Glenn's bookshelf: Part 3

Does it seem like every time you tune into the radio show Glenn's talking about another book he just read? He might just be the most well read man on the airwaves and now he's ready to share his list with you.

It's turned into quite an extensive list so over the next few days we will post enough recommendations to keep you busy all through 2019 and beyond. Pick up a book or 20 and read the material that's been shaping Glenn's thinking this past year.

Enjoy!


The Know Your Bill of Rights Book: Don't Lose Your Constitutional Rights--Learn Them!

By Sean Patrick

Let's face it:

The Bill of Rights is very hard to understand if you just pick it up and give it a read.

The eloquent style in which it was written can be confusing.

There's a lot of legal terminology that's beyond most of us.

And without the right historical background, it's impossible to fully understand the meaning, importance, and scope of several of the amendments (and especially the second amendment).

Furthermore, there are countless politicians and mainstream pundits that want to interpret our rights for us and tell us what the Founders meant, making it even harder to know what to believe.

But are you comfortable letting crooked baby-kissers and propagandists decide what your rights are? Or would you rather discover them for yourself?

In other words, would you rather know and insist on the exact freedoms our Founders intended for you, your family, your friends, and your fellow Americans?

If you're like millions of other Americans, your answer to that question is YES, and this book is for you.

It will help you quickly and easily reach a deep understanding of the Bill of Rights by...

  • Walking you through each amendment, clarifying the precise definitions of key words, so you understand exactly what the Founders wanted you to know.
  • Providing you with the key historical context you need to fully grasp and spirit and importance of the amendments, so you understand how they apply to our 21st century society.
  • Sharing powerfully insightful quotes on each amendment, straight from the Founders and their peers, so you have absolutely no questions as to their purposes and intentions.
  • Supplying you with an extensive glossary of terms so you never get lost in a dictionary or encyclopedia trying to understand what you're reading.
  • And more.

    Thomas Jefferson once said, "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."

  • And he also said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was and never will be."

    That's why this book was created.

    My mission is to teach you truths most people will never know about their specific rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    And that's what you're going to learn in this book: the things the two-faced corruptocrats and their media lackeys absolutely hate the most about our country and Constitution.

    The Founders fought tirelessly to guarantee you specific rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Don't lose them. Learn them.

    Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World

    By Marc Goodman

    Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flip side: our technology can be turned against us. And just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning—from implantable medical devices to drones and 3-D printers, all of which can be hacked, with disastrous consequences.

    With explosive insights based on a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, leading authority on global security Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. He explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control of our own devices and harness technology's tremendous power for the betterment of humanity—before it's too late.

    The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place

    By Andy Crouch

    Making conscientious choices about technology in our families is more than just using internet filters and determining screen time limits for our children. It's about developing wisdom, character, and courage in the way we use digital media rather than accepting technology's promises of ease, instant gratification, and the world's knowledge at our fingertips. And it's definitely not just about the kids.

    Drawing on in-depth original research from the Barna Group, Andy Crouch shows readers that the choices we make about technology have consequences we may never have considered. He takes readers beyond the typical questions of what, where, and when and instead challenges them to answer provocative questions like, Who do we want to be as a family? and How does our use of a particular technology move us closer or farther away from that goal? Anyone who has felt their family relationships suffer or their time slip away amid technology's distractions will find in this book a path forward to reclaiming their real life in a world of devices.

    Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

    By James Barrat

    In as little as a decade, artificial intelligence could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies around the world are pouring billions into achieving AI's Holy Grail―human-level intelligence. Once AI has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine.

    Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, James Barrat's Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And will they allow us to?

    Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

    By Max Tegmark

    In this authoritative and eye-opening book, Max Tegmark describes and illuminates the recent, path-breaking advances in Artificial Intelligence and how it is poised to overtake human intelligence. How will AI affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology—and there's nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who's helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

    How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today's kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle?

    What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn't shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues—from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.



    The Industries of the Future

    By Alec Ross

    While Alec Ross was working as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, he traveled to forty-one countries, exploring the latest advances coming out of every continent. From startup hubs in Kenya to R&D labs in South Korea, Ross has seen what the future holds.

