What does our future hold?

Glenn may be on vacation, but he is still keeping up with the news of the day. He authored the article below late last night, giving his opinion on the latest news in the Middle East, Ferguson, and the U.S. economy and what it means for you.

What does our future hold? Chaos, a reign of blood and horror across the whole of the earth? Or a peace, prosperity and freedom our founders could not even have imagined.

I choose the latter. I choose to live in a world where we are all in it together. Where we choose by our own free will to belong to something bigger than ourselves, where we are heard and we listen to others. I will, with all the creative power contained with in my simple human form, be a part of a generation that strive to have control over my own life, while I help build up others so they may do the same.

Make no mistake, life is a choice. Just as ones silence is indeed a powerful form of speech, when we refuse to make a choice - we are indeed making one. We are choosing to accept what ever comes our way. The problem is, "what comes our way" is almost always something we regret.

This time, I believe, what is coming our way has a price tag that no human will be willing to pay.

Please let me explain, and while I do, I ask that you put aside your opinion of me, whether it be good or bad. I only ask you to hear me out, ponder the questions I raise, use critical thinking and trust yourself.  If you disagree and you can make a cogent case, I will be the first to celebrate, as I do not wish for what I am showing you to be our future.

I have seen this movie before.

In 1998, I spoke to the listeners of WABC in New York City.  I warned them of Osama bin Laden and said that by playing politics there would be blood, bodies and buildings in the streets of New York within ten years and it would be done by Osama bin Laden.At the time, conservatives told me that I was just "helping Clinton distract the nation from his lies". I did not want that to be true. I prayed that it wouldn't be, but because we the people didn't want to think about it, our politicians were too busy working special favors with the Saudis, and our media no longer functioned as a compass, we lost an opportunity that we will never have again.

After 9/11, we changed forever in ways we now don't even want to think about.  Just remember what America was like before Homeland Security, secret courts, and full body scanners at the airports.  I wish more would have considered the warning I gave, and I certainly never hoped it would lead to collective apathy.

Recently, those in DC, who for years have been blinded by their own political interests, are now beginning to warn us of new disasters that, they, for years mocked and said were "warped fantasies and delusions."

For years I spoke of the Mahdi, the 12th Imam and those who had a religious worldview that encouraged chaos that would wash the world in blood to 'hasten the return of the promised one’. How they first wanted and needed a caliphate centered in Iraq.I was called "crazy", "delusional" and a "fear monger". Now the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says, the group that has indeed now established a caliphate: "is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of- days strategic vision.”

Is he a fear monger and crazy?  Or is he right?

He is right!

However, the time to deal with this dangerous ideology in the way currently being discussed, has passed.  The caliphate poses a new and much more dangerous global threat. One that could change the entire world forever.

One very real and possible outcome is World War 3.  It doesn't take much wargaming to see this as a very real scenario and one that does not end well for anyone other than those hoping to "hasten the return of the promised one".

Please understand, I am not offering a global solution. Instead, I am merely asking you to stop and examine the storm clouds we are now seeing gather and to take a moment and think out loud with me.

If we put all of the turmoil together and really examine the possible and probable outcomes, what happens?  If just a few things begin to fall, even into the natural state of entropy, what does the world look like in one year? Five years? Ten?

If only half of what I will spell out comes to pass, it will result in chaos and trouble beyond the understanding of our politicians and our visionless media. It will fall on the shoulders of each of us as neighbors, friends and parents to guide our nation and world in a peaceful, free and loving direction. If we have not mentally, physically and spiritually healed and prepared ourselves, we just may fail the calling of our time.

Let's just look at the rough outlines of what the world is facing.

Sides are being drawn. New alliances and old hatreds.Syria, Iran, and Russia are now beginning to play on the same team.  The US, Saudi Arabia,and Qatar (and by extension, the Muslim Brotherhood) on the other.

China and Russia finishing a dollarless relationship. Israel on the ropes, the free market system becoming corrupted, debt, taxes and spying on our own citizens on the rise.

Rising food and gas prices, unemployment, and a cold winter coming with the shuttering of coal fired plants due to new EPA regulations.

Our youth strapped with debt beyond comprehension and no way to pay it off and no promise of jobs when they leave school.

The Fed just now beginning to worry about the devaluation of the dollar, the streets of the US beginning to go unstable, the militarization of our own police force,  radical Islam, anarchists and communists all separately working to destabilize the Western world. Meanwhile, the average citizen has growing apathy and declining faith in a unifying culture.

Why worry?

Why would we even need a president that spends a little less time on the golf course or a congress that worried less about election and more about the principles behind our country?

If the issues that I raise here are not just flatly ignored by the media they will be mocked ... again. At this point it is laughably expected.

Look at the record and the history of the globe. Do not fall for distractions or politics.  Assume that I have only the worst intentions to make money in some sort of solid gold World War 3 bomb shelter and cable network. I want you to accept the worst, as it will force you to not trust me, but trust the facts and your own ability to reason.

Begin here: ask yourself ‘Why is this crazy?’ What makes us, at this time, able to suspend the laws of finance, common sense, or the arc of history. The arc of history has been bent back in the past but always through great movements like that of Gandhi or the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. Where is that great movement today?

What are the actual economic principles that change the outcome? Know that you are capable of finding the answers. The wealth of a nation works on the exact same principles as your household wealth. Do not rely on others, rely on yourself. Do your own homework and find out what is true.

