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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  December 29, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EST

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the beautiful conversation. before we open up [inaudible] do we need to move? >> i think that you are fine. >> all right. [inaudible]
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♪ we went back to the bible
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we were not allowed to do any of those things. we wore the white to say that we were people of peace. >> we are going to find a strategic point. this is how we decided to sit at the fish market everyday. thousands of women went. it was the first time in our history in liberia where muslim women and christian women were coming together if we had a big
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banner that said women of liberia want peace now. he said those who think that they can cover off in the streets to embarrass themselves, waiting for you. nobody, nobody will ayaan verisign administration -- will embarrass my administration. >> we were not afraid. my mother was like they will beat people, they will kill you.
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and we said well if i should come and just remember me that i was fighting for peace. ♪ [inaudible] you look at the front line discussion and this is what the newspapers report, the fighting tactics through the politics, the borders, the weapons, the armies, all of these things. that is the minn's story. the back-line discussion of the story is how you actually exist and live and continue living in the war. that is a woman's story and that has never been told. civilians are not, quote,
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collateral damage as we once called them but really very much of the center of the war zone. >> they are the ones who feel the hundred and watch their children done it. the women are the ones the are raped and after a conflict when the end of the war is being negotiated they are never considered. i think it is we passed time that we redefine what we mean by war because there are no front lines in the war in today's world. the fact is that in today's war the primary victims are women and children.
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>> [inaudible] thank you so much for everything always thinking you when i pray. thinking about literacy, i work for literacy in those communities. when you were getting women together the work traumatized because what was going on, the danger. do you do in the reading and if you did, what did you read? thank you.
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>> when we started the work i think that we would say women have different skills and i was the only one who had a tiny niche of skills around peacebuilding and i had read ghandi and i was mesmerized by the power of nonviolence. for a long time i felt like that was the most powerful way of life. there was nothing more powerful than these things that i read. but also when we talk about issues of nonviolence we asked women to give us store reset acts of nonviolence and their communities and there were different stories that came up that really spoke to what we felt we were doing. so we didn't do a lot of theoretical things. it wasn't until after we did this work when i went to my graduate studies that read we
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were doing a phone call and then we did that come about [laughter] that was strategic. is the detective or a strategy? all of those used in the actual peacebuilding. yes. just read a little bit of king in ghandi. >> thank you so much. i was struck while you were talking about your sense of community and how you could see what was happening in your communities. in our country we are ed war all the time in all other places. so right now in libya there is a siege that's been going on for weeks. people only know about it, they don't have to cover the don't have water, they are getting
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bombed every day we don't internalize that because this is not part of our community or in iraq border afghanistan. so i guess i am wondering how does one create a larger world community where we care? and weekend wear white and object to the war and we care about other people in other parts of the world. >> you know, have come to a very cynical place when it comes to us versus them, the world, your world, my world, in your question is a good question. but your question can be answered in two ways. if i said in your community you see the war, open your eyes. in this community you will see the war also.
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it's here. it's happening. i see it. and by the connections between your world and my world, a lawyer across the out and see the connection of our world is our ability to move beyond. i want to help it start with i want to help here. ..
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i'll give myself the year and i would have created a community. [applause] [applause] i went to emu, and i'm not kidding you, when you learned to exist in a community you cannot exist without a community. my sister died in june of two dozen six. i came back to school in the u.s. in august of 2006. she died when i was driving her
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to a hospital, and i drove around with her body in the car for three hours and could not cry. i was looking for a place to pose the body. i came back to school and determined that i would not lead an isolated life. the first thing i did was to identify every african commander was not a single liberian among those africans. the next thing i did to those africans were always hungry. my apartment always had food. a community had started. the next in the african-american men said coming the arabs can. before you knew it i was being called big mama or mother of peace. i used the resources that i saw in america to create myself with community.
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today i can proudly say if i landed in afghanistan i will go straight to the swedish embassy because the political analysts there is a young man who would give me a place to sleep. if i went to yemen and would get to the u.s. embassy because one of their strategies there is a man called old. he would give me a place to sleep. my world has shrunk. when they had the bombing in begun the turn the work, the first thing a on the internet. you okay? have a year football lover. i have an african-american young man who works in d.c. had his first child. this is your first grandchild.
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to create a community is not difficult. i went to a talk the other day. and all they said to me, how do you to use the those girls passing up and down in everett as you sit on your porch? yes, i see them. those girls are going up and down because they're looking for you to recognize them. just try it. call one and say i want you to be my friend. she will go and come. and give you the space of three months. her mother will never hear, you will hear. so to come back to your question that start from here and let's connector world. how come we do that? how can you use your platform of activism here to influence the need for resources in libya?
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there is so much to do your. there is so much to do here. there is so much to do here. [applause] [applause] >> a friend of mine gave me. he gave it to emmy's is he going to love this so honored to be in your presence. very honored to be in your presence. i am a community activist. i live in the war zone. south central. i am a promoter of peace. i have been part of the world peace organization. i am very honored to be in your presence. what i would like, i'd like to invite you to come to our community for your. [laughter] and i really want to focus. my mother raised me and the
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sister had consciousness when i was very young. the training manual, how can i get ahold of that. you know, help, you know, the women to, you know, be -- help us. help us. >> i will give you my card and see if we can't -- if we have been in no copy copy of copy the consent see it. >> inky. very nice to hear you speak. kenwood to read your book. it seems like you're really tap on something there were tapped into something. do you think that worldwide fsx drive took place that maybe this could really improve the entire world?
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worldwide, if a change of mindset to place it would change the entire world. my sister leaving the york. every time i come we find time to hang out. the advertising, you watch. and they're is a young man sitting in his underwear. the watches on his time. which part of his body is going to read this watch. a down vest and a connection. unless they're is new way of wearing watches in the u.s. that know about.
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but the objectification of gen boys and girls as sex objects is destroying the next generation of leaders. when young men see young women they don't see brains and a more they see from here to year. and him women believe that. i don't need brains as long as i have from here to year. it is a sad state. i have a young white base commander had a conversation. a friend of mine over the weekend about it. on college campuses now in the u.s. kids are just working out. nothing. i keep asking my good friend why
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. they dislike each other and say, let's go ahead up? and sex cat because that is the feeling that comes. and people are now more happy. there's no more face bloodstock and progress to the next level. it's from year to year. and until we can change that we're in trouble. this is a global disease. this is a global disease. who are the and people that were wooing back our lives the countries and the work? in no, i was talking at the university of california santa barbara yesterday. we talked about the same issue. and the one question that comes to my mind every time i think about the whole issue of peace and security for women and the
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global media and how sex is taken over, it comes from research done by elliot johnson. they did a research project. they say, the impact of war, conflict on women's lives is a reflection of the interaction during peacetime. if our young people are hooking up and picking up and picking up, imagine four took place in this country what would be this to stick on rape? we will be the statistics of abuse. the other question is, if we continue to objectify and women as sex objects and encourage our young men so that young women
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are the prey and the young man of the predators' offer sex, how do we talk about participation in politics? the way the world is functioning now it's on one side of the brain. all the men in power. that is one side of the brain. the women, virtually not in the political face, so that other side of the brain is not functioning. that is where we have a sex world. you wonder why the economy is this way, it's because it is watching on one side of the brain. so we think we have a problem now and we don't correct that july it's all part of the discussion a round piece. it's all part of the discussion around security. it's all part of the discussion around a quality.
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and if we don't start addressing it, thank god this is los angeles, california, the place where dreams are made. how do we change that image of a 12 year old girls wanting to wear it on? it is not this next strike, it is the strike on the sex industry. [applause] [applause] >> i got the side that we need to set and our time together tonight. i wanted thank the los angeles public library for this extraordinary evening. thank you to all of you who have come tonight. i encourage you to be together in communities after the formal presentation of this and to you. thank you so much.
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>> thank you for having me. sum.