    In The Industries of the Future, Ross provides a "lucid and informed guide" (Financial Times) to the changes coming in the next ten years. He examines the fields that will most shape our economic future, including robotics and artificial intelligence, cybercrime and cybersecurity, the commercialization of genomics, the next step for big data, and the impact of digital technology on money and markets. In each of these realms, Ross addresses the toughest questions: How will we have to adapt to the changing nature of work? Is the prospect of cyberwar sparking the next arms race? How can the world's rising nations hope to match Silicon Valley with their own innovation hotspots? And what can today's parents do to prepare their children for tomorrow?

    Ross blends storytelling and economic analysis to show how sweeping global trends are affecting the ways we live. Sharing insights from global leaders—from the founders of Google and Twitter to defense experts like David Petraeus—Ross reveals the technologies and industries that will drive the next stage of globalization. The Industries of the Future is "a riveting and mind-bending book" (New York Journal of Books), a "must read" (Wendy Kopp, Founder of Teach for America) regardless of "whether you follow these fields closely or you still think of Honda as a car rather than a robotics company" (Forbes).



    Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence

    By Calum Chace

    Artificial intelligence is our most powerful technology, and in the coming decades it will change everything in our lives. If we get it right it will make humans almost godlike. If we get it wrong... well, extinction is not the worst possible outcome.

    "Surviving AI" is a concise, easy-to-read guide to what's coming, taking you through technological unemployment (the economic singularity) and the possible creation of a superintelligence (the technological singularity).

    Here's what some of the leading thinkers in the field have to say about it:

    A sober and easy-to-read review of the risks and opportunities that humanity will face from AI.

    Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane 

    The Internet and smartphone are just the latest in a 250 year long cycle of disruption that has continuously changed the way we live, the way we work and the way we interact. The coming Augmented Age, however, promises a level of disruption, behavioral shifts and changes that are unparalleled. While consumers today are camping outside of an Apple store waiting to be one of the first to score a new Apple Watch or iPhone, the next generation of wearables will be able to predict if we're likely to have a heart attack and recommend a course of action. We watch news of Google's self-driving cars, but don't likely realize this means progressive cities will have to ban human drives in the next decade because us humans are too risky.

    Following on from the Industrial or Machine Age, the Space Age and the Digital Age, the Augmented Age will be based on four key disruptive themes - Artificial Intelligence, Experience Design, Smart Infrastructure, and HealthTech. Historically the previous 'ages' bought significant disruption and changes, but on a net basis jobs were created, wealth was enhanced, and the health and security of society improved. What will the Augmented Age bring? Will robots take our jobs, and AI's subsume us as inferior intelligences, or will this usher in a new age of abundance?

    Augmented is a book on future history, but more than that, it is a story about how you will live your life in a world that will change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 250 years. Are you ready to adapt? Because if history proves anything, you don't have much of a choice.



    The People's Republic of the Disappeared: Stories from inside China's system for enforced disappearances 

    By Michael Caster

    With these words, Chinese lawyer Xie Yangwas introduced to the brutality of Residential Surveillance at aDesignated Location (RSDL), China's rapidly expanding system forenforced disappearances. Little is known of RSDL, or what happensinside. The People's Republic of the Disappeared will change that. RSDLfacilities, often secret, custom-built and unmarked prisons, are run bypolice or State Security officials. Inside, people are placed outsidethe normal legal system, left in solitary confinement, interrogatedrepeatedly, and often subjected to torture. There is no oversight of the police, and no protection for those inside. In RSDL, you simply vanish. In RSDL, the police have total control.

    This book exposes what it islike to be disappeared in China. It is the first anthology written bythe victims themselves, from lawyer Wang Yu who was abducted in themiddle of the night to engineer Tang Zhishun who was taken from acrossthe border in Burma; from IT worker Jiang Xiaoyu who was beaten andthreatened with permanent disappearance to Pan Jinling whose only crimewas dating an NGO worker.

