Privacy vs. Technology: Which Would You Choose?

Radio and news veteran Mike Opelka, host of Pure Opelka on TheBlaze and editor of FireWire, TheBlaze daily newsletter, filled in for Glenn on The Glenn Beck Program today, Friday, December 30.

Read below or listen to the full segment from Hour 3 for answers to these questions:

• Could our technology devices betray us?

• Should police officers get immunity for "hot mic moments?"

• Will a flying fulfillment center soon deliver your stuff?

• Is recording a phone call a Fourth, Fifth or Tenth Amendment issue?

• Can you die of a broken heart?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

MIKE: Happy Friday. Happy farewell to 2016. Mike Opelka with you, sitting in for my friend, Glenn Beck.

If you want to know more, join me on Twitter @stuntbrain. S-T-U-N-T B-R-A-I-N. You can also join me Monday through Friday evenings on TheBlaze Radio Network on a show called Pure Opelka. And we've just expanded to five nights a week and Saturday morning. So we have plenty of room.

If you want to join the conversation here today, you can do it on Twitter. So many of you have been tweeting in. And I appreciate you. We're asking what you -- what you won't miss about 2016. You can also call 888-727-BECK. (888)727-2325.

We're talking with my friend, our show friend, Dr. Wendy Patrick. Wendy Patrick, PhD. She is a lawyer. She is an author. You see on television all over the place talking about the politics and some of the things we're discussing.

Today, a legal question about -- about Amazon and these devices in our lives that listen to us, like Amazon's Echo.

Do these things -- could they betray us? The same way Chicago's police unions are saying, "If cops wear body cameras, they need to be protected for hot mic moments," where they might say something that could be I guess a problem. And the unions want protection.

Wendy, welcome back. I know you only have a couple of minutes here before you join some TV show, one of the hundreds you're on every day.

Did you hear about the cop thing in Chicago?

WENDY: You're going to have to fill me in, Mike. There's been a couple of different incidents that we've heard about in Chicago.

MIKE: Okay. In Chicago, the police union boss is saying, "Well, wait a minute, if you're going to put body cameras on the cops, first of all, we want more pay for any cop that wears a body camera," which I thought was pretty interesting. And the second thing: They want immunity in case the cop says something that could be considered a hot mic moment. You know, an embarrassing moment. And I was kind of surprised by this. I think that's a lot of hubris on the union's side.

WENDY: Well, you know, we live in a day and age where everything we do and say is caught on video camera/audio recording, whether it's inadvertent, whether it's intentional, whether or not it's going to be admissible in a courtroom.

So the instance in Chicago is representative of some of what we're seeing all around the nation when it comes to how much are we going to be able to use of the things that are recorded.

I mean, think about it this way: Recordings are now being used not only to solve crimes, but to exonerate people from committing crimes.

And so too in the law enforcement world, it's -- it's both a sword and a shield when it comes to how they are used in police work, when they're activated, how they're activated, whether they should have been activated, or whether something that was inadvertently recorded should be admissible.

So it's not a surprise that unions across the nation would be taking a look at this, just to make sure that these devices are used accurately and fairly in police work.

MIKE: It's interesting, Wendy, isn't it? That, as you mentioned earlier, that technology is ahead of the law, that so much of what's happening is venturing into untested territory.

We're putting our toes into waters we don't know what's underneath. And we're going to have to I guess -- we're going to have to have a few problems, a few kerfuffles before we actually figure it out.

And I'm fascinated by this murder case that they're actually -- it looks like the judge said, "I'll grant the subpoena," that the Arkansas man whose body was found in a hot tub, over a year ago, can now include a probe into new evidence that might be on his Amazon Echo smart speaker, which to me, that sounds like self-incrimination. I know you've only got like a minute left.

Are we protected from self-incrimination by devices that might record us that are personal devices?

WENDY: You know, Mike, I could talk for a whole hour on this. It's such an interesting question because on the one hand, obviously everybody's got a right not to incriminate themselves. On another, you don't have to buy these devices. I mean, there's lots of people that buy devices that are voice activated and then are upset that it works as designed.

But you also see a lot of cases where there are other things that activate devices. So you might have instances where perhaps you're recording illegally, where you don't have everybody's consent. You might have instances where something else is being recorded, and it has nothing to do with the suspect.

I mean, let's face it, it's unlikely somebody is going to activate a device and ask, "How do I dispose of a body? How do I clean up blood in my house?" Normally, they're asking about the weather or asking a device to play '70s music.

So you do see that sometimes these things work as intended. And why shouldn't they be admissible? But that is not exactly just a knee-jerk response when it comes to what a judge is going to rule as admissible.

A judge is going to have to see whether these devices are reliable, whether they've been tested and whether, in fact, the information is consistent enough to show to a jury. That's been untested as of yet. And that's why we're closely watching some of these early cases seeking to admit such evidence.

MIKE: This is fascinating stuff.

Wendy, I know you're short on time. Promise me -- will you come back on Monday and let's deep dive on this a little bit more. I'll grab some more cases, and we'll tear it apart.

WENDY: It's a date.

MIKE: It's a date.

Well, Happy New Year. Say goodbye to 2016 and all the craziness, and let's have a great 2017, my friend.

WENDY: Happy New Year to you as well, Mike.

MIKE: Take care. That is Dr. Wendy Patrick. If you want to know more about her, WendyPatrickPhD.com is where her digital world lives, and she really is somebody that I use on a regular basis on the nighttime show to talk about issues like this.

I'm fascinated by this case, especially -- it comes on the heels of the case with that guy Durst, who was wearing a microphone in a bathroom, while he was recording a -- a series, a documentary series. And they believe he admitted to committing a crime.

They believe he admitted he confessed to murder. And now that case is currently in court. And they were saying he was not admitting to it. And, in fact, he was just rambling because he was -- he was a meth addict. It's stunning what's going on right now. It's absolutely stunning. And it is the technology that's getting ahead of us.

