Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten

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Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten features compelling long-form conversations with exceptional thinkers and doers on the most important ideas and issues of our time, and all time. Discussions focus on topics ranging from national security and foreign affairs, to economics and politics and philosophy and culture with a classical Liberal bent and a grounding in history. Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten challenges the prevailing progressive orthodoxy with a contrarian conservative/libertarian counter-narrative based in individual liberty, limited government, free enterprise and a strong, national interest-oriented and prudently used defense. Host Ben Weingarten is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, Senior Contributor at The Federalist and Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media, a conservative media consulting and production company.

Episode Date
Did the 'Deep State' Deep Six Pentagon's Lovinger Over Discovery of Shady Defense Department Contracts to FBI Trump Informant Stefan Halper?
37:15

Sean Bigley (@smb_JD) is a national security attorney who prosecutes intelligence community whistleblower retaliation cases. His firm represents approximately 200 U.S. intelligence officers, diplomats, armed forces members and other security clearance holders each year.

But in Mr. Bigley's vast experience as a litigator and former federal background investigator, one case of alleged brazen political retaliation has topped them all.

This is the case of former distinguished Pentagon Office of Net Assessment analyst and Trump National Security Council Director Adam Lovinger. In defending Lovinger as a whistleblower of malfeasance involving contracts provided to not only a close confidante of the Clinton family, but the now-infamous informant in the Trump campaign, Stefan Halper, Bigley has witnessed a case of alleged political retribution by Obama administration holdovers the likes of which should chill any American.

I had Bigley on the podcast to tell this story -- illustrative of the bipartisan deep rot and corruption within our federal bureaucracy -- and to discuss much more regarding politicization and weaponization of security clearances and how to reform the administrative state and protect its whistleblowers.

What We Discussed

  • The historical politicization and weaponization of national security clearances 
  • How the politicization and weaponization of national security clearances by holdovers meant to block President Trump's nominees and appointees from coming into the administration is an entirely new pernicious tactic
  • The story of how the highly rated 12-plus year Pentagon analyst Adam Lovinger has had his career destroyed after blowing the whistle on malfeasance within the Department of Defense's in-house think-tank, the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), including:
    • The issues Lovinger blew the whistle on to his superior, ONA Director James Baker, a holdover from the Obama administration, which touched on improper contracts being doled out to among others a close friend of Chelsea Clinton and Stefan Halper, the informant the U.S. government sicced on the Trump campaign to make contact with officials vis-a-vis Russia
    • The original probe into Lovinger, for which he was exonerated, that arose shortly after he started writing about malfeasance within his office -- the first such probe in Lovinger's career
    • The subsequent investigations into Lovinger contemporaneous with his being detailed to a prestigious role within the Trump National Security Council -- run by investigators allegedly wholly unequipped to do the investigating and tied to Lovinger's old boss Mr. Baker, which would ultimately lead to the suspension and revocation of Lovinger's security clearance and his losing his job and pay
    • The allegedly rigged process by which these investigations took place, violating Lovinger's right to due process by not providing the accused with basic information on the charges against him, documentation, leaking of defamatory information on Lovinger to the media, etc.
    • Why Lovinger's attorney believes the charges raised against Lovinger were "a total farce," "trial balloon charges" leaked in an attempt to "figure out what would stick"
    • How the adjudication process for action taken against Lovinger ultimately may result in him having to make his case to a "panel of unaccountable bureaucrats who report directly to the same woman who has been leading the charge against him from Day One"
    • Why Lovinger's attorney believes there is a political motivation behind the pursuit of Lovinger, based in no small part on his raising issues with contracts again doled out to a close confidante of the Clintons -- for whom Hillary Clinton allegedly lobbied -- and the informant into the Trump campaign Stefan Halper
  • Lovinger's message to President Trump
  • What reforms Lovinger's attorney would recommend in order to protect whistleblowers in the face of an intransigent administrative state

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Aug 30, 2018
Former CIA Operative Charles Sam Faddis on Disastrous Politicization of the Intelligence Community, How China's 'Eating Our Lunch' in Intel and NatSec, The Grave (Ignored) Narco-Hezbollah-Failed State Threat on America's Southern Border
45:40

Charles Sam Faddis (@RealSamFaddis) is a retired CIA operative, where he spent decades serving abroad in the Middle East, South Asia and Europe, culminating in his heading CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center’s Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMD) unit, which was charged with pursuing terrorist WMD programs worldwide. It was Faddis who was responsible for leading the first CIA team into Iraq, in advance of the 2003 invasion.