    The People's Republic of the Disappearedincludes a foreword by well-known exiled human rights lawyer Teng Biao.The foreword and introduction provide the reader with an understandingof RSDL. The legal chapter at the end offers an exhaustive,authoritative analysis of the domestic law giving rise to RSDL, and theinternational legal framework that China brazenly violates. Thesechapters, along with stories by lawyers Tang Jitian and Liu Shihui trace China's obsession with disappearing dissidents from the early 2000s,through to the Jasmine Revolution movement in China in 2011, and intothe current system of RSDL.

    This book is essential reading for academics and journalists, governments and nonprofit workers alike working on orinterested in China, because these stories illustrate, with narrativeclarity, the hollowness of China's rhetoric of the rule of law.Likewise, it is worthwhile reading for anyone studying authoritarianregimes and the struggle for human rights.





    It's Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear

    By Greg Easterbrook

    Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more.

    Yet this narrative misses something important: by almost every meaningful measure, the modern world is better than it ever has been. In the United States, disease, crime, discrimination, and most forms of pollution are in long-term decline, while longevity and education keep rising and economic indicators are better than in any past generation. Worldwide, malnutrition and extreme poverty are at historic lows, and the risk of dying by war or violence is the lowest in human history.
    It's not a coincidence that we're confused--our perspectives on the world are blurred by the rise of social media, the machinations of politicians, and our own biases. Meanwhile, political reforms like the Clean Air Act and technological innovations like the hybridization of wheat have saved huge numbers of lives. In that optimistic spirit, Easterbrook offers specific policy reforms to address climate change, inequality, and other problems, and reminds us that there is real hope in conquering such challenges. In an age of discord and fear-mongering, It's Better Than It Looks will profoundly change your perspective on who we are, where we're headed, and what we're capable of.

    The Fourth Political Theory

    By Alexander Dugin

    All the political systems of the modern age have been the products of three distinct ideologies: the first, and oldest, is liberal democracy; the second is Marxism; and the third is fascism. The latter two have long since failed and passed out of the pages of history, and the first no longer operates as an ideology, but rather as something taken for granted. The world today finds itself on the brink of a post-political reality — one in which the values of liberalism are so deeply embedded that the average person is not aware that there is an ideology at work around him. As a result, liberalism is threatening to monopolise political discourse and drown the world in a universal sameness, destroying everything that makes the various cultures and peoples unique. According to Alexander Dugin, what is needed to break through this morass is a fourth ideology — one that will sift through the debris of the first three to look for elements that might be useful, but that remains innovative and unique in itself. Dugin does not offer a point-by-point program for this new theory, but rather outlines the parameters within which it might develop and the issues which it must address. Dugin foresees that the Fourth Political Theory will use the tools and concepts of modernity against itself, to bring about a return of cultural diversity against commercialisation, as well as the traditional worldview of all the peoples of the world — albeit within an entirely new context. Written by a scholar who is actively influencing the direction of Russian geopolitical strategy today, The Fourth Political Theory is an introduction to an idea that may well shape the course of the world's political future.

    The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    By Steven Pinker

    Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.

    Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

    By Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

    Why is it so hard to say "I made a mistake"—and really believe it?

    When we make mistakes, cling to outdated attitudes, or mistreat other people, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so, unconsciously, we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right—a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong. Backed by years of research, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-justification—how it works, the damage it can cause, and how we can overcome it. This updated edition features new examples and concludes with an extended discussion of how we can live with dissonance, learn from it, and perhaps, eventually, forgive ourselves.

    Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland

    By Christopher R. Browning

    Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as round-ups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever.

    While this book discusses a specific Reserve Unit during WWII, the general argument Browning makes is that most people succumb to the pressures of a group setting and commit actions they would never do of their own volition.

    Ordinary Men is a powerful, chilling, and important work with themes and arguments that continue to resonate today.



    Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

    By Steven Pinker

    Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

    Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

    With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

    Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History

    By Bill O'Reilly

    As the true horrors of the Third Reich began to be exposed immediately after World War II, the Nazi war criminals who committed genocide went on the run. A few were swiftly caught, including the notorious SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. Others, however, evaded capture through a sophisticated Nazi organization designed to hide them. Among those war criminals were Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death" who performed hideous medical experiments at Auschwitz; Martin Bormann, Hitler's brutal personal secretary; Klaus Barbie, the cruel "Butcher of Lyon"; and perhaps the most awful Nazi of all: Adolf Eichmann.

