Leahy: We welcome to our microphones in studio, our very favorite thought criminal, Michael Rectenwald! Welcome, Michael.
Rectenwald: Hey, thanks for having me, Michael. It’s great to be here.
Leahy: You are a recovering academic. You actually had a problem in academia because you thought academia was about freedom of speech and freedom of thought and intellectual integrity. You were on the faculty at New York University. (Chuckles)
Rectenwald: Yes, that’s right. And then I actually used my academic freedom, which was my first big mistake.
Leahy: I know. Big mistake. They need to tell you, that once you get your PhD, no academic freedom allowed. You have a book signing today. I want to encourage everyone in our listening audience to go to this book signing.
It’s at 12:30 p.m. It’s at Elders Bookstore. Where is Elders Bookstore you might ask? It’s at 101 White Bridge Pike, right across from Tech College. 12:30 p.m.
Now if you’d like to reserve a signed copy, call 615-352-1562. Michael, you’ve written the Thought Criminal, which is a great book. And the other books.
Crom, you don’t know the names of these books, let me tell you. One is called Springtime for Snowflakes. (Laughter) The other is Google Archipelago, Beyond Woke, and Thought Criminal. What’s it like being a thought criminal Michael?
Rectenwald: It’s dangerous. It’s very dangerous. And one feels as if one is being chased. And especially on the Internet, where thoughts are not very insidiously policed.
Leahy: Tell us some of your dangerous thoughts here.
Rectenwald: I have this idea that there’s actually two sexes.
Rectenwald: Yes. And I can’t believe it. I just can’t banish the thought that there are two sexes and not like 72.
Leahy: Michael, you are obviously a thought criminal.
Carmichael: Did you say or do something in particular that caused New York University to…
Rectenwald: Yes. I started a Twitter account called the AntiPCNYUProf. And I started tweeting about things like Halloween costumes and how you couldn’t wear a costume because it would trigger somebody.
The way they were throwing speakers off of campuses for having other than leftist views. They instituted a biased reporting hotline where the students could report their professors for microaggression or other offenses.
Leahy: Not only are you a thought criminal, but Michael you are also a microaggressor.
Rectenwald: I am.
Leahy: Crom, how can we have him in our studio?
Carmichael: But I’m interested about because you obviously you are a teacher. You are a professor because you cared about our youth.
Carmichael: If people like you are not allowed to be teachers and professors, if they’re not, how can our youth development intellectually?
Rectenwald: It’s an outrage. What we’re dealing with right now… And you get into this in your book?
Carmichael: Because this is why Michael, this book is so important.
Rectenwald: It really is. It’s not competence that’s being judged based on your confidence. You’re judged based on your identity and your politics.
That’s it. We don’t have competent professors. We have all kinds of affirmative action hires and advancements and promotions.
Carmichael: But what does it mean for the kids and the students?
Rectenwald: What it means is they’re not getting educated. I was just talking to my publisher last night and I said, you know, students don’t even know what the parts of speech are. They don’t know anything about writing or how to think.
Leahy: They haven’t been taught the basics. How to read, how to write, how to do mathematics, how to think logically.
Carmichael: That was the word for me. It sounds like that if you tried to teach a class on logic, on how to come to a conclusion, how to assimilate the information, to come to a correct conclusion, that would be politically incorrect.
Rectenwald: As a matter of fact, that could be an offense. Logic is masculinist and white supremacy.
Leahy: Of course logic is masculinity.
Carmichael: It’s just fascinating.
Leahy: And masculinity is one of the 72 genders and apparently the least favored.
Rectenwald: Oh, absolutely the least favorite. It’s at the bottom of the hierarchy. The social justice hierarchy takes the putative hierarchy and flips it upside down.
Leahy: You’ve got this book Thought Criminal. You are obviously a dangerous thought criminal. We are really going on the edge by allowing you in the studio today.
Leahy: We are brave here Crom. We are being very brave.
Carmichael: Well, we’ve known that.
Leahy: Yeah, of course. But do you have any solutions for this general problem of lack of intellectual honesty at the university level and, of course, other elements of education in America?
Rectenwald: The American university system is rotten to the core.
Leahy: Rotten to the core.
