There's no better way to react to a new gas tax than this

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How do YOU feel about the possibility of a new gas tax? Yeah, Glenn doesn't think it's a good idea either. Nevertheless, Sen. Corker (R-TN) has gone out and said that amidst the falling gas prices - finally a breather at the pump - it's time for a new federal gas tax. An extra twelve cents a gallon will fix all of our infrastructure problems. YAY! 

Or not.

Glenn decided to take Sen. Corker to task, and it was by far the highlight of Tuesday's TV show.

WATCH:

Below is a transcript of the full segment:

Do you remember January 2009, gas prices were at $1.84? Everybody was freaking out about George W. Bush because it was $2.50. Oh my gosh, it’s $2.50. This guy is in bed with the evil oil corporations, right? What happens? The president gets in. Before he gets into office, it’s $1.84. As soon as he gets into office, it shoots up to $3.00 a gallon. Nobody says anything about it. It stays there for five years. Nobody says anything.

Now, prices dip. We get a breather at the pump. So, what do the clowns in Washington do? What are they doing? They want to push for a federal gas tax. I’ve got to tell you, I’m going to lose my mind. You watch him, Senator Bob Corker, he’s a Republican, by the way. Here’s what he said.

VIDEO

Sen. Corker: The user fee has not been raised since 1993. Other things typically are a percentage. This is per gallon, and so it’s way behind. It’s $100 billion shortfall that we have in our infrastructure program over the next ten years. So we could put this in place.

F: How much of an increase, Senator?

Sen. Corker: Six cents each year for two years, raising it to 12, which would solve the problem for a long, long time.

Oh, he’s going to solve the problem for a long, long time. All he needs is another $0.12 a gallon. Oh gee, Bob, Bob is $100 billion short. Oh, that’s bullocks. That’s what that is. But maybe, just maybe, you at home, you could help. Would you consider helping my little friend Bobby from Congress? He’s got himself into a little bit of a pickle today, he does.

You see, he took billions of your dollars, and he peed them all away. Now, he’s asking for even more from you. It’s crackers, I know. Could you spare some loose change? Oh, anything will do, a little bit of chocolate perhaps or maybe a little extra chocolate tax. Come to think of it, I don’t know why we even ask, because no matter what we do, they’ll go ahead and tax us up the wazoo.

Thank you. Thank you very much. I’ll be here all week. Anybody done? I’m done playing the game. Tiffany, can you get on the GlennBeck.com? By the way, I want to thank the staff for brand-new GlennBeck.com. It’s really great, lots of new things coming to it soon, but the skeleton is now on GlennBeck.com. Go to GlennBeck.com and see if you can pull up the T-shirt, because I’m selling it starting tomorrow.

I’m selling it, and you know what, I’m going to take all that money, and I don’t know, maybe we’ll all go on vacation someplace. I don’t know. Let’s spend it on something that the progressive Republicans and the progressives of the Democrats will really get pissed off about. Maybe I’ll give all of that money to a Ted Cruz campaign. I’m not sure yet, but I’ve had enough of their panhandling for more, shaking that cup at us. It is time to solve the problem by defunding the GOP. Defund them. Defund them.

Oh, we’ll never ask for another dime. Really? Are we that stupid? There it is, party’s over. Go home. You’re drunk on power. Party’s over. Defund them. You can buy the T-shirt. All the cool kids are wearing them.

So, hey, I know, why don’t we be complete morons and celebrate the low gas prices? Let’s do that. Well, we have to celebrate them for a little while. I don’t know about you. I celebrate filling up the car. It takes me 100 bucks. Now, it is just down to $60. That’s fantastic. I don’t know how you cannot feel good at least for the short term. You know, you feel like okay, well hey, at least I’ve got something going on here, okay?

No, no, the price is going to change. Why? Two reasons: one, because they’re going to add $0.12 a gallon in tax. Congratulations, there’s your new Congress. But let me tell you another reason why you should be a little concerned. Let me take you to a little stroll down oil town. Oil town, where everybody works for the oil companies. This is what those evil progressives have talked about all these times.

Now, everybody’s mortgaged to the hilt. Oh, these people, I’ll tell you right now, you’ve got these people living in this house, it takes $117 per barrel just to keep the doors open to the house, keep the lights on. It’s crazy, right? Ninety-eight dollars…this neighbor is $122, 106, $131 per barrel. They have to have $131 a barrel. Otherwise, their house is in trouble. One hundred eighty-four, can you imagine how panicked this family is in this house?

