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

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history.

The Allied invasion force included 5,000 ships and landing craft, 11,000 planes, and almost three million allied soldiers, airmen and sailors. Despite such numbers, the location and timing of the invasion was still an enormous gamble. The Nazis fully expected such an invasion, they just didn't know precisely when or where it would be.

Despite the enormous logistics involved, the gamble worked and by the end of June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied troops were ashore in Normandy. The human cost was also enormous – over 4,900 American troops died on D-Day. That number doubled over the next month as they fought to establish a foothold in northern France.

There were five beach landing zones on the coast of northwestern France, divided among the Allies. They gave each landing zone a name. Canada was responsible for "Juno." Britain was responsible for "Gold" and "Sword." And the U.S. had "Utah" and "Omaha."

The Nazis were dug in with bunkers, machine guns, artillery, mines, barbed wire, and other obstacles to tangle any attempt to come ashore. Of the five beaches, Omaha was by far the most heavily defended. Over 2,500 U.S. soldiers were killed at Omaha – the beach so famously depicted in the opening battle sequence of the 1998 movie, Saving Private Ryan. The real-life assault on Omaha Beach included 34 men in that first wave of attack who came from the same small town of Bedford, Virginia. The first Americans to die on Omaha Beach were the men from Bedford.

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America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it.

America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it. Maybe that's because it wasn't a government project and it's not in Washington DC. It was initiated and financed by veterans and private citizens. It's tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the small town of Bedford, Virginia. Why is the memorial for one of the most famous days in modern world history in such a tiny town? Because, as a proportion of its population of just 3,200 at the time, no community in the U.S. sacrificed more men on D-Day than Bedford.

There were 34 men in Company A from Bedford. Of those thirty-four, 23 died in the first wave of attacks. Six weeks after D-Day, the town's young telegraph operator was overwhelmed when news of many of the first deaths clattered across the Western Union line on the same day. Name after name of men and families that she knew well. There were so many at once that she had to enlist the help of customers in the pharmacy's soda shop to help deliver them all.

Among those killed in action were brothers Bedford and Raymond Hoback. Bedford was the rambunctious older brother with a fiancée back home that he couldn't wait to return to. Raymond was the quieter, more disciplined younger brother who could often be found reading his Bible. He fell in love with a British woman during his two years in England training for D-Day. Like in that opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, Bedford and Raymond barely made it down the ramp of their Higgins Boat in the swarm of bullets and hot steel before they were cut down in the wet sand.

Bedford and Raymond Hoback's mother, Macie, learned of both their deaths from two separate telegrams, the first on a Sunday morning, the second the following day. Their younger sister, Lucille, remembered her mother's devastation, and her father walking out to the barn to cry.

The day after D-Day, the killing field of Omaha Beach was already transforming into the massive supply port that would help fuel the American drive all the way to Berlin over the next year. A soldier from West Virginia was walking along the beach when he saw something jutting out of the sand. He reached down and pulled it out. He was surprised to find it was a Bible. The inside cover was inscribed with: "Raymond S. Hoback, from mother, Christmas, 1938." The soldier wrote a letter and mailed it with the Bible to Raymond's mother. That Bible, which likely tumbled from Raymond's pack when he fell on D-Day, became Macie Hoback's most cherished possession – the only personal belonging of her son that was ever returned.

Of the 23 Bedford men who died on Omaha Beach, eleven were laid to rest in the American cemetery in Normandy.

These men, many of them barely out of their teens, didn't sign up to march to the slaughter of course. They had hopes and dreams just like you and I. Many of them signed up for adventure, or because of peer pressure, and yes, a sense of honor and duty. Many of the Bedford Boys first signed up for the National Guard just to make a few extra bucks per month, get to hang out with their buddies, and enjoy target practice. But someone had to be first at Omaha Beach and that responsibility fell to the men from Bedford.

Over the last several years, the D-Day anniversary gets increasingly sad. Because each year, there are fewer and fewer men alive who were actually in Normandy on June 6, 1944. The last of the surviving Bedford Boys died in 2009. Most of the remaining D-Day veterans who are still with us are too frail to make the pilgrimage to France for the anniversary ceremonies like they used to.

It's difficult to think about losing these World War II veterans, because once they're all gone, we'll lose that tether to a time when the nation figured out how to be a better version of itself.

