From left to right: Author Vince Flynn and Ayn Rand Institute President Yaron Brook
This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," June 15, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: We're talking today a little bit about how fiction can become reality.
Vince Flynn is the author of many books and the author of "Term Limits" — which is how old? When did you write this? You started writing in the '90s.
VINCE FLYNN, AUTHOR, "TERM LIMITS": I started in '92.
BECK: Yes. I mean, he's so wrong in this thing, and he's like, oh, the deficit is out of control. Our debt, in '92, our debt is almost $5 trillion. I was like, ooh. Scary!
BECK: That would be a dream come true today.
Yaron Brook is here. He is the president of the Ayn Rand Institute as well.
Good to see you again.
I wanted to bring two on because you're contemporary and a lot of people do it. DeMille does it, Brad Thor does it.
And you are really the one representing Ayn Rand at this point. When did she write "Fountainhead," or "Atlas Shrugged"?
YARON BROOK, PRESIDENT, AYN RAND INSTITUTE: '57. Fifty-three years ago.
BECK: Fifty-three years ago. If I meet one more person who says, oh, my gosh, I just read Ayn Rand. I love this one. Glenn, have you ever read "Atlas Shrugged"? I'm like yes, I have. They're like, duh, a friend gave it to me and it's all happening. I'm like, yes!
Your book is "Term Limits" — I got to tell you, Vince, what I know how both administrations, the last administration and this administration, especially after 9/11, what happened was they asked the guys to go in and get 'em, get the bad guys. And then they have abandoned them.
I mean, here are the big CIA guys, even some of the FBI guys — all of these people have gone out, military.
BECK: Go ahead.
FLYNN: Well, the premise for the book is — it's a little frightening. And it had to be my first book. I don't know if I have the guts to write it today.
BECK: Oh, I wouldn't. That's insane!
FLYNN: But, you know, the weird thing about this book is everybody reads it and they say, I was laying one night, I realized I'm cheering for bad guys.
BECK: Bad guys.
FLYNN: And I don't want to give away the whole thing, but it basically-–
BECK: I do. My book is for sale. Don't buy this book. Try "Overton Window," that's what you do.
FLYNN: You know, it's runaway deficit spending. It's the same old politics stuff.
FLYNN: Each party is out to take the other down just so they can gain more power. And there's a group of Spec Op guys who got burned of an op because of a loud mouth senator, big shock. This guy leaks stuff all the time.
And you spend a lot of time around the military, and you get the — they get paid less than a D.C. bus driver, you know, and they have a great sense of honor and duty, and then they come home and they look at basically that parliament of horrors on Capitol Hill and they say, are you kidding me? I'm off, you know, sacrificing everything I've got, lay my life on line, I've seen my buddies get killed, and I come back and I have to watch this circus. And so, then it unfolds and all of the sudden, these guys start showing up dead.
BECK: You know, one of the things that we're doing in Washington this summer is trying to, you know, the name of this event I'm doing is "Restoring Honor." And, because that's what concerns me, we have two classes in America. And, really, it's the military. Not everybody, I mean, you know, there are dirt bags in everything. But there's honor there and they see that.
And then everybody else is like, whatever, just make it happen. And if you don't restore honor, you can't have the freedom that Ayn Rand had, because you have to have somebody babysitting you.
BROOK: Absolutely. But there's enormous disrespect to the military out there, particularly in Washington. And it's not just that we abandon these troops after the fact, but we sent them into combat with rules of engagement that meant suicide –
BECK: Ridiculous. Yes.
BROOK: Ridiculous. And we’ve lost what it takes in this country actually go out and win a war. And actually go out there and fight a war. And, of course, we're abandoning allies left and right. We saw what happened with Israel last week.
BECK: It's crazy.
BROOK: It's just insane. And here are these troops who are out there to defend our freedoms and they need a lawyer in order to know whether they can shoot at the enemy –
BECK: For giving a — how insulting is it to give a military guy a medal — this is the president's idea. Give a medal for restraint. That's just a polite way of saying, hey, baby killer, thanks for not killing any babies today, isn't it? Am I reading that wrong?
FLYNN: No, you're right. And I think the most glaring example is what they did with the CIA after 9/11. They basically call those guys in and said, go and do whatever it takes. We want their head on a platter.
BECK: Nancy Pelosi did.
FLYNN: And they were all briefed. They knew what was going on, and so, they went and did it. And then they come home — and I told you in the last book tour, one of my contacts, I said, what's your biggest fear? I expect him to say, you know, a nuke in Manhattan or something.
FLYNN: He said, my biggest fear is that I'm going to come back and land in the States and I'm going to see the feds waiting for me to arrest me for doing what my country asked me to do.
We just no longer have that stomach anymore — at least in Washington. You know, people who listen to your show, as most people America do — they get it. We don't want to hear all the little details of what goes on. They just want somebody's bad guys to disappear in the middle of the night.
BECK: I don't know if that's a good — and Ayn Rand would approve of that.
FLYNN: I'm talking about the non-U.S. citizen bad guys, you know, Hamas, Hezbollah -
BECK: The bad guys —
FLYNN: Terrorists —
BECK: Hang on a second. We have to take a break. We'll be right back.