Faddis left the CIA when he had the chance to continue advancing up its senior ranks because he saw a bureaucracy that like much of our administrative state had grown sclerotic, heavily politicized, politically correct and thus subversive of its main objectives.

He wrote about his experience in a simply breathtaking 2009 book titled Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA, in which Faddis called for recasting CIA in the mold of the more dynamic, risk-oriented, and arguably effective Office of Strategic Services (OSS), CIA’s predecessor.

That book has only become more relevant in a time now when vital areas from law enforcement to the intelligence community and the national security apparatus more broadly are daily being exposed at their highest levels as nakedly political.

Faddis has been one of the few longtime CIA officials to condemn those such as former CIA Director John Brennan for their words and actions, citing a massive disconnect between rank-and-file analysts and operatives in the field, versus intelligence leaders in Washington D.C.

In light of the outcry over the revocation of former Director Brennan’s security clearance and Faddis’ contrarian position, his deep knowledge of and solutions to the rot in our national security apparatus – which has real-world consequences for our safety – and his keen, clear-eyed vision as to the threats facing us, I had Faddis on the Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast to touch on all of these areas, and many more.

What We Discussed

  • Why Faddis supports revoking John Brennan's security clearance -- and the bureaucratization and politicization of the leadership of the intelligence community versus the rank-and-file analysts and operatives in the field
  • Whether politics dominates over merit in the ranks of intelligence and the national security apparatus more broadly
  • What members of the national security establishment really mean when they talk about "protecting the institutions"
  • Why President Trump has been deemed a threat to the power of the political leaders within the national security establishment in a qualitatively different way than any of his predecessors -- and that's a positive thing
  • What Faddis would do to reform intelligence
  • The poor state of America's counterintelligence capabilities
  • The lessons of Iraq regarding U.S. intervention and the national interest
  • Whether America has the capability to use intelligence to engage in ideological warfare and bring down Iran's Khomeinist regime
  • How China's liquidation of our spy network reflects the problems plaguing America's intelligence apparatus
  • The long-term ramifications of China's OPM hack
  • The implications of China's attempt to infiltrate Senator Dianne Feinstein's office
  • The threat to the U.S. homeland of a collapsing Venezuela and Mexico, combined with drug cartels, organized crime groups and Hezbollah in our hemisphere
  • Faddis' optimistic assessment of the Trump administration's North Korea policy
  • Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Aug 22, 2018
How Leftism Supplanted Judaism and Subverted Israel and Zionism Under 'Tikkun Olam' -- Social Justice with a Perverse and Baseless Religious Veneer
40:11

Jonathan Neumann has written perhaps the seminal book on how modern Jewry has supplanted its traditional values and principles with Leftism, based on a perverse, sophistic reading of the concept of tikkun olam, "healing the world," that demands devotion to social justice as the highest good and organizing principle of the Jewish religion.

By way of background, Neumann is a graduate of Cambridge University and the London School of Economics. He has written for various American, British, and Israeli publications, was the Tikvah Fellow at Commentary magazine, and has served as assistant editor at Jewish Ideas Daily

I had Neumann on the podcast to discuss the triumph of tikkun olam-based Leftism as central to modern non-Orthodox Judaism, why Jewish social justice renders Jews qua Jews meaningless, the systematic debunking of this ideology, the ramifications for Israel and U.S. politics and much more.

