Join Jim and Greg as they cheer new polling showing that Cuban voters have swung dramatically back towards the Republican Party and strongly against the Obama-Biden approach to Cuba. Their jaws are also on the floor as New York voters want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stay in office by a fairly wide margin and continue to think he’s done a great job handling the pandemic –  except for the thousands of nursing home deaths.  And Jim unloads on the notion of European sophistication as 15 countries suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we’ve heard a lot about anti-Asian racism. From New York to San Francisco, there have been reports of slurs, taunts, and violence. Recently, several horrific attacks committed by young black men against the elderly have caught national attention.

Numerous Asian American activists and political leaders have blamed former President Trump, noting that his use of the terms “Kung Flu,” “China virus” or “Chinese virus” has led to the increase in racism and violence.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Loung Ung, a human-rights activist; the author of the bestselling books First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, Lucky Child, and Lulu in the Sky; and a co-screenwriter of the 2017 Netflix Original Movie, First They Killed My Father. Ms. Ung shares her experiences living through genocide under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979, which resulted in the deaths of nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s population. Loung talks about the experience of working with Angelina Jolie on the film version of First They Killed My Father, and the role that documentaries like hers and the award-winning 1984 film, The Killing Fields, can play in portraying the human stories behind historic events. They explore Ms. Ung’s life in America, and the support she received from her secondary school teachers in Essex Junction, Vermont, her professors at St. Michael’s College, and from local and religious institutions. The episode concludes with a reading from Loung Ung’s memoir.

Stories of the Week: A new poll shows that nearly a third of parents may continue with remote learning after COVID. According to a new report, only one in six Indiana college students who study education actually join the teaching profession. How can we remove barriers to entry, especially among people of color?

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Okay, I was wrong.  I thought China would invade Taiwan a day or two before the inauguration, forcing Trump to take possible military action, then Biden stepping in and calling the action off – thus handing Taiwan over to Red China.  Then again, there’s this: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-china-could-invade-taiwan-soon-179281 Preview Open

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Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy hearing HHS nominee Xavier Becerra squirm as he insists he never sued the Little Sisters of the Poor, just the federal government for giving a contraception mandate exemption to the nuns. They also peel back the sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and discuss the growing number of Democrats coming out to denounce him. And they hammer Amnesty International for removing its “prisoner of conscience” label for Russian political figure Alexei Navalny over comments Navalny made 15 years ago.

 

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, founder of the AHA Foundation, and author of the books Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights, Infidel: My Lifeand Nomad: From Islam to America – A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations. Ms. Hirsi Ali shares insights from her upbringing and early education in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, as well as her courageous immigration to the West, where she experienced an intellectual awakening that led to human rights activism and a seat in the Dutch Parliament. They discuss why all human rights and free speech advocates should be concerned about the rise and growing militancy of political correctness and “cancel culture” in the West, its impact on reasoned public debate, and what educators need to teach young people about the importance of open mindedness and the free exchange of ideas. Lastly, Ms. Hirsi Ali reviews the central theme of her latest book, Prey, which explores the long-term ramifications of mass migration from Islamic-majority countries on the rights of women in Europe, given the different value systems between these countries and the West, with its commitment to the rule of law, rights-centered constitutionalism, science, and religious liberty. She concludes with a reading from the book.

Stories of the Week: The Biden administration is ordering states to continue federally required standardized tests this year, though there is flexibility on the exam format and accountability standards. Is this an opportunity for innovation in student testing? All members of a San Francisco-area school board resigned after mocking parents at a virtual meeting that they didn’t realize was already being broadcast live. Was this an isolated incident or a window into their general outlook toward families?

Boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in China

 

Almost anytime I see the word “boycott,” I either cringe or turn away. In my experience, boycotts are ineffective, political statements that have little power to make a difference. They can have mixed agendas, such as the Boycott-Divest-Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel; or they can make an immediate statement, such as the boycott called against Goya Foods, which actually increased the company’s sales and visibility.

But the most recent boycott discussion against the 2022 Winter Olympics in China has gotten my attention. On many levels, the U.S. taking a stand against the CCP, in particular, could make an impactful statement against a regime that has made no secret about its goal to become the most powerful country in the world. I’m going to make the case for pursuing a boycott against China, because the country needs to be held to account on multiple levels.

