The Super Bowl may have been a blowout… but Stu had a great time anyway

Despite the lopsided score, Glenn actually found the Super Bowl to be a fairly enjoyable and non-offensive for the first time in a long time. And while Glenn, Pat, and Jeffy watched the big game from home, Stu was at Met Life stadium taking in the action. On radio this morning, Stu talked about his experience… though he refused to admit how much he actually spent on the big weekend.

“Did it seem like a different kind of Super Bowl yesterday, as far as it felt uniting. I wasn't offended… The kids didn't have to leave the room. There wasn't any political nonsense, except the Coke ad,” Glenn said. “I actually walked away – especially with the Declaration of Independence, and I know they do that every year… this year it just stuck out to me. This year I just was like, ‘Wow, that is really tremendous.’”

Stu has attended the last eight Super Bowls, and while he had some apprehension going into this game because of the weather and transportation concerns, he ended up having a great time.

“Even though it was a blowout on TV and a lot of people were disappointed in the game, it doesn't feel like that at the actual game,” Stu said. “The energy was so high and the Seattle fans are so nuts, that it was still really, really exciting. And the game itself was great. And then in the breaks, you know, it's totally different. The breaks are really long. The setup for the halftime show is a show in and of itself.”

While there was a lot of hype prior to the game about transportation and security, Stu said his experience wasn’t actually that bad because instead of heeding the advice of game organizers and taking mass transportation, he paid for a parking pass.

“Getting to and from was the easiest thing in my life because of the fact, we mentioned it last hour, that I didn't listen to everyone's warnings that you had to take the train. They kept saying this over and over again. ‘Everyone, you have to take the train.’ I drove. I wound up getting a parking pass.”

“You must are have paid a fortune for this thing,” Pat interjected.

While Stu refused to admit how much money he coughed up, it’s safe it say it was a lot. Not only did Stu splurge on parking pass, his seats were not too shabby either.

“We were like on the 10-yard line – opposite side of the cameras were. We were looking at it in reverse on TV. It was great,” Stu said. “It doesn't get any better than that… It's never too much of a hassle.”

Weather was another concern for the day, but it actually ended up being a balmy 49 degrees at kickoff. As it turns out, Stu was a little overdressed for the occasion.

“I will say it was cold,” Stu said. “Apparently my friend Chris, who of course runs your company, Glenn, went with me to this game, apparently was tweeting out photos of me and what I was wearing. I may have over prepared, as if I was going to be outside in the arctic.”

Next year, the Super Bowl will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and it looks like Stu might have some company.

“[Raphe and I have] been watching football, and Raphe was like, ‘Let's go to the Super Bowl.’ And I'm thinking: It's New York. It's going to be cold. It's going to be miserable. The people are miserable. The cops are miserable. It's going to be miserable! I didn't want to go,” Glenn said. “[But] I'm going next year. I'm taking my son next year… and maybe Pat. I'll invite like all my friends. Stu will be there. Pat will be there… I’ll bring the camera guys. People I don't even know.”

Front page image courtesy of the AP

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!