What We Discussed

  • Defining tikkun olam, and its link to social justice, leftism and Kantian ethics
  • How tikkun olam became the predominant ethos of non-Orthodox Jewry in the U.S. in a mere 40 year period -- and its radical roots
  • The inextricable link between tikkun olam theology and the evolution of the Reform Jewish movement and its relation to the Social Gospel
  • The perversion of Jewish values and principles by those who have supplanted the religion with Leftism -- based in a textually unsupported, fabricated concept of tikkun olam that Neumann systematically debunks
  • Why Neumann argues that "Jewish social justice effectively has no need for Jews qua Jews"
  • The correlation between tikkun olam ideology and anti-Zionism, in contrast to American Jewish leftism's historical affinity towards Israel
  • Why and how Israel in U.S. politics has become effectively a one-party, Republican, issue -- and the conflicting trends of the growing Orthodox Jewish community and the declining non-Orthodox Jewish community
  • Why Jews have historically gravitated toward the political Left

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Aug 15, 2018
Michael Ledeen on the Potential Collapse of Iran's Khomeinist Regime and America's Role, the False Sunni-Shia Jihadist Split, IC and Law Enforcement Sacking of Pro-Israel Political Opponents, Why Gen. Flynn Was Targeted and May Have Falsely Pled Guilty
29:47

Michael Ledeen (@michaelledeen) is a historian, longtime think-tanker currently serving as the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and consultant to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and author of 38 books.

Perhaps most pertinent to today, Ledeen is an expert on Iran, with deep ties to dissidents and countless individuals in the diaspora cultivated over many decades, dating back to the fall of the Shah and the Revolution of 1979.

I had Ledeen on the Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast to discuss a variety of topics including his views on how long the current Khomeinist regime will survive, what America might do to help topple it, the phony Sunni-Shia split, the nature of Iran's dissidents, what happens the day after the regime falls and more. Tangentially related, Ledeen and I also discussed the targeting of those who challenge the national security and foreign policy establishment, including regarding both Iran and Israel, and the sackings of Larry Franklin and Gen. Michael Flynn -- the latter of whom with which Micheal co-authored a book, The Field of Fight. Ledeen shares his take on Gen. Flynn's guilty plea -- which he believes was given falsely -- and explains why he believes Gen. Flynn was targeted in the first place.

What We Discussed

  • The false narrative about alternatives for Iran being either appeasement or war
  • The impending collapse of the Khomeinist regime and what the U.S. can do to accelerate it
  • The history of U.S. intelligence failures in Iran
  • How secular and liberal Iran's dissidents actually are
  • Whether there is a wedge that can be exploited between Iran and Russia
  • What will become of Hezbollah if the Iranian regime collapses
  • The allegedly political witch hunt against Iran hawk and Israel supporter Larry Franklin as an illustration of historic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the foreign policy and national security establishment
  • Ledeen's theory that Gen. Michael Flynn falsely pled guilty, and the real reason why Gen. Flynn was targeted in the first place

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
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Aug 08, 2018
Dennis Prager on the Self-Righteously Suicidal West, the Disaster of Jewish Leftism, Intentions Versus Outcomes on the Left and Right, Western Values and Immigration, Social Media Censorship and PragerU
38:50

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio host, columnist, author of numerous books, teacher, film producer and co-founder of Prager University -- and these titles barely scratch the surface of his tireless and impactful efforts.

In a word, he has dedicated his life to advocating for Judeo-Christian and American values and principles across every medium almost daily to millions of people around the world with uncommon common sense, moral clarity and courage.

I had Dennis on the Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast to discuss a variety of topics including the basis for his conservative views -- contrary to his Jewish intellectual peers, how religiosity and one's view of human nature impacts one's politics, reason versus emotion on the Left and Right, the importance of Western values in immigration policy, the state of free speech in America, social media censorship and PragerU and much more.