TEXT: The "communicators" that Capt. James T. Kirk used to talk to the crew of the Starship Enterprise on "Star Trek" influenced cell phone inventor Martin Cooper, who said he was inspired by the flip cover devices as he was developing mobile phone technology at Motorola.
BECK: I know, I know. We're talking tonight about people who think out of the box and why it's important to think out of the box. George Orwell — he was a socialist, but he said, "Uh-oh, scary stuff coming our way.” There's somebody who is crazily anti-socialist communist. Ayn Rand — this thing is — it reads like a newspaper. Vince Flynn, this is from 1995 when it was finally published?
FLYNN: Self-published in '97.
BECK: In '97. And it, too, reads like a newspaper. The reason I'm talking about this tonight is because when the Berlin Wall fell — I don't know if you know this. The Soviet Union collapsed. Do you though they actually thought that Tom Clancy was a CIA plant?
I talked to Tom Clancy right after the Berlin Wall fell. And I said, "So you know they thought you were a CIA guy?" He said, "Yes, yes. They didn't believe that an insurance agent, a former insurance agent could just write these books and get it so right."
They actually thought — when they read his books, they thought that the CIA was using him for disinformation or relaying messages. So they used to sit around and say, "Aha! That's what they want to us think that they're doing."
I mean — but he's a fiction writer. There is something to these people who use data points and then see the future. Have you heard of SIGMA? SIGMA is an organization of sci-fi writers, most with PhDs in high- tech fields, who have either worked for the government or advised the government how to protect the nation.
Homeland Security's deputy director of research says the writers help managers think more broadly about projects, especially about potential reactions and unintended consequences. Good. It's common sense. It's what you do in business.
Vince Flynn is here. He is the author of "Term Limits." And Yaron Brook is here — he is the president of the Ayn Rand Institute.
We were talking, when we went into the break here a second ago, about the way we treat our military and everything else. I want to kind of stay kind of in that. As a data point guy, and I'd like to hear historically where Ayn Rand would stand on this, if you could piece anything together.
Historically, Vince, when you look at that data point board up there with the overspending, corruption, the Marxists, no expectation of privacy in E-mails or privacy in location, that is a spooky one, isn't it, Yaron?
BECK: Pushing away Israel and Britain, our two biggest allies, as a fiction writer, where are we headed?
FLYNN: That is not good. I would argue —
BECK: There it is.
FLYNN: But I would argue — I would even make it a little more simplistic. I mean, if you talk to any insurance expert in the country, they will just tell you, based on unfunded liabilities, that is enough right there to blow the whole thing up. And they have been saying it for 30 years. This is not — it wasn't —
BECK: This isn't a surprise.
BROOK: And where you are heading here is towards ever growing state. This is statism. Statism is applied to all these different factions. And it's a rejection of what makes America special.
You know, it's this multiculturalism. It's an egalitarian notion brought to international affairs, but also to domestic affairs. There is a whole sense in all these things, of making everybody the same, treating everybody as a group. You know, no individuals.
BECK: We’re taking care of them. Here is the other copy of — this one is highlighted. I absolutely love this. When they talk about in — Ayn Rand, in "Atlas Shrugged," she talks about how, you know, they are going to regulate the railroad.
And all these people are just nincompoops. All of the people in Congress and all the politicians are just ridiculously stupid. And they all seem like they're Barney Frank. It says — it says here, "I say, are your railroads safe?" Kip Chalmers says, "Hell, yes. We've got so many rules, regulation and controls that those bastards wouldn't dare not be safe." That's the kind of thinking that they have in Washington. That's what's happening with BP.
BROOK: Absolutely, that's what's happening with BP. The idea is that if government regulates it, then it must be OK. And then, when something goes wrong, what is the response of government right now?
BECK: Freedom failed.
BROOK: But it has — well, freedom failed and you have to fix it. They have no clue of how to fix it. They have no clue what it would require to fix it, the kind of mental effort, the kind of integration, the kind of reason required to fix the problem of BP.
Just fix it, because to them, knowledge is insignificant. So you know, actual work out there in reality isn't significant. They just want their emotions and their thoughts to just come to reality like that, the complete language of this.
FLYNN: I think it gets down to — they will do whatever they have to do to keep their job, to stay elected, to get re-elected for their party to stay in power, for their party to get back into power.
And they make a lot of deals with their own conscience. I'll just say this now so I can get re-elected. And then I'll fix social security. Or then, I'll do X, Y, and Z. And it just keeps working against themselves.
And now they have dug themselves such a hole that it's not going to work. People — you know, I always ask, why do these books work? Well, my heroes are the men and women in the military, CIA, FBI — stuff like that. And the villains are terrorists and politicians.
BECK: But you know what? I think it goes further than that, because — I mean, quite honestly — I mean, if Ayn were here, I'd say, OK, I don't — it's like Tom Clancy. I don't need to know exactly how the system works. There is a lot in here.
