Affluenza kid captured in Mexico

At long last, the infamous "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch may pay for his crimes.

Couch and his mother were detained in Mexico Tuesday morning in the Pacific resort town of Puerto Vallarta. Couch and his mother were being sought by Texas authorities after he disappeared when video surfaced of him allegedly violating his 10-year probation. Texas authorities then issued a warrant for his arrest. Couch, 18, was under probation for a 2013 drunk driving crash that killed four people and drew nationwide attention over his lawyers' use of his privileged upbringing as part of their defense at trial.

The U.S. Marshals Service tracked Couch down using electronic surveillance, including tracking a cell phone believed to be linked to him, an official briefed on the investigation told CNN. The Marshals Service alerted Mexican authorities, who detained Couch and his mother.

Once "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, are repatriated to the United States, both will be taken into custody, Tarrant County, Texas, Sheriff Dee Anderson said Tuesday morning. Ethan Couch will be put into the juvenile system and appear before a juvenile judge, and his mother will be arrested and face a charge of hindering apprehension.

Couch could face a maximum sentence of four months in the juvenile system, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson said. Wilson said she wants to move Couch's case to adult court, where the punishment could be more severe.

Doc and Skip, in for Glenn, discussed details of the case on air today. Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

 

 

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.

DOC: His name is Ethan Couch. Do you remember Ethan Couch, also known as the affluenza kid. Affluenza teen. Let me refresh your memory. 2013, at the age of 16, Ethan Couch was speeding, driving a pickup truck in excessive rates of speed. He had a blood alcohol level of almost three times the legal limit, which technically there was no legal limit for him because he was 16.

He fatally struck a stranded motorist on the side of the road and also killed three Good Samaritans who had stopped to help the stranded motorist. Yes, at the age of 16, while drinking and he should not have been, while driving, having been intoxicated and should not have been, killed four people. Also, injured several people riding in the truck with him, including one who is permanently brain damaged.

That was Ethan Couch in 2013. At the trial, he was convicted. And he got probation. He got probation because a psychologist said that he can't tell the difference between wrong and right because he's so wealthy, his parents are so affluent, they have raised him in such an affluent environment that he suffers from affluenza.

SKIP: Affluenza?

DOC: Yeah, affluent affluenza, if you will, affluenza because he's so wealthy.

SKIP: It's the rich illness.

DOC: We can't sentence him to jail for killing four people. We can't do that because he's so rich. He doesn't know what's right and wrong. Apparently, you can be so rich, you don't know what's right and wrong.

He was sentenced to ten years probation. Recently, a video surfaced of him showing him at a party likely violating his probation. I'm going to play a little clip of the video. It's very visual, but we'll play a little of the audio for you. And then we'll go ahead and tweet a link to the video so you can see it. The video shows him playing beer pong

SKIP: Yeah, he's playing beer pong with a bunch of people. He's off to the side. I don't know he was in the exact match. But him and his buddies apparently playing the beer pong.

DOC: At 18, possibly drinking, possibly violating his parole. You can hear them partying. Then you hear the buddy at the end of the beer pong table take a run and jump on to the table and it collapses and everybody laughs. Likely in a drunken stupor. Here's the audio.

(laughter)

DOC: He was at this likely violating his parole. After that came out, when faced with questions violating a probation, he disappeared. No one could find him. His mom disappeared as well. Which prompted the county in Texas which he lives in to put him on the county's most wanted list and issue a warrant. Nobody could find him though. His passport gone. His mom's passport, gone. So he and his mommy, 48-year-old Tonya Couch have been discovered. I'm happy to tell you this morning they've found them and they're being detained in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Likely to be turned over to the U.S. Marshal service. The affluenza teen may finally actually pay for his crimes.

SKIP: Which is wonderful. Not since -- not since OJ Simpson had I had the feelings of, wow, the legal system really got this wrong.

DOC: This is unbelievable. If there's anybody in America that actually says, "Oh, I could see he should have only got ten years probation," I would be shocked. Who in their right mind would say that it's any type of consideration when you commit a crime that you're so rich you don't know what you're doing. If anything, couldn't you say that somebody is so poor that they don't know what they're doing. I mean, that's still not an argument. But it's a better one than you're so rich. At least you could say I'm so poor that I was raised in an environment of criminals or I'm so poor I had to do something because I'm so hungry. But to say I'm so rich I'm above the law!

SKIP: And how can this be a defense when -- obviously ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense. So you not knowing the right or wrong of it too, isn't that kind of in the same vein of ignorance of the law?

DOC: I know one thing, he may suffer from affluenza, but very soon he'll be suffering from arrestogenic shock. Possibly Bubba Love Syndrome.

SKIP: Yeah, probably.

DOC: Well, I don't know if he'll suffer from those. But he'll definitely feel some sort of pain in his lower quardrant. His backside. Something like that. Probably going to happen.

SKIP: The prison shakes, if you will.

DOC: Could be. Could be.

