Who Built That? Michelle Malkin shares incredible stories of American ingenuity

Michelle Malkin teamed up with Glenn and Mercury Ink for a new book: ‘Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs’. She joined Glenn on the radio show Monday to talk about some of her favorite stories from the book and what she learned while putting it together.

Below is a transcript of this interview:

GLENN: So today, we're not just going to whine about it. We actually have a solution. And it actually started with a charity. Back in 2010, this program asked Michelle Malkin if she would donate something to -- what was it, for the Restoring Honor event, I think it was. She said, yes, I'll do a charity fundraiser and I'll take people on a train ride in Colorado. And we mocked it. We were like, oh, that's good. Michelle all by herself with strangers on a train.

PAT: A hike or something.

GLENN: Come into the woods with me. It was not a good idea. But it was that that gave birth to what we're about to announce, and she's about to release tomorrow. Michelle Malkin is here with us now. Hello, Michelle.

MICHELLE: Hi, Glenn.

GLENN: How are you?

MICHELLE: Good. How are you doing?

GLENN: It's been a very long journey for this.

MICHELLE: Yes. It's been like a train ride up Pikes Peak.

GLENN: You took a train ride up to Pikes Peak. Then I think a year later or two years later, we were doing the big deal that weekend at Dallas Cowboys Stadium for Restoring Love, and you had come in for a Freedom Works event at the American Airlines Arena. And you and I spent some time backstage, and we started talking about entrepreneurs and people who did build that.

MICHELLE: Yeah, we totally geeked out. And I think we discussed everything from, you know, the tinkering penchant to the teaching of math in this country and, of course, a lot of that was the groundwork for the work that we've done together on Common Core. And I think that this book is absolutely an extension of those conversations and, you know, you've had a pivotal role in all of this. And it kind of underscores one of the themes of the book, which is the magic and the miracle of the voluntary exchanges of ideas and goods and services that happened in this country every single day without the hand of government. Without a federal department of innovation or an innovation czar or somebody telling us what we should invest our money in. And, you know, whether it's something as mundane as a book or a bottle cap or a roll of toilet paper, these things happen not because somebody decides in Washington that they're going to happen, but because people want them and need them. And we have a free market system that has served us extremely well. So for the president who keyed up the launch of this book perfectly with his remarks last week that you just highlighted, thanks Obama. For him to have such scorn and open contempt for this country, I couldn't stand it anymore. And that's what drove this book. Of course -- of course, in a capitalist system, we want to make money. Everybody who is an inventor or builder wants to make money. But do you think that's the ultimate driver? That's the engine? No. It's this insatiable need and drive to make something in the world and fix it and tinker with it all your entire life. And so, you know, I have these tinkerpreneurs in the book who, yeah, they came up with one thing and then another. And they had hundreds and hundreds of patents. And they worked themselves until they couldn't work anymore. And you certainly can't say that of the golfer-in-chief on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

GLENN: Okay. So now the name of the book is Who Built That. And you cover everybody. I want to cover a couple of chapters. I want to start with something that I didn't expect to find in the book, which I found strangely fascinating. I, Toilet Paper.

[laughter]

MICHELLE: Yes. Well, you know, I talked about how -- I think that we take for granted especially in the 21st century internet age, the mundane things that we absolutely need. And I picked toilet paper for a number of reasons. When you look at a place like Venezuela, and I think the shortage of toilet paper there is so ultimately symbolic because they can't even make that. What does that say about the absence of a free market, the absence of choice, the absence of the ability to profit off of things? And toilet paper is one of those products that encompasses hundreds and hundreds of different kinds of entrepreneurs. And so I trace the history of toilet paperback to the Founding Fathers, and if you love history, if you love tinkering, you're going to love the book, because you're going to learn so many things about how the voluntary cooperation of even some of the Founding Fathers play into the chapter as well. I wrote in the voice of a roll of toilet paper because I was inspired by one of my favorite all-time essays that is such a great learning tool, especially for elementary school kids. Was written by Leonard Read, who was a Libertarian economist who wrote the very, very famous essay I, Pencil to illustrate this example of how the concentric circles of individuals pursuing their own self-interests produced something like a pencil, something that no government bureaucrat could ever order with an executive order.

