Extraordinary Vision for Finding Inner Peace and Joy

We live in a society that removes pain with safe zones and bailouts. But what if the real secret to joy is suffering?

Douglas Abrams, co-author of The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, joined The Glenn Beck Program to talk about how embracing adversity creates opportunity, growth and joy. This important lesson was reinforced by his two co-authors: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

"These two men, in addition to being global icons and moral leaders for the world, are actually really dear friends and love each other and tease each other. And it's kind of extraordinary to see these two men who are so revered, kind of laughing with each other and teasing each other," Abrams said.

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Nobel Peace Prize Laureates the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships --- or, as they would say, because of them --- they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World offers a rare opportunity to experience an astonishing and unprecendented look at how to find joy in life's inevitable suffering.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: I want to introduce you to somebody, Douglas Abrams. He is an author and editor. He works with people who are -- are trying to create a wiser and better world. And he has -- was allowed to spend time with two men who were both in their 80s and have a very interesting perspective. If I said to you losing what was most valuable to me, losing my country was the best thing that ever happened to me, you would say, "Excuse me? How could you find joy in that?" You know the best thing that could ever happen to you: Going to prison.

I'm sorry. What?

Two people with extraordinary vision when it comes to finding inner peace and joy. I had the opportunity to meet one of them. And it was -- it was a -- a surreal experience. One of the men that he was allowed to spend time with was the Dalai Lama. And the other is archbishop Desmond Tutu. And the book is The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

Doug Abrams. Welcome to the program, Doug, how are you?

DOUG: Great to be here, Glenn. Thanks so much.

GLENN: So, Doug, let's start with losing my country as perhaps the thing that set me free.

DOUG: Yeah. It was a pretty extraordinary moment. We had a week together in Dharamsala, India, with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

GLENN: Who, by the way, if anybody doesn't know, that's like way -- it's like, what is it? A 15-hour drive to the closest airport. It's like way out of the way, is it not?

DOUG: It's in the foothills of the Himalayas, in northern India. Many of your listeners know the Dalai Lama had to flee Tibet because the Chinese invaded. And this is his home in exile where we had the privilege of spending this week.

And these two men, in addition to being global icons and moral leaders for the world, are actually really dear friends and love each other and tease each other. And it's kind of extraordinary to see these two men who are so revered, kind of laughing with each other and teasing each other.

And so at one point, you know, Archbishop Tutu -- you know, we were talking about what allows us to have joy in our lives, even in the face of adversity, in the face of a world filled with suffering.

And Archbishop Tutu turned to the Dalai Lama, and he said, "Why are you not morose?" You know, you've been run out of your country. And the Dalai Lama didn't know what the word "morose" was, so he turns to his translator.

And Archbishop Tutu says sad. Why are you not sad? You have -- everything that you love has been taken away from you.

And the Dalai Lama turned to him, and he said, "You know, I tried to step back and take a wider perspective and see that, yes, all of this suffering has happened, but if I had stayed in Tibet, I would have never been able to have the life that I had. I would have never had been able to meet all the people that I've met. I never would have met you."

And he was able to shift his perspective and see -- and even in the face of great suffering that he and his people have experienced, he has had a much richer life than he would have had in what he called his gilded cage, being the holy Dalai Lama, as he said, in Tibet.

And then they started cackling and giggling about how, you know, he probably wouldn't have won the Nobel Peace Prize. And here are these two guys, who have won the Nobel Peace Prize, are joking about these supposedly amazing awards that they've gotten, as if they were, you know, kind of peripheral and funny.

But this was -- the whole week together was filled with these kind of counterintuitive insights about how deeply connected joy and sorrow are and how, in fact, it's through the adversity that we discover our joy and our fulfillment.

GLENN: So, Doug, I -- this is something that my father taught me.

I was whining about my life. I'm a recovering alcoholic. And this is 20-some years ago. And I was whining about my life.

DOUG: Uh-huh.

GLENN: And my dad, who is a baker, who was listening to me whine to him on the phone. And he said, "You know, son, I've got to pull some bread out of the oven. Call me tonight. Make a list of all these things. Because, boy, you have suffered so much. Why don't you call me back tonight."