What We Discussed

  • How Dennis Prager ended up a conservative as an Ivy League-educated Jewish intellectual from Brooklyn, New York -- contrary to so many of his peers
  • How perceptions of human nature divide Left and Right
  • Whether government has filled the void of religion for the increasingly secular and progressive American coasts
  • How the good intentions that underlie Leftist policy prescriptions lead to horrendous outcomes -- and emotion versus reason on the Left and Right
  • The false morality underlying European immigration policy with respect to the Muslim world, and Prager's criticism of Jewish support of mass immigration consisting disproportionately of Jew-haters
  • The self-righteous suicidalism of the West
  • The Leftist bias of social media platforms and PragerU's legal battle with YouTube/Google

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
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Aug 01, 2018
Richard Epstein on Classical Liberalism, the Administrative State, Free Speech, Silicon Valley Regulation
45:42

Professor Richard Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law. He previously served as the Peter and Kirstin Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution since 2000. Professor Epstein is also the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago where he taught for 38 years. He is a prolific writer who has authored more than a dozen books on topics ranging from private property to torts, and anti-discrimination law to antitrust, a frequent podcaster and one of the most cited legal scholars of the 20th century.

I had Professor Epstein, one of the preeminent classical liberal thinkers in modern American history on the podcast to discuss a variety of topics including private property rights and eminent domain, why classical liberalism is the most sound of philosophies and minimal regulation the most prudent of policies, whether America should abolish the administrative state, attacks on free speech, the wisdom or lack thereof in regulation of social media companies and much more.

What We Discussed

  • The role that Professor Epstein's famous book, Takings played in Justice Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearing -- and then-Senator Joe Biden's hectoring
  • Professor Epstein's groundbreaking theories on private property rights, eminent domain and the Takings and Commerce Clauses
  • The practical argument against progressivism
  • Whether we should deconstruct the administrative state, and if so how to do it
  • The danger to free speech emanating from college campuses in a world of microaggressions, trigger warnings, de-platforming
  • The folly of regulating Silicon Valley social media companies
  • Classical liberalism versus socialism and libertarianism 

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Jul 25, 2018
Confucius Institutes: Centers for Chinese Cultural Exchange, or Trojan Horses for Propaganda and Penetration of U.S. Colleges?
32:51

Rachelle Peterson is director of research projects at the National Association of Scholars (NAS), an organization dedicated to upholding "the standards of a liberal arts education that fosters intellectual freedom, searches for the truth, and promotes virtuous citizenship." In that position, she has published numerous reports on trends in academia that threaten these values and principles, including one on the subject of this podcast titled Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education. Mrs. Peterson's research and commentary has been published in outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, and Commentary magazine. She has discussed her research on the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal and on numerous radio shows.

Given China's increasing efforts to flex its soft power muscles in the West -- soft power efforts that betray the true nature of the Communist regime -- I had Rachelle on the podcast to discuss perhaps the best illustration of these nefarious efforts in Confucius Institutes. Confucius Institutes present themselves as being dedicated to Chinese cultural exchange and language studies, but Rachelle argues based on her extensive research and study that they are actually Chinese government funded and staffed tools for propaganda, surveillance and allegedly espionage, which also provide the Chinese government substantial leverage over our academic institutions.

What We Discussed

  • What Confucius Institutes are, and how the Chinese government is responsible for controlling virtually every aspect of their operations
  • Confucius Institutes' propagandizing on U.S. college campuses to whitewash Chinese governmental abuses and create a more favorable public image in the West
  • Efforts to stifle academic freedom and criticism of China by way of Confucius Institutes' contracts
  • The ideological and financial reasoning behind why U.S. academic institutions invite Confucius Institutes to their campuses, and the leverage the Institutes provide China
  • Rachelle's chilling findings in extensively examining 12 Confucius Institutes, including the fears of several of those interviewed to go on record
  • Blowback from the Chinese government in the wake of the release of Rachelle's report
  • What makes Confucius Institutes unique relative to other foreign cultural exchange programs on college campuses
  • Current legislative efforts by members of U.S. Congress to scrutinize and counter the efforts of Confucius Institutes
  • And much more

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Jul 11, 2018
SPECIAL EPISODE (JULY 4): Deep Dive on the Declaration of Independence and its Relevance Today
47:39

For Independence Day, I take a deep dive into Declaration of Independence in terms of its unique place in history and the cause of freedom; the link between natural law and natural rights, faith and freedom; the Founding Fathers' emphasis on virtue and morality to sustain a free system of government; the criticality of the Declaration to understanding the Constitution, checks and balances, separation of powers, federalism and representative government; parallels between the charges laid out against King George III in the Declaration and today's federal Leviathan from the administrative state, to taxation without representation to sanctuary cities; the Founders' views on slavery, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and failing to live up to the values and principles of the Declaration; the imperative to defend liberty against tyranny.

