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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  January 20, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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marches, celebrations. "consider this" with antonio mora is next. i'll be back here live at 11:00 pm eastern. and the latest news is on aljazeera.com. chris christie facing new accusations of playing hardball. did his office play politics with hurricane relief money? >> a terror tape threat eps the olympics. >> american celebrates martin luther king. what would he make of the state of civil rights. >> president obama says marijuana is not worse than alcohol, but pop is a schedule 1 drug. is he sending a mixed message? >> i'm antonio mora, welcome to
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"consider this". here is more on what is ahead: [ singing ] >> he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions. >> dr king posed a question - where do we go from here? >> i just received a direct threat from the governor. he would use and hold the sandy funds over my head. >> completely false. >> we'll proceed without iran's participation. >> the national coalition welcomes the decision of the secretary-general of the united nations. >> a video released over the weekend repeats a threat against the upcoming olympic games in soichy. >> what are the threats, who do we need to worry about? >> i don't think i would send my family. >> we begin with allegations of political payback and bullying by embattled governor chris
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christie. a mayor of hoboken claims that christy planned to withhold aid to her city if she goodnight -- did not approve a project. >> i remember saying i received a direct threat from the governor of the state of new jersey. the lieutenant governor came to hoboken and said "i know it's not rite, i know it shouldn't be connected and if you tell anyone, i'll deny it." >> the allegation was denied. >> mayor zimmer's version of our conversation in may of 2013 is not only false, but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined. any suggestion that sandy funds were tied to the approval of any
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project in new jersey is completely false. >> we are joined by chris inkle. he is the author and writes a column "politics patrol", and we are joined by gordon johnson, on the special committee vetting the bridge scandal -- investigating the bridge scandal. great to have you on the show. the chris christie camp says the allegations are false. and they say the funds stricted. do you think hoboken was stiffed? >> these are different pockets of money, a story in the paper tomorrow tries to straighten it
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out. the governor's office said about $70 million went to hoboken. that is right. what they are talking about is money that goes from the flood insurance program to individuals or businesses. that sort of thing. what the mayor is talking about is money that would make changes in the town that would prevent something like this happening again. now, she had asked for something like $100 million. the state received $300 million in this program, but they had $14 billion in requests. i won't go further than that your eyes are probably glazing. >> since you have gone that far, $100 million went to home owners. more to get rid of the homes. $50 million was distributed.
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the pot of money in chris christie's hands to distribute for hazard prevention, it wasn't that much money. >> that's correct. >> what do you make of it? >> there's a round of money coming. >> if you have $300 million to give out, and you had $14 billion in requests, offing people are not going to get what -- of course people are not going to get what they want. there's another round coming up. all this number stuff makesour eyes wants to glaze over. forget what it is that we are talking about. it's not so much whats if she got all the money she wanted, but whether she was threatened. that's the beginning. >> i want to ask gordon, you are involved in the investigation. you have issued about 20 subpoenas. will you include the allegations
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in your investigation of the bridge scandal. is this separate. >> of course, it's initiated with fort lee. with the lain closures. a common threat that i see as the effects come out. that's in the latest allegations from hoboken. it's about the project. it's about the promote in fort lee. it's about $1 billion. i don't know the value of that. the port authority is involved in both of these. >> some are the same in both. >> yes, the bridge closure in fort lee. the may junior refused to do something, and the mayor is stating that they wanted - someone wanted something done. they follow their orders. and their constituents are punished for not doing what they were requested to do. >> let's talk about the mayor,
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bob. there's probably two questions. let's ask one this way: he's been accused of partisan attack. the problem, of course, that some would say if assist a partisan attack, why wait until now, because the mayor was running governor christy was running for election. she had this in her pocket. why, as a democrat didn't she bring this up. >> the governor's democratic opponent asked the same question. the mayor says she was reluctant to bring it up because she didn't think anyone would believe her and probably thought she would come under attack. she waited this long, and look what happened. she came under attack for meaning partisan, and a great many don't believe her. >> on the other hand, gordon. she did more than be quiet.