I called him back within ten minutes. Because the first thing that was on my list was my mother's death. And then I don't remember what was on my list. I got to three or four, and I was like, "Now, wait a minute. Hang on just a second. Well, if that wouldn't have happened, then this wouldn't have happened."

And then I went back up to the list. And I got all the way to my mother when I was a teenager dying. And I thought, "Well, that wasn't -- I mean, yes, that was tragic. But that -- that caused all these other things that have put me in a position of X, Y, Z.

I called my father back, and he picked up the phone. And I said, "You don't have any bread in the oven, do you?" And he just laughed and said, "Wow, you're faster than I thought."

But we are now living in a society that is trying to take away -- is trying to say, "Life is painless. If you fail in business, don't worry, we'll bail you out. Let's have safe zones. Et cetera, et cetera. We do have to try to be better to each other. We do have to try to help one another. But there is something huge.

Don't take away my right to -- to fail or to learn from suffering.

DOUG: Well, this is a really good point. Because you even see it with playgrounds, we're taking away swings because kids could get hurt. And I think -- you know, one of the things that they remind us, is that it is actually the -- the adversity that we face, the suffering we go through. And, you know, I'm speaking as a parent of three kids.

GLENN: Yeah.

DOUG: We want to save our children from suffering.

GLENN: Yes, we do.

DOUG: We want to keep them safe. We want to protect them, but it's actually that suffering, that hardship that they go through that helps burnish their character and make them the people that they are.

You know, when we kind of wrap them in bubble wrap and protect them from life, thinking that we're doing the best thing, we're actually robbing them of their capacity, not only to grow and to learn, but I think what they would say is to appreciate life in such a way that allows it to be richer and more joyful.

GLENN: There is story after story, and it depends on how you tell the story.

For instance, Schindler's List. Powerful. Never cried more than in Schindler's List, until I saw Life Is Beautiful.

Same story. One concentrates on the horror, and the other concentrates on how these people lived in such a beautiful world inside of that horror because of the way they chose to live. Almost impossible to see yourself getting there. What is the secret of getting there?

DOUG: Well, you mentioned Schindler's List. And I also have the privilege of working with this extraordinary woman named Edith Eva Eger, who is 90 years old and is an Auschwitz survivor. And she's an incredible psychologist. And she was working with the military. She worked a lot with the military on PTSD. And she went in to work with these two soldiers back-to-back. And both of them had lost their legs in combat. And the first one was kind of -- was, you know, nodded up in the bed. You know, cursing God and country. And, you know, just -- you know, just furious about what had happened. And understandably so.

The next guy that she goes in to see is in his wheelchair. He says to her, you know, "I feel like I've been given a new lease on life. I'm able to look my children in the eye. I'm still here with them. I never noticed how beautiful the flowers in the garden are."

I mean, you know, it's this focus on perspective. Now, look, you know, this is not to tell people that, you know, suffering is easy or to be Pollyannish or to just say, "You know, we just have to look at the glass as half full."

GLENN: Or to even say, flog yourself because you'll be better. No, not good.

PAT: No, no, no. I don't think we're saying that at all.

GLENN: Right.

PAT: But we're saying that their -- so The Book of Joy, one of the things they talk about are these eight pillars of joy in The Book of Joy. That they fell -- you know, they say, "You know, you can't ran after happiness." Archbishop Tutu says, "That's the fastest way to miss the bus, if you're just kind of running after it and trying to pursue it. But if you cultivate these eight pillars of joy, one of which is perspective, you're much more likely to experience joy in your life."

GLENN: What are the eight pillars?

So there are four pillars of the mind and four pillars of the heart. The four pillars of the heart are perspective, humility, humor, which is crucial for them and for life -- being able to laugh at ourselves and life -- and acceptance. Those are the four pillars of the mind. The four pillars of the heart are forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, and generosity.

And, you know, in The Book of Joy, they -- it's kind of three different parts.