Because, let me remind you, it’s at $50 a barrel, so with $50 a barrel, if you need it to be 184 just to meet your monthly bills, you’re screwed as a family. Here, let me just see if I can—this house is on fire really bad. In fact, this one’s on fire. This one’s on fire. This one’s on fire. This one’s on fire. This one’s on fire. Here’s one for $106. This one is the only one currently not on fire. Isn’t that great?

Now, you would say hey, oil town fatcats, what you need to do is be more like this household. So maybe the people in this household should tell all of these people you have to live within your means and cut the expenses, right? Because I’m sure all the neighbors want to hear from this one. This one, by the way, has several cars. They’ve got a nice basketball hoop in the background, all kinds of electronics. These people are mortgaged out of their minds, but $40 a barrel, they can make ends meet.

These guys, they’re in trouble. Well, let me just show you a bit who these people are. This is Venezuela. This one is Russia. You see, they’re not really towns. This one is Nigeria. This one is 106. Who is that one, Tiffany? Oh, this one is Saudi Arabia. That’s good. None of these guys, they’re not unstable. They’re not going to cause any problems if their house is in panic. Oh, this one is Iran. They are totally stable. Don’t worry about it.

Oh, the house on fire at 184, yeah [Libya]. Nothing could go wrong there. Or here [Iraq], why worry about them? Oh, and the guys who can lecture everybody, that’s you and me, the good old USA. USA! USA! Let’s tell the rest of the world that they should live within their means. We are the last country that can admonish anyone about lowering their expenses.

In the last six years, America’s national debt has increased by 70% to more than $18 trillion. Do you remember when the President said that was immoral, it was un-American? It’s now $18 trillion, and we’re talking about John frickin’ Boehner. They’re not going to lower the expenses. They’re not going to, and these countries, these countries, they’re on fire right now, and so they’re going to weather the storm the best they can hoping to make it safely through to the other side.

Saudi Arabia is being accused of purposely not increasing production in order to inflict economic pain on Russia and Iran. Well, it’s having devastating effects. Russia is in the throes of economic crisis with soaring interest rates that go along with unsustainable energy prices. It’s a game of national survival of the fittest. It’s true Darwinian battle to the end—who can hold out the longest?

I don’t know. I don’t know. I will tell you this, the world is heading for a massive global correction, and we are not even ready as people. We’re not ready. We’re falling apart as people. Every country on earth is going to experience some economic pain, some much, much greater than others. The question remains what happens when the dominoes start to fall and when these countries start to go belly up? Well, I can show you Detroit—chaos, crime, corruption, desperation, ugly stuff.

Inflation rates are skyrocketing now in places like Russia and Venezuela, and they are set to start rising here in 2015. That’s the official word. You know they’ve already been rising. Except for gas prices, everything else has been rising. Everything else has been going up at the grocery stores. Remember when the president told you well, the only reason why milk and cheese and everything else at the grocery store is going up is because gas prices are so high? Really? Your food prices going down, America? No. Why?

Hey…hey, our breadbasket…California, how are you doing? Oh, is the EPA maybe choking you to death with the water? Don’t worry, Congress and John Boehner are going to be there to save the day. This is why I say I don’t want to talk about politics anymore, because it’s too late. It’s too late. We have to affect the culture. We have to affect ourselves. I still have to show you what’s going on. We’re talking in depth about the economic, the role the dollar will play in what is to come.

As Europe is struggling to hold it together, 2015 could be the year that it all starts to unravel. I hope not. I don’t know, but mark my words, I said this when I was at FOX, when the global economy falls apart, who is going to take the blame? You want to know? Listen to Putin. He’s already assigning it.

VIDEO

Vladimir Putin: Now, we are witnessing the falling down of prices, of oil prices, and there are many discussions on that topic, why is that happening, whether there is a conspiracy between the Saudi Arabia and the U.S. in order to punish Iran and influence the economy of Russia, Venezuela, etc.

Oh, oil my arms. Oil my arms. They’re going to blame us. America takes the blame. Putin is using this opportunity to stoke anti-western sentiment, and it is getting spooky. I want you to remember one thing from tonight’s show, because you’re going to meet somebody here in a few minutes who I think is very, very well-spoken, lots of credibility, probably, I don’t know, probably would hate my guts if she lived here in America. I don’t know. I don’t care, but I’m telling you right now, the one thing you have to get from today’s show is it’s real. What we’ve been talking about is real, and it’s on our doorstep.

