Only in America: Thanksgiving reflections of an Irishman

Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

On Thursday, America celebrates Thanksgiving - a time when families spend hours and sometimes days cooking every delicious food known to man, a time when y'all sit around a table with the family you love and the family you tolerate – and you pray a political argument does not start before saying grace. After food, it will likely be time for the main event – watching your favorite sport on your 42 inch TV and having leftovers.

America you truly have traveled a long way since the Mayflower pilgrims landed on your shores 398 years ago. Those pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 because of a successful harvest and celebrated the second one in 1623 because of the rain after a long drought. (Can you imagine ever being so thankful for rain, that you would celebrate it?).

Before you enjoy your family time, I think it is critical to reflect on some of the miracles we see in our world every day, that we may take for granted.

Earth & Mother Nature

In this world of instant gratification, we take so many things for granted and just expect things to happen like it is routine. We expect the sun to rise in the east and set in the west – but have you ever looked at our planet and be in complete awe?

  • Have you ever thought about how our planet is constantly rotating inside a system of other planets that also rotate around each other and yet we never collide?
  • Ever thought about the miracle of us simply being able to walk around - our planet is constantly traveling around 1000 miles an hour and yet we never fall or lose balance?
  • Ever thought about the miracle of rain? We live in an atmosphere that collects moisture from our planet which then resides in the clouds in the sky and then is released when they collide.
  • Have you ever looked at the beauty of our planet and feel like it is an artist canvas? Whether it is the slopes, the different colors in trees, plants or grass or simply the amazing sky filled with so much character?
  • Ever thought about the miracle of farming and growing the crops we eat? The fact we can plant a seed in the soil, water it, look after it and it grows and then we eat it when it fully matures?

Standard of Living

We have also been blessed to see incredible man-made advancements over the last 10, 20 and 100 years that we should be thankful for. I am in my mid-thirties so let's compare the standard of living from when I was growing up and look at the advancements to today.

Food

Let's start with my favorite advancements. Have you noticed the increase in choices of food available to you? When we were growing up some produce was seasonal - today you can buy food at any time of the year as food comes from around the globe.

In our local supermarket, they regularly have promotions with food from other cultures around the world - they have French week, Spanish week, American week etc. If you like food from a different culture, you can get it most of the year now.

Entertainment

Have you noticed how easy it is to entertain yourself today and the standard of that entertainment? When we were growing up, we would go outside and entertain ourselves by playing soccer or some other game and when it was dark we would come inside and go to bed. On rainy days, we could sit inside and play board games or watch the one TV in the household which only had 6 stations and was about 3 foot deep. If you wanted to watch a programme at a certain time you had to watch live, and if someone else in your family wanted to watch something at the same time, YOU HAD TO COMPROMISE - or if it was your parents, you watched what they wanted.

Today we entertain ourselves by playing video games from the comfort of our own chair on the X-Box or PlayStation. We can watch live TV, or we can watch on demand on our flat-screen which likely have 100's of stations. If that was not enough we likely have more than one TV so there is no need for compromise and we have the added benefits of apps where we can stream and binge watch shows on platforms like Netflix or Amazon that we can even watch on our phones or tablets.

Technology

Phones

Do you remember the phone you grew up with? There was usually one phone in the house, it was centrally located, you had zero privacy, you actually had to answer the phone to see who was calling, and the most horrific thing about the phone - it only had one function, to make and receive phone calls.

Today people use cell phones and we all have one of our own. We can walk and talk, have complete privacy *(apart from the NSA), we can call screen and decide if we actually want to talk to the person calling. Today we can do a lot more on our phones including texting, email, take pictures, look at the internet, go onto social media, listen to radio or podcasts, watch videos, listen to music and play games. Today we have more power and access to more information with our phones than Bill Clinton had when he was President of the United States.

Computers

Do you remember your first computer? I do. It was big, bulky, slow and could only do a few things on it. It had Microsoft word, excel, dial-up internet, and two games - solitaire and minesweeper. When we wanted to use it, it took forever to load.