The first part of our dialogue was to understand the nature of joy because, you know, there really are only four fundamental human emotions. There's fear, anger, sadness, and joy, according to the scientists, which they wanted us to bring in.

So really, when we're talking about joy, we're talking about everything that we hang a satisfying and meaningful life on. And, in fact, how we deal with the other three profound human emotions of fear, anger, and sadness. And then we actually -- in part two, we look at the obstacles of joy together and looked at things like fear, sadness, anger, illness, fear of death. All the things that kind of rob us of our joy. And then we explore the eight pillars together.

It was incredible. You know, the dialogue was amazing. But what we try to do is actually bring readers on that journey. Because it was an incredible week together --

GLENN: I bet it was.

DOUG: Not just filled with so much laughter and tears and incredible stories that they were sharing, but we also got to -- the Dalai Lama taught us to meditate. Archbishop Tutu gave the Dalai Lama communion. The Dalai Lama danced for the first time in his life because, you know, Archbishop Tutu in his irrepressible African boogie got him up to dance. It was just -- it was pretty magical.

GLENN: I will tell you I spent -- I was lucky enough to spend about eight hours with Billy Graham about five years ago. And everything that you're talking about, I saw from him. And it's -- there's something to a man who has tried to pursue a spiritual, decent, God-fearing life his whole life. And then is in his 80s. They -- they just have a different look to them. You just look them in the eye, and they -- they are full of joy. They don't have fear because they -- they just know. They just know what they know they know. And the acceptance and love of people who are vastly different than them is -- is humbling. Very humbling.

DOUG: It's really -- it's so true. When I was at HarperCollins, we worked with Billy Graham. And I just -- I do think you see it in all of these great spiritual teachers. But I think one of the things that is so extraordinary is that they shared their humanity with us, in a way that was not saying, "Okay. We're these vaunted, you know, special spiritual guys." They were -- we are these human beings, who are on the path with you.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

DOUG: And as Archbishop Tutu said, "We are all masterpieces in the making. You know, we are all on this path. And sometimes we fall, and sometimes we, you know, have bad days. And sometimes we lose our tempers at our wife, as I did last night." You know, we all go there. But we're all on this -- you know, we're all on this path of trying to be the best people that we can be and to grow and learn in our lives.

And the -- what we wanted to try to do, as we said, you know, for these two men who are in their '80s, to try to bottle what is it about these two people who are two of the most joyous people on the planet, who have experienced such incredible adversity and suffering in their lives and still are able to hold on to that quality of joy.

GLENN: Doug Abrams, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And we'll talk to you again. And in this season of joy, I wish you lots of joy.

DOUG: You too, Glenn. Thank you so much.

GLENN: Thank you. You bet. The name of the book is The Book of Joy. Lasting happiness in a changing world. Everything that he just said about the eight pillars is -- is exactly what I saw in Billy Graham. Exactly what I saw in Billy Graham. And it was humility and his humanness as well. His -- his taking me by. The hand and saying -- with tears in his eyes, "I failed so many times in my life. I failed, but I tried my hardest."

Was -- oh, my gosh. You are -- you're just like me. And that is -- there's something special about seeing that from somebody the size of these giants. Know somebody who is looking for joy? The Book of Joy. The Book of Joy.

Featured Image: Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama speaks with the Archbishop Desmond Tutu (L) visit the Concert Noble Building on June 1, 2006 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Renders/Getty Images)

4 signs that PROVE Americans are hitting rock bottom

Spencer Platt / Staff | Getty Images

As we approach the presidential election in November, many Americans are facing dire economic straits.

Glenn has shown time and time again that Bidenomics is a sham, and more Americans than ever are suffering as a result. Still, Biden and his cronies continue to insist that the economy is booming despite the mounting evidence to the contrary. But who is Biden fooling? Since the beginning of the year, gas has gone up an average of 40 cents a gallon nationwide, with some states seeing as much as a 60-cent per gallon increase. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Foreclosures and bankruptcies are on the rise, evictions are surging, and America is experiencing a record amount of homelessness. We can't survive another Biden term.