For example, today the story is breaking -- the story is out there that, where did that go? Is it -- Amazon. Amazon who wants to use drone delivery for just about everything. And I was joking earlier when I said, "Can my drone be delivered by a drone?" Well, that's probably going to happen because it appears that this flying warehouse, Amazon, wants to put a gigantic warehouse in orbit. 45,000 feet above the earth. That will be a warehouse at high altitude. And when you order stuff, it will be deployed and delivered from the floating warehouse.

Imagine, sort of a giant blimp, an airship that is a fulfillment center.

Now, I'm guessing that it's got to be automated. Can you imagine saying, "Oh, I've got to get up to the -- I've got to get up to the warehouse," and you have to fly up to 45,000 feet and then supervise this. But they're going need to somebody to keep it in working order. They're going need to somebody to make sure the machines stay on track. They're going need to somebody -- oh, this is just amazing stuff.

We are truly starting to delve into the world of the jettisons, and this technology warehouse -- a flying warehouse fully functioning flying fulfillment center that will deliver drones -- that will dispatch drones to deliver stuff to you.

Just amazing. And, you know, we -- we -- we worry. Well, what about stuff falling from the sky? Do you know how many things that are above us right now in orbit that don't fall on us from the sky? There are thousands and thousands and thousands of things up there, circling the planet. And they're not going to come down and clunk us on the head. Just, we have to calm down about that.

But I will be looking forward to that. I love the technology. I'm addicted to technology. But I also love my privacy. And Dr. Wendy was talking about -- she was talking about, if you record somebody and not everybody in the room has given their permission, that could be a problem. It could render something inadmissible in court.

And I also believe that not only do we have a Fourth Amendment, a Fifth Amendment issue here, but we also have a Tenth Amendment issue because every state is different. Every state has different requirements on if you can record a phone call.

For example, remember the story of Monica Lewinsky and the phone calls where she admitted what happened with Bill Clinton?

She didn't know those calls were being recorded, but the state where they were being recorded only required one party to consent.

And there was the -- the rub, as it were. Lewinsky could not prevent those tapes from getting out, because one party, namely the party recording her, knew they were being recorded.

But I think now when you -- let's say you call a customer service line, they always say, "By the way, for training purposes, we record all our calls."

And they want you to start trying this out. Every time somebody says that to me, I always say, "Oh, yeah. That's great. We do that here too. I'm recording you on this end."

And pay attention to see if anybody picks up on it. Typically, they don't. But every now and then, you will get someone who says, "Wait a minute. You're recording me?"

And I always say, "Yeah, sure, I am. You're recording me. Why can't I record you? It seems like it's only fair, really."

Another story I want to get to, and we will get to this after the bottom of the hour, we talked about all the celebrities who died this year. And, yes, this week the horrific tragedy to the Fisher family with Carrie Fisher passing away at 60 and then 23 hours later, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, dying.

Can you die of a broken heart? Is that a thing? Is that possible?

Well, we're going to talk to a doctor about that very subject. And he's going to give us the explanation.

But before we get to that, there is a story that's floating out there. And it's one that I'm surprised hasn't got more attention. It is a rant against Caitlyn Jenner, a rant saying that Caitlyn Jenner should not be named one of Glamour magazine's women of the year. The magazine making that announcement or about to make that announcement, which will be the 25th anniversary. But somebody said I think misogyny plays a really big part in all of this. That a man who goes to these lengths to become a woman will be a better woman than someone else who was just born a woman. Interesting.

Imagine if I said that. If I said, "Caitlyn Jenner being named woman of the year or one of the women of the year by Glamour magazine, was misogyny, that a man who goes to these lengths to become a woman will be a better woman than someone who is just born a woman," do you think I'd have my job? Do you think if I went on to say, "Just because you lop off your (sound effect) and then wear a dress doesn't make you a (sound effect) woman." If I said, "I've asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I'm going to wear a brown coat, but that won't turn me into a Cocker Spaniel," do you think I'd still have my job? Somebody actually said that.

Somebody actually went public with that criticism of Jenner and hasn't really been called out. I'll explain to you what I'm talking about around the corner.

Mike Opelka in for Glenn Beck on the Glenn Beck Program.

[break]

MIKE: Coming to you live from the constitutionally protected free speech bunker in the woods of Delaware, this is the Glenn Beck Program, hosted today and Monday by Mike Opelka. I am also here on TheBlaze Radio Network nightly, Monday through Friday from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern on a show called Pure Olpelka. You're welcome to join.

Looking for a little holiday film to see? I know a lot of people are saying, go see Sing. Go see Sing, the animated thing with all the animals singing. You might encounter some social justice warriors protesting out in front because they say it's racist. You have to see it for yourself to believe it.

But you also might want to take a look at something -- I'm just -- I'm just saying. I don't know if it's in theaters yet. But it looks like it could be very entertaining.

VOICE: New from Disney and Pixar, in association with the producers of Where's Waldo comes a major motion for our time. Ripped from the headlines, especially if the only headlines you see are on HLM. She's lost and all alone in a great big world, plucked from the headlines, trying to make it back home. Is she in the woods? Is she out of the woods? Is she in a coffeehouse? Is she being hacked by the KGB or in the secluded underwater prison, a captive of the evil Trump fish? Finding Hillary.

VOICE: Just keep voting. Just keep voting. Just keep voting. Just keep voting.

VOICE: The latest post-apocalyptic post-election animated classic, featuring a two-dimensional candidate in a three-dimensional political world. Finding Hillary. Opening Friday. Rated, gee, whiz, will you get over it?

MIKE: Thank you, Doc Thompson.

My buddy Doc Thompson sent that to me. And I love it.