Rectenwald: So what I suggest is competition from the outside, competing parallel structures and institutions to take them head on with competition.
Leahy: Competition and education. What an unusual idea.
Carmichael: I agree with what you’re saying. In theory, when one side has all the money and all the resources and all the power, I believe in competition but in order to have true competition, you have to have a level playing field.
If I were a football team and I got the top 30 draft picks every year, I probably could overcome bad coaching, so I could probably overcome a poor product. So my question is, how should people that gain power in government use that power?
Rectenwald: Excellent point.
Carmichael: To bring about a truly competitive environment.
Rectenwald: First of all, all state colleges and universities should be reviewed in terms of their hiring practices and other promotions so that you would have an oversight board over these colleges and universities to make sure that they’re actually hiring people on the basis of competence.
Leahy: We’re talking about state colleges and universities.
Leahy: You’ve worked at a private college, but have you worked at state colleges also?
Rectenwald: Yes, I did in North Carolina.
Leahy: Which one?
Rectenwald: It was called North Carolina Central University.
Leahy: Was there a different experience working at a public college versus a private?
Rectenwald: Well, yeah, the public one was underfunded and basically corrupt. The private one was overfunded and corrupt.
Leahy: Oh so the choice then is, underfunded and corrupt versus overfunded and corrupt. Which is more dangerous?
Michael, there are three things that are going on at the same time and they’re all related. One is CNN Plus is imploding even though owes a great and mighty Chris Wallace left Fox News and went to CNN. Because CNN believed that Chris Wallace was popular. And he never has been popular.
He’s always been kind of a daddy’s boy. And he’s made a lot of money because he was Mike Wallace’s son. But CNN is now imploding. And what’s interesting is when he left, he was there 18 years, paid millions of dollars for at least each of the last 10 years.
And when he left, he was very ungracious. He did an interview in The Western Journal and he sneered at the network, at Fox network and his viewers saying about his long tenure at Fox, ‘But I can certainly understand where somebody would say, gee, Chris, you’re a slow learner.’
He was really talking about how he is now free to think and to act. But CNN Plus, which is why he left, is imploding. And by the way, that’s because people who watch CNN don’t pay for news.
They won’t pay for it. They just like to be propagandized. Which ties into Mark Zuckerberg. After Molly Hemingway’s book Rigged came out and the documentary was aired within 24 hours, Mark Zuckerberg said he’s not going to participate in the midterm elections in the way that he did in the last election.
So what he is seeing from that documentary is that they have the goods on him. So the question is going to be whether or not he is treated appropriately under the law.
If the next administration is a Republican administration because there are laws about campaign spending and the book Rigged makes a very good case that he broke those laws.
Now let’s move to what Elon Musk is doing in his attempted takeover of Twitter. Twitter stock has fallen from 80 to 30 over the last 18 months. It’s very clear that the board of directors and the executives at Twitter do not believe that their shareholders are that important to them.
Well, now they have a very stark choice. They can either see their stock go back to approximately 30 and maybe even lower, or they can take Musk’s offer of $54.20 a share and do what is right by the shareholders.
So the question is whether or not the board of directors are going to do what’s right by the Democrat Party and the left, or whether or not it’s going to do what’s right by the shareholders. But what’s also fascinating is that there are reports that the DOJ and the SEC are now attacking Tesla.
And let me just say that the DOJ and the SEC are people. They’re not just institutions. So the institution of the DOJ and the institution of the SEC does not attack Tesla. It will be the individuals inside those institutions.
And then the question is if they are using their positions of power for political purposes and the next President is not of their thinking, it’s a question of whether or not those people because what they are doing is seditious what they’re doing is using the power of government to try to silence the potential opposition of other people.
It should be obvious to any thinking person that the left believes that it is now in control of the government and that it must maintain its control of the government or for them, there is a great risk, and for all of those associated with the left.
So the next 30 days are going to be absolutely critical and then the midterms of course. But with Zuckerberg not agreeing to help the Democrat Party with what you and I think is cheating in the last election, with him saying he’s not going to do that again, I’m not sure that they can replace him at this late date with somebody who is willing to take the risk of going to prison for 20 years.
