Glenn remembers Robin Williams: He was a humble man with a humble and servant’s heart

The world today is mourning the loss of Robin Williams. Yesterday afternoon, a friend came over to the house and said, “Have you heard the news?” TheBlaze had just posted it just a few minutes before, and it was stunning. And then when you heard how his life ended, it made it worse.

His family requested privacy as they grieve. Of course, that means the media has to immediately camp out and fly helicopters over his home. Why we have this need to see the family, why we had to see what was happening over their home from a helicopter is beyond me. So much for honoring that one.

But the other one that the family requested was this, “As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.” I hope so too. That's what this network is going to try to do. Some are doing the usual dumpster diving into the why didn’t we do this or that or what could they have done or what did the family know or whatever.

Some people are just choosing to immerse themselves in the highlight reels of Robin Williams’ impeccable career, and that’s probably a better place to start at least. It is truly an amazing body of work. Even in tragedy and death, he’s still making us laugh. That’s what he did. I personally think he was addicted to our laughs. I think that’s what he lived for. He couldn’t laugh himself apparently very much at the time. I think he lived off of our laughs. This is why I think we feel we know him somewhat.

His talent was beyond immeasurable. If you look at things like Good Morning Vietnam, it’s an absolute classic and a masterpiece of ad-libbing. Not only in this but also in Aladdin, he took a blank piece of paper and went from there. I don’t know if there’s another actor that has done or could do what he has done on the screen and just make things up on the spot and make a monster hit after monster hit after monster hit.

But it wasn’t just the way he could make us laugh, there was something more to him, a searching in his intellect. We saw it in Good Will Hunting and The Dead Poets Society, countless other powerful and serious roles. But I think the thing that really means the most, why we feel we know him and love him, it wasn’t just the laughs or his ever searching, but it was his heart. You saw it in many of his films, but you also saw it outside of the films.

By many accounts, this is a guy who was a genuine caring soul. You’re not going to see anybody unearth a video of him berating producers or treating people like garbage. He treated everybody the same. And you could see it. He lived his life this way, giving blood on 9/11 or serving our troops. He did tour after tour with our troops for years, USO tours.

There's a clip of him performing in Kuwait just a few years ago, and in the middle of the routine, the trumpet sounds for lowering of the flag, and all of the soldiers turn around to face the flag. Well, he didn’t have any idea what was happening. All he knew is that the entire audience had just stopped listening to him and began looking the other way – a little jarring to a performer, I’m sure. He handled it with humility and also with improv. Watch.

He was a humble man with a humble and servant’s heart. Even in the effect that his comedy had on us, I think he was living off of our laughs, but he was serving us. I didn’t know him. I don’t think people who even claim to know him really knew him. I don’t think you’re ever going to see anybody on TV that’s going to give you a clue as to what he was going through. It was his journey, and it’s quite honestly none of our business.

Depression is a dark, dark, awful place to be. What people don’t understand is sometimes suicide looks like it’s a reasonable place. He was battling addiction, and when you try to get sober, you take away the one thing that gives you the escape from the pain. And your escape hatch is gone, and then you’re forced to stand there to face whatever it is you’ve been running from. It’s really hard. And you get good at telling people that everything is okay.

I will tell you that my first thought with my wife, we sat down yesterday afternoon, and we read what his wife issued. And she said this morning, I left my best friend at home. And my wife stopped reading it there. In my mind’s eye, I saw his wife ask her husband, who she knew was ill, “Are you okay?” And he said, “Yes, I’m fine, go,” knowing that he already had a plan.

When you’re a big celebrity, people are afraid to tell you the truth. People are afraid to tell you anything because you’re a source of income. I don’t know if that’s why people were afraid to dig deep with him or that he was just really good at covering his pain. One of his good friends, the CEO of the Laugh Factory, said today, “He was always in character – you never saw the real Robin. I knew him 35 years, and I never knew him.”

People need to understand the mind is a powerful, powerful trap. It is really an amazing thing. Negative thoughts creep in. We’ve all wrestled with them at one stage or another, one size or another, but for some, they burst in like a rush of mighty waters. We’ve all heard you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy, you’re not loved, you’re not worthy to be loved, you’re a fraud, you’re a phony. The tape runs in all of our heads.

We’re all prone to believe these lies, but something happens to some people. Clinical depression is different than just I’m sad, and people need to understand that. I believed them in my own life. My own family, we have had two suicides, my mother and my brother-in-law. And what people don’t understand is it seems like a reasonable thing when you’re living it.

Years ago when I was in my 20s, I almost repeated my mother’s life. I would drive on I-84 every day to work, and there was a bridge abutment halfway home and halfway to work. And every day to and from, I would pray, God, just give me the strength to swerve into that bridge abutment. God didn’t answer that prayer for me, and I was too much of a coward to do anything else.