Not that they were saints and did everything right. They were as human as we are, with all the fallibility that entails. But in some respects, they were better. Because they went, and they toughed it out, and they accomplished an incredibly daunting mission, with sickening hardship, heartbreak, and terror along the way.

So, what does the anniversary of D-Day mean in 2019?

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough.

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough. You can't learn about the logistics of the operation and above all, the human cost, and not be humbled. But as a society, we have not emphasized well enough the story of D-Day and all that it represents. How can I say that? Because of an example just last weekend, when common sense got booed by Democratic Socialists at the California Democrats' State Convention. When Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper said during his speech that "socialism is not the answer," the crowd booed loudly. When did telling the truth about socialism become controversial?

Sure, socialists, and communists and other anti-American factions have always been around. America certainly had socialists in 1944. But the current socialists trying to take over the Democratic Party like a virus don't believe in the D-Day sacrifices to preserve America, because they don't believe America is worth preserving. They are agitating to reform America using the authoritarian playbook that has only ended in death and destruction everywhere it is followed.

Ask a Venezuelan citizen, or an Iraqi Christian, or a North Korean peasant why D-Day still matters in 2019.

The further we move away from caring about pivotal events like June 6, 1944, the less chance of survival we have as a nation.

At the same time, the D-Day anniversary is a reminder that we're not done yet. It's an opportunity for us to remember and let that inform how we live.

Near the end of Saving Private Ryan, the fictional Captain Miller lays dying, and he gives one last instruction to Private Ryan, the young man that he and his unit have sacrificed their lives to rescue in Normandy. He says, "Earn it."

In other words, don't waste the sacrifices that were made so that your life could be saved. Live it well. The message to "earn it" extends to the viewer and the nation as well – can we say we're earning the sacrifices that were made by Americans on D-Day? I cringe to think how our few remaining World War II veterans might answer that.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more. I don't want to believe it's too late for us to rediscover those traits as a nation. I want to believe we can still earn it.

The challenge to "earn it" is a lot of pressure. Frankly, it's impossible. We can't fully earn the liberty that we inherited. But we can certainly try to earn it. Not trying is arrogant and immoral. And to tout socialism as the catch-all solution is naïve, and insulting to the men like those from Bedford who volunteered to go defend freedom. In truly striving to earn it, we help keep the flame of liberty aglow for future generations. It is necessary, honorable work if freedom is to survive.

The end of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is remarkably relevant for every anniversary of June 6, 1944. This is what D-Day still means in 2019:

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Letter from Corporal H.W. Crayton to Mr. and Mrs. Hoback – parents of Bedford and Raymond Hoback who were both killed in action on June 6, 1944

Álvaro Serrano/Unsplash

July 9, 1944 Somewhere in France

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Hoback:

I really don't know how to start this letter to you folks, but will attempt to do something in words of writing. I will try to explain in the letter what this is all about.

While walking along the Beach D-day Plus One, I came upon this Bible and as most any person would do I picked it up from the sand to keep it from being destroyed. I knew that most all Bibles have names & addresses within the cover so I made it my business to thumb through the pages until I came upon the name above. Knowing that you no doubt would want the Book returned I am sending it knowing that most Bibles are a book to be cherished. I would have sent it sooner but have been quite busy and thought it best if a short period of time elapsed before returning it.

You have by now received a letter from your son saying he is well. I sincerely hope so.

I imagine what has happened is that your son dropped the Book without any notice. Most everybody who landed on the Beach D-Day lost something. I for one as others did lost most of my personal belongings, so you see how easy it was to have dropped the book and not know about it.

Everything was in such a turmoil that we didn't have a chance until a day or so later to try and locate our belongings.

Since I have arrived here in France I have had occasion to see a little of the country and find it quite like parts of the U.S.A. It is a very beautiful country, more so in peace time. War does change everything as it has this country. One would hardly think there was a war going on today. Everything is peaceful & quiet. The birds have begun their daily practice, all the flowers and trees are in bloom, especially the poppies & tulips which are very beautiful at this time of the year.

Time goes by so quickly as it has today. I must close hoping to hear that you receive the Bible in good shape.