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she heaped prays on governor chris christie. we have a tweet of hers. she said, in august: >> this is one of many favourable comments made to chris christie during an election. >> the allegation is made, the investigation will follow. it doesn't matter when the truth comes out and the investigation starts the fact is it there'll be an investigation, and we'll deal with it from that point. why she made the statement is not important. it's finding out is it true, and if it is. what will we do about that. >> the praise is probably something you need to take into account. you write about how some new jersey politicians are vying for
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the spotlight, saying they make allegations without naming names. are people filing on chris christie? >> it certainly is looking that way to many people. there are people who want to position themselves for seeking higher office. who might be tempted to take advantage of this. but the problem with that is when you have this image of piling on, the public will think it's one bike political brouhaha and doesn't amount to anything. there's serious allegations, we need to get to the bottom of this and find out what happened and hold people responsible. it needs to be done in an objective way. that's what the chair people of the two committees looking into this will have to do. they'll have to make sure it doesn't turn into politics as
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unusual. >> as bob raises the possibility of a backlash in favour of chris christie, though the polls are not encouraging for him. 58% say: >> your investigation, this will not go away soon. this will take a while. >> we are not expecting to get the ification, it's not due until february 3rdrdrd. we'll have to go through the stuff about research, and determine how the members of the committee get access to the stuff and ask our questions in a professional manner. it's not going to go soon. ratings, i don't care about. it's about the individual, the tax payer, the motion inconvenienced. the purchasers that couldn't get to their calls, and the allegation of a redevelopment
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project in hoboken. a certain feature shoe have been carved out. this will take time to resolve. again, it's not about politics, it's a bipartisan select committee, and we are going to do this in a professional manner. >> a quick last question. we talked about politics, a forbes columnist asked is chris christie being hung out to dry for practicing politics as usual. my question at this point, assuming he did this, is there such a thing as politics as usual. we saw rod in illinois go to gaol for doing something probably no one would have looked at twice 30 years ago. don't the politicians understand that politics doesn't exist any more? >> you are asking me to look into the minds of politicians. >> isn't that what you do? >> that's not possible. i wrote a book called "the sop
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rarno state", and it talks about corruption and politics as usual in new jersey. i have not seen a lot of evidence that things have changed. the book goes all the way back to prerevelation days. we have a well-deserved reputation for corrupt pol sticks, hard-ball politics. >> the amount of politicians that have gone to gaol. it's amazing that this continues. bob, great to have you both here again. look forward to having you back as the saga conditions. >> a great book, bob. >> coming up, syria, roib and the united nations - -- iran and the united nations why a conflict among the three could hold millions of lives in the balance. terror tapes brings russia's ability to secure the olympics into question. our special producer is tracking stop stories. >> attorneys in south carrio slina found evidence that may clear a black teenager executed
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17 years ago. what do you think:
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>> is syria's best hope for peace since the violent conflict began falling apart in a public way. with peace talks to begin in switzerland on wednesday, u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon announced he had invited iran. after an outcry from the u.s., saudi arabia, and the syrian opposition, he rescinded the invitation. will the peace talks survive this controversy days before the talks were slated to begin. joining us is p.j. crowley, former secretary of state for public affairs. great to have you on the show. why did ban ki-moon invite iran to the peace talks when iran supported the bashar al-assad regime and rejected the main precondition to the talks, which
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was a transition involving assad losing power. >> whatever is going to happen in syria will - iran will have the opportunity to shape that. potentially culentively -- constructively, more likely destructively. i think they'd rather have iran in the room, rather than undermine the process fro the outside. why did he extend the invitation? he probably heard a private assurance that understood the principles central to the process. why did he disinvite them, because iran was unwilling to say publicly to what they would say privately. >> after they agreed to this, which is taking effect today, they went off and changed their mind. the reality is with the back and forth, being invited, uninvited,
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how will that affect the peace talks. >> i don't know that it will effect anything this week. you have the meeting in monty python that is about the politics of the process, and the actual process beginning at the end of the week in geneva, which involves three participants - the united nations, the assad regime and no outside party. it underscores how difficult the politics are surrounding the process, and how week the foundation is at the start. i mean, understand the diplomatic process started, it's useful. there's no military solution, only a diplomatic solution, but we have to be realistic that this will take a long, long time. bangui moon, what he tried to do was make sure the process doesn't collapse before it gets started. >> as you said, the assad regime will have a delegation, and publicly he will not leave or share power.