And by the grace of God and a good friend who said to me one day, “Come to the hospital with me, will you?” that I did, and I’m standing here today because of an unanswered prayer and a good friend. I don’t know if anybody could’ve said anything to help Robin Williams, probably not, but the one thing I do know is that I was saved by a good friend. If you know somebody who’s struggling, don’t be too embarrassed to ask if they’re okay. Just ask. Tell them, reassure them, everything is going to get better, and it will.

Last year, a 12-year-old named Noah was saved after he posted a picture of his cut wrist on Instagram, and he said day of scheduled suicide, February 8, 2013, my birthday. Well, the Internet rallied and handwrote him over 7,000 letters, flooding him with encouragement. He is alive today because somebody cared.

Our battle is a spiritual battle, and not all of us have on the full armor that we need. Sometimes we intentionally take it off. We have an amazing, powerful force that lives inside of this body. It is beyond our understanding. I’m amazed at how frightened so many of us are by the power that resides inside each of us. I’m amazed by Christians who think that it is blasphemous to somehow say that you were created in the image of God, which gives you the power of God when Jesus himself said all this stuff that I’ve just done, all this and more you too can do. That’s how powerful that being is.

It’s almost like that genie that was kept in that little, itty bitty living space that Robin Williams talked about. We’re terrified at it. We’re terrified that we can’t look inside because we might not like what we find or the worst case scenario, I think, is that so many of us fear we won’t find anything at all. That’s a lie.

The best thing we can do is just be there, show up, and fight alongside each other. We all laughed together because of Robin Williams, and we have all cried with him as well. We shared in just a little bit of his pain together, at least we have now here at the end. We should feel blessed that we are able to witness a kind, gentle heart and talent that was kept in that prison of flesh called Robin Williams, but just like in his role as the genie, he is finally free.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

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Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

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That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.

'The fool builds walls': China blasts Trump over tariffs

NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

I can picture it now: Thousands of years ago, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, standing before hordes of his followers, in the Qin Dynasty, with a bright red bamboo hat on, and chanting, "Build that wall!"

It took a couple centuries to build the thing, but it got built. And it has been carefully maintained over the last 2,000 years, but, today, the Great Wall of China is so massive that astronauts can see it during good weather conditions from the lower part of low Earth orbit. The wall boasts over 3,000 miles of towers and brick embankments, with over 1,200 miles of natural defensive barriers. It's worth mentioning that the Chinese government is also exceptionally good at imposing digital walls, so much so that China ranks worst in the world for internet freedom.

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So it's a little strange to hear an editorial run by a major news network in China criticized President Trump for his proposal to build a large wall along the southern border of America.

"Following the path of expanding and opening up is China's best response to the trade dispute between China and the United States, and is also the responsibility that major countries should have to the world," the author wrote. "The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls."

Similarly, the Pope told reporters in 2016, "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel."

Don't throw stones at people who want to build walls when you live in place surrounded by walls.

If you've been to the Vatican, you know that it is surrounded by enormous walls. The same goes for all the celebrities who live in heavily walled compounds—a safety measure—but who have also vehemently criticized President Trump's plans to build a wall.

You know the adage: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at other people's glass houses." Perhaps the phrase needs an update: Don't throw stones at people who want to build walls when you live in place surrounded by walls.

An immaculate Nazi doctor hovers over newborn. He probes and sneers at it. "Take it away," he says. This is the very real process that Nazi doctors undertook during the era of Nazi Germany: Nazi eugenics, the studious, sterile search to find children who would define a pure breed for the German lineage. The Übermensch.

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During a speech to a delegation of Italy's Family Association in Rome on Saturday, Pope Francis referred to this cruel Nazi practice, which he used as a comparison to the increasingly popular process throughout Europe of "ending" birth defects, by offering abortions to women who have babies with chromosomal defects.

Here are two passages from the Pope's remarks:

I have heard that it's fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let's send it away.

And:

I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves.

When CNN got the quote, and it shocked them so much that they had to verify the quote with the Vatican—in other words, it didn't fit the usual narrative.

It didn't fit the usual narrative.

The Pope also addressed claims that he has dedicated himself to LGBTQ causes:

Today, it is hard to say this, we speak of "diversified" families: different types of families. It is true that the word "family" is an analogical word, because we speak of the "family" of stars, family" of trees, "family" of animals ... it is an analogical word. But the human family in the image of God, man and woman, is the only one. It is the only one. A man and woman can be non-believers: but if they love each other and unite in marriage, they are in the image of God even if they don't believe.

The media have largely seen Pope Francis as the cool Pope, as the Obama of Catholicism. It'll be interesting to see how abruptly and severely that perspective changes.