Reference Materials

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Jul 04, 2018
Democrat Pollster Doug Schoen on Lessons from a Life in Politics, Being a Liberal in a Progressive Age, Learning from Clinton and Nixon, Threats from China and Russia
29:42

Doug Schoen has been one of the most influential Democratic campaign consultants and pollsters for over thirty years. He has advised presidents, prime ministers and titans of private industry. He is the author of multiple books; his most recent include Putin’s Master PlanThe Nixon Effect (interview here), and Return to Winter: Russia, China, and the New Cold War Against America (interview here). 

Even though Doug and I disagree on several political issues, I am proud to call him a mentor and friend. His insights on politics and policy are not at all clouded by ideology, something rare in the world of punditry and prognostication. And his experience, judgment and wisdom are unparalleled. Perhaps most importantly, Doug and I share a love of country and belief in the imperative to defend it.

I had Doug on the podcast to draw out some of his lessons from a life well-spent as a master practitioner and student of politics, to share his insider view of government and how it has impacted his political philosophy and to discuss his strong beliefs on the threats that face us both globally in terms of China and Russia, and at home in terms of the bloat of government, rot in our institutions and our inability to share in a common vision for America.

What We Discussed

  • How Schoen’s life in politics has influenced his views on governmental power
  • The polarization and personalization of politics
  • Whether Schoen is a man without a party as a centrist Democrat in an increasingly progressive party
  • The challenge of rising to power without compromise
  • Political lessons from Bill Clinton
  • Why Nixon was the preeminent political actor of the 20th century
  • The strategic threat posed by China
  • Whether the Russiagate collusion-mongers have done more damage to the U.S. than Russia could have ever hoped to have achieve itself
  • The perilous state of our national security and law enforcement institutions
  • What Schoen saw in the 2016 presidential election that other political pundits and prognosticators missed regarding Presidential Trump’s odds of defeating Hillary Clinton
  • And much more

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Jun 27, 2018
Penn Law's Amy Wax on Being Ousted from Her First-Year Class Over Comments on Race, Performance and Bourgeois Values, Attacks on Free Speech, Criticism of Affirmative Action and Diversity, Anti-Western Colleges
51:13

Amy Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she specializes in social welfare law and policy as well as the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labor markets. She is the author of Race, Wrongs, and Remedies: Group Justice in the 21st Century.

Professor Wax has become a controversial figure because of her politically incorrect comments advocating in favor of bourgeois values and the WASP culture from which they stem, and in her claims that black students had generally performed at significantly lower levels than other students in her classes in context of a conversation about the downsides of affirmative action -- comments that got her ousted from teaching the first year civil procedure class for which she had previously won an award for "teaching excellence."

Professor Wax and I touched on her beliefs regarding bourgeois values, the comments on race and academic performance that got her ousted from teaching her first-year class, the ramifications of her case, Professor Wax's criticism of affirmative action and diversity, the state of free speech on college campuses, grappling with uncomfortable truths, the anti-Western nature of the modern academy and much more.