    Killing the SS is the epic saga of the espionage and daring waged by self-styled "Nazi hunters." This determined and disparate group included a French husband and wife team, an American lawyer who served in the army on D-Day, a German prosecutor who had signed an oath to the Nazi Party, Israeli Mossad agents, and a death camp survivor. Over decades, these men and women scoured the world, tracking down the SS fugitives and bringing them to justice, which often meant death.

    Written in the fast-paced style of the Killing series, Killing the SS will educate and stun the reader.

    The final chapter is truly shocking.

    Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America

    By Glenn Beck

    History is about so much more than memorizing facts. It is, as more than half of the word suggests, about the story. And, told in the right way, it is the greatest one ever written: Good and evil, triumph and tragedy, despicable acts of barbarism and courageous acts of heroism.

    The things you've never learned about our past will shock you. The reason why gun control is so important to government elites can be found in a story about Athens that no one dares teach. Not the city in ancient Greece, but the one in 1946 Tennessee. The power of an individual who trusts his gut can be found in the story of the man who stopped the twentieth hijacker from being part of 9/11. And a lesson on what happens when an all-powerful president is in need of positive headlines is revealed in a story about eight saboteurs who invaded America during World War II.

    Miracles and Massacres is history as you've never heard it told. It's incredible events that you never knew existed. And it's stories so important and relevant to today that you won't have to ask, Why didn't they teach me this? You will instantly know. If the truth shall set you free, then your freedom begins on page one of this book. By the end, your understanding of the lies and half-truths you've been taught may change, but your perception of who we are as Americans and where our country is headed definitely will.



    The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life

    By Glenn Beck and Dr. Keith Ablow

    Radio and television host Glenn Beck has experienced the rollercoaster of life like few others. From the suicide of his mother when he was just thirteen, to his eventual alcoholism, depression, divorce, unemployment, and health scares—Glenn has weathered life's darkest storms.

    Any one of those struggles could've ruined him, yet Glenn was able to keep moving forward. He saw past the darkness into the light; past his grief and addictions and into what his life could be.

    The process of finding happiness through personal redemption was not easy, but it left Glenn with a blueprint for how to confront future adversity. Glenn is living proof that these steps—he calls them wonders—don't just work on paper. They helped transform his life and can they can help to transform yours as well.

    Glenn Beck and Dr. Keith Ablow—two of the most popular and influential personalities in American media today—have joined forces to present a powerful guide to personal transformation and fulfillment that is as unique as their own unlikely partnership. They are called the "7 Wonders" and they can be used by anyone who has made the decision that they are ready to change their life.

    After the television talk show host and the bestselling psychiatrist struck up a fast friendship they realized that their experiences with life's struggles were complementary. What Keith had studied, Glenn had lived. What Keith had counseled patients on for years, Glenn had suffered through for decades.

    The deeply personal insights they shared brought them to realize that their life stories had seven key principles in common; seven wonders that seemed to be essential ingredients for anyone attempting to transform their life.









    The Immortal Nicholas

    By Glenn Beck

    BEFORE HE WAS FATHER CHRISTMAS…HE WAS SIMPLY A FATHER.

    Thirteen-time #1 national bestselling author Glenn Beck realized years ago that somewhere along the way, his four children had become more focused on Santa than the meaning of Christmas. No matter how he tried, he could not redirect their attention away from presents and elves to the manger instead.

    Glenn didn't want to be the Grinch who spoiled the magic of Kris Kringle, so he had to find a unique way to turn his kids back toward the true meaning of Christmas. He decided the best place to start was by first turning Santa himself back toward Christ.

    That was when one of America's best storytellers began to craft a tale that would change everything his kids thought they knew about Santa—the incredible story he went on to tell them that Christmas Eve spans over a thousand years and explains the meaning behind the immortality and generosity of the man named Claus.

    The Immortal Nicholas has now been expanded and reimagined into this novel for adults; a novel full of drama, history, legend, and heart. From the snowy mountains of Western Asia, to the deserts of Egypt, to Yemen's elusive frankincense-bearing boswellia trees, this is an epic tale that gives the legend of Santa a long overdue Christ-centered mission.

