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‘Greece Under Pressure’: Beck’s Amazing Midnight Visit to Athens

For over a year, we’ve heard dire warnings that Greece is teetering on the brink of a catastrophic financial collapse. The country has already been bailed out by the European Union once, but more money is required. Complicating this problem is the fact that a meltdown of the Greek economy would likely trigger serious problems or a domino-like collapse in countries like Spain and Italy.

As the European finance ministers debate the size, scope, and conditions of a second Greek bailout, the country has become increasingly volatile. Riots and demonstrations are happening on a regular basis. And last week, two of the protests degenerated into violent outbreaks that torched buildings and destroyed millions of dollars in property.

We happened to be in Rome this weekend with Glenn Beck (on an unrelated project), and it was decided that a quick visit to Athens might offer some eyewitness clarity on the situation. Beck stated that he hoped to gain a deeper understanding of the problems faced by the Greek people.  The details of the trip will be shared on radio and television today. Plus, a mini-documentary on “The Real Face of Greece” and what Glenn discovered on this trip will also be seen this week on GBTV.

Our crew landed in Athens on Saturday night, just before midnight. The beautiful countryside and virtually new superhighway that led us to the city seemed to be in complete contradiction with what we were hearing about the country. Everything on this road appeared to be new and in great shape. Our driver informed us that the beautiful toll road was built for the 2004 Olympics, using German bond money. He also added that the Germans were still sharing in the toll revenues.

From our well-informed host we also learned:

Wages in Greece have fallen 25% in the last couple of years.
Unemployment sits at a staggering 20%. (Youth unemployment is considerably worse, hovering in the 45-50% zone.)
Inflation is also a concern… Fuel costs have rise 100% in two years and more increases are expected.
Small businesses, the lifeblood of any economy, are folding. Half of them could close  this year, further crippling Greece.

The general sentiment of the Greek people is one of concern for their future, but there is also no willingness to accept the austerity cuts mandated by the eurozone finance ministers.

Beck Visits Athens To Investigate the Greek Riots

Beck arrives at the Acropolis at midnight. Photo by Mark Mabry.

After a brief visit to the Acropolis, we stopped by the Greek Parliament building where the protests are regularly held.

Beck Visits Athens To Investigate the Greek Riots

Greece's Parliament Building. Photo by Mike Opelka

The plaza was empty. However, we heard stories from the soldiers and citizens explaining that a one-hour protest had happened earlier in the day. (Apparently it was Halloween weekend in Greece and there were costumes to be donned and parties to attend.)

Our next stop was the Ministry of Arts and Sciences. This is a beautiful complex that has been repeatedly tagged with graffiti by the anarchists.

Beck Visits Athens To Investigate the Greek Riots

Glenn Beck in front of a warning from Greek anarchists. Photo by Mark Mabry

Translation: “If the revolution will not happen peacefully, then it will happen violently. Anarchy!”

On both sides of the main entrance to the beautiful building we found graffiti that was pro-Communism and pro-revolution. One popular sentiment just stated “Anarchy = Freedom.”

As we talked with more passersby about the situation, two self-proclaimed anarchists approached us. They were in a zombie-like state, both carrying beers but appearing to be under the influence of something else as well. They asked what we were doing.  We said that we were trying to understand the riots and the graffiti. One kept repeating that “Anarchy equals Freedom.”

Beck Visits Athens To Investigate the Greek Riots

Beck joined by Anarchists in Greece. Photo by Mark Mabry.

Next, we drove to see one of the burned out buildings from last week’s riots. Our driver told us that the universities offered a unique protection to the rioters and anarchists. If anyone is being pursued by the police and manages to get on university property, the police cannot arrest them without a warrant, and the warrant must be authorized by the university’s president. Virtually all of the university presidents have refused to approve these warrants, rendering the schools as sanctuaries.

Beck heard this and remarked, “The universities have replaced the churches.”

The previous weekend a local shopping mall and office complex was firebombed by the rioters.

