Glenn talks with Ben Stein about his new documentary, Expelled

GLENN:  Let's go right to Ben Stein.  Ben, are you still in Hollywood?

STEIN:  I'm in Hollywood in a manner of speaking but I'm at my apartment at the Watergate in Washington, D.C..

GLENN:  How do you survive?  How do you stay sane?  You live in Hollywood and now you are going to Washington?

STEIN:  Well, it's a reach to assume that I stayed insane.  Insane now, that's a reach.  I'm not sure I have at all.

GLENN:  So Ben, I want to talk to you about a couple of things.  First let's start with your movie.

STEIN:  Yes, expelled.

GLENN:  Tell me about it.  Tine stein expelled is a documentary.  I believe it is the most beautifully documentary ever made.  It's incredibly gorgeous and filled with great music and great visuals and it's about --

GLENN:  Hang on just a second.  I don't know when you're serious and when you're not.

STEIN:  No, it is.  It's a very, very expensive documentary as documentaries go.  I think the producer was telling me yesterday that it is possibly the most expensive documentary for its length ever made.

GLENN:  May I ask you a question?

STEIN:  Yes.

GLENN:  You know you'll never, ever, ever get any kind of recognition or an award for that.

STEIN:  I know.  I don't care about that but I just want people to know that they are not going to be seeing some trashy looking thing with poor direction quality.  It is a very beautiful documentary and it's about the struggle between the Darwinist establishment that has a hammer lock on all the educational processes and the people who think that maybe intelligent design, the idea that there was an intelligent creator should get its day in the classroom or its day somewhere, laboratory or somewhere so we can have some idea of whether possibly life at some other origin than nothing.  I mean, we basically say it's very hard to believe that something came from nothing and that we don't understand that where gravity came from, we don't understand where the laws of physics or thermodynamics or fluid motion came from, we don't understand how life came from a mud puddle when there was one that was mud and the next day there was life and then a few billion years later there was man.  How did that happen?  No Darwinist has ever been able to come close to an explanation.

GLENN:  Is this the kind of thing, because I get this all the time.  In fact, I have it in my own household.  My daughter and I were talking about, you know, this new supercollider and, you know, it's going to take you to, I think it's 1 trillionth of a second after the Big Bang and scientists all, oh, look at how great this was, we're going to find out what it was like a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.  Well, that's fantastic.  The real question is, what was it before the Big Bang.

STEIN:  Right, where did this big dust bunny came from that became the Big Bang.  And fine, suppose there was a big dust bunny, became the Big Bang.  Not only that in terms of matter but where did matter come from at all, where did energy come from, where did the laws of physics that provide when something explodes, it goes outward instead of inward, where does that come from, where did all of these organizing principles of the universe come from and we're saying the Darwinist establishment won't even let us ask those questions.  Why not.

GLENN:  There's two sides to this -- there's two things that I would be interested in and let's see if the film covers it.  And I can't believe that I haven't seen this.  I've got to get a copy of it.

STEIN:  We will get you -- Glenn, I think you'll have a copy extremely soon.

GLENN:  There's two things that are interesting to me, Ben, and that would be, one, the -- to be able to sit down with my teenage kids and watch this movie and say, this is what you need to prepare for for college.  This, see how this system works so they understand what they're headed toward so they can prepare for it.

STEIN:  Right.  That's a very good point.  That's a very good point.

GLENN:  The other side is these are the kinds of questions that no one will answer that you should be asking of yourself and anyone else that is willing to be honest enough to ask those questions.

STEIN:  I couldn't agree more.  We should all be asking where did -- we should all be asking, one, where did life come from.  Two, is it possible that life is so complex that it could have come from something other than just nothing.  Three, is it conceivably possible that these organizing principles of the universe could have just come up randomly and that gravity and fluid motion and thermodynamics and so forth could have just come up by total random?  It seems farfetched to us but maybe it happened in some way that we don't understand but it does seem extremely farfetched.