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if that delegation is there, and they are playing hardball, why refuse iran a seat at the table when it's so important in that region? >> this is where the politics come into play. i strongly spct that ban ki-moon was told if iran is in the room, we won't be. saudi arabia did not want to see iran, you know, playing an active role in this - at least at the start. it reminds me of bosnia, you get a process under way, but it may be months, and tragically for syria, years before the conditions exist. >> the russian foreign minister sergei lavrov said: sfa >> is iran, who has been really supporting assad, as important to the talks as "my only love"
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says. can a solution or progress be made without them? >> i think it's highly unlikely to get a viable solution without iran as part of the process inside the room or down the hall. part of this is, you know, sequencing, from the united states standpoint. it wants to keep the nuclear issue and the syrian issue separate. from a u.s. standpoint, they were reluct act to see iran play a role this early absent the public statement. this underscores the difficult politics it inside iran. you know, the fact that the iranian government was unwilling to say publicly that it could foresee the idea of a syrian government without assad. that may well have been too difficult for some of the hardliners, you know, to state publicly. >> i realise that with this
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scitso friendic -- scitso friendic words stated by iran, why not accept the conditions when even russia, a power. ally and supporter of iran , they support the idea of a transitional government. >> sure, we may say from this vantage point that there's no military solution, but the combatants inside syria may not agree with that. iran is knee-deep in syria. ultimately you have to find a way to communicate to iran that there's a way to protect its legitimate interests inside syria without bashar al-assad at the top. that will be a situation that takes time. it will be a phased approach, where for one you try to narrow the conflict.
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if you create a stability, in certain areas, around aleppo, you can begin the process of delivering humanitarian assistance there. i think the one interesting aspect about all of this is if there's one slim threat that all of the powers inside and outside agree on, it's no one wants to see the most extreme elements that have surfaced within syria get a stronger toe hold. that may well be a potential area of cooperation, but this process is getting started now. this week, but will have to mature over time before you see the realistic prospect of a diplomatic breakthrough. given the crisis that exists, any process will be significantly. p.j. crowley, thank you as always for being on the show tonight. >> always a pleasure. >> we turn to the sochi winter olympics. should be we concerned for the
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safety of american athletes and spectators. >> they have moved 30,000 armed troops to the region. that tells you their level of concern is great. >> i would not go. i don't think i would send my family. >> as homeland security chairman and the threats that i see, i am concerned. >> fundamentally they don't want to admit they don't have control and might need help. >> less than a month after 34 were killed in suicide bombing attacks in volgograd, russia, and fully weeks from the opening ceremonies, can russia keep the olympics safe. joining us from washington, is chrestopher swift, a professor of national security studies at george town university, the russians are going to have four times the security personnel that the british had in the olympics in 2012, do you think it will be enough? >> they have about 10 times the problem, the russians. they are dealing with an
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insurgency. it's about 20 years old. the conflict goes back to 1994 with the chechen separatist movement, turning to a regional movement. the british didn't have those challenges. the two situations can't be compared. the interesting thing will be to see whether the russians have the on the ground intelligence and police work that you need to have to root out, you know, small teams of suicide bombers. >> the leader of the so-called caucuses group, who may or may not be dead called for an end to attacks on civilian targets in 2012. he changed his mind, urging followers to attack the sochi winter olympics. the caucuses are a few hundred miles from sochi. what threats are the olympics facing. which are seen as serious? >> it depends on the venue. assuming they could get into the
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so-called ring of steel, and we see indications that there may be elements in sochi now that the russian security services are looking for. assuming they can get inside, it's easier to hit an open-venue event. those are a lot of soft targets, not a clear perimeter. we saw how easy it is to hit the event at the boston marathon bombing. indoor venues like figure skating or hockey. harder to hit, but provides the opportunity for insurgents to create a hostage situation. it really is - it depends. the big issue is whether the 30,000 army troops and 40,000 police and special forces that the russians have down there right now are well sized to the problem. this problem, again, is one where you have to have good insight on the ground. and the russians have not built the relationships in the caucuses that would give them
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good insight into what the group is doing and how it would be operating. >> you bring up the issue of whether some may have gotten in before the ring of steel was created. a threat people have been talking about is black widows. female terrorists who want to avenge the deaths of their husbands. chech nian widows. russian security forces are searching for four. one is this woman on the air, who is thought to be in or near sochi. how serious a threat are these women? >> i want to clarify one thing. most of these women are not chechen. the majority of them n the last five or six years are from dagestan, an area next door. the chechens are out of the conflict and have been since around june 2011. this is a serious threat. some of the bombers in
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volgograd, some in moscow - they have all been dagestan women, and they have been women that have been, you know, married to highly placed militants who were liquidated by the russian security services and the fairs operations they run. it's a serious threat. >> militants in dagestan released a video taking credit for the bombings in volgograd, as well as threat things the olympics, saying to the russians - we'll have a surprise package for you. those tourists that will come to you, for them, too, we have a surprise. is this a credible threat? >> i do. it's from the dagestan, a ruthless and operational part of the caucuses emigrate. this surprise that they are talking about. they don't need to hit a target to have a political effect or prap canneda effect.