Beck Visits Athens To Investigate the Greek Riots

Beck surveys riot-damaged mall in Athens. Photo by Mike Opelka

We spoke with Con (as in Constantino), a man who owns a security company hired to protect the building. Con told us that the rioters tossed Molotov cocktails inside the stores on the first floor and then lay down in the streets surrounding the area. This road blocking action prevented fire departments from getting to the building for two hours and allowed the fire to burn out of control. The police have also warned Con that intelligence reports say another attack on the building could happen within the next day or two.

At least two other buildings have suffered a similar fate as the mall, both of them banks.

Beck Visits Athens To Investigate the Greek Riots

Beck walks through graffitied neighborhood of Athens. Photo by Mark Mabry.

The downtown area surrounding the Parliament building is littered with graffiti, many well-fed and friendly stray dogs can be seen everywhere, and an alarming number of homeless people shuffle along the streets with a glazed look in their eyes. In one case we witnessed a man shooting up in the doorway of a store where he planned to spend the night.

Beck Visits Athens To Investigate the Greek Riots

Homeless drug addict on the streets of Athens. Photo by Mark Mabry

It is no secret that Greece is in serious trouble. Decades of out of control government spending on social programs that have now become an untouchable right in the minds of many Greeks are at the heart of the problem. Something must be done or the economy will collapse under its own weight.

Most of the Greek people seem to understand that their current situation is unsustainable, but they also are sympathetic to the protesters. It is this position that seems to render the Greeks incapable of taking action that could save their country.

This attitude was clearly evident when Glenn Beck asked, “Who is at fault for the violence and destruction, the banks or the protesters?” One citizen paused for a second and remarked, “They’re both criminals.”

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Beck Goes Global, Meets With Catholic Clergy & Int’l Tea Party Leaders in Rome

The political discourse has been dominated by the religious liberty debate that continues to intensify between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration – an issue that Glenn Beck has tackled quite frequently on his radio and television programs. This weekend, The Blaze has confirmed that Beck flew from Miami to Rome, where he had meetings with prominent Catholic Church leaders. In addition to holding discussions with them about important religious freedom issues, Beck also met with individuals from various countries to discuss the creation of an international Tea Party movement.

Glenn Beck Meets in Rome With Catholic Leaders & International Tea Party Figures

During his dialogue with Cardinals, Monsignors, Archbishops and other Catholic leaders, the popular host pledged support for the church, while also discussing ways in which members of various faith communities can join in solidarity against secular attacks against religion. As evidenced through his work, Beck has long encouraged people of all faiths to stand together — distinct and separate in their beliefs — but united in their support of everyone to practice those ideals without persecution.

Glenn Beck Meets in Rome With Catholic Leaders & International Tea Party Figures

Glenn Beck with Cardinal Dolan

Additionally, Beck met with Tea Party leaders from Rome, Serbia, Milan, Germany, Austria, and London, among other localities, to begin discussing an international coalition that is being headed by FreedomWorks. Reflecting the ideals held by peace and freedom proponents in America, the persons involved discussed their goals for an integrated global effort to champion Tea Party ideals.

Be sure to listen to his radio show on Monday, as Beck will be sharing all of the details surrounding his meetings with church leaders and international Tea Party groups, while also delving into his vision for a multi-faith coalition that stands in support of religious liberty. Additionally, throughout the upcoming week, The Blaze will provide ongoing information and follow-up reports that further explain what’s to come.

Glenn Beck Meets in Rome With Catholic Leaders & International Tea Party Figures

These meetings with Catholic leaders are the latest in a series of discussions that Beck has had with numerous faith leaders, including evangelical pastors and rabbis, among others. His efforts to connect with these theologically diverse individuals reflect his desire to bring adherents from various faith traditions together to support religious liberty here in America and abroad.

“We are not battling for the next election, we’re battling for the very soul of each of us and of our nation,” he recently proclaimed on GBTV.