Yours very truly,

Cpl. H.W. Crayton

It's not as easy as it used to be for billion-dollar entertainment empires like The Walt Disney Company. It would be more streamlined for Disney to produce its major motion pictures in its own backyard. After all, abortion in California is readily available, as well as a protected, cherished right. And since abortion access is critical for movie production, right up there with lighting equipment and craft services, you would think California would be the common-sense choice for location shooting. Alas, even billion-dollar studios must pinch pennies these days. So, in recent years, Disney, among other major Hollywood studios, has been farming out production to backwater Southern lands like Georgia, and even Louisiana. Those states offer more generous tax breaks than Disney's native California. As a result, Georgia for example, played host to much of the shooting for the recent worldwide box office smash Avengers: Endgame.

But now it looks like it's Georgia's endgame. The state recently passed what is known as a "heartbeat" bill – a vicious, anti-woman law that would try to make pregnant women allow their babies to be born and actually live. It's a bridge too far for a major studio like Disney, which was largely built on creating family entertainment. How can Disney possibly go about making quality movies, often aimed at children, without access to unfettered abortion? It's unconscionable. Lack of abortion access makes it nearly impossible to shoot movies. So, what's a major studio to do? Disney might have considered migrating its business to Louisiana, but that state too has now signed a heartbeat bill into law. It's utter madness.

These monstrous anti-abortion bills, coupled with having to live under President Trump, has led Disney to seek a new home for its legendary movie magic. Last week, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, announced that all future Disney movies will now be filmed on location in the Sub-Saharan African nation of Wakanda.

"Disney and Wakanda are a match made in heaven," Iger told reporters. "Wakanda was, until recently, a secret kingdom, much like our own Magic Kingdom. With this new partnership, we'll not only get to continue our legacy of making movies that parents and children everywhere enjoy together, but we'll get to do so in a safe space that reveres abortion as much as we do."

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion.

As home to the most advanced technology in the world – and with the planet's highest per-capita concentration of wokeness – Wakanda offers women painless, hassle-free abortion on demand. As the Wakandan health ministry website explains, the complete absence of any white-patriarchal-Judeo-Christian influence allows women in Wakanda to have complete control of their own bodies (with the exception of females who are still fetuses). As winner of the U.N.'s 2018 Golden Forceps award (the U.N.'s highest abortion honor) Wakanda continues its glowing record on abortion. That makes it an ideal location for Disney's next round of live-action remakes of its own animated movies in which the company plans to remove all male characters.

Iger says he hopes to convince Wakandan leadership to share their top-secret vibranium-based abortion procedure technology so that American women can enjoy the same convenient, spa-like abortion treatment that Wakandan women have enjoyed for years.

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion. Disney plans to boycott and/or retaliate against the other 51 African nations, as well as any U.S. states, that restrict abortion. Specific plans are being kept under wraps, but sources say Disney's potential retaliation may include beaming Beverly Hills Chihuahua into the offending territories on a continuous, indefinite loop.

When asked how Wakanda's futuristic capital city and distinctly African landscape would be able to double for American movie locations, Iger said, "I guess America will just have to look more like Wakanda from now on."

One potential wrinkle for the Left-leaning studio is the fact that Wakanda has an impenetrable border wall-shield-thing designed to keep out foreign invaders as well as illegal immigrants. Iger said he understands Wakanda's policy of exclusivity, adding, "After all, not everyone gets into Disneyland. You have to have a ticket to get in. Anyone is welcome, but you have to go through the process of getting a ticket." When one reporter pointed out that Iger's answer sounded like the conservative argument for legal immigration under the rule of law, Iger insisted that the reporter was "a moronic fascist."

What if the unthinkable happens and Florida also enacts its own "heartbeat" law? That would be problematic since Walt Disney World is located in Florida. Iger responded that Disney would "cross that bridge if we get to it" but that the most likely scenario would entail "dismantling Disney World piece-by-piece and relocating it to the actual happiest place on earth – Wakanda." As for whether Disney would ever open character-themed abortion clinics inside its theme parks, Iger remained coy, but said, "Well, it is the place where dreams come true."

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice.

When pressed about the cost of ramping up production in a secretive African kingdom that has no existing moviemaking infrastructure (which could easily end up being much more expensive than simply shooting in California) Iger said, "You can't put a price tag on abortion freedom. Wakanda Forever and Abortion Forever!"