Obviously, it's not a real movie. I will get back to my topic about the offensive comments made about Caitlyn Jenner. But Jeff is on the phone again from Georgia. Jeff, I'm sorry we lost you earlier. Welcome to the Glenn Beck Program, sir.

CALLER: Hey, Mike, thanks for giving me a second chance.

MIKE: Yeah, everybody -- you know, I am the leader of the first church of the second chance. And I believe that everyone deserves! Say it.

CALLER: Oh, I appreciate it.

MIKE: A second chance.

CALLER: I wanted to share a couple things about the 22 Lives movement that Ernest (sic) was talking about.

MIKE: Okay. What -- let me just fill everybody in. What Jeff is talking about is before -- last hour, we talked to Ernesto Rodriguez who is a former 15-year Army guy who retired who is walking from Tennessee all the way to California to raise awareness of the vets, especially those who are committing suicide at the rate of up to 22 a day. And Jeff wanted to chime in on another way to draw attention to this problem.

CALLER: Yeah. So I honestly didn't know about it till Christmas. My wife -- I'm a big fan of NineLine.com's apparel, which is Wounded Veterans' own company. And I live about 2 miles from the headquarters. And so I have a lot of T-shirts. And so she gave me a 22 Lives T-shirt for Christmas. And that's when she told me about it. But -- so I just want everybody to know, they can go there, and they can buy the T-shirts and everything else. And everything that they buy there goes to wounded -- Wounded Warriors.

But the other thing is, that I thought was pretty cool, is there's a -- unlike these, like, mannequin challenges and white bucket challenges, there's a 22-day challenge where you tag your friends on social media. You're supposed to do, I guess, 22 pushups for 22 days or something like that. But it brings awareness out, and I think it's really cool. I'm a veteran myself. So I appreciate, you know, all these kind of things that people are doing.

MIKE: Well, Jeff, thank you for your service. What branch did you serve in, sir?

CALLER: I was United States Army.

MIKE: God bless you.

Now, in terms of that company that is owned by Wounded Vets, that's giving a portion of their proceeds to help Wounded Vets, what is the name of that company? Because I didn't catch it.

CALLER: It's Nine Line.

MIKE: Nine Lines?

CALLER: Yes. Exactly like that.

Their shirts stick out. Everywhere in a crowd, I have -- every time I wear one, somebody is always wearing one across to me. And like, "Hey, nice T-shirt." You know, they're -- it's a really good -- good thing that they're doing.

MIKE: Okay. Beautiful. I will get -- I will get it out there. I will look for it. I'm -- I'm having trouble getting it up on the computer now. And I'm against a hard break. But, Jeff, thank you for your service. Thank you for calling attention to this. And I hope to be sporting one of those shirts myself soon.

CALLER: Thanks, Mike. Happy New Year.

MIKE: Happy New Year, sir.

When we get back, can you die of a broken heart? We lost Debbie Reynolds the other day. She lost her daughter Carrie Fisher. Dr. Jorge Rodriguez joins us because apparently this is a real thing. And, look, our hearts are kind of important to us. Number one killer in America is heart disease. We'll find out about this, next on the Glenn Beck Program. Come back, won't you?

[break]

MIKE: Mike Opelka with you on the Glenn Beck Program, on this the final Friday of 2016. A year I will long to see in my rearview mirror and won't miss in the immediate future. It is a year that saw -- well, there was some good things. Look, I got to participate in -- in my Super Bowl. In other words, I got to attend both of the political conventions. I had a front row seat to all the -- all the New York shenanigans and all the press conferences that Donald Trump was involved in. And then I was afforded the opportunity for TheBlaze and TheBlaze Radio to host or visit both conventions, both the G.O.P. convention in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Very unique experiences, each one of them.

I think the one unifying thing that both conventions have are the hats. Everybody's got ridiculous hats. That is -- and I always look for things that unite us, versus things that divide us. And if you're talking about political conventions, there is precious little other than the fever and the fervor and the hats. And I had a lot of fun taking pictures of the hats.

Now, I mentioned we were going to be talking about some of the notable deaths of the year. Obviously, David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Justice Scalia, and so many. But in the last week, everyone has been fascinated and heartbroken over the -- the death of Carrie Fisher at 60 and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, who died 24 hours after -- after Carrie Fisher died.

It's got to be heartbreaking. It's got to be heartbreaking. But can you die of a broken heart? And that was the thing we were trying to figure out. And I'm hoping -- I don't know. Do we have Dr. Jorge on the phone yet? Is our buddy, Dr. Jorge, there?

All right. We're trying to get him. So we will deal with this.

There is an actual condition that says that you can die -- you can die from a broken heart. It's something that happens to you. While we wait for Dr. Jorge, I'll call your attention to my survey question of the day. We are -- we're asking: New Year's Eve, are you staying in, are you going out, or haven't you decided yet? Answer the poll. It is on my Twitter. @stuntbrain. At S-T-U-N-T B-R-A-I-N.

I'd like to know this audience, based on the little things in your life. So now that we have our buddy Dr. Jorge here -- if you want to know more about him, DrJorge.com is the place you can get the Wellness Wednesday tips from my buddy, a board certified internal medicine doctor. Also, a guy who has written books about your health, specifically focusing on how to avoid diabetes, which I think is an epidemic in this country. And it takes just little common sense things to deal with.

And I'm going to ask Dr. Jorge the poll question before we get to the broken heart question.

Dr. Jorge, are you staying in, are you partying, or have you not decided yet, my friend?

JORJE: I have not -- hey, Mike, how are you? First of all, Merry Christmas. And I have not decided yet. We're actually going to an L.A. Kings hockey game that ends around 10:30. And then after that, we'll decide whether we go to a party we were invited to or not. A little bit of a cold.

Chances are, you know what, we'll go out a little bit. But I don't like to party too much on New Year's Eve. I think it's kind of an amateur's night, you know. It usually doesn't live up to the expectation.