Religious liberty is becoming an issue of great importance across the globe, as Christians, Jews, Muslims and other faith traditions grapple with an increasingly hostile clash with the atheist and “freethinking” community. Additionally, governmental policies are, in many ways, beginning to mirror secularist ideals that tend, in the views of many religious peoples and institutions, to threaten spiritual expression.

Glenn Beck Meets in Rome With Catholic Leaders & International Tea Party Figures

Beck and his wife, Tania, walk in Vatican City

The examples are limitless. Earlier this month, England’s high court found prayer before local council meetings to be unlawful, and last week Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a Muslim who is also a British Cabinet member, maintained that Europe is being threatened by militant secularism. Considering New York City churches’ battle for the right to rent public school buildings, incessant attacks on Ten Commandment displays, and secularists’ never-ending efforts to force churches to violate their consciences, Beck’s coalition is coming at an appropriate time.

In addition to holding these meetings, Beck went to Greece in preparation for a special project he will soon be announcing. Tune in to GlennBeck.com, GBTV and The Blaze for more on these important announcements.

David Barton Details the Sly Move Harry Reid Pulled to Stand Against Conscious Protection Amendment

David Barton Explains Harry Reids Move Against Conscious Protection AmendmentDuring Glenn Beck’s radio broadcast Thursday, David Barton spoke with Pat and Stu about the recent string of attacks on religious freedom perpetuated by the Obama administration. Barton discussed Harry Reid’s tactics to keep the Blunt Conscience Protection Amendment out of the latest legislation, and even made note of the impact Beck fans have had in helping push back these attacks on faith.

According to Barton, the phones on Capitol Hill were “lit up” after Beck launched his “We are all Catholics now” movement on Wednesday, which asked people of all faiths to call their senators and encourage them to vote for the Blunt Conscience Protection Amendment to the transportation bill. That amendment would protect consciousness objectors from being forced to take part in aspects of Obamacare.

In fact, the movement worked so well it forced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take a different “tactic.”

In short, Harry Reid was able to remove the amendment from the bill so that the senators couldn’t vote on it. How? In a very sly way: since you can’t take specific amendments out of bills in the Senate, Reid jammed the bill full of so many other amendments that the Blunt amendment didn’t “fit,” so to speak.

“He just filled it up with anything he could think of,” Barton explained. “He’s basically taken over all the time, and what it means as a result is that they’re going to have a cloture vote on all of his amendments that have come up … and if they can get 60 votes on Friday then it’s not going to happen, they‘ve killed Blunt’s amendment.”

“I don’t think they can get 60 votes,” Barton added, “… which probably means after Friday, Reid’s plan will go down.”

Watch the interview below:

Barton, who is the Founder and President of WallBuilders – described as  a “national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage” — said that conservatives are actually gaining ground in this fight and thus, cannot give up.

According to its site, WallBuilders took its name from the Old Testament writings of Nehemiah, “who led a grassroots movement to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore its strength and honor.”

The Blaze Asks If Government Can Force You To Join Weight Watchers, But There’s A Problem With This Question

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze has a 16 minute video that asks if the government can force people on Weight Watchers. It’s an interesting monologue, but misses something extremely crucial.

I recently did a video on how McDonald’s beat San Francisco’s hatred of children.  In that same video I highlighted that McDonald’s isn’t the bad for you food boogeyman portrayed by the media, government, and uncredentialed “health experts.”  In fact, the McDonald’s diet (McDiet) has helped many people lose weight while enjoying food that’s … well … actually good.

Here’s the video that has the details:

One thing I forgot to mention in the video, and I’m really upset about it, is that Weight Watchers endorses the McDiet!

How’s that going to work?  You can’t have Michelle Obamacare waging a war against fast food, and then force people to use a weight loss system that recognizes that a disciplined person can lose weight by eating fast food.

But hey, if the mindless drones want to continue to be misled by farcical nonsense like “Super Size Me” … so be it.