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they gan blow something up in volgograd or moscow. winning for them means making the news and making a point. it doesn't necessarily mean hitting the olympic stadium. >> the pentagon has been studying evacuation plans, they have some ships in the black sea. will they be able to do anything if something happens? >> it depends on the russian government the the russians are sensitive about u.s. law enforcement and other forces being on the ground in their territory, as we are about them operating here. we'd need to know more about whether the ties have been - have improved. but it does show how seriously the u.s. government is taking the threat. the long and the short of it is vladimir putin will be fortunate to get through the olympics without an incident. >> great to have you on the show
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professor chrestopher swift. >> time to see what is trending on the al jazeera website. >> 17 years ago a black teenager was executed for the murder of two white girls. attorneys head to court with new it evidence. in march of 1944 stin was held -- stin stin stinney was meld for five days. authorities say he confessed. no physical evidence was presented and the jury deliberated 10 minutes before sentencing him to the electric. new witnesses and a review of the autoom si report suggests stinney may be minutes. your reaction: cz more on the
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website. >> what are lawyers saying about the chances they'll exxonerate him? >> they are not good. one of the two attorneys, ray chandler compared it to winning the lottery saying, "we are taking a leap and we know it." >> this month marks the 85th anniversary of martin luther king's birth. julian bond, his associate, will join us next.
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>> the dream lives on. where would the dreamer have led america if he had win. the dreamer is martin luther king, cut down by a bullet.
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he was commemorated in events around the country monday, on the holiday that bears his name. who was the real dr king, how different would america be today if dr king was here. for more, i'm joined from arora illinois by julian bond. he was a close associate of dr king's. mr bond. such a pleasure to have you on the show today. is the dr king we are commemorating the dr king you knew or are you one of those concerned that his image has been san tied over the years? >> i think he's very much been a san tied figure. the person we are celebrating today and this month is not the same person i knew or the person his friends or neighbours new. this is somebody very different from that. he's an okay guy. but he's not the man we knew. >> too much of a saint.