Look at history for answers. When we look at the Middle East, first read about the 12th Imam and what those who follow him really believe. Compare and contrast with what you know about "end of days" and "religious zealots" in the west. Would we dismiss any Christian here in America if he believed these things? Do the stories at the end of the Christian Bible match up with the end times belief found with the Twelvers? If so, how? Are their "good guys" the same as ours?  If not, why?  What do they do when the 12th Imam is in charge? Do they more closely align with our version of "the bad guys"?  Why?

Remember, I am not asking you to believe what these people believe, for I find it irrational and deeply disturbing. I only ask you to investigate and then ask yourself, do they believe it? For an answer to that look to who the Ayatollah Khomeini banned as "too dangerous" for revolutionary Iran in 1980.

Editor's Note: For more on The Twelfth Imam, TheBlaze TV subscribers can watch Rumors of War. The documentary covers many of the issues Glenn raises in this post

Next, domestically, can you name ONE nation in the entire history of the world that was $17 trillion in debt and survived. How about $10 trillion? 5?

Next, ask why we think it will end differently this time? Can you make sense and explain to a friend the logic of "quantitative easing"? Is it more than just fancy talk for money printing? Can you find ONE surviving nation that has done this, let alone that has done this to the tune of 4 trillion dollars? How did it work out for them? Now explain using real concrete terms, logic and reason how The Federal Reserve will ensure that this time it ends positively. Explain it to another in real and concrete ways.  Do they find it logical?  Possible?  Plausible?

I don't think I need to guide you further than these questions. If you just answer those questions and maybe read ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ by Gibbons, you will see the historic pathway we are currently on.

Now ask:  Is this the way you want it to end? I do not. I, personally, do not  know of a Democrat, Republican or Independent that does want it to end that way. In fact, even those Americans that are routing for an entirely new system of government, do not "hope" for this dark outcome. They believe we can navigate these waters and arrive at a new America just as the Egyptian people believed their utopia was just over the horizon during the Arab Spring. They now are seeing the cold of the Arab Winter.

Do you want to be remembered in all of the history books as the generation that allowed the greatest experiment in self rule to apathetically slip away in to the darkness?  More importantly, what will our children and grandchildren say about all of us when they are our age? Will they look and ask how were we so blind or with pride in their eyes will they ask how did we muster the courage to face the truth and change the course of history?

We must stop listening to those playing catch up on what is already here and begin to see what is coming.

I am indeed asking you to choose the blue or red pill. But seeing things for how they really are does not mean the outcome is set. It just means we must all figure out how specifically we are going to alter the course.  But mocking the theory, ignoring the history or simply turning a blind eye makes us all part of the problem, and our outcome sets itself a little firmer each passing day.

Here is the good news: Americans are problem solvers. "We do these things not because they are easy, we but because they are hard" and we are always the better for it.

There are solutions. They will not be easy, but they are simple and we must find them together. We must work toward them, so we do not just survive, but so we leave a better world for our children. A world without the shackles of our debt and our shame.

We must stop marching in the streets and instead fix reason firmly in her seat and question even the very existence of God. In today's world, we are told there are things we are not allowed to say, think or question. But Jefferson said the opposite. He urged citizens to take up the most sacred of belief and "question with boldness", for he believed, “if there be [a God], He must surely rather honest questioning over blindfolded fear.”

Please hear me, we must put our differences aside, humble ourselves, and begin to hear each other, find our common values, accept the responsibility of our own lives and families. We must come together as one people, united on those things men have always found self evident.

We are all indeed created equal and given by that creator certain rights that no man or government can ever alter or destroy.  Among them, meaning there are many more, are:

I have a right to live.

You cannot kill me without a warrant, a jury trial and all that goes with it.  No drones or secret courts.

I have a right to liberty.

You cannot detain me, search me or spy on me without a warrant, probable cause, a constitutional court and limits on the governments right.

I have a right to property.

This is why I pursue what makes me happy.  I get to keep the fruit of my labors.   I earned it.  If I earned it illegally than see the first and second right and follow the steps.   If not, I may use it legally as I see fit without shame.

But these rights also imply responsibility.

If we merely focus on our rights we must recognize that we indeed will lose them to some future tyrant cloaked as a father, uncle, caretaker and servant.   Someone will always be there to compassionately take away all of your pain that comes from personal responsibility. But just like opiates are a godsend for the relief of pain, they come with a heavy price. In the end, if you use them unwisely, do not get off them quickly, or begin to ride the high, you will become a slave to them. If you are still unwilling to pay that now heavy price of deeper pain and suffering you will, in the end, die.

Some opioids are clearly marked "for end of life use only". They are so powerful that there is no way for the patient to recover from the effects of the drugs but they keep the patient calm, at peace and blissfully unaware of their pending death? Are the painkillers being prescribed for our marked "end of life use only"? If not how do we safely begin to wean ourselves off?

We must face our addiction to fiction. Let us begin to speak and listen to the hard truths. Let us look for those who will tell us the hard truth and run from those who tell us they can make all of our problems go away pain free. Especially if they tell you that it is mainly the fault of one group or another.  We must reject the seeds of collective nationalism, book burning, and loyalty oaths.

Instead, let us come together, really listen to one another, then listen to common sense.  Let the meanest among us soften our hearts and believe again that it is true that man indeed can rule himself.

Let us be remembered as giants who conquered the specter of fear.  Let us work together to build a better America, one that is more tolerant and free.  One that once again, and maybe for the first time truly understands responsibility, justice and mercy.

We are on the verge of mighty man made miracles the likes of which humankind has never dared to dream, let alone experienced or witnessed.  Great and wondrous achievements are just beyond the horizon, but we must stick together, individually choose to carry one another if we must, but do so with a common love for self evident truth.

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:

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

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

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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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

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.