MIKE: Yeah. I have to admit, sheepishly I was part of the amateur night years ago and have backed off after I realized just how much dumb stuff we did and are so lucky to still be here.

JORJE: Absolutely. Uh-huh.

MIKE: Now, I did New Year's Eve for work a couple of times.

Times Square -- and it's crazy. And if you're working, you can say, "I'm sorry, I'm not drinking." And you can stay sober, and it's wonderful.

But to be among a million people is not my idea of a good time. It's for folks much younger than I. So I will be riding the couch, watching Kathy Griffin --

JORJE: And Anderson Cooper. Uh-huh.

MIKE: -- and Anderson Cooper have a good time. And I've got a buddy who's producing the 1:00 a.m. show from Dallas. You'll be at the hockey game. Who are they playing, by the way? Who are the Kings --

JORJE: I think they're playing the San José Sharks. Yeah, who is right up there, I think number two. And, you know, the Kings are on the bubble to make the playoffs.

And can you believe this, a Cuban boy who probably didn't see ice till he was 24, you know, into hockey. It's crazy

MIKE: Ooh.

A Cuban boy who didn't see ice until it was being shaved into a mojito.

(laughter)

But, no, I'm a hockey fan. I'm an undying, unabashed Chicago Blackhawks fan. And you guys almost knocked us off a couple seasons ago.

JORJE: Ooh. You just said fighting words when you said Chicago Blackhawks.

MIKE: Yeah, we're the original six. We're part of the original six in the NHL. And three of the last six Stanley Cups went to Chicago. So --

JORJE: But I got to tell you something. Chicago fans are great fans. Even when they were playing the Kings a couple years ago -- we were up in Chicago, and they were -- yeah, you know, they -- you bantered back and forth, but the whole time, they were very respectful and just really great fans.

MIKE: Plus, your team -- you've got fast skaters on your team. That is a fast and tough team. Enough with hockey talk.

JORJE: Yes, enough.

MIKE: Now, the Debbie Reynolds story, it struck a chord with me. Because grief is such a powerful thing and an overwhelming stress thing. Can you die of a broken heart?

JORJE: You can. And let me -- let me clarify that.

You know, there have been lots of studies that have shown that people that have been married or together for decades, they -- they die sometimes within weeks of each other. Statistically greater than they would have.

But there is definitely a syndrome called Broken Heart Syndrome that we doctors called stress-induced cardiomyopathy. To put it very simply, when you're under times of great stress or great sadness, your body releases this hormone called cortisone.

And cortisone, we have in small amounts. But when it's released, when it bombards your body in such high amounts, it can cause the heart to have crazy rhythms. It can cause your blood pressure to go up.

But what has been noted is that in many people, it actually makes the heart muscle sick. It's called cardiomyopathy. And the heart muscle -- the Japanese have a name for it, called (foreign language). And I'm practicing saying that. Because it looks like some kind of urn that they keep octopuses in. I looked all this bizarre stuff up. So the heart just sort of gives up and just becomes flaccid. So it -- it's crazy, but it definitely can happen.

MIKE: So in the case of somebody like Debbie Reynolds who -- who died suddenly, the initial report was a stroke.

JORJE: Right.

MIKE: So that possibly could have been -- and I'm playing my amateur doctor role here. Elevated heart rate that stressed the arteries, and she blew out an artery and had a stroke. And that may have taken her or pushed her over the edge.

JORJE: That could have done it. Her blood pressure could have gone way up, and that also could have blown an artery.

You know, so people that are more fragile, that already have heart disease, that have partially blocked arteries, definitely are at higher risks at times of greater stress, when things like this happen.

It could be fear. It could be a doctor. You know, it could be a letter from the IRS. It could be almost anything.

(chuckling)

But sadness can definitely -- and mourning can definitely affect you.

MIKE: Well, they say that those big life events can build up -- for example, if you move, if you change jobs, if you get married, if you get divorced, the loss of a loved one, and if you compound all of those, they could have a -- I guess an avalanche of emotion that takes you into the spiral. And in this case, what was the Japanese word for it again?

JORJE: I think it's (foreign language). (foreign language).

MIKE: I think I ordered that last night.

JORJE: I think I got sick from eating it actually.

(laughter)

MIKE: Doctor, it's -- it's such an important topic. I'm not trying to make light of heart disease.

JORJE: No, no, no.

MIKE: Especially on National Bacon Day. I don't know if you knew this. National Bacon Day is today, and I haven't had any yet. I plan on having a little bacon later.

JORJE: Today is National Bacon Day? Seriously?

MIKE: Yeah, seriously.

JORJE: Mike, I don't know if you know, but I live with a Texan. And two Thanksgivings ago, our turkey was a nice turkey really latticed on the outside with bacon strips. So I took an extra Lipitor that day and enjoyed bacon.

But, you know what, we are making light of it. The key is that heart disease is the number one killer in this country. The number one killer. Almost 700,000 people a year die from heart disease.

MIKE: Wow.

JORJE: And I always get a little annoyed with people when they don't want to take medications for their cholesterol or their blood pressure because they're feeling fine. And the problem with heart disease is that you feel fine until the day you don't. And then it may be too late.

MIKE: Wow.

JORJE: So a word to the wise, if you're over 40, if you have a high blood pressure or diabetes, for God's sake, check your heart. It is what keeps you alive.

MIKE: And you're saying, check your heart, don't just go to the health chair at Wegmans and put your hands on the blood pressure meter.

JORJE: No. No. Listen, I'm going to do some Wellness Wednesdays about the difference between high blood pressure, a stroke, and heart attacks. Because people really confuse them all.

Think of it this way, if you have a lawn, under the lawn is the PVC piping that supplies water. Right?

MIKE: Yep.

JORJE: For all you know, if you look at your lawn and it looks green, you're getting enough water to your lawn, you're getting enough blood. But you don't know if the pipes are 80 percent clogged.