Americans across the country are hitting rock bottom, and here are four stats that PROVE it:

Evictions

John Moore / Staff | Getty Images

Across the country, people are being evicted from their homes and apartments. Between 2021 and 2023, evictions increased by 78.6 percent. With inflation driving up prices and employers struggling to raise wages to compensate, rent is taking up an increasingly larger percentage of people's paychecks. Many Americans are having to choose between buying groceries and paying rent.

Foreclosures

Justin Sullivan / Staff | Getty Images

Renters aren't the only ones struggling to make their monthly payments, foreclosures are on the rise. This February saw a 5 percent increase in foreclosures from last year and a 10 percent increase from January. More and more Americans are losing their homes and businesses.

Bankruptcies

Chris Hondros / Staff | Getty Images

High interest rates and inflation have driven bankruptcies through the roof. Total filings have risen 13 percent and business bankruptcies rose 30 percent in 2023. It's getting harder and harder for businesses to stay afloat, and with California's new law requiring most restaurants to pay all employees a minimum of $20 an hour, you can expect that number to keep climbing.

Homelessness

FREDERIC J. BROWN / Contributor | Getty Images

The result of all of these issues is that it is getting harder and harder for Americans to afford the basic necessities. January of 2023 saw a record-breaking 650,000+ homeless Americans, a 12 percent jump from the previous year. More Americans have hit rock bottom than ever before.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

I want to talk to Generation Z. I’ve seen some clips of you complaining about your 9-to-5 jobs on social media and how life is really hard right now. To be honest, my first reaction was, “Suck it up, buttercup. This is what life is really like.” In a sense, that’s true. But in another sense, I think you’re getting a bad rap. You are facing unique problems that my generation didn’t face — problems that my generation had a hand in creating.

But I also think you don’t understand the cause of these problems.

I would hate to be in your position. When I was your age, we didn’t have to deal with any of the challenges you’re facing. In one sense, your life has been tough. At the same time, compared to previous generations, your life has been very easy. Everybody was rushing to save you, to protect you. You were coddled, which makes your life harder now.

You’ve grown up with social media and the definition of narcissism: somebody gazing into the pond looking at themselves all the time. I don't mean this as an offense, and I am not just including you in this. We’ve become a culture of narcissists. It’s all about “me, me, me, me.”

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

You’ve been in territory that my generation never had to enter. You’ve already navigated a landscape that we didn't have to, where nothing is true, and you can’t trust anybody. I wouldn’t trust anybody either if I were in your position. But I do know a few things to be true and a couple of things I can trust.

First, life is worth it. Life is tough, but it is worth it in the end.

Second, life is not about stuff. As a guy who is kind of a pack rat, I can tell you that none of that stuff will create happiness in your life. In fact, I think your generation has a better handle on happiness in some ways than anybody in mine. You’re starting to realize that pharmaceuticals may not be as good as natural solutions in a lot of situations, that the huge house may not be as satisfying as just having a smaller house, that living your life instead of having to work all the time may be a better way to live.

I want to talk to those of you who feel like it’s not worth even trying to go to work because you’ll never get anywhere. You work 40 hours a week or more, and you still can't afford a place to live. You’re still living with your parents. You can’t afford food. I think you're right to feel frustrated because the problems you're facing weren't always the case.

I blame a lot of the current problems we’re facing today on the hippies. That may be wrong, but I hate hippies. Hippies have been screwing things up since the 1960s. While on their socialist march, they have become everything that they said they were against: lying, greedy politicians. They just won’t let go of their power even though their time has passed.

These are the people who have come up with policies that make you feel like this is the way the world is. I hope I can convince you that it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t the way our country has always been. We don’t have to keep these people in power. Actions have consequences. Votes have consequences. These people allow crime, looters, squatters, riots, and somebody needs to pay for that.

You say you can’t afford health care. I understand. Since Obamacare passed, the cost of individual health insurance has doubled. You need to remember that politicians promised that if we passed this massive health care overhaul, it would mean a savings of $2,500 per family. You're in school. You must know that $2,500 savings is not the same as an 80% increase. Moreover, the cost of hospital stays is up 210%. I understand when you say you can't afford health care at these costs. Who could afford health care? Who could afford insurance?