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this is about 50 minutes. [applause] [applause] >> there are many people here who have encouraged and supported me over long years of research and writing. i would like to acknowledge one in particular, a former colonel who has come from houston to be with us today. we have been friends since 1961 when as captains we were classmates at a former school at fort knox. yes, bravely and honorably during the long years in the vietnam war, including an assignment that has -- after the war he and his family came to
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america where thanks to incur the hard work and find family values they have prospered. also written steel and blood, an excellent book about armor in the vietnam war. leeson is abundant, -- ladies and gentlemen. [applause] >> as you know, we are going to talk about the life and career of general westmoreland. when you at the outset, this is not a happy story. it is, i think, an important, even essential one. my contention is that less and until we understand westmoreland we will never fully understand what happened to us in vietnam or why. his involvement in the vietnam war was the defining aspect of his life.
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he himself perceived that. he was driven for the rest of his days to characterize, explain, rationalize, and defend the rule. his memoirs reflect the fixation of a long career pulling 36 years as an officer and a string of postings to increasingly important assignments over the four years that he commanded american forces in vietnam in the aftermath constituting at virtually the entirety of the counts. all the rest. understanding westmoreland is not easy. he turns out to be a surprisingly complex man. fueled by ambition, driving himself relentlessly, of the oppressive military means, energetic and effective as a promotion and skillful and cultivating and 20 sponsors from
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his earliest days of service to lead his contemporaries, was admired, and advanced by his seniors and progress rapidly upward. but you who serve with them would claim they really do this distance and difficult man. general walter carmen who was the chief of staff for westmoreland for over year recalled that although they worked very close to the other he and westmoreland never had a personal relationship, never even, he said, normal conversation as colleagues ordinarily would. you could not get to have. westmoreland had an extraordinary capacity for polarizing the views of those who encountered him. few of whom remained in different. his executive officer when
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westmoreland was army chief of staff described him as the most gracious and gentlemanly person with him my ever served and an executive officer, westmoreland had in vietnam regarded him as the only man he ever met him the term great could be applied. there were others, many others who held a darker view. among the most prominent was general harold k. johnson, a man of surpassing decency and good will. i don't happen to be a fan of general westmoreland, said johnson. i don't think i ever was, and i certainly did not become one as a result of the vietnam war or later during his tenure as chief of staff of the army. a general officer of another service to serve closely with westmoreland in vietnam described him as awed by his own magnificence.
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westmoreland was born and raised in some rural south carolina near spartanburg where his father was manager of a textile mill. an eagle scout at age 15, president of his high-school class, first captain at west point, of westmoreland was encouraged from his earliest days to think of himself as especially gifted and specially privileged. his father wrote to him at west point during his three-year saying, you do not know how happy and proud it makes this to know that you're making good, even this small boys in the negro's are interested and proud later in that same. he wrote to him again and said when you need anything write me and i will send it to you. there is nothing too good for you.
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and a subsequent letter, still touring his year as a cadet at west point, went even further. the people here, said his father , white and black, think you are about the biggest man in the country. roosevelt has no right at all compared to you. they really believe you will be president of the u.s. someday and talk this among themselves. after of entered world war ii as commander of an artillery battalion in the ninth infantry division taking his unit into combat in north africa. there they performed with distinction, earning a presidential unit citation. subsequently in sicily westmoreland served temporarily under then predator general maxwell taylor, then division artillery commander of the a's second airborne division, an association that would become extremely important to westmoreland drive to rest of
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his career. after sicily for the rest of world war ii westmoreland was a staff officer. when the fighting was over he was given command of an infantry regiment for six months in the army of occupation. then back in the united states of westmoreland was able to get an assignment at the 802nd airborne division where after attending jump school he had a year in command of the 504 parachute infantry regiment and then three years as division chief of staff. then late in the korean war westmoreland took command of the 187th airborne regimental combat team, a unit that constituted the theater reserve and consequently was stationed in japan and periodically a ploy to korea. westmoreland demanded the up to 15 months. nine months of which were spent in japan to wear after he had
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been promoted to brigadier he was able to live with his wife and their young first child. six months of the 15 spending korea. during one such carian time when they were not in combat westmoreland, desirous of qualifying for the master parachutist has made 13 jobs in one day. after the war and some scheming on the part of westmoreland the koreans awarded the 187 their presidential unit citation. new brigadier a capitol experienced his first pentagon duty with an assignment in personnel. i have not serve their before. and i did not want to serve their van. but soon maxwell taylor became army chief of staff and rescued westmoreland from the personnel making him his secretary of the general staff. two years later having in the
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meantime been promoted to to star rank westmoreland was rewarded with command of the hundred first airborne division. things moved quickly after that. two years as a division commander will qualify a three-year assignment as superintendent of the estate's military academy at west point and then promotion to the tennant general and six months in command of the 18th airborne corps. after c-span was sent to vietnam in january 1964. deputy did general paul hartman sue was in command of u.s. forces. june of 1964 westmoreland replaced him as commander of u.s. military command in vietnam , the start of a four year stint in that post. beginning in the spring of 1965,
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the estates began deploying ground forces to vietnam. under westmoreland and had decided to conduct a war of attrition. these forces, one large unit, search and destroy reparations primarily in the deep jungle. fixated on his budget and operations which were referred to by many as the war of the big battalions, the westmoreland largely ignored other key responsibilities, most importantly the upgrading of south vietnam military forces in dealing with classification. his way of war did nothing to affect the situation in south vietnam. continued using coercion in terror to dominate the world to several populous. meanwhile, westmoreland deprived
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the south vietnamese of modern weaponry to the weaponry giving the u.s. issue of the m-16 rifle and other advanced military where with all. equipped with a cast of world war ii vintage u.s. equipment while being outgunned by the communist who were provided the great ak-47 assault rifle. communist china. it is very important to know that it was left of westmoreland to devise his own approach to combat the war. the conventional view of the war, even now, is that it was micromanaged from washington. there are many stories of how lyndon johnson's white house, the famous tuesday luncheons and so on, he and other top, mostly civilian, officials would even selected and approved individual
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bombing targets in north vietnam and things like that. those decisions had to do with actions taken outside south vietnam. within south vietnam to the u.s. commander had a very wide latitude in deciding how to fight the war. this was true for westmoreland, and equally true for his eventual successor. this was not, this led to was not a good thing. there were many witnesses in the strategy, which in numerous into related ways played into the hands of the enemy. for one chasing around the countryside was the town. general philip davidson, a bit westmoreland chief intelligence officer said that the interest of westmoreland was laid in a big year and war, pacification. this search and destroy operations favored by westmoreland accomplished little
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in providing a secure environment which pacification required. the measure of merit in the war of attrition was body count. westmoreland underestimated the enemy staying power, calculating that if he could inflict enough casualties and the communists they would lose heart and cease their aggression against south vietnam. instead the enemy proved willing to absorb enormous losses and still keep fighting, thus the progress that the westmoreland claims in racking up huge body counts did nothing to win the war. the enemy simply kept sending more and more replacements to make up his losses. westmoreland was on a treadmill. westmoreland also overestimated the american people's patience and tolerance of friendly losses
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. a visit to south vietnam, senator hollings from the home state of westmoreland of south carolina, was told by westmoreland, we are killing these people, the enemy, and the ratio of ten to one. the american people don't care about the ten, they care about the one. westmoreland did not get it. his response to any problem was to request more troops. the result was a buildup of the u.s. contingent of ground forces that eventually reached well over half million men. when the troupe requests kept coming with no evident progress in the wedding of the war washington's patience finally ran out. in the spring of 1967 westmoreland asked for 200,000 more troops but got only a fraction of that amount. at the time he stated publicly
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fifth that he was delighted with the outcome, but in his memoirs he cited instead that he had been extremely disappointed. later still on the witness stand in a libel trial suit he brought against cbs television he changed his stance again and said he had not been extremely disappointed. in response to his own book, forcing westmoreland to recant. and then in the wake of the enemies 1968 tet offensive westmoreland passed for another 206,000 troops, a request he then spent years denying he ever made. he got token forces and was in on his way home. it was clear he thought he did take the war over from the south vietnamese, bring it to a successful conclusion, and then
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hand the country back to them and go home and lori. he could not. the ambassador saw that this was the case, concluding that when the united states first of all, the political and psychological edge of the war was not understood. and, he said, because we did not understand it, the military to we could get in and do the job and get out much more quickly than proved to be the case at the debt is one reason we were slow in turning the vietnamese we did not begin to train the vietnamese with the objective of their taking over until general abrams get there. this disparity in resources persisted throughout his tenure in vietnam.