    In this novel, Glenn Beck fundamentally transforms the figure that the world now mainly associates with shopping, all while staying true to the real story of the baby who brought redemption and salvation to the entire world.









    The Christmas Sweater

    By Glenn Beck

    If You Could Change Your Life by Reversing Your Biggest Regrets, Sorrows and Mistakes...Would You?

    We weren't wealthy, we weren't poor -- we just were. We never wanted for anything, except maybe more time together....

    When Eddie was twelve years old, all he wanted for Christmas was a bike. Although his life had gotten harder -- and money tighter -- since his father died and the family bakery closed...Eddie dreamed that somehow his mother would find a way to have his dream bike gleaming beside their modest Christmas tree that magical morning.

    What he got from her instead was a sweater. "A stupid, handmade, ugly sweater" that young Eddie left in a crumpled ball in the corner of his room.

    Scarred deeply by the realization that kids don't always get what they want, and too young to understand that he already owned life's most valuable treasures, that Christmas morning was the beginning of Eddie's dark and painful journey on the road to manhood. It will take wrestling with himself, his faith, and his family -- and the guidance of a mysterious neighbor named Russell -- to help Eddie find his path through the storm clouds of life and finally see the real significance of that simple gift his mother had crafted by hand with love in her heart.

    Based on a deeply personal true story, The Christmas Sweater is a warm and poignant tale of family, faith and forgiveness that offers us a glimpse of our own lives -- while also making us question if we really know what's most important in them.









    By July 9, 1776, a copy of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, where British naval ships occupied New York Harbor. Revolutionary spirit and tension were running high. George Washington, commander of the Continental forces in New York, read the Declaration aloud in front of City Hall. The crowd cheered wildly, and later that day tore down a statue of King George III. They melted down the statue to make 42,000 musket balls for the ragtag American army.

    America's separation from Great Britain was officially in writing. Now came the hard part.

    The Declaration of Independence defines who we are, what we believe, and what we aspire to be. It is a mission statement. But no one said it would be easy to implement.

    The Declaration was not simply an official announcement of our split from Great Britain. If it was just that, it could've been a lot shorter. It was also an announcement that we're starting a new company, and here's what we're basing it on. It didn't just declare independence — it declared principles. It declared how we were going to organize ourselves once we were out on our own, and it set up guardrails to help ensure we didn't end up like the country we were leaving in the first place.

    The Founders set us up for success, but America is now fumbling it away, largely thanks to our dangerous drift from the original blueprints.

    In our national discourse, it's hard to find agreement even on fundamentals like the Declaration of Independence anymore. There's no time for old-fashioned things like the Declaration when social media can fuel our outrage around the clock.

    We have lost touch with our national DNA.

    How often do we jump to outrage before we have any kind of perspective on a matter? In 2017, President Trump had only been in office for one month before over 100 activists rewrote a version of the Declaration of Independence, rewording it with Trump in the King George III role. Trump had been in office for a single month. The focus has shifted from unity to partisan winning at all costs. We have lost touch with our national DNA.

    Our basic knowledge of the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights is so weak that we don't have a clue how they relate to each other. As of late 2017, 37 percent of Americans could not name any of our First Amendment rights. And 33 percent of Americans could not name any branch of our government.

    Here's another example of our painful misunderstanding. In a Psychology Today article written before the 2016 presidential election, Dr. Mark Goulston was trying to figure out a way to understand Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This is what he came up with:

    Trump represents the Declaration of Independence. Clinton represents the U.S. Constitution.

    He tries to explain that Trump supporters are eager to declare their independence from the political swamp system. For the Constitution side of things, he wrote:

    It [the Constitution] may have stood the test of time for so long because it was drafted following a long, costly and awful war that the founding fathers wanted to prevent from happening again. That intention possibly enabled them to create a document that was relatively free from special interests and personal agendas. [Hillary] Clinton is more like the Constitution than the Declaration of Independence and appears to be more about getting things done than declaratively taking a stand.

    Besides being a completely bogus way to interpret Hillary Clinton, this comparison makes your brain hurt because it so fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between the Declaration and the Constitution. They are not rival documents.