The generation coming of age is right to feel frustrated.This mess — with high costs and a massive debt burden — was not of their making.

Iwant to talk to Generation Z. I’ve seen some clips of you complaining about your 9-to-5 jobs on social media and how life is really hard right now. To be honest, my first reaction was, “Suck it up, buttercup. This is what life is really like.” In a sense, that’s true. But in another sense, I think you’re getting a bad rap. You are facing unique problems that my generation didn’t face — problems that my generation had a hand in creating.

But I also think you don’t understand the cause of these problems.

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

I would hate to be in your position. When I was your age, we didn’t have to deal with any of the challenges you’re facing. In one sense, your life has been tough. At the same time, compared to previous generations, your life has been very easy. Everybody was rushing to save you, to protect you. You were coddled, which makes your life harder now.

You’ve grown up with social media and the definition of narcissism: somebody gazing into the pond looking at themselves all the time. I don't mean this as an offense, and I am not just including you in this. We’ve become a culture of narcissists. It’s all about “me, me, me, me.”

You’ve been in territory that my generation never had to enter. You’ve already navigated a landscape that we didn't have to, where nothing is true, and you can’t trust anybody. I wouldn’t trust anybody either if I were in your position. But I do know a few things to be true and a couple of things I can trust.

First, life is worth it. ≈

Second, life is not about stuff. As a guy who is kind of a pack rat, I can tell you that none of that stuff will create happiness in your life. In fact, I think your generation has a better handle on happiness in some ways than anybody in mine. You’re starting to realize that pharmaceuticals may not be as good as natural solutions in a lot of situations, that the huge house may not be as satisfying as just having a smaller house, that living your life instead of having to work all the time may be a better way to live.

I want to talk to those of you who feel like it’s not worth even trying to go to work because you’ll never get anywhere. You work 40 hours a week or more, and you still can't afford a place to live. You’re still living with your parents. You can’t afford food. I think you're right to feel frustrated because the problems you're facing weren't always the case.

I blame a lot of the current problems we’re facing today on the hippies. That may be wrong, but I hate hippies. Hippies have been screwing things up since the 1960s. While on their socialist march, they have become everything that they said they were against: lying, greedy politicians. ≈

These are the people who have come up with policies that make you feel like this is the way the world is. I hope I can convince you that it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t the way our country has always been. We don’t have to keep these people in power. Actions have consequences. Votes have consequences. These people allow crime, looters, squatters, riots, and somebody needs to pay for that.

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

You say you can’t afford health care. I understand. Since Obamacare passed, the cost of individual health insurance has doubled. You need to remember that politicians promised that if we passed this massive health care overhaul, it would mean a savings of $2,500 per family. You're in school. You must know that $2,500 savings is not the same as an 80% increase. Moreover, the cost of hospital stays is up 210%. I understand when you say you can't afford health care at these costs. Who could afford health care? Who could afford insurance?

You are also starting your life with thousands of dollars in debt. Your parents didn't have that burden. People used to be able to work their way through college and graduate debt-free. Others were able to get jobs that quickly paid off their debt. You can't do that now. Once the government said that they were going to guarantee all student loans, university costs skyrocketed, and it hasn't stopped. You can thank the progressive President Lyndon B. Johnson for that.

The people who created this mess cannot fix it. But it can be fixed.

You are also starting your life with thousands of dollars in debt. Your parents didn't have that burden. People used to be able to work their way through college and graduate debt-free. Others were able to get jobs that quickly paid off their debt. You can't do that now. Once the government said that they were going to guarantee all student loans, university costs skyrocketed, and it hasn't stopped. You can thank the progressive President Lyndon B. Johnson for that.

Once the government said that they were going to guarantee everybody’s college tuition, universities found out that they could just charge more because the government would give you virtually any amount in your loan. And they have been charging more and more ever since. In 1965, the average college tuition was $450 a year. Adjusted to inflation, that's $4,000 a year. You're currently paying an average of $26,000 a year as opposed to the inflation-adjusted $4,000.