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we made him out to be too much of a saint. obviously he inspired millions and made a dramatic difference in our country, give us your opinion on how close america is in 2014 to dr king's vision for the country, where are we succeeding, where are we failing. >> it's not possible to quantify this or answer the question you asked in any way saying "20%, 30%, 40 or 50. you cap do it that way. you can say while we made progress since the days when dr king died, but we have not come as close as we ought to. we haven't done as much as we ought to. take housing segregation. we have laws that persist. and if you go into any city, black people live here, white here. the races are divided. we have done relatively little about this. >> you told an audience that
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racism is alive in america. that we are a country at war with itself. you said you never thought barack obama would be elected president in your lifetime. how do you balance both of those thoughts. >> i think the election, and more important than the election, the re-election of barack obama is a wonderful thing. it's something i never thought would happen and the fact that he's been re-elected is more significant than the fact that he was elected in the first place. as wonderful as that is, it doesn't say that all the racial problems have been solved. it doesn't say that we are a race-free country. race is so much a potent power in this country. it affects everybody, including the president of the united states. he's the victim of attacks, and subject to more threats than any other president of the united states. most of this, if not all of this is due to the colour of his
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skin. >> paraphrasing last wnt. you seem to imply that his election, as you say now, was a double edged sword. while it is a great step forward, that an afghan american was elected president of the united states, that it caused a backlash that shows tremendous racism and you brought up the tea party. is it fair. do you think the tea party has a racist base, or was it just a reaction to obamacare, and to higher taxes and some of the obama policies. >> it's all those things and more. i'm not saying that all the members of the te party are racist. it's not true. among them are people for whom obama's race is the main part of the feelings i see of them. the hatred they have of him, the contempt, the awful things they say, it's based on raid. to what degree this is all of them, i would never say that, or half of them, or how many of
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them, but it's undeniable to me, that some of this is motivated by race. >> if president obama made inequality his biggest domestic issue, what do you think the country would have to do to close the gap that would satisfy dr king. >> look at the unemployment rate of blacks and whites. the unemployment rate for blacks is twice what it is for whites. it doesn't matter where the figure is, it's twice as much for black people as it is for white people. that's been constant for the last 50 years. as long as that's true, how do we say we made progress. >> 14% for blacks. 7% for whites. you studied a class with dr king at morehouse college, the only class he taught. what was that experience like? >> well, i wish i took in a tape-recorder to class and tape-recorded the pearls of wisdom that fell from the lips of this man.
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i didn't do that. i remember almost nothing of what passed between dr king and the others. one day after class he and i worked across the campus and i said, "doc how are you doing", he said, "julian, i don't feel well, unemployment is high, big oltry is pervasive. he said i feel awful, i have a nightmare", and i said, "no, doc try i have a dream." and the rest is history. i made that up. you know i made that up don't you. >> i know. it would have been great if you had done it and been the inspiration. people like bill cosby called for more responsibility in the african american community. they site the out of wed lock. kids born out of wed lock. what do you think martin luther
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king would say to bill cosby, would he agree with him. >> to some degree, but he'd say, "bill, you're a little harsh in talking about your fellow black people and you ought to lighten up", it's true, much we can do ourselves to make a better world, but to say the reason we are not doing well is because our kits wear their pants around their knees is silly. >> we have a social media question. >> we asked viewers if martin luther king was alive, what do you think he'd fight four. along with issues we have discussed viewers said dr king would be fighting for voting rights, and impacts on minor ties amongst others. is there anything our viewers left out? >> i think dr king would fight for many of the things he fought for when he was eye live.
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economic equality, more jobs for black people, a whole host of things that were similar to those that he fought for when he was alive. some of the agenda is the same agenda as prevalent then. so it's almost nothing going on then that he wouldn't talk about now. xpt i agree he would have evolved in the question of same-sex marriage and think differently about it today than then. >> we appreciate you join us on this important holiday. thank you for your time. >> for more i'm joined from washington d.c. by roland martin, host of "news one now", and peter dreier, distinguished professor of politics, ushian and environmental policy and wrotes an article on the "the huffington post" titled g martin luther king was a radical not a
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saint." >> you gave a commentary on the tom joyner radio show last week where you said you dapt want dr king trotted out like a civil rights mascot. >> every year they talk about the dream. as if dr king is defined by a single speech. most of the these people haven't bothered to read the rest of the speech. the i have a dream was not in the written speech, it was called normalcy never again. that was the title of it. when you look at the focus after that, a passage of the civil rights act. he played the poor people's campaign, he was there for sanitation workers. that was overlooked. it was opposed to the reality of what he was focussed on. >> that is the point you were
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making in your article, if you don't find my opinion on what you wrote. some of the quotes from dr king in that article i would like to get your reactions to. one was that he said it didn't cost the nation one penny to integrate lunch counters. we are dealing with issues: >> those are strong words, especially in today's world, professor. what do you think he meant. >> dr king began his career as a civil rights act visit fighting jim crow. within a few years he was a radical socialist who believed in challenging the class system. in challenging the distribution of economic power. he once said that what difference does this make if you can sit at a lunch counter if you can't afford to buy a
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hamburger. he was a critic for the end of imperialism, the war in vietnam and said every time we drop a bomb in vietnam, it hits home in american cities, because it's money we are not spending on education, health care and other basic necessities. >> i want to talk about mill it airism. in april "67, he had a beyond vietnam speech and said "we as a nation must undergo a radical level of radicalism: >> he said it was impossible for this to be a great nation, for us to move forward, with more money spent on mill it airism than social uplimit. that has changed. what do you think his position
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would be today? >> again, you said we spend more but the question is what is constantly cut as opposed to what is funded. also, for anybody who is listening who says, "oh, my god, i can't believe he said these things", president eisenhower gave a speech warning about the military industrial complex. not only that, dr king, a couple of months before giving the speech at riverside church there in new york, he gave a drum major instincts speech. people miss that and thick he was talking about himself. no, that was a critical speech about foreign policy in america. he said the country was committing war crimes with the war in vietnam and challenged white modderates known as liberals saying they were allies for a certain period of time, and all of a sudden walked away.