People are going to look to save their own skin. This is why the special next week is so important, three days just on Russia. Meanwhile, the White House is publicly welcoming the lower gas prices, but behind closed doors they’re watching the tanking stock market. Don’t appear to agree that, you know, lower oil prices are a good thing. The stock market, what?

VIDEO

Josh Earnest: There are some who have observed that this is a little bit of a chicken and the egg thing, that some of the fall in energy prices is a direct response to a weakening of the economy and a fall in the stock market. We’re always monitoring the impact that any sort of—

Okay, the statement yesterday was the president is monitoring this constantly at the White House. Has he been monitoring other things, like the cost of your health care? Now, you think this is going to affect Wall Street? Gee, let’s think about that. Here’s what we could do, we could have a little more control of our own situation, and we could go ahead with projects like the Keystone Pipeline, but the president and longtime advisers, the Republicans, supposedly going to solve this now…right.

David Axelrod came out and said I’m not so sure. This is a tweet. This is a quote: “At a time of low oil prices and growing U.S. energy, is Keystone really the most pressing issue? Or is it just red meat for the GOP base?” Not everything is political. Some things are strategic as a nation. Yes, any sane responsible country would ensure our energy is cheap, plentiful as humanly possible.

We would also make sure that we were self-contained as humanly possible, still reaching out to the rest of the world, still being decent people, but also being able to weather storms. For the love of Pete, can somebody be proactive about securing resources? Russia is. Russia is getting pummeled by dropping oil prices, but wait until I show you next week what they’re doing to counter that. But they’re also buying gold.

They bought 130 tons of gold in 2014. China bought 2,100 tons of gold. Why? Because they know paper money is going to be worthless at some point. Responsible nations cut spending. Responsible nations shore up access to fuel and energy. Responsible nations have a monetary system that’s not on the verge of collapse, or if it is on the verge of collapse, they’re doing something for the future to make sure they have something in the end.

We’re the only one on that street that’s burning our house down to the ground. We’re watching little numbers roll by the screen in the stock market. Does our vault even have any gold? Clowns running the show in DC, they’re playing circus while the world is burning. Well, the good news is those little clown cars, they’re very economical, so…

And anti-Semitism is on the rise. I am telling you, we are entering the 1930s. I’m going to show you some things here in the next break that should open your eyes. It’s real. It’s no longer Glenn Beck says this is going to happen. It is happening, so it’s time for you to…I mean, I know that Bob Beckel kiss was great and everything, but history is repeating itself.

Troubled times are coming. We have anti-Semitism. You have armed Black Panthers now here in Dallas monitoring the cops in honor of cop-killer Huey P. Newton. Geez, I mean, you want to talk about biblical times, we had a…I think it was about a four on the Richter scale, I’m guessing, right before we went on the air. This whole building shook, and all of us were like what the…? We’re having earthquakes like crazy here in Dallas. Whew!

My fellow supporters,

It is with a heavy heart that I must make a sad announcement today. The time has come to press pause on the dream of Beto for president. It's not the end of the Beto dream. It's just pressing pause for a while, like pausing a Foss CD. The dream will keep right on spinning, until we return to it and press play again. I mean, look at Bernie Sanders. That guy's almost twice my age and he's still running for president. That means you can look forward to Beto running for office for decades to come. I have found there is tremendous joy and freedom in running for office and never winning. All the travel, Vanity Fair cover stories, food and free beer, with none of the hassle or responsibility of having an actual job in elected office (or any job at all). It's really great.

With the exception of myself, no one has supported Beto more faithfully and true than you, the fans. I'd also like to thank my wife Amy for continually raising our children so that I can travel this great land in my never-ending quest to find myself (and also to connect with you, the fans). From attending my very hip and not-at-all contrived jogging town halls, to slapping those trendy Beto bumper stickers on your hybrid-SUVs, to steadying tables all over America so I could jump on top of them and yell and jab the air, to clicking "like" on all those Facebook videos of my dentist visits – you perpetuated this Beto dream way longer than it had any right to be perpetuated.

So, I'm sure you're now wondering – what's next for Beto?

Other than pursuing my career as a solo rock recording artist, I believe the best way I can serve America and bring true justice to this great land of ours is by stealing from the rich and giving to those who fall in the sweet spot on the intersectionality charts. Except I won't steal from my billionaire father-in-law, only because getting my family cut out of the will would not be in America's best interest. You need a Beto who is independently wealthy via his wife and so do I. Plus, as you know by now, from following the 2020 presidential campaign so closely, the only acceptable status quo in America is leaving the wealth of Progressive elites alone. Everyone else's wealth is fair game, including the middle class. It's the right thing to do.

