The Bill Walton Show

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Episode 250: The Terrifying Truth About China's Grip on America | A New Cold War Unveiled - Frank Gaffney and Bradley Thayer

China is the single most formidable strategic threat the United States has ever faced. It alone has the potential to replace the United States as the world’s hegemon.

China is not a typical foreign adversary on another shore, gathering behind its army, aggressive, thinking about land warfare, even nuclear warfare. This is an enemy that's permeated the United States, it's infiltrated into our culture and China’s strategy of “elite capture” is working. A lot of the leadership class in America seems to be in the pocket of the Chinese.

Deng Xiaoping, probably the greatest strategist of the 20th century, determined that China was not going to be vulnerable the way the Soviets were and that he was going to enter the world’s economic and governance ecosystems with prodigious assistance from the West. He was going to make partners with Wall Street, the Chamber of Commerce and of the Democrat, and in time the Republican, parties and the fear today is that he has succeeded. 

Joining The Bill Walton Show in this episode to discuss the China Threat are: 

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is the founder and executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy. He’s coauthor of The Indictment: Prosecuting the Chinese Communist Party, vice chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger: China and the host of Securing America with Frank Gaffney on the Real America’s Voice Network, and

Bradley A. Thayer is Director of China Policy at the Center for Security Policy and the coauthor of Understanding the China Threat and How China Sees the World:  Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics.

Together Frank and Brad have a profound and clear eyed assessment of China’s history, its strengths and weaknesses, and its intentions on the world stage today. 

Whether the United States can maintain its position as the preeminent force for free and open societies in the face of the China Threat is the defining element of international politics in the 21st-century.

After listening to this episode, you will understand China in an entirely new way. 

Episode 249: You Can’t Win the Culture War Without Making Movies -Michael and Thomas Pack

In the United States just four networks: Netflix, Disney, Amazon Prime, and HBOMax spend almost $75 billion every year on film, TV and streaming content. And most of this spending goes toward woke, progressive-themed entertainment.

The progressive Left has come to dominate our institutions and our culture and they’ve been remarkably successful in using the art of narrative storytelling to promote their agenda.

Conservatives complain that they are losing the culture wars  And they are. But that won’t change until they actually begin producing cultural content that embodies their values and commit real money to the business of storytelling. 

You can’t win unless you are in the Game.


Episode 248: “The Golden Gate: Power, Sex, Class and Justice in 1940s California” with Amy Chua

In this episode of the Bill Walton Show, my conversation is with Amy Chua,  a provocative and original thinker about culture, world politics, and political tribes. Our main topic is her latest book, The Golden Gate, is a novel set in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1930s and 1940s.

Best known for her Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a memoir about her parenting journey using strict Confucianist child rearing techniques, she is a highly accomplished professor at Yale Law School, and has been named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, The Atlantic's “Brave Thinkers” and Foreign Policy's “Global Thinkers.”

The Golden Gate is compelling historical thriller that paints a portrait of a California from another era beset by the crosswinds of a world at war and an American society about to undergo massive changes in how race and class define the essence of power, sex, and justice. It’s also filled with fascinating details, like groundbreaking forensic advances, the story of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and the presence of China’s Madame Chiang Kai-shek in Berkeley in the 1940’s

Amy brings to this book - and our conversation - her depth of understanding about class structures, culture and ethnic divisions seen in her non-fiction writings. 

Her first book, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, explored the ethnic conflict caused in many societies by "market dominant minorities.”

In her Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance - and Why They Fall examined seven major empires and the theory that their success depended on their tolerance of minorities.

Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations, examined how group loyalty often outweighs any other ideological considerations and argues that the failure to recognize the place of group loyalty has played a major role in the failure of US foreign policy.

The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America was called by the Financial Times’ Lucy Kellaway, “the best universal theory of success I've seen."

This is a wide ranging and fun conversation. Highly enjoyable. Listen in. 

Episode 247: “You Can Prevent a Stroke” with Dr Joshua Yamamoto

Our guest on this episode of Backstage with Bill Walton is Bill’s cardiologist Dr. Joshua Yamamoto who has some startling and optimistic things to say about our heart health. 