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it was noted on 29th debt during 1968, only weeks before the departure of westmoreland after his four years in command. the enemy is the military quit his troops with increasingly sophisticated weapons. they are in general better equipped than the forces, a fact which has an adverse bearing on morale. westmoreland had been there in command of u.s. forces for nearly four years. then later in maintain everything. another ambassador of the time, no, i think, weary of his sponsors of was even more blunt. none so abrams kim on the scene did this had to change.
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1967 was a fateful time and the westmoreland did not service. everyone agrees with 1968, fearful your. sixty-seven was equally so. during that year he made three trips to the united states where in public appearances he gave of very optimistic assessment of how the war was going, and this became part of what was going to come to be called the jobs in the best russian progress. very, very encouraged said westmoreland and a press conference upon arriving in the u.s. never been more interest during my entire four years and company the national press club we have reached a point where the and begin to come into view. and he added that enemies of bankruptcy. he spoke to a joint session of
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congress run during another optimistic report and was so taken with the experience, the most memorable moment in his military career and his finest hour which gave him the greatest personal satisfaction. i must say to my find it both ironic and sad that a famous general finds a political event the most satisfying of his military career. 1967 was a time of vigorous debate about the emmy's quarter a battle which means his strength and organization. westmoreland denied senior civilian officials accurate data by imposing a ceiling on the number of enemy forces his intelligence officers could report or agreed to and but personally removing from the order of battle entire categories that have long been included, thus falsely portraying progress in reducing in any strength.
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by may of 1967 president johnson was referring to the war as a bloody impasse. military historian russell widely commented succinctly on lbj, no capable war president would have allowed an officer of such limited capacities as general william c. capital to head military assistance command in vietnam for so long. meanwhile westmoreland challenged by newsmen on his optimistic announcements resorted to his familiar reliance on body count. we are leading in a great deal more than he is leading us, said westmoreland. westmoreland sought to portray the year 1967 as a triumphant one, during which he was winning the war. to 1967 was characterized by accelerating efforts and growing success in all phases of
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endeavors. that was not how he and his performance was seen by others. to robbers bomber was serving as deputy commanding general of the u.s. army command in vietnam. general palmer told him he really had basic disagreements on how it was organized and how we were doing it. later ballmer elaborated on those views in an interview with journalist mark perry. it was just a mess. we were losing. trying to put it together, and it just wasn't working. there was not anything that was working. in late summer of 1967 ambassador ellsworth bunker submitted this assessment, we still have a long way to go to much of the country is still in d.c. hands and the enemy can still sell our bases and commits acts of terrorism in this
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tourist areas. units still mount large-scale attacks appeared most of the populace has still not actively committed itself to the government, and an infrastructure still exists throughout the country. that was what westmoreland had to show for three years in command of u.s. forces. by the end of 1967 we were remembered, gramm cents was descending on the white house. finally even general william, architect of the search and destroy concept and opposed to the war admitted that it was a losing concept of operations. we ended up, he said, after it was all over with no operational plan that had the slightest chance of ending the war favorably. in the face of this united upper to opposition westmoreland maintained then and later that the north vietnamese, the enemy, in mid 1967, were in a position
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of weakness. this is the saddest result of all, many years of research on these matters. many instances where westmoreland had been willing to shade or misremember or deny the record when his perceived interests was a risk. one episode involving his lack of confidence in the marine leaders as both illustrative and revealing, surely before assessments began in january january 1968 westmorland decided to send his deputy to the ichor region to establish and run a technical headquarters that he designated. from there general abrams was to control the operations of all u.s. forces in the area,
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including those with the marine corps and, of course, the army. his chief intelligence officer philip davidson had returned to visit to keeshond, a remote post garrisoned by the marines. and they briefed westmoreland on the situation. the description of the unprotected installations and a general lack of preparation to withstand heavy concentrations of artillery and mortar fire agitated general westmoreland. finally he turned his deputy and said something to the effect that he had lost confidence in marine general cushman's ability to handle the increasingly threatening situation. his response was to set up forward and said abrams up to take command. raid reaction was predictable. one division commander called this the most unpardonable thing that saigon did and said marines it with shock and astonishment.
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westmoreland singh held a press conference in which he denied that any loss of confidence in leaders had been his reason for placing the new headquarters over them. he also table the marine general cushman's saying that there had been extensive background in saigon with the various news bureau chiefs to point out that establishment carried no stigma whatsoever with respect to the marines that it was merely a normal military practice and that it was only temporary. unfortunately only the temporary was true. the other in miles or falls as evidence not only by general davidson's eyewitness account, but also by plenty and -- westmoreland said it contemporaneously. the military professionalism of the marines falls far short of
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the standards that should be demanded by our armed forces. in jeep -- indeed, brave and proud that the stand is, at and lack of spencer persistent drought the ranks requires impertinent the national interest. there was more. i would be less than frank if i did not say that i feel somewhat insecure with the situation in view of my knowledge of their shortcomings. without question, many lives would be saved if their tactical professionalism or enhanced. after the war when the marines or writing the history of the conflict since the 1968 volume for,. he marked it up so extensively and took issue with so many of the judgments rendered that he was invited to discuss the whole matter in person. he accepted, and in session with
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the number of marine corps historians again insisted with regard to the establishment of back toward the particular action had not a damn thing to do with my confidence. not a damn thing. this was not only false, but giving the existing paper trail reckless in the extreme. westmoreland racked up a lengthy record of false misleading and inaccurate statements or omissions ranging from then on the order of battle to troop requests from the situation in viet nam to closure case on base and from battles to prediction of an early end of the war to light at the end of the tunnel. some of these models to five matters for petty and others of crucial importance, but they were alike in one respect. when westmoreland saw his personal interest a stake he did not hesitate to conceal or abandon the truth.
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when at the end of january 1968 an enemy tet offensive began westmoreland long term was nearing an end. newsweek magazine described a devastating measured of how far he had fallen. in november, they said, when he was conjuring up the light at the end of the tunnel he was affectionately called westie. but by last week he was general westmoreland in most official and unofficial briefings. the tet resurgence of enemy forces led many to conclude that in his optimistic forecast of the previous year westmoreland had other not known what he was talking about or have not leveled with the american people. it is hard to know which is the more devastating criticism. what was clear, with his unavailing approach to conduct of the war, westmoreland had
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squandered four years of support for the war by much of the american people that congress and even the media. for the next four years westmoreland served as army chief of staff. struggling with many problems, some the ongoing war in vietnam and others more societal. these included in discipline, widespread drug abuse, racial disarmament, budgetary shortfalls, and the necessity to prepare for the end of the draft and impending transition to an all volunteer force. faced with these multiple crises westmoreland decided to focus its attention elsewhere. i spoke in every state in the union, he later recalled. i considered myself a military spokesman of the army then that i should be exposed to the american public input for the army's point of view. i felt that an understanding of
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the military was the primary mission that fell on my shoulders while i was chief of staff. he added, had too much to occupy me to get into the details of such matters as army reorganization. i, frankly, in evaluating the priorities of my time give rather high priority to going around the country and giving them the facts of life with respect to the military. during his four years as chief of staff westmoreland currently gained no more understanding of the more than he had had when he was in vietnam. the cia chief in saigon when westmoreland made the 1972 visit there. they both attended a small function at ambassador bonkers residents where i was astonished by his apparent lack of understanding of what was going on in the war, even then. in later years for westmoreland
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huge himself as very much but upon. my years have been fraught with challenges, frustrations, and sadness he said to an audience. nobody has taken more guff that i have, and i'm not apologizing for a damn thing. nothing, and i welcome being the point man. that outlook, no second-guessing of himself, and no regrets persisted through the end of his life. as army chief of staff and beyond westmoreland made strenuous efforts to shape this historical record in ways favorable to his version of reality. this included writing his memoirs when there were published kevin buckley, formerly the newsweek. chief in saigon reviewed the book commenting that from the beginning westmoreland probably expected to write a memoir of victory similar to general eisenhower's crusading your.