GLENN:  Okay.  So does this film, is this something I sit down with my kids and answer those -- will it answer those two?

STEIN:  Well, it won't answer those questions but what it will tell you is your kids are in deep trouble if they question anything the professor says because the professor can discipline them, send them out of the class, humiliate them, make them feel crummy about themself and the professor, nobody questions the professor.  The professor's word is law and if your children grow up and want to be scientists and want to be in the classroom and say to the students now the most widely held explanations overwhelmingly about the universe is Darwinian evolution but there are some people who say, well, it's too complicated for that or Darwinian evolution doesn't answer many questions and one of the alternative hypotheses is there is an intelligent designer.  That teacher, bam, that guy is out of there so fast.  He's in big, big -- well, not in every case but in most cases and is in terrible, terrible trouble in his career or her career is very likely over.

GLENN:  Have you ever seen anything like this before, Ben?

STEIN:  Well, it's a little bit reminiscent of a little thing we call global warming.

GLENN:  No, no, no.  I mean -- no, no, no.  What I mean is there's a lot of things that are going on now that you're just not allowed to question.

STEIN:  Oh, no, there's a lot of -- political correctness is the order of the day.  It extends into many, many areas.  It extends into global warming, it extends into racial issues.  It extends into many, many issues that you're just not allowed to question at all.

GLENN:  How long before you think -- because I think I've reached it now.  I think I'm there where I'm like, you know what, I don't really care.  I don't care.  Say whatever you want about me.  I'm done.  I'm done trying to navigate so I don't offend anybody, blah, blah.  I don't care.  I know what my intention is and I expect the best from you.  You give me the benefit of the doubt and if you're not, well, then I know who you are.

STEIN:  Well, you are not going to get the benefit of the doubt, I assure you.  You are going to have people saying terrible things about you.  I mean, the things that people send to me on e-mail are just astounding.  It's just amazing that anyone would have that much meanness in his or her heart to send the kind of things I get.  Just for saying we should have freedom of speech.  I mean, basically the movie basically just says, look, we're not sure we're right about intelligent design.  We could very well be wrong.  But just let us have some, possibly some freedom of discussion.  No, you're not allowed to have that.  You're not going to agree with what Stalin says or else you're out.

GLENN:  Yeah.  The web address is http://expelledthemovie.com/.

STEIN:  Right.

GLENN:  This is going to be out on the market?

STEIN:  It will be out on the market the 18th.  It's opening in over 1200 theatres.  It's going to be, we hope, a fairly big thing.

GLENN:  Can we -- okay.  But you can go buy the DVD and watch it at home or do you have to --

STEIN:  The DVD will be out, I don't know when, but fairly soon.  But it's going to be in a theater near you extremely soon and if you go to http://expelledthemovie.com/ you will find a place where you can put in your zip code and it will tell you what theatres it's at near your zip code.

GLENN:  Can I ask why you decided to do that and not just make it a DVD release?  I mean, to try to get --

STEIN:  Excuse me?  Sorry?

GLENN:  Can you tell me why you decided to release it in the movie theatres instead of just a DVD release?

STEIN:  Because we think we're going to get a lot of people coming to see it.  We think there are a lot of Americans who are sick of being pushed around, who are sick of being told the only documentaries they get to see are documentaries by Michael Moore saying what a racist pig nasty country this is.  We thought we would like to try to reach people who have a more positive view on the world and of the universe and we think they're going to come to the movies.  We think so.

GLENN:  We're going to watch the movie and I'll be back in touch.  I didn't know that it was a theoretical release.

STEIN:  Giant theoretical release.

GLENN:  You have hard work getting people to see a documentary.  I want to be able to help you on that.

STEIN:  Well, God bless you.

GLENN:  We'll talk again as we get closer to the movie.

STEIN:  Okay, thank you, Glenn.  You're a pal.  Thank you.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.