What happened? The answer is always the same: government regulations. Gas is up. Why? Government regulations. Can't afford a house? Well, that's due to several things. Many of them revolve around the fed and our national debt. But the simple answer is the same: government regulations.

Moreover, the U.S. government has run a staggering national debt. We have been concerned about it forever, but the people in power haven't been listening to your mom and dad and people like me. A lot of other people just thought, "Oh, well. We could get away with it. We're the United States of America, after all. Somehow or another, it will all work out."

People like me have been saying, "No. We can't pass this on to our children." You're now seeing what we have passed on. When you say that the adults are responsible for creating this world of problems, in some ways, you’re right. We were lied to, and as many people do, they want to believe the lie because it makes them feel better.

There are big lies being pushed in your generation as well. You're being told that a man is a woman and a woman is a man. At the same time, you’re being told that gender doesn't even exist at all. It makes us feel better to go along with the lie because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

My generation believed the same kind of lie about our national debt. We were told that we could spend all this money on subsidized programs because it would provide you, our children, with a better life. Some people warned, "Wait, how will they pay this off? This will cost them." We didn't want to believe them. The lie sounded better, and it was easier to believe that than the truth. We never saw the consequences, and even if we did, they were always way out in the future. Nobody wanted to listen to the doomsday people saying, "No. It's going to come faster than you think."

And that time is right now. Our government now is printing $1 trillion every 100 days. That's never been done before. We have more debt than any country has ever had in the history of the world. But we’re not alone. Every country is doing this. They’re going into debt like we’ve never seen before, and we’re all about to pay for that. It’s going to make your life even harder.

There are Democrats and Republicans who still believe in spending all kinds of money and getting us involved in every global conflict. Then there are constitutional conservatives who believe that we should conserve the things that have worked and throw out the things that don’t and follow our Constitution and Bill of Rights. You haven't really learned about those most likely. But you should. All of our problems are caused by the government and the people who feel they can bypass the Constitution. That's what this election is really all about.

You might say, “I don’t really care. I don’t like either of the political parties.” I know a lot of people who don’t like either of them, but one is going to try to cut the size of this government and one is going to spend us into collapse.

The people who created this mess cannot fix it. But it can be fixed. You need to learn enough about the truth, about why this has happened to us, and about how our Constitution lasted longer than any other Constitution in the world. The average is 17 years. This thing has lasted hundreds of years. Why? How? And why is it falling apart today? That's what you should dedicate some of your time to figuring out today.

You can complain about the way things are. I complain. Everybody complains. But don't wallow there. Learn what caused this. And if you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework. They always end the same way, and that's exactly where we're headed right now. We can either repeat the dreadful past of nations that have tried it before us, or we can choose freedom, liberty, and prosperity. The ball is in our court.

Glenn recently had Representative Thomas Massie on his show to sound the alarm about an important yet often overlooked issue affecting what we eat. Whether you're trying to be prepared to weather a catastrophe or just trying to keep food on the table without resorting to eating bugs, it's more important now than ever to source local food. Unnoticed by most, our right to eat home-grown or locally-sourced foods is under attack. The government doesn't just want a say in what you eat; they want you vulnerable and dependent on their system, and they are massively overstepping their bounds to ensure your compliance with their goals.

How did the attack on your food begin?

Government overreach on food can be traced back to 1938 under the autocratic eye of FDR with the Supreme Court case "Wickard v. Filburn." The case was pretty straightforward, but the results were devastating. The case began with the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, which sought to control national food prices by placing limitations on how many crops farmers could grow in a season.

Filburn was one such farmer, who was allotted 11.1 acres of wheat to plant and harvest annually. Filburn planted and harvested 23 acres, arguing that the extra acres were not headed for the market, but were used for personal consumption. After being penalized for over-harvesting, he fought his case all the way up to the Supreme Court, arguing that Congress did not have the authority to regulate crops that never left his farm.