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice. And that will be welcome relief to traditional families all over the world who keep the Walt Disney Company in business.

*Disclaimer: The preceding story is a parody. Bob Iger did not actually say any of the quotes in the story. Neither is Wakanda an actual nation on planet Earth.

"Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris," is a podcast featuring conversations about how faith has guided newsmakers and celebrities through their best and worst times. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a much maligned religion so Glenn joined the podcast and took the time to explain what it means to him and how it changed his life.

From his suicidal days and his battle with drugs and alcohol, it was his wife Tania and his faith that saved him. All his ups and downs have given him the gift of empathy and he says he now understands the "cry for mercy" — something he wishes he'd given out more of over the years.

You can catch the whole podcast on any of the platforms listed below.

- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- TuneIn
- Spotify
- Stitcher
- ABC News app

One of these times I'm going to go on vacation, and I'm just not going to come back. I learn so much on a farm.

You want to know how things work, go spend a summer on a farm. You're having problems with your son or daughter, go spend a summer on a farm.

My son changed. Over two weeks.

Getting him out of bed, getting him to do anything, is like insane. He's a 15-year-old kid. Going all through the normal 15-year-old boy stuff. Getting him on the farm, where he was getting up and actually accomplishing stuff, having to build or mend fences, was amazing. And it changed him.

RELATED: 'Human Wave Theory': Connecting the dots on the strategic attack on our border

Our society does not allow our kids to grow up, ever. I am convinced that our 15-year-olds could be fixing all kinds of stuff. Could be actually really making an impact in a positive way in our society. And what's wrong with our society is, we have gotten away from how things actually work. We're living in this theoretical world. When you're out on a farm, there's no theory here. If it rains, the crops will grow. If it rains too much, the crops won't grow.

If there's no sun, they won't grow. If there's too much sun, they'll shrivel up and die. There's no theory. We were out mending fences. Now, when I say the phrase to you, mending fences, what does that mean? When you think of mending fences, you think of, what?

Coming together. Bringing people together. Repairing arguments.

I've never mended a fence before until I started stringing a fence and I was like, "I ain't doing this anymore! Where is it broken? Can't we just tie a piece of barbed wire together?"

Let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

That's called mending fences.

And why do you mend fences? So your animals don't get out and start to graze on somebody else's land. When your fence goes down, your cow is now on somebody else's land. And your cow is now eating their food.

We look at the phrase, mending fences as saying, hey. You know, we were both wrong. Mending fences has nothing to do with that.

Mending fences means build a wall. My neighbors and I, we're going to get along fine, as long as my cows don't go and steal their food, or their cows don't come over and steal my cow's food.

We're perfectly neighborly with each other, until one of us needs to mend a fence, because, dude, you got to mend that, because your cows keep coming over and eating my food.

You know what we need to do with Mexico? Mend fences.

Now, that's a phrase. You hear build a wall. That's horrible.

No, no, no. We need to mend fences.

In a farming community, that means putting up an electric fence. That means putting up barbed wire.

So the cows — because the cows will — they'll stick their head through barbed wire. And they'll eat the grass close to the road. Or eat the grass close to the other side of the fence. And they'll get their heads in between those fences. And they can't get out sometimes. Because the grass is always greener on the other side. You look at these damn cows and say turn around, cow — there's plenty of stuff over here.

No. They want the grass on the other side of the fence.

So you mend it.

And if it's really bad, you do what we do. We had to put an electric fence up. Now, imagine putting an electric fence up. That seems pretty radical and expensive.

Does it really work? Does it shock them? What does that feel like to a cow?

The cows hit it once, and then they don't hit it again. They can actually hear the buzz of the electric fence. There's a warning. Don't do it. Don't do it. They hear the current and they hit it once and they're like, "I'm not going to do that again."

So you mend fences, which means, keep your stuff on your side. I like you. We're good neighbors. You keep your stuff on your side and I'll keep my stuff on my side and we'll get together at the town hall and we'll see each other at the grocery store. Because we're good neighbors. But what stops us from fighting is knowing that there is a fence there.

This is my stuff. That's your stuff. But we can still trade and we'll help each other. But let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

You can have a tough fence. It could be a giant wall. It could be an electric fence. But you need one. And that's how you come together.

The side that's having the problem, mends the fence.