How Backyard Fence Conversations Could Save America

The end of another Independence Day.

These used to be so special for my family. When the older kids were young, every year we would find something special to do. Fireworks in Boston, on the Mall of D.C., on the "Rocky" steps of the art museum in Philadelphia.

Until one year in Philly, Elton John was the featured performer. The city had actually sold the night to some group and made it into an AIDS awareness event. There was not a single word spoken about America, the founding, or the principles that made us independent.

RELATED: Mike Rowe Delivers Powerful Independence Day Message Every American Should Hear

There were fireworks to "celebrate the largest AIDS event in world history" (actual statement just before the fireworks). During those fireworks, we were treated to "Born in the USA," an anti-American song and a silly James Brown song among others.

It was at this point I started to become disillusioned with what we are really all about.

We had become a people that celebrated the Fourth of July, not Independence Day.

The next year I was asked to be in the biggest July 4 parade in the country. It is in Provo Utah. It is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the patriotic crowd. I was thrilled to be there. I was asked to host the "Stadium of Fire" two years in a row. I felt at home.

However, as I became more involved, I saw that as some of the original partners of this event were aging out, the younger producers --- all from Hollywood --- were seeing the event more as a concert for big names over big feelings and giant ideas.

A little more reality was coming home. My rose colored, or better yet red white and blue colored glasses were about fully come off.

I really gave up hope several summers ago when I spoke in Logan, Utah. This should have been ground zero for America's principles. The paper made a big deal out of how I shouldn't be there. Some of the leaders spoke out against me speaking. I understood that part of it, as many people don't agree with me politically, but I spoke about Washington and his character and I was followed by an amazing patriotic concert with a full orchestra and choir --- all volunteers. I was told the organizers wanted to go a different direction the next year. Big name concert acts. I hope that didn't happen.

This year, after teaching the kids about the Bill of Rights, we lived the Second Amendment and went shooting.

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Later, we went to a town of about 800 people in Lewiston Utah. It is up near Idaho where we spend a lot of time. I really didn't even want to go, but Tania insisted. I am glad I went. It was simple and in the town's green space.

A flag pole just at the entrance is marked by a stone that reads:

Once freedom is lost, it is lost forever.

It is a quote from John Adams. The stone looked new, no more than five years old.

Just before the event began, I met a man and his family who lived there. His home backed up to the park. He spotted me and called out over his fence.

What a patriot he and his wife are. The were maybe in their twenties or early thirties. They had married and in 2013 she had moved away from her family home in India. He shared his fears about what might be coming our way due to our loss of the common sense of right and integrity.

"We have passed all the exits and the bridge is out just ahead," he said.

She cried as she spoke.

"We are quite broke," she said. "As we began our life together as a family, trying to buy a house, it was tough to do anything else. But we fought hard in this last political campaign. We have to do all we can to save this nation. But people really don't see right and wrong or the difference between a lie and truth."

Her voice cracked as she told me about her love of this country and how she sees us as a country of blessings and miracles.

"America has it all from big to small and most just don't see it," she said.

We didn't say much more after that. But we all knew the "Fundamental Transformation" is complete and perhaps God in His mercy will humble us to save us from ourselves.

It was a simple night in a small town made up of real people --- people who have restored my faith in the gathering we call "Fourth of July fireworks." And to think it was done without celebrity singers, high ticket prices or even a soundtrack featuring Bruce Springsteen or Lee Greenwood songs.

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Thank you, Lewiston.

My view of this holiday has changed over the last 15 years. I used to cry during the fireworks out of uber-patriotism. Then, I cried over the hope and belief there were enough of us to pull our country back from the brink. Then I mourned the loss of my country, feared for the future for my children and the holiday became meaningless to me. Empty words, music and rituals.

Tonight, perhaps, I began walking toward a better America. One where our eyes are wide open, where we recognize the trouble we are in and even more, the trouble we are still headed for and yet we remain committed to our principles as we come together and tell each other the hard truth without guile, blame or anger.

There is something very right and true that happens when Americans simply talk to one another over the backyard fences in our small towns.

Featured Image: 1955: There is tension at the German-Dutch frontier town of Siebengewald, where a minor war is being waged over claims to farm land. Separated only by a hedge, the German family (right), don't approve of the drastic action taken by their fellow countrymen and remain good friends with the Welles family, on the other side of the border. But the families are forbidden to visit one another, they may only talk together over the hedge. (Photo by Vagn Hansen/BIPs/Getty Images)

Roger Stone is kind of a scumbag but the outrage over his commutation by President Trump has gone off the rails. Thus far in his presidency, Trump has commuted the sentence for 11 individuals while in comparison, Bill Clinton had 61. Even worse, Barack Obama commuted the sentence of 1,715 criminals! Just by the numbers, the outrage is insane. But then add in that both Obama and Clinton commuted or pardoned the sentence of terrorists and/or "friends" of the the president and the double standard is outrageous.

