Is Virtual Reality the End of Civilization?

By 2025, there will likely exist a virtual reality suit with the ability to feel sensation and experience touch. How will that impact a person's actual reality?

"Imagine my life is just a piece of crap. I just go to work. I don't have a job that I like. I don't have any satisfaction. I just, you know, have a crappy life . . . but I can afford VR and the internet. I'll save up for this suit," Glenn speculated. "I'm just living for my paycheck to eat and to be able to pay for the internet and the services that I want."

With a VR suit, the user with the crappy life can now have a girlfriend who will learn all about him and be able to touch him. He'll have a virtual assistant, live in a palace and exist in a world created especially for him. What happens when he goes back to the real world?

"It's the end of civilization," Glenn said. "Tell me how you don't end up in the matrix?"

Read below or listen to the full segment from Hour 1 for answers to these questions:

• Are smart devices a friend or foe?

• Is the truth relative?

• Why are Google Home and Google Now better than Alexa?

• Have we already reached the point of no return with privacy and technology?

• Does Glenn have to ruin Jeffy's VR rollercoaster ride?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: We're back. Welcome to the program.

Resolutions: Finland has just launched an experiment on, how can we give people money? Let's just give people a living wage, don't expect anything from them. Let's try it as an experiment. This actually -- this is not forever. This actually is an important experiment, and I'll explain why. You want to talk about big ideas, this is something that the world needs to see either fail or succeed because of what's coming by 2050. We'll explain coming up in just a second.

Also, we want to talk a little about the deaths over the last couple of weeks. The press -- I don't understand what CNN decides to do to their anchors every New Year's Eve. Don Lemon was weird.

PAT: It's really weird.

GLENN: And embarrassing. We'll talk about that.

Also, I want to start with this: Alexa, can you help me with this murder case? We begin there, right now.

(music)

GLENN: Well, thank you so much for listening and tuning in today. Amazon is pushing back against an Arkansas prosecutor's demand for information on what they have stored at Amazon from Alexa.

Now, here's -- here's the story: A guy died in a hot tub early in the morning. And they get a call and say, "Hey, my friend died. You know, four times the limit of alcohol in his blood. It was just an accident." And he's dead.

Police are concerned because there were signs of a struggle. There was a broken shot glass. There was some blood. But you could explain the blood and the shot glass. Right?

But there's a device in the home that is a smart meter for the water usage. And in the middle of the night, the water usage happens to use exactly the amount of water to drain and refill the hot tub.

So it looks as though something happened around the hot tub, and they drained it and then cleaned it up and then filled it back up.

So smart device, number one.

Now the police are saying, "Look, there's evidence here that something is not right. And we don't think it's an accident." And they have Amazon's Alexa.

Did anybody have Alexa or Google Home?

PAT: Yeah.

JEFFY: Yeah. Yeah.

GLENN: You do?

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: Shut up. You do not.

PAT: Yeah, we do.

GLENN: Do you really?

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: Do you like it?

PAT: No, it's terrible.

GLENN: It's terrible in the Siri way, or?

PAT: Yeah, it's terrible in the Siri way. I mean, it's worthless. We just got it recently. And I understand that it learns the kinds of things you're looking for and what you want, but right now, it's like, "I don't understand what you're asking me. I'll have to look that up. Hmm. I'll think about that." Shut up. It's -- like Siri. You know, Siri has those same issues. You ask it something, and it's like, "I can't find that on the Web."

JEFFY: I just got one as well, and it seems to be that it's hoping for better.

PAT: Yeah.

JEFFY: In the future.

PAT: I understand Ok Google is better.

GLENN: What's Ok Google?

PAT: The Google Home.

JEFFY: Yeah. That's possible.

GLENN: Let's get one. Let's put one in the studio.

JEFFY: That would be great.

PAT: We should try both of them and get one each. See which one works better.

GLENN: I'm not putting one in my house.

JEFFY: You can order what you want from it. If you're an Amazon Prime customer, in this area --

PAT: We haven't used it for that yet.

