Three Things You Need to Know - October 17, 2017

Bowe Bergdahl has owned up.

Bowe Bergdahl’s fate is now in the hands of a judge. He’s awaiting sentencing after entering a guilty plea to charges of endangering his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. There was no back and forth between lawyers, no “you can’t handle the truth” type of courtroom drama, just a traitor facing the music.

“I left my fellow platoon mates,” he told the judge. “That’s very inexcusable.”

It’s harsh, but there’s no sugar coating what Bowe Bergdahl did. He didn’t serve “with honor and distinction” as Susan Rice said. He betrayed the trust of his brothers in arms, and they died because of it.

If I can give him credit for anything, it’s that he’s owning his actions and accepting guilt. This is a tragedy on so many levels, but the focus today shouldn’t be on a disgraced soldier or the political maneuvering of a past administration. They say the greatest expression of love is to lay down one’s life for another. Six soldiers did just that, trying to bring back their lost comrade.

Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen and Private 1st Class Morris Walker died from a roadside bomb while searching for Bowe Bergdahl.

Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss of Murray, Utah died from multiple gunshot wounds. 2nd Lt Darryn Andrews of Dallas, Texas was killed when an IED and RPG exploded nearby.

Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey of Snyder, Texas told his family, after being taken skydiving on his 17th birthday, that he had found his calling. He wanted to be an Army paratrooper. He died from an IED.

Private 1st Class Matthew Martinek was in a vehicle searching for Bowe Bergdahl when his patrol came under fire. After initially surviving an IED, RPG and multiple gunshot wounds, he eventually succumbed one week later.

After eight years, Bowe Bergdahl is finally receiving his punishment, but today, say a prayer for those that died trying to bring him home. Say a prayer for the families of these brave men who are trying to move on. Today we honor the fallen.

Baptizing Eagles.

I could talk about the latest with Colin Kaepernick and his lawsuit against the NFL, but there’s a different NFL story I want to talk about that is much more important.

While the national anthem protests continue to dominate headlines and create division, one NFL team has been quietly taking a different path.

The night before the Philadelphia Eagles game in Charlotte, several players gathered at the hotel’s indoor swimming pool, holding hands and praying while one of their teammates, wide receiver Marcus Johnson, was baptized by a fellow player in the pool.

Apparently, this is kind of normal for the Eagles. A year ago, five other Eagles players were baptized in the recovery pool at the team’s practice facility.

Several players on the team are outspoken about their Christian faith. They’ve found strength and encouragement from fellow believers on the team. More and more teammates attend weekly Bible studies at players’ homes and prayer sessions the night before games.

While many of the players, like quarterback Carson Wentz, openly discuss their faith, some players have said they’re not interested. Yet no one on the team is excluded or pressured.

Colin Kaepernick seems to be allowing anthem protests to define the narrative of his life. The anger he felt about racial injustice that fueled his protest to begin with, is now boiling over into more anger and blame.

Several Philadelphia Eagles players are more interested in the Christian message that you no longer have to let your past, your mistakes, your bitterness, define your narrative.

The Eagles seem to be on to something refreshing during this divisive NFL season. They have a different kind of bond and peace that will serve them well beyond the football field. It’s the bond of faith that teaches radical love and forgiveness --- the only things that can truly reach across the racial and political divide. Protests have their place, but they don’t have the power to heal a nation.

Her concealed carry saved her life.

The woman was driving through a rural area that she was unfamiliar with.

She didn’t know where she was. She had never been to this part of town.

But she was sure of her destination.

Death.

She could feel her kidnapper’s knife dig deeper into her arm as she desperately tried to grip the steering wheel.

He was an unwelcome passenger who forced his way into her car. She could see in his eyes that he was hellbent on causing her pain.

She was terrified, but there was no place she would rather be at this moment than in her own vehicle.

She knew her salvation was hidden under the driver’s seat.

They reached a remote area of the woods and the kidnapper told her to stop the car.

In one fell swoop, the woman turned the ignition off and reached for her gun under the seat.

She thrust the barrel of the gun into his face.

Her attacked suddenly realized that he had brought a knife to a gun fight and fled into the forest.