And one day, one of them is going to get clogged 100 percent, and that sprinkler is not going to give water. That's a heart attack when that part of the lawn dies.

So if you have a family history, if you're overweight, you need to ask your doctors to do more thorough tests than just a blood pressure or even an EKG. All right?

MIKE: Yeah, now I'm getting panicked. Not just about my lawn --

JORJE: No. But go ahead and enjoy your bacon ice cream or whatever you're having today.

MIKE: Thanks. Yeah, from the guy who had a turkey wrapped in bacon last year.

(laughter)

But you did --

JORJE: I had a little bit.

MIKE: A little bit. Right. Right.

Weren't you the guy who was telling me about flawn (phonetic)?

JORJE: Well, yeah.

Listen, another model of mine is, if you can do it, moderation in everything.

MIKE: Well, I think that's key.

JORJE: You know, I really do believe that. I think in diets, if you deprive yourself of too much stuff, you end up binging and going overboard.

MIKE: Well, it is about -- and you and I have had these talks for years. And this is Dr. Jorge Rodriguez. DrJorge.com is his site. He's a great author. He's a common sense guy. He's a physician. An internal medicine guy. And he speaks plainly to us in the layman's world about health and medicine. And you're my go-to guy in stuff like this.

JORJE: Thank you.

MIKE: I'm sorry to say we had to bring up the topic, a broken heart can kill you. Now we know it can. It's not exactly your heart breaking in half.

But going forward in the New Year, Dr. Jorge, I hope we can talk about January and what we all need to do to kick off the New Year and stay healthy. And I hope you'll carve out some time for us going forward.

JORJE: I would love so. I'd love to do that. You know, we'll get on a plan together. So thank you, Mike.

MIKE: Well, the last time we did that, you told me I couldn't drink for the month of January.

JORJE: Well, did you listen to my advice?

MIKE: I listened.

(laughter)

Application was a different thing.

JORJE: I know. All right -- and I'm still about to send your Christmas present. You'll see what it is.

MIKE: I can't wait. I have one for you too. It's a trophy. And I think you're going to love it.

JORJE: Oh, Lord.

MIKE: Yes.

But good luck to your Kings. We'll see you in the playoffs, sir.

JORJE: Thank you. I'd love that. That would be great. We could banter back and forth. And Happy New Year to you and yours, Mike, and to your listeners.

MIKE: Thanks, Dr. Jorge. Take care, my friend.

JORJE: Have a great one. Bye.

MIKE: Thank you. He is one of the good guys out there. One of the good guys who explains medicine the way I wish my doctor -- and I wish my brother who is a physician, he's a surgeon, I wish he could speak as plainly and as clearly as Dr. Jorge. Just a good guy. And I appreciate him so much.

When we get back -- I think I have one more little story to share with you, and then we'll wrap up 2016. I've got to put a bow on 2016. And as I said, I'm tying lead cinder blocks to it and dropping it in the ocean. Mike Opelka in for my buddy Glenn Beck on the Glenn Beck Program.

[break]

MIKE: It is the Glenn Beck Program. Wrapping up 2016. Mike Opelka from Pure Opelka on TheBlaze Radio Network saying thank you for joining me today and being a part of the show. So many of you participated via the Twitter. And we'll be back Monday. Monday, I have a very important story about the UN. There is something happening at the UN that nobody is paying attention to, at least I don't think so.

If you remember Agenda 21 and how evil it was, then you should know and you should want to be here Monday. Because the UN took Agenda 21 and pulled it off the table. Once we started pointing it out, once we exposed the one world government plan of Agenda 21, the UN shut down that program, but it's coming back. And it's bigger and more dangerous than the previous once. I will explain that to you on Monday.

Plus, we're going to look at food trends. We'll talk to Dr. Wendy more about your privacy. And I want to share something with you. When we started 2016, my -- my dream, my goal, my mission was to be situationally aware at all times and try and be more attentive to situations around me. And I think I accomplished that.

However, I want to put a new -- a new mission in place for 2017. And it struck me yesterday when I saw a rose bush trying to kick out a flower in -- in late December here in Delaware yesterday. And I thought, "Nature is relentless. Nature never stops trying to create beauty. Nature just never gives up." And so for 2017, I'm really hoping that I can be more like nature, that I can be relentless, but I can be relentless in my efforts to create things that are beautiful. Things that contribute. Things that make people smile.

Yes, we'll still educate. But let's push. Let's be relentless. Let's make beautiful things in 2017. Testudo, my friends.

Featured Image: Man looking over laptop, Tookapic

Tapping the brakes on transgenderism in 2023

Hunter Martin / Contributor | Getty Images

2022 was the year of the emperor’s new clothes—where we were supposed to pretend that someone like Lia Thomas is a woman, legitimately beating actual women in swimming competitions. This carpet-bombing of common sense won’t be letting up anytime soon. Just before the New Year, the World Boxing Council announced that it’s going to create a separate category for transgender boxers. The WBC president said:

we are doing this because of safety and inclusion. We have been the leaders in rules for women’s boxing—so the dangers of a man fighting a woman will never happen because of what we are going to put in place.

After all the insanity you’ve been told to accept about transgender athletes in recent years, his statement is remarkable. He’s admitting what common sense people have been saying all along—that trans athletes identifying as women still carry natural physical advantages (from the fact that they’re actually male), and that those natural advantages could endanger biological women.

Trans athletes identifying as women still carry natural physical advantages.

The WBC president went on to say:

In boxing, a man fighting a woman must never be accepted regardless of gender change. There should be no gray area around this, and we want to go into it with transparency and the correct decisions. Woman to man or man to woman transgender change will never be allowed to fight a different gender by birth.

