tv Talk to Al Jazeera Al Jazeera January 20, 2014 4:00am-4:31am EST
check check >> good morning. welcome to al jazeera america. i'm thomas drayton. here are the top stories we are following this hour: syrian peace talks are off to a rocky start. the syrian opposition threatening to withdraw from upcoming negotiations on sunday. after the u.n. secretary-general invited iran to the conference. a speaks woman for the state department said the u.s. could support iran's participation if iran accepts an earlier plan for a full transition to syria. the u.s. is threatening sanctions to ukraine f it doesn't stop the violence. rain interrupted violence. the white house blames the government for not easing temperatures. west virginia's water company is
assuring people their water is safe. many are not taking chance, saying the water smells. bottled water is being offered to residents. >> central new zealand has been rocked by a mag ni tud earth i take. there are reports of broken windows, collapsed walls and falling chimneys. >> russia prepares to host the olympics in 18 days, a video emerged of two men claiming to be the suicide bombers in volgograd. those are the headlines. >> everything that we thought about the messiah was wrong. >> america attacked canada and canada chose to fight a guerilla war in response, you should put your money on canada. >> on "talk to al jazeera" you
have heard riveting stories. >> i had many talks with nelson mandela. i never heard him say he was grateful to the united states. >> the only thing i hate about rich people, they work harder than poor people. they don't. >> i'm john siegenthaler. we're highlighting some of our favorite moments since launched. starting with resa asian. >> resa, what is it about jesus, his words and his actions that posed a far greater threat to the roman empire or did it thrn the others w.h.o. climb to be the messiah, who claimed to be the interpreter of cake red text? >> -- sacred text? >> in the first strike three, simply saying the words, i am
the messiah, is treason in its context. messiah means the anointed one. he it is his job to are welcome in the god on earth. if you are claiming to be ushering in the rule of god on earth, you are claiming to be ushering out the caesar. , killed for said ition sedition,p against the state. either what jesus says or what happens to him as a result, he undergoes the exact same tragic end that every other claimant to the messiah did. >> why did jesus's story resonate? why is that
the transcendent story? >> why after 2000 years, one is still called the messiah? that's ultimate reply what the book seeks to answer. but i think it has less to do with anything jesus himself said or did although what he said and did was remarkable, it was extraordinary, than what it did, his followers said and did about jesus. you have to understand that according to everything that judahism said about, if you said you're the messiah and you die without establishing david's kingdom you are not messiah. we don't refer to jesus as a failed messiah, he was just as
successful as everybody else. the difference however is whereas the followers of these other messiahs went home when they're missi their messiah went home, they claim to have this ecstatic experience where they experienced -- >> the rest regulation. >> that's what they said. that's what they said. and spurred by that belief, they began to redefine what messiah means. the job isn't to recreate the kingdom of david, the messiah isn't a heavenly office, it is a celestial office, everything we said about the messiah is what he said and did, and the
reinterpretation of the messiah that started this movement that started from a jewish nationalist many peasant into what we now call christianity. also writing about christianity , malcolm gladwell, are jfl questioned him about his new theory. >> congratulations, about your new book, david and goliath. even the most critical thinkers among us would not have thought of another explanation than it was improbably that david would have beaten goliath. you're saying that not only was it probable that david would have felled goliath but it was statistically likely. >> yes.
he -- if you go back and read about ancient warfare you discover that the sling with which david is armed is a devastating weapon. it's one of the most feared weapons of all times. he is taking a rock and rotating it six or seven revolutions, 30 or 40 meters per second, the stopping power of his rock from his sling is the stopping power of a .35 caliber bullet from a gun. he has superior technology. then there's this whole argument about goliath from sort of fascinating discussion among endocrinologists, about whether goliath has a disability. ak rowmegaly, giantism and also vision problems.