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the she has not deterred him from doing this. so fitting is american commander , i underwent many frustrations, endured much interference, live with palace irritations, swallowed many disappointments, a more considerable criticism. reviewing the same book, the memoirs of a well-known military commentator concluded that was one remains the symbol of the country's most mournful misadventures abroad ever. major episodes, but extremely traumatic marking their retirement years. first was a dramatic the unsuccessful campaign for governor in his native state of south carolina. then there was a failed rival of the cbs television network for a
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documentary charging westmoreland with manipulation of any strength when he commanded u.s. forces in vietnam in each of these cases westmoreland ignored the advice of highly qualified men who had his best interest of heart and he counseled against the forces of action. he came in second in the republican primary to a state senator who then went on to be elected south carolina's first republican governor since reconstruction. he found it very hard to shake hands of people. describing them as the only candidate with a proven leader and administrative ability to carry south carolina to greatness. he ran a poorly managed campaign and was late getting started, never got out a coherent message, and wound up deeply in
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debt. afterward westmoreland called it is most humiliating experience. then in 1982 cbs television aired documentary charging westmoreland with having manipulated reports of enemy strength during the vietnam war. westmoreland have willingly participated in making the program being interviewed on camera and asking to be paid for doing so. the resulting broadcast was not favorable to him with numerous former intelligence officers describing how enemies strength data had been manipulated and house of westmoreland himself had whole categories of any forces be taken out of the force of battle, the artificially driving down the total of in the forces, so as to claim progress in his war of attrition. in due course against the advice of high-powered attorneys who cautioned against it westmoreland brought a libel
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suit against cbs $6,120,000,000 in damages. subsequent to the broadcast it came out that its producer had committed numerous violations of cbs guidelines. the basic findings, however, were seen as valid. in the course of a lengthy trial westmoreland was recommended by an attorney here ever before tried a case in court, and things did not go well. still, the case dragged on for some 18 weeks of testimony. then just days before the case was to go on to the jury that petro withdrew his suit. in exchange he received a statement from cbs which claims exonerate him and no money. an effort to defame, dishonor, and destroy me and those under my command had been exposed and defeated. i therefore withdrew from the battlefield all flags flying.
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editorial opinion was not so favorable. the new york times stated the prevailing reaction. it concluded that general westmoreland still in imminent danger of a jury confirming the essential truth. as on the original program he could not get past the testimony of high-ranking former subordinates who confirmed his having colored some intelligence information. said one of the jurors to the press on the way out, the evidence in favor of cbs was overwhelming. westmoreland life since vietnam has been miserable, said a former aide. westmoreland himself seems to the attribute much to that outcome. the vietnam war is my number one priority, he told an interviewer
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some years after his retirement. i tried to spread myself and visit all sections of the country, but then in an assertion completely undermining the meaning and purpose of all those years of incessant and frantic activity, westmoreland told the college audience that in the scope of history vietnam is not point to be a big deal. it will flow to the top as a major endeavor. westmoreland ultimate failure, it seems to me, would have earned him more compassion had he not personally been so fundamentally to blame for the endless self-promotion that elevated him to positions and responsibilities beyond his capacity. it is the aggressive guy who gets his share plus the principle applies to most. and that is the way he operated. in later years westmoreland
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widely regarded as a general who had lost his war also lost his only run for political office, lost his libel suit, and losses reputation. it was a sad ending for a man who for most of his life and career had led a charmed existence. general westmoreland live the long time, inflicted by alzheimer's disease for at least his last decade to my he died in july of 2005 and was buried at west point in a great he has selected while he was superintendent there. as the final irony given the strong and vocal opposition to the admission of women to west point, the cadet honor guard for the burial ceremony was commanded an very ably by a female cadet officer. thank you very much. i'll be glad to entertain questions. [applause] [applause]
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from anybody want to start? >> yes, sir. >> yes, ma'am. please. >> you have given as a very colorful, interesting, psychological analysis of general westmoreland, but my question has to do with a sociological organizational one. >> yes. >> i did not hear about the role of the commander in chief or his supervisors in the military. aren't there some responsibility there? has that changed? i mean, could you compare that with where we are in 2011? >> that is a very good first question, and that thank you for it.
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time magazine sent me some interrogatories which i responded to have posted on their website. they ask me if i thought the subtitle was fair. i said it was eminently fair and explained why. i covered much of that year. prior reason being the latitude that general westmoreland had to decide how to fight the war and his relentless pursuit of and available approach to the conflict. but the next question was if you think this up tunnel is fair who are the other co-conspirators? that was a good question, and is pretty much what you're asking. so i began by saying, there are a lot of candid it's for the top tier of fellow miscreants. and i describe three. lyndon johnson, president and commander in chief, robert mcnamara, the secretary of defense, and general wheeler who was for a long time, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. so i tried to explain why
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general westmoreland was allowed to be commander in vietnam for so long when so many people saw that he was not achieving the success that he was clement. and have quoted in the number of them here. bruce palmer, a four-star general who was his last command the best point. abrams came in and his deputy. fred wayne to was that three-star commander and later also became the chief of staff. davidson, and many, many others who saw that this was not working. and so you had to say, well, why was he allowed to continue? and it is hard to age plane that. it should not happen that way, but a partial explanation at least has to reside in an examination of the people above him who had the authority to replace him or to direct him to conduct his operations in a different manner. so you start with lyndon johnson in my estimation no knowledge of
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military affairs in general. and in many ways rather obtuse as well. secretary of defense robert mcnamara. no real relation of military affairs. and then begin to general wheeler. in my estimation he is a major part of the problem who essentially established, very low command experience in non-combat. he seems to endorse the idea of westmoreland that firepower and is a way to conduct this war. so he was no help. i speculate -- local mod go farther than that. i have heard that these three main people in the chain of command to have the authority if they had chosen to use it to replace westmoreland board directed to do something different than what he was doing lacked the knowledge and even the confidence to do that. but there were others who were working hard to try to achieve
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the objective that i believe should have been sought. and one of the most important and referred to is general harold k. johnson baby during the same for years that at google commanded johnson was the army chief of staff, and early on he conducted the study. it is known as the per one study which stands for classification and long-term development of vietnam. and the study said flat out what general westmoreland is doing is not working and cannot work. the reason is conveyed is ignoring the situation in the villages were the enemies covert infrastructure was dominating the populace. and so here is the real way to fight. this is exactly what general abrams did when he took command in the spring of 1968. he implemented the study. and that said, instead of a war
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of attrition this has to be a war of population security. instead of sturt -- search and destroy we will conduct clear and all operations. dole was provided by much updated territorial forces of the south vietnamese, given the m-16 rifle first priority. and the measure of merit now is not a body count the population security. very important and significant to my belief, that by autumn of 1966 at the latest the two senior officers in charge of the forces that were fighting the ground war, harold k. johnson chief of staff of the army and wallace green of the marine corps agreed that the approach of westmoreland was wrong and not a viable alternative. general johnston tried hard to get this approach some interest and support in the joint chiefs
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of staff. he did not make much progress there. that to not go anywhere. the study, he rejected it out of hand. probably not too surprising. an officer of that day later a very well-known and successful writer said he was the staff officer assigned to write the response of westmoreland. he said, we all, meaning the young staff officers talked of this was great, but we were not allowed to say that. we had to say, there are some good ideas here for study, and we are already doing this for many of these things and so on. that did not go anywhere until, as i said, the commander came. that is why, i said, in the course of my remarks, that the reason general westmoreland is the general who was the vietnam war is that he basically
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squandered four years of support for our war in vietnam, and even though in the latter time after he was succeeded things went much, much better near the end the congress and probably the people ran out of patience and support for the war. even when we were just giving the money they were motivated to pull the plug. ..
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in a way similar to what the general westmoreland did and when we changed commanders general david petraeus came and i think it exhibited a more abrams like understanding of the nature of the war and how we should be conducted. many of you know that when he came back into the period between his service in iraq and in afghanistan general petraeus was in fort leavenworth and tasked with writing a new counter insurgency manual would be issued by both the army and marine corps it is a well done document and if you read it you will be amazed at the parallel i think between the prescriptions there and what general abrams did when he later took command. that is a rather long answer but you ask a fundamental question and i thank you for that.
