Veteran Walking 2,200 Miles Across the US to Bring Attention to Veteran's Issues

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 2 for answers to these questions:

• How many years was Ernesto Rodriguez in the US Army?

• How can you follow @NerdNesto as he walks across America?

• How did Ernesto help a homeless veteran in Dallas?

• How many states have completely eradicated veteran homelessness?

• Since Ernesto does not accept donations, what would he like people to do?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

MIKE: It is the Glenn Beck Program. However, Mr. Beck having a holiday. Mike Opelka from Pure Opelka on TheBlaze Radio Network, filling in for my friend, my boss, my old buddy, Glenn Beck. And I appreciate his trust with his franchise. Thank you, sir. Thank you, Dom Theodore, for the love and support this year.

So much good has come my way in 2016. And yet, so much troubling stuff in 2016.

So many things I will be happy to wave goodbye to, 2016. And welcome 2017.

I'm excited about the future. I am very happy to put 2016 to bed, the year I lost both my parents. Just not a good year for me. Not a good memory. And I hope if you had bad memories, you too can put them away, and let's all go forward.

As a matter of fact, there's a good memory I want to share with all of you from 2016. Let me see if I can find it. This was -- this was from the White House Correspondents' Dinner, just about a year ago.

OBAMA: Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot. And it's anyone guess who she will be. But...

(laughter)

MIKE: How about a little bit of schadenfreude there? How about a little bit of oops? Oops. "It's anyone's guess who she will be." Wrong-o, sir. You missed on that one. Yes, that's a little bit of schadenfreude.

I can take pleasure at the unfortunate happenstance that President Obama and the Democrats had. You know what's really weird was the way the people thought this was going to be such a massive landslide. And we'll get into that.

I talked briefly last hour about the subpoena for -- for the voice that was recorded and some of the requests made by people who have one of those Alexas or those devices you put in your house and you tell them to search things for you or turn down the lights or play a music number. And we're going to get into that in an hour with a lawyer friend of ours. Dr. Wendy Patrick will join us.

But I also wanted to do a little hero saluting today.

We still don't have Donald Trump's pick for the VA cabinet post. We still do not have someone who Mr. Trump would like to see handling the VA. And I know yesterday, Mr. Trump was -- was floating the idea as he has in the past, as others have in the past, about privatizing the VA or giving every -- every veteran a card for their medical treatment that they could take to any facility in the country and get paid back.

Now, obviously there are some issues with that and some things that need to be worked out in terms of logistics. But the fact that this president-elect is looking to help our veterans gets me on his side, gets me in his corner, cheering.

And the problem is so huge that anybody who brings attention to the lack of care that is -- that our vets are not getting, anyone who brings attention to the problems of the VA, I will give room on whatever show I'm dealing with. And I -- I happen to be introduced to one such person, who also happens to be a veteran of the United States military.

And I wanted to introduce him to you today because he is doing something that he wanted to do, to call attention to it. He's not out there on the streets asking for money. He's not -- he's not -- he doesn't have a GoFundMe program. He's just doing what he's doing to draw attention to the problems of the veterans.

And while I'm -- I'm going to let him tell the story. His name is Ernesto Rodriguez. He served this country quite bravely. And just recently retired.

Ernesto, welcome to the Glenn Beck Program, my friend.

ERNESTO: Sir. How are you?

MIKE: I'm good. Now, where the heck are you today?

ERNESTO: I am in the heart of downtown Dallas.

MIKE: You're in the heart of downtown Dallas.

Ernesto, for this audience that doesn't know you, that didn't hear the interview we did on Pure Opelka earlier, how long did you serve this country, and in what branch, sir?

ERNESTO: I was in the U.S. Army. I was an infantryman, and I served 15 years.

MIKE: Wow. First of all, thank you for your service. Were you deployed overseas?

ERNESTO: I was. I deployed twice to Iraq, twice to Afghanistan. The first deployment being the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

MIKE: Wow. Wow. That's -- you were involved in the real serious stuff, sir.

ERNESTO: Uh-huh.

MIKE: And I'm glad you're here. You're all in one piece, I take it.

ERNESTO: I am. I am.

MIKE: Good. Good. Well, Ernesto, you decided that you were going to try to bring attention to the plight of the veterans, not just health care, but the fact that we lose between 20 and 22 vets every day to suicide and the mental health issues that we obviously aren't addressing quickly enough.

And you wanted to do something that would -- that would draw attention to the issue. And what is that, sir?

ERNESTO: Well, sir, I started walking from Clarksville, Tennessee, on November 11th, Veterans Day, and decided to start a journey towards Los Angeles, California. It will be a total of 2200 miles. And just -- just to bring awareness the 22 that we lose every day to suicide. And also, the need for reform in mental health care for active duty soldiers and veterans.

That's what I'm doing.

MIKE: Okay. And you started in Tennessee, but why Clarksville, Tennessee? Why that starting point?

ERNESTO: So when I -- when I medically retired from the military, I happened to be at Fort Campbell. And Clarksville, Tennessee, is the neighboring city of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

MIKE: Okay. So basically you checked out of your base and stood -- and headed towards the west coast hoping to draw attention. You're walking. You're walking the whole way. And from Veterans Day to today, you've made it to Dallas.

Now, I noticed something, Ernesto. And if you want to follow Ernesto and his exploits, he is @NerdNesto, which I think is a very funny name. I should talk, with Stunt Brain. You can follow him on Twitter @NerdNesto.

You are posting little videos and little bits and bites of information along the way, one of which really tugged on my heartstrings when you met a homeless vet living under a highway overpass.

When did that meet-up happen?

ERNESTO: That occurred on December 22nd, as I was walking into Dallas. It was on Interstate 30. I was walked down Interstate 30. And I came to this overpass. I looked to my side, and I see a big old green Army duffle bag.

Now, I didn't know if it was going to be a veteran or not, but there was somebody moving up there, and I felt really bad because Christmas was coming up.

So I dug into my bag. I grabbed some beef jerky, a protein bar, and five dollars, and I went up and said, "Happy Holidays." And as I spoke with him, I found out he was a veteran. So what happened was, I was doing a Facebook Live at the time to show people how unfair it is that this gentleman, if he was a veteran, is laying on the streets after serving this country.

So not even ten minutes later, I got three messages from different nonprofit organizations within the Dallas area, asking me the location of the gentleman, to come pick him up, put him in a hotel room for the night, bring him a meal, and try to get him back on his feet.

MIKE: Wow. If you want to see this video -- you posted that on Facebook as well?

ERNESTO: Yeah. So I do Facebook Live. I try to do a little bit on every social media network. But I do tag links. But that one was so important to me because I want to make sure that this man got helped, that I posted it on every single outlet I could find.