Unfortunately for Filburn (and the rest of us), the Supreme Court didn't agree. They ruled that the mere existence of that extra wheat—whether it left Filburn's farm or not—had an effect on the national value of wheat. Congress assumed the power to regulate just about anything that could be roped under the umbrella of "interstate commerce."

Under the precedent set by Wickard v. Filburn, Congress might bar you from growing tomatoes in your backyard, because it could affect national tomato prices. This was a major blow to our right to feed ourselves, and that right has been eroding ever since.

How is our right to feed ourselves under attack today?

Last June, the Virginia Department of Agriculture shut down Golden Valley Farms, a small Amish farm owned and operated by Samuel B. Fisher in Farmville, Virginia. Golden Valley Farms had started out selling dairy products, primarily, and processed some meat for personal consumption. However, by popular demand, Fisher began selling meat.

Fisher initially hauled his animals to a USDA processing plant, paid to have them processed, and then hauled them back. This process was time-consuming and costly, and Fisher's customers didn't want the meat processed by the plant. A survey done on Golden Valley Farms customers found that an overwhelming 92 percent preferred meat processed by Fisher. So naturally, Fisher began to process more and more meat for his customers.

Moreover, COVID shut down the USDA plant, which made it impossible for Fisher to process the animals by the USDA anyway, though the demand for meat was greater than ever. Fisher made the call to process 100 percent of his animals himself and didn't look back. That was until June when the Virginia Department of Agriculture caught wind of Fisher's operation and shut it down. The VDA seized all of Fisher's products, and he wasn't allowed to process, sell, or even eat his meat. Then they loaded it up in a truck and left it at the dump to rot.

Nobody ever got sick from eating meat from Golden Valley Farms. This was NOT about "health and safety." This was about control. The fact is that informed adults were not allowed to make a simple transaction without the government sticking its slimy fingers into Fisher's business and claiming it was somehow for "our benefit." But it's not for "our benefit." It's so they can regulate and control what we buy and what we eat, and they cannot stand it when we operate outside of their influence.

What comes next?

Where does this end? With so much of our ability to feed ourselves already eroded, is it too late? Is it going to get worse? Before long, will it be illegal to eat eggs from your chickens or pick vegetables from your garden without getting government clearance first? Fortunately, a solution is already in the works.

Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie recently told Glenn about a new constitutional amendment designed to limit government overreach regarding food production. The proposed amendment reads as follows:

And Congress shall make no law, regulating the production and distribution of food products, which do not move across state lines.

The amendment is still on the drawing board and has not been formally introduced to Congress yet. But this is where you come in. Call your representative and tell them to support Massie's amendment and take a stand for your right to provide sustenance for you and your family.

If we can build skyscrapers, we can rebuild bridges

Kevin Dietsch / Staff | Getty Images

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

I am sick and tired of hearing about our limitations. The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge this week is an amazing hero story of the cops and first responders who saved an untold number of lives by doing exactly the right thing quickly. But I’m really tired of hearing about how long it’s going to take us to recover from this catastrophe and how bad it’s going to be.


The immediate impact for Americans regarding this bridge collapse seems dire. If you're waiting for a new car to come in from overseas, prepare to wait longer. The Port of Baltimore stands as the nation’s leading import-export site for cars and trucks. It’s also the leading nexus for sugar and gypsum, which is used in fertilizer, drywall, and plaster. A record 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo was transported through Baltimore just last year.

To expect more from our leaders is rational. But to expect the most from ourselves is essential.

The bustling port is now cut off after the 1.6-mile-long bridge crumbled and fell into the river early Tuesday, blocking the only shipping lane into the port.

The officials have said the timeline for rebuilding the bridge will be years. The Port of Baltimore creates more than 15,300 jobs, with another 140,000 jobs linked to the activity at the port. This is a major disaster and will continue to cause significant problems on the East Coast for U.S. importers and exporters.

The bridge collapse means it will not be possible to get to the container terminals or a range of the other port terminals in Baltimore. Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul J. Wiedefeld told reporters on Tuesday that vessel traffic in the port would be suspended until further notice but noted the port is still open to trucks.