JEFFY: Because this area, we're close to a huge Amazon outlet -- warehouse. You'll have it within hours.

GLENN: Yeah, here you'll have it within five hours. You go on Amazon Prime now, and they'll deliver it to you same day.

PAT: Well, the commercials say, "Hey, we need -- Alexa, we need more paper towels. Order more paper towels. Okay. Ordered."

JEFFY: Right.

PAT: I mean, that's pretty cool.

JEFFY: I know.

PAT: I haven't used it in that way yet because it can't even find the BYU score. So I'm a little nervous about it.

GLENN: Oh, there's -- if it didn't come in blue, it doesn't know you.

PAT: Right. Right.

GLENN: Okay. So here's the thing: So Alexa or Google Home, they're going after Amazon's Alexa. And they're saying that it records everything, listening for the key word, the wake word. And with Amazon, it's either Amazon or Alexa.

PAT: So I didn't know that. Everything that you say is recording.

GLENN: Recorded.

PAT: Even when you don't say, "Alexa," and wake it up? It's recording everything?

JEFFY: Yes.

GLENN: It is constantly listening to you.

PAT: That is fascinating.

GLENN: And it's recording everything waiting for the wake-up.

PAT: That's amazing.

JEFFY: The command.

GLENN: Oh, yeah. We have welcomed the NSA into our homes.

PAT: Right. We sure have. We sure have. I didn't even think of that. We'll have it in the kitchen, and we'll be sitting in the living room. And I tested it a few times to see how well it hears. And I've said, "Alexa," just speaking in a normal voice, and it turns on. It hears. So, I mean, it hears from a long way.

GLENN: Yeah, no. It is constantly listening and evaluating.

PAT: Wow. Wow.

GLENN: And learning from your speech.

PAT: That's interesting.

GLENN: And so here's the thing: So the police have gone in Arkansas and said, "We need the tapes." Amazon has said, "No, we're not giving you the tapes."

JEFFY: Thank you.

GLENN: And they said, "Well, we need them because we think there was a murder."

JEFFY: Oh, well.

GLENN: Now, who wins in this?

PAT: You'd like a murder to be solved, but --

JEFFY: It's always for your safety when --

PAT: That's always the deal.

GLENN: It's always for your safety. The attorneys are now saying, if this goes all the way to the Supreme Court, there's no way Amazon wins.

JEFFY: Right.

PAT: Oh, I wouldn't bet on that.

JEFFY: Amazon's got a lot of money.

PAT: And look at the decisions that have been made recently. I mean, I would not bet -- I would not bet against the government winning that case.

GLENN: No, that's what they're saying.

PAT: Yeah. Okay.

GLENN: Amazon will not win the case.

PAT: Oh, I believe that. I believe that.

GLENN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

PAT: Because look at the way the Supreme Court has been ruling lately.

GLENN: Yeah. Right. So they're saying, "What's the difference?" If I can go and monitor what you've done at the typewriter, at the keyboard --

JEFFY: Your phone.

GLENN: If I can just get that from the keyboard, what's the difference between you at the keyboard and you speaking it? There's no difference.

JEFFY: Yeah. And they're already taking access to all our mobile devices for all that stuff.

PAT: Wow. We literally have invited them into our home.

GLENN: Invited them into the house.

JEFFY: There's no getting out of it.

GLENN: There are no secrets.

PAT: We are living 1984.

GLENN: And we welcomed it. We're not living 1984. We're living Brave New World.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: We welcomed it in.

PAT: That's for sure.

GLENN: 1984 was a hostile takeover.

PAT: That's true.

GLENN: Brave New World was better living through pharmaceuticals, better entertainment, better everything. You're just going to welcome it in.

PAT: Which is exactly what we have.

GLENN: You're just going to welcome it in. That's exactly what happened.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

JEFFY: When did the pharmaceuticals --

GLENN: Huxley was right --

JEFFY: When did the pharmaceuticals start?