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>> i don't know enough about that. i can't do that. thank you. other questions? yes, please. >> would you comment on what happened after he appeared on the cover of time as the man of the year because i was out in vietnam in 67 and there was a lot of talk going around about west berlin from and for president, and it was coming out and i don't know if that is in your book or not but it seems to be in retrospect that may have added a great deal to his ego. >> that's a good question and there's a little input on this. the question has to do with of course the "time" magazine cover on the first issue of money to 66 general westmoreland was on the cover not in a photograph put in a bus that had been sculpted of him for that purpose
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and for the latest 65 man of the year that is when they are beginning to build up the forces in vietnam and he is talking even then optimistically about the outcome. there are two or earlier biographies of general westmorland. the first one is called the inevitable general written by a journalist whose name is pat ferguson very good guy and i talked to him at length this book was published to 1968 it is written in 1967 will long before the end of his career even before the end of his service in vietnam since you have to ask yourself how was this book written at this time. there's a kernel who is known to some people in this audience very close to general auslin especially in the chief of staff
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period and unlike many of those who worked as aides to westmoreland he stayed in touch with him for the rest of his life. paul miles said he always thought mobus orland ha appeared and aspirations and that he was never able to shake the view that this was to be a campaign biography. others have said that although there was the uproar in the summer of '67 that might have called for westmorland to be assigned at that time. lyndon johnson may have perceived that westmoreland have political aspirations and it was very convenient for him to leave him 12,000 miles away in under his command instead of bringing it back where he could join the political who postings. general bruce palmer said a very straightforward to me in an interview when he came back from vietnam he had the presidential aspirations he talked to me about it and i tried to save this wasn't a popular war.
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as it turned out, he did try as i describe to become governor of south carolina. he was a very inept campaigner and even worse probably and in that manager of his campaign. there were some people in the republican party who thought he might be a viable candidate that they could use to impose lyndon johnson i guess in the 68 elections but nothing came of that. westmorland always denied that he had in the presidential aspirations, but i have a lot of confidence in boris polymer, so i believe he did with the situation never allow anything to come of it. thanks for that. anybody else? >> right here. >> yes, please. >> recently i read the new book dereliction of duty, know you knew him well and even have him stay at your house while he was writing the book, and in that book he really liaison president
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johnson and secretary mcnamara, and he also said in my question he also kept saying, or every time he saw the joint chiefs who he largely ignored but every time he saw him he said that. now was that with us marlins's emphasis on body count what did that have to do with leading to that? is there a cause of it or something else? >> that is the very same question and i will start by saying i have enormous subornation he's a brilliant officer a brilliant scholar and that is a wonderfully funny book and i'm glad to see when i go into bookstores although it's been out for many years you still see it on the shelves so it has a long life. we've talked about the kind of things you just asked about many
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times. basically his book and thank you mauney account begins, and in particular we discuss his take on general johnson, who live referred to several times. i wrote a biography of johnson called honorable warrior and i concluded that he was one of the finest officers we ever had and one of the most honest. so some of the criticisms that he makes of him in his book i think our colored by the fact that he covered the leader period when he makes his appearance and so on might have influenced how age or evaluated him. but let's talk about lyndon johnson. i think -- i didn't have time to cover this in the remarks, but i think you could also say besides the other in the course of his conduct general westmoreland was guilty of macrodisobedience and
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the reason i say that is in the early 1966 february of that year there was a major conference in honolulu. one way of conducting the war was to have conferences periodically, various locations and then the president would come sometimes and lyndon johnson came to the conference in february, 1966 and westmorland came from vietnam and so did the two senior vietnamese. president too and the vice president as the fenimore. in the the plate of this conference was to boost american support for pacification, which you have already heard me say westmorland ignored in his intelligence he said pacification board and so on, and so it's not just lyndon johnson focusing on callamore although lots of times when he said that, but now he's saying we've got to get behind the pacification effort if we are
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ever going to get out of here. i am putting words in his mouth but that is the implication of what he said. so, we go back to vietnam with those instructions, and william westmoreland says retrospectively i was getting pressure after pressure after pressure to pay more attention to pacification and i wasn't going to do that at the expense of leasing of the war against the enemy's main forces. i don't know how you view that, but that seems like at best insubordination of a higher degree, and at worst disobedience orders to his commander-in-chief. so, you asked for evidence of that or we look for evidence of that. one of the details that impressed me greatly and i
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devoted an entire chapter to this is what westmoreland did or did not do with respect to warming the south vietnamese as well as the enemy was armed, and i looked at the m-16 rifle house an example of that and the fact is he never did anything for them it wasn't until abrams came on the scene as the deputy in may of 1967 that the vietnamese began to get any help at all. so, i think lyndon johnson was persuaded and i don't know what by sources that pacification was imported after abrams took command we had this magnificent team. ambassador ellsworth bunker and abrams in charge of the military and william colby in charge of support for pacification and they agreed it had to be one war combat operations but much changed from the big squeeze and pacification and upgrading south vietnam's armed forces and only that way they said could we succeed. -- before. could i ask one more.
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>> we have time for one more or no? short question. in the book besides johnson, mcnamara and wheeler that you talk to says bad things were says max tayler who is the ambassador at that time over westmoreland also was party to confusing things. let me put it that way. common? >> there are a lot of things i think could be said about general tayler that maybe don't quite match with the reputation i believe he still enjoy is pretty widely. i've already indicated more than once that he was probably west berlin's list important patron and thanks to him westmorland reached a high levels he did including his assignment. but i think that maxwell taylor and westmorland if they didn't
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have a falling out of the certainly had a diverging viewpoint. it seems to be a document double that when the first ground forces can assure the marine elements in march of a 1965 tayler as ambassador had no advance notice that they were coming and wes marland new that and didn't tell him and the white house knew that and didn't tell him and the pentagon knew him and didn't tell them so he was pretty marginalized by that point. that is a detailed analysis and evaluation of shettle tayler's project for another day, but he was sand as well as setting. ladies and gentlemen, think you very much for coming and for the great questions. [applause] >> the book track 11 by will
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kaufman. after that hearing on homeless children and housing assistance programs. ♪ ♪ >> with the iowa caucuses next week in the new hampshire south carolina and florida primaries later in the month, c-span series the contenders looks back at 14 candidates who ran for president and lost, but had a long lasting impact on american politics. tonight vice president and civil rights activist hubert humphrey. friday, george wallace. then on saturday, senator and congressman from south dakota george mcgovern followed by billionaire businessman ross perot. the contenders every night at 10 eastern on c-span. >> next, author and professor will kaufman talks about folk singer woody guthrie's political activism during the great depression, world war ii, and the civil rights era. his book is "woody guthrie,
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american radical." this event was hosted by barnes & noble bookseller in new yorkb city. >> thank you for joining us tonight.night tonight is a very special event for us to our guests will notstl only be talking about his new book, woody guthrie, americane a medical care to be giving you an audiovisualh presentation showins that illustrate the life and times of his subject and also performing some of the songs in the cannon. most of us know of woody guthrie's americas unofficial anthem this land is your land. but few may know the roots of his activism in the death of his commitment to social justice. our guest's book takes a fresh look at the laconic guthrie and the context in which he struggled both personally and on the wide political stage. tonight's author is a professor of american literature and
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culture of the university of central lancashire in england. he is the author of the previously published book american culture in the 1970's. and he is, as you will soon find out from also a professional folk singers and musicians. it is my pleasure to introduce to you the author of woody guthrie american radical, will kaufman. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ is a muddy hard road that my poor haitians have poured ♪ my feet have traveled a hot and dusty road ♪ ♪ out here dust bowl and west words and we wrote and desserts are hot in your ♪ ♪ i've worked in the orchards
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♪ i slept on the ground in the light of your moon ♪ ♪ we come with the dustin to go with the wind. california, arizona, worked all of your crops ♪ ♪ up to oregon to gather ♪ dig the beach from your ground into place on your table but white sparkling wine ♪ ♪ green pastures of plenty from dry desert ground ♪ ♪ from the grand coule dam where the waters rundown ♪ ♪ every state in the union as
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migrants have been ♪ ♪ and we work in this fight and we will fight until we win ♪ ♪ it's always week resembled, that river in by ♪ ♪ all along your green valley i will work until i die ♪ ♪ and this land i will defend with my life if it b. ♪ ♪ because my pastures of plenty must always be free ♪ [applause] thank you. thank you. welcome woody guthrie american radical was born appropriately on bastille day, july 14th, 1912 in a place called okay in the
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oklahoma. and it was one of the square dancing, yelling, preaching, walking, talking, laughing, crying, shooting, bleeding, gambling, fist fighting come and gone north club and razor carrying of our branching farm towns. because it blossomed into one of our first oil boom towns. they discovered oil in okemah around 1920 when woody was about 8-years-old, said he saw the population quintupled overnight from like 2,000 to 10,000. one day it was a sleepy southern hamlet and as he said the next day he woke up and everybody was there and it was filled with these roughneck oil boomers ortiz terse who were making their fortunes hand over fist every day until 1928 when the oil ran out and okemah went from boom to bust. so hundreds of these were deutsch just turn out to roam
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the countryside destitute and in that respect, okemah and her children became a microcosm of the fees of many more towns and communities across the southern plains the following year when the depression kicked in. in 1929 after a series of some pretty incredible family tragedies, the burning down of their family home, the burning to death of his sister in another house fire, the near fatal burning of his father and a third house fire and the incarceration and slow death of his mother in the oklahoma state mental asylum. she wasn't crazy she had the undiagnosed and misunderstood huntington's disease. after all of those tragedies he went to join his recuperating father and another boom to bust oil town on the texas panhandle. dropped out of high school after two years and became a painter, married, had his first two children and they all waited through the years that carried the black lizard's of dust
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across the great plains. this was the war not topsoil of over 100,000 square miles of ravaged farmland. in november, 1933 the dust. the midwest and came back the following year burying the entire midwest again and then as far east as albany and buffalo new york. as the dust continued to blow for the rest of the decade the sky but term black and red with tongs of dust and animals and people choke to death, toddlers wander out and suffocate. and the single worst day that any of the dust bowl could remember was april 14th, 1945 palm sunday. they call it black sunday. that is when the wind of more than 80 an hour ripped the topsoil and the clafin as far away as nebraska, it dumped on the already dying town of tampa texas and woody recalled when
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the dust cloud hit it looked like an ocean was chomping down on a snail and the red sea was closing in on the children, he said, and baptists and religious fundamentalists believed this was literally the end of the world. this was god's judgment been visited upon the wicked people and as he recalled, we thought we were done for. thousands of last packed up and went out. in that year he wrote the first of many songs about the death of his community and hundreds of others like it across the southern plains. ♪ ♪ i've sung this song and i will sing it again about the place i lived on the west texas in the city of tampa here's what all of the people there say. they say so long it's been good to know you.
