Glenn Beck: We're a Republic, Not an Empire





Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on Fox News Channel

This week has kind of been a primer to get your brain in a different mode of thinking. Because "old think" isn't cutting it anymore. We've been talking about something the people at Cato have put together — drastic budget cut proposals. And quite honestly, we're not making any friends with this, because people don't want their slice of the pie taken away.

Tonight, I may even lose my own friendship because we zero in on my own sacred cow: national security.

Let me start here: According to The Economist, Americans overwhelmingly feel cutting spending is the best way to reduce the deficit — 62 percent. Five percent want to raise taxes.

But — and this is a huge "but" — as soon as you get out the scalpel and go to work, people say, whoa-whoa-whoa, wait a minute!

This is a chart that shows what we are up against when it comes to cutting the budget. You aren't cutting that are you? Look at how low support is for cutting things back. Everything is below 30 percent.

Really?

Only 12 percent want to cut highways?

Nineteen percent on unemployment benefits?

Only 22 percent want to cut back on science? I mean, I love pictures of Mars as much as the next guy, but I also like having a country.

It shouldn't be a tough decision, but apparently it is.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid combined make up about 40 percent of the federal budget. But look how little willingness there is to cut them:

Social Security: 7 percent

Medicare: 7 percent

Medicaid: 11 percent

The item we're least likely to cut is veterans' benefits: 6 percent.

(Are veterans benefits even in the same ballpark as Social Security? Not saving for retirement — or serving our country? They don't seem equal, but there is equal opposition to cutting them. It's because they have expanding so much that they touch everybody in one way or another.)

There is a bit more support for cutting defense: 22 percent. Of course, that shouldn't be surprising: You can get 10 percent to support just about anything. I mean, 6 percent of people believe the moon landing was faked and filmed at a Hollywood movie lot. Cutting national defense? That's the uber-left in that number.

But there is one category that people do want to cut.

Out of all the wasteful spending going on — fighting the imaginary global warming monster, wildly expensive and mismanaged mass transit projects, the federal Department of Education — the only thing Americans can seem to agree should be cut is foreign aid. Seventy-one percent of people want to cut it. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that the rest of the world constantly whines about how evil we are, yet they don't seem to mind taking our money. And why wouldn't they? We seem to be content to just give it away.

In 1986 an earmark for Ireland was created for something called the International Fund for Ireland, created by the Irish and British to promote peace in Northern Ireland. Since 1996, U.S. taxpayers have contributed $280 million to the fund. It was raised to $17 million in 2010 — that's up $ 2 million from 2009. The original concerns of violence and poverty have long been gone, yet the money still flows in.

And who could forget the billion dollar American embassy in Iraq? With 10 times the amount of land reserved for a normal embassy, it's a 104-acre complex with 21 buildings, cinema, shopping area, restaurants, power plants, schools. It's the size of 80 football fields and the biggest embassy ever built. All it's missing is a giant statue of Saddam.

This is the kind of waste we are used to with our foreign aid, but President Obama recently increased the foreign aid budget to $49 billion in the middle of an economic crisis here at home. Some requests in his 2011 budget that go towards supposedly keeping us safe here at home:

$238.3 million in funds to assist Lebanon

$10 million for Egyptian students with financial needs — we have people that can't go to school here and we're sending Egyptian students to college?

$400 million in for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza

$2.2 billion to Israel to "procure defense articles and services to enhance the capacity of foreign security forces"

When a man goes overboard, the last thing you do is jump in after them. They are panicking and there's a good chance they will drag you down with them. You both die. Then how many people have you saved?

We're in the water. America used to be the strongest swimmer. We need to get back to shore and take care of ourselves.

We can help people by teaching our kids morals, values, ethics and how to use the free market to innovate and create. We are the people who invented Morse code, the assembly line, electricity distribution, the ATM, the typewriter, the pot belly stove. We need to be that nation again and improve the world through innovation. That's the best kind of foreign aid we can give: ideas and technology. That's how we can really change the world, not through sending wads of cash that dictators will take to build massive statues of themselves.

LoLook, I want to get one of those iPads, even though it sounds like a feminine hygiene product. I don't want it because someone from Apple tried to build one in my house. I want one because I've seen others using it and it looks cool.

The example we set now is what pisses everyone off: We say we're going to spread democracy, but we bed dictators, we bow to Saudi princes, when it's to our advantage. George Washington wanted us to be like the Swiss: Enemy of none, friend to all. Places like Germany — hey, we're glad you are all straightened out, but we're pulling out, you're on your own. We're not staying. We need to get out of the Korean Peninsula and Japan. No longer will we be the world's loiterers.p>

The United States spends approximately $102 billion annually to maintain troops, equipment, fleets and bases overseas — if you count Iraq and Afghanistan it jumps to $250 billion. Well, I'm tired of being the world's policeman. And in many cases we are the world's loiterers. We need to have a "no loitering" policy.

That policy comes from the progressives. The Republicans say we'll send in the "green helmets" and just nation build our way to global security. The liberals want to do it through the United Nations; they want to send in the "blue helmets" — which we pay for.

This doesn't work. I don't want to nation build. I don't want a global government or military force.

AnAnd for all the Don Rumsfelds out there watching who are cursing me out right now because they think no time is a good time to cut defense spending. Well, maybe this will help. This chart shows who accounts for all military spending in the world.

Almost half of all military spending in the world — 47 percent — is America. The next biggest spender is Europe — that's not even a country, they spent $289 billion on military-related expenses. We almost spent that much outside our country for our own defense!

So don't tell me we can't afford to cut back. Clearly we can.

And when we are in a situation like Afghanistan, we fight to win it. With all of our technology today, why can't we get in and out of Afghanistan in a couple of years? Because the politicians have their grimy little fingers on everything. Take the military off the leash; if you decide to go to war, unhook those dogs and get the hell out of the way.

If I were king for a day, here's my policy on defense:

We mind our own business: We wouldn't be pushing anything on other countries

The enemy of my enemy is not my friend

Nothing is in our interest if our values and principles are gone. Why do you think they hate us in the Middle East? Maybe it's because we don't stand for anything

Don't screw with us, because...

When we fight, we fight to win: We'll bring the full force and might of the U.S. military and wipe you off the face of the planet

We're coming home — and we won't waste our time rebuilding your country either. You messed with us? Your bad

OuOur defense budget needs to reflect that attitude. We can reduce the waste in our military and still be a lethal force.

It's time to shift our money out of foreign aid and long-standing commitments. We are not an empire, we are a republic. And it's time we start acting like the republic that we were meant to be.

— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on Fox News Channel

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?