Which if they do that again could very well happen. So we will see. But these three things all happening at the same time are both ominous on one hand and very hopeful on another.
Leahy: We now welcome to our newsmaker line, Mr. AJ Massey, who is running for mayor of Madison County. Good morning, AJ.
Massey: Good morning, everybody. How are y’all?
Leahy: We’re great. We’re delighted to have you on here. So tell us about yourself. What’s your background, AJ?
Massey: Sure. Yeah. I’m a native of West Tennessee, grew up in West Tennessee and went to college here and had a 17-year career in banking. And that ended in January when I elected to run for a local office. You can’t really chase two rabbits, don’t do well with that. So we chose to run for office. So we’ve been doing that since January.
Leahy: People know Jackson as the place you stop to get gas two hours from Nashville sometimes, to the west, about an hour from Memphis. Good restaurants there.
I stop by and take a break there sometimes. But people don’t know that much about Jackson and Madison County. Tell us a little bit about some of the challenges there that you face in Madison County.
Massey: Sure. Madison County is, you’re exactly right. We’re right down in the middle of everything. We’re called the Hub City. Jackson is called the Hub City for a reason. All the West Tennessee, outside of Memphis, looks to Jackson for commerce and for goods and a lot of well-paying jobs.
And so as far as what challenges are, I think we’re a disproportionately high poverty number in the city of Jackson, and really Madison County as a whole. So that’s a challenge that makes education difficult, that makes law enforcement difficult, and that makes a lot of things difficult.
But there’s so much good happening in West Tennessee that, there’s so much good happening in Madison County but also in West Tennessee, bringing on, we’re getting a great Wolf Lodge in Jackson.
If you don’t know what that is, it’s an indoor water park hotel, and nearly 500 rooms have been built in the city of Jackson. We’ll have, of course, the Megasite in Haywood County where Ford Blue Oval City will be in the next few years.
That’s within about 40 miles of our county border. That’s going to be a big shot to Madison County and West Tennessee. So that’s really what we’re trying to do, is trying to get ahead of these things, be paying attention.
I’ve got a young family, and I want the next 20 years. I want them to be around here. I want my boys to choose to locate in West Tennessee and not be too far from Mom and Dad, and hopefully grandkids someday, so we’re trying to make this place as attractive and as safe and, giving them everything they want, where they don’t feel like they need to go anywhere.
Leahy: Crom Carmichael, our original all-star panelist has a question for you, AJ.
Carmichael: AJ, how close is Jackson to that new Ford facility?
Massey: It’s about 40 miles. Between 40 and 50 miles, depending on how you go, between Madison County and Blue Oval City.
And that’s actually a great opportunity. Ford has a requirement that a certain number of suppliers that are going to help that plan out with different needs are required to be within 50 miles of that facility.
So that really puts East Memphis, that puts some of our north, west counties, and then, of course, Madison County is sitting right there ready to accept a lot of the suppliers. And our infrastructure is ready for that.
Carmichael: So, Jackson is inside that 50-mile radius?
Massey: Yes, sir. Correct.
Massey: One of our most, and I don’t know if there was just some foreknowledge there or just some premonition, but the western part of our county nearest to the Megasite has a vast option of industrial sites that are already with wastewater and utilities. And so we’re just waiting for the right businesses to take their claim to those.
Leahy: AJ, what is the main reason why people who live in Madison County should vote for you for mayor of Madison County?
Massey: Absolutely. Well, we’re trying to pay attention. We’re trying to be on our toes. We’ve had similar leadership in Madison County for the last, really, 30 years. And the folks that have chosen to run in this race as well are kind of on the same cloth.
And there are some statistics that came out not long ago that has Madison County ranked 95th out of 95 counties, in nearly every category. And that whole thing is if we do what we’ve always done, we’re going to get what we’ve got.
And I think it’s just time for a change. I think it’s time for somebody with some energy, some renewed focus. I’m not trying to get anybody out of the office. I’m not trying to kick anybody out, but I do think it’s time for people to step aside and allow new leadership with fresh ideas.
As I said, I’ve got an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old boy. And that’s where my focus is, trying to build a community that they can be proud of over the next 20 years.