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♪ so long, it's been good to know you ♪ ♪ so long it's been good to know you ♪ ♪ this dusty old a dust storm is getting my home ♪ ♪ and i've got to be drifting along ♪ ♪ that dust storm it hits and it hits like thunder. it's busted us under and over ♪ ♪ blocked all traffic and what dhaka passan ♪ ♪ st for home all the people did run single so long been good to know you ♪ ♪ so long, been good to know you ♪ so long been good to know you ♪ this dusty old dust storm is getting my home and i've got to be driftin along ♪ ♪ sweethearts sat in the darkened sparked ♪ ♪ they hugged and kissed in the dusty old dark ♪
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♪ the site and cried, they hugged and kissed ♪ ♪ but instead of marriage, they were talking like this ♪ ♪ will, so long honey ♪ been good to know you ♪ so long been good to know you ♪ so long, been good to know you ♪ this dusty old a dust storm is getting my home ♪ ♪ and i've got to be drifting along ♪ ♪ now the telephone rang and it jumped off the wall ♪ ♪ that was the preacher making his call ♪ ♪ and he said kind friend, this may be in the ♪ ♪ you've got your last chance of salvation from san ♪ ♪ the churches were jammed, churches were packed ♪ ♪ that a dusty old dust storm blowed so blacks ♪ ♪ the preacher could not read a word of his text of he folded his specs and to the collection ♪ singing so long it's been good to know you speedballs so long it's been good to know you ♪ ♪ so long, been good to know you
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♪ this dusty old a dust storm is getting my home ♪ ♪ and i've got to be driftin along ♪ ♪ now that was the dusty as the dust storm that averted a blow ♪ ♪ most everybody they took to the road ♪ ♪ the lead down the highway fast as could go ♪ ♪ and they all sang these words as they blew ♪ ♪ so long it's been good to know you ♪ ♪ so long it's been good to know if you ♪ ♪ so long been good to know you ♪ this dusty old dust storm is getting my home ♪ ♪ and i've got to be drifting along ♪ ♪
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[applause] thank you. well, woody left his wife and children neither for the first or the last time and he hit the road early in the summer of 1937 about 24-years-old and somewhere out the lure on those highways leading westward among the vigilantes and the wagons piled high with furniture there was another oklahoma native the call her six cunningham. years later she would sing in the radical folk group with a bunch of other people called the almanac singers and the like would be another countless children of the dust bowl she would become radically politicized by her migratory experience. as she recalled, along with other hundreds of thousands of dirt farmers, we fought to survive. we battled crop failures, hundred, illness without doctors, hailstorms, livestock,
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fire. now, we could have endured all of those normal disasters. but there was no way in god's build to escapes the shark's teeth of the bankers and that's what happened. woody remembered the further west you what, the browner, the hotter, still and emptier the country gets. i met the hard rock miners and whole swarms of hitchhikers and migratory workers with their little piles of belongings in the shade of the big board's across the hard crust rapidly desert. kids chasing around the blistering sun, leedy is cooking scrappy meals and discovering the plates clean with sand. young folks copying with cords, cotton dresses. they gather around us and they
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sang too but sometimes they just stand real quiet and listen and i knew they were thinking about. well, by 1936 the year of roosevelt's first re-election seemed the midwestern american family farmhouse had pretty much blown away with the topsoil. that's the way that joe klein describes in a bibliography. as he says the human convulsion of the proportions was in progress. the whole countryside seemed to grown as the farms and steve and the hallways filled. on the country music stations jimmie rodgers was up their singing that the california waters taste just like sherry wine and woody and half a million migrants from the dust bowl region called their way westward towards those legendary vineyards and orchards. what they were doing what they were chasing the dream. something that woody later on called the stinking best thing i've ever run on two and this
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was the promises of on scrupulously were contractors out in california who were aware of the dust bowl crisis and decided to exploit it by looking the dust bowl region like this promising work for every idle and hundreds of thousands of hands needed the picked up peaches and grapes and selected for cuts and prunes. they didn't need hundreds of thousands. they needed a couple hundred hands in particular period of times and you can work out the implications for wages if you can engineer a crisis where you have a couple thousand hams chasing jobs. what they would do, these labor contractors what betaken the address and you may have to give this person five or $10 just to get the address knowing whether the job was there or not. so woody was incensed by this and then following promises like this in the dream of writing a the california border, the migrants were stopped cold.
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los angeles police department panicked as they set up these highly illegal and unconstitutional roadblocks on the major points of entry to the state of california and they called it the blockade and they got the thinks of the "los angeles times" and william randolph hearst and the changes of commerce and the huge antimigrant block. now, before this trip to the states, and it never been to california. but can i share a secret with you? i had seen it on a map and i am pretty sure that los angeles is about as far west as you can get. what was the l.a.p.d. doing sitting up in the legal roadblock hundreds of miles to the east stopping other americans from coming into the state of california as the wood for a foreign country and where does the jurisdiction in the? longline lit? i don't get it. anyway, it was unconstitutional. they didn't care about it. what they were doing is stopping and turning back anybody who looked unemployable.
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that's the word they used. now how could you prove that you were not in unemployable? you would reach into your pocket is a pullout $50 if you could show $50 of the old to the border guard you might make it into the golden state of california where you would be sure to get a less than warm welcome anyway. so, woody took a look at the situation and he said kind of a musical postcard to the folks back home pulling up stakes coming back to california maybe they'd better think again. ♪ now lots of folks back east say they are leaving home most every day they're beating that old dusty way to the california wine. across the desert sand as they were getting out of that old dunstable they think they are coming to the sugar bowl chairs with they will find.
