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.

13495196_10154338490343188_5134275293725227344_n

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.

13619980_10154338490308188_168642026123902551_n

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)

The FBI recently sent more than a dozen armed agents to the home of well-known pro-life activist Mark Houck to arrest him for allegedly violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances or FACE Act. Now the father of seven faces up to 11 years in prison over claims that he blocked a man from entering an abortion clinic and shoved him when he wouldn't stop verbally harassing Mark's 12-year-old son. Now, if that doesn't sound insane enough, this all happened after local authorities dropped the case. So, what's the full story here?

Attorney Peter Breen joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to tell the family's side of the story, including how the case was already "won" three years ago, and how, after receiving a target letter from the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Mark's legal team agreed to cooperate fully, only to hear nothing back until the day the FBI showed up on Mark's doorstep.

Breen also explained how the FBI has tried to downplay "abuse of power" claims, accusing Mark's wife of making "inaccurate claims" about the terrifying experience.

"Ryan-Marie, who is Mark's wife, she thought she saw 25 [FBI agents.] The FBI came back and said it wasn't 25, it was no more than 15 or 20 heavily armed federal agents. And she had called them a 'SWAT team' because she's a lay person. I don't know the difference between a SWAT team and a bunch of heavily armed, armored, and shield-bearing federal agents," Breen said.

According to Fox News, a senior FBI source said:

There may have been 15-20 agents at the scene, but denied 25 were there. The agents who came to the door had guns out and at the ready, according to this FBI source, but the guns were never pointed at Houck or his family and were lowered or holstered as soon as Houck was taken into custody. Houck was handcuffed with a belly chain.

"And so, yeah, they had guns drawn and pointed at Mark in front of his wife and their children. And that whole show of force was done against a man who was not a drug lord, not a mafia boss, but instead, a law-abiding pillar of the community whose attorney said, 'we'll bring him in if you decide to charge, even though you have no case.'"

Breen went on to assert that he believes Congress "needs to" hold Attorney General Merrick Garland accountable for the arrest. "I can't imagine that those 20 federal agents were excited about being called out to a peaceful man's home, guns drawn," he said.

In the video clip below, Breen goes on the explain what he believes should happen next, and why Houck's arrest "should frighten all of us." Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Gavin McInnes broke the internet last month when his live show was interrupted, and it appeared that he was arrested. He broke the internet again a few weeks later when he admitted that the arrest was staged as part of what was intended to be an elaborate prank.

McInnes joined Glenn Beck on "Glenn TV" to explain the real reason behind his disastrous prank.

"This was a $10,000 joke. I lost 100 subscribers because of it, but I was going away to Paris for a week because my daughter is going to college and I thought let's make it interesting," McInnes said of his decision to fake an on-air arrest in the middle of his live "Get Off My Lawn" podcast on August 25.

"There was a method to the madness, with the prank ... my point was, first of all, this is happening to people in real-time. Tim Poole has been swatted a million times," he explained to Glenn. "The thought police are in full effect. I also wanted to lampoon the media's bloodlust for us suffering."

Glenn played a clip of the now-infamous hoax while McInnes explained what was really going on behind the scenes, including how his very drunk friend "Unrelia-Bill" was supposed to act the part of the arresting officer but ended up being much too intoxicated (at "2 pm") to speak even a few lines, and how smugly gleeful the "far left" was when they thought McInnes had actually been arrested.

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Glenn Beck joined Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Thursday night to discuss Visa Inc.'s "horrifying" new plans to flag firearm sales by separately categorizing purchases at gun shops, a move that Glenn aptly described as "the next step in banning guns."

In what's been hailed as a major victory for gun control activists, Visa agreed to adopt the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) new set of standards by creating a special merchant category code for gun and ammunition sales.

In his appearance on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Glenn shared a letter written by Robert B. Thomson III, a senior vice president at Visa, showing that the credit card company initially pushed back on the ISO's new rules.

“We believe that asking payment networks to serve as a moral authority by deciding which legal goods can or cannot be purchased sets a dangerous precedent,” Thomson wrote in the letter to pro-gun-control lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Just days later, however, Visa had agreed to comply with the ISO's plan to establish a new merchant category code for gun stores. So why did Visa suddenly flip?

As Glenn explained, it all comes down to pressure from America's largest union-owned bank, the Amalgamated Bank, one of the only unionized banks in the United States and a proud proponent of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing.

"This is the next step in banning guns," Glenn asserted.

"It's horrifying!" Tucker responded after several seconds of stunned silence.

"I'm so grateful you did the reporting on this," he told Glenn. "I'm not sure why it falls to you since we have a couple of very large daily newspapers in this country you'd think would want to report this, yet none of them did. So, Glenn Beck did."


On a recent episode of "The Glenn Beck Program," Glenn broke down the details of this latest attack on the Second Amendment and revealed how this is a step toward something even worse than federal gun registration. Watch the video clip below for more details. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Glenn Beck: Here's why Stacey Abrams' fetal heartbeat remarks are hilarious but TERRIFYING

(Left) Image source: video screenshot/ (right) Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has a new pro-abortion conspiracy theory: "There is no such thing as a [fetal] heartbeat at six weeks ... it is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have a right to take control of a woman’s body."

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck and producer Stu Burguiere agreed Abrams' latest "misinformation" is not just ridiculous but could be dangerous if people are actually willing to believe her.

"If you want to defend abortion, go ahead and defend it. Defend what you're actually doing. Stop denying what is reality," Stu said. "If this is such a great defensible policy, then just come out and defend it, but they never can ... you notice how they can't go to the actual thing they say is so important. They keep defending these other things that aren't true."

Glenn said the pro-choice movement was successful for a long time because most people want the decision to be up to the woman and her doctor and that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. But when leftists began "celebrating" their abortions or calling for "abortion on demand" at any point in the pregnancy, that's when they start to lose support.

"Because they've celebrated abortion and are losing regular people, you can't put that genie back in the bottle. So, what do they have to do now? They have to take the insane step of discrediting medical machines and technology," Glenn said.

"This is after two years, by the way, of them claiming the biggest scandal in the world was people suggesting the voting machines were hacked — after they previously said that voting machines were hacked in elections they [Democrats] lost," Stu pointed out.

"Honestly, gang, think this through because this is where life gets very scary. This is where you go to authoritarian rule and you can kill millions of people because you're truly now discrediting things that everyone knows is true," Glenn warned.

"So, if you disagree ... you can say that is an evil magic box that has made up sounds in it to convince people. If they will buy that, you're at the Salem witch trials. 'If she doesn't float, she wasn't a witch.' That's what you're looking at right now — and what's frightening is, [Abrams] can say this with a straight face and no one discredits her," he continued.

"You don't think that they can convince those people that you are a terrorist because of the way you vote? [...] You don't think they can convince half the country that you should be eliminated, liquidated, put into a camp, whatever authoritarians love to do? ... We are headed towards dangerous, dangerous times. We better wake up and stand together because this is frightening — it's hilarious — but because people are taking it seriously, it is terrifying," Glenn added.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.