Today computers are smaller, faster with Wi-Fi broadband and extremely fast. We also have laptops which today can do more than at any point in human history. We have cloud technology which connects everyone. I am blessed to do a show on the Blaze and each week I am amazed at what we can do. Every Thursday I sit in my office in Ireland and use a free app on my PC, record my show, upload it to the cloud which takes seconds and I can email my producer Kris (who is nearly 5000 miles away) the details and he can instantly access and download my recordings. He then edits my show, (hopefully makes me sound better), uploads to all platforms and people can listen anywhere around the world.

Music

If you are under 21 today, you really don't understand the joy of music. I grew up in an era where we had to work hard to listen to our favorite songs. We had these things called cassette tapes and you had to rewind and fast forward several times to get to the exact point where your song started. If you wanted to repeat the song, you had to go thru the whole process again. I remember living thru the revolution of the Discman where music came on CD's that allowed you to skip to any song you wanted easily. Both of these are rarely seen today as they have been replaced by the iPod or streaming.

The other option was something we did every day after school - we would come home, put on a station that just played music called MTV (today you likely know MTV as the station where you watch 16 and pregnant or teen mom), and we would do our homework and wait until our favorite song came on.

Education

As impressive as the above are, I believe we have made the biggest improvements in education. Today there is no excuse for ignorance as you can teach yourself ANYTHING. If you wanted to be smart when I was growing up, you had to do really well in school, go to college and actually work hard. If you wanted to learn about a certain topic it required you to go to your library with all the nerds, look for books on the topic and go thru each book and learn about it.

Today you can educate yourself from the comfort of your own home. Is doing well in school still a positive thing? YES. But today you don't need to go to college to be smart. Colleges like MIT make all their courses available online for free. If you want to research something today, you don't need to go the local library, you can google and research it on the internet from the comfort of your living room or even on the toilet in complete privacy.

Today you also have access to more information, with the creation of companies like Amazon; you have access to more products than ever before. You can buy physical books in a used condition, you can buy books for your Kindle or if you are not the best reader you can buy audiobooks. The other advantage of these wonderful services is sometimes you can get access to free products. I am always searching Amazon and I purchased and downloaded 12 different books of writings by Edmund Burke for the grand total of ZERO dollars. Amazon also regularly has penguin classics like Moby Dick etc. for free.

Conclusion

Our world has changed dramatically for everyone in the last thirty years. With the advancements in technology, a lot of these products have become considerably cheaper over time which means any positive changes directly benefit EVERYONE in society and they can help empower people who come from poorer backgrounds.

Looking at all the advancements we have made, it would be very easy to simply celebrate material things. However, that is not the real miracle here. The real miracle is the environment needed to create these products and historically only America has truly ever understood this idea.

Man is meant to live free to pursue their own happiness, to be allowed to succeed or fail on their own merit and if they are successful to keep the fruits of their labor.

It is why the world changed and improved for the better when America was formed. If we share these principles again, just close your eyes and imagine what our world could look like in 5, 10 or 20 years.

Jonathon hosts a weekly one hour show exclusive to the Blaze Radio Network called Freedom's Disciple where he highlights the IDEA of America, promotes the eternal principles of freedom & and shares his passion of America's Founding documents. Please check out his show for FREE here.

Christians are conflicted when it comes to President Donald Trump. Some proudly support him and his policies, while others just can't accept the man behind the boorish language.

Ruth Graham, daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham, joined Glenn Beck on "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to make a case for the president from a Christian's point-of-view.

Watch a the clip from the podcast below:

Watch the full interview below:


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

WATCH: Dem goes to Trump rally and realizes Dems are screwed in 2020

Image source: BlazeTV screenshot

On Thursday's radio program ,Glenn interviewed Dr. Karlyn Borysenko, who described what it was like attending a President Trump rally as a Democrat. She told Glenn Beck that crossing party lines is nearly forbidden in liberal circles but she branched out anyway — and learned quite a bit about the other side.