“There is almost no such thing as heart disease: it’s just natural aging and you can manage it,” declares Josh. “We now look at aging not just as a bag of diseases, but as a process.”

While health issues are not normally among our Show topics, unlike our polarized politics, our personal health is something we can actually do something about. 

The biology of aging is no longer mysterious. If we start paying attention when we are young, heart and blood vessel health is knowable, measurable, and manageable. 

In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do, and what we can ask of our doctors, to manage the effects of aging on our circulation so that we do not have a stroke.


Josh Yamamoto is one of America’s leading cardiologists with a degree in physics from Princeton University and who trained at Dartmouth Medical School, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, National Naval Medical Center and Georgetown University. He was the cardiology consultant to the US Congress and Director of Cardiac Imaging and served in Kuwait as the theater cardiologist for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 “Old school” medicine said that if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it. A great emphasis was placed on symptoms. What are your complaints? If you don’t have a complaint, then all must be well. Not necessarily. 

To keep your brain (and yourself as a whole) healthy, you need to know the answers to the questions: 

1. What is the actual health of my heart and circulation? 

2. What can I do, or what can I do differently, to keep my circulation working as safely and efficiently as possible? 

Fundamentally, these are the only questions you need to ask. The questions are simple, but the answers are different for every one of us.

“The leading cause of death is supposedly heart disease. And I always roll my eye at that notion because heart disease isn't simply one thing. It's like if you take your car to the mechanic, and he says, "Oh, I know what's wrong. You have engine trouble." Really? How did that help? So, you have to understand what are all the processes affecting the heart.”

“A famous bioethicist once said that there is no meaningful life after the age of 75, so why should anyone go to the doctor after that point?” 

“In my practice, I can spend an entire day and see no patient younger than 90. And they are active and healthy, and enjoying life. I have 96-year-olds still wearing suits to the office. I have a 106-year-old complaining that no one will dance with her. I have an 89-year-old who wanted a stress test to make sure he could keep up with his new girlfriend (who in fact is older than he). I prescribe plenty of Viagra.”

This is just a sampling of Josh’s original thinking, deep insights and humor. Listen in and learn how to anticipate, navigate and manage the aging process.

Episode 246: "What Really Happens at Burning Man: An Insider's Story" with Kenny Reff

nce a year, roughly 70,000 “Burners” gather two hours north of Reno in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary city “dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.” Burners declare that Burning Man isn’t a “festival.” Rather, “it’s a city wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens, who are active participants in the experience.”

This year Burning Man was much in the news because of the sensationalized coverage about the rain that fell on it. But was it as bad as the press made it sound?

In this episode of Backstage with Bill Walton, we get a first hand account from someone who was there: our producer/director Kenny Reff.  An experienced journalist - Kenny was one of CNN’s first White House producers - he’s been a Burner since 2012. For this show he’s jumped to the other side of the camera with entertaining stories and a captivating description what goes on there. 

“To read the recent press accounts about Burning Man and the rain there this year,” Kenny explains, “you’d think it was an unmitigated disaster. For those who were there it wasn’t. Far from it. And so this was fascinating for me because it's rare to be at an event and know really what happened and then see the reporting on it.” 

It seems like there's a personality type that goes to Burning Man that wants to be adventurous, wants to be self-reliant and is looking for experiences. As its founder Larry Harvey put it “All real communities grow out of a shared confrontation with survival.”

Many of the people there - mostly young, the median age is 37- thought there was something special about sharing a weather event and living to tell the tale. And a lot else, shares Kenny:

“People change there. One of the reasons people go back and keep on going back is that it's a totally different environment. For one week, you're in this community that has a different set of rules, a different set of ethos. People are fun. They get into deep conversations. They're fun loving. And it's so different from what burners call the default world.”

Of course, it’s also an extravagant week-long party for those with the stamina to take it all in. Kenny’s one of them. This episode is best watched rather than listened to since Kenny incorporated many pictures and video from Burning Man.

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