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in his book "chaos for communicatee", one of thee books he wrote, he talked about that, in terms of whether allies said "enough has been done." when other evil forces went away. people said that's about it. he said, "no, now is the beginning of the nest phase, and we are still in that phase." i want the professor to address what you brought up, the riverside church speech. he brought up moderates. that speech was not well received, the position on foreign policy was not well received by the new york times, washington post and other moderate whites. >> that's true. dr king was vilified in the mainstream media, attacked by j edgar hoover, the fbi, and was called a communist, a radical and a socialist, in the mainstream media and at the end of his life, a year before he
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died, gallop did a poll and found out that two-thirds of americans looked at dr king unfavourably. >> i need an answer from both of you. as you bring up the policies and how he was a radical, he was not on the extreme like a malcolm x or a stokely carr michael. he thought the black power was not a good thing. leaders evolve. back then he was - did not approve of homosexual conduct. gay rights was not an issue. the question i want to ask both of you is where does he stand now on that issue, in general. would he be on the far left fringe. where would he be as a black leader. would he be balla, bill cosby. i'll let you go with that one, roland. >> we have no idea where he would be. sonned of all, 1959. raw wilkins called king a
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radical. dr king would be saying have we e-chiefed equality. 100,000 african-americans. that's where he would be. >> the income gap, at least, is significantly smaller. >> it's smaller. actual, not necessarily. average white house 100,000, average black household 5,000. >> but on the income level you are talking whites 55,000, blacks in the low to mid 30s. it's a significant improvement over what it was in the '60s, a dramatic difference. unquestionably. don't mean to argue that with you roland. last words. where do you think dr king would be today? >> the radical ideas of one generation are the commonsense ideas of the next the the idea
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of interracial marriage was considered taboo by most americans as 40 years ago. we accept it today. on the issue of same sex marriage dr king would see the comparison and be a supporter of same-sex marriage, even though he was homophobic. he evolved like many people. at the end of his life he believed in an interracial movement of the poor and the middle class to address income distribution, poverty and power. >> calling dr king homophobic, he was supportive and addressed the issue one time in a letter. it was wrong based on the fact to call him that. when you don't have the evidence to support it. >> the tragedy is we would not have a chance to see how dr king would evolve. peter, roland, appreciate you
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talking to us to share your thoughts. ereaders may be big readers, but they are not kicking books to the recycle happy just yet. data dive is up next.
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>> today's data dive cracks open a book. conventional wisdom was that ereaders would make traditional books a thing of the past. well, that may take a while. today 4% of people exclusively read books on a digital device, according to a pew poll. more than one in four adults say they read an e-book in the past
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year, it's less than half of those that read is traditional book. the vast majority are not ready to give up on the print page. boarder's slow adoption was a reason they closed their doors. the nook is not doing well. it's possibly for a 5.5% decline in retail sales. sales of hard-cover books jumped a reported 7.6% between january and october of last year. what is clear is book buyers of all types is going to amazon. amazon has a 55% share of the traditional market. and as much as 90% of the e-book it said. there's conflicting information
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as to whether it's affected hard copy books. >> ereaders sparked another revolution, "50 shades of gray" was the first e-book to sell more than a million copies on amazon's kindle. the racy read increasing more things to be bound than books. >> coming up, president obama's comparison of marijuana to alcohol has people wondering whether his policies are sending mixed messages.