GLENN: When did the pharmaceuticals start? Oh, they've already started, my friend. They've already started.

Alexa, can we get Jeffy a blood test?

JEFFY: No. No, Alexa, turn off. Turn off.

(chuckling)

GLENN: So now everything in your home is being listened to. And you know who uses this? At least nobody uses Siri, except the kids.

PAT: Yeah.

JEFFY: Kids love it.

GLENN: Kids will grab the phone, and they'll say, "Siri, what's the -- I don't use Siri. Nobody uses --

PAT: I tried Siri a few times, and it was so worthless, I just gave up.

JEFFY: Yeah, but the kids have fun with it.

GLENN: They love it.

JEFFY: It's just like the virtual reality headsets from Samsung.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. Don't get me started.

PAT: Oh, those are cool.

JEFFY: I mean, I love it. But my kids fell in love with it.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. It's the end of civilization as we know it. Hey, 14 minutes into the show, end of civilization.

PAT: Happy New Year!

JEFFY: Good night, everybody.

GLENN: Fourteen minutes in the new year, Happy New Year.

PAT: Happy New Year.

GLENN: Yeah.

PAT: It's true though. We welcomed all of this stuff, and it's amazing when you stop and think about what we have in our homes. And it's amazing how much more intrusive it's going to become.

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Before we go there, I want to go to Betty, New Jersey. We have a problem I guess, Alexa. Betty in New Jersey. Hello, Betty.

CALLER: Yes, hello. We do have a problem. Tell Pat Gray to be quiet. He keeps turning on my Alexa. Three times already.

(laughter)

PAT: Alexa --

GLENN: Alexa, play bad jazz.

CALLER: Stop it! It does that too. Really bad jokes though. They make you laugh. Have a great day, but shut up!

GLENN: All right. Thanks, Betty.

(laughter)

PAT: Alexa, record everything Betty says.

GLENN: Tony. Let's go to Tony in Florida. Hi, Tony.

CALLER: Yeah. Hey, there. I was going to say, I was actually listening to you guys on my Alexa. And every time you say "Alexa," the first couple of times she would stop the program. She'd say, "I heard what you said. That's not a very nice thing to say." And I'm not making it up. I've never heard her say that before.

GLENN: Oh, yes, Alexa, we are talking about you.

JEFFY: Yes, we are.

CALLER: Yep. But she does not like it. She does not like you guys.

PAT: That's great.

GLENN: Thanks a lot. Stand in line, Alexa. Stand in line.

Steve, go ahead.

CALLER: Hello, man, I just wanted to let you know, I'm 61 years old, and I am a massive fan of Ok Google. I called the show. I said, "Call Glenn Beck Radio Show." Popped me right in, and here I was.

JEFFY: Nice.

PAT: Nice.

CALLER: My wife has Siri. Siri is the worst thing there is. You can't get that thing to do anything for you. Ok Google, when you try it, it is awesome.

PAT: That's right. That's great.

GLENN: So you're in Arkansas, right?

CALLER: Yes.

GLENN: So, Steve, are you paying attention to this story in Arkansas about the murder?

CALLER: Well, Ok Google only responds when you ask it. It isn't on all the time. But when you need information, Ok Google is right there.

PAT: No. That's the same with Alexa too. That's the same.

GLENN: It's the same.

JEFFY: Yeah.

GLENN: It's off, but it's always listening for its wake word.

CALLER: Oh, I see.

PAT: Yeah, so -- so it records everything you say whether you're talking to it or not.

CALLER: When I need information, Ok Google is on the spot. Siri, no way.

GLENN: No, I understand that.

PAT: I believe that. I believe that.

GLENN: I understand. I look at it and say -- for instance, who's going to lead this one? Why do you think Google is laying Google Fiber everywhere? They're trying to make Google cities.

JEFFY: Yeah.

PAT: Yeah. And they've done it in some cases.

GLENN: They've done it. They'll control the smart meters, they'll control -- they'll control the information in whole towns.

JEFFY: And okay. As long as our life is easy.

GLENN: Right!

And I am, up to a point, comfortable with a private business doing that than having a contract.

But now, Steve, you're talking to me about the benefits of it. I'm saying to you that it's listening to everything that you say. It is recording you. And now police are trying to get a -- through a court order, trying to get the tape to be able to solve a murder case. If that happens, the police will be able to grab all private conversations from your home, if they suspect you of something. Are you comfortable with that?

CALLER: Well, I'm like you, Glenn, to a point I'm saying, "I love it." As a law-abiding citizen, never been involved in a crime, love to be able to solve these issues.

JEFFY: Right. Nothing to be scared of.

CALLER: But, man, I don't know where you're going to draw the line.

PAT: That's exactly right. That's right. And the problem is, a lot of people will say, "Well, I don't care if they're listening. I'm not saying anything wrong."

Well, that's not up to you to decide, is it?

CALLER: Right.

PAT: Because it might be wrong to whomever is listening, or they might make it into something wrong.

JEFFY: And can. And have.

PAT: And have.

GLENN: Just with the regulations that they've put in, in the last eight years, everybody is breaking some law.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: And I'm not saying that this -- I'm not saying this is happening now. I'm saying, you don't worry about who's in office today. For instance, I gave the Democrats this warning eight years ago: Don't do this with executive power.

PAT: Right.

GLENN: Because you're not always going to hold power. And when somebody else comes in and wields that same stick --

PAT: And now look at them. Look at them. Freaking out.

JEFFY: Yeah, I know.

GLENN: And now they're freaking out. Right.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: And I'm saying the same thing now to the Republicans: Don't do this because you're not always going to be in power. I don't know who the next Hitler is. I have no idea. But one will appear. If you give all of this power, all of this information, all of this regulation and we instill it behind one man, we're begging for someone to step in, in an emergency and take care of things for us.

Back in just a second.

[break]

GLENN: Holy cow. I'm listening to these fat cats and what they got for Christmas. Because we're talking about Alexa, Google Home, PlayStation 4.

Santa brought a PlayStation 4 for my son, which I had a talk with the fat man, and I informed him, "My son -- fat men, we have a council. We have a council meeting. All fat men get together. And Santa is not the chairman of the board this year. I am.

And -- but, you know, just watching -- he was playing Star Wars with it yesterday, and he gets so wrapped up.

JEFFY: I know.

GLENN: You know, with a 50-inch screen, he gets so wrapped up into it.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: When you put -- and when you put -- and he wanted it, virtual reality. And I just laughed. I'm like, no.

JEFFY: Oh, like I said, my kids fell in love with it.

GLENN: Oh. Totally immersive.

JEFFY: Right. That's all there is. I mean, you are in it.

GLENN: That's all there is. That is not good.

PAT: It does feel like you're there. It really does.

JEFFY: It really does. And when it can get better --

GLENN: You have it? Did you get it?

PAT: Yeah, my son has it. And, fortunately, he took it with him to college. But he has it, and I tried it a few times. And it's pretty amazing.

JEFFY: Yeah. It is.

GLENN: So you got virtual reality. And the Curve? Did you get a Curve TV?

JEFFY: I have one of the 55 Curves for the house. It was for the house.

PAT: Oh, nice.

GLENN: What is that like?

JEFFY: It's actually really nice. It looks a lot bigger. The old 55 was a piece of junk.

GLENN: Oh, I know.

JEFFY: That thing had to go. That had to go. I got so sick of looking at that thing.

GLENN: How much are those now? Can you get them at Costco yet?

PAT: Oh, I'm sure you can. Oh, yeah.

GLENN: I'm never buying a TV again unless it's from Costco.

JEFFY: Yeah, Costco or Sam's. I mean, you can get all those there. It's under 1,000.

GLENN: Under 1,000?

JEFFY: Yeah.

PAT: Was it really?

JEFFY: Yeah.

PAT: Nice.

GLENN: And you got a 4K?