Watch the video below for more on this story.

youtu.be

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Ryan: Bernie at the airport Holiday Inn

Photo by Sean Ryan

(Part One) . (Part Two). (Part Three).

Some poor guy booked a hotel at the Holiday Inn Airport Conference Center in Des Moines on February 3, 2020, assuming it would be a harmless Monday night. Only to find himself in the middle of an overflowing Bernie rally on the night of the caucuses.

For the record, the man was not a Bernie Sanders supporter. Far from it. He popped his head backward when I told him where I work, smiling. Well, grinning, to be precise.

*

After her speech, Klobuchar wandered into the crowd, immediately submerged. Selfies. Everybody wanted them. A minute later, the other candidates began to appear on screen, giving speeches.

"Bernie," asked Justin Robert Young, host of Politics Politics Politics.

"Bernie," I said, and we paced to the car and lurked out onto the depopulated streets and the trenchant cold. But we were both bright with excitement, a couple of detectives. The valet attendants in their satin outfits saw two oddities, and they were right.

Justin Young and I had just left the Des Moines Marriott Downtown for Amy Klobuchar's "Amy for America caucus night party." She gave her speech, in a brilliant maneuver. I skated the Nissan down empty streets, quietly listening to Bernie's speech on the Iowa Public Radio station.

"I love this, what we're about to do," I said, gripping the wheel, words hurried, leaning forward, tapping my left boot. "We're going to hear Bernie talking, then we'll park, then walk through some doors and we will stroll into that very room as Bernie is giving the speech that's being broadcast to millions of people."

It was like how in the game Mario Bros., Mario can jump into giant green storm drains, occasionally. Like leaping into the television and joining the cast.

"There's nobody out on the roads," one of us said. "Holiday Inn, right up there." As broad-winged commercial airplanes floated overhead. We scoured for a parking spot and each second felt wasted. Urgent. We needed to be inside that hotel. But there was nowhere to park. Even the illegal spots were taken. Cars had creviced every inch of parking lot and curb and all that, had even jammed into dark pyramids of sludge.

*

Rita Dove wrote, "I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on."

*

There were so many more journalists press at Bernie's event that the only media spots left were in the overflow room, which itself seemed at capacity. Dank, too. With a heavy vibe, like a sinister library.

The entire hotel exuded gloom. A quietness you hear in locker rooms after a game that should have ended differently.

Bernie supporters, dazed, stomped out into the snow, or to the bathrooms, or just in need of a bit of stomping.

*

Back to Beechwood Lounge, where we watched the Super Bowl a day earlier. Although it felt like a week had passed since then.

Approaching midnight, by that point.

Because Justin consumes politics with an all-encompassing urgency. As if it's a duty. He's clearly studied history and politics for years. Part historian, part political scientist, but also part reporter and part comedian. On one hand, he's guided by the old school approach to journalism. Objectivity. Solemnity. Accuracy.

An American has the right to tell nobody who they voted for. Or maybe it's a cultural thing.

Snow everywhere you look, piles of it full of gas and oil, and rubbish as well. That day was unseasonably warm. The next would plummet us into literal freezing. The kind of day that slows everyone down. With all that ice, you have to be cautious about every step.

Shame is for the uninitiated.

Thanks for reading. New stories come out every Monday and Thursday. Next week, a look at Socrates' sarcasm and Cardi B's political aspirations. Check out my Twitter. Send all notes, tips, corrections to kryan@blazemedia.com

In 1990 Michael Bloomberg's employees created a short book full of crude, sexist, and shocking quotes he allegedly said at work, including one story that has him telling a female employee to "kill it" after she announced she was pregnant. Sadly, that story has him fitting right in with the Democratic party in 2020.

The booklet, titled, 'Wit & Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg,' has resurfaced to haunt the Democratic presidential candidate after "The Washington Post" published the full text on Saturday.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere (filling in for Glenn) shared some of the less colorful (many were too lewd to be repeated on radio,) but no less disgusting quotes.

Watch the video below:

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