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>> president obama's comments on marijuana are grabbing headlines. he told new yorker magazine: s >> the president continued saying:
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while recreational marijuana is legal in colorado, in other states people can be put behind bars for possessing pot. is there a mixed message for america and its kids. we are joined from denver, a prove senior of substance dependence at the department of psychiatry. dr riggs opposed the legalization of marijuana. and alison hoken is a director and wrote the ballot measure that legalized marijuana there and joined us from seattle. >> you worked hard for this legalization, but you have a 4-year-old to whom at some point you'll explain the dangers of the marijuana. how will you strike the balance at home. >> i think i'll have to do it the same way i strike the
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balance when it comes to shol, cigarettes or the other risky behaviours that the young will engage in. i have to have an honest conversation about what the risks or personal goals are for my child's upbringing. >> more than 60% of america's youth believe that marijuana is a low-risk drug. it's illegal under federal law, yet the president equated it to cigarettes and alcohol. how do young people reconcile that mixed message? >> i agree that - i think that kids are getting a mixed message, and it's difficult for adults to get the facts, the science-based facts about the health impacts of marijuana, so they can make a good decision for themselves, it's believed that morge is a benign drug with few risks and the science doesn't match up with that.
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it seems like the president is conflicted himself, he says it's not worse than alcohol, but paula says there are certainly risks to marijuana use, especially in young people, but the president talks about the dangers of a slippery slope. isn't marijuana a slippery slope, isn't it a gate way drug? >> the first thing i would like to clarify is paul and the president put their finger on the struggle that we have, which is making clear that deciding that marijuana use shouldn't be a crime is very different from promoting marijuana, or saying that marijuana is safe to use. it's a message that could stand more clarification. with respect to the gateway theory, a great failure of the policy is to conflate all the drugs, saying they are all dangerous. kids don't believe that.
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all of us know marijuana is different from cocaine and amfetta means. >> one place the message tries to get clarified is in schools. how will they address this in the context of legalization and the president's comments. >> here in colorado, personally, i, and many members of the faculty and many members educating kids, the important things - how should be able to put the packaging warning lability together for recreational sales of marijuana. i have heard that we have not done a good job of that. we know that marijuana. pre-natal exposure has been associated with long-term learning disabilities, and poor school achievement in kids, and it's clearly neurotoxic to adolescent brain development.
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regular use amongst adolescents is at a 30 year peak level, and we know that's been shown in a very good study to be associated with a risk of 6-8 point redubz in adult iq. it's a significant health risk. we know that we would never allow cigarettes and alcohol to be packaged in ways that are appealing to children, like gummy bears or canty bars. >> i know you dealt with that for decades. the dea and office of drug strategy. nationwide 6.5% of eighth graders tried marijuana, the number jumps to 18% in denver. marijuana is not legal for people under 21, but more eighth graders are doing it there. a question to you both. are you concerned that legalization will lead to more kids using the drug? >> absolutely am. >> for me, i couldn't agree
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more, we need restrictions on labelling and advertising that we have been more successful with with tobacco than alcohol. there are more teenagers using marijuana than secrets. that tells us we are not doing a good job and a better job when we talk about the risks of tobacco use. >> we have a social media question. >> we asked the viewers how parents should deal with marijuana laws. house rules - it's up to the parents to set world compass for their children. is it moral more than a legal issue. >> fundamentally the laws reflect our morals, i hope that both as parents and as adults who are role models, they are setting a standard about honesty, good policy and making choices as a young person. >> certainly it is the beginning of a debate that will continue for a long time. appreciate you joining us
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tonight and talking about this. thank you. >> the show may be over, the conversation continues on the website. aljazeera.com/considerthis. or facebook or google+. we'll see you next time. geefntiongood evening everyone. welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. a new wave of violence erupts between police and protestors in the ukraine. political protestors in sochi, fears that they may have already infiltrated the city. public schools

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