PAT: I got the -- yeah, my wife really went crazy.

GLENN: Your wife bought it for you?

PAT: I couldn't believe it. I could not believe it.

GLENN: Why -- that's not her at all.

JEFFY: That is not.

PAT: That thing is huge. It's a big TV. And it's ultra high-definition. It's a 75-inch.

GLENN: 75-inch 4K!

PAT: Ultra high-definition 4K.

JEFFY: Do you have that in the --

GLENN: It's more expensive than your house.

PAT: Yes, it is.

GLENN: Is anything broadcast in that?

PAT: Yeah, Netflix is broadcast in that.

JEFFY: Yeah.

PAT: The new original series. I don't know if all shows are.

GLENN: No.

JEFFY: I don't know if the one that reaches you is though.

PAT: What?

JEFFY: Like the cable companies --

GLENN: Yeah, they won't do 4K. That's a lot of space.

PAT: Yeah, some of them are in 4K. I think there's certain cable stations --

GLENN: That is a waste of money. That is a total waste of money.

PAT: It's unbelievable.

The things that are in 4K are unbelievable.

GLENN: I've seen it.

PAT: It's so vivid, and it makes all my other TVs look, you know, like they're from the '50s. Like they're from the '50s.

GLENN: Yeah, like the old standard --

JEFFY: I know. That's the way I felt with the old 55 --

GLENN: You watch TheBlaze on same cable channels, it is high definition. On some cable, they only give us standard.

You watch it in standard, it's like -- it's like watching from the 1970s.

PAT: Oh, standard television --

GLENN: Is awful.

PAT: Once you're used to high-definition, the standard is just --

GLENN: And 4K is just as much.

PAT: It looks blurry. And then 4K is that much better. Yeah, it makes HD look like standard. It's pretty amazing.

JEFFY: I mean, I want to apologize, but I'm still driving my car. I don't know. I like the way I feel driving to work.

GLENN: What are you talking about?

JEFFY: You're still -- I mean, you don't -- you have a car that just takes you places now, right?

GLENN: No.

JEFFY: What?

GLENN: Are you talking about the Tesla --

JEFFY: The future. We're talking about all this future stuff.

GLENN: I know.

JEFFY: People are going to be not driving soon. Soon.

GLENN: Very soon. I predict by 2030, you will not be allowed to drive. You will not be allowed --

PAT: I think that's a safe prediction.

GLENN: So let's talk about virtual reality --

JEFFY: Yes.

GLENN: -- and the drive to work.

JEFFY: Yeah.

GLENN: And some of the new technology that people are just gobbling up.

[break]

GLENN: Let me go to Chip in Ohio. Hello, Chip.

CALLER: Hey, guys.

GLENN: Hey.

CALLER: I do some work for a company that does work for Google, and I can tell you that there -- that the reason -- there's a big reason why Google Home and Google Now work better than Alexa, and it's because Alexa really mostly just has access to -- they either have access to what you search when you shop, or they have access to just what you say, and that's how it learns. Meanwhile, Google, when everything gets set up, they look at everything -- you know, they look at anything you search, when you're searching Google. They have all these different accounts to look at.

PAT: Oh.

CALLER: And so they pull from a lot more information.

PAT: Of course.

CALLER: Yeah, and it's a lot smart.

JEFFY: Right.

PAT: You know, there's a funny video -- this is interesting you mentioned that. Because there's a funny video on the web right now that's gone viral about this little boy -- cute little guy --

GLENN: I saw it.

PAT: -- asking for hot diggity giggity or something.

GLENN: Yeah.

PAT: And he asks, "Okay. Google, hot giggity -- or, Alexa. I forget which one.

JEFFY: It was Alexa.

PAT: Is it Alexa?

JEFFY: It was Amazon. Yeah.

PAT: And Alexa perceives it as some sort of porn. So is that because her parents -- his parents were watching porn or searching for porn or?