National Review artist Roman Genn came to America from the Soviet Union in 1991. In this episode, he compares the ideology he left behind with that which has gained a strong foothold in this country. His analysis, which comes at a pivotal moment, is worth hearing. And then there are the laughs, which are always plentiful when Roman and Dave have the chance to commiserate. Then, Ricochet Member Boss Mongo (a.k.a. Lt Col Brendan Welsh, US Army Special Forces Retired) drops by to discuss what sorts of national security threats await the new Biden Administration (hint: America’s adversaries are “giggling like little girls.”).

Otherwise, studio lighting issues, wardrobe changes, and unexpected guests dot the landscape of this rather unique episode. Enjoy!

Join Jim and Greg for three crazy martinis! First, they aim withering verbal fire at the writer for Yahoo News and The Atlantic, who compared covering the Trump administration to storming Omaha Beach. They also discuss the major, yet unsurprising, Associated Press revelations about how much the Lincoln Project leaders were pocketing from donors and when some of their officials really learned of allegations against John Weaver. And they point out that Joe Biden has exactly the opposite statement on China that he had during the campaign – right down to the metaphor.

Join Jim and Greg as they credit Ohio Sen. Rob Portman for exposing the nastiness of Neera Tanden, President Biden’s choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget. They also groan as the World Health Organization comes to the precise conclusion about the COVID outbreak that China wanted – after China restricted the evidence available for examination. And they roll their eyes as Tampa Mayor Jane Caston expects police to hunt down people who did not wear masks while celebrating the Super Bowl.

 

After a very brief Super Bowl recap, Jim and Greg cheer Claudia Tenney winning the final House race from the 2020 cycle and relish Democrats trotting out some awfully familiar complaints of irregularities. They also shudder at a new government report showing China is stealing the DNA of American citizens for nefarious purposes. And they discuss how Ilhan Omar’s husband is getting very rich by consulting with her campaign, and the craziest part is that it’s all apparently legal.

 

An avalanche of Executive Orders, the return of racial politics and Critical Race Theory, and a new war on the fossil fuel industry – and we are not even two weeks into the new Biden Administration!  Censorship and the cancel culture continues unchecked, while bipartisanship dies at the feet of a $1.9 trillion bailout.  Then there is the small issue of the real “enemy within”, China, which for some reason no one now wants to talk about.  More unvarnished and uncensored analysis from The Troika – Robert, Jay and Bruce.

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Unlike the extremely pious Biden, who couldn’t wait to spread his particular gospel around the developing world… Well, one thing that won’t be allowed to develop in that world is a lot of lives.He’s forcing us to pay for it. A little worse than childish and snarky tweets, I would say. Preview Open

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As the Biden administration officially begins, join Jim and Greg as they cheer the U.S. for declaring a Chinese genocide against the Uighurs on President Trump’s final day in office. They also groan as Biden plans an economic policy around issues like race, gender equality and climate change rather than traditional metrics. And they’re surprised to see Democrats predict a COVID relief bill being delayed until March, although given what’s likely to be in it, we’re in no hurry to see much of it become law.

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Biden has asked conservatives to give him a chance. But he hasn’t shown any willingness to compromise on any of his extreme positions. For example, I think he still intends to go after the Little Sisters of the Poor over coverage of abortion and birth control in their health plan. And men who think they […]

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Released here: Today, the White House is publishing the recently declassified United States Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific. For the last 3 years, this document has provided overarching strategic guidance for implementing the 2017 National Security Strategy within the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region. Approved in February 2018 for implementation across Executive Branch departments and agencies, the […]

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“Ты куда?”: Where has Russia’s Brain Gone? (Borscht Report #6)

 

The утечка мозгов/brain drain has been a concern for Russia since the 1990s, when the collapse of the USSR and the resulting political and economic chaos pushed those with sufficient means and desire to escape to do just that. All told, about 2.5 million Russians of various ethnic and economic backgrounds left the country between 1989 and 1999, heading predominantly for the US, Israel, and the EU, especially Germany. Despite the massive gains which the Russian economy saw in the first decade of the 21st century, a further 1.6-2 million people have fled the country since 2000. It would be easy to posit that this is mostly the result of economic issues in the country brought about by Western sanctions and the fall in hydrocarbon prices, or a lack of high paying jobs for skilled people. And these are issues, but a more interesting, and telling, one is at play when we parse the data before and after 2012.