Our Kids Will Never Know Summers Like We Experienced — And That Is Heartbreaking

You know, one of the most heartbreaking things to me as a dad is the memory of what this country used to be like and the knowledge now that if you were born anywhere from 1998, 1995, really, to today, you have no memory at all of what this country was like before September 11th.

September 11th changed absolutely everything. The Clinton administration was the beginning of this, this nastiness that just went beyond where we started pitting against each other, if you were a liberal or a conservative.

If you voted for this guy, you were part of the problem. I don't remember that when I was a kid. I posted something this weekend on Facebook about leadership. And honestly, it was something for me. It was something that I've been trying to study to be a better leader at my home and also at the office. It had nothing to do with politics. And, man, it just set everybody off.

The liberals and the conservatives were just screaming at each other. I wrote in the comment section: When did we become this? When did politics become absolutely everything? When did that happen to us?

It's summer. Do you remember what summer was like when you were a kid? The last day of school? Do you remember the last week? All you did was just look outside. And there was just this really great feeling --- that butterfly in your stomach, that excitement for what's about to happen.

We might have butterflies in our stomach now, but it's more of a "I think I'm going to vomit feeling" when you're thinking about what might happen. Back then, it was just excitement. When that last bell rang, you said goodbye to your teacher and you knew you were graduating to another class, just down the hall and you were a bigger kid now. It was like being freed. Suddenly, you had no obligations. Nothing jamming up your days. Nothing to force you to bed early every night. The next three months seemed like a year or a decade.

I look back at my childhood, and it's the summers that I really remember. It's not the school days. At least in early childhood, it is the summer that marked you. And every summer was different and more exciting.

It's different than it is now because we weren't restricted as much. Our parents weren't freaking out that somebody might invite us into the house, eat us and lock our remains in the freezer. It was simpler times. We didn't worry about the cannibal down the street.

The whole town was fair game for us. We would get our friends together, and we would leave early in the morning. Mom would just say, "Be home for dinner." And then after dinner, it would be, "Just get home before the street lights go out." Didn't happen until 10 o'clock sometimes where I lived, up in the north. Well, the street lights don't go out anymore.

As I got up in the morning, it would be freezing cold in my room because up in the Pacific northwest, it can get down to 40 at night, 50 at night. It was just great. And you could smell the freshly mown glass. The sprinklers would be on, and it would just gently coax you out of bed. You would get dressed. You would have to finish your chores; maybe you had to mow the lawn in the morning first thing, and you would race out the door.

The day would usually be mine because on those days I didn't have to work as a kid, we would just go out. Both my parents were working. And you would just go out, and the day was completely yours. You didn't close the door. You just let go of the screen door with that giant spring at the top, just slap the front of the house.

I loved the smell of lilacs because they remind me of that time. And they'd just fill your nostrils with that great smell, until I would clog up from allergies, mainly from the lawn that I had just mowed.

If we could scrounge up a quarter, we'd walk or we'd take our bike to the A&W Root Beer place, and we would have a cold frosty root beer. If we were really fortunate and wealthy, we would somehow or another scrape up enough change to make a dollar and get a Mama Burger (the Papa Burger was far too expensive). Then that hot summer day turned into a warm summer night. Sometimes, we could convince our parents to let us sleep outside, which, of course, would lead to middle of the night ghost stories or talking about girls. "I don't know, have you talked to her? I mean, does she like me? Do you know? What's your friend say?" Even though you had absolutely no chance of ever talking to any of the girls, you talked about the girls a lot.

And perhaps some would play, you know, like ding-dong ditch or something. You know, I wouldn't know what that was.

But it's a different world now. There are 500 channels on TV, every movie in the world available on demand --- on your TV, your computer, your phone. There's texting at the dinner table. Our kids don't even look at each other anymore, let alone go outside and play.

This summer, Raphe helped with a gate, stripping it down. Now we're working on the fence, around the cows. I was so proud of him, that he wanted to work. Actually, didn't want to work. He just wanted the money, but that's a step in the right direction. At least he knows he has to work to earn the money.

I got a job when I was eight years old, probably earlier than that, but I know for sure by eight I was working. It was 1972, and I was working in my dad's bakery. We didn't have to work every day during the summer, just most days during the summer. I had to work in the afternoons, and I would go down in the late afternoon and clean the pots and pans, scrape the floor and clean everything up once dad stopped.

And then I would go home. I got a $1.60. I'll never forget. It was a $1.60 an hour. And that was huge money. That was minimum wage. My sister would get paid more.