You need a Beto who is independently wealthy via his wife and so do I.

Therefore, from this day forward I will henceforth be known as Beto Hood. You will be able to join the cause by purchasing official Beto Hood merch soon at Beto Hood dot com. Together, with my band of merry men, who will be known as "merry non-binaries", we will roam the land, righting all the wrongs and bringing about all the social justice that Donald Trump refuses to let you have.

Beto Hood and his Merry Non-Binaries will live on the road. And in the woods (in eco-friendly, fully sustainable treehouse yurts). And in the shadows. We will skateboard and learn archery and rappelling. We will become proficient in hand-to-hand combat. We will become experts in all weaponry except guns, since guns are the evilest weapons. We will care for all the animals of the forest. You already know my affinity for squirrels. Not only will we continue to rescue all the orphan squirrels, we will train them in petty thievery and nimble sabotage. We will affix tiny helmets on them, fitted with tiny Go Pro cameras to live stream their heroic exploits on Facebook. Side note: my colonoscopy next week will also be live streamed on Facebook and available to rent on iTunes.

Using the skills I honed as a college graduate scaling the gates of UTEP, Beto Hood and his Merry Non-Binaries will scale the gates of America's richest and steal from their grotesque wealth. Jewelry, high-end electronics, precious antiques, art, women's shoes – nothing of value will be off-limits. Drawing on my experience while my father was a county judge, we will live above the law. It will be dangerous work, the Lord's work as some people say. But totally worth the risk.

Also, we will not wait for Constitutional amendments nor judicial overreach to get rid of America's AR-15s. We will steal those too. One by one. Using very large versions of those stretchy sticky hands that come in cereal boxes, we will literally be able to snatch these vile guns right out from under the noses of the monsters who own them. Then, with our literal mountain of confiscated AR-15s, we will melt them down and use the metal to build a flotilla of sturdy watercraft, called Beto Boats (trademark pending). Families will be able to use these Beto Boats to save themselves and others when the rising waters of climate change overtake our cities in exactly ten years.

Who needs the presidency? I have big, bold plans for a bright future as an outlaw hero.

Who needs the presidency? I have big, bold plans for a bright future as an outlaw hero. So, don't cry for me, America. Beto will be just fine. Dropping out of this race is nothing that another months-long, head-clearing road trip won't cure. And after that, I'll start shopping for some tights.



[NOTE: The preceding Memo was a parody written by MRA writer Nathan Nipper – not Beto O'Rourke.]

Ryan: Making of an Ant Queen

Photo by Kevin Ryan

The embattled, Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning author Liu Xiaobo wrote that "Life is priceless even to an ant."

An ant colony can only survive for a few months after the death of its queen. On average, queens live 10 to 15 years. Some, up to 30 years, one of the longest insect lifespans, hidden deep within the colony, protected, unable to use her wings because she's a little bigger than she used to be.

Plus she's very busy.

The majority of ants are female. Wingless, sterile worker ants. They build nests, they forage, they hunt.

Theirs is a far briefer life than the queen's, ranging from a few weeks up to a year. But they see more of the outside world than any other ant.

The bigger they are, the farther they travel. And they release pheromones along the way so that they have a trail home.
Drones — winged male ants whose primary function in life is to mate with the queen — die after mating and rarely make it out of the colony.

Then, there are the soldier ants. They protect the colony and attack.

To quote philosopher Bertrand Russell, "Ants and savages put strangers to death."

They go on raids.

The attacking colony rarely loses, so most colonies flee as soon as an invasion begins. But they sometimes remain and fight.
Ants on both sides of the battle die in droves.

Henry David Thoreau describes an ant battle in Walden: "On every side they were engaged in deadly combat, yet without any noise that I could hear, and human soldiers never fought so resolutely."

If the attackers succeed in overtaking a colony, they pillage the eggs. Some are eaten, fed to larvae. But others become victims of slave raiding. Meaning that the victors return home with their enemy's unborn, feed them, nurse them. Then, when the eggs hatch, the victors force them into slavery.

Often, the slaves even develop an allegiance to the colony which ransacked their home and enslaved them. They'll even help raid other colonies and either die pointlessly or help with the seizure of the next generation of slaves.

Sometimes, however, the slave ants rebel.

In the words of Persian poet Saadi, "Ants, fighting together, will vanquish the lion."

