Beck vs. Games


Glenn was once an aspiring magician... In the days before video games and internet blogs, nerds were limited to other activities such as magic and radio...

Glenn:  Hang on just a second.  Speaking of losers, we have Stephen on the phone.  Stephen?

Caller:  Yes.

Glenn:  Yes.  Go ahead.

Caller:  Yeah.  How many spots on CNN have you had this year on the game, the video game DTA, Glenn?

Glenn:  I believe.

Caller:  So, you would consider that to be news?

Glenn:  That's why it's at 20 after.  It's some news, yeah.

Caller:  It's got to be news.  So, Glenn, recently you commented in your M ‑‑ rated M for money segment ‑‑

Glenn:  Yes.

Caller:  ‑‑ that video game bloggers are losers.  I might fully classify that, because a blogger is just a person who maintains a web log.  So, therefore, they maintain news about video game.  They automatically become a loser?

Glenn:  No.  This is really much more, Stephen, to irritate people like you because listen to what you're doing right now.  I mean, it's a video game.  Don't you have a life?

Caller:  Glenn, I do have a life.  I'm a web developer.  I'm a voter.  I'm a fan of your show or possibly former fan of your show and I'm an official member of the Nintendo generation.  I've been playing video games since '88, buddy.



Glenn:  Okay.

Caller:  So, if I'm a gamer, I'm automatically a loser?

Glenn:  Stephen ‑‑

Caller:  If I went to a web blog about news, I'm a loser?

Glenn:  Stephen, you're spending your time obsessing over three segments on a television show where I say, I'm not blaming Grand Theft Auto for all the ills of asset, but you can beat a prostitute to death with a baseball bat.  In the following segment, because all of these people are taking me apart of these blogs go, Oh, Glenn Beck, look at him.  They didn't even listen to what I said.  I'm not blaming the society ills on Grand Theft Auto.  I think it's really a bad idea to use the technology developed by the Pentagon to teach people to kill to then just, you know, let people just play these all the time.  I'm not saying pull it from the shelves.  I'm not saying everybody who plays it it is going to turn into killer.  I'm saying we should probably look at this as one of the very many factors that is causing our society to break down.  Because all of these bloggers started coming after me, you know, in some sort of witch hunt, I decided, oh, okay.  I offhanded said, in a joking fashion, they're all losers, I even said, to piss them off and now look at you.  You're so obsessed with it.  What time did you get up this morning to make sure you could call?  How many hours have you spent thinking about this?

Caller:  Actually it was about 15 minutes, Glenn.  I logged on to one of my favorite blogs.  You're on the front page.  Do you know what ‑‑

Glenn:  I'm on the front page?

Caller:  Yes.

Glenn:  Doesn't that say something?

Caller:  I was disappointed to hear that come out of your mouth.  You're basically labeling a whole lot of us.  I don't care about Grand Theft Auto.  I'm playing Nintendo WII.  If I want a hooker, I'll go to a different part of the city.  Who cares about that?  But you're labeling a lot of us reporting news as losers.  That so broad.

Glenn:  So disrespectful and so opinionated, which I never engage in opinion.

Caller:  Yes.  I understand.  You have an opinion, but I just think you kind of crossed the line there, Glenn.

Glenn:  And blogs, I hate to get into ‑‑

Caller:  Grand Theft Auto, I understand that, but you're labeling way too many people.

Glenn:  The video bloggers.  I know.  I'm nervous about the video blogger industry.

Stu:  You've got to watch yourself.  All he's doing is trying to annoy you.

Glenn:  No, I'm not.  I'm serious about these.  These video bloggers, he's a loser.  You could never hold down a job, Stephen.  Stephen?

Caller:  Yes.

Glenn:  Yes.  If you weren't in your mother's basement right now, you would never be able to ‑‑

Caller:  I'm in Florida, baby.  There's no basement.

Glenn:  Your mother's garage she converted into a little, you know, Star Trek kind of ‑‑ what was that?

Caller:  I just happen to have been playing video games since 1988, Glenn.  I just happen to be a member of the generation.  I've got my subscription.  I've got my wife.  I've got my house.  I've got my big salary.  I just happen to frequent video blogs because I want to know about the latest video blogs and when you are on the front page blog calling us all losers, I'm disappointed in you.  What can I say?

Glenn:  I love you people.  If that's not the definition of a loser, I don't know what is.  Front page news on your blog?

Stu:  Why are you torturing these people?

Glenn:  Because they're so easy to torture.

Stu:  Just leave them alone.

Glenn:  If I was dressed up in sort of a sexy outfit, he could beat me to death with a baseball bat.  What?  Video bloggers are never going to do anything.  They're never going to get violent.  Anybody who plays video games who could never get violent.

Stu:  I mean, you know I disagree with you on this Grand Theft Auto for the most part, but, honestly, getting that fired up over you just trying to needle them ‑‑

Glenn:  That is exactly ‑‑ did you see the segment will where I said, oh, I'm going to die.  Stu, the whole show is booked for tonight.  We've got to squeeze it in.  Somehow or the other, I've got to squeeze in ‑‑ what else can I say about video blogs?  I've got to have something that ‑‑ I've got to insert something in tonight's show ‑‑

Stu:  We should put something in like, you know, these people who are playing video games are playing games like Pac Man and they are eating ghosts.

Glenn:  Do you know what?  Here's the thing.  Here's the thing.  There's a food shortage on and it's because of these video bloggers that they're not out working the farm land like they used to.  All these young men who are out there that should be working the farm land, they're in their mom's basements making video blogs instead and that's why we've got a foot shortage and they're solely responsible for the food shortage because you know what?  If they didn't have all their ‑‑ if they didn't have all of their Mrs. Pac Man video games down in the basement, mom would have had a place for her catch up.

Stu:  That's pretty good, although is Pac Man officially married?  I think she's Ms. Pac Man.

Glenn:  Oh, is she Miss?

Stu:  Yeah.  She's not Mrs.

GlGlenn:  She's a feminist?  Hey, chicks can eat ghosts just as fast as any guy can do it.  And how come it's not Mr. Pac Man?  Why is it Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man?  Why isn't it a mister?  Where's the respect? And by the way, you notice they keep them in little separate mazes.  Do you know why?  Because the guy would kick the Misses' butt.

Stu:  This is controversial talk here, Glenn.

Glenn:  This is front page news on video blogs.  All right.  Let's see.  Let me take a break here for a second.  I'll give did you responsible sponsor.  You know, I want to talk to you about what's happening in Philadelphia.  I mean, I've got to go away from the front page news on what I said about Grand Theft Auto 4 and, more importantly, I want to go into the news of what happened in Philadelphia.  What happened in Philadelphia is ‑‑ who's surprised by this?  By the way, why have all of my television sets turned to some guy who's dressed like a priest but isn't a priest and he's talking to ‑‑ I mean, what ‑‑ I mean ‑‑ is there a message that I should be getting here?  I've got, like, all of the television sets, the networks have been taken over by some ‑‑ like ETW.

Stu:  I was going to say, what it's hackers?

Glenn:  Oh, my gosh.  It could be video blog hackers.  It could be.  Those guys rule the world from Dad's garage.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9.

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

RELATED: Time to reverse course: America is being corrupted by its own power

Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?