As we got older, my sisters also worked out in the front of the bakery. But as they got old enough, they could get a job someplace else if they wanted. As soon as my sister turned 18, she drove a big pea-viner. We lived in the Skagit Valley, and we had tulips and peas and all kinds of stuff. The pea viners would go out --- they were these gigantic machines --- and I remember thinking my sister was so cool because she could drive one of those. Then late in the day, we would go to my grandparents' house --- they had a raspberry farm --- and pick berries.

Kids aren't doing this now In 1986, 57 percent of Americans age 16 to 19 were employed --- almost 60 percent. Whether they were working at the Dairy Queen or the A&W, 60 percent were employed. I stayed at over 50 percent until 2002. But, again, something in America changed after 9/11. By last July, only 36 percent were working.

Now, there's a couple of reasons for this. One of the reasons is in 1986, only 12 percent of teenagers were going to a summer school. And, quite honestly, summer school was for dummies. When I was growing up, you went to summer school, "Wow, you had that many problems, huh?" Now, summer school numbers have risen to 42 percent. So almost half of the kids are going to summer school. A lot of these are because they're going to college, and they want to get ahead. I think we need summer school because our schools have failed us so horribly.

I went and got a graphic novel for my son this weekend. I've been trying to get him to read some of the classics, and he just will not read the classics. They're hard. I don't remember them being hard. You know, you read Frankenstein or even Dracula, anything. Now, the action is so slow, it takes so long. It was all about the story then. Now it's action, action, action or they get bored.

I tried to read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to him this summer. He just wouldn't sit for it. So I went to the Barnes & Noble, and I got the graphic novels. And they're true to the story. Well, he read Dr. Jekyll. He read Frankenstein and Dracula on Saturday and said, "I really want to read them. Dad, Frankenstein isn't anything like I thought."

"I know, son. I've been telling you that."

So now I think you have to go to summer school, but where do you get a job? The other reason why kids aren't working anymore is because there are more people that are older that are working. I think this is for two reasons: They know their pensions aren't coming true, so they have to work; also, I don't know about you, but I don't want to retire when I'm 65. Sixty-five used to be old. Sixty-five isn't old. I don't want to retire. What are you going to do? Shuffle around? Die? Go play golf?

I know there's a lot of people going, "Yes, Glenn, I'm going to go play golf." Play golf now. My father wanted to play golf. He waited his whole life: "You know, one day I'm going to retire. I'm going to play golf." By the time he retired, he couldn't play golf. His body was too destroyed. He retired. He couldn't wait to retire --- and then he went back to work. He was bored out of his mind.

The other reason kids aren't working is because of the minimum wage. When the minimum wage goes up and there's unemployment, people with experience who want to work will be hired. Businesses won't hire kids they have to train on what work is all about. They generally go to the people who have experience and know what work is all about. They'll hire them because they're more dependable.

Summer has changed, perhaps forever. Our kids may never experienced the lazy, idyllic days of summer like we did, working part-time and playing until dark --- and that makes my heart ache.

Editor’s Note: The following is based on an excerpt from The Glenn Beck Program on June 26, 2017.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

Faced with an oppressive government that literally burned people at the stake for printing Bibles, America's original freedom fighters risked it all for the same rights our government is starting to trample now. That's not the Pilgrim story our woke schools and corporate media will tell you. It's the truth, and it sounds a lot more like today's heroes in Afghanistan than the 1619 Project's twisted portrait of America.

This Thanksgiving season, Glenn Beck and WallBuilders president Tim Barton tell the full story of who the Pilgrims really were and what we must learn from them, complete with a sneak peek at the largest privately owned collection of Pilgrim artifacts.

Watch the video below

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Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden's nominee for comptroller of the currency, admitted she wants to fight climate change by bankrupting coal, oil, and gas companies. Alarmingly, Biden's U.S. special climate envoy, John Kerry, seemed to agree with Omarova when he said "by 2030 in the United States, we won't have coal" at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this month. But that could end in massive electrical blackouts and brownouts across the nation, BlazeTV host Glenn Beck warned.

Carol Roth, author of "The War On Small Business," joined "The Glenn Beck Program" to explain what experts say you can do now to prepare your family for potential coming power outages.

"It's interesting. Usually when I go out and talk to experts in areas that are not 100% core to my area of expertise and I say, 'I would like to give you credit.' Usually I get, 'OK, here's how you credit me.' But everyone is like, 'No, no. Let me tell you what happened, just don't use my name.' And this is across the country," Roth said. "This isn't just a California issue, which obviously [California] is leading the nation. But even experts out of Texas, people who are monitoring the electric grid are incredibly concerned about brownouts or blackouts now, already. So forget about 2030."