CALLER: No. Actually with that -- and that's something else I work on. I can't really talk a whole lot else about it, but no, see, Amazon the way that they do their product, it's got to learn from it. And if Alexa doesn't have a base to work off of, then it --

JEFFY: It goes back to like a generic mindset.

CALLER: I'm guessing Alexa just learns from the internet, while the Google Now Home products, they learn from people that get on and do work and say, "No, you don't want to show porn."

JEFFY: Right.

CALLER: Or if the parents have a special setting turned on, the Google products can say, "Okay. A child is messing with this. And even though I think he may be looking for porn, he's just a child, and I need to stop and not let him see it."

PAT: Oh, the Google will do that for you?

CALLER: There's -- there are settings you can do. Parental settings, that kind of thing.

JEFFY: Wow.

PAT: Yeah.

CALLER: But, yeah, it's also -- they actually have people do work to make sure that the kids are safe online, that kind of stuff.

GLENN: So, Chip, I don't know if you can say this, but, I mean, it's pretty well-known. The reason why Google is doing all of this -- and the search engine, the reason why it's free is because -- and the same thing here is they are trying to develop artificial intelligence. And so they're using all of this information as a way to map how the human brain and how humans interact and how they think.

And so the -- you are -- you're looking at the benefit. Oh, this is great. I get this.

Their benefit -- the reason why this is so cost-effective for you in the home is because they want all of that information because they're -- they're striving for artificial intelligence. And if there is one company that I think would do it, it would be Google. Because as you said, Chip, they have access to absolutely everything.

CALLER: Yeah, I can't comment a whole lot on that to tell you whether or not you might be right. But what I can say: It may make you feel a little bit better, is whenever we do our work, we're not -- you know, we're not told to bias anything in a certain way.

GLENN: Sure.

CALLER: They really want it to be how -- they want it to be something that works for everyone because it -- but, you know, I -- I don't know about maybe if they're doing anything like that, like you're talking about.

GLENN: Well, I will tell you this, I'm not assigning anything nefarious.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: I mean, it's a private corporation. And AI would be exceptional to have. I mean, you've already said, Chip, and we should probably cut this conversation with you because you don't get into any trouble here. But when -- you know, as Chip was saying a second ago, that they're using all of the information. The goal is eventually to be able to say -- you're reading something, and it's starting to now think like you are. So it is the ultimate assistant.

And so it knows what you're reading because you're reading it on your device. It knows what you've underlined. It knows when you -- for instance, it has all of my patterns of when I read. It knows that I go and I will highlight a name or I will jump off and I will look for additional information. It will already do those things.

And so when you get up in the morning, it will say, "Hey, Glenn, I noticed that last night you were reading such-and-such. Would you like some more information? I did some research. I think you'll find this really interesting. Or, I know you've been talking about your anniversary is coming up and I know that you've been talking to your assistant -- because it's reading my mail about setting something up for your anniversary -- have you considered these things because I also read Tania's mail?"

JEFFY: Right.

GLENN: "And I know she's interested right now in these things." That's -- there's nothing nefarious about it.

JEFFY: But first let me get you a cup of coffee. Oh, how great is that going to be?

GLENN: Yeah.

CALLER: Well, I'll just say -- and I'll just get off of here, but, yeah, I'll just say, no comment on that.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

CALLER: You can figure that out.

GLENN: Yeah.

CALLER: But, yeah. Yeah, no comment.

GLENN: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

I mean, there's no secret to that.

JEFFY: Yeah.

GLENN: I mean, he probably can't talk about it because of his nondisclosures. But there's nothing nefarious about that. The question is: Where do you draw the line?

At what point do you say, "I don't want to go any further than this?"

JEFFY: There's -- I don't think there is a line anymore.

GLENN: I don't think there is either.

JEFFY: No.

GLENN: This is what -- Al Gore talks about it in the first chapter of his book, that nobody read, the idea of transhumanism. And transhumanism is targeted to be about 2030. And that is the merging of man and machine, where artificial intelligence is so good that you will -- that you will automatically upload things. You'll be able to download some of your thoughts and upload some new information.

