlikely friendship with the Shah of Iran.

And of course we all saw the movie with William Wallace.  He gave a great speech about Scotland’s freedom on the battlefield, and that I think was what softened King Edward’s heart, and instead of a bloody battle, our history books celebrate the great piece picnics at Stirling Bridge and Falkirk that secured Scotland’s freedom, I think.

So don’t believe all of those peace through strength nut jobs.  It’s all about diplomacy.  The New York Times I read today, and I about had an aneurysm.  They’re very excited about the president’s new strategy.  They say in The New York Times, watch this, “It also reflects a broader scaling back of the use of American muscle…,” remember that, “…not least in the Middle East…,” remember that, “…as well as a willingness…,” you’re going to love this one, “…to deal with foreign governments as they are rather than push for new leaders the better embody American values.”

I wish any of that were true, any of that.  None of that is true.  A willingness to deal with other governments as they are?  We should ask some of those governments.  I tell you what, Tiffany, can you get Muammar Gaddafi on the phone?  Oh, crap, that’s right, Muammar Gaddafi, what was it Hillary said?

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Hillary Clinton:  We saw, he died.

That’s right, can’t ask him, we killed him.  That’s right, I remember.  So maybe we’ll just go – Tiffany, get somebody from Assad’s regime on the phone in Syria.  Oh no, Assad, currently the president is trying to drum up support to go and bomb the snot out of him, and we’re giving aid and weapons to jihadis to overthrow him.

Well, maybe we could get Mubarak on the phone.  I mean, no, he’s on trial.  Well, maybe he has a phone in the jail, because after all, the Obama administration helped incite a violent revolution against him.  Boy, that sounds kind of more muscle-ish than scaling back to me, which is weird, because it also doesn’t sound like we get along with anybody either.

Let me make it really, really clear.  I think scaling back our military in the Middle East is probably a really good idea, not the worst one I’ve heard.  In fact, I would say that the whole progressive idea that started with Teddy Roosevelt to spread democracy around the world is one of the worst ideas ever.  I may have been sluggish enough to go, “Yeah, well everybody loves us,” 15 years ago.  Hello?  Have we not spent enough treasure and blood around the world?  Has the last decade not taught us anything?

We have to be a strong, non-isolationist, noninterventionist kind of country, strong.  Here’s what I mean by that: You come over, you fly some planes into our buildings, we bomb the bat snot out of you and go home.  We kill the bad guys who did it and go home.  What are we still doing in Afghanistan?  I believe, I for one, maybe not you, it is well past time to announce that this progressive idea, be it from John McCain or George Bush, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, that we need to nation build and be the world’s policeman is dead and possibly the worst idea America has ever had.

But let me take you back to sugarplum fairy pop land of The New York Times.  They go from the front page into this.  Let me take you to Saudi Arabia, because for a guy, a president who’s hooked on diplomacy, doesn’t it seem like our president is converting all of our friends into enemies?  Not that I was ever a big fan of George W. Bush taking the long strolls at his Crawford ranch holding hands with the Saudi princes.  Boy, I don’t miss those days.  That was creepy.

But you also have to be a realist, and before you start cutting off your friends and making them enemies, you might want to look at your own situation here.  For instance, energy prices are up 42 percent in a decade.  Okay, well maybe we should start exploring for our own, because getting into bed with these guys isn’t good.  And now that it’s up 42 percent, it doesn’t seem wise to really disconnect from the cheapest source of oil in the world, unless you have something to replace it with.  It’s also our second highest source of foreign oil.

So does this make sense to you?  It doesn’t me, but it does to The New York Times, because here’s their rationale, and I love it:  “At the same time, new sources of oil have made the Saudis less essential.”  Same time, new sources of oil made the Saudis…what new sources of oil?  I mean, serious question, anybody on the set, anybody know of a new source of oil that we’ve had?

It’s not Canada.  Keystone pipeline went up.  President blocked that one.  More drilling permits in the gulf?  No, huh uh.  Alaska?  No, huh uh.  Where is this magical fount of oil that has sprouted up?  Have little oil rigs just started to grow in the west lawn in place of the first lady’s veggie garden?  I’m not really sure.

America, I want us to break up with the Saudis.  I want Israel to take care of itself.  I want to be out of the business of everybody else.  But not standing with the only person that understands capitalism in the entire region while pissing off the Saudis really doesn’t seem like good news, you know?  Breaking up with Israel, not so much.  Our overseas policies matter, especially when your policies here don’t match.