Flying ants, both male and female, leave the colony to form another colony. Once they find a suitable place, the males's wings fall off and they mate to their death. Then one or more of the females becomes queen.

*

It felt odd, any time I sat with a roomful of media, a few hundred journalists from all over the world, as they simultaneously, silently, decided "Yep, that's newsworthy. We should hammer that."

It wasn't like everyone turned to each other and said, "Let's agree on the narrative."

It was an energy.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Like in Houston, at the third Democratic Debate, after Biden misused the word "record player," you could hear chatter spread through the room, people muttering the words "records" and "record player."

In Houston, the media watched the debate from a gymnasium around the corner from the auditorium. So I could contrast the crowd's reactions with the media's reactions.

Nearly every time, there was a disparity between the two. The media were more relaxed — during the debate at least. The audience enjoyed any mentions of identity issues. There were a lot. But the media barely reacted at all.

This was a good thing, probably.

*

It's impressive to see how politicians force their stump speeches into a new form, depending on the context. How they say it like an epiphany.

That night brought the opposite for the ever-fledgling Kamala Harris. I could not believe it. Was this the same woman who'd made Iowa hers, just a little over a month ago?

All night, she was so loyal to the tactic she'd premeditated that she didn't realize it wasn't working, like she kept putting on a puppet show on some busy sidewalk.

At one point, she declared, proudly, "We're not talking about Donald Trump enough."

The most talked-about man in the world, perhaps in our country's history.

In five weeks, she became an entirely different candidate. Her latest version resembled a Xanax-fueled stepmom. It was like she was transforming into Joe Biden.

She kept laughing at her own jokes. And the entire media room cringed every time.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Amy Klobuchar's pre-formed jokes and half-zany dad jokes fell short every time, too. Most of the media saw Klobuchar's long rants as a chance to chat with a neighbor or jet off to the nearest bathroom, which was likely a locker-room full of plastic flight containers and padded camera cases and journalists who curse like sailors.

During the debate, the press was stoic. So if a candidate got a reaction from them, it carried a certain authenticity.

They laughed at things that the audience ignored or disliked or didn't notice. In part because the audience didn't do a whole lot of laughing. But the media laughed like professionals laugh. In-jokey and staid yet ready for anything unexpected.

They loved it when Booker said the thing about "Let me translate that to Spanish … 'No'." And Yang's opening handclaps. As well as Pete Buttigieg's reaction to Yang's raffle.

The biggest laugh of the night in the media center, surprisingly, was when Yang said, "I am Asian, so I know a lot of doctors."

*

Early scientists believed that ants adhere to a complicated hierarchy, which biologist E O Wilson compared to the Hindu caste system. The idea was, ants and humans have a lot in common, and ants belong to a society divided by class and determined by labor.

In the Wealth of Nations, father of capitalism Adam Smith wrote: "It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people."

Ants have been organized into colonized societies since the Cretaceous Period, 140 million years ago, when dinosaurs still dominated the Earth. All of that changed 74 million years later. Which was about 66 million years ago. When a comet slammed into what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, resulting in the KT mass extinction.

80 percent of all plants and animals died. The ash and dust and debris polluted the air, blocked the sunlight, transforming the Earth into a dark, frozen wasteland full of asthma.

Insects, carrion-eaters, and omnivores all survived. Any purely carnivorous animals starved to death, while mammals and birds fed on insects and worms until the earth repopulated itself with more animals that could be eaten.

The K-T Mass Extinction ushered in a new era of life. Species that had lived in constant retreat from predators were suddenly able to form more elaborate purposes.

After these lifeforms thrived for tens of millions of years, certain mammals started to become vaguely humanlike.
Early humans popped up about 300,000 years ago.

Meaning, ants have existed for 140 million years, which is 139.7 million years longer than humans.

For reference, if you counted to 300,000, it would take you roughly three-in-a-half days. To get to 140 million would take about four-and-a-half years.

Humans only began developing language about 100,000 years ago.

Yet we're the ones with libraries and governments and ABBA and iPhones. What did ants have? Other people's sugar?

*

Before the debate, I wandered out of the gymnasium and onto bustling sidewalks with makeshift security fencing on each side. And hopped over the massive yellow tubes that belonged in E.T. and pumped cold air into the building. Past dozens of police and security, through an elaborate weave of temporary checkpoints and wires bigger than a fire hose.