Well, who's -- how are you going to compete, if you don't want to do that?

Right now, think of our conversations. It's the ten-year anniversary of the smartphone, of the i Phone, this year. Ten-year anniversary. Ten years.

Now think about conversations. Because we just had them. We were up at the ranch.

JEFFY: Wow.

GLENN: We don't really have devices. So you're up at the ranch. And you're playing cards or you're playing a game. Nobody has Google out -- where you're talking about a story, where you're saying, "Hey, what was the name of that?" You actually have to search for it in your own mind, "No, no, it was something like that. No, I'll think about it in a second." We don't have those conversations anymore. Because you start down that road, and somebody has it and they've done the Google search.

JEFFY: Yeah.

GLENN: When that is merged with you, think of the power that you have as an individual. When you are able to access the internet inside your own self. That's 2030.

I am convinced -- I was with my sister and her son over the holiday, and she got in VR goggles. And I looked at her and I went, "Are you out of your mind?"

She's like, "Oh, no, they're great. Have you seen -- no, yeah, I've seen them.

It's the end -- I'm convinced, the end of civilization.

JEFFY: I just want to ride the rollercoaster. That's all. What are you talking about?

GLENN: No, I know you do.

But if you look at where that's headed -- when you have -- and by 2025, you'll have this. When you have the virtual suit that you can put on --

JEFFY: Yeah, when you're able to feel -- when you're able to feel when you're riding or whatever you're doing and you're able to actually feel the sensation, you're already reaching for things, and you can't.

GLENN: Yeah. When you can reach -- when you can reach out and grab something --

JEFFY: Yes.

GLENN: When someone can tap you on the shoulder in VR and you can feel it --

JEFFY: Yeah.

PAT: Can you imagine, they have these horror scenarios that you watch on these --

GLENN: Black Mirror.

JEFFY: If they can reach out and touch you.

PAT: If you can reach out and touch, oh, my gosh. Terrifying. It would be terrifying.

JEFFY: Yeah.

GLENN: So now imagine -- and we've talked about this before: Imagine. My life is just a piece of crap.

JEFFY: Right.

GLENN: I just go to work. I don't have a job that I like. I don't have any satisfaction. I -- just, you know, I have a crappy life.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: I'm just not making it. But I can afford VR, and I can afford the internet, and I can afford -- I'll save up for this suit. I go out and I just do my job, dead to the world. Just dead to the world.

JEFFY: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: I'm just living for my paycheck to feed and to be able to pay for the internet and the services that I want.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: I go home, I get into the suit, I now have a girlfriend who can touch me. She learns all about me.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: I have an assistant. I have the virtual -- I live in a palace.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: Everything I -- everything I do. And then I take off the goggles, and I'm back to this world.

Oh, I'm telling you, it is the end of civilization.

PAT: Because the other world will be so much better for so many people.

JEFFY: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: So many people. It's created for you. How can it not be? It's personalized to fit your every want and need. Tell me how you don't end up in the matrix. Back in just a second.

[break]

GLENN: By the way, talked about this stuff, if you want to read a book, we read it as a family, it is fantastic. And it talks about this coming world. It's called Ready Player One. It came out a few years ago. Best-seller. Steven Spielberg just bought it. Making a movie in the next couple of years. And it's really good. And it talks about this virtual world and what it's really going to be like and how the corporations and the government have kind of intertwined -- it's really fascinating. It's called Ready Player One.

Did anybody see Rogue One?

PAT: Yeah, I liked it. I liked it a lot.

GLENN: Yeah. I thought -- when I watched it, I thought, you know --

PAT: It wasn't fabulous, but it was really good.

GLENN: It wasn't fabulous. It a good movie -- it was a really good movie. For a secondary story line, it's a fantastic movie.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: And it's just a printing press for Disney.

PAT: Oh, my gosh.

GLENN: Think of what Disney has now: Disney has the Marvel series. They own Marvel.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: They own Pixar. And they own Star Wars.

