Glenn speaks with Michael Smerconish on Fidel's resignation

GLENN: Let me go to Michael. Where is Michael? Do you have him up? Michael, how are you, sir?

SMERCONISH: Hi, Glenn, I'm well.

GLENN: Kind of a sad did I for you.


SMERCONISH: Oh, come on.

GLENN: No, seriously.

SMERCONISH: It's a sad day for me because I'll be turning my head and coughing. I've got a physical today.

GLENN: That's right, double whammy. Castro steps down and you've got to have somebody's finger in places where fingers shouldn't be.

SMERCONISH: Oh, man. So I'd be thrilled to talk about Fidel Castro. In fact, keep me on three hours.

GLENN: Yeah. You actually were -- you met Fidel Castro, did an interview with him.

SMERCONISH: Yeah, actually spent six and a half hours in his house with him a couple of years ago and among the many things that stand out in my mind is that the Cubans assigned me to a particular hotel where I was put in Room 646. I was traveling with two other guys. One of them was in 346 and the other was in 746 and I was convinced that they must have run, like, the bugging cable in the 46 suites.

GLENN: How, may I just ask, how does one get an invitation, unless you are Oliver Stone or Michael Moore, how does one get an invitation?

SMERCONISH: Theoretically I was a journalist. I mean, you know me. I don't consider myself as such. I'm based in Philly on your station. But Senator Arlen Specter was going down to meet with Fidel Castro to talk about joint terrorist initiatives in the aftermath of September 11th and he invited me to go along. He said, you know, pay your own way, get credentialed as a journalist and if the meeting happens, I'll get you in the room, and the meeting happened for, as I say, six and a half hours at the Flogao De La Revolucion. Believe me, I'm not hear to sing his virtues. I would never do that.

GLENN: Which one? Arlen Specter or Fidel Castro?

SMERCONISH: It was really quite an encounter. I mean, among the surprises, you think that communism is an old man's game and yet he was surrounded by guys in their 30s much like you would see a member of the Senate or the House. So I'm watching these events going on down there where his brother Raul is going to get stuck in that position and many people are saying, well, then at least Raul will be the last of them. Not from what I saw. There are a lot of eager communists on the make down there in Cuba.

GLENN: I have to tell you, Michael, I heard somebody say -- maybe it was President Bush -- what will this mean for the Cuban people? And maybe democracy will take root. And I thought, no. What's going to happen is they're going to turn to a Chinese style economy. They're going to stay communist and they will open it up. I mean, that's the new model. Russia is doing it now, China is doing it now. It's the new model.

SMERCONISH: Glenn, I believe that the embargo has been a total failure and quite the contrary of taking down Castro or his brother. It has absolutely kept him in power. A lot of your listeners, particularly in Florida, are not going to like hearing me say this, but the reality is that their society on a day-to-day basis, their standard of living is crap. And he gets to blame every problem that exists on the Americans and the American embargo. We've created a boogeyman for him.

GLENN: I'm sorry. I thought the boogieman we send down named Michael Moore. I thought he was the one and they were like, oh, he's the actual boogeyman. No, he's a filmmaker, believe it or not. Why do you suppose, Michael, that all of the people in Hollywood go down there like you and --


GLENN: Just hang out with him. Hey. You can call him Fi or Fidel or Del. What did you call him?

SMERCONISH: I wish you hadn't brought this up. When I came home, I wrote about my experience and I talked about a particular exchange that I had with him where I called him Mr. President, and I got hate letters for the next six to nine months from Cubans in Florida who said, how dare you call him Mr. President. I mean, forget that my question asked him to condemn terrorism. They said I had no place, you know, in his own house calling him Mr. President.

GLENN: What were you supposed to call --

SMERCONISH: This guy wrote to me and he said, I will always remember your name. So every time I'm on a program like Glenn Beck's nationwide, I'm thinking, I get that guy's out there right now.

GLENN: Oh, yeah, and right now he is cursing.

SMERCONISH: He is driving toward Philly.

GLENN: He is. He is eating Cuban sandwich which I never understood and he's cursing your name. What were you supposed to call him?

SMERCONISH: Mr. Dictator.

GLENN: Yeah, that would be the polite -- seriously, when I'm with dictators, you know, in their country where I could just disappear for all time, that's what I like to do, kick rocks in their eyes.

SMERCONISH: Hey, I tell you something else about Castro. Very Internet savvy. I remember that in his personal office he had two computer terminals on the desk and he pulled out this sheath of documents, 309 pages on the day that I was there and it represented the clip service of the Americans. In other words, like he would Google every time he was referenced in the American press and it would be printed out for him. And that's how closely he would try to stay abreast of the political scene in America as it related to his leadership.

GLENN: These people are egomaniacs, though. I mean, they're total and complete egomaniacs. Have you ever heard of the guy -- what is the prince from Saudi Arabia that owns, like, 5% of CitiBank? He's really, really wealthy? He's a guy who keeps bailing us out. Didn't, not crazy enough to bail us out this time but he continues to bail us out. This guy is one of the biggest egomaniacs. When you meet with him -- first of all, he has a nervous twitch in his eyes and -- remember he owns, you know, parts of our banks. He has a nervous twitch in his eye. So he has someone bring a golden tray, no matter where he is, a golden tray of about 30 different pairs of sunglasses every 15 minutes and he picks another pair of sunglasses and replaces the one he's wearing because he always, he can be in a movie theater, he's always wearing sunglasses because it's dark -- I mean, because of his eye twitch and he doesn't want anybody to see it. And if you ever meet him, he will give you a portfolio of him that talks about all of the wives that he had and why he divorced all of those wives and why they were wrong and he was right. One guy that I know that actually sat down and met with him, the portfolio included him on the cover of Fortune magazine, except it wasn't him on Fortune. They had superimposed, cut and pasted his head on somebody else's body. It was -- he said it was the strangest thing they have ever gone through I sitting down and meeting with this guy and you're like, oh, man, this guy is crazy out of his mind.

Did you get a feeling at all that Castro was crazy?

SMERCONISH: Crazy like a fox. I'll tell you what his trick was. He had an interpreter, a woman who, she was so close to him, it's like she was in his left pocket and as the night wore on, I became convinced that he did not need her, that he relied on her as a crutch to give him an extra 30 to 60 seconds to formulate his thought process. I'm convinced that he speaks perfectly fine or understands perfectly fine English but that it's a device that he uses to try and get his head together.

GLENN: I know this is a really weird question but I have to know. Did you get your picture taken with him?

SMERCONISH: I didn't pose, but absolutely tons of pictures were taken that night including a picture where we gave to him an FDNY hat. Again this was closer in time to the events of September 11 and we asked him to put it on as a sign of solidarity on America's war on terror. We thought it would be interesting to see whether he would do it. And he did it, and that also brought a whole slew of hate mail from firefighters who thought that he had somehow been derisive toward the badge.

GLENN: Holy cow, I have to tell you, Michael Smerconish, giving him a hat, having a picture. I will always remember your name.

Okay, thanks, Mike. Thanks, Michael Smerconish.

The Omicron COVID-19 variant: Should we ACTUALLY panic?

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

As the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus approaches, it seems like those in power want everyone to be terrified, Glenn Beck argued on the radio program Monday.

The chair of the World Medical Association's Council, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, is already comparing the variant to Ebola and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has declared a state of emergency, despite the doctor who announced its discovery describing the new variant's symptoms as "unusual, but mild." So, should we really be worried or not?

In this clip, Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere reviewed what we know about the Omicron variant so far and gave a few reasons why we should wait for more information before succumbing to panic.

Note: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID-related questions & concerns.

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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.

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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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.

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.