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Kickass News

Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!
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Now displaying: Category: war
Aug 12, 2019

Long before Star Trek, a very young George Takei was one of 145,000 Japanese Americans held in internment camps during World War II, and now he returns to this formative experience in his life as a historical consultant and star in the second season of AMC's horror anthology series The Terror: Infamy.  He talks about the painful experience of having his whole family uprooted by their own government, the eerie sense of déjà vu that he got when he first arrived on the set of The Terror: Infamy, and how he served as a link to the past for the other actors on the show.  He recalls being forced to live in a horse stall at a California race track for two months and then getting shipped across the country to an internment camp in the swamps of Arkansas, but that it all just seemed like a great adventure to an innocent boy who was oblivious discrimination and injustice.  George explains why he takes issue with the term "Japanese internment camps," why his parents were nearly deported over a citizenship questionnaire, and why he fears that history might be repeating itself under President Donald Trump.  Plus he reveals how an early experience in the camps partly inspired him to go into acting, and we talk a little Star Trek.

The Terror: Infamy premieres on Monday, August 12 at 9/8 Central on AMC.  Order George Takei’s new graphic novel They Called Us Enemy on Amazon or wherever books are sold and follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeTakei.  This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business, Kronos HR Solutions, and BetterHelp.

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Jul 25, 2019

Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake have served as the top cyber security experts to three Presidents, and they discuss their new book The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats.  They discuss Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and say that Russia will almost certainly try it again in 2020.  They warn against the folly of continuing to allow local state bureaucrats to ensure the integrity of America’s electronic voting machines and suggest that Russia’s 2015 shutdown of Ukraine’s power grid might have been a dry run for a similar attack on the grid here in the US.  Clarke predicts that the next war that America enters will likely be triggered by a cyber attack.  They discuss the offensive and defensive potential of new technology like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and 5G.  They advocate for private companies to take greater ownership of their own data security instead expecting the government to protect them from attacks.  Plus they offer a few steps that every listener should take to protect themselves from cyber crime. Order The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business and Capella University's Doctoral Degree Program.

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Jun 13, 2019

Admiral William McRaven (Make Your Bed) reveals how a high school track coach inspired him apply for the Navy SEAL program and why he still compares any struggle he faces to the grueling endurance test of the Navy SEALs “Hell Week.”  He recalls the night he got a gut feeling he was going to catch Saddam and was right, how Saddam never made his bed while he was in McRaven’s custody, and what McRaven said when he finally decided to meet with Saddam face to face.  He talks about the strange experience of personally seeing monsters like Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden cut down to size, how he managed to keep the preparation of the Bin Laden raid a secret, and how 1000’s of special operations prepared him for that mission of a lifetime.  Plus he weighs in on the Navy SEAL who stands accused of war crimes, responds to calls for him to run for President, and expresses his sincerest regret that he’s the reason you have to take off your shoes at the airport!

Order Admiral William McRaven's book Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Life Is Good Ping Podcast, Udacity, and Ancestry.com.

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Nov 19, 2018

General Stanley McChrystal talks about the myths and reality of leadership.  He shares how he came to reassess the legacy of his military hero General Robert E. Lee in the aftermath of Charlottseville, how he personally learned that the man at the top often gets credit he doesn’t deserve, and why leaders aren’t always judged by their results.  He discusses a 15th century Chinese admiral who has become the symbol for that country’s global ambitions, why he didn’t realize that Coco Chanel was a real person, and one leadership flaw that he shares with Walt Disney.  He reveals why he decided to include his former enemy in combat Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the book, and what it was like to get into the dark mind of the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader.  

Order General McChrystal's book Leaders: Myth and Reality on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.   Today's episode was sponsored by Espresso MonsterHomecoming on Amazon Prime Video, Zeel, Bombas, and Flatiron School. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

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Jan 15, 2018

General David Petraeus talks about implementing the successful "Surge" strategy in Iraq, and some of the unique complexities he encountered when translating that plan to the war in Afghanistan.  He discusses the fundamentals of counterinsurgency, his personal disdain for yes men, the paradox of nation building, and how a grad school dissertation on the Vietnam War helped shape his world view.  Plus General Petraeus weighs in on President Trump and the return of large geopolitical rivalries.  Today's episode was sponsored by LinkedIn Jobs and The Art of Charm podcast. 

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Jan 4, 2018

Mike Duncan, host of The History of Rome podcast and Revolutions, constantly gets asked "Is America doomed to the same fate as the Roman Empire?"  Today he points to some startling parallels to US current events including populist demagoguery, economic inequality, the erosion of societal norms, and debate over who deserves to be a citizen.  He also offers ideas on how the American Republic can avoid the same fate as the Roman Republic before it's too late.