in the biblical stories, the fact that goliath clearly can't see properly. here we have a shepherd boy who's changed the rumtion and not told -- rules and not told anybody, he's up against the giant who has got severe disabilities. >> he should have won. >> it suggests to us that we have exaggerated the advantages of giants and underestimated the advantages of small, nimble audacious people with cutting-edge technology, right? which by the way to anyone who has lived in the 21st century this reinterpretation should not come as a surprise. >> you have actually given some thought to how this applies to other things. in fact you've got some remp in the book -- research in the book that says that a lot of times when an inferior army has taken
up against a superior army they've won. >> research done by ivan toft historian, wars one country is ten tiemsd greater than the other, you look at in those instances where the smaller country has chose to fight unconventionally, they win the majority of times. this is going back 400 years. in other words, canada, america's ten time ths the sizef canada. if canada chose to fight aness a guerilla war, you should put your money on canada. >> you're saying canada has much better chance than popular media says it does. >> an advantage, but not nearly as much of an advantage as we
think. >> he's a man not known for keeping his opinions to himself. in a minute, charles barkley, talks to michael eaves. but a polarizing issue on sports. >> some of the greatest discrimination we've seen lately in american society has to do with gays and members. thissing past season, jason collins are came out as gay. you say you probably played with gay players. >> everybody has played with a gay player and everybody has worked with a gay person. i'm a big proponent of gay marriage. being black i'm really -- it sucks when racism reers its ugly head. you see it all the time. you see it all the time. i want to be inclusionary. if a guy is gay, i want nothing
but the best for him. i was produced jason, you don't want anybody to have to hide their identity. >> right. and you look at the way it's played out seemingly to me, that the majorities of the people who are against gay marriage always cite some type of religion, whether it's christianity, islam, what have you. you have come out at least to where some people claim to be christian one time only when it's convenient for what they're arguing. >> being from the south, being baptist, they're always talking about don't judge other people but they judge everybody. and it really frustrates me. like, i don't know, to be honest with you, i have this argument with my mom because she's one of those bible thumpers. and i don't know where i am on religion. i believe there is a supreme being. who's given me special things in my
life. but i think he would be like inclusive in all right with everybody. if he's this supposedly, like i say i don't know. i don't get caught up in, if it's a hee or she, if she's black or she's white, whatever. i just think if there is a supreme being, he or she, however you want to phrase it would be like, i love everybody. so that's the way i look at it. >> president obama has been criticized about his religion from the time he first became a candidate. >> that's only because he's black. you know, we can sugar coat it how we want to. some people are never going to be happy with a black president. that's the bottom line. they can sugar coat it by his name -- >> they claim he's muslim because they want to say, we -- don't want to say we don't like him because he's black. >> yes, they don't like him because he's black.
these republicans and democrats just fight over everything. there's not a single person in the world that i fight with on every subject and that's silly. you know shut down the government. because you know why? because it doesn't affect them. it doesn't affect them. i look at these people. they're real people out here. s this -- you know that's the one thing. i never want to get to the point in my life because i'm blessed to have a great life that i don't care about people. once i lose that, it's time for me to die. >> you think there's a disconnect? >> there's a huge disconnect. america's the greatest place in the world but there's a huge disconnect between the haves and the have nots. you ask me about president obama. he is the first president since bill clinton, democrat, republican however you want to phrase it, he's tried to bridge the today. between the rich and the poor. and because there's a gap between the rich and the poor, it's just gotten wider and wider and wider.
and as a guy who's in that 1%, i never want to forget about those 99%. those people working hard too. the one thing i hate if retch people is: they actually think they work harder than poor people. they don't. >> you're watching "talk to al jazeera". still to come, scholar cornel west assesses the obama presidency. >> homeowners doing, catching hell, how are workers doing, poor people rendered invisible. >> and ron paul gives his take on political parties. >> all this talk about you're consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what.
>> all this week, >> the strength of our future relies on education. >> we are creating a class of adults exposed to mediocre education. >> stealing education, part of our week long, in depth series. america tonight only on al jazeera america >> you're watching a special edition of "talk to al jazeera". we're featuring some of our favorite episodes. ahead on the program, president jimmy carter reflects on his relationship with the late revolutionary leader nelson mandela. but first former senator and are
presidential candidate ron paul speaks to libby casey. >> what's happening to the republican party, accused of being too white to old? >> forget them. this pretense the parties are different is pure nonsense. both parties endorse the federal reserve. both parties endorse all this military intervention overseas. both parties believe in monetizizing the debt. no matter what they say, the scale procedures continue. so i forget about them totally and completely. if somebody said who is really the problem? i said well canes is the problem. the economy that taught generation after generation this nonsense on on economics, people have to understand why free markets work and why lisht is a moral issue and why it's good --
liberty is good and not a moral issue. >> you did run for president under the republican party mantle. you served in congress for many years as a republican. where does it go? what would your advice be at the time republican party? >> it's sort of irrelevant because there is no competition. you have two parties. but do the third and the fourth parties ever get in the debates? do they get a fair shake? they can't even get on ballots. so we go over and kill people in the middle east to make sure they have elections. then they have an election we don't like it, so we get rid of the guy that we had elected. in this country you don't have a fair shake at all. whether it's the major media or anything else, there's no fair shake. does the green party get a fair shake? does the libertarian party get a fair shake? the majority of the american people don't care about the republicans and the democrats. oh yeah, we have this big contest and some people get