    He says the Constitution has stood the test of time because the founders wrote it to prevent another long, costly war. What? No. It stands the test of time because it was designed to protect the “unalienable rights" of the Declaration.

    He goes on to say that we need a new Constitutional Convention because, “We may just need to retrofit it to fit modern times."

    This is the primarily leftist idea that America is up against today — that the founding documents worked well for their time, but that they now need an overhaul. Progressives seem to live by the motto, if it ain't broke, fix it anyway. Rather than “fixing" things, however, when we understand the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights as they already are, we discover that they still work because they're tied to universal principles, not a specific point in time.

    Here's one way to think about the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. The Declaration is our thesis, or mission statement. The Constitution is the blueprint to implement that mission statement. And the Bill of Rights is our insurance policy.

    Aside from the practical business of separating from Great Britain, the gist of the Declaration is that humans have natural rights granted us by God, and that those rights cannot be compromised by man. The Constitution, then, is the practical working out of how do we design a government that best protects our natural rights?

    The creation of the Constitution did not give us rights. The existence of our rights created the Constitution. The Constitution just recognizes and codifies those rights, clarifying that the government does not have authority to deprive us of those rights.

    The Founders were extremely paranoid about corruption and abuse of power. They designed a system to avoid as much of that as possible.

    The Progressive and postmodern idea that rich white guys founded America as an exclusive country club for enriching themselves doesn't hold water. If that had been their true intent, they seriously handicapped themselves with the emphasis on rights and the checks on power that they included in these three documents. Any honest reading of the Constitution, and of the massive ratification debates that dragged on in individual state legislatures, makes one thing very clear — the Founders were extremely paranoid about corruption and abuse of power. They designed a system to avoid as much of that as possible.

    Still, this Declaration-Constitution-Bill of Rights-trifecta thing is just a conservative line, right? It's just something we say because we're stuck in the past and we're in denial about the new and improved, diverse, post-gender, postmodern America, right?

    As the Declaration puts it, “let facts be submitted to a candid world."

    In 1839, on the 50th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration as the nation's first president, the New York Historical Society invited former president John Quincy Adams to deliver a speech. As the son of John Adams, John Quincy wrote a speech about something near and dear to his — the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He said:

    The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, are parts of one consistent whole, founded upon one and the same theory of government… it had been working itself into the mind of man for many ages… but had never before been adopted by a great nation in practice…

    Even in our own country, there are still philosophers who deny the principles asserted in the Declaration, as self-evident truths — who deny the natural equality and inalienable rights of man — who deny that the people are the only legitimate source of power – who deny that all just powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed… I speak to matters of fact. There is the Declaration of Independence, and there is the Constitution of the United States — let them speak for themselves.

    They can, and they do. They don't require any interpretation or updates because our inalienable rights have not changed.

    Progressives and Democratic Socialists believe our rights come from the government, but the Declaration emphasizes that our rights are inalienable and are granted to mankind by God. By the way, we usually only use the word “inalienable" now when we're talking about the Declaration of Independence, so we often don't even understand the word. It means something that is not transferable, something incapable of being taken away or denied.

    We don't know our founding documents anymore and we're witnessing the disastrous results of this deficiency. We've lost sight of what made the American Revolution so unique. It was the first time subjects who had colonized new lands, rebelled against the country they came from. Government by the people and for the people is a principle that changed the world. Most countries fall apart after their revolutions. We thrived because of the firm principles of the Declaration, and the protection of those principles in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It's a unique system with a remarkable track record, in spite of our human frailty. But this system is not inevitable — for it to continue to work, we must understand and protect it.

    From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

    Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

    So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

    It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

    The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

    The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

    The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

    In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

    The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

    Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

    This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

    Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

    The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

    Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

    This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

    He has obstructed the administration of justice...

    For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

    For suspending our own legislatures...

    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

    Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

    Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

    This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

    They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

    This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

    Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

    This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

    ...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

    They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

    And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

    The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

    In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

    You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

    On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

    Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

    Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

    In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

    In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

    America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

    America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

    The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

    It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

    Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

    Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

    Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

    It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

    Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

    They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

    He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

    We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

    Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

    Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

    Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

    At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

    Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

    America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

    The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

    Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

    It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

    'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

    Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

    Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

    Watch the video below to see the full preview.

    Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).