MIKE: Well, that's a wonderful story. Ernesto, I can't even begin to thank you. This is such an important -- an important mission of yours. And I salute you for having the courage and the stamina to do this. Obviously, you have a long road ahead of you.

How long will it take you, do you think, to get all the way to Los Angeles?

ERNESTO: I'm looking at around March, beginning to mid-March at this point. I've been doing a little research on walking through Death Valley. So it may take me a little bit longer because I'm going to have to conserve my energy and my food and my water, through that trek.

MIKE: So are you going across I-10? Is that the way you're going to get all the way across the southwest?

ERNESTO: Yes.

MIKE: Okay.

ERNESTO: So I'll go from 20 to 10. To El Paso, to Tucson, Phoenix, and then into Los Angeles.

MIKE: Got it. Got it. I've traveled that via Greyhound. Never on foot. So I had the benefit of having a Greyhound bus ticket that would get me across the southwest.

His name is Ernesto. He is a 15-year veteran of the United States military. He is a guy I call a hero. Ernesto Rodriguez is trying to bring attention to the plight of our vets, the 22 we lose virtually every day to suicide. Guys -- men and women who served this country who don't have to die. The one story, Ernesto, that always sticks in my mind is one that you and I talked about before, and that is the vet who actually took his own life in the parking lot of the VA.

ERNESTO: Uh-huh.

MIKE: And I don't think you can highlight something as more of a cry for help and more of a need for the government to get involved and straighten out the mess they have than a soldier who was so desperate, that they actually took their life on the property in the parking lot of the VA.

What do we do, Ernesto? What can we do to either help you get the word out or help you get across the country? Because I know you're not taking donations.

ERNESTO: Right. What I love, you know, saying to other people is, "If you do feel like donating money, please donate it to a local nonprofit local charity in your area." Do your research. Because some nonprofits don't work as well as others. But on my behalf, donate to them. I just don't want money.

I have been lucky enough to surround myself with enough people that my hotel rooms, when I get a chance to stay in a hotel, are taken care of. Food is taken care of. All I have to focus is on walking.

But check your local organizations. Spend time with your veterans. Make sure that they have someone to lean on. And make sure that they understand that they are still wrong people, even if they're asking for help.

MIKE: You know what I always tell folks, if you can't ask for help, you can't be strong enough to give help. And that perception that asking for help is weakness is so misguided, and it's one we need to break now.

Ernesto, I know we can find you on Twitter @NerdNesto. Where -- how do we find you on Facebook and Instagram?

ERNESTO: Well, I've -- Dallas has been very good to me. And I've been on a lot of local media. I was able to meet some very well recognized celebrities last night. So now they're starting to follow me. So I'm actually starting to hit top hit on Google. So if you look up @NerdNesto on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, you can see all the news reports. I'm definitely -- I'm getting there.

MIKE: Well, that's good. That's good. I love the fact that people are starting to pay attention. And the story that you -- you shared with us, that Facebook Live post of that veteran living under an overpass is just heartbreaking. And I'm so pleased that at least three agencies raised their hands and came to help this man. Maybe we can do this.

I'm happy to say, Ernesto, that the state where I'm coming from you today, Delaware --

ERNESTO: Uh-huh.

MIKE: -- is one of three states in the country that does not have homeless veterans. We were officially certified, on Veterans Day, as one of the states that's solved the homelessness problem and has gotten housing and care and counseling for those homeless vets. But we still have 47 other states we need to get moving on.

ERNESTO: I agree.

MIKE: And your work is so much appreciated, sir. I want to say, God bless you, and have a great New Year. You know there's an open door any time you want to get news out.

When are you leaving Dallas now? If we can rally support to wish you well on your next leg of your journey, when are you checking out?

ERNESTO: I am checking out on the 2nd at 9 o'clock. An organization here called 22 Kill has actually started organizing a walk with me. If you're from the Dallas area, there is a huge eyeball sculpture in the middle of downtown. We're leaving from there at 9 o'clock, and everybody will be walking 2.2 miles with me. And then I'll continue on my journey that day.

MIKE: Beautiful, beautiful.

Well, I will post that up and encourage people to follow you on Twitter as well. My buddy, Nerd Nesto.

Ernesto, God bless you again, friend. And have a great rest of your year.

ERNESTO: Thank you. You too.

MIKE: When we get back, there's more news. Plus, I have to give you the latest on the mic drop moment from Vladimir Putin to Barack Obama. And, oh, my gosh, there's this story you're not going to believe. An arrest was made in California that if I'm ever in California, there's a good chance I would be arrested too. I'll share the story with you next on the Glenn Beck Program.

[break]

MIKE: It is the Glenn Beck Program. Mike Opelka from Pure Opelka on TheBlaze Radio network, sitting in for my pal Glenn Beck, wrapping up 2016 and tying a cinder block to it and throwing it in the river. That's basically how I feel about this year. There are a couple of things this year that I will hang onto. One of which is the opportunity to be here. Another is my nighttime radio show on TheBlaze Radio network. If you want to know more, go to TheBlaze.com, click on the button that says Channels, and click on my mug and follow me. Would you?

I would appreciate it. And you will -- you'll see what I'm up to. Before we went away, I mentioned the fact that I don't know if I can ever go back to California.

And I have so many great -- great friends who are friends of this show and friends who live in California. I just don't know if I can go. I don't want to be arrested.

It makes me very nervous. My buddy at TheBlaze.com, Brandon Morris wrote this story a day ago. And he said: California police arrest a man for driving under the influence of caffeine. Not kidding.

This actually happened. A guy named Joseph Schwab, driving home from work in Solano County, reportedly he cut off a car. Driving that car that he reportedly cut off was an agent from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Now, I didn't know this, but those people have arrest privileges. The agent claimed that Schwab was driving erratically, which in California, is about 90 percent of the people I've been around on the highway.

The officer pulled Schwab over and said, "You need to take a breathalyzer test." The guy blew a double zero. 0000.0000. Nevertheless, she arrested him, took him to jail, said, "You've got to be on something, the way you were driving." They did a blood test. Everything came back negative. No drugs. Nothing illegal in his system. They did find he had caffeine in his system. So they have now charged him with a substance, being driving under the influence of a substance, which is perfectly legal, sold to drivers to keep awake. How many cops do you see at a doughnut shop with a cup of coffee? It's craziness.

California, I can't come back, until you fix this. Free Mr. Schwab or arrest everybody with a Starbucks card. Come back after the break. There's more.

[break]

MIKE: Mike Opelka with you on the Glenn Beck Program. Filling out the rest of 2016. And I will be back Monday to kick off 2017. Thank you, Mr. Beck.