Maybe the WBC is on to something here. Maybe the only way to solve the stupidity of letting biological males play female sports is to create a separate transgender category in every sport. That would make competition fair again. However, the trans agenda will never accept this because it doesn’t validate their transition—in fact, it admits that these are not authentically female athletes.

There is some rare, good news on this front. In late December, the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted to uphold a Florida school-board policy that requires transgender students to use the bathroom of their biological sex. Of course, the Left won’t accept this, so this case will probably go to the Supreme Court sooner than later. You’re supposed to always believe the science, except when it comes to your own body parts.

You’re supposed to always believe the science, except when it comes to your own body parts.

And by the way, if the Left truly cared about unbiased science as it pertains to transgenderism, they’d listen to their favorite European country, Sweden. Sweden’s national board of health recently updated its guidelines on treating children with gender dysphoria. Unlike the Biden administration and the U.S. medical establishment right now, Sweden’s new emphasis is caution:

the scientific data is INSUFFICIENT to assess the effects of puberty-inhibiting and gender-sensitive hormone therapy of children and young people.

The Swedish guidelines also mention the prevalence of de-transition cases as another reason for tapping the brakes on sex-change surgeries for children.

Common sense apparently does still exist, even in places like Sweden. If only America would listen.

Glenn wants to dive deep into different philosophical topics this year. As CRT and woke curricula are demonizing the "western tradition," it is vitally important that we preserve the tradition that gave birth our nation and gives context to the culture we live in today. Here are the top 11 books to give you a crash course in the western philosophic tradition. If you don't have the time to read them, you can find an overview to each of the books below!

1. Plato's Republic

The first titan of Greek philosophy, Plato articulated the set of questions that would drive the future western philosophical tradition. The pre-eminent question among Greek philosophers was "what is the thing that explains everything." In philosophical lingo, this question is framed as "what is the logos or the good." Plato argued that reality could be explained in terms of the "forms." For example, when you see multiple examples of a "courageous" act, then, Plato would argue, there is such a thing as "courage." The form of "the good" is the form that gives meaning to all of reality. Humans use their rational minds to contemplate what is good and then align their desires to "the good" in order to pursue it.

2. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

The second titan of Greek philosophy was none other than Aristotle, who was a student of Plato. Aristotle deviated from his teacher's claims about "forms" and instead argued that every single thing has a purpose, a telos. For example, the telos of a chair is to provide a place for someone to sit. In the same way that a chair's purpose is to provide a place for someone to sit, Aristotle argues that the telos of human beings is to pursue happiness.

In the first page of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle claims that every action is done for the sake of pursuing happiness, although, all too often, our actions are misplaced. We often pursue things we believe will make us happy when, in reality, they are fleeting, momentary pleasures that result in despair, heartbreak, or pain. Rather than conforming the world around us to fit our momentary desires, Aristotle argues that we achieve happiness by understanding the nature of the world around us and how we fit into it by actively cultivating virtues in order to make our soul "fit to be happy." Work and action, therefore, are not mere moral "to-do lists," but rather bring us fulfillment.

3. Augustine's City of God

If Plato is the first titan of ancient philosophy, then Augustine is the first titan of medieval philosophy. Medieval philosophy begins with the re-discovery of ancient philosophical texts that had been lost throughout the Roman Empire. As Christianity had taken root and spread across the western world, medieval philosophy integrated these newly-discovered texts into Christian theology. Augustine is the pre-eminent medieval Neo-platonic philosopher, incorporating Plato's philosophy into Christian theology.

Augustine claimed that God himself is the ultimate "form" or "the good" from which all of reality derives its meaning and existence. A thing is "good" insofar as it coalesces with the way God intended it to be. When a thing stays away from God's intention, it is "not good." From this, we get the Augustinian definition of "evil" as a "privation" or "absence of goodness," which ultimately corresponds to God's nature and character.

4. Aquinas' Summa Theologica

Just as Augustine incorporated Plato's philosophy into Christian theology, the second medieval titan, Thomas Aquinas, incorporated Aristotelian philosophy into Christian theology. Building from Aristotle, Aquinas argues that Christ is our happiness, the longing of every human heart and the object of every human action. Though we may think we are pursuing happiness outside of Christ, our this pursuit is misplaced and will result in fleeting pleasure and pain. True happiness and fulfillment, Aquinas argues, is found in Christ himself and the pursuit of his nature.

**Note: Aquinas' Summa is one of the largest works ever written and contains arguments about many different subjects--there are concise versions that will save you a lot of time!

5. Francis Bacon's Novem Organum

If medieval philosophy is defined by the incorporation of ancient philosophy into orthodox Christian theology, then the Enlightenment is defined as the rejection of both. English philosopher Francis Bacon kicked off the Enlightenment with a total rejection of the Aristotelian view of reality. The title of his book, the Novum Organum, or "the new order," is a deliberate tease of Aristotle's Organon, or "the order of things." Bacon's "new order" purports that, contrary to Aristotle, there is no inherent "nature" or "purpose" in reality. Rather, reality is something that we can conquer by means of knowledge and force, dissecting nature to its fundamental parts and reconstructing it into what we want. Bacon is considered the father of the scientific method, creating a testable means through which we can understand, break down and re-construct nature.

6. Descartes' Discourse on Method

Descartes is best known for his famous assertion, cogito ergo sum, or "I think, therefore, I am." In Discourse on Method, Descartes embarks on a rigorous endeavor to doubt anything that can be doubted. He postulates that all of reality can be doubted; however, the one thing that cannot be doubted, he concludes, is that there must be someonewho is doubting. Though we may think that we are in the matrix, we are thinking, therefore, we must exist.

Descartes's rigorous skepticism introduced a brand-new burden of truth. In order for something to be true, it must be beyond all reasonable doubt. Many continue to use Descartes' skepticism as a way to challenge religious belief. According to these modern-day skeptics, unless you can prove that God exists beyond any reasonable doubt, there is no way to actually know whether he exists. The severing of knowledge and faith is often attributed to Descartes.