convinced there are a few differences but most americans are sick of it all. >> cornel west was once upon a time a support of barack obama. how do things change. he spoke with david shuster. >> can't you judge president prt obama's presidency as a success? he kept down health care reform, repealed the iraq war? >> not really, when you look at bottoms up, the increase in the new jim crow, 2.5 million prisoners, significant numbers there because of the 100 to one percentage, ratio as it were for crack cocaine as owned to regular cocaine, you see the levels of corruption still at work on wall street, but not one wall street
trader going to jail. the massive unemployment still at work. >> isn't it a reality as a lot of your fellow political scientists have suggested, if the economy was worse, the fact he has saved the economy, we've had 50 straight months of economic growth, that may be unequal but at least it has lifted some people up. >> saved the economy. most of the jobs we are talking about are low-wage jobs. large numbers of fellow citizens have given up going to work, many are work part time. none of that counts when it comes to statistics as it were and profits for the rich corporations and big banks are breaking records. executive compensation breaking records. that's increasing wealth and equality. not saving the economy. he saved a particular version of capitalism so it didn't
collapse. he larry summers, tim geithner, how are homeowners doing? still cechg hell. how are workers doing, still catching hell. poor people in inner cities rendered invisible with privatizers can't wait to go in and can't wait to create these market driven schools -- >> i hear what you're saying but is there anything positive about president obama? >> he gives some wonderful speeches. >> that it? >> he gives wonderful speeches. heacial whealth care we were waiting for. still leaves out 19 million fellow citizens. he said he would fight for the are personal option he didn't do so. >> he played lieutenant sulu. but he's out spoken for gay
rights. george takei. >> i was living a double life. gay bars but all surreptitious, secret. >> start with one issue education... gun control... the gap between rich and poor... job creation... climate change... tax policy... the economy... iran... healthcare... ad guests on all sides of the debate. >> this is a right we should all have... >> it's just the way it is... >> there's something seriously wrong... >> there's been acrimony... >> the conservative ideal... >> it's an urgent need... and a host willing to ask the tough questions >> how do you explain it to yourself? and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5 eastern only on al jazeera america
vulnerable to exploitation. >> agencies say they were not aware of the problems until she returned home. the police accused the agency of not providing enough evidence. >> welcome back to "talk to al jazeera". this week we're replaying some of the more memorable moaments since our channel launched. in december the world lost one of its most respected and honored leaders. nelson mandela. ali velshi was there to attend to the passing of the leader. he talked to jimmy carter. >> i never heard him say he was grateful to the united states. he was grateful to cuba. he was grateful to others. that spoke up for him while he was still in prison.
he was grateful to the people that condemned the apartheid regime but i don't think that he felt that his freedom and the change that took place in south africa was attributable to the united states. when i first met nelson mandela, the first thing he did was congratulate me on having a daughter, amy, who had been arrested three times in college, demonstrating against apartheid in south africa. but that was the demonstration period. when coca-cola and ibm and all other conglomerates were still doing business with apartheid, and there wassing demonstrations including my daughter, to the trade relationship apartheid regime, that was a minimal contribution i would say that
was made in america. my daughter and a few others, college kids. it wasn't the top politicians. >> i've actually heard black south africans say that apartheid would have ended earlier if not for the dragging of the feet of the americans and the brits in the 1980s. >> well, it was not only the americans and the brits. i would say almost the entire european community. i don't know how the job knees felt but the americans, the people that were getting economically well off by trading with the apartheid regime and extracting you know the minerals from south africa as well, diamonds and odor things they didn't much want to see a change. and it was the same principle that we had in south africa from all of the former american presidents were basically in bed with the military dictators there. and whenever any black people or
indigenous people rose up against the military dictatorships we would send troops in to put down the refltion, and we would -- revolution and we would brand them as communist. so it was a matter of preserving the status quo, basically. although our country i think in general has always been for the last 200 or more years committed to basic human rights, there were some aberrations there when we felt that economic matters might benefit our corporations and others if we stuck with the entrenched governments, even though they were oppressive to some of their people. >> he's well-known to star trek fans around the world, whose worked to increase awareness of the lgbt community. takei spoke to me about his childhood memories. >> from the time i was nine or ten i knew i was different than just my face. the other boys would say,
sally's cute or monica's hot. i thought sally and monica were nice. but i thought bobby was exciting. and none of the boys thought the way i did. so i knew i was different. and it wasn't the way i was supposed to be. so i was silent about it. and i pretended that i was like one of them. you know because when you're young, you have a great need to be part of the gang. to belong. and so i dated girls. and went to the senior prom. and i played a part. but then, as you grow older, you learn that there are other men that feel the same way. but i'd been acting, pretending, and that leads into living a double life. gay bars, you know, but all
surreptitious. secret, hidden. >> you couldn't live an open life. you were afraid of retaliation, you were afraid of what people would think, what they would say? >> well, i was also pursuing a career as an actor. so here i am with this ever-present fear of getting exposed. and at the same time, pursuing a career in the most publicly exposed business i can go into. and so there was -- you know, that constant fear, and that aaspiration at war with itself, i was involved in the civil rights movement and the antiwar movement in the vietnam war and the movement to get redress for the unconstitutional incarceration of japanese americans. all these other social and political issues but i was silent on that. >> i'm john siegenthaler. thanks for watching this special edition of "talk to al jazeera".
>> they he told use it would be fast, cheap and easy, and that's not the case. >> american chef and action visit alice waters said we should return to eating local and seasonal food. >> you know, it's celebrating life. >> the owner of the world renowned restaurant is famous for her pioneering use of organic ingredients. >> we are part of nature. we depend on it. >> for deck caused, she has championed the slow food movement. >> the idea of eating in your car is something