Jeff is on the phone from Georgia, I believe. Jeff, we were just talking with my friend Ernesto a little bit earlier about the plight of the veterans in this country and the 20 to 22 we lose every single day to suicide. And you wanted to bring up something that is highlighting that as well. Hello, sir.

Did we lose him? Sounded like we lost his call. Well, put him on hold if he comes back. Let me know, please. Dallas, we will take care of that.

Earlier today, we talked about the fact that President Obama dropped the hammer, as he believed, on the Russians, kicking 35 Russian diplomats out of the country, giving them 72 hours to get out of town, the equivalent of the old west. You got to be out of town by sundown, son. Seventy-two hours to get out of town, to get out of America and go back to mother Russia.

And we also apparently told them we were going to take two of their compounds, one in New York and one in Maryland.

Well, Vladimir Putin -- Vladimir Putin dropped a bigger hammer, basically. He called Obama's tactics irresponsible kitchen diplomacy and said that it would -- it would hurt our relations, but they will take steps to further restore Russia/US relations based on the policies of the Trump administration. Which, you know, really?

The gracious thing to do would have been to do just that. The situation here -- what -- what President Obama has done in the past week, with both Israel and Russia, to me, is -- is akin to digging a bunch of holes in the White House lawn and putting explosives out there and then covering it over with new turf. You have landmined the future for an incoming administration, just because you lost. Just because the coronation of Hillary Clinton did not occur. And your legacy is at stake.

And what this president has done or is doing makes the shenanigans of the Clinton administration in the transition to the Bush administration look like a kindergarten prank.

Remember, they messed up all the White House keyboards. They took all the W's off. That will fix them. Yeah.

What a bunch of whiners. What a bunch of babies they were. But now this -- this to me borders on massive government meddling. And to say publicly that we're going to be supportive and we are going to help with the transition, and then to do the things that he is doing, are just disgusting to me.

They don't make any stinking sense, until you think about President Obama and what his intentions are and what his intentions have always been.

Here's a guy who -- well, let me go back to Putin and what Putin did. After Putin heard that -- that Obama was kicking out 35 diplomats and taking over these two compounds, Putin's right hand, his foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said he had sent a recommendation to Putin to basically expel 35 American diplomats and take over a couple of American compounds. And everybody in the mainstream media said, "Yeah, yeah, that's what we'll do. That's what Russia is going to do. They're going to kick out the Americans." Well, after almost two hours of reporting that non-stop on CNN and MSNBC and just about everywhere, Putin put out a statement calling this -- as I mentioned earlier, the irresponsible kitchen diplomacy.

But he also -- this is when he dropped it right on Obama's toes, a big ol' hammer.

He said the diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year's holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for the American diplomats here. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their travel and leisure sites during the New Year's holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children's parties at the Kremlin.

Notice the wording. Notice the wording. And as I say, "Notice the wording," I'm staring at the Christmas card I received from Vice President Joe Biden just a week ago.

I'm sorry. It's not a Christmas card. It's a holiday card. It has a -- what looks like a Christmas tree on the cover, but on the back, it says, "The vice president's holiday tree, 2016."

And inside, the message from the Obama administration's vice president says, "Happy Holidays."

Vladimir Putin, in his message: I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children's parties in the Kremlin.

Gee. You think you just got the hammer dropped on your feet, President Obama? Then he added, my seasons greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is the perfect example of alpha maling somebody.

Putin just took the high ground. Just took all the air out of the Obama balloon. So there it is.

Oh, boy, this is going to be a fun one to watch. Now, on the subject of Israel. I want to talk about Israel as well and what's going on with the United Nations and Israel. We had hoped to have Louie Gohmert on the show today. Louie is introducing a -- a bill. And several in the House have said, "We need to defund the United Nations." Because in essence, we, one country out of the -- what is it? 260 countries that are part of the UN. We pay 22 percent of all the cost of the United Nations. And for those of us who live in New York, we incur 100 percent of the hassle every time the UN meets. Every single time those bobos come into town for their general assembly, which is also known as party weekends, every time those bobos come to town, New York is a mess. New York traffic is absolutely fishmeckled forever.

So I would not be opposed to defunding the United Nations or putting them on a barge and floating them out to sea. If you're so in love with the European Union, if you're so in love with -- or put them in San Francisco. Put them in a sanctuary city like San Francisco. But get them out of here.

But we were supposed to have Louie on to talk about that bill. And I guess he wants to be with his family on New Year's. So Louie is on the plane. So Louie, I appreciate you. I wish you could have been here to talk about this. But in the case of Israel and Barack Obama, we should talk about the duplicitous nature of this president. The duplicitous nature, especially when -- when you look at what John Kerry did and said recently and what Barack Obama said when he was trying to get elected in 2008 and he was speaking at AIPAC.

OBAMA: But any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized, defensible borders.

(applauding)

MIKE: Wait. What? Any agreement? Any agreement? Let's go back and listen to the first part of that.

OBAMA: But any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized, defensible borders.

(applauding)

MIKE: Hmm. Interesting. He seems to have changed his position on that. Or am I wrong? He also said something else.

OBAMA: Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.

(applauding)

MIKE: Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided. Guess who got the votes. Guess who got elected in 2008. And then guess who has turned his back on Israel since that time. Barack Obama.

One of the more disgusting flip-flops ever. And now that he has 21 days left, he's going out the door, and he's sawing the bridge behind him. And is that word enough?

I wouldn't doubt he poured a little gasoline on it and dropped a match, as he wandered off into the woods, if only.

This president dropping -- dropping friends like Israel and treating them the way they are. Now -- now, you will hear from your friends that -- but wait a minute, what about -- what about the MUS? Do you know what the MUS -- the memorandum of understanding. MOU. The memorandum of understanding between Israel and America.

Everyone who you will talk to about Israel and what we've done with this UN deal -- and believe me, this -- this resolution is just the first part. In the next break, I'm going to tell you something that will shock you. But they all say, "But wait a minute. What about the MUS? What about the fact that we are -- MOU?" Why do I keep saying MUS?

The MOU with Israel. Where we give Israel $3.8 billion a year for the next ten years. We hand them that money. And it's -- it's money for foreign military financing as we call it.

But it also is a jobs program for the United States of America. The money we give to Israel, then they turn around and then buy stuff to protect themselves. And they don't buy it from Russia. They don't buy it from France. They buy it from the United States of America. In practical terms, this is a jobs program for America that also keeps our friends in Israel safe.

So if anybody pulls the MOU argument on you, just tell them, "Yeah, well, guess what, they buy those -- they buy those planes from the United States. They buy the fighter jets from the United States. They buy the parts they need for that fleet. Those F-35s from us, which keeps people employed here in America. Good jobs. Union jobs. Huge paying jobs. So don't play that game with me.