I’m not looking at the next election cycle. I’m not looking at the next budget cycle. I’m looking at the next few decades to make sure, because I’m going to be here, I’m going to be around, and I’m going to have to give an account to what we did or didn’t do with this opportunity coming to West Tennessee.
Leahy: AJ, what is the most important fresh new idea you have to improve the status of Madison County from, as you say, 95th out of 95 counties in almost every category?
Massey: Sure. I’ve been on the Jackson Madison County school board since 2018. I’m a public school graduate. My wife is a public school graduate. My oldest son is in public school. My youngest hadn’t gotten quite to that level yet.
But it’s schools. Schools really drive everything around here. I’m sure it is with most communities but that’s going to reduce our crime rate.
That’s going to reduce our jail population. That’s a long-term play, though the further down the line we get we have to make sure those children are educated at grade level when they’re first, second, third grade.
That way they kill that public-school-to-prison pipeline that seems to happen, and that obviously helps with crime, helps with commerce, and the ability to supply the workforce for all these great companies. I’m passionate about schools. I think our schools need to be …
Leahy: Let me ask you a question about that. In the four years you’ve served on the Jackson Madison school board, what have you done to improve the status of schools there? Because it looks like everywhere in the state over that four-year period the performance of students has gone down, down, down.
Massey: Sure. Madison County is a unique county. We have four thriving private schools and so there are lots of options here in town for nontraditional public education.
There’s also a district just north of us that’s just done the right things and they’ve attracted a lot of families to move outside of our county to go to that district.
But the way last four years we’ve had tremendous success with our academics in our classroom. We have some very pointed, data-driven curriculum that’s happening in our classroom that’s showing improvement.
Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Democrat Caller Carl to the newsmaker line to weigh in on Nancy Pelosi’s future as Speaker of the House, her recent comments to athletes regarding the Olympics and China, and elements of the NFL racial discrimination lawsuit.
Leahy: We welcome to our newsmaker line, our very good friend Carl, who’s been listening and a longtime caller. Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report. Thanks so much for calling in.
Carl: Listen, man, first of all, be careful driving home. Everybody else, be careful. Thank you for the invite.
Leahy: Hey, Carl, some of our listeners may not be familiar with the bet that you and I had. And you stomped me on the bet.
Carl: I did.
Leahy: And I paid it off, didn’t I? (Chuckles)
Carl: Yes, you did. And you were respectful of the time period in which I wanted to take care of it. And we did.
Leahy: The bet that we had when the new President was inaugurated on January 20, 2021, you bet five months before it that it would be Joe Biden and I bet it would be Donald Trump, and the loser would have to pay for a steak dinner at Rafferty’s. I lost and we had a great lunch, didn’t we?
Carl: Absolutely. What a great lunch.
Leahy: Crom Carmichael is here and wants to say hello.
Carmichael: Hey, Carl, how are you doing?
Carmichael: Carl, now my question is on behalf of Mike. He doesn’t know I’m doing this, but do you want to place a lunch bet on who will be the next Speaker of the House? Which party?
Carl: No, because I don’t know who will be the Speaker, but if it trends the way they’re supposed to be, the way it always has gone, it will go back to the party that’s out of power, out of the White House, but that’s yet to be seen.
Leahy: Carl, something about the program or something in the news prompted you to call because you’ve got something to say. What is it that prompted you to call in today and what is it you’d like to say?
Carl: I don’t disagree to be disagreeable. I do agree with your take on Nancy Pelosi. I believe that you have to be respectful of being a good guest. I was taught that. I’m pretty sure all parents taught the same thing.
Be a good guest. But still, in the spirit of the Olympics, especially with the precedent of the ’68 Olympics, protest your ass off.
Leahy:(Chuckles) So you disagree with Nancy Pelosi on that?
Carl: Yes, yes, yes. Protest your ass off. Now here’s the thing, though. When I found out the Miami coach was fired, that was shocking.
I was stunned because I thought that if the coaching staff, with the job they did here in Nashville, if he didn’t get the coach of the year, I thought it was going to go to the guy in Miami.
Leahy: I agree with you completely, Brian Flores. I was shocked that he was fired.