GLENN: Right. I have to tell you. I'd hate to harp on the toilet paper part, but I was shocked what I learned about toilet paper. I was shocked that, you know, Poor Richard's Almanac was really kind of the first toilet paper. That's why they have a hole in it, so you could hang it there. That they were using that. Sears & Roebuck, the catalog was toilet paper. I had no idea that it was -- I mean, really, Michelle, why did it take us so long before we went, hey, how about soft paper?

MICHELLE: Yeah. Well, you know, one of the things that was interesting to me in the history of it was the kinds of things that entrepreneurs had to overcome. And with regard to toilet paper it was really considered one of those things you couldn't talk about in public. And so I traced the history of that and, of course, the company that -- one of the many, many companies that I highlighted, which, of course, people are most familiar with is the Scott brothers. And these guys started out in Pennsylvania as sellers of butcher paper. Which, yeah, is not as nice as the Charmin for sure.

GLENN: No. No. And it's amazing that the guys who started it are still really doing it. You learn all the -- anyway, I don't mean to focus on that.

You also talk about the bridge builders here in America. The guy who came up with the -- how the bottle cap was started. You tell my favorite story of Westinghouse and Tesla. What is the thing that you connected with the most?

MICHELLE: Well, the very first chapter is one of the my favorite chapters. And I think it will be a favorite chapter of a lot of your readers and listeners as well because it deals with a product that I'm sure many of your listeners are familiar with. The Maglite flashlight. I got to go out to Ontario, California, and visit the headquarters of Anthony Maglica's Maglite Company. And, you know, this guy really is literally the torch bearer of the American dream. You know, he's your prototypical immigrant with absolutely nothing and expected nothing. Felt entitled to nothing but the opportunity to try. He came here with $120 and 20 English words that he knew. And he never gave up. And, you know, I mentioned the vacationer-in-chief in Washington. This guy is 84 years old. He still goes to his factory every day at five or 6 o'clock in the morning. He's the last one to leave. He hasn't had a vacation in ten years. Yes, he's made hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. But that's not what drives him. It's the ability to be able to come here with nothing, make something of himself, make something that people want, and then never stop improving it. And, you know, there are so many things that he told me in my visit that I think are very -- that have a lot of resonance for public policy and politics today. You know, I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican, if you were running for president, don't you dare say that you have ever created a job. Because you have not. It's people like Anthony Maglica and all of the tinkerpreneurs that I talk about in the book who are the real heroes. And there used to be a time in the 18 and it 19th century when these were the guys that were the rockstars of public life. And I'd love to get back to that place, and that's why I wrote the book.

GLENN: I'll tell you, Michelle, I was just out in Silicon Valley, and I don't know why we're not focusing -- you know, back at the turn of the last century, we had Tesla, Edison, all of these great minds that were changing the world. Well, that's happening again in Silicon Valley. And one of the big names that jumps off the page is -- what's his name from Tesla?

MICHELLE: Elon Musk.

GLENN: Elon Musk. How is Elon Musk not the -- the Tesla or the Edison of our day? These guys -- we don't know these guys. Why is that? And how do we get back there?

MICHELLE: Well, I think a lot of it, of course, is you have the dominance of DC-centric and New York City-centric media outlets and I think the Hollywood cultural left. And they've always demonized business owners and entrepreneurs and people who are on the cutting edge. And, you know, this circles back to what Obama was saying last week that you highlighted. I mean, you have somebody who has insisted that he's, quote, unquote, the president of America, and yet he goes to Georgetown University, he goes to, you know, the elite circles of academia. And what does he do? Well, he indulges the same progressive impulse to wealth shame. That's the phenomenon that I identify in the introduction of the book. Come for the Obama bashing and progressive bashing in the book, and stay for the history.

[laughter]

You know, the idea that economic achievement is random. Like it's the Powerball lottery. And that your lot in life can never be improved, of course, that's what they want to do. This is -- you know, chapter and verse number one and the end -- the beginning, the end, and the middle for the Obama gospel of government dependency. So, of course, what they do is denigrate the very people that offer some hope and inspiration, to people who want to lift themselves up. What is the history of this country? The history of this country has always been about social mobility. Social mobility is anathema to the progressive agenda.

