Observations of an Irishman: The Idea of America Is the Ultimate Experiment

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The Beginning of an Adventure

It's 5am.

I am not an early riser, so most mornings I struggle to get out of bed. It is especially harder in the winter --- it's dark, it's cold and the days are shorter.

I am also a believer that the snooze button is my best friend --- every time my alarm goes off, I am convinced just eight more precious minutes will refresh me. I forget logic and reason at this moment. I forget that I have been asleep for six hours and am still tired, but I know just another 480 seconds will make that big difference.

Today is different.

Today, I lie in my bed wide awake, refreshed and ready to take on the world. I am lying in my bed looking at my iPad, waiting for it to go off and wondering what’s taking so long. I watch as it goes from 4:58am to 4:59am and finally to 5am.

So why is today different? Today is the start of an exciting and a unique adventure. I feel like a child on Christmas morning, because today I will board a plane and head towards the only country I truly love, where I feel like I belong and that I long to call "home."

The idea of America is the ultimate experiment of mankind at its finest.

As I rise and finish my packing, it becomes easy for my mind to wonder about the adventures that await me. I am excited to see some old friends again, intrigued at making new friends, as well as the prospect of visiting new places and experiencing different parts of America’s vast culture.

America has changed my life so much by providing answers to how life should be and its history has provided so much inspiration. The idea of America is the ultimate experiment of mankind at its finest --- an example of freedom, hope and what people can achieve when they are free to pursue their dreams.

If I had to give America a slogan it would simply be:

America = making the impossible possible!

Behind all the excitement and joy is a sense of fear and apprehension. I experience these feelings every time I do a public speaking engagement, talk on my show or write a column.

What happens if I cannot give back to America by helping inspire someone as I have been inspired? What if I can’t reach Americans and help them see their own great history and the principles that made America exceptional? What if I can’t explain why both parties are on a path towards European-style big government, which has never and will never work? How can I make a connection with people and help them understand the only solution is America’s Founding Principles? This is my constant challenge.

Outrage of the Day

With the creation of social media, it is easier than ever before to learn the news of the day and share your reaction. Today, people on all sides love to get outraged, achieve social justice and destroy someone on the other side.

As I flew into JFK and had a five-hour layover before my flight to RDU, I came across the latest outrage, which was an attack on capitalism.

There was a report of price gouging as someone was charging $100 for a case of water during the hurricane season. As you can imagine, there was plenty of outrage --- calls for government regulation to make such practices illegal, demands for pricing controls, a resurgence of the narrative that all businesses are evil and probably a fancy hashtag campaign along the lines of #DownWithCapitalism.

(Before I continue, let me state clearly I am not defending or promoting this price for a crate of water.)

I know this may shock some people, but I believe in life, you are entitled to nothing, and you certainly do not have a right to any product regardless of your situation. If I own a crate of water (or any product or service), I can choose to sell it for any price I see fit, and you have a right to purchase it or decline my price.

If you understand economics, you know there are two ways this problem can be solved.

The only solution is less government, less regulation.

Firstly, the laws of supply and demand help determine the pricing of a product --- if there is a surplus, prices go down. If there is a shortage they go up. If a business puts a price of $100 on a crate of water and enough people say "no," eventually the business will have to reduce the price until enough people are happy and decide to purchase the water, because business cannot make a profit without sales.

The second way has to do with your personal mindset. A growing number of people today will look at a problem and that is all they will ever see. Others will see the problem and focus entirely on finding the solution and possibly get rewarded for their efforts.

In this case, if someone is charging $100 for a crate of water, it opens the door for a new or existing competitor offer a similar product for a cheaper price. Another business might still be profitable by selling crates of water for only $80 each, which would greatly disrupt the market. The original business would then have three choices, keep his pricing the same, match his competitor’s price or beat the price. This simple solution may result in a price war between the businesses, and generally, price wars lead to greater outcomes for the consumer.

If you truly care for the consumer and have their best interests at heart, the only solution is less government, less regulation and letting individuals innovate and compete with each other for the opportunity to make a profit.

That Time I Was Price Gouged at the Airport

There's another reason I was frustrated by the "outrage" of the day. While sitting in JFK, I suddenly realized I had a price gouging situation of my own to deal with, and government regulations were making matters worse.

If you have traveled through an airport recently, you know government regulations with the assistance of the TSA make it illegal for you to bring any fluids through security gates. As a result of this regulated market, I ended up paying $8.04 for two bottles of Powerade at Hudson on the inside of the security gates.

Crazy, huh?

If you are doing the math, that adds up to nearly $90 for a crate.

Photo by Jonathon Dunne.

The above price list is from Hudson, and as you can see, a crate of water would cost $72.

This happens every day to tens of thousands of passengers as they travel through JFK, and yet where is the outrage to fix this? Where is the fancy hashtag?

Thankfully, there is no outrage, because I was not really price gouged.

Nobody was beside me with a gun saying, "you must buy this product at this price," and I could have said "no," but I was thirsty and wanted a bottle of Powerade.

Hopefully one day, airports will be open to more competition, which will bring pricing down and then once again the consumer will win.

Until then, may the idea of America continue to see us through.

Jonathon Dunne is an Irishman with a lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen. After waiting for over 13 years, Dunne received a job offer from Glenn Beck so he could achieve his dream, but unfortunately, he did not meet the requirements to apply for a visa. Unless laws change or Dunne decides to break the law (he won't), his American dream is dead. Despite this setback, he still loves America and seeks to be a positive influence on society by promoting the idea of America and God-given freedoms. While on a recent vacation, Dunne delivered sixteen presentations (for free) in eight different states across the U.S. During this time, he kept notes and we asked him to share some of his experiences. As you read the column below, imagine the words are being spoken in a thick, Irish accent. If you're having trouble imagining how that sounds, you can hear it for yourself by tuning into Dunne's free weekly podcast, "Freedom's Disciple," on TheBlaze Radio, available on SoundCloud, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Play and Stitcher.

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.