Michael Mezzacappa, an attorney and expert on property damage cases in the shipping industry, told the New York Post that the collapse will have a major impact on shipping and traffic routes in the East Coast for the foreseeable future. “It’s not going to get fixed any time soon,” Mezzacappa said. “It’s going to take a lot longer than anyone expects. This is going to be a major problem for the Northeast.”

Remember the American spirit

I am absolutely sick to death of all of these stories that say things like that. Have we forgotten who we are? Have we forgotten what we’ve done?

Let me remind you of the American spirit, a spirit so potent and so vibrant that it has scaled towering mountains, mountains nobody thought they could cross.

It’s the spirit that constructed marvels of engineering. Have you ever been to the Hoover Dam? Have you seen the New York City skyline? The skyscraper was invented here for a reason. Here we are on the threshold of tomorrow, and none of us knows what is going to happen. But I'm getting the impression that we’ve been so beaten down that we believe we’re not going to make it tomorrow.

Have we forgotten who our ancestors are and what they did? If you look through our history even briefly, you will see a group of people who never take no for an answer. You will see a people who can do anything.


I want to stop just briefly in 1930. The Great Depression had its icy grip on us. It was a time that felt like a flickering candle in the vast darkness just barely holding on. Yet, it was in this crucible of adversity that Americans did great things.

The Empire State Building rose. It wasn’t just a structure of steel and stone. It was a beacon, a beacon of hope and American resilience and ingenuity. The way that thing was built — no one has ever seen anything like it before and since. In a record-shattering one year and 45 days, an army of workers, as many as 3,400 men on certain days, transformed this audacious vision into a cowering reality.

If you look through our history even briefly, you will see a group of people who never take no for an answer.

The Empire State Building wasn’t constructed. It was conjured into existence with a symphony of clanging metal and roaring machines and the inexhaustible spirit of its builders. The men perched on steel girders that were being flown in by giant cranes whispered tales about how they could still feel the warmth of the freshly poured metal beneath them. That beam was still warm, even though it was poured in Pittsburgh, put on a train, then put on a boat, then on a truck, then hauled up into the air.

They could fill the warmth because we moved that fast. It was a feverish pace of construction. It seemed to defy the laws of time and physics.

For a long time, it was the tallest building in the world — an architectural achievement. It was also a declaration to the world that America was a land where the impossible became possible, that we are a people of determination, innovation, with a relentless will to succeed.

These aren't merely historical footnotes. They are blazing torches illuminating our path forward. They remind us that when we're faced with adversity, we don't just endure it. We overcome it. We don’t wait for history to chart our course. We write it with the sweat of our brow and the strength of our backs. That’s who we are. Have we forgotten that?

What are we waiting for?

We find ourselves at another crossroads faced with the challenges that threaten to dim the bright future that we all dream for our nation, for our children. The spirit that built the Empire State Building, laid down miles of railroads, cut through the Rocky Mountains, and sent astronauts to the moon is still inside of every heart of every American, somewhere.

Awaken that spirit. Scale new mountains. It's not just rock and earth. Scale the mountains of innovation. Build. Not just physical structures but a future that upholds the spirit of adventure, hard work, and ingenuity. Stop tearing everything down. Let's start building.

Why are we waiting? If this isn't a national emergency, I don't know what it is.

And I don't just mean the bridge. I mean all of it. You might say, “Well, our government has to lead.” Really? Does it? Maybe that’s our problem. America is led by its values and principles that are found in the souls of those who still remember who we are and who we serve. Americans lead the way. The government always follows.

You might say again, "Well, we can’t act without the government." Nonsense! Where are the bridge builders who will stand up today and say, “I'll get it done!” As soon as that happens, you’ll see who is leading and who is stalling. The government is the one that stalls the engine out. To expect more from our leaders is rational. But to expect the most from ourselves is essential.

There is nothing we can't achieve when we all stand together, united by our dreams, and driven by the will to see them fulfilled. Don't listen to anybody else who tells you differently.