There's more on Israel though and what Obama's actions did, what the UN actions did, that I'll tell you about after the break. Mike Opelka in for Glenn Beck on the Glenn Beck Program.

[break]

MIKE: Mike Opelka in for Glenn Beck, wrapping up the new -- the old year and looking forward into the New Year. We'll kick that off Monday. You can join me here.

Before I jump to my guest, I wanted to tell you what I was talking about with Israel and the UN. Not only did they pass that resolution, they just approved $138,000 to build a database blacklisting any business doing ties with Israel. Anybody that's got a business doing business with Israel, prepare to be blacklisted by the UN. I'm telling you, the resolution was just the start. It is a big problem.

Now, I was talking earlier about this story -- this crazy story about Amazon's Echo, that speaker that you can talk to and it will talk back to you, and the subpoena from the prosecutors who think that it may have been a witness to a murder. And I wonder the legality of it. So I've asked our friend, Dr. Wendy Patrick. WendyPatrickPhD.com. To join us. Wendy has so much experience in the law. Well, she's a lawyer. She also understands the trial situations and how to watch candidate -- or, people testifying and see what their body language says.

But, Wendy, how are you going to know the body language of this device if it's feeding back all the data that it has? This scares me.

WENDY: Yeah. You know, we live in a brave new world, a world of drones and Siri and camera phones and all kinds of new technology, much of which has been untested when it comes to their admissibility in court. That is going to be the problem when you have devices that are witnesses. They're not live witnesses. You can't read their body language. They don't have any. They're not alive.

And it really sort of -- on the one hand, people could argue it's a greater sense of credibility because there's no inherent bias in a machine. On the other hand, if we are unsure as to the mechanics of how something works, that's going to be subject to judicial scrutiny.

So these are issues that have to be briefed on both sides. There's no precedent as of yet. And it's almost impossible to determine on a case-by-case basis, how these kinds of devices are going to be admissible in court.

Although, we're all going to be sitting back and watching because we're going to learn from each and every court decision as it comes down the line.

MIKE: Yeah, I sense this is going to go all the way to the top. I've got less than a half minute here. I hope you can hang up because I want to talk more about this, how it relates to our privacy, can you indict yourself, can you -- can you incriminate yourself because your voice was record by a technology company? So many questions, Wendy. Please hang out and join us around the corner. Will you?

WENDY: Will do.

MIKE: All right. Wendy Patrick will join us in the next hour as we try and unravel the legal problems from our brave new world of technology.

Can a drone deliver my drone? Hmm. Big questions. Mike Opelka on the Glenn Beck Program. We'll be back after the news.

Featured Image: Selfie by Ernesto Rodriguez

RYAN: Kanye West and the Great Society

Graphic by Alexander Somoskey.

Donald Trump has been name-dropped by nearly every major rapper of the last 30 years, starting with a reference by Beastie Boys on their iconic album Paul's Boutique, the Sgt. Pepper of hip-hop.

He's been mentioned by Jay Z. Ludacris. Young Thug. Nelly. Kendrick Lamar. Juicy J. Rick Ross. Eminem. Big Sean. A Tribe Called Quest. Scarface. Lil Wayne. The Coup. Master P. Ice Cube. Mos Def. Raekwon, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and various other Wu-Tang Clan affiliates. R. Kelly. Pete Rock. Nas. E-40.

And don't forget this surreal moment in our nation's history.

Then-candidate Trump on SNL ... dancing to a Drake parody.(Screenshot from YouTube)

When Bun B referred to Trump on the Chopped-n-Screwed anthem "Pocket Full of Stones," he was keeping with a tradition of rappers admiring Trump. This only changed a few years ago.

But then there's Kanye West, who proudly donned the red MAGA hat after discovering Candace Owens and being called "a jackass" by our nation's first black President. Then Kanye was hugging President Trump in the Oval Office? While wearing a Make America Great Again hat, supposed symbol of white supremacy, Nazism, hate, evil?

(Screenshot from YouTube)

People flipped. Everyone did. Longtime critics suddenly — and bizarrely — embraced Kanye as an ally, while longtime defenders disowned him, abandoned him like nail clippings, often mocking his struggles with mental illness and labeling him, if you can believe it, a white supremacist.

Then, in a moment that changed music history, Kanye released the single "Ye vs. the People."

Ye vs. the People (starring TI as the People) www.youtube.com

In it, he challenges what he sees as the unspoken rule that black Americans have to vote Democrat. He had hinted at the idea on his track "Black Skinhead," from the hauntingly gorgeous album Yeezus, but now he was addressing it head-on, with the passion of a man going to Confession for the first time in a decade.

Why should black folks have to abide by any set of cultural or political or artistic guidelines to begin with? And, he argues, the pressure to adhere to this longheld framework is itself undergirded by a subtle and cleverly masked racism, imposed by a group of people who portray themselves as the champions of race and enemies of white supremacy and destroyers of dumb yokel rednecks with their Rebel flags and monster trucks and fully-automatic AR-15 assault weapons. All of which, it turns out, is some next-level projection.

Kanye also confronts the presence of these expectations and stereotypes in hip-hop. The idea that rappers must invoke a negative persona in order to succeed. And the moment they deviate from that image they are rebuked or ignored, even though the persona is damaging to the black community as a whole. Which is especially ironic given that the people who voice the most outrage tend to be highly privileged, supposedly progressive white folks who love to rant about white privilege and black oppression.

Is it better if I rap about crack? 'Cause it's cultural?
Or how about I'ma shoot you? or f**k your b***h?
Or how about all this Gucci, 'cause I'm f****n' rich?

Best of all, Kanye has answers. And they differ from the erudite solutions offered by, say, A Tribe Called Quest, who, like Kanye, have modeled a healthy, positive image of blackness for the black community.

A central theme within "Ye vs. The People" is empathy as power, rebellion, freedom.

Make America Great Again had a negative perception
I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction
Added empathy, care and love and affection
And y'all simply questionin' my methods.

This concept is an extension of the powerful devotion to positive energy that Kanye adopted around that time, a purview he has cultivated into a wild new form of electronic gospel.

But his personal transformation was tough.

That [MAGA] hat stayed in my closet like 'bout a year and a half
Then one day I was like, "F**k it, I'ma do me"
I was in the sunken place and then I found the new me.

This is a struggle that many Americans undergo. Researchers call it the spiral of silence. The idea that the news media and social media present biased opinions as though they are fact, and when the message conflicts with a person's opinions or values, they feel isolated, alone.

Kanye and T.I. during the making of "Ye vs. the People"(Screenshot from YouTube)

As Kanye raps in "Ye vs. the People"

A lot of people agree with me but they're too scared to speak up.