What We Discussed

  • Wax's transition from apolitical science student to conservative law professor
  • The merits of bourgeois values and the primacy of culture
  • What those who attribute societal outcomes almost purely to economics get wrong
  • Wax's observations on the relatively poor performance of black students in her classes, which triggered a series of events that would leave her removed from teaching her mandatory first-year class
  • Affirmative action and discrimination
  • Why Wax believes diversity is not an "unalloyed good"
  • Wax's response to critics who would argue her classroom is an "unsafe space" for minority students
  • The dangerous paradigm on college campuses of "safe spaces," "trigger warnings," "disinvitations" and "de-platforming," whereby offensive speech has been deemed an act of violence, justifying a physically violent response
  • The broader ramifications for society of anti-free speech college campuses
  • How Wax would like to see her case at Penn Law remedied
  • The anti-Western state of the academy in the West

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Jun 20, 2018
Andrew C. McCarthy on Russiagate, Clinton-Trump Investigation Double Standards, Mueller's Mandate, DOJ-FBI-CIA Politicization (Part II)
58:27

Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, contributing editor of National Review and author most recently of essential books on the threat of Islamic supremacism including Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America and Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.

In Part II of my in-depth interview with Andy, we discussed Russiagate, the pervasive unethical and at times lawless behavior of law enforcement and the intelligence community with respect to Donald Trump and Russia versus Hillary Clinton and her e-mail server, the apparently limitless mandate of Robert Mueller's special counsel, obstruction of justice and much more.

If you missed Part I of my conversation with Andy on his experience prosecuting the jihadist mastermind of the first World Trade Center attack and what it taught him about the Islamic supremacist threat America faces, the primacy of religion and why Islamic supremacists choose jihadist savagery over assimilation, willful blindness in American national security and foreign policy, folly in American foreign affairs from Syria to Libya, and the imperative to collapse the Khomeinist Iranian regime, be sure to catch up here.

What We Discussed

  • Russia's historical attempts to "interfere" with U.S. elections, and its imperceptible impact on the 2016 U.S. presidential vote
  • McCarthy's dissection of the double standard in the DOJ/FBI's handling of its investigation of Hillary Clinton versus that of Donald Trump, and the unwillingness to bring Clinton to justice over Clinton Foundation impropriety if not worse and destruction of State Department emails
  • Former FBI Director James Comey's monumental error in testimony on the counter-intelligence investigation implicating the Trump campaign that ultimately served as the basis for Robert Mueller's special counsel
  • Mueller's limitless special counsel mandate and brazen tactics against Paul Manafort
  • Politicization of law enforcement and the intelligence apparatus, and its detrimental long-term impact on American national security
  • How to root out corruption in the FBI, CIA and DOJ, and the suspicious if not lawless acts of Obama DNI Chief James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan
  • The disingenuous nature of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian meddling in the 2016 election
  • The double standard in the treatment of Paul Manafort versus Hillary Clinton and her email server
  • McCarthy's obliteration of the obstruction of justice theory
  • President Obama's involvement in Russiagate

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
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Jun 13, 2018
Andrew C. McCarthy: Lessons from the Blind Sheikh Terror Trial, What Animates Jihadists, Why U.S. Middle East Policy Fails, Collapsing Iran's Regime (Part I)
01:18:09

Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, contributing editor of National Review and author most recently of essential books on the threat of Islamic supremacism including Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the JihadThe Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America and Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.

In addition to being one of the nation’s foremost national security analysts and legal experts — formerly serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the vaunted Southern District of New York — he is one of the most humble, insightful and devoted patriots I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

In Part I of my in-depth interview with Andy McCarthy, we discussed his experience prosecuting the jihadist mastermind of the first World Trade Center attack and what it taught him about the Islamic supremacist threat America faces, the primacy of religion for Muslims in the Middle East and in the West, why Islamic supremacists choose jihadist savagery over assimilation, willful blindness in American national security and foreign policy regarding the nature of the jihadist threat, folly in American foreign affairs from Syria to Libya, and the imperative to collapse the Khomeinist Iranian regime.