7. David Hume's Treatise on Human Nature

Scottish philosopher David Hume took aim at both Plato and Aristotle. One of his most famous and consequential claims about human nature is, "reason is and always ought to be slave of the passions." This took direct aim at Plato's view of human nature. Plato argued that our reason or "rationality" should always rule our passions so that we will desire what is good. Hume flips this on its head, claiming that our reason is helplessly enslaved to our passions and will inevitably justify what we will already want. From this, Hume introduced a new articulation of moral relativism, claiming that humans are not able to choose between what is good and what is evil, but rather will choose what they want over what they don't.

8. Kant's Contemplation on the Metaphysics of Morals

Hume's moral relativism sparked panic within German philosopher Immanuel Kant. If we will inevitably do what we desire, how can we ever choose to do something good and moral for its own sake? We must, according to Kant, separate morality completely from the passions if it's to be saved. Kant, therefore, argues that duty is the highest good that man can aspire to. We do the right thing, not because we want to--on the contrary, we do the "right thing" because it's our duty to do so, especially when we don't want to. This breaks away from the Aristotelian notion that our happiness is inextricably intertwined with the pursuit of "the good."

9. Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil

Nietzsche wasn't convinced by either Hume or Kant's efforts to retain some semblance of civility or relativistic moral standard. According to Nietzsche, if there is no such thing as transcendent morality, then "moral maxims" are reduced to meaningless words purported by the people in power. Morality, therefore, becomes a game of persuasion at best, coercion and force at worst. People are reduced to winners and losers, opressors and victims, and whoever comes out on top gets to impose their desired view of the world on the losers. Therefore, the goal of the individual is to cultivate the "will to power," to become the powerful "ubermensch" or "superhuman," or else you will be reduced to a victim susceptible to other people's coercion and oppression.

10. C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man

After the Enlightenment ends in a grand, destructive finale with Nietzsche, Christian philosophers in the 20th century attempt to pick up the pieces and resurrect the ancient and medieval philosophies that had been cast to the side. In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis famously laments that mankind has become "men without chests." This is a direct reference to Plato's view of human nature--there is nothing linking our mind to our heart. Intellectually, we have dissected all of reality into its individual bits, stripping it of its holistic beauty, while also succumbing to our whims and passions with no notion of a transcendent moral law. Lewis calls for the re-marriage of our minds and our hearts, so that we will not only pursue what is good, but moreover, we will desire to do so.

11. Alasdair McIntyre's After Virtue

The latter part of the 20th century saw the resurgence of Aristotelian ethics after being largely dismissed over the past 400 years during the Enlightenment. Scottish Catholic philosopher Alasdair McIntyre was and continues to be one of the foremost leaders of this movement. In his magnum opus, After Virtue, McIntyre takes aim at the entire Enlightenment project itself and shows how it ultimately fails by its own standards. If reality is a mere power dynamic, as Nietzsche argues, and if morality is an act of persuasion and passion, as Hume purports, then we have no reason to take their views seriously. If all of reality is relative, then the statement "reality is relative" is itself relative. It becomes victim of the self-refutation of its own standards. Transcendent morality, he argues, must exist, because there must be some standard by which we judge reality and can say with determination, "this is good" and "this is evil."

The Biden Admin EXPANDED abortion access because they DON'T believe in the Constitution

Joshua Lott / Stringer, JOSEPH PREZIOSO / Contributor | Getty Images

This month has already produced an extreme example of why we need a functional and more conservative Congress in order for America to have a chance at moving forward—because the Left does not believe in the Constitution.

Sure, if you confronted a Democrat in Congress, they would probably claim some sort of allegiance to the Constitution—but as a practical matter, they do not believe in it.

Instead, the Left has put all of their eggs in the basket of the executive branch. Why? Because it has the furthest reach through all the various departments, and it can move the fastest—in short, because it’s the most dictatorial. It only takes a department head to write a new memo, or even better, the President to sign a new executive order to carry the force of law.

The Left has put all of their eggs in the basket of the executive branch.

Do you recall any of the Left’s favorite Supreme Court decisions over the years—something like gay marriage for example—and how Republicans immediately tried to subvert it, using the executive branch to try to nullify the decision? Yeah, that never happened. But that is exactly what Democrats have done in recent weeks to expand abortion access.

Democrats only consider the Supreme Court legitimate when they approve of the decisions. When the miraculous overturning of Roe v. Wade happened last summer, President Biden called it “a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court.”

Democrats only consider the Supreme Court legitimate when they approve of the decisions.

Recently the FDA approved local pharmacies to issue abortion pills. For the first 20 years after these pills were developed, they were not treated like typical prescription drugs. They had to be dispensed in-person by a doctor. That in-person requirement is now gone.

Keep in mind that the Left’s go-to line is that abortion is always about the health and safety of women, yet a 2021 peer-reviewed study found that chemical abortions have a complication rate four times greater than surgical abortions. Between 2002 and 2015, the rate of abortion-related ER visits following use of the abortion pills increased by 507 percent.

Chemical abortions have a complication rate four times greater than surgical abortions.

And now the Biden administration is making these less-safe abortions much more accessible. Thanks to the FDA’s rule change, Walgreens and CVS have already agreed to dispense abortion pills in states where abortion is legal—effectively turning these stores into new abortion clinics.

As for states that have abortion bans, "Team Biden" announced a new way around those too. Three weeks ago, the Justice Department issued a legal opinion that the U.S. Postal Service is allowed to deliver abortion pills anywhere, even in places where abortion is illegal. What’s their rationale? That the sender cannot know for sure whether the recipient will use the pills illegally or not. So it’s totally okay.

The U.S. Postal Service is allowed to deliver abortion pills anywhere, even in places where abortion is illegal.

