Glenn Beck: Big, Bad Wal-Mart

GLENN: Well, after legal fees were paid -- and we're not sure what the settlement was. It was between $700,000 and a million but we know that after the legal fees were paid she was left with $417,000. So she really only has $470,000. Wal-Mart, you know, could have tossed in money and helped her out. They could have done that. Because after all, Wal-Mart doesn't need the money. Let's help this person out; they don't need it. I don't know why it's anybody's business on what they need and what they don't need. Who are you to tell Wal-Mart what they need and what they don't need? Shank said they didn't notice that in the medical plan they had the right to recoup all the medical expenses. So Wal-Mart said we need the $470,000. And they said -- the Shanks said, no, we're not going to give that to you. And they said, no, but it's in the -- it's in your contract. Court ruled that they were allowed to recoup what was in the trust fund of $417,000. Not the 470 but the 417 and call it a day. Shanks' attorney notified Wal-Mart of the settlement. He believed that Wal-Mart would let Shank keep the money. Quote: We assume three years later that Wal-Mart had made the decision to let Debbie use the money for what it was intended for.


 


 Oh, I get that. So if time goes by, that money's now yours. So the Shanks lost to Wal-Mart. They lost their appeal and then they had their worst loss shortly after the court case. Their son was killed in Iraq. That's horrible. I thank that family for the sacrifice this family has gone through. I'm not sure what this has to do with the case because the son wasn't killed by the truck. The son wasn't killed by Wal-Mart. The son was killed after the court case. In fact, after two court cases. Now it adds a whole bunch of sympathy. It adds yet another -- like I need anymore -- another tragic angle to this story but I think I got enough tragedy in the story. I mean, I don't think I need any more. If I'm going to feel bad for them, what, I'm not going to feel bad for the woman who now has brain damage and short-term memory loss? You now have to pile on a dead soldier? I don't think I need -- I don't need that. I'm cool. I feel bad, sufficiently bad for the family.


 


 But let me pile it on again. She not only has short-term memory loss and lost her son, that short-term memory loss allows her or forces her to forget that her son is dead. So every time she remembers her son, she says how is he, they have to say he's dead. So it's like he's dying all over again for the first time. Now how bad do you feel? Well, now I just want to rip the head off of Wal-Mart. For what? For what? Giving her the $470,000? Making sure that she was covered in medical care, making sure that she didn't have to fight soothe and nail for the medical care, that she got it. For what? You're mad at Wal-Mart for living up to their end of the bargain and then compromising and saying you owe me $470,000 but we'll take the $417,000 that you have in the trust fund? What? For making that compromise, you're angry with them?


 


 Another curious statistic that has been tossed in every article I've seen about this is the net sales of Wal-Mart for the quarter, $90 billion. What does that have to do with this story? Here's what this story is about. You go to work; you do your job. You then go out and you're driving around and some senseless accident happens. You then have to have your medical bills paid. Your employer has done the right thing, has paid your medical expenses, has paid for your insurance, made sure that everything is up to date. He pays for it, makes sure that you're taken care of. Then you decide to sue. You sue. Well, you have this obligation to pay back that medical expense. You want to know why everybody's medical insurance is so expensive? Because everybody sues and nobody wants to take responsibility. Nobody wants to even take responsibility of saying, no, you know what, I don't think I need that test. Nobody wants to take responsibility in a doctor's office because they've got to give you that test because they know if they say "I don't think you need this test but if you want to get this test, we can get it." Even if they say that and you made the decision to not have that test, if it turns out you needed that test, you'll sue the doctor. Nobody's willing to take responsibility for anything. Nobody's word means anything anymore.


 


 When you do business, your word is your bond. Everybody would be up in arms if Wal-Mart didn't cover this woman, but they did. All they're doing is asking for the money back that the insurance company spent. But everybody sees insurance companies as just these evil corporations that are just getting rich. And Wal-Mart is just getting rich. Do you know even their attorney said "We don't believe that they have a right, that the Shank family has a right to this money." We're not saying that Wal-Mart has a responsibility to pay us or to let us have this money. We just think it would be, you know, good of them. We think we deserve it more than them. Even their attorney says they don't have a right to this money.


 


 Now, what happens to Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart, because everybody jumps on Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart decides to fold yesterday in the dumbest thing I think they could have ever done. You know what, Wal-Mart? I don't know how you got to be this big. I really don't. Because you're this stupid? Now you've just said that you're going to rewrite your medical insurance so it doesn't say that. It says we will review it on a case-by-case basis. Do you have an attorney? Is there anybody in your PR department? You're going to review it on a case-by-case basis. Hmmm. So in other words, you decide who you're going to help out and who you're not going to help out. Oh. Well, that doesn't sound like a litigation waiting to happen. That doesn't sound like a PR machine just gearing up. How many people are going to sue you now? How many people are going to say, wait a minute, Wal-Mart doesn't need that money. They have a policy, they review case by case. I lost my legs in a meat grinder making sausage on a Saturday and what happens? They don't pay me. Why? They pay the white woman. What about me? I'm black. Oh, yeah. Yeah, sure, the black guy, they paid the black guy who lost his leg in a sausage factory. I lost both of my eyes playing pickup sticks. What? Is it because I'm purple? They won't pay me because I'm purple? That's what's going to happen. More lawyers, more litigation, more people going after them with PR. And yet nobody in the media, nobody in the media. Wal-Mart can do no right to anyone. I'm not a big Wal-Mart fan. I mean, I want you to know I don't care about Wal-Mart. I really don't. But I am so tired of distortion. I am so sick and tired of the lies. I'm so sick and tired of principles not meaning anything. Once you get off of principles, principles are the things that tether you. You have to know what you believe because the storms are going to crash against you and you need to be tethered by principles. If you are not tethered by principles, you are going to crash against those rocks every time.


 


 Well, what are the principles? The principles are right is right, wrong is wrong. No matter how much I need it, no matter how hard it is for me, no matter how much it sucks, it's not right. My word is my bond. I made an agreement. I didn't see it in there. Sorry. Man, it sucks. It's really going to be tough, but this is extortion. This is blackmail. I'll go to the media. I'll expose you. For what? For living up to my end of the bargain? For what? That is blackmail. And yet Wal-Mart folds. You don't deal with terrorists? Really? You just did. You just dealt with economic blackmailers. You had people who said, their own attorney said Wal-Mart, we can't legally ask them. They don't have to do this. But then -- and I don't even put it on the family as much as I do on the media. The media, they just -- MSNBC, man, they can just make hay with this. And what does Wal-Mart do? They make it worse for themselves in the long run and yet they won't say anything about, you know what, I give to charity.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.