GLENN: Michelle Malkin, the name of the book is Who Built That. It's in stores tomorrow, isn't it?

MICHELLE: Uh-huh.

GLENN: I know you can go to GlennBeck.com/Malkin and order your copy today. It will be at your house by tomorrow. But grab this book. And she said, this does take apart the progressive ideology. It takes apart the things that the president is building and saying. But more importantly, it's good. It's not just the problem, it's the solution. We have to look at -- inside of ourselves and find that entrepreneur and start holding -- if it's not you. Because there are people that work on the lines -- you know, there are people who are actually building the Tesla car. Not all of us can be Elon Musk. That's okay. But we're all part of this. And get your kids excited. Get yourself excited again about the American spirit. Who Built That is the name of the book. Awe-Inspiring Stories of America's Tinkerpreneurs. Michelle Malkin. Available in bookstores everywhere and at GlennBeck.com/Malkin.

Michelle, as always, good to talk to you.

MICHELLE: You too. Take care, Glenn.

GLENN: Thank you. Buh-bye.

Soros is trying to elect MORE TEXAS RINOs. Here's how YOU can stop him.

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Texas is under threat of a George Soros-backed takeover.

Soros-funded RINO judges have been elected in some of the highest courts in Texas. These judges implemented restrictions that have blocked nearly a thousand cases of voter fraud from being investigated or prosecuted from across the state. These new restrictions are similar to ones in place in states like George, Arizona, and Wisconsin, leaving Texas more susceptible to election corruption than ever. If Texas falls to corruption, America will lose its largest bastion of conservative electoral power in the nation. Without Texas, Republicans WILL NOT be able to win national elections and liberal corruption will go unchecked across the country.

Fortunately, there is a way to stop this: YOU.

If you live in Texas you have a chance to stand up against corruption and to fight back! Starting Tuesday, February 20th, early voting for the primaries begins, where three of these judges are up for election. Go out and vote. If the right people are voted in, there's a good chance the restrictions will be lifted and election fraud can once again be prosecuted.

But remember, you can't just go in and vote for anyone who has an "R" next to their name. Sorors knows that a registered Democrat would never stand a chance in Texas, so his lackeys register as Republicans and ride the little "R" right into office. So who do you vote for?

Fortunately, Glenn had Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on his show today and Ken gave us his list of judges that he vouches for. His list is as follows:

  • Gina Parker
  • Lee Finley
  • David Schenck
The Primary Election runs from February 20th to March 5th. This is your chance to get out there and make a difference. It might be the most important election you ever participate in. If you need to know where your nearest polling location is, or any other information regarding the election, you can go to votetexas.gov to find out more.
It's time to stand up.

Hypocrisy EXPOSED: The 'Amazon Files' and what WE are doing about it

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Who is really banning books?

For years now, Conservatives have been taking flak from the left for supposed "book bans." The left likes to compare these "bans" to Nazi book burnings, accusing the right of sweeping authoritarian decrees designed to suppress information. In reality, this is a movement largely motivated by parents, who want to remove inappropriate books from children's libraries.

But if you want to discuss authoritarian book bans, look no further than the White House. As Glenn recently covered, the Biden administration has been pressuring the world's largest bookseller, Amazon, into suppressing books they disagree with.

On February 5th, 2024, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan released a slew of subpoenaed documents that exposed pressure placed on Amazon by the Biden Administration. The documents, which Jordan dubbed "The Amazon Files" after Elon Musk's "The Twitter Files," revealed an email conversation between Andrew Slavitt, a former White House senior adviser, and Amazon employees. In these emails, Slavitt complained that the top search results for books on "vaccines" were "concerning" and then requested that Amazon intervene. Amazon initially refused, not out of some altruistic concern for the free exchange of information. They thought any action taken would be "too visible" and would further exasperate the “Harry/Sally narrative,” referring to the outrage that followed Amazon's removal of Ryan T. Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally.

Despite this initial refusal, Amazon agreed to meet with the White House a few days later. The number one item on their agenda was removing books from the website. An Amazon employee even admitted that the reason they even took this meeting was due to the pressure being placed on them by the Biden Administration.

What was the result of this meeting? Amazon caved. They began to implement ways of limiting the outreach of books that challenged the mainstream vaccine narrative and other books the White House might not like.