Georgetown Law professor Lawrence Gostin told the Washington Post that this Justice Department opinion is “a major expansion of abortion access in the United States.”

So, to recap—the Biden administration has used the FDA, the Justice Department, and the Post Office, which all fall under the executive branch, to provide an end-run around the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision.

Expanding abortion was easy—simple policy tweaks and declarations that carry the force of law without an ounce of input from actual lawmakers in Congress—all because it comes from the grotesque, bloated, apparently pro-death executive branch.

Glenn is one of the most outspoken critics of the World Economic Forum and their vision to use crises to reconstruct the world order known as The Great Reset. The recent WEF summit in Davos confirms what Glenn has long warned about: globalist elites seek to upend our democracy, freedoms, and way of life to achieve their utopian climate goals. Here are 15 quotes from the 2023 Davos Summit, revealing their true intentions in their own words:

1. Saving the planet

When you hear the word, "Davos," the first thought that should pop into your mind is an elite group getting together to save the world from imminent climate disaster... at least they think of themselves that way. According to John Kerry:

I mean, it's so almost extraterrestrial to think about saving the planet.

2. Private jets

What most people think when they hear the word "Davos" is a group of global elites flying in on private jets to talk about climate change... and yes, John Kerry does own a private jet, no matter how many times he denies it:

I fly commercial [...] Exclusively.

3. Global Collaboration Village

You always hear some weird, dystopian projects coming out of WEF, like "The Global Collaboration Village," a new metaverse community aimed at strengthening "global cooperation." It sounds like the next installment of Brave New World. According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and President of the WEF:

The Global Collaboration Village is the pioneering effort to use the metaverse for public good, to create global cooperation and to strengthen global cooperation in the metaverse or using metaverse technologies. For me, it's a dream coming true because the village allows the Forum to create a more larger and open platform where everybody can participate.

4. Climate revolution

However, the core theme throughout WEF summits is the immediate need for a climate revolution and how businesses are selfishly blocking the revolution because they want to make an extra buck. Here's how John Kerry summed up the sentiment:

How do we get there? The lesson I have learned in the last years [...] is money, money, money, money, money, money, money.

5. Do or die

This often turns into alarmist language, like having to choose between wealth and our planet's survival... Joyeeta Gupta, Professor of Environment and Development in the Global South at University of Amsterdam, said it eloquently:

If we do the minimum at this pivotable moment in our history, then we and our children – even if we are rich – will live in the danger zone. But if we – business people, governments, citizens, cities – take action today, then we and our children will have a future worth looking forward to.

6. Colossal risks

Potsdam Institute's director Johan Rockström, used similar language, claiming we are "taking colossal risks with the future of civilization":

We are taking colossal risks with the future of civilization on Earth, we are degrading the life support systems that we all depend on, we are actually pushing the entire Earth system to a point of destabilization, pushing Earth outside of the state that has supported civilization since we left the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.

7. Rain bombs

"Colossal risks" like... rain bombs? We didn't make that up. Ask Al Gore:

That’s what’s boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs.

Courtesy of the World Economic Forum

8. Survival comes down to this

How do we secure our survival? According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, we have to "end our addiction to fossil fuels." This entails wiping out our entire energy industry, displacing millions of workers, and relying on global governments to usher in a new green industry. In his words:

So, we need to act together to close the emissions gap, and that means to phase out progressively coal and supercharge the renewable revolution, to end the addiction to fossil fuels, and to stop our self-defeating war on nature.

9. Complete transformation

It isn't hyperbolic to argue that the globalist climate goals will completely transform the world economy. Even EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted:

The net-zero transformation is already causing huge industrial, economic and geopolitical shifts – by far the quickest and the most pronounced in our lifetime. It is changing the nature of work and the shape of our industry.

10. Scientific necessity

Of course, to bring about this "net-zero" transformation, we will have to override small, "political expediencies" like democracy to do what is "scientifically necessary." According to Zurich Insurance Group’s head of sustainability risk John Scott:

We’re living in a world right now where what’s scientifically necessary, and what is politically expedient don’t match.

11. Illegal hate speech

Doing away with "political expediencies" would also require the censorship of dissent, which would likely manifest in hate-speech laws. When asked by Brian Stelter how the discussion of disinformation relates to everything else happening today in Davos, European Commission VP Věra Jourová shared this prediction:

Illegal hate speech, which you will have soon also in the U.S. I think that we have a strong reason why we have this in the criminal law.

12. Climate first

We will also have to forego national interests on the international stage. America won't be able to advocate for policies and interests that benefit Americans. Instead, we will sacrifice national interests for the sake of global climate interests. French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said:

The key question is not China First, US First, Europe First. The key question for all of us is Climate First.

13. The role of war

We can also expect globalist leaders to use crises, like the war in Ukraine, to expedite the "net-zero transformation." Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz said:

Ultimately, our goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 has been given an additional boost by Putin’s war. Now we have even more cause to move away from fossil fuels.

14. Blame game

Globalist leaders will continue to blame ALL of the crises in our society on climate change to justify the "net-zero transition," from the energy shortage to "mistrust, selfishness [and] xenophobia." Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez said:

Our present struggle is not only against Putin or the energy shortage. It is also against fear, mistrust, selfishness, xenophobia, and environmental disaster. And its outcome will define life in the West and beyond for decades to come.

15. Sacrifice for the greater good

While we sacrifice our national interests for the sake of the "greater global good," we can expect our foreign enemies, like China, to benefit. Suisse Chairman Axel Lehmann said:

The growth forecasts now for China is 4.5%. I would not personally be surprised when that would be topped.

Conclusion

Glenn has been clear about the distinction between wanting to transition to green practices on your own accord and being forced into that transition by globalist, unelected elites. Leaders at Davos will continue to use alarmist language to justify their crackdown on democracy and freedom to bring about their leftist utopia. We have to cut through the alarmist language and in order to protect our freedoms.