How do you do that with a straight face? I guess the psychologist -- maybe if you're getting paid, you could do it with a straight face. But an attorney, a psychologist -- you know, because a psychologist, you're supposed to be a doctor. What about your oath? And you're really going to throw this out there? I mean, I know you're getting paid by the defense or whatever.

SKIP: Probably handsomely, by the way.

DOC: But still, does your oath not matter to you? Do you have such low standards for your profession that you would throw out there, he's so rich, he doesn't know what he's doing and it's a syndrome, affluenza?

SKIP: And if you do somehow hit the legal lottery that Ethan Couch was able to get the winning chance for, gets that second chance, where you won't be in jail for murdering four people, how then do you continue to just completely not give a damn about anything and flee, continue to drink underage, and then after this not attempt to do a mea culpa with your life.

DOC: What this shows is having affluenza. That the reason or one of the reasons or a contributing factor to him drinking and driving at 16, killing four people and then still not taking responsibility is that his parents have never made him take responsibility. They likely coddled him with their affluent lifestyle. Never forcing him to take responsibility. And by claiming affluenza, where he gets ten years probation for killing four people, once again not making him take responsibility for actions. And because of that, what happened? He still is being irresponsible.

He still has not learned. Many times throughout his life he likely was not taught the hard life lessons of personal responsibility. And that led, at least a contributing factor likely to what happened. And by getting him off with ten years of probation because of your money, power, and influence, once again is doing him and society a disservice, because you don't know what he's going to end up doing. And here he is again proving what we said. He's still not being responsible. His mommy even ran away with him. Do you believe you're 18, you screw up after your parents get you off of this, killing four people, four people -- think about their families. Did they get justice?

Four families going about their lives, likely at least three of them trying to help somebody else out, being Good Samaritans. Now they're gone? This kid gets off. You go through all that. You get so lucky. And then you're still not responsible enough to keep your nose clean and you don't learn a hard life lesson? No. Because they got him off. Trust me, had his ass been sitting in jail for a couple of years, he would have been learning a lesson.

SKIP: Furthermore, the judge who said, okay, this guy did not know the difference between right and wrong, so you're saying that there's a person out there that killed four people, permanently brain damaged his friend, was so irresponsible, does not know the difference between right and wrong because he was -- you're going to put him back out on the street? This kid that does not understand what was right and what is wrong. He's raised in a system that, I don't know if this is a good or bad thing to do. Just put him back out there with probation. How is that in any way -- this guy should be locked up in a mental institute then.

DOC: You're right. If he doesn't know right from wrong and he has the money to travel and do whatever he wants -- what's going to stop him from running another four people over? I don't know.

SKIP: Oh, that was bad? Oh see, I still didn't know because I have the affluenza.

DOC: Oh, I just raped a couple of girls.

SKIP: That's bad? See, because I wanted to have sex with them. They didn't want to have sex with me, but I did. So I just raped them.

KAL: If it was my daughter that did this, I mean, I'm not going to say for sure, but I'm going to say about 90 percent that I think I would have let -- the first part, once you got to the accident, I would have let the sentence go. Let her do whatever they think is justified.

DOC: Uh-huh.

KAL: And the fact that his mother didn't do that just tells you exactly what kind of people they are.

DOC: It's Doc and Skip pitch-hitting for Glenn Beck this morning. Kal is spinning the dials radio style in New York City.

Kal -- if it were one of my sons, I would do everything I could to see them not go to jail and try to help them. You'll just do that as a parent. However, that does not mean they would not be punished. Because, first of all, I would have no reasonable expectation that he would not get punished somehow. And even probation, it's not completely let off but it's soft for killing four people.

KAL: Killing four people. I feel like that's a lesson that needs to be learned. Your parents cannot protect you from something like that. That's something you need to carry with you for the rest of your life.

DOC: Well, as a parent, Kal, I have a question, what do you think -- the mommy fled with him. They used their influence to get him off, hire attorneys, whatever. What did they say to him at the night of the incident? Four people dead, whatever. You bring the kid home. Or the next morning after he sobers up or whatever.

SKIP: Now, Ethan, you shouldn't be doing that.

DOC: Were they even angry? What did they say to him over the months and months during the investigation leading up to the trial? What did they say to him during the trial and after the trial?

KAL: Don't worry. You'll be fine. We'll take care of it.

DOC: But were they angry, Kal? Did they yell at him? Did they discipline him themself?

KAL: I would like to think they would, but the actions I'm seeing doesn't tell me that they did.

DOC: No, I don't think they did. I think they were like, you know what you need, a time out.

SKIP: Go sit in the corner now, Ethan.

DOC: Right. I don't think they were even angry at him.

SKIP: I'm going to take away your Mercedes. You'll have to drive the Jetta now. Okay?

DOC: Let me get some calls in. We'll open the phone lines. 877-727-BECK.

What would you as a parent do and say in this situation? What would you do? What would your parents have done or said to you if you were Ethan Couch? 877-727-BECK.

Doc and Skip pitch-hitting for Glenn Beck today.

Featured Image: Ethan Couch after being detained by Mexico authorities. Source: ABC News/Jalisco State Prosecutor's Office.

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:

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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.