What We Discussed

  • How McCarthy, an Irish Catholic kid from the Bronx became one of the nation’s foremost legal experts on jihad and Sharia law
  • The prosecution of the Blind Sheikh and his terrorist cell over the first World Trade Center attack and plots to destroy other New York City landmarks
  • McCarthy’s impressions having sat face-to-face with some of the world’s most evil jihadists, and why their portrayal as genocidal maniacs is wholly inaccurate
  • The strength of religion over other animating factors when it comes to jihad, and the West’s projection and mirror-imaging
  • Why Islamic supremacists do not want to assimilate into Western culture or adopt Western principles such as freedom of religion and individual liberty
  • The willful blindness and arrogance of America’s national security and foreign policy establishment over Islamic supremacism and the Middle East
  • Whether America is better off in homeland security and foreign affairs almost 17 years after 9/11
  • McCarthy’s belief in the Bush Doctrine
  • What America’s national interest is in Syria
  • McCarthy’s fear that America will be unwilling to engage in future wars of necessity given the expense in blood and treasure of the last two decades
  • What McCarthy would do if he were counterjihadist czar
  • The West’s disastrous record of colluding with the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots
  • The disaster of Iran Deal and the imperative to collapse Iran’s Khomeinist regime

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

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Backed Vibes (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

 

Jun 06, 2018
Andrew Klavan on the Criticality of Conservative Competition in Culture, Regressive Progressivism, Political Correctness and Free Speech
55:03

Andrew Klavan (@andrewklavan) is a screenwriter, bestselling crime and suspense novelist, contributor to publications such as City Journal and PJ Media and proprietor of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” a video podcast on TheDaily Wire.

Klavan is witty, he’s got a sense of humor and a keen understanding of the importance of narrative and storytelling to culture.

I spoke with him about his intellectual journey from liberal to conservative, the criticality of culture to politics and how conservatives can compete, political correctness, progressivism, Islam, freedom of speech and Silicon Valley and much more.

What We Discussed

  • Klavan’s journey from Hollywood liberal to conservative
  • Why the Left dominates in the arts
  • Idealism versus materialism and liberals versus classical liberals
  • How Klavan would change culture if he had unlimited resources
  • The conservatism of “The Sopranos
  • The importance of saying the unsayable
  • The power of The Power Broker
  • How Hollywood reconciles its progressivism with Chinese funders and Islamic supremacists
  • The tyranny of central planning
  • The wages of political correctness, trigger warnings, safe spaces, multiculturalism and identity politics
  • Donald Trump’s presidency as a product of progressivism
  • George Carlin and Donald Trump
  • Silicon Valley’s ideological discrimination and what to do about it

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

Subscriberate and review: iTunesStitcher | Google | YouTube

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___________

Backed Vibes (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

May 30, 2018
Heather Mac Donald on Corrosive Identity Politics, Multiculturalism and Unjust Criminal Justice
01:06:02

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal and author most recently of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe.

Mac Donald, the archetype of an unassuming academic, makes for an unlikely counter-cultural figure. She draws protests and outrage on college campuses across the country because she has the gall to challenge the prevailing progressive orthodoxy about subjects like identity politics, multiculturalism and criminal justice.

Ben Weingarten (@bhweingarten), Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and Senior Contributor at The Federalist interviews the bold, provocative and courageous Mac Donald on her contrarian work in these areas.

What We Discussed

  • How Mac Donald went from clerking for a leftist Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judge and the EPA to Manhattan Institute intellectual
  • The contradictions of the Age of Virtue Signaling
  • Why victim status is celebrated -- and how detrimental it is for the victims
  • What it's like to walk onto American college campuses as a pariah
  • How pernicious ideas in the academy manifest themselves in society
  • The ramifications of Google's firing of James Damore
  • How to shatter the identity politics paradigm
  • Parkland and the "specious school discipline crusade"
  • Why the idea that the justice system is systemically racist is wrong
  • What law-abiding citizens in American inner-cities tell Heather about law enforcement
  • Lessons from New York City on its dramatic decline in crime
  • The ongoing impact of the "Ferguson Effect"

Further Reading

Thanks for Listening!

Check out other episodes, show notes and transcripts at benweingarten.com/bigideas.

Subscriberate and review: iTunesStitcher | Google | YouTube

Follow BenWeb | NewsletterTwitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Advertising & Sponsorship Inquiries: E-mail us.

___________

Backed Vibes (clean) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

May 23, 2018