Because we have an incredible ability to sense public opinion. So when we suspect that we hold a belief that rails against acceptable thought, we tend to keep quiet about it. That silence makes the opinion seem even more taboo, resulting in a more widespread silence.

In reality, many of these supposedly taboo opinions are not only popular, they are normal and practical and logical. Healthy, even. And the real danger is in demonizing them. But too many people are afraid they'll be ostracized for expressing their beliefs.

Like how — despite what we've been led to believe — most Americans cannot stand political correctness.

But the small minority of people who champion it are powerful and loud. They're like that cardboard city in North Korea, just visible enough from the border to make it seem like a thriving community. They're the Wicked Witch of the West, or Iago from Othello, or Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants.

So far, they have been successful. Although "success" by their metric is anarchic and primal, all destruction and loudness and people nervous to speak their mind. And the cost of rebellion can be devastating.

By the time Kanye West wrote "Yay versus the People," he had gotten sick of this power dynamic. So he broke the spiral of silence."

*

In the words of German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Whoever has language has the world."

Humans alone have it.

But in order for us to know freedom in our world, our language has to be public, shared, active. Because each of us thrives constantly with language, a stream of it always in our mind. Aristotle defined "thought" as the infinite dialogue between the soul and itself. Conversation is the exchange of thought between people. When we converse, we simultaneously release our infinite dialogue and accept the other person's. By speaking, we shape the world and free ourselves.

*

Another way to say it is that Donald Trump might have inspired the song that could very well signify the end of Hip-Hop, which is not only the most popular genre of our zeitgeist, it's the most popular, and successful, form of music in American history, which is the most important era of musical history.

If the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, and Drake literally outpaces the Beatles, then, well, you get the point God forgive me. And Kanye is bigger than Drake. So who better to have the final word on the capacities of Hip-Hop than Kanye West?

Nobody.

Every genre must come to a close. There's a reason why people aren't eagerly awaiting the next great disco album, or flocking to arenas to hear the newest bluegrass superstar, or asking to get their hair done like the latest syringe-armed guitarist of Guns N Roses.

(Screenshot from Instagram)

The great era of Rock 'N' Roll ended roughly about the time Radiohead traded their guitars and drums for synthesizers and sequencers, not long after Kurt Cobain took an insane amount of heroin and cradled a shotgun in his guesthouse, only to be discovered several days later by an electrician. Even worse, Nickelback soiled Cobain's legacy with godawful anthems, and who have their own weird and contradictory and hilarious connection to President Trump.

These days, Rock N' Roll lives mostly via nostalgia, as evinced by the explosion of cover bands. Notice how you don't see any hip-hop cover bands. You will, someday. But, for now, Hip-Hop reigns supreme. And Kanye is the King.

The brilliant Nina Simone once told a reporter that "An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times."

Because music accords itself to the gravity and creative truth of the era. And currently we entrust hip-hop with this complicated maneuver.

But the past year, Kanye has been crafting a new sound through his Sunday services, weekly jam sessions with acoustic musicians and a choir and everyone dressed in white, praying through song, herding us into a better place, looking above for guidance. If it's anything like his track "Ultralight Beam," it will bring calm to our divided culture.

Mark my words: The resultant album will usher in an entirely new era, a magical flash in human history.

So far, hip-hop has been the defiant child of R&B and Electronica, the grandchild of Spoken Word and Steve Reich Minimalism, with tinges of Punk. Not for much longer. Kanye will see to that. And, weirdly, President Trump has helped inspire this transformation.

Meaning, Donald Trump will have had a hand in reinventing music as a whole, in spreading a movement of positive reformation. Love him or hate him, it does not matter. What other politician can make that claim?

There's an optimism to this that Dave Chappelle captured in his now-infamous Saturday Night Live monologue, just days after Trump was elected, asking Americans to at least give the man a chance. And again in his special "Equanimity," when he said

I swear no matter how bad it gets, you're my countrymen, and I know for a fact that I'm determined to work shit out with y'all.

In a moment of now-tired irony, the usual suspects heaped a barrage of hate at Chappelle for these remarks. But their outrage does not matter, in the grand scheme of things. Because it is an incredible time to be alive. It's beautiful. We should never forget that, no matter how petty or outrageous daily life gets.

At the moment, we are a country that is — everywhere, secretly — hurting. But we are Americans. Together. This is America. And, every day, God delights in our greatness and our empathy and our endless gift for love. So open your heart and listen. Say what you need to say.

New installments of this series come out every Monday and Thursday. Check out my Twitter.

RYAN: Michael Bennet, Little League

Photo by Sean Ryan

Every day, life getting shorter. Every day, life going faster. Every day, like a roller coaster. These were the kinds of things that Michael Bennet was saying.

Michael Bennet, God bless him, he seemed like a decent lad. All week he had his family there. He said his campaign was their family vacation. He had had prostate cancer but would you believe he survived?

"Life is getting shorter," he said. "Every day."

Photo by Sean Ryan

He was well spoken. Dry. Talked with an air of consultation. Like you were in his office, and he had things to tell you.

Like a Little League coach who could actually be a coach someday.

*

I would encounter Bennet again the next day, at the Iowa State Fair.

Having just seen Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at a small Baptist church, we ventured to the fair to see Bernie Sanders' riot of a Sunday speech. Bennet was on before him, so I got there early, and I paced off to get a restroom break. The media center is in the basement of the administration building, right by the Political Soapbox stage.

For whatever reason, the first-floor men's restroom has giant windows along the wall, and you can see right out onto the walkway that wraps around the building. I did not realize that this was the path that the candidates take to get to the stage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And, this far into the 2020 presidential election, they never went many places alone. They had a press swarm and their wives and maybe an old friend who relocated here when the hurricane sank his house.

I was rushing. Panicking, really. Because I heard all the commotion. But nature abides by its own pace. And as I shuffled to the sink to wash my hands, my pants fell all the way down. I was exposed. Out in the open and in such desperation, you clobber yourself outside of time. It was all slo-mo with the Chopped-n-screwed voices as I scrambled to lift my trousers and audibly gasped the words, "Well just no." At that exact moment, that "accidental Renaissance" painting occurred as I locked eyes with Michael Bennet, slowly maneuvering the walkway.

These sorts of things happened, didn't they? There you were in a restroom, at an NFL game or a concert or maybe a bar, and you see someone you work with, or someone from church or school, and you lock eyes for a moment in confusion then revert to cave talk and shrug and get on with what you were doing. But it's weird when only one of you is actively part of the etiquette and allowances of a restroom and one of you is held to a higher standard, for the sake of common decency. Now let's say that you, the restroom occupant, happen to be credentialed press, and the outsider, Michael Bennet, happens to be a candidate for president of America.

Once the herd passed by behind him, I laughed a bit, quietly, because life could be very funny.