The White House was caught red-handed pressuring the world's largest bookseller to restrict the sale of books they consider in opposition to their narrative, and they have the gall to accuse conservatives of information suppression. This is just ONE of many actions committed by the Biden Administration that are more characteristic of a dictator than a president.

What can you do about it? Fortunately, you are not dependent on Amazon and its corrupted algorithm to help you find books. Every week right here on GlennBeck.com, we highlight books that Glenn is reading or talking about in our "Glenn's Bookshelf" series. Here you can find a wide selection of books free from Amazon's filters. Be sure to sign up for Glenn's newsletter to find out about new additions to "Glenn's Bookshelf" every week.

10 times Biden has acted like a DICTATOR

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The left-wing media's most recent tirade is accusing Trump of being a dictator. But, as Glenn said, "Everything they're accusing us of, they're doing."

Since day one, the Biden administration has overstepped the bounds placed on the executive branch set by the Constitution. In Glenn's most recent TV Special, he examined ten times Biden acted like a dictator, NOT a president. Here are 10 of Biden's Dictator Moves, and click HERE to get ALL of the research that went into this week's Glenn TV special:

5 ways to protect your First Amendment rights. Number 4 will surprise you.

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Every day it seems Glenn covers another story revealing how people across the world at all levels of power DESPISE the fact that YOU have rights, and they are actively trying to curtail them. Recently, there has been a string of attacks against the rights outlined in the First Amendment: the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom to petition.

As a refresher, the First Amendment reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This is powerful stuff, there is a good reason the Founding Fathers made it the FIRST Amendment. It's also the reason why power-hungry elites are attacking it. These attacks are designed to control the way you think, speak, and believe, vote, what you read, and who holds your representatives responsible. The First Amendment is our strongest weapon against tyrants, and they know it.

So what can you do about it? Hope that some wig in Washinton will eventually do something? We know how well that works. The best thing to do is to stay active, engage in the issues you care about, and exercise your rights.

So where to start? Here are a few things YOU can do to protect your First Amendment rights:

Religion

The best way to flex your Freedom of Religion is to—you guessed it—practice your faith. Become an active member in your place of worship, go to scripture studies, invite your friends to that late afternoon event, and walk the life. This can impact the way you spend money as well. Shop the businesses and brands that share your values, and don't shop at the ones that scorn them. Keeping the community alive and healthy is the best way to ensure that generations to come will be able to experience the freedom you enjoy.

Speech

Much like religion, the best way to protect your freedom of speech is... to speak. Engage your friends and family in polite, civil conversation. Stand up for what you believe in, and make your case to your peers. Just remember to keep it friendly. No one ever won an argument by shouting down their opponent. The civil exchange of ideas is the cornerstone of our republic, and a dialogue where the participants are well-informed, considerate, compassionate, and open-minded can have permanent impacts on all involved.

Press

Freedom of the Press seems a little tricky at first. Unless you work for the media, what are you supposed to do? Quit your job and go work for the local newspaper? The good news is that exercising this right is not nearly that difficult. In fact, you are currently doing it. The best thing you can do is to read from outlets that produce informative content. Want to know what Glenn consumes to stay informed every day? Sign up for Glenn's Morning Brief newsletter to get all the stories Glenn gets sent to his desk every day sent straight to your inbox.

Assembly

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Freedom of assembly is one of the more impactful yet underutilized freedoms in the First Amendment. Peaceably assembling and protesting with like-minded individuals can hugely influence politicians and policies while simultaneously creating community and fellowship between attendees. It's understandable why more people don't turn out. We're all busy people with busy schedules, and flying out to D.C. for the weekend seems like a daunting task to many. Thankfully, you don't have to go out all the way to D.C. to make a difference. Gather some like-minded people in your town and bring awareness to issues that impact your community. Big change starts locally, and exercising your freedom to assemble can be the catalyst to lasting impact.

Petition

If you've been a long-time listener of Glenn, then you will have heard a few of his calls to action where he asks his audience to contact their representatives about a particular piece of policy. There is a good reason Glenn keeps on doing those: they work. Whether it's your local mayor or your senator, a call and an email go a long way. If you really want to make a change, convince your friends and family to reach out as well.