Kimberley Motley is an American attorney and human-rights activist. She has been working in Afghanistan. She has been of particular help to girls and women. Last week, she traveled to Cuba, where she hoped to represent Danilo Maldonado.

Maldonado is a dissident and street artist nicknamed “El Sexto” (which means, “The Sixth”). Jay wrote about him here. He has been in and out of prison: and he is in prison again, for not saying and doing the right things after the death of Fidel Castro.

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Jay calls Larry Diamond “Mr. Democracy.” Professor Diamond has devoted his career to the study and advocacy of democracy — a very important thing to study and advocate. “The worst system of government except for all others.”

In this “Q&A,” Jay covers some basic questions with his guest: Why is democracy so important? The United States is a republic, not a democracy, right? 

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As regular listeners may know, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the veteran congresswoman from Miami, is one of Jay’s favorite politicians: favorite politicians, favorite Americans, favorite people. She is a champion of freedom the world over, not just in her native Cuba.

But it is about Cuba that Jay talks with her in this “Q&A.” Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen fled with her family when she was eight. Fidel Castro has at last died – at 90, in bed. He did so much damage. With Jay, Ileana talks about the past, the present, and the future.

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Fazil Say is a famous pianist, and a composer as well. He is particularly associated with the music of Mozart. Years ago, he took Mozart’s Rondo alla turca and made a jazzy arrangement of it – an arrangement that has gone all around the world, prized by concert pianists and amateurs alike. Say himself is a Turk. He is the most famous Turkish musician, certainly in the classical world. Yet this has not shielded him from harassment by the regime in Ankara.

On Friday, Say was in New York, preparing to play in a concert at Carnegie Hall: a concert featuring a Mozart concerto and one of his own. Jay Nordlinger talked to him about this, and about a variety of musical issues. You will enjoy getting to know Say’s mind, and, even more, his playing: Start with his jazzed-up Ronda alla turca

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Jay wanted to turn to Lincoln Diaz-Balart, to get his thoughts on the death of Fidel Castro. Diaz-Balart is a veteran Miami lawyer and politician. He served in Congress for nearly 20 years. His family has been prominent in politics, both in pre-Castro Cuba and in the United States. His father, Rafael, was a friend of Castro’s; his aunt, Rafael’s sister, married Castro. But soon, Rafael and Castro had a sharp parting of the ways.

Lincoln Diaz-Balart’s reflections come from deep experience and knowledge. You will want to cock an ear to them.

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Jay ditches a traditional “Q&A” – a proper “Q&A” – to do a music program: a program of music related to Thanksgiving, or at least to thanksgiving: expressions of gratitude. You have some Baroque, including Bach, and some Beethoven, and some Strauss (Richard Strauss), and some Barber, and, finally, a cherished familiar hymn. Happy, happy Thanksgiving.

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David Clarke is one of the most famous lawmen in America. He is the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. He is a commanding personality who has much experience and much to say. And he says it very well.

Sheriff Clarke is a guest on National Review’s current cruise. Jay sat down with him for a “Q&A” in front of an audience.

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America and the world after the election of Trump: This is the general topic of Jay’s “Q&A” with John Hillen – who is, as Jay says, a soldier, scholar, businessman, athlete, and, in a word, hombre. Their specific topics are Syria, Russia, Ukraine, Europe, NATO, Japan, South Korea, the U.S. military, NAFTA, freedom, and so on.

As Hillen pointed out to Jay, after the podcast, Churchill had a word to America when our nation was on the ascendant, internationally: “The price of greatness is responsibility.” Clearly a theme of our time.

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Dana Perino is a leading personality on Fox News. She is also a former White House press secretary (for George W. Bush). She is just out with a book, “Let Me Tell You about Jasper …: How My Best Friend Became America’s Dog.”

Jay talks with Ms. Perino in her home, along with Jasper himself. They talk about him, of course, and about dogs. But also about broader issues in life, which a discussion of dogs can prompt. As far as Jay is concerned, the new book is essentially about love. The author does not disagree.