*

Onstage, Bennet, a senator from Colorado, gave the performance of a cake falling into a pool. Like he had been ghost-busted. Like he had spent the last two months learning the Fortnite dance moves and now that he had mastered them, suddenly Fortnite was for losers, and Fortnite dances, well, they were even worse.

The Political Soapbox is great because every candidate has 20 minutes. Those 20 minutes were theirs. Most of the time, they got romantic like a Backstreet Boy singing up toward an open window. Occasionally, they lost it. Bennet did neither. He belly-flopped into hay bales.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Remember that the growing crowd had the dangerous feel of a natural disaster. And it was gaspingly warm that day. So neither the crowd nor the environment were ready to give Bennet a freebie.

He gave a ravishing speech, full of neat invective. Then looked up and realized he still had 14 minutes on the clock. Oof. That was most of it, and he'd already done the Floss and the Robot and the Electro Shuffle, and honestly his shoulder was a little stiff from all that dance practice. So he opened the floor for questions.

Now, that was not the greatest idea. For one, this was not the type of place for such a thing. They called it a soapbox because you were meant to live out the phrase "on a soapbox" by ranting and fist-pounding and all other theatrics.

The Bernie Sanders supporters hadn't arrived en masse yet, so most of the people around the stage were clad in Trump gear. And they all had their hands up ready to ask him questions. Well, firebombs, really, masked as interrogative statements. Bennet shouted without breathing, then said, "I want to find a non-male person who has a question."

This did not sit well with the males who did not like the trend of personalizing all things, cautious gendering, and the sudden change of direction so that now they had to just listen.

Most people did not care.

"I do not support Bernie's plan," Bennet shouted. But would you believe the Bernie supporters had literally just arrived, you could smell their hair dye.

They jeered, then acted exactly — and I mean exactly — like the Trump supporters.

"I would rather support free pre-school than free college," he shouted. "Many people talk about... " but the jeering was too powerful. And the Bernie supporters had likely just had quinoa açaí bowls at their pre-Bernie brunch, so they were unstoppable. Well God bless the man for scratching "Give Presidency a Try" off his bucket list. Because at least he had a bucket list.

What did they have? Student debt and a restraining order? They being the growing factions of Bernie and Trump supporters in the audience. You could not see any pavement. It was just people and faces like the Mediterranean in the evening, all the way to the towering walls of the Grandstand.

Looking out at all that chaos, all that latent disaster, Bennet must have felt a deep stirring.

The night before, Slipknot headlined at the Grand Stand, a sold-out show. Rollicking and bursting and howling. How many drumbeats could drummer Jay Weinberg get per minute? At one point, vocalist Corey Taylor unleashed a demonic bellow, then adjusted his mask and looked out to all those people, those devoted fans, because many of them had Slipknot tattoos, and maybe he, like Bennet, indulged a moment for himself, a personalization of the grand setting, then shrieked, then persuaded the audience to lift their hands into the air, maybe toward a constellation of their choosing, and extend their middle finger like it was an egg landing on a pillow, which symbolizes the human condition.




New installments to this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. For live updates, check out my Twitter.

President Trump couldn't personally make it to Houston for the 3rd Democratic Debate, so he paid $7,500 for a single-engine Cessna to fly in circles over Texas Southern University campus while pulling a banner that said, "Socialism will kill Houston's economy! Vote Trump 2020!"

For four hours, it chugged around up there. You could hear it everywhere. It was the soundtrack of the night.

You can just imagine Trump's face as he had the banner-plane idea. You can hear him putting in the order. You can see his list of demands. And at the very top, "I WANT THE LOUDEST PLANE YOU CAN FIND!!!"

*

Was that Bret Baier in the aisle, adjusting his reading glasses and thumbing at the strap of his comically small backpack as he crossed the blue-carpeted gymnasium? He looked like the human version of Wisconsin. He was saying something but all you could hear was the plane overhead.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Bret Baier, the stoic host of "Special Report with Bret Baier" on Fox News and the network's chief political anchor. He's underrated, if you ask me. Legacy. Old-school. He just delivers the news, which is what most people want. He talks the way anchors used to talk, with the American accent unique to news anchors even though he was born in New Jersey and raised in Georgia.

I had spent the last year-and-a-half on a series of in-depth profiles on some of the major countercultural figures of our time. People like Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, and Carol Swain. So my first impulse was to rush over to Baier and profile the guy. Nobody else would, after all. The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper's. But they ought to. The man has a hell of a story.
He joined Fox News a year-and-a-half after it was founded, as the southeast correspondent in Atlanta. A few years later, on a Tuesday in September, nineteen terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners and crashed into America.

When the first plane hit, Fox producers told Baier to just get in his car and drive to New York City. They needed back-up reporters for the next day. When the second plane crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m., they said, "Step on it, Baier."

He and his producer were an hour outside Atlanta when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon. Still a good 8 hours away, but closer to D.C. than to New York City. So they re-routed to Arlington, Virginia, as fast as they could. Past a blur of fields full of indifferent cows. Past houses full of people who could hardly talk, people who couldn't describe what they were seeing and hearing, all the smoke and the blood and the office-supply confetti. Past towns that barely moved, gas stations with nobody in them, people sunken into a far-away stare.

Yet there was the sun, with only a few bangles of cloud every so often. America had been paralyzed but the earth kept trucking along, quiet and unbothered. It must have felt strange for Baier, to speed down empty highways — toward literal death and chaos — under a perfect sky, below cascading light and color.

Nature doesn't care if we make it out alive.

*

That day, Baier reported live from a Citgo station across the street from the Pentagon, rubble in heaps of flame behind him. It was like he'd fallen onto a different planet and was reporting back to home.

The next day arrived and it was so quiet everywhere. Nobody knew a damn thing. We could not believe our eyes. We all turned to reporters and anchors for answers. Most often, they blurted out whatever they could.

Something about Bret Baier gave audiences a much-needed boost. Reliable, sturdy. Like he said what had to be said and not a word extra.

Fox kept him in D.C., indefinitely. A friend helped him find an apartment. He never went back to Atlanta. Two weeks later, Fox News appointed him Pentagon correspondent, a position that saw him travel the world, including 13 trips to Afghanistan and 12 to Iraq.

Halfway through George W. Bush's second term, Baier became Fox News' White House correspondent.

Then, a year before he would earn his current position as anchor, Baier became a father. His son was born with holes in his heart — five congenital heart defects. Twelve days later, the boy underwent open-heart surgery. Baier and his wife waited in tiled rooms drenched with flowers and ESPN and drab ultraviolet light, surrounded by machines full of beeps and whirring and beeps and whirring.

