Immigrant from former Soviet Union calls In




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GLENN: Let me go to, is it Vasheghan? Is it Vasheghan?

CALLER: Hi, Glenn.

GLENN: Yes.

CALLER: Vasheghan, yes.

GLENN: Vasheghan.

CALLER: How are you?

GLENN: Very good. What kind of name is Vasheghan, sir? Where are you from originally?

GLENN: Vasheghan, it's I go by Robert. That's my middle name. I'm Armenian. I was born in the city of Yerevan in Armenia, in republic, former Soviet Union in 1964. We're almost same age.

GLENN: Oh, wow. We are probably the same age, 1964. So you were in the former — when did you come here?

CALLER: Well, I came in 1995. I transferred my business here.

GLENN: Wow.

CALLER: I have a pretty successful business in Moscow and transferred it here. I came as a legal immigrant. I didn't immigrate right away. I was, by the way, invited to your program for illegal immigrants. I wasn't able to make it unfortunately.

GLENN: Really?

CALLER: Yes. I apologize.

GLENN: That's all right.

CALLER: Yes, I was dying to come. And I have a Ph.D. in international and constitutional law. I speak four languages. One of them is Arabic and Russian. And I run a business here now with my family. We opened two restaurants. I went through hell. I did not ask for any handouts, didn't — I am a proud American now and, you know, I feel blessed, and I am very scared what is going on in United States. I was a member of Communist Party. I joined Communist Party in Soviet Union when Gorbachev became a secretary general. I was very inspired that finally free market will come. I was like new blood in a party, the new generation, joined with very big difficulties because I was considered part of intelligencia. So we were not able to join party. Only workers class could join. So people even were sneaking into factories trying to like work. Allegedly they were working in a factory in order to join party to pick up some perks. So that was how it was working.

So out of 250 million people in Soviet Union, there were only 18 million members of Communist Party and mostly people that, actually leaders, could manipulate. I mean, you know, the workers, workers in factories. Even farmers were not able to do that because farmers for years were considered the people who are trying to get independence, must work on the land.

Anyway —

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Robert — may I call you Robert?

CALLER: Of course. Of course.

GLENN: Robert, I have to tell you I didn't know that. I had no, I had no idea that you couldn't just join the Communist Party if you wanted to.

CALLER: Oh, no. No, no, no, Glenn, no. To join a Communist Party, my God, it's maybe easier to become a congressman here. You can't imagine. It's very difficult. So you couldn't go to lots of, you know, filter, filtration. And I was a student in a university, state university over there and only two students that year were, out of 20,000, were able to join because we were actually, we had straight A's and we had fantastic performance and we were in our local ROTC, et cetera, et cetera. And, of course, I'm being very honest with you, straightforward. I was also, you know, able to do that because my family had a position in the country. We were not able to just, you know, just walk in and sign an application and, hey, give me that. So anyway, so both guys, myself and the other guy, we were both from what we call, you know, privileged families. That's why we were able to do that. But I was very encouraged when I saw because for as long as I remember myself, you know, my family went through repression, my grandmother's brothers went to — they were taken to concentration camp. One of them never, one of them never came back. I never seen him. The other one, I knew him and he was crippled. It's only because KGB found a historical novel from about 11th century about Armenia's fight for independence against Byzantine empire and Persians. And the entire family were teachers, and I am educated myself. I used to teach here in Miami and in Boca Raton and, you know, it's horrible. And I didn't see those things, of course, I didn't went through it.

GLENN: Hold on just a second. Robert, Robert, have you moved into a different room or something? Because you are starting to break up and I would like to —

CALLER: Oh, no, no, I am sitting in same location. So I am not moving, yeah. So what happened is that when I heard you telling just today, because I listen to you every day. I just purchased Overton Window. I didn't get it yet through Amazon. But hear what happened, when I heard you saying buy shortwave radios and, you know, copiers, I said, oh, my God, look at this. Hear what happened. As long as I remember myself living in Soviet Union, before Gorbachev, you know, removed all these, silencing stations, we were addicted to Voice of America because we used to put those, you know, radio, shortwave radios in our balconies and it was very noisy. Sometimes we couldn't hear anything. But sometimes we were lucky and, you know, so we were listening. And my father, being a member of government, he was pulling me aside saying, son, let's go and listen. This is the truth where it's coming from. Don't tell anybody but this is what, we've got to listen. And we were listening to all kinds of programs, medical programs, political programs. And basically we were getting more information, truthful information from Voice of America back then in Russian, of course. It was coming in Russian. Even though Russian is my second language, my first native language Armenian which I speak. But anyway, it was coming through that and we were listening and we knew what was going on inside of our country better than, of course, we could get from Pravda, Izvestia or (inaudible), whatever, you know, this communist propaganda was telling us.

GLENN: So when you heard me, when you heard me today say buy shortwave radios, what did that tell you? What did that —

CALLER: Well, that means you are basically, it's like human brain is wired same way. So you had exactly same reaction like I would do. Because if, God forbid, something happens here in United States and, you know, Marxist regime starts to oppress people, that's what unfortunately we have to do. I mean, I hope it never comes to because I am going to, you know, vote in November, I hope peacefully we can, you know, finish this nightmare.

Now, another thing that when you said copier, Glenn, if you wanted to copy something in the United States, the most innocent page of, you know, most innocent paper like document, something, in our university we had one big place with a huge copier. We had to gather approximately seven or eight signatures from different bureaucrats what kind of document we're copying, how many copies, what for, who requested it, et cetera, et cetera because — and I didn't understand why. I couldn't understand. And then, you know, my father explained to me that, son, this is because they are afraid we will, you know, make copies of something that is Soviet propaganda or the censorship is not allowing. Things like, you know, (inaudible) books which is popular, anything that could criticize the communist regime. So that's what, you know, I got —

GLENN: Robert, here's what I would like to do. I'd like to ask you to close down your restaurants there in Miami and come live in the City of New York where I would pay you a very low salary for you and your family and you could live like you probably lived in the former Soviet Union, but I'd like to offer you a job. I think you are a — I think a very, very bright and useful man. I would like to get your phone number. I would actually like to talk about keeping in touch with you because I think experience like yours is critical for America to hear.

CALLER: I don't —

PAT: But wait, there's more. Not only are the living conditions horrendous and the pay low but the hours are incredibly long. Now, how much do you want to come, Robert?

GLENN: Robert, you hold on, all right?

CALLER: Okay, Glenn. Thank you so much.

GLENN: All right. Appreciate it, sir. Thank you very much.

PAT: Wow, that's an amazing story.

GLENN: Let me just, let me remind you one thing here. I mean, I know this is a side note but let this phone call make a secondary point of how ridiculous the point is that the right is anti immigrant. Here is a guy who is coming into our country. Thank God we have people like him in our country. This is what I've said about the idea of an Ellis Island project. We need people who come in, we need people to refresh us. We need people to remind us. We need people like this guy to kick us in the head and say, don't you know how many signatures we had to gather just to be able to copy anything? Don't you realize what you have here? We need those people. I gladly welcome immigrants in. Quite honestly I don't know if I've told you this story before. So stop me if I have. Two weeks ago I had to go shopping with my wife at the mall. Ooh, there is nothing like shopping with your wife at the mall. And standing there in the ladies department just as she's, "Can I help you, sir?" "Nope, nope, I'm just looking at blouses for me," you know, as you are waiting there for your wife to come out of the dressing room. And there must have been about four, five women that came up to me and all of them were gigantic fans. This is in New York. All of them gigantic fans. Every single one of them were from a former communist country. Every single one of them almost broke down in tears and said please, don't stop. Please keep telling people, Americans just don't understand; please don't stop. It's incredible. The people who have come here for a reason, for freedom, understand how precious it is and how easy it is to lose.

Carter Page, a former advisor to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, found himself at the center of the Russia probe and had his reputation and career destroyed by what we now know were lies from our own intelligence system and the media.

On the TV show Thursday, Page joined Glenn Beck to speak out about how he became the subject of illegal electronic surveillance by the FBI for more than two years, and revealed the extent of the corruption that has infiltrated our legal systems and our country as a whole.

"To me, the bigger issue is how much damage this has done to our country," Page told Glenn. "I've been very patient in trying to ... find help with finding solutions and correcting this terrible thing which has happened to our country, our judicial system, DOJ, FBI -- these once-great institutions. And my bigger concern is the fact that, although we keep taking these steps forward in terms of these important findings, it really remains the tip of the iceberg."

Page was referencing the report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which revealed that the FBI made "at least 17 significant errors or omissions" in its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications for warrants to spy on Page, a U.S. citizen.

"I think this needs to be attacked from all angles," Glenn said. "The one angle I'm interested in from you is, please tell me you have the biggest badass attorneys that are hungry, starving, maybe are a little low to pay their Mercedes payments right now, and are just gearing up to come after the government and the media. Are they?"

I can confirm that that is the case," Page replied.

Watch the video clip below for a preview of the full-length interview:

The full interview will air on January 30th for Blaze TV subscribers, and February 1st on YouTube and wherever you get your podcast.

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Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com