You want to break up with the rest of the world, fine, but you have to be self-sufficient.  We’re cutting ourselves off from energy suppliers while at the same time diminishing our own access to affordable allergy.  Hello?  Hello?  Hello?  Oh yeah, but we’re going to go green.  Stop with the green nonsense.  Maybe someday, not today.  Another green company that the president invested your money in just went bankrupt, cost you $139 million.  Why are we doing this?  If green energy is so needed, the free market will figure it out.

Okay, so we have no money left.  We’re really whittling down our friends.  We have no oil.  We have no sufficient source of energy to fill in the gap because we’re closing the coal plants.  We won’t drill for oil, and we won’t build a pipeline.  That sounds like energy shortage.  When that comes, oh, and it will, remember this day.

And so what does that mean for you?  Well, when you are not self-sufficient, you are a slave to whomever holds the bag of food or the bag of black gold.  Our sovereignty as a nation will be put aside in order to survive.  Why do you think we take the lead painted toys from China, and we don’t say anything?  Because our hands are tied.  We need their money.

But here’s the good news, national sovereignty begins with personal sovereignty.  This is the secret of America, the more independent you are, the stronger the nation becomes.  If we as people can self-sustain during an energy shortage, a cash shortage, a food shortage, a health care shortage, then you really can tell people like China and Saudi Arabia to go take their oil and shove it.

But that’s another policy that doesn’t matter because this administration is not encouraging people to be self-sufficient.  We are not helping people go into business.  We don’t advise people to store food, save money, protect yourself, get a gun.  No, those people get mocked.  Instead, Progressives have been campaigning to take all of those responsibilities away from you.

Now wait a minute, if our national sovereignty begins with personal sovereignty, I think you just figure something out.  The secret lies with each individual.  I don’t know what your idea is.  It might stink, but it might be the one that saves us.  I don’t know what your solution is.  I don’t even know the problem you’re working on trying to solve, but you’ll figure it out.

Governments make it worse.  I contend that our government knows where the real source of power comes from.  I mean, how do you miss it?  It’s in big huge block letters in our founding documents, “We the people.”  That’s where the power comes from, the individual American, and that’s why they’re doing everything they can to hobble you.  Look at the attacks on individual sovereignty in our nation.

Last night, we told you about how hospitals are taking custody of your children because the doctors say they know better than you.  So you lose your child, and they can just do that and then issue a gag order so you can’t say anything?  Los Angeles is now considering a ban on feeding the homeless.  Let’s figure this one out.  This is great, from the land of equality.

Listen to this: “If you give out free food on the street with no other services to deal with the collateral damage, you get hundreds of people beginning to squat…,” I love this.  Remember, this is California.  They’re the bighearted people.  “…They’re living in my bushes, and they’re living in my next door neighbor’s crawlspaces.  We have a neighborhood which now seems like a mental ward.”  I just don’t want these people around me.  Well, I’m blown away by your compassion.

This is bogus compassion.  It always is.  Government compassion and progressive compassion is bogus.  The argument sure sounds familiar.  It’s a familiar argument, don’t feed the animals.  Ooh, are animals in cages?  Well, people are animals too, you know?  How about school choice, are we moving towards freedom with the government?  As that thing is collapsing, are they encouraging you?  No, in fact, just the opposite.

They’ve got Common Core, and then off to the side, a really important story that nobody’s paying attention to is the president, his silence on the German family who we’ve had on this program who were granted access to the United States and then denied asylum after they fled Germany because they weren’t allowed to teach their kids in their own home.

Here is an update on that story.  The Supreme Court now has ordered today the administration to respond to the family’s appeal, but I can guarantee you what they’re going to say.  They’re going to say no, send them back.  We’ll give asylum to anyone but not these people.  Why?  Because then the government will be on record saying you have an inherent God-given right to raise your children and teach them the way you see fit.  Government can’t have that.

You now have to purchase a product in order to be considered law-abiding.  Catholic and other religious health care institutions are forced to violate their own beliefs and provide birth control and abortions.  An update on this one too, Supreme Court’s going to take another look at that issue.

From the level that you set your thermostat at to the gas mileage on your cars to the fat content in foods, not being allowed to fish in order to eat unless you have a permit, individual sovereignty is all but dead.  And people are becoming more dependent, and many people like it that way.  We are going the way of Greece, and I have to tell you, we did, and you can find it if you’re a member of TheBlaze.  You can go find it and watch this episode.  I think it was like 40 minutes.  It was six hours on the ground in Greece.

