Conversations with conservative leaders, creatives, and thinkers ... what's true, what's right and what's next ... how to secure our freedoms, livelihoods and well-being.
"Gun Control Myths" with Dr. John Lott
We've all been appalled by yet another school shooting, this time in Uvalde, Texas. We want these tragedies to stop. We want to do something. Of course the cries to “do something” almost always means doing something about guns. Yet, the gun bill just signed into law by President Biden is unlikely to prevent future school shootings. There's a lot of evidence to show why it won't work, especially when existing gun laws appear to cost more lives than they save. So says Dr. John Lott, my guest on this episode, and the nation’s leading expert on guns and gun laws. Dr. Lott, with a PhD in economics, is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. With almost three decades of research, his many books including More Guns, Less Crime, The Bias Agains Guns and Gun Control Myths which show that by allowing adults to carry concealed weapons significantly reduces crime in America. Some things you may find surprising: Between 1950 and May 2022, 96% of mass public shootings in the United States occurred in places where citizens were banned from carrying guns. Yet the mainstream media refuses to mention that the attacks occur in “gun-free” zones. “If someone were threatening you or your family, would you feel safe putting a sign in front of your home that said this home is a gun-free zone?” asks John. America’s “average” gun crime statistics are badly distorted by black on black murders in our inner cities. Even average deaths of children killed by guns include teenagers, and most of those gun crimes are gang murders. “When people cite the rise in “mass shootings” in America, we need to know that almost 90% are gangs fighting each other over drug turf.” Survey data and news reports show that the fear that targeted victims might be armed deters criminals, and that guns are used in self-defense or to ward off criminal threats about 2.3 million times a year. “Burglars in the United States spend about twice as long casing a home before they break in compared to their British counterparts. What's the reason that they give? They're worried about getting shot.” In the more that 30 years since John Lott wrote More Guns, Less Crime, his facts, arguments and recommendations remain true as ever.
"National Security Realities: Threats and Solutions" with Brandon Weichert
From the moment President Joe Biden’s administration took office, the world has grown a more dangerous place, and the pace is accelerating.
There’s a long list of national security worries that didn’t used to be of concern to everyday Americans, but now are, or should be.
Russia, Ukraine and the prospects of a nuclear war.
China’s mounting threat to envelop Taiwan, a world leader and supplier of semiconductors and information technology.
Collapsing political stability in the Middle East thanks to the administration’s blunders that have helped Iran's quest to obtain nuclear weapons.
The mostly unreported Chinese and Russian quest to dominate outer space. The country that controls space controls the world.
And, maybe worst of all, the made-in-America war on fossil fuels, which has driven inflation sky high and made us dependent on our enemies for our energy.
Triggered by our disastrous cut and run from Afghanistan last year, the world’s bad actors have been emboldened by America’s weakness.
Like Thema and Louise, Joe Biden seems determined to drive us off a cliff.
Download The Bill Walton Show and Subscribe on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts. Joining me on this episode to see what we should and can be doing to keep America safe, is my returning guest, the brilliant Brandon Weichert, publisher of The Weichert Report. And author of “Winning Space” and the soon to be published “The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy”.
Brandon, who has been called a “brilliant and anxiety inducing scholar,” has emerged as one of our most well-informed, original defense intellectuals since the great Herman Kahn.
He tells us what we do not want to hear, but need to know, about the gathering threats to our freedom and prosperity. He also offers solutions.
"Lessons from the Street: Stephen Schwarzman's Book Prompts Bill to Compare Insights into the World of Money” with John Tamny
In this episode, my friend John Tamny interviews me about legendary Wall Street leader and Blackstone founder Stephen Schwarzman’s book What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence. There are many fascinating insights and lessons in Steve’s book which we can all benefit from.
A few highlights:
Steve Schwarzman started Blackstone with a unique strategic plan. There’s a tremendous lesson in how he approached building his firm.
For any young man or woman who wants to build a business, or any type of organization, Steve Schwarzman’s book would be a great place to start learning about “what it takes.”
When Steve Schwarzman tells his team “don’t lose money” it’s about a mindset. Think through the downsides, what Jay Pritzker called “the horribles.” Both, in part, became billionaires from thinking this way.
One of my favorite Steve Schwarzman Rules: “Worrying is an active, liberating activity. If channeled appropriately, it allows you to articulate the downside in any situation and drives you to take action to avoid it." Great advice.
Private equity’s been demonized by a lot of people with agendas and who know nothing about it. True, it’s a competitive and tough business, but it’s created a lot of value over the past 4-5 decades. Look at the record.
Do companies become woke because their young woke new hires demand it? Disney employees clearly seem to be running the asylum, not its CEO. Is this also true for Wall Street?
One of ways our culture has changed, and not for the better, it that we seem to have lost the ideal of pursing excellence. In my private equity experience, making an investment successful was exhilarating.
Under President Xi, China’s becoming “uninvestable” for Western businesses. Even Chinese private equity investors say China’s turned hostile to capitalism. No longer simply a competitor, China’s turned enemy.
In “What It Takes” Steve Schwarzman writes that had we not had FAS 157 mark-to-market accounting, the meltdown we had in 2008 would not have happened. I agree.
One history’s great ironies is that Dodd-Frank, the bill to supposedly cure the ills of the 2008 meltdown, is named after Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who pushed banks to drop their underwriting standards to promote housing.
When you’re running an investment company there’s a real tension between the roles of CEO and CIO (chief investment officer). It’s a balancing act you must get right to succeed.
John Tamny is Vice President of Freedom Works and editor of Real Clear Markets, and author of the terrific book, When Politicians Panicked, which is about the government mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. John’s other books includeWho Needs the Fed, Popular Economics and The End of Work.
He asks some tough, penetrating questions and we hope you’ll find the answers illuminating. Steve’s book holds many many stories and lessons about “what it takes” to be both a leader and investor.
Hope you’ll listen in.
"Cancel Culture Comes to Banking” with Todd Zywicki and Paul Watkins
Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you were denied access to a bank account or a credit card or access to any kind of digital payment system? Well, it's happening and it's happening to an increasing number of people and organizations. Cancel culture has come to banking. PayPal, major credit card networks and banks have already stopped processing payments for organizations they deem “hate groups.” Remember “Operation Chokepoint”? Well, it’s evolved and gotten even more draconian. And cryptocurrencies, which some thought might be a safe haven, well, maybe not so much. Bitcoin was supposed to be a financial lifeline for the truckers in Canada, but instead, Canadian authorities ordered banks and crypto exchanges to block transactions from crypto wallets tied to the truckers. Seems like everything has now become political, including our digital money. Joining me for a chilling conversation about these threats are Todd Zywicki, who served as Chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Task Force on Consumer Financial Law and is a professor at George Mason's Scalia Law School, and Paul Watkins with Potomac Partners and Fusion Law Firm. He founded the Office of Innovation at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and served on the Digital Financial Stability Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on Digital Assets. Our money has become yet another battlefront in the struggle to preserve a free society. Todd and Paul are serious men talking about a serious issue. Please invest the time to listen and learn.
“Ukraine Explained, Taiwan Explained” with Dr Stephen Bryen
Russian’s war on Ukraine, and China’s aim to take over Taiwan. Joining me is one the wisest national security experts around, Dr Stephen Bryen. With 50 years of experience in foreign relations and national security, he’s seen it all. Called the Yoda of the arms trade, he was the Pentagon's top cop, the man whose job it was to ensure that sensitive technology would be kept from enemies, potential enemies and questionable allies. Stephen is the driving force behind the Center for Security Policy’s just published Stopping a Taiwan Invasion. It’s proposals, if adopted, will discourage any attack from China and strengthen peace and security in the Pacific. I’ve a lot of questions, and Stephen provides answers. And some deep insights. Was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine inevitable, or did the we provoke it? Why is Russia’s invasion failing? If Putin’s ousted, what are the odds that someone much worse takes over? How concerned is the veteran intelligence community that we could lurch into a nuclear war over Ukraine? Shouldn’t the Biden administration tell the Europeans and tell Zelensky, that it's time to sit down and figure this out? China is running a dedicated campaign to “uproot the rules based order that has existed in the Indo Pacific region since the end of World War II”. China is mounting its largest military buildup in history. China is ramping up its ambitions to take over Taiwan. And Joe Biden says we’ll go to war to prevent it. How would we win this war? Who would our allies be? Why would we now have more than ever? Why is Taiwan a much bigger issue for the U.S. than Ukraine? What lessons have the Chinese learned from Ukraine? What’s behind President Xi’s lockdown of Shanghai? Has Joe Biden finally gotten something right in drawing the line on Taiwan? There’s a lot more packed into this episode with Dr Stephen Bryen. If you’re looking for an easy-to-understand primer about what’s at stake for America in Ukraine and Taiwan, this is a great place to start.
"Why Are We Investing American Retirement Dollars in China?" with Frank Gaffney and Roger Robinson
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is once again planning to allow federal employees’ to invest their retirement savings into companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. The FRTIB has decided to ignore directives by both President Trump - and President Biden - as well as strong opposition on Capitol Hill, to open a ‘Mutual Fund Window’ in June which would make available to Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) participants the opportunity to invest up to 25% of their savings in some 5,000 mutual funds.
These funds would include businesses involved in the Chinese government’s military, espionage, human rights abuses, and its aggressive industrial policy designed to undermine U.S. industry.
Why, after all we’ve learned about China’s extensive aims at global domination, does the FRTIB plan to proceed with this? China is no longer simply an economic competitor, but rather an aggressive adversary.
The FRTIB public statements say it’s “too much work” to winnow out CCP controlled or influenced companies. But are there deeper purposes at work?
Joining me to talk about this alarming development is Frank Gaffney, Host of Securing America with Frank Gaffney, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Center for Security Policy, and Vice Chairman of the Committee for Present Danger: China.
And Roger Robinson former Senior Director of International Economic Affairs at the Reagan National Security Council and Chairman of the Congressional US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
OK, this is epic.
In 1972 Bill Theodore Walton III led the UCLA Bruins to not one, but two NCAA Championships. It was a stunning victory that placed him on the map as one of the greatest basketball players of the 20th century.
Bill Walton of the Bill Walton Show is not Bill Walton the III though. However, he is the equivalent of an NCAA-no-NBA superstar in deep political commentary. Walton is truly a slam dunk for anyone interested in serious and enlightened discussions on topics from foreign policy to domestic issues and everywhere in between.
You’re committing a major personal foul if you are not listening to this show. It’s is one of the best, if not the best one out there right now.
Bill Walton is out of touch and out of his depth.
Thoughtful discussions on real topics
Bill takes on issues with guests who have firsthand knowledge of their subjects. For about 45 minutes they go into great detail. You can expect to learn much that you will not find elsewhere. Highly recommended for all who curious to know more about headlines that are poorly explained elsewhere.