Carl: Fired. And then when I listened to the lawsuit, first of all, the lawsuit is long overdue. Very long overdue. That’s number one.
Number two, when I listen to the things that were in it, it’s believable because you don’t fire an up-and-coming young, hot, head coach that turned your team around two years in a row unless you’re pissed at him. And the owner was mad at him for not taking those games and getting a better draft pick a couple of years ago.
Leahy: I saw that in the complaint. And that is obviously inappropriate behavior. And if true, inappropriate. But here’s the big question just on the Miami incident for a moment.
If that’s true, if you tell your coach to tank the games, that’s kind of a violation of some NFL rules. But here’s my big question: how is that evidence of racism?
Carl: That’s just one part of the thing. That’s one part of the suit. Then the other part is the giant thing that’s the most damning – you have this man come in for an interview after you knew you hired someone else. That’s not cool at all.
Leahy: He sued three teams, right? Miami, Denver and Giants. I don’t see the claim of racism in Miami. But let’s go to New York now for a moment. So walk the audience through what you’ve read about that.
Carl: So what happened was his name is Brian. Another former coordinator. Bill Belichick’s named Brian as well. Bill Belichick texted him and thought he was talking to the other Brian and texted him and said, “Hey, congratulations on getting the Giants.”
And Brian was like, well, did you hear something? Because I don’t interview with them until Thursday, two days later. And he was like, oh, well, damn, I made a mistake. Brian then takes it back and says, “Are you talking about me or the other Brian coordinator in Buffalo?”
And then Bill Belichick said, “Man, I f’d up.” This is literally what he said, “I f’d up. My bad.” The lawsuit part of that is valid because he learned about it through Bill Belichick for congratulating the guy.
What is Bill Belichick doing knowing about what’s going on with the New York Giants and that hire in the first place? Number one. And number two, you don’t bring someone in as a token interview when you already hired someone else. At the very least, it’s not cool, right?
Michael, I’m going to tie three completely disparate issues together under the category of grifting. And that’s what I’ve said. The essence of the entire Biden administration is that. We know that Biden took out a terrorist in Syria, and that’s a good thing.
But the bad thing about that is that Biden is still just determined to strike, to redo the nuclear deal with Iran and give Iran billions and billions of dollars. And it is Iran that is the chief sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and, in fact, around the world.
To take out one terrorist and then give money to a government that funds terrorists makes no sense. The other little footnote on that is that when Trump took out Soleimani, who is equally a terrorist, Biden condemned Trump for doing that, claiming that we don’t need another war in the Middle East.
One could make the same claim here but that would be an incorrect claim. If Biden was truly concerned about terrorism in the Middle East, he would not be giving Iran billions of dollars.
The second one is – and this is so typical, unfortunately – the entire Democratic Party, there was a bill that was introduced in the House. It was about to pass the House, and the goal of the bill was to provide incentives and support to move manufacturing back from China.
Now, we can argue over whether or not the federal government should have any responsibility for that, and we certainly could argue it shouldn’t target particular businesses. It should just pass policies that encourage manufacturing.
But in the bill – the America Compete Act – at the last minute, Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson from Texas, stuck in the bill that all private manufacturers who take money must unionize their workforce.
This is so typical and unfortunate of the Democrat Party that anytime federal dollars are being used, they just cannot bring themselves to help all Americans. They have to help only themselves at the expense of everybody else.
And the last one that I want to tie together under grifting – and this one is actually much more serious – what Biden is doing is he is populating the Federal Reserve with a bunch of grifters who are a bunch of people who believe that it should be the policy of the Federal Reserve to mandate and change our energy system.
When Congress established the Federal Reserve it established it to do two things. One is to keep inflation in check and to keep unemployment low. I’m not sure that the Federal Reserve can do both of those things.
But if you add on top of that, switching our economy from a fossil-based economy to a green economy and then include those two things, it is not possible to do all of those three things at the same time.
And now we have people who are in front of the Senate actually lying about their own record. And they won’t be called to task, as Roger Stone was when they claimed he lied to Congress and to the FBI. But this lady, Sarah Bloom Raskin, has a long record of claiming that it’s up to the government to move us to a green economy and to hurt fossil fuel companies. And she’s denying what she has previously said.