Order Mike Duncan's book The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic on Amazon or download the audio book at Audible.com.  Subscribe to Revolutions and The History of Rome wherever you listen to podcasts or visit www.revolutionspodcast.com and www.thehistoryofrome.typepad.com.  Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeDuncan.  Today's episode is sponsored by Tripping.com.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

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Oct 26, 2017

Pulitzer-winning author/historian Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton, Washington: A Life) wants Americans to rethink the 18th President with his new biography GRANT.  He discusses Ulysses S. Grant’s drinking and early failures, his meteoric rise through the ranks during the Civil War, and how Grant struggled with his own personal civil war at home.  He makes the case for General Grant as a brilliant military strategist, and argues that he deserves more credit for holding the Union together during Reconstruction.  We discuss how Ulysses S. Grant later went broke when he trusted his fortune to the Bernie Madoff of his day and how Mark Twain helped the former President dig himself out of debt before suffering a painful death by throat cancer.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff. 

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Jul 24, 2017

Cyber security expert Alexander Klimburg discusses his book  THE DARKENING WEB: THE WAR FOR CYBERSPACE and just what the recent Russia hack means for the US, the internet, and the state liberal democracy around the world.  He reveals what he believes Russia was really up to in the 2016 presidential race, and how it may be far more sinister and potentially devastating than simply influencing one election.  He discusses how some of America’s most fundamental democratic values make us particularly susceptible to information warfare, how authoritarian governments like Russia and China want to scare the US into rolling back internet freedoms, and how the US may one day soon have to make a difficult choice between preserving our freedoms here at home and supporting freedom abroad.

Order THE DARKENING WEB: THE WAR FOR CYBERSPACE on Amazon or download the audiobook for free with a special trial offer just for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews.  Follow Alexander on Twitter at @AKlimburg.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Dec 15, 2016

Nada Bakos was a CIA analyst and the Chief Targeting officer charged with finding the godfather of ISIS and mastermind of al Qaida in Iraq - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. She’s also (according to some) the inspiration for the character of “Maya,” the CIA analyst in the Oscar-winning film Zero Dark Thirty. Today, Nada Bakos will talk about how she rose up through the predominantly male world of the CIA to become one of the agencies top analysts and the chief targeter of the most wanted man in the world. She reveals how CIA trackers finally found Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, how communications intercepts gave her a unique window on the power struggle between Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and Zarqawi’s Al Qaeda in Iraq, and how those communications eventually led to the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden himself.

Special thanks to the Milken Institute for hosting this interview during the 2016 Milken Global Conference. Visit www.milkeninstitute.org to learn more about their work to improve global stability and prosperity.

You can visit Nada Bakos’s website at www.NadaBakos.com and read more of her work as a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute at www.fpri.org. Follow Nada Bakos on twitter at @NadaBakos and pre-order her book The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, on the Hunt for the Godfather of ISIS which hits book shelves in June 2017.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Sep 13, 2016

TAKING FIRE is a 5-part docu-series for The Discover Network that follows a handful of rookies with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division who packed helmet cameras to film their one year deployment to the farthest flung region of the Taliban-held Korangal Valley in Afghanistan in 2010. 

Today I talk with Kyle Boucher and J.J. McCool who did triple duty as soldiers, cameramen and stars of this unconventional series. They reveal how they were able to film this remarkable footage without interference from the Pentagon, they talk about some of the risks they took to get the perfect shot, and discuss the creepy feeling of fighting an enemy they couldn’t see but who was constantly watching them. They speak frankly about their working relationship with the Afghan National Army and the local Police forces, and what it's like getting shot at in the shower, at dinner, and while working out at “the world’s deadliest gym.”

The first episode of TAKING FIRE premieres tonight, Tuesday, September 13, at 10PM ET/9PM CT on The Discovery Network. Check your local listings or visit www.discovery.com to learn more.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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May 31, 2016

My guest today is General Wesley Clark.  In his 38 years of military service, he served in various positions including Director of Strategic Plans and Policy during the War in Bosnia and NATO commander and Supreme Allied Commander in Europe leading Operation Allied Force during the war in Kosovo.  Today General Clark will talk about the harrowing experience that earned him a Silver Star in Vietnam and what strategic mistakes were made in that war.  He'll talk about leading the allied campaign during the war in Kosovo, his first impressions of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, and how Milosevich was evaded justice for his war crimes.  He'll discuss how he rethought the traditional organization of our military to give greater strategic responsibility to soldier on the ground plus General Clark speaks about the war in Iraq, the 2016 election, and why he likes Ike.

Special thanks to the Milken Institute for hosting this interview during the 2016 Milken Global Conference. Visit www.milkeninstitute.org to learn more.

If you enjoyed my conversation with General Wesley Clark, you can follow him on Twitter at @GeneralClark or visit his consulting firm's website at www.wesleykclark.com.  I would also encourage you to read his excellent book A Time to Lead: Duty, Honor, Country.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

 

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