Baier's son has since undergone two additional open-heart surgeries, nine angioplasties, and one stomach operation. In an interview with Parents Magazine, Baier said that his son's health problems have "given me perspective about my job, going through policy and politics in Washington, D.C., to see the bigger picture."

*Part of the reason I couldn't tell whether or not it was Baier is he's usually up on the main stage. For the 2012 election, he moderated five Republican debates, and co-anchored FNC's America's Election HQ alongside Megyn Kelly.

The 2016 election would propel him into a much larger role. He anchored three Republican debates, but this time he had to handle Donald Trump.

Baier knew Trump personally, from before the election. They'd played golf together. He described Trump as "a nice guy outside of his TV persona" and never thought Trump would actually make a run for the Presidency. Onstage, Trump was much different. And Baier had been tasked with maintaining control.

A devout Roman Catholic, he appreciates a nice glass of wine and a fine cut of steak. He likes a good joke, too. In January, 2019, Baier signed a multi-year deal with Fox News to continue "Special Report." A few weeks later, he and his family went to Montana for a ski trip. The weekend was wonderful. But they had to get back to New York because Baier was scheduled to appear on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that Tuesday.

Imagine him, again in a car hurtling toward a fateful destination. How he squinted through the frost-pocked windshield and gripped the steering wheel. As he guided the white SUV along the two-lane road to the airport. The land looked haunted, barren, lifeless. Everywhere, the world was frozen white. Snow and ice blanketing the fields, gauze over the sky.

At some anonymous intersection, Baier pumped the brakes, but the tires hit an ice patch, and the SUV spun loose. An oncoming car slammed into the driver's side, launching the vehicle into an embankment, wedged on its side. A man named Zach stopped his pickup truck and helped the family crawl free, and the Montana Highway Patrol rushed them to the hospital.

"Don't take anything for granted," Baier tweeted later. "Every day is a blessing and family is everything. It's always good to remind yourself of that before something does it for you."

Before every debate that he moderates, Baier spends 10 minutes alone, praying.

*

A Freedom of Information Act request in 2011 revealed that Fox News was actually right. That the Obama Administration really did hate them. And had intentionally excluded them from a press pool two years earlier. Then laughed about it.

The documents unearthed snarky emails between various high-ranking aides in the Obama Administration. In one, the Deputy White House communications director bemoaned Baier's reporting on the bias. "I'm putting some dead fish in the [Fox News] cubby — just cause Bret Baier is a lunatic." That same day, deputy press secretary Josh Earnest bragged in an email that "we've demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews."

The Trump administration pulled a similar stunt in July, 2018 by banning a CNN reporter from the press pool. Trump and Fox News had developed a beneficial relationship by then. And CNN was a lifelong competitor, a public enemy.
That night, Baier delivered an official statement, "This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better. As a member of the White House press pool, Fox stands firmly with CNN on this issue of access."

Fox News rebuked Trump in solidarity with CNN. It was a heartening gesture between two seeming enemies. Fox News were standing up for truth, defending journalism, rejecting tyranny even though the ban would have benefitted them as a company.

Who knows how many books and dissertations and articles have been written about Fox News, usually in relation to bias, usually with a scathing tone. The conclusions differ wildly, yet each one claims certitude.

Generally, academics and journalists have taken a doomsday tone when talking about Fox News. Accusations of evil, fear-mongering, bigotry, hatred, misinformation, propaganda, racism, homophobia, and so on.

Despite these outcries, Fox News has consistently held its spot as the most-watched network in the country. Imagine how that makes its critics feel.

In an August 3, 2018 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Baier said, "the biggest problem is that the people who are most critical of Fox are usually people who have not watched Fox News."

Fox News is composed of two distinct departments. Punditry and straight news. Or "opinion news" and "descriptive news." Consistently, surveys of the public rate Fox News as both the least- and most-biased news network.
Last year, a survey found Fox News to be the second most-trusted television news brand in the country, after the BBC.

In a separate study, Democrats rated its bias score at (negative) -87, while Republicans placed it at (positive) +3. Which is like if, at a football game, one referee said "Touchdown," while the other referee said "Turnover, leading to Touchdown for the Defense." It can't be both, can it?

Public opinion may not be the best metric for understanding Fox News, especially in 2019.

Quantitative studies have offered clearer conclusions. In 2016, a content analysis used crowdsourcing and machine learning to examine over 800,000 news stories published over a year by 15 major outlets, from the New York Times to Fox News. They wanted to chart media bias.

What they discovered is that news outlets are far more similar than we believe. Much of the perceived bias is a matter of separating "opinion news" from "descriptive news." For conservatives, it's punditry. For those on the left, it's op-eds and long form investigative pieces, although the left tends to insist that they're not biased, that they are instead just more apt to tell the truth, even though research has disproven this belief.

The researchers found a much larger bias-divide in opinion news, whereas descriptive news was practically neutral. One of the researchers described Fox News' descriptive news as "guided by similar news values as more traditional, legacy media."

University of California Berkeley sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild wrote that "Fox News stands next to industry, state government, church, and the regular media as an extra pillar of political culture all its own."

Say what you want about Fox News, they play a crucial role in the so-called mainstream media. And, despite what Fox News will lead you to believe, they are definitely part of the mainstream. And they are by no means the innocent victim. And certainly not powerless. And they have all kinds of problems that I will not defend. But we'll talk about that in a later installment, the one about Kamala Harris at a gun control rally, advocating for propaganda.

*

After two months of political events, I suspected that different news networks have their own signifiers, like the distinct stripes and markings on various spiders.

Wall Street Journal reporters tended to carry old-timey notepads and interview any bystander they could find. Breitbart usually only sent one person, and he wandered around with his iPhone, recording every single thing. Politico, prim-suited men who could just as easily work on the stock market.

Most of the reporters dressed like that, in stagey business attire. Prim for a high school job fair. Meanwhile, the photographers, mostly men, looked like professional paintball players. The camera crews and technical staff were the only ones decked in tattoos and wearing sandals and generally not caring about the chaos all around them. On-camera talent were covered in makeup and shrink-wrapped into dresses or suits with chip-clips along the spine.

The Washington Post sent the classiest and most bored-looking people I have ever encountered. They never looked at their laptops as their fingers chopped at the keys, and you assumed they were pretending until you read their stories online. You could spot ABC because their camera crew wore faded red ABC hats. Associated Press looked like they had just come back from a battlefield assignment in Syria, and never donned the same press credentials as everyone else, preferring a tattered AP lanyard. And you always knew when someone was with the New York Times because they announced it to the entire room.

And Fox News? At democratic events, they usually hid. But not that day, in Houston, as Bret Baier walked up the aisle to a table a couple rows in front of me.

Most people arrived in the Media Filing Center several hours before the debate. Fox News got there just slightly after that, as everyone was wiggling in their seats and connecting their laptops to a shared outlet.