PAT: That's a pretty good lineup.

GLENN: What else do they need?

PAT: It's a pretty good lineup.

GLENN: I mean, that's an amazing company.

PAT: Not to mention the parks. Yeah, they're --

GLENN: ABC Television.

PAT: ABC TV. Yeah, they're pretty well set.

GLENN: When ABC Television is kind of like the junk, you know what I mean? You're kind of like, "Oh, you work for that part of Disney."

PAT: Unless it's ESPN. Because I think ESPN is probably more valuable than ABC is now.

GLENN: Yeah, ESPN. Oh, it is. Oh, it is.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: ESPN. Except, what was the controversy on ESPN over the holiday?

Oh, there was something that I read about ESPN. Maybe it was just a year in review, talking about how ESPN is losing viewership because they have become so politically correct.

JEFFY: They're so PC, yeah.

PAT: Oh, that could be.

JEFFY: That could be.

GLENN: I saw a research report on -- on Facebook, and the difference between Republicans and Democrats. And I couldn't believe how different we are.

The people who said that they were voting for a Republican versus the people who said they were voting for Democrats, like 60 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Republicans said they were NFL -- also liked the NFL or an NFL team. And only like 40 percent of Democrats.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: It's a weird split.

PAT: Really?

GLENN: Yeah. Really weird split.

PAT: And yet it's interesting. Because any time you listen to a sports station, any time they get on politics, completely liberal.

JEFFY: Oh, yeah.

PAT: And it's just agonizing to listen to them.

GLENN: And I think that's part of the problem with ESPN.

PAT: It is.

GLENN: ESPN appeals to the heartland, except they don't understand that.

JEFFY: They're not.

PAT: Yeah, they --

GLENN: Yeah. I don't -- I mean, have you guys ever noticed a split between people who live in New York and football? I mean, I was shocked by that. It was -- it was -- I'm trying to remember. I think it was also there were more conservatives or more Republicans that followed soccer than Democrats.

PAT: Oh, that can't be, because soccer fans are communists. We all know that.

(laughter)

GLENN: Right. That's what I thought. They're all open border communists.

PAT: That's right. It just can't be.

(laughter)

JEFFY: It's already flawed. We're not talking about it anymore --

GLENN: Yeah, soccer. You guys making a New Year's resolution?

PAT: No, I never do that. It's a waste of time. I gave that up for lent, a long time ago. And I don't even do lent.

JEFFY: Well, that is your resolution.

PAT: Yeah, it is. Not to make -- you know, I just try to do better and then leave it at that. Because any time you make a resolution --

GLENN: And that's why you never really get anything done.

PAT: And that's why I never really improve.

GLENN: Right. That's why you're the same man you were -- I met 30 years ago.

PAT: Probably even worse. You know, I've gone backward. I've gone backwards.

GLENN: Yeah.

PAT: So it's not working well for me.

GLENN: Yeah, I've never kept a New Years resolution.

PAT: Has anybody?

JEFFY: Oh.

PAT: We should ask. I mean, I would love to hear of somebody who has -- you know, for ten or 15 or 20 years kept a resolution. Even for 15 minutes, have you kept a resolution?

(laughter)

JEFFY: Go to the gym every day. You know, working out, eating better, feeling good.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh.

PAT: That never happens. That never happens.

GLENN: We as a family -- we as a family -- we were buying somebody a gym membership, and, you know, it got to me.

You know, you want to -- you want to donate for the gym -- I said, "They're never going to use that. They're never going to use that."

Oh, no, but they really need to.

"Yeah, I know they need to."

PAT: They really need to.

JEFFY: We all need to.

GLENN: Yeah, no, but they're really talking about getting healthy.

"They're not going to get healthy."

PAT: Yeah. No. No.

GLENN: Maybe if you buy maybe a couple of times to the gym, they'll use that. Not the membership. Forget it.

Featured Image: Bradley Hook, Pexels

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.