I flew out in the middle of the night, and I just talked to the cab drivers, and I talked to the people on the street.  I watched what was happening.  Things in Greece are getting so bad now that they’re actually inflicting themselves with HIV in order to receive government benefits.  Here’s what it was like about 24 months ago in Greece.

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Glenn:  And what does this say?

Male:  It says that we don’t have to live like slaves.  Communism is the revolutionary movement of the ongoing period.  Revolution now.  Let’s produce life and not those things that strangle life.  Let’s not produce those things that strangle life.

Glenn:  Communism is the answer?

Male:  Yes.  It’s the revolutionary movement of the ongoing period.

Glenn:  And the people that are on the street are not drunk.  They’re high, bad heroin highs that we’re seeing on the streets.

Look, it’s a disease in the West, and it kills the human spirit, being a slave to someone else, waiting for the handout, waiting for the government.  It reduces you to a compliant robot unable to think or choose for yourself.  If you have not read this, I just reread this a couple weeks ago.  It’s Anthem by Ayn Rand.  You know, she asked Walt Disney to make this into a movie, and I want to make this into one.

She wanted it to be made into a cartoon, and I want to make it into a cartoon because it’s right.  It’s right.  This is the collective takes over.  You become a robot.  You forget about yourself entirely.  This is why they want to regulate your guns, because they can’t have you stand up.  They can’t.

You know, we put out a book this week, this book.  I don’t care if you go to the bookstore and read this one chapter on Athens, Georgia.  In fact, let me find which chapter it is.  I’m sorry, Athens, Tennessee, I keep saying that.  Battle of Athens is chapter 10, and the Battle of Athens, tomorrow…I’ve sent everybody home from the studios.  So many people are traveling that I’m just going to come in and do the show myself tomorrow.  And I might read this chapter to you.

And I’ve got some things I want to share with you tomorrow on the radio.  It will be a very different radio show.  But the Battle of Athens is happening again.  What happened in Tennessee is happening all over our country, and this gives you the antidote.  It shows you when you rise up and say enough, enough, you do everything right, everything, but they have to make you dependent.

See, the people that tried to take over Athens, Tennessee, the fascists there, they were criminals.  They made everybody dependent, but they forgot one thing, soldiers were returning home from war.  You can’t be dependent on anything or anyone.  To the best of your ability, if you’re not independent now, you’ve got to strive for it.  If you have it, empower someone else so they can achieve it.

This is the era that the American revolutionaries dreamt of.  I’m convinced of it.  They weren’t pining for 1776.  They envisioned a day when man could live a self-reliant life free from all tyranny.  This is it.  The Internet gives us that.  With technology, you don’t have to be chained to your own town.  You don’t have to be chained to somebody else to be a buyer or a distributor.  You don’t even have to go to work and be stuck at one location or a desk or bound by a schedule.

The sky is the limit now for the first time in human history, unless we allow others to put us in a box and close the lid.  There is one uniting principle, and I think George Washington and Thomas Paine shared it.  Now, those who are atheists will say that George Washington was a deist.  I don’t believe that.  I’ve read too much of his words and his letters.

And Christians will say that Thomas Paine wasn’t really an atheist.  They’re wrong.  I’ve read too much of his stuff.  The guy was an early precursor to a Marxist.  But they came together.  If it wasn’t for the two of them, revolution wouldn’t have happened.  They came and found something in common, sovereignty for the individual, maximum personal responsibility, maximum liberty.  When you strip everything else down, I think that’s where most people are, I hope, at least 30% of this country.

And so when you find the religious people that will not oppress and force conformity, will not say my way or the highway or not just playing some game because they believe in the church ruling everybody’s life, and when you find Libertarians who are not anarchists who believe in some government just to be able to protect and defend property and won’t oppress and say none of that religion stuff, when you can get together where common sense and freedom live, where people believe in maximum freedom and maximum personal responsibility, games over.  It’s over.

When you can get to a point where a guy like me, really very religious, and a guy like Penn Jillette, really not religious, can live in the same space, we could be neighbors, and we could be happy neighbors, how do you beat that?  How could Penn Jillette be somebody who hates all people with religion and has a secret plan to put everybody in religion out of business, when I’m one of his good friends?  How could I be a fascist when my good friend is a self-described narco-capitalist?  Something doesn’t compute.

That’s the box that everybody wants to put you in.  Don’t.  Break those molds.  When religious people and nonreligious people can get along, when Ayn Rand and small government Christians can get along, we find the balance, and we understand that the secret is self-regulation.  When we can work together with people we disagree with on some pretty big principles but still have enough points in common to tether ourselves to those principles, and those principles free mankind, it is game over.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.