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the point of entry say your number 14,000 for today. and if you ain't got the do re mi then you better go back to beautiful texas. oklahoma, texas, georgia, tennessee. california is the garden of eden ♪ a. i still live in or to see ♪ ♪ but believe and are not coming you will find it so hot ♪ ♪ if you ain't got the do re mi ♪ now, you want to buy a home or farm ♪ ♪ ogle that can't deal nobody harm ♪ ♪ or take your vacation by the mountains or the sec told don't solve your old cow for a car, you better stay right where you
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are ♪ ♪ better take this little tip from the ♪ ♪ because i looked through the want ads everyday ♪ ♪ and the headlines on the people's always say ♪ ♪ if you ain't got that do re mi ♪ if you ain't got that old do re mi ♪ ♪ will then you better go back to beautiful texas ♪ ♪ oklahoma, kansas, georgia, tennessee ♪ ♪ california is a garden of eden ♪ a paradise to live in or to seize the ♪ ♪ but believe it or not, you won't find it so hot ♪ ♪ if you ain't got that old do re mi ♪ [applause]
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woody made it into the state of california and was there that he encountered the first time the word ♪ okie this was used to describe the migrants from the southern plains other in fact they were from oklahoma or not. i mean, those who were in the know might discriminate between okie of texas and things like that. but basically the formula would like this. if you're poor, white, homeless, unemployed and in california at that time you were a okie, no matter where you came from. and finally enough of your poor, black, homeless, unemployed come in california at time and from oklahoma you were not a okie. they were particularly white underclass and as i said they were the target of a really hysterical highly orchestrated campaign of state why the xeonophobia. so it's an atmosphere if you went to a movie theater in bakersfield or somewhere in the
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san waukee moly you might be met with a sign outside that says negros and okie upstairs. at least one is on record as having posted a sign saying no negros, dogs or okie served. so it is in that atmosphere that he began circulating around the migrant camps around me 1838, and this is where he began to run for the old radicals who had a sense of the bigger picture as they saw it and again, as joe klein describes it in the biography, as these old radicals around the campfire they would mutter have quickly about the capitalists, the rich bastards and then they would reach into their pocket and pulled out a battered old red card that proved they had been members of the wildest most violent julius and completely disorganized game ever to strike fear into the hearts of the american deutsch fauzi. industrial workers of the world.
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iww. i don't know why he uses the past tense. that's my membership card. try hard since it a lot of people think that they were wiped out in their great scare of 1919, hour 1920. we just went underground to wait for the invention of the internet. you can pay by direct debit. anyway, the old affected okie with their humor and their cynicism, with their enervate in particular the songs they sang out of their psalm book to fan the flames of discontent in the fall of the songs in that book the ones he would have loved the most probably worth 26 parody's prices lee fathi written by joe hill swedish born immigrant to the united states who became a martyr to the cause of american labor with his execution on a very dubious murder charge in the state of utah in 1915, students of american history, legal history would be aware of the string telegram that he sent
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to his colleagues the night before his execution. he said don't waste time morning back for me. organize. i think fewer people would be aware that he also said this in the same. he said if you do me a favor when this is all fer could you promised and you will get my body across the state line because i don't want to be caught dead in utah. well, the year before his death, joe wrote that a pamphlet, no matter how good is never read more than once. but a song is learned by heart and is repeated over and over so that is the sort of first lesson he told woody guthrie from beyond the grave as it were and the second is this. he said take a few cold, and since fact, put it into a song in the interest of the new coach of humor to take the dryness of of them and i think a lot of people would think of joe hill's we working in the sweet by and by as a case in point. joe hill took it and turned it into what did become the anthem
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to american labor in the first half of the 20th century the preacher and the sleeve. there are people who think that is the reason that he was really executed for writing that song and the preacher and the sleeve i will give you a little bit of a hand to meet its important. ♪ long haired creatures come out every night. they try to tell you what's wrong and right. but when asked how about something to eat ♪ ♪ they will tell you in the voice is so sweet ♪ ♪ you will eat by and by ♪ in that glorious land up in the sky ♪ ♪ working and living on hay ♪ you'll get policy in the sky when you die.
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a very influential solomon american labor history. [applause] and on woody guthrie. well, he got himself a job posting and singing on a progressive radio station in los angeles so that date is wrong it couldn't have been earlier than 1937 but does that said he also began to circulate air around the migrant camps and some of these were the cosmetic show places set up by the government, the security administration and these were great places to be. they were democratically run close self-governing, will provide it for, they were clean and sanitary read the only problem was it wasn't nearly enough of them to cope with the magnitude of the dust bowl crisis in california's of the majority of the camps that he would have visited were just basically slums. they called them hooverville anywhere across the country they were hooverville named after the president on whose watch the depression was ushered in. and these are places where you
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may be headed families of say eight or ten getting by on $3 a week between them picking cotton in the san waukee mali. back east president roosevelt actually declared if i went to work in a factory the first thing i would do would join the union. which sounded pretty good coming from the oval office i don't think any president had gone so far to enforce the rights of labor to organize. but even with that kind of backing the the reality for the radical migrants attempting to organize on the california fields that were crushed time and time again because the fruit crop growers heated unions of correction the heated unions formed by working people. they were really happy to form their own unions. what is the chamber of commerce but the union with as the manufacturers association the union? they have their own union they called themselves the associated farmers whose declared aim was to stand out old american activity among farm labor because if you're a worker forming a union you're own
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american. here are three of the associated farmers and kernan county california engaged in the american activity of their choice which was book burning, the burning of the copy of john steinbeck paulson as it is published in 1939. so you see they don't come out so good in that book. so this kind of extreme to call without. and when they were not book burning they were hiring local nunes and giving them baseball bats and sawed-off shotguns, billy clubs may be little badge to make them feel sort of authentic, sending them out to scatter picket lines to bust up unions, meetings, to burn down a burnout in tire migrant camps and of course to assassinate union organizers and this is the grateful thinks of the l.a.p.d. and the "los angeles times" and this migrant block since he took a look at that situation in wrote about it drawing partly on
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the grapes of wrath. how many of you have seen the film? so then you remember preacher casey, the preacher who becomes a union organizer and is subsequently and consequential the murdered by the vigilantes' in the associated farmers. ♪ ♪ ♪ have you seen that vigilante man
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♪ have you seen as a vigilante man ♪ ♪ i've been hearing his name all over the land ♪ ♪ lonely nights down in the engine helm ♪ ♪ sleeping just as still as a mouse ♪ ♪ lanham comes along and cheeses as out in the rains keep of ♪ ♪ was that the vigilante man ♪ malae traveled around from town to town ♪ ♪ traveling around from town to town ♪ ♪ they heard us around like a
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wild herd of cattle ♪ ♪ was that the vigilante man ♪ you know preacher kec was just a working man ♪ ♪ he said unite all you working men ♪ ♪ killed him in the river some strange man ♪ ♪ was that a vigilante man ♪ tell me why does the vigilante nan ♪ ♪ why does the vigilante man ♪ carry a sawed-off shotguns in his hand ♪ ♪ what he should his brother and
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sister down ♪ ♪ have you seen that vigilante man ♪ ♪ have you seen that vigilante man ♪ ♪ have you seen the vigilante man ♪ ♪ i've been hearing his name all over the land ♪ [applause] there's something interesting happening about now. he's beginning to listen to the radio really critically. all the migrants are gathered around the radio in the campaign he is listening along with them and for instance he's hearing the great big hit of the era and his hero's the carter family taking the old baptist hymn this world is not my home which you
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may know to give you a sense of its sentiment. ♪ this world is not my home. i'm just passing through. my trenches and my hopes are all beyond the bloom. many christian children have trouble on before i've got no home in this world anymore ♪ ♪ now woody loved american church music but he hated the sentiments of songs like that and i am pretty sure for instance he would have had a little angel of joe hill jumping up onto his shoulder and say woody in a situation like this here is what i would do with that song if i were you. ♪ something like this ♪ ♪ alladi a degano home ♪ i'm just traveling around ♪ and just a wandering worker
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♪ i'm going from town to town ♪ the police make it harder ♪ wherever i may go ♪ a bye eight got no home in this world anymore ♪ ♪ things like that it has the market joe hill oliver it i think. now during the depression woody begins to get particularly angry at the song's coming out of the popular music industry the great american song book which is pretty top-heavy with puzzles like both back to those days on the sunny side of the street. i love this for a country pact coast to coast to share an old town and the worst criticism that woody would give a fellow songwriter later on is it sounds too -- didn't like the popular music industry. i think he overstates the case in his contempt for the part of the music industry because you look at the song and there are some good songs coming out of the depression that do engage