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Anne Applebaum is one of the foremost writers on Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet Union. She is a columnist for the Washington Post, and has written several books: including “Gulag,” which won a Pulitzer prize.

She is Jay’s guest on “Q&A.” They talk about Russia and Putin. And Ukraine and Putin. And Europe and Putin. And America and Putin.

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Jay takes advantage of “Q&A” to do away with “Q&A” and record a music program instead – this one related to Halloween. So there is a variety of spooky and devilish music – by Tartini, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and others. From a violin sonata to an aria to a horse ride into hell to a sorcerer (or rather, his apprentice). Enjoy, and don’t be too scared.

The track list for this show is here.

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October is a big month for the baseball world. And Jay would like nothing better than to talk baseball with George Will — which he does.

Will wrote a blockbuster baseball book, Men at Work. It keeps selling and selling. He himself is an encyclopedia of baseball. He has opinions, as everyone does, and they are all undergirt by facts.

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Grant Starrett is a lawyer and politician in Tennessee. Kind of a model, if you’re a conservative Republican – a blue-chipper. He ran for Congress this year, against the Republican incumbent, and lost. Still in his twenties, he will probably run again, with a different result.

Jay is a friend of Starrett’s, and they talk about running for office: the fundraising, the handshaking, the issues, and so on. They also talk about conservatism. How did Starrett become one, by the way?

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Thomas Sowell has revised and enlarged his important book Wealth, Poverty and Politics. With Jay, he talks about – well, wealth, poverty, and politics.

How about Adam Smith and those boys? What about the role of geography? George Washington referred to America’s “blessed location.” What about the Korean Peninsula? The two halves of it are terribly different, aren’t they?

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Jay has a little therapy session with Noah Rothman of Commentary magazine, one of his favorite analysts and writers. They talk about Trump and Hillary, of course – especially the former. And Russia, NATO, and Saddam. And the alt-Right. And the media.

In other words, issues of the hour (and some past hours, and some future ones). After the conversation, Jay said, in so many words, “Thanks, I needed that.” You may like it too.

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Jonah Goldberg is a leading conservative critic of Trump and Trumpism. Therefore, there is a big target on his back, and front, and everywhere else. And yet he stands and delivers.

With Jay, he talks about Assange. Putin. The American Right. National Review. The National Enquirer. Hillary. The Trump Train. Anti-Semitism. The GOP future. Etc. He and Jay talk it all out, or most of it out, or a great deal of it out.

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At the end of the 1980s, Kanan Makiya wrote the book that taught everyone about Saddam Hussein’s Iraq: “Republic of Fear.” His most recent book is a novel, also about Saddam: “The Rope” (as in the instrument of his death).

With Jay, he talks about Iraq past, present, and future. He also talks about the greater Arab and Muslim world, and its relation to the West. Many Americans would like to wash their hands of the Arab and Muslim world, understandably. But can they? Can we?

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That was the title of Timothy Crouse’s famed book of 1973: “The Boys on the Bus.” It was about reporters covering the 1972 presidential campaign.

This year, Robert Costa, of the Washington Post, is covering the presidential campaign. He is an old friend and colleague of Jay’s, and they discuss the reporting life: What’s it like to cover Hillary, Bernie, the Donald, and them?

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The University of Chicago dropped a very pleasant bombshell this week: a letter to incoming freshmen, announcing that the university honors freedom of expression, and that it will not put up with any of the “trigger warning” or “safe space” nonsense. Well.

To discuss this with Jay is an illustrious Chicago professor, Charles Lipson, a political scientist. He was born and raised in little Marks, Mississippi. They talk about this, too. He went on to Yale and Harvard – and has been teaching at Chicago for some years.

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That would be a good name for a show, and it’s a good idea for a show: “Ask Dan” – Dan being Daniel Hannan, the distinguished British writer, and member of the European Parliament. You can ask him virtually anything, and he will give you a good, well-informed answer, beautifully expressed.

This is essentially what Jay does in this “Q&A”: He asks Hannan about Britain and America and some other things. British questions include Brexit, the color of passports, and the Bolshevikation of the Labour party. American questions include – well, guess who? Trump ’n’ Hillary.

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