Here is a list of just a few of the worst offenders:

Bill Clinton Pardons/Commuted sentences

Terrorists

  • Commuted the sentences of 16 members of the FALN, a Puerto Rican paramilitary organization that set off 120 bombs in the United States, mostly in New York City and Chicago. There were convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery, bomb-making, and sedition, as well as firearms and explosives violations.
  • Linda Evans and Susan Rosenberg were both commuted and both were members of Weather Underground and the May 19 Communist Movement, and were convicted on weapons and explosives charges.

Case similar to Trump/Roger Stone

  • Susan McDougal was sentenced to 18 months in prison on contempt charges for refusing to testify about Clinton in the Whitewater scandal only to have Clinton pardoned her.

Pardons/commutations that look like a response to bribes

  • Carlos Vignali was convicted for cocaine trafficking. Almon Glenn Braswell was convicted for mail fraud and perjury, and was under investigation for money laundering and tax evasion. Vignali was commuted while Braswell was pardoned, but they were also both caught paying approximately $200,000 to Hillary Clinton's brother, Hugh Rodham, to represent their respective cases for clemency.
  • Marc Rich fled the U.S. after he was caught owing $48 million in taxes and was charged with 51 counts for tax fraud. Everyone was surprised when Clinton pardoned him. It was later revealed that Rich's wife made substantial donations to both the Clinton library and to Hillary Clinton's senate campaign.

Pardon for a member of Clinton's family

  • Clinton pardoned his brother, Roger Clinton, who had been convicted on drug charges. A year after the pardon he would be charged for Drunk driving and disorderly conduct.

Drug Cartel lawyer

  • Clinton commuted the sentence for Harvey Weinig, a former NY lawyer who was sentenced in 1996 to 11 years in prison for facilitating an extortion-kidnapping scheme and helping launder at least $19 million for the Cali cocaine cartel.

Obama Pardons/Commuted sentences - the most since Truman: Obama granted clemency to nearly 2,000 individuals, including 212 pardons and 1,715 commutations.

Terrorist

  • Obama commuted the sentence of another FALN terrorist, Oscar Lopez Rivera.

Traitors

  • Chelsea Manning: the former Army Intelligence analyst was convicted of leaking documents that revealed classified information on military and diplomatic activities all around the world only to have her sentence commuted.

Case similar to Micheal Flynn or Roger Stone

  • Obama pardoned General James Cartwright, who had been convicted for lying to the FBI (sound familiar?!). Cartwright was considered "Obama's favorite general".

On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck goes where the Left and the media don't want us to go. The protests, riots, pandemic — it's all one big distraction being weaponized to shield the Deep State from the big reveal.

The case against General Michael Flynn is bigger than a phone call with the Russian ambassador; it exposes everything. Glenn reveals multiple cogs in the Deep State wheel that tried to destroy Donald Trump's presidency.

This story has everything: secret meetings, spies, glamorous European locations. Glenn puts all of the pieces together and interviews the man who was an eyewitness to all of it — former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Specifically targeted by this Deep State coup, his reputation and life may never be the same. He reveals the names of those he believes were behind his setup and the coup against the president.

Watch a preview of the full episode below:


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The Washington Post wants Native Americans to hate the name "Washington Redskins" so badly that that it is willing to mock its own study that proved otherwise.

On the radio program Tuesday, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere (filling in for Glenn Beck) discussed the "woke insanity" of the WaPo's most recent poll, which, like its 2016 counterpart, found that the vast majority of Native Americans are not offended by the NFL team's name.

Watch the video below for all the details:


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As the left tries to erase America's history and disparage nearly everything about our nation's founding, Glenn Beck set the record straight about the Declaration of Independence, what it really says, and why he believes it is the "greatest mission statement of all time."

On the radio program Monday, Glenn read something you've probably never heard before: a section of the earliest known draft of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson in July 1776 and lost for more than a century and a half.

"This wasn't found until 1947; the original draft of the Declaration was found in a bunch of Thomas Jefferson's writings, in a box in the Library of Congress," Glenn said. "This takes everything that you have learned about Thomas Jefferson and turns it upside down. It also explains why we didn't eliminate slavery. It also explains that our Founders felt passionately about slavery, that they tried to end slavery. I want to read just this paragraph to you. This changes absolutely everything."

Watch the video below for more details:



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