"You want to have a backup source of power," she continued. "Either a propane, diesel, or combo generator is something that you're going to want to have. Because in a state, for example like Texas, I'm told that once the state loses power, it will take a minimum of two weeks to restore plants back to operations and customers able to use grid power again. So, this isn't something that we've got nine years or whatever to be thinking about. We should be planning and preparing now."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of this important conversation:

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This year marks the four hundredth anniversary of the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag allies in 1621. Tragically, nearly half of the Pilgrims had died by famine and disease during their first year. However, they had been met by native Americans such as Samoset and Squanto who miraculously spoke English and taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the New World. That fall the Pilgrims, despite all the hardships, found much to praise God for and they were joined by Chief Massasoit and his ninety braves came who feasted and celebrated for three days with the fifty or so surviving Pilgrims.

It is often forgotten, however, that after the first Thanksgiving everything was not smooth sailing for the Pilgrims. Indeed, shortly thereafter they endured a time of crop failure and extreme difficulties including starvation and general lack. But why did this happen? Well, at that time the Pilgrims operated under what is called the "common storehouse" system. In its essence it was basically socialism. People were assigned jobs and the fruits of their labor would be redistributed throughout the people not based on how much work you did but how much you supposedly needed.

The problem with this mode of economics is that it only fails every time. Even the Pilgrims, who were a small group with relatively homogeneous beliefs were unable to successfully operate under a socialistic system without starvation and death being only moments away. Governor William Bradford explained that under the common storehouse the people began to "allege weakness and inability" because no matter how much or how little work someone did they still were given the same amount of food. Unsurprisingly this, "was found to breed much confusion and discontent."[1]

The Pilgrims, however, were not the type of people to keep doing what does not work. And so, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery."[2] And, "after much debate of things" the Pilgrims under the direction of William Bradford, decided that each family ought to "trust to themselves" and keep what they produced instead of putting it into a common storehouse.[3] In essence, the Pilgrims decided to abandon the socialism which had led them to starvation and instead adopt the tenants of the free market.

And what was the result of this change? Well, according to Bradford, this change of course, "had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been."[4] Eventually, the Pilgrims became a fiscally successful colony, paid off their enormous debt, and founded some of the earliest trading posts with the surrounding Indian tribes including the Aptucxet, Metteneque, and Cushnoc locations. In short, it represented one of the most significant economic revolutions which determined the early characteristics of the American nation.

The Pilgrims, of course, did not simply invent these ideas out of thin air but they instead grew out of the intimate familiarity the Pilgrims had with the Bible. The Scriptures provide clear principles for establishing a successful economic system which the Pilgrims looked to. For example, Proverbs 12:11 says, "He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread." So the Pilgrims purchased land from the Indians and designated lots for every family to individually grow food for themselves. After all, 1 Timothy 5:8 declares, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

We often think that the battle against Socialism is a new fight sprouting out of the writings of Karl Marx which are so blindly and foolishly followed today by those deceived by leftist irrationality. However, America's fight against the evil of socialism goes back even to our very founding during the colonial period. Thankfully, our forefathers decided to reject the tenants of socialism and instead build their new colony upon the ideology of freedom, liberty, hard work, and individual responsibility.

So, this Thanksgiving, let's thank the Pilgrims for defeating socialism and let us look to their example today in our ongoing struggle for freedom.

[1] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

[2] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[3] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[4] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

Like most people, biologist and science journalist Matt Ridley just wants the truth. When it comes to the origin of COVID-19, that is a tall order. Was it human-made? Did it leak from a laboratory? What is the role of gain-of-function research? Why China, why now?

Ridley's latest book, "Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19," is a scientific quest to answer these questions and more. A year ago, you would have been kicked off Facebook for suggesting COVID originated in a lab. For most of the pandemic, the left practically worshipped Dr. Anthony Fauci. But lately, people have been poking around. And one of the names that appears again and again is Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance and a longtime collaborator and funder of the virus-hunting work at Wuhan Institute of Virology.

If you watched Glenn Beck's special last week, "Crimes or Cover-Up? Exposing the World's Most Dangerous Lie," you learned some very disturbing things about what our government officials — like Dr. Fauci — were doing around the beginning of the pandemic. On the latest "Glenn Beck Podcast," Glenn sat down with Ridley to review what he and "Viral" co-author Alina Chan found while researching — including a "fascinating little wrinkle" from the Wuhan Institute of Virology called "7896."

Watch the video clip below or find the full interview with Matt Ridley here:

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