But what happens in this is what is missing in society. Common sense. It is just — it is common sense. Back in just a second.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of man. There are only four things certain since social progress began. As the dog returns to its vomit and the sow returns to her mire and the burnt fool's bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the fire and that after this is accomplished and the brave new world begins, when all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, as sure as water will wet us, as surely as fire will burn, the gods of the copybook headings with terror and slaughter return.
"The Overton Window," a thriller from number one best-selling author, Glenn Beck. Now on sale wherever books are sold.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BECK: That is — there was no more joy than when I released that commercial and "The Huffington Post" and all these, you know, oh, pipe- smoking intellectuals said, that rhyme doesn't even make sense. It's a clodhopper kind of rhyme and it makes no sense. It's crazy.
Yes, it's only Rudyard Kipling. Rudyard Kipling wrote that, who had seen what the world was headed towards and said, "Nothing makes sense." When we went into the break, we were talking with Yaron Brook about Ayn Rand. And also, Vince Flynn is here — he is the author of "Term Limits."
We're talking a little bit about fiction and how it can happen if you look at the correct data points. We were talking about what Ayn Rand said and what your characters say and what happens, I think, in the "Overton Window." It's common sense. But you said no, not exactly.
BROOK: Yes, it's ideas. It's common sense at a certain level, but it's much deeper than that. This is — particularly "Atlas Shrugged" is about fundamental foundational ideas. Even the points you made earlier on the show, you said things are connected and it's important to connect them.
We call that integration — integrating. It's how the human mind works. But when you teach our kids not to integrate, not to think, not to generalize, not to see connections, then you are destroying human beings' capacity to think.
And what you find in "Atlas Shrugged" is intellectuals telling people around them, "Don't think. Reality doesn't exist. Everything is subjective. There are no connections." And that what leads to statism. That's what leads to an American public who can't think and therefore elects these wicked people to Congress. They, you know, they create the mess that we're in today.
BECK: Let me go — your name is Kelly?
KELLY, AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, sir.
BECK: Hi, Kelly. Go ahead.
KELLY: Don't you think that part of what happened with BP and the Deepwater Horizon was due to a lack of imagination in their failure analysis? Prior to beginning drilling the well, they failed to simply foresee to imagine the sequence of events that occurred and caused the tragedy.
BECK: I think that kind of comes from, you know — imagination is the same thing with ideas. That you do kind of — you shut down thinking, and you have the same kind of thing with too big to fail.
You have all of these rules, these regulations and so nothing's going to fail. Before — when the stock market was at 14,000 — I think you used to be on my show in the day. It was at 14,000.
And I remember I had a guy on the — it was like the last day of the high. And I said — I remember looking in the camera, saying, "Good god, America. Get out of the stock market."
And this guy was making fun of me. And he's like, "Glenn, you don't know." And you hear it all the time. People say, "Well, you don't understand this, this system, that system." It's all —
BROOK: But look, let's not let — I don't want to let the government off on the BP thing, because what has the government done? How did BP get to drill in mile-deep water? They are not allowed to drill in the continental shelf. Where it is easily available and when there is a spill, you can easily —
BECK: Or in Montana where you have it above water.
BROOK: Yes. They set out there a mile deep and then they are given liability cap. Too big to fail. They're only liable for $75 million. Oh, that is easy. I can take on risk if that is all I've got to suffer. So Government creates these scenarios exactly as they're described in "Atlas." When businesses do things, something happens and they're going to be blamed for it.
BECK: Back in a minute.
TEXT: The word "robot" was first used in 1921 in Czech writer Karel Capek's play, RUR (Rossum's Universal Robots) and comes from the Czech word, "robota," meaning "forced labor" according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
BECK: Seriously, I'm just in here with Vince Flynn, author of "Term Limits" and Yaron Brook — he is the president of the Ayn Rand Institute.
I just thought that robot playing the violin. There is something seriously wrong with the Japanese. And there is. I mean, what's with the robots? Give it up, man. Take your wife out on a date. I don't know what you're doing over there. Keith in the audience — you have a thought.
KEITH, AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, these self-appointed intellectuals in Congress that we call the progressives of both houses think we're stupid. And they are on a spending spree that is unstoppable. Even the "New York Times," the not-conservative "Times," said a year ago in November that our national debt will be $24 trillion in nine to 10 years.
So they're on a drunken spending spree, just like a drunk or druggie that has a credit card, unlimited, that he has no responsibility or belief that he will ever have to pay anything.
They are acting like that and they're stealing from us, our children and our grandchildren. So I think the only solution to save our nation from these kamikaze-style deficit spenders is term limits, to get politicians to get rid of the career politicians.
BECK: Hang on just a second, Keith. Vince Flynn just said which kind? Not something you want to say to Vince Flynn.
FLYNN: No, violence is not — one of things in the book that I point out is, once the violence starts —
BECK: Term limits —
FLYNN: It's unpredictable where it will lead to. We talked about it on the radio today.
BECK: You know, this is the one thing that everybody says, "Oh, Glenn Beck" — because my book is out today. And Glenn Beck — they actually said that, you know, it's going to be found in, you know, lunch buckets of killers.
You become the French Revolution. Violence is the worst place we could possibly go.
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