Mercury One: Responding to Hurricane Sandy

By Adam Blaylock

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Mercury One president, Joseph Kerry, met with leaders of faith-based organizations in New York on Wednesday, to assess damages and plan out recovery efforts.

Surveying the destruction left in the wake of the hurricane’s path across Coney Island, New York, Mercury One Kerry said the town had collapsed into total chaos, calling it “a war zone area.” Church leaders had been receiving calls from members of their congregations who had “boarded themselves within their own apartments, afraid to come out due to roving gangs of kids – which they called ‘wolf packs’ – who were terrorizing the neighborhood.”

In a haunting memorandum to Glenn Beck, Kerry wrote:

“Do you remember all of the Trump-owned buildings that line the Hudson River that you used to point out to me on the way to work?  They were all dark last night.  Not one light on in any of them. That entire area was dark. It was like a scene from ‘I Am Legend.’ No people, no lights, no noise – just empty.”

But one of the things that stood out most to Kerry and those that were with him was the silence of the media. While meeting with members of the New York Christian Resource Center (NYCRC), Kerry learned that no one else had visited that Coney Island community to offer help – no relief organizations or emergency management organizations. They had been left to fend for themselves.

“I think people hear about the flooding of New York City and think of rich people with big homes,” Kerry said. “Yes, that has happened. And yes, they need our help, too. But this area was devastated. No food, no water. Roaming armed gangs. We heard sirens from the moment we arrived until we left. I could not believe how quickly the chaos started.”

Some of the church leaders Kerry met with had worked with Mercury One and Operation Blessing earlier this year during a food drive connected to the Restoring Love event on July 28th, where 14 tractor trailers of food were sent to communities across the nation, including one on Coney Island.

In a video message to Glenn, Jim Esposito of the NYCRC commented on Mercury One’s assistance with the food drive and expressed gratitude for the additional assistance after hurricane Sandy:

“You have no idea what you guys have brought to us today – the hope that’s descended here in Coney Island, Brooklyn and beyond. You were the first people to come to this community, to this church and to see what we need. And that’s God’s honest truth. They didn’t know where they were going to turn today. And I’m glad that you were there. Thank you so much, sir.”

But the story doesn’t end there. Kerry said it was humbling to hear the church leaders talk about helping others even when their own church building had been severely damaged by the storm.

“When we arrived at the church we were going to it was dark,” he said, adding that “they didn’t have any power. We went inside and there was a group of religious leaders sitting around a wooden table with candles providing the only light.”

Kerry recalled being at the same church this summer after Restoring Love, when these same church leaders were integral to getting food and supplies to over 20 other needy churches in the area. “Now, these wonderful people were sitting around a wooden table with five lit candles burning, waiting to meet us,” he said.

To make matters worse, one church in the NYCRC network, the Coney Island Gospel Assembly Church, had its basement flooded with sewage that had been backed up from the sewer system below. The church’s situation was no different from many of the neighborhood homes and apartments, whose basements had also been flooded with filth.

Even in the middle of their own tragedy, the leaders of the church did their best to be good hosts to the Mercury One team that arrived, having brought bags of McDonald’s food so there would be something to eat at dinner time. Kerry said the church leaders, thinking more of their guests than themselves, “refused to eat any of the food.”

Even more impressive, the leaders of the church said they had no plans to apply for any government assistance out of concern for the restrictions which would accompany the money. And since the church leaders were so focused on helping the community, it took a while for Kerry to finally find out what the church itself needed help with.

“It was only after they were pressed to tell us how we could help them recover as a church did they finally tell us about the flooded basement and the destroyed water heater and the loss of other rooms due to flooding in the church.” (Sic)

In his memorandum to Beck, Kerry concluded with a heartfelt expression of gratitude: “Glenn, thank you. And thank you to your audience who is making a difference in the lives of people who believe they are alone, who are losing hope. We have teamed up with Operation Blessing and Somebody Cares to distribute relief supplies that are desperately needed.”

To learn more and to help support Mercury One in its effort to restore hope in times of disaster, go to www.mercuryone.org.

 

In light of the national conversation surrounding the rights of free speech, religion and self-defense, Mercury One is thrilled to announce a brand new initiative launching this Father's Day weekend: a three-day museum exhibition in Dallas, Texas focused on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

This event seeks to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As Americans, what responsibility do we shoulder when it comes to defending our rights?
  2. Do we as a nation still agree on the core principles and values laid out by our founding fathers?
  3. How can we move forward amidst uncertainty surrounding the intent of our founding ideals?

Attendees will be able to view historical artifacts and documents that reveal what has made America unique and the most innovative nation on earth. Here's a hint: it all goes back to the core principles and values this nation was founded on as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Exhibits will show what the world was like before mankind had rights and how Americans realized there was a better way to govern. Throughout the weekend, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Stu Burguiere, Doc Thompson, Jeffy Fisher and Brad Staggs will lead private tours through the museum, each providing their own unique perspectives on our rights and responsibilities.

Schedule a private tour or purchase general admission ticket below:

Dates:
June 15-17

Location:

Mercury Studios

6301 Riverside Drive, Irving, TX 75039

Learn more about the event here.

About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2011 by Glenn Beck. Mercury One was built to inspire the world in the same way the United States space program shaped America's national destiny and the world. The organization seeks to restore the human spirit by helping individuals and communities help themselves through honor, faith, courage, hope and love. In the words of Glenn Beck:

We don't stand between government aid and people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the government

Some of Mercury One's core initiatives include assisting our nation's veterans, providing aid to those in crisis and restoring the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities. When evil prevails, the best way to overcome it is for regular people to do good. Mercury One is committed to helping sustain the good actions of regular people who want to make a difference through humanitarian aid and education initiatives. Mercury One will stand, speak and act when no one else will.

Support Mercury One's mission to restore the human spirit by making an online donation or calling 972-499-4747. Together, we can make a difference.

What happened?

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that a 30-year-old still living in his parents' home must move out, CNN reported.

Failure to launch …

Michael Rotondo, who had been living in a room in his parents' house for eight years, claims that he is owed a six-month notice even though they gave him five notices about moving out and offered to help him find a place and to help pay for repairs on his car.

RELATED: It's sad 'free-range parenting' has to be legislated, it used to be common sense

“I think the notice is sufficient," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood said.

What did the son say?

Rotondo “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement," he claimed in court filings.

He told reporters that he plans to appeal the “ridiculous" ruling.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.