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with the reali of the economic realities for instance. ♪ once i built a railroad ♪ i made a race against time ♪ once i built a railroad now it's done ♪ ♪ brother can you spare a dime great song. i love that song. there are few songs that managed to capture the helplessness and the despair of the depression-era. but my point is that hopelessness and despair is the last thing that he is out to crawl because he is getting angry at this plant. what he wants to crawl is a matter that would lead to an organized rebellion, reorganization of the social and the economic system. at this point he is dedicated to nothing less savanna the overthrow of american capitalism. so this is the time when in contradiction to its approach like brother can you spare a dime written by someone who became a friend of his and isasi
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plater on the great radical songwriter lyricist, and in contrast to that approach woody is beginning to get interested in the old oh-la-la balad that his mother used to sing to him when he was growing up in oklahoma. the border about what in britain would take a highwaymen and turn him into a sort of crusader for economic and social justice. this is about the time that he is shot into his notebook i love a good man outside of the law as much as i a bad man inside of the law and he starts writing his own out of ballots. for instance he chooses a as a subject and probably the most famous outlaw somebody who probably didn't deserve the honor conferred upon him this is a local local, petty thief bank robber sort of general all-around scumbag named charles arthur floyd. there is no evidence in the historical record that he had any kind of a social conscience
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whatsoever. it doesn't matter. he could become somebody for whom digging for a bond would be an act of self the trail but more importantly he takes on the responsibilities of capitalism of ignoring it is pretty boy floyd who ignores someone will drop you with a fountain pen. he begins writing about the british highwaymen who takes all the money and distributes it and spreads it out equally just like the bible and profits suggest. and i think of all of his talk about what's the one that shows which we he's giving is in doubt about written about somebody who is just plain old working man and perhaps the world's first socialist. as he puts it into the mouth of one of his characters in the autobiographical novel bound for glory he's got them sitting around a campfire and one guy says to everybody else i will tell you one thing. if jesus christ were sitting right here right now she would
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say the very same thing. he would tell you we've all just got to work together, build things together, clean out gold fell off together to fix old films together and zero of the things together jesus don't care if you call it socialism or communism are just mean to you. i think it's significant that his bout of jesus christ makes this connection with the holy outlaw even stronger because he bases the today of the format correction he rips off 100% looks to be a girl but the format from the old american of all barrett to the cabal that jesse james. ♪ jesus christ was a man who traveled through the land ♪ ♪ he was a hard-working man and brave ♪
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♪ he said unto the rich good with the poor ♪ ♪ so they laid jesus christ in his grave ♪ ♪ jesus was a man in the carpenter by hand ♪ ♪ with followers true and brave ♪ but that dirty little coward they called judas ♪ ♪ healy did jesus christ in his grave ♪ ♪ he went up to the preacher and he went up to the share of ♪ ♪ and he told them all the same ♪ he told them that the poor would one day when the war that's why they lead jesus christ in his grave ♪ ♪ the people of the land took jesus by the land and followed him far and wide ♪ ♪ he said i come not to bring peace, no i come spring a source
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♪ so they killed jesus christ. jesus was a man and a carpenter by hand ♪ ♪ whose followers true and brave. but that dirty little cowbird they called judas ♪ ♪ well she lead jesus christ in his grave ♪ ♪ the people hold their breath when they learned about his death ♪ ♪ and everybody wondered why ♪ it was the landlord and the lawyers and the soldiers that he hundred ♪ ♪ that nailed jesus christ in the sky ♪ ♪ this song was written in new york city ♪ ♪ of richmond, preacher and sleeve ♪ ♪ and jesus preached today like he preached in gallegly ♪ ♪ they would lay jesus christ in
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his grave ♪ ♪ jesus was a man in the carpenter by hand ♪ ♪ his followers true and brave ♪ but that dirty little power they called judas iscariot ♪ ♪ he played christ in his grave ♪ is the patience of the workers fades away ♪ ♪ it will be better for you rich if you had never been poor ♪ ♪ because you've played jesus christ in his grave ♪ ♪ jesus was a man and a carpenter by hand ♪ ♪ fall was true in the brave ♪ but that dirty little cow word that they called a judas
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iscariot ♪ ♪ he laid jesus christ ♪ lead jesus christ ♪ lead jesus christ in his grave [applause] >> that song was written in 1940 and was the end of an era because the previous year president roosevelt announced that the great social experiment of the new deal was being officially wound up and the government resources were being redirected to concentrate on increasingly shall we say global issues. and so it is the bitter cold new year's of 1940 woody guthrie has decided to make new york city his home and he's hitchhiking north and east out of texas. and it seems that on every car radio on every road house
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jukebox he hears what appears to him to be the latest self righteous complacent patriotic offering 3940. case smith singing god bless america. now, there are two ways of reading that song. you could read it as the fearful hope of a russian jewish immigrant to the united states whose watching nervously the rise of fascism in europe and praying that will not hit here. that's one way of reading it. it is and how he saw it. he saw it as another unbelievable assertions from the industry that there could possibly be in other flea solution to the earthly problems. he hated this song so much that he sat down and wrote an angry song in response to it and it became his most popular. nearly 30 years later after woody finally died from the huntington's disease that he
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inherited from his mother and which had progressively silenced him for what the 1950's and the release 60s his son did call the irony of that particular songs history he said i remember him coming home from a hospital and take me out to the back yard just him and me and him teaching me the last three versus two this land is your land because he thinks if i don't learn them and no one will remember them. he can barely strummed a guitar at this point and his friends think that he is drunk or crazy and they stick him in the room in a mental hospital. then when he can't write or talk or do anything at all anymore he hits it big. all of a sudden everyone is singing his songs. kids are singing this land is your land in school and kids are talking about making it the national anthem. bald dillinger of all those others are copying him and he can't even react to it. the disease doesn't affect his mind. he's sitting in a mental
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institution and he knows what's going on but he can't tell anyone how he feels or what he thinks. this land is your land began life with the title god bless america. if you see the manuscript you see god bless america and it contains a couple of killer anticapitalistic versus that i don't remember sitting in school. do you? a lot of americans never even heard him until january of 2009 when pete seeger and bruce springsteen sings them in the steps of the lincoln memorial at barack obama's inaugural concert and the next day newspapers across the country are saying we that's he wrote it? yeah that's the way he wrote it. so i will hit you the version that pretty well charts the progression of the song from the pingree and bitter satire that it was to the unofficial national anthem that it eventually became it i will think you for coming out and listening tonight. ♪
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♪ i walked that highway into salt of the the endless sky. i saw below me the golden valley ♪ singing god bless america for me ♪ ♪ i roamed and i rambled ♪ to the sparkling sand of the desert in the world we the voice
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kept saying ♪ ♪ god bless america for me ♪ the sun came shining while i was strolling ♪ ♪ the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling ♪ ♪ as the fall was lifting a voice was chanting ♪ ♪ god bless america for me ..
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♪ i stood there wondering about god bless america for me. ♪ nobody living can ever stop me because i don't walk in that freedom highway. ♪ nobody living can ever make me turn back because this land was made for you and me. ♪ this land is your land, this land is my land from california to the new york island. ♪ and from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters, this land was made for you and me. ♪
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♪ [applause] >> thank you very much, thank you. [applause] >> all this week we're bringing you booktv in prime time on c-span2. today we'll look at computers and technology. starting at 8 p.m. eastern, mark bowden's book, "worm." then paul allen's book, "idea man." later, walther isakson's book on steve job cans. steve jobs. >> with the iowa caucuses
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tuesday, january 3rd, c-span's cameras are following the candidates at events throughout the state and every morning live from iowa political guests are taking your calls on our washington journal program. you can also stay up-to-date with c-span's campaign 2012 web site with new features including candidates on the campaign trail. candidates on the issues lets you see what the candidates have said on issues important to you, and at social media buzz, read what the candidates, political reporters and people like you are saying on sites like facebook and twitter all at 2012. >> our campaign coverage continues today. we'll join the jan nicholson radio show in iowa, he'll talk to michele bachmann and ron paul. that's live at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span. later, an event with texas governor rick perry at a coffee company in in cedar rapids, ray,
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also on c-span. next, a hearing on homeless children and housing assistance programs. we'll hear testimony from current and former homeless children as well as housing and homeless services government officials. