Glenn Beck: What's Coming

Guys,

If you thought my first email letter answering the question “how did we get here” was on the scary side you’re really going to find this email letter that answers the “what’s coming” question very sobering.  I promise you though, my next letter addressing  “what you can do to prepare you and your family” will be positive.

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Glenn Beck: What happened?


Here’s my answer to your question of “what’s coming.”

The economy is going to get worse.  I know that’s hard to believe considering that in the past 15 months Americans have lost over 2 trillion dollars of retirement savings, that Iceland which has a GDP of $14 billion and liabilities in excess of $100 billion held by its banks and is on the brink of bankruptcy and the International Monetary Fund has just warned of a global “major downturn” in 2009.

A Second Great Depression?

Just how bad will things get?  Recently, I had an off-air conversation with one of the titans in the business community.  He has been in the thick of what’s happening on Wall Street, the credit crisis and the economy.  I’ve been speaking with him about these issues for about two years and he has always been an optimist.  Every argument I would make about how bad things were going to be he would counter with an equally optimistic economic prognosis.  For the first time he’s now told me that our economy is in for a very “rough landing, at best” and that if our politicians don’t get the bailout exactly right we could see our GDP (a measurement of the total value of all the goods and services produced every year) falling between 15%-20% in one year.

So what does that really mean?  A 15%-20% reduction of GDP would be like wiping out between $2.1 to $2.8 trillion dollars from our $14 trillion GDP.  To show you how big that number really is, consider that in one year we spend about $583 billion to run the entire Defense Department, $43 billion to fund the entire Department of Homeland Security and have spent less than a trillion dollars fighting in Iraq since that war began.

By way of comparison, in the Great Depression, our national GDP fell 29% over a four year period (1929-1933) and in that period we saw 7000 banks fail, a 25% unemployment rate and a Dow Jones industrial Average suffer an 80%  decline.  And that was when the pain of a shrinking GDP was spread over 4 years!

About three weeks ago I had the opportunity to walk with very successful billionaire who has spent over seven decades doing business in America.  I asked him what it would mean if our economy suffered a 15% reduction in GDP in one year.  He stopped mid-stride, thought for a few minutes before saying, “I can’t begin to imagine how bad things would be if that ever happened.”

Credit Card Debt and Greedy Politicians will Prolong our Problems

All the financial ‘experts’ are telling us that whatever is coming our way will be short-lived.  Yes, times will be tough, but we’ll quickly emerge and be stronger.  I agree that we’ll survive and that we’ll be stronger, but I don’t think it will be a quick recovery. 

Unlike the Great Depression we don’t have a large industrial base that will assist in our recovery and too many people don’t have the savings to help them weather the storm.  Instead, the average American household carries at least $8,000 in credit card debt.  Lastly, our political leadership will be a burden, rather than a help, in getting us back on track.  Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, President Bush and Secretary Paulson wake-up each morning and gobble-up larger pieces of the economy and American businesses.  They tell us that ‘we need to do this or things will get bad’ but none of them have gone on record and told us that if we follow them we’ll be better off.

The Great Depression showed us that government intervention, at best, will only delay the eventual belt-tightening and pain that must take place to bring the marketplace back into balance.  The overbuilding and liquidity excess of the past 10 years has to be brought back into balance.  Despite 10 years of government programs under Hoover and Roosevelt accompanied by massive government spending it was not until World War II began that unemployment fell below 10%.  It was not a coincidence that the stock market finally regained the strength it had in 1929 only when the prospect of global war appeared to be inevitable in 1939.

How Hedge Funds Could Make things Much Worse

If the government regulated banks can be in as much financial trouble as they are now, just imagine the problems lurking in the unregulated hedge fund world.  Hedge funds are a 2 trillion dollar industry.  That 2 trillion has been leveraged by several multiples giving it much more influence than the 2 trillion would suggest. 

The super-rich invest their money in hedge funds because of their traditionally higher returns.  Along with the super-rich, teacher unions, government employee unions and large mutual funds invest in hedge funds, in short, if you have money invested in the market there’s a good chance some of it is held and managed by a hedge fund.

In September, hedge funds around the world recorded their biggest drop since August 1998.  Investors that wanted to pull their money out were prevented from doing so by mandatory ‘lock-up’ periods imposed by hedge funds that prevent investors from pulling their money out without giving advanced notice, typically 60 or 90 days.  I can only imagine that lots of people have given notice and when they can, will be pulling out their money. When that happens the smaller hedge funds will be wiped out and the larger ones will take big financial hits.  The next big test for hedge funds will be October 23rd when an estimated $400 billion in Lehman related credit-default swaps will have to be auctioned and settled, those hedge funds that can’t come up with the money will be wiped out.

Our Politicians keep Playing Politics while our Country is on Fire

Look for our politicians to take advantage of this crisis to promote their own agenda.  They keep treating this like a game and are taking actions only after weighing whether their action will help or hurt ‘the party’ at election time.  Our country is at the edge and our politicians are worried about elections.  This can’t be about Democrats or Republicans.  This has to be about saving America.

It’s shameful that Obama and McCain haven’t told the American people that there is no money for all of their proposed spending plans.  No, our candidates continue to promise us new plans when we don’t have enough money to pay for the ones we already have.

During the last debate Obama told us that America is the richest country in the world and that we need universal health care.  Maybe one of his advisors should tell him that this richest country in the world is borrowing 2 billion dollars a day from foreign countries because that’s how much more we spend than take in, and that was before we started bailing out Wall Street, Main Street and homeowners.

Obama is unbelievably still planning on redistributing wealth in the middle of an economic crisis by taxing those who earn in excess of $250,000 and then redistributing that money to those who make less than $200,000, including sending people who don’t pay any taxes at all $1,000 check.  His plan has been called a New Tax Welfare Plan.  Call it what you want, we don’t have the money to pay for it.

McCain’s plans for revamping our health care system and his support for a carbon-tax plan are also unaffordable.  He should come clean with the American people and tell us that. His failure to so demonstrates that he really doesn’t understand what is taking place in our homes and businesses.

Congress wants in on the action too.  Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd will flood our country with new programs.  The progressive ultra-left has taken over the Democrat Party.  They are so liberal and so out-of-touch with mainstream America that Senator Lieberman, a longtime Democrat, left the party and is now an Independent who is publicly thinking about no longer caucusing with the Democrats.  Longtime Democrat and chief fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, has said that her party is too far left and is now actively campaigning for John McCain.

Politicians Waiting to Exploit the ‘Right’ Tragedy

Too many politicians are anxiously waiting for the right moment to expand government.  They’re waiting for the “Megan Law” moment.  That moment when the stars align so politicians can pass legislation over any objections, whether it’s good or bad.

Megan’s Law is named after a 7 year old girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a repeat violent sexual offender.  The public had finally become so outraged that the politicians had to act.  Megan’s Law requires the posting of information about sexual offenders to the public.  Passing Megan’s Law was the right thing to do but it shouldn’t have taken this tragedy to do it—but it took Megan’s tragedy in order to overcome the opposition from the ACLU and other groups who kept screaming about the rights of the accused.

Pelosi, Reid and the progressive left as well as many Republicans still don’t believe that our very survival is at stake with what is going on today.  They still look at this meltdown as just another opportunity to score political points.  If the Democrats in the House of Representatives really believed that our country’s economic security was at stake then they would have passed the bailout bill.  They didn’t need any Republican support.  They had the votes.  But Pelosi and the Democratic leadership didn’t want to risk a massive voter backlash so they didn’t push the bill through.  That is playing politics.  If the Senate believed that our country’s economic security was at stake they would have passed a bailout bill without the $100 billion in ‘goodies’ attached.  That is playing politics.  Do the right thing for the country, stop playing politics.

As the crisis worsens and takes a higher emotional toll on the public we will see tragic stories.  We will see more stories about people giving up hope, losing focus on what’s truly important and ending their lives and the lives of people they love.  And when the ‘right’ story comes along, it will be exploited to take away more of our freedoms, to shred the Constitution just a little more and grab more money for the government from the people who earn it.



We can also expect our international/foreign enemies and competitors to take advantage of our current economic crisis.

Inexpensive oil is the lifeblood of our economy.  It helps us plant our crops, is needed to make the clothes we wear, and keeps us moving freely by car, plane, and ship.  America benefits when oil prices are low.  Russia, Iran and Venezuela (along with several other countries) benefit when oil prices are high.  Iran recently misreported that it forced a U.S. military airplane to land (it turned out to be a Hungarian plane carrying relief supplies).  This was an attempt by Iran to spike oil prices temporarily, and it worked, until the truth came out.

Russia’s invasion of Georgia wasn’t about South Ossetia.  It was about sending a message to the West that our efforts to build and maintain an oil pipeline through Georgia relied on the good graces of Russia and they didn’t want the West to forget that.  Iran has continually petitioned OPEC to cut back on production in order to keep oil prices high and Venezuela is using its petro-dollars to spread his form of socialism.

Russia is also using its massive petro-dollar supply to buy influence on the international front.  Remember all those banking problems Iceland is experiencing?  Russia is now working with Iceland on a bailout package in an attempt to leverage this crisis into strengthening its international influence.  Russia is also reaching out and strengthening its ties to Syria and Iran.  Syria announced that it is dredging its fishing port of Tartous so it can accommodate Russian warships.

Iran will continue to develop its nuclear program.  The countries of the world will increasingly be focused on reviving and in some cases, saving, their economies.  Iran will take advantage or our collective distraction.  I am increasingly in the camp that thinks Israel will have to take unilateral action against Iran before it develops a nuclear weapon and that would explain why we’ve decided to sell Israel 1,000 bunker busting bombs. 

In the past four weeks Venezuela hosted two strategic long-range Russian bombers, and held joint navy exercises with a fleet of Russian ships, including a nuclear-powered missile cruiser.  President Chavez has also been busy working with Columbia’s FARC terrorists and last week renewed his goal of building a ‘civilian’ nuclear program and has called for revolution throughout South America.

These countries will increasingly use more aggressive methods to drive up the cost of oil and expand their sphere of international and regional influence by generously spreading around their petro-dollars.

Meanwhile, North Korea doesn’t have any oil so it’s using the next best thing, the threat of nuclear weapons to get what it wants.  It wasn’t too long ago that President Bush was touting a new ironclad agreement between America and North Korea.  Well, after promising to verifiably dismantle its nuclear power plants in exchange for financial aid and fuel, the North Koreans have vowed to resume their suspended nuclear program.  You can expect the guy with the crazy haircut and glasses to demand more money, fuel and aid for him to play nice again.

Closer to home you will see that Americans are increasingly feeling isolated and detached from their government.  Part of the reason is that we don’t think politicians care what we think anymore.  The $700 billion bailout bill passed the Senate at a time when only 30% of the country supported it.  We felt that a giant stick was poked into our collective eye! 

59% of Americans would vote the entire Congress out of office but due to the self-serving way the politicians have drawn their election districts it’s just this side of impossible to do it.   Only 49% of the people believe that this congress is currently doing a better job than a group of individuals selected randomly from a phone book would do and 33% of us actually believe the group selected at random would do a better job!

Politicians play Politics with our Economy by Playing Politics with Energy Policy

But our politicians just don’t get it.  Look at energy.  We need inexpensive oil to make our country work and maintain our standard of living.  To be perfectly clear:  without inexpensive energy our economy doesn’t work and our standard of living dramatically falls. 

You would think that our politicians, who understand this, would put our national interest above their petty desire for re-election, but they don’t.  Look at what happened with offshore drilling.  The federal moratorium on offshore drilling legally expired at the end of September.  In theory, oil companies could have started drilling the first week of October but instead no oil company is even drafting plans to drill, why?  Because they know that the politicians aren’t serious about offshore drilling.  They know that too many congressmen are servants to the extremist environmental movement and as soon as the election is over will vote to either prevent offshore drilling or impose onerous conditions on any drilling.  So the politicians will go home to their districts and tell the voters they are for drilling and then turn around and collect big fat donations from the environmental lobbyists who oppose drilling.

The same thing can be said about coal and nuclear power.  Obama tells a national audience during his nomination acceptance speech that he and Joe Biden are for clean coal.  Less than 90 days later Joe Biden is captured on tape telling a woman that coal isn’t going to play a role in an Obama Administration energy plan.

Obama and McCain have talked-up nuclear power on the campaign trail but have done little to actually make it happen in their many years of service in the U.S. Senate.  Meanwhile China plans on building about one nuclear power plant a year up through 2020.

There’s a real disconnect between our elected leaders and the people, but the majority of Americans are willing to work through this disenfranchisement.  We want to reform government.  We want to improve our country and communities but there is a fringe that is actively trying to exploit this disenfranchisement.  I have someone on my staff that monitors the extreme blogs—stuff that most people, thankfully, haven’t even heard of.  These blogs contain a call to revolution.  One writer said that we need to “join with your brothers in arms and through force, return what is rightfully the peoples to the people” and another entry encouraged the reader to “rise up and join us before our nation is taken from us by the crooks and bastards that waste our air, one nation, taken back by the force of the peoples militia…”.

Guys, I told you that this was going to be a sobering letter.  We are on the edge of a giant abyss that could swallow not only our economy but the freedoms and security we have enjoyed for over 200 years.  Believe it or not, I don’t think that this letter captures the urgency that I feel, but I didn’t want to include wild speculation because I can’t see into the future but I wanted to give you a sense of the Perfect Storm that I have talked about and how the pressures that our economy and country face at this time are once again placing our “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” at stake.

Please ponder and pray about what I’ve said and then pass these email letters along to as many people as possible so they can prepare themselves and their families.  Then, the more people there will be to help us overcome fear and desperation.

There is good news.  We can prepare ourselves and our family for what’s coming and work to prevent the worst from happening.  We have to focus on value and values.  Those things that our parent and their parents lived but somehow too many of us have forgotten.  But that’s for my next letter to you.

With love, glenn

**************

Please pass this on to your friends and family...

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?