On the street, I passed a group of six-or-so teenagers flipping DELANEY signs around like those cardboard "WE BUY GOLD" banners which actual people bob around while dressed as Elvis or Lady Liberty or a Banana.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

The sun cast a delightful orange over Houston, glitter in the humid air.

Those kids were having a blast with those signs. Laughing so hard they had to stop occasionally and slap their legs.

On the other side of the fence, some of the most powerful people in the world were readying for battle, and these kids could not have cared less.

*

The protestors had gathered just outside the gates of the campus entrance.

Far as I could tell, it was me and no other journalists present. The rest of the media were in the gymnasium, preparing for the debate or networking or already on-air. Once they got into the media center they stayed put. For many reasons, I assume.
The air collapsed under a wave of heat unique to Houston.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Gnarled blockades served as borders on both sides of the street. Locked into steel fencing, flanked by rows of police cars with their lights on but their sirens off.

Worse than the humidity, and more intense, was the energy bouncing out of the protestors on Cleburne Street. The opposite of suction energy, shoving out with tension and panic and elation.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" blared from a Bluetooth speaker. I envisioned a slow zoom from above, beginning with the top of my head and rising, up and up and up. Drawing in the greater scene. Up past Trump's message-board plane. A panorama of city, then county, then state, capturing the topography and nuance of each snapshot of nature.

The higher the camera rose, the more I resembled an ant. One more wingless worker or obedient soldier rushing from place to place on a mission.

And when you got far enough above, you saw the colony that each of us belongs to.

Then it shrank like a passing bobsled, and Earth itself resembled an ant.

The scale of it is daunting.

For thousands of years the sky has filled humans with romance and humility and wonder. A restive impulse that strikes when we gaze up at the moon, the stars, the galaxy, the quiet.

But at ground level, I was a man in the throes of a great human drama. And my job was to document it as neutrally as possible.

The 120-odd protestors on the south side of the street spilled onto the sidewalk and into a lawn, and they chanted as the Trump plane groaned overhead.

They were crowded together, and they were all fighting for different causes. Lots of contradictions under the same banner.
Next to a group of Beto supporters with pro-choice t-shirts, several women chanted

We.
Want.
A pro-life.
Dem.

Chaos itself occupied the south side of the street. The protestors weren't sure how to handle it. So they chanted and sang and probed for the problem. Like so many tiny creatures hauling an orange slice.

Across the street, facing that horde of supporters, two men gripped pro-life signs.

They were the counter-protestors. Their barricade was far wider than needed. The grass around them looked sad, like the trail a dog makes along the fence when it wants to escape.

Behind the two counter-protestors, a mini-bus covered with photos of aborted babies, tangled fetuses, severed and indistinguishable chunks.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Photo by Kevin Ryan

I squinted and gasped and felt downright unwell.

Two days earlier, my wife and I found out that she was pregnant with our first child.

At the very moment I stared at images of tiny human shapes contorted and grey, our baby was the size of a pea.
A few weeks later, we'd see its heartbeat pulsing like a strobe.

I'm not making a statement on abortion. That's not my job as a journalist.

It's more my admiration for the impeccable depth of life. The timing. How messages and symbols confront us all the time, with unmatchable creativity.

Because there I was, literally in the middle of two opposing factions. Again. In the divide. Tangled into so many dichotomies. Life and death. Freedom and oppression. Order and chaos. Activity and stagnation. Creation and loss. Art and nature.

And I had once again remained in the middle.

This brought me tremendous satisfaction. It signified personal and journalistic success.

It was also a bit ridiculous.

As a reporter, I never wanted to pick a side. I already had a side. My side was America, and Ireland. My side was humanity.

My side was life.

New installments of this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. Check out my Twitter or email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak.Not to act is to act."
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The cost of discipleship can be daunting and few people are willing to sacrifice and stand in the face of evil to do what they know God is asking of them. The "Bonhoeffer Angel Award" is awarded to someone with the vision and courage to act when others only talk, to dig in and listen to the whisperings of the spirit when others turn a deaf ear. It is only fitting the inaugural award go to the visionary founder of Mercury One, Glenn Beck.

The award was presented by the Board President of Mercury One, David Barton and CEO of the Nazarene Fund, Tim Ballard. There was a touching video tribute as well including the likes of Penn Jillette, Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Joe Liberman, Congressman Loui Gohmert and Rabbi Daniel Lappin.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:

Glenn will be hosting the annual Operation Underground Railroad gala Saturday, November 2nd with keynote speaker Tim Ballard. If you are able to join us, tickets are still available and donations of all sizes are welcome.

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!