The woman thanked God for her gun and concealed carry permit before driving herself to the hospital.

61-year-old Floyd R. May was arrested shortly after and charged with aggravated kidnapping and assault.

If this woman didn’t take the time to purchase and understand her firearm, she would likely be dead. But because she took the concealed carry class and was a responsible gun owner, she saved her own life.

This story is why we have the Second Amendment. You have the right to protect yourself. There are bad people out there who will think nothing of taking your life. Everyone deserves the chance to defend themselves.

MORE 3 THINGS

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

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A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below:

Fellow BlazeTV host, Mark Levin, joined Glenn Beck on his exclusive Friday episode of "GlennTV" to discuss why the declassified list of Obama administration officials who were aware of the details of Gen. Michael Flynn's wiretapped phone calls are so significant.

Glenn argued that Obama built a covert bureaucracy to "transform America" for a long time to come, and Gen. Flynn was targeted because he happened to know "where the bodies were buried", making him a threat to Obama's "secret legacy."

Levin agreed, noting the "shocking extent of the police state tactics" by the Obama administration. He recalled several scandalous happenings during Obama's "scandal free presidency," which nobody seems to remember.

Watch the video below for more:


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Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Colleges and universities should be home to a lively and open debate about questions both current and timeless, independent from a political bias or rules that stifle speech. Unfortunately for students, speaking out about personal beliefs or challenging political dogma can be a dangerous undertaking. I experienced this firsthand as an undergraduate, and I'm fighting that trend now as an adjunct professor.

In 2013, Glenn Beck was one of the most listened to radio personalities in the world. For a college senior with hopes of working on policy and media, a job working for Glenn was a ticket to big things. I needed a foot in the door and hoped to tap into the alumni network at the small liberal arts school where I was an undergrad. When I met with a career services specialist in early March 2013 about possible alumni connections to Glenn Beck, she disdainfully told me: "Why would you want to work for someone like him?" That was the beginning and end of our conversation.

I was floored by her response, and sent an email to the school complaining that her behavior was inappropriate. Her personal opinions, political or otherwise, I argued, shouldn't play a role in the decision to help students.

That isn't the kind of response a student should hear when seeking guidance and help in kick starting their career. Regardless of the position, a career specialist or professors' opinion or belief shouldn't be a factor in whether the student deserves access to the alumni network and schools' resources.

Now, seven years later, I work full time for a law firm and part time as an adjunct teaching business to undergraduate students. The culture at colleges and universities seems to have gotten even worse, unfortunately, since I was an undergrad.

College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions.

I never want to see a student told they shouldn't pursue their goals, regardless of their personal or political beliefs. College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions. I never got access to the alumni network or schools' resources from the career services office.

Lucky for students in 2020, there are several legal organizations that help students protect their rights when an issue goes beyond what can be handled by an undergraduate facing tremendous pressure from a powerful academic institution. Organizations like Speech First and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), for instance, are resources I wish I knew about at the time.

When I experienced mistreatment from my college, I spoke up and challenged the behavior by emailing the administration and explaining what happened. I received a letter from the career services specialist apologizing for the "unprofessional comment."

What she described in that apology as a "momentary lapse of good judgement" was anything but momentary. It was indicative of the larger battle for ideas that has been happening on college campuses across the country. In the past seven years, the pressure, mistreatment and oppression of free expression have only increased. Even right now, some are raising concerns that campus administrations are using the COVID-19 pandemic to limit free speech even further. Social distancing guidelines and crowd size may both be used to limit or refuse controversial speakers.

Students often feel pressure to conform to a college or university's wishes. If they don't, they could be expelled, fail a class or experience other retribution. The college holds all the cards. On most campuses, the burden of proof for guilt in student conduct hearings is "more likely than not," making it very difficult for students to stand up for their rights without legal help.

As an adjunct professor, every student who comes to me for help in finding purpose gets my full support and my active help — even if the students' goals run counter to mine. But I have learned something crucial in my time in this role: It's not the job of an educator to dictate a student's purpose in life. I'm meant to help them achieve their dreams, no matter what.

Conner Drigotas is the Director of Communications and Development at a national law firm and is a Young Voices contributor.