There were seven or so in the pack of Fox News, all grinning. They all had white to-go sacks from Chick-fil-A. And the room got quieter, so Trump's plane got louder. It was a double trolling event.

As host of the debate, ABC would be providing dinner. This information was included in the credentials email that all of us had received. So nobody else had brought food with them. No need.

Even better, I was familiar enough with that part of Houston to know that there was not a Chick-fil-A anywhere close to us. Who knew where they'd gotten that Chick-fil-A, but odds are it wasn't warm. Who knew if there was even any food in the bags.

They had brought Chick-fil-A into a building full of national media during the third Democratic Presidential debate. The 2020 election was already full of outrage about plenty of things, and one of them was Chick-fil-A. To some folks, the red chicken logo might as well have been a swastika. That very week LGBT activists had vehemently — cartoonishly — protested the opening of several Chick-fil-A's throughout North America. Chicken sandwiches had become yet another flag on the tug-of-war rope in the Culture War of our country.

To be clear, the political left was anti-Chicken and the political right was pro-Chicken. The media tended to lean anti-Chicken, and frequently wrote about anti-Chicken causes, often scolding pro-Chicken voices, or ignoring the struggles of the pro-Chicken community only to deny any opinion on Chicken at all. That was the cowardly part, of you ask me, the pretending like they weren't activists.

The Democratic candidates definitely leaned anti-Chicken. Sometimes they took it so far that it upset moderate anti-Chicken advocates. Because was it really so bad to eat Chicken? Couldn't you be anti-Chicken but also enjoy Chicken occasionally? Why did everything have to be either "all Chicken all the time unless you hate freedom" or "no chicken ever unless you support hate"?

The fight had spread everywhere. Airports, stadiums, malls, campuses. All had served as battlegrounds for the anti-Chicken versus the pro-Chicken.

The previous President was anti-Chicken. In fact, he may well have enflamed the entire movement. During his tenure, there were nationwide protests that saw pro-Chicken advocates angrily and proudly eating Chicken while anti-Chicken advocates protested outside and occasionally engaged in homosexual affection, which was being threatened by Chicken, according to them.

Every time the pro-Chicken folks bit into a Chicken sandwich, it was like they were gnawing away at the anti-Chicken people themselves. Degrading their identity. Because, for them, it was about the identity.

But the current President, unabashedly proud of his pro-Chicken stance, once served Chicken at the White House to some winning sports team, and the anti-Chicken activists saw it as proof that Chicken and hate go together. And maybe Chicken would even lead to the impeachment of the President they hate, which would mean the Vice President would become the President, but he's one of the most pro-Chicken people in America, so they'd have to impeach him, too. And the Supreme Court, it was overrun with pro-Chicken types.

This election, the Democratic front-runners competed for the bolder plan. They would end Chicken in America once and for all. They would obliterate our evil President and his Chicken Supremacy. Their stump speeches relied on harsh criticisms of pro-Chicken voters, who pretended to find the whole anti-Chicken movement amusing but were secretly enraged by it. In fact, they were certain that the anti-Chicken movement had been systematically silencing them for years, and that they had to fight for their Chicken in order to keep everything that they valued, even all the not-Chicken.

The media and the democrats and Hollywood and academia — all hated the Chicken, because they hated the pro-Chicken people. If they had their way, no more Chicken, ever again. And no more pro-Chicken deplorables. And tonight the anti-Chicken politico-culture complex would prove it, with long rants which get confirmed by glowing articles, calculated takedowns about the merits of anti-Chicken and the evils of pro-Chicken.

Yet here was Fox News, with actual Chicken. And they were smiling. Maybe in part because the police who were guarding us all tended to be pro-Chicken. And this was Texas, after all, an incredibly pro-Chicken state. But there were 49 other states and 14 territories, and all of them were fighting for or against Chicken.

Some experts even said we were on the cusp of a Civil War.


New installments to this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. For live updates, check out my Twitter.

We've heard the catchphrase "follow the money" so often that it's nearly a joke. It gained added attention in the 1976 movie All the President's Men, which follows the story of the two journalists who uncovered Watergate. "Follow the money," their source told them, "and you'll find corruption."

Problem is, corrupters hide their bad behavior remarkably well. They are masters of disguise. But if you look closely enough, you can spot the seams splitting in their choreographed routine.

One technique that magicians use for psychological misdirection is called the false solution. The goal is to distract the audience, to make them believe that they know what's really happening. All the while, the machinations of the actual trick are happening right in front of them, because "implanting an unlikely and unfamiliar idea in the mind can prevent participants from finding a more obvious one."

Billions of dollars. Lost. Gone.

I want to tell you a story of tremendous corruption, masked cleverly, using many of the same techniques that magicians have used for centuries. Only it's not a rabbit disappearing into a hat or a coin vanishing behind an ear. It's billions of dollars. Lost. Gone.

And the people responsible are the same people who have been so monstrously worked up about Trump's impeachment. The same people screaming about Trump's malfeasance with Ukraine are actually the ones misbehaving in Ukraine.

It's essentially an elevated, highly organized form of projection. Only instead of one person lashing out at the world, it's an entire political party, right up to the top. The very top. Barack Obama. It's right there on video.

Or how about the audio recording we uncovered, with Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, openly admitting a connection between the DNC and Ukraine?

So far, the story told by the Democrats and the media has been about Trump and Ukraine. Every so often, you hear mention of Joe Biden's dubious history with the war-torn country.

We were the first to talk about Joe Biden's connections to Ukraine back in April, with our candidate profile on Biden.

It turns out, the whole debacle was much worse than we thought. It stretched further than Uncle Joe. What we found out is that the DNC was working with the Ukrainian government.

This isn't a conspiracy theory. And we have the documents to prove it.

Read on to discover everything you need for a 30-second elevator pitch that you can give to your friend and say, "Look, here's what you need to know. Here's what's really going on."

If anyone is guilty, they should go to jail.

Last night, in Ukraine: The Democrats' Russia I revealed the elaborate misdirection taking place.

I said it last night and I'll say it again: If Trump is guilty, he should go to jail. If anyone is guilty, they should go to jail. Because this is too important to the Republic.

Watch the hands, follow the money.

Here are the documents, video, and audio that we found in our reporting. This is the hard evidence that will help you explain this unbelievable situation to other people.



  • June 2016 State Department memos detailing contacts between George Soros' office and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.




As you can see, we did a lot of research on this, and we've done our best to condense it for you. It still requires you to do your own homework, but there's a tremendous freedom to that.

You are seeking the truth.

You are bucking the mainstream media. You are rejecting them. And you are seeking truth. Because they abandoned truth a long time ago and they certainly aren't interested in recovering it now.