Glenn Beck: Jacko is at peace


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GLENN: I don't even know what to do with the Michael Jackson thing except to say this: I'm glad he's dead because I believe he's glad he's dead. You know, I don't think this guy was ever happy. Maybe he had moments of happiness. I don't know but I mean, anybody who does this to their face. You know, it's weird watching this last night as the you know, as everybody went to wall to wall Michael Jackson coverage. And I'm watching it and, you know, I remember seeing him in the Seventies as a kid and I was like, oh, man. He was so good. And then that moment at the Grammys or the Motown 25 or 35 or 50 or whatever the hell it was where he was doing the moonwalk, and I remember watching it. I remember seeing it for the very first time and he had the glove and the short pants and the white socks. They may have been even been silver or sequin that night and he did the moon and I remember watching it saying, oh, my gosh, look at that. And do you remember the phenomena it was the very next day. I remember the craze of the Thriller album and how this guy I mean, I went to a Michael Jackson Victory concert back in 1980, what, 4 maybe? Where he toured with his brother, brothers. And then I saw him alone later and I remember the Victory concert. I think the ticket was $20, and I was on the floor. And it was an outrage because remember everybody was outraged, the Victory concert, they were $20 seats? That's crazy! "It better be a good show for 20 bucks!" And then it all went downhill and then he started messing with his face. I mean, he was a good looking guy and then all of a sudden I mean, did you see the pictures of him in London where he made the announcement that he was going to go on tour again, and he was just, he looked like Frankenstein. He had just demolished his face. And how appropriate is it that yesterday as they're taking him out, as he's being loaded into the ambulance, there's a tour bus that has stopped in front and they were taking pictures and they were taking video of him being loaded in, dead. They worked on him for two hours yesterday. I think he's glad he's dead. He was clearly not a happy dude.

Stu, you can't relate to this at all, but all I could think of last night and my daughter was amazed at this. I said, "It's August 16th, 1977." And she said, "What?" And I said, "August 16th, 1977." Do you know what happened August 16th, 1977?

STU: No. I was like a year and a half old.

GLENN: I have no idea why I even know that date. Somebody, a friend of mine, Rob is in the studio. Do you remember, you're my age. If I said August 16, 1977, do you know what that is? Absolutely, Elvis. The day Elvis died. I don't even know why I remember August 16th, 1977. My daughter said, "That's not the date Elvis..." she said, "Dad, you barely know your own birthday." And I said, I don't know why I know. She got on, she Googled it and she's like, oh, my gosh. Now, I thought he was 50, but he was 42 when he died. So but this is exactly what it feels like. To anybody who lived through the Elvis thing, this is what it feels like, except the next day everybody on radio was playing Elvis songs. I remember I grew up in Seattle. So I listened to 11 KING growing up, that and KJR and KING in Seattle went into KING's salute to the King. It was nonstop wall to wall coverage and they had everybody who knew him, they had the old clips, they had everything that they had assembled and they put together, I think this 24 or 48 hour tribute to him. And it was phenomenal, but at this point people were gathering by the gates just like they were yesterday. There were candlelight vigils, there are people standing still at the hospital. I bet there are people still at the coroner's office today.

STU: There's self a big parallel there because I never thought of that, I mean, other than the nickname obviously. But you think about kind of like they're sort of past their prime, not really in the mainstream of, like, putting out hits still or anything like that but just so I mean, how many you said something this morning.

GLENN: 750 million albums.

STU: That's insane.

GLENN: 750 million albums. The guy couldn't go anywhere. My daughter said to me last night, she said, Dad, is there anybody, is there anybody like this? And I said she said, Madonna, anybody? I said, no, there's nobody. Elvis was the first huge star. And then after Elvis, I guess you could go to the Beatles, but the Beatles, it was a group. It wasn't an individual. So the next one I think that was like this was Michael Jackson, and there's nobody that even competes with this now. There's nobody. I mean, who's even there's nobody at this level. Nobody.

STU: Yeah. I mean, really

GLENN: Think of this you know, I said to my daughter yesterday, it was a weird generational thing last night for the two of us and I said, honey, imagine not being able to go anywhere on planet Earth, anywhere, and not have people surround your hotel. That's the way it was for Michael. You could go to China, he could go to Bahrain, he could go to England, India, anywhere.

STU: Yeah, there's no escape.

GLENN: There was no escape for him.

STU: And, you know, I'm conflicted over this because this is you do feel bad for him in a way, but I can't help

GLENN: No, I kind of got past the whole feeling bad for him with the child molestation stuff.

STU: Yeah. Like I you know, again he was not convicted of it. He certainly paid some people off for these incidents. It makes me believe again this is not a good standard for our legal system, but my personal opinion is he was doing that. But that's all I have. I mean, I don't have anything, I mean

GLENN: If he wasn't I said this at the time. If Michael Jackson was innocent, he is the most wrong man maybe in my life.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: Because look at what I mean, that's the thing. I was in the elevator yesterday. I was on the air at 5:30 when they took him to the hospital and it was the first time that I think we broke the news, right? Was it the first time we broke the news at 5:30, or the first time I heard it.

STU: I think it did happen on your show.

GLENN: On our show, yeah. So they break the news that he's been taken to the hospital. Now, I'm just listening to Patty Ann do the news and I said I roll my eyes, I'm not on the air and I'm like, when is Michael Jackson not on the way to the hospital? He's always on the way to the hospital. But they showed this house that he was renting for $100,000 a month in California and I'm thinking to myself, he's broke! He's broke. And they show this enormous estate and we come out of the break and I said, show that estate again. We went to the live pictures from Los Angeles, the helicopter. And I said, look at this house. It's a mannequin and Michael Jackson. How big of a house does the guy need? A few minutes later I'm on the air and I'm doing the hot list and a few minutes later I hear in my ear, don't say anything but it looks like Michael Jackson is dead. And I'm doing the middle of, you know, the hot list.

STU: Don't say anything.

GLENN: Don't say anything and I'm thinking, maybe don't tell me. And so we get into the break and I said, what do you mean he's you think he's dead? And they said, well, we have TMZ which is very accurate. It's usually not wrong. But we can't go with just one source. We need more than one source. And so the whole rest of the show was back and forth, back and forth of, don't say anything but it really looks like he's dead. And Shep was right outside the studio. You know that blue wall behind me actually moves. It's a door. And Shep and Geraldo and the whole team was standing behind that door waiting to come on and they pulled me off the air four minutes early to go to the wall to wall coverage. But they were waiting, you know, to announce to the world that he had died. It was a very weird thing because I didn't feel bad when they said that he was dead. I was kind of my first thought was, I don't believe it. My second thought was, well, at least he's being left alone now. At least he's in peace, you know. At least he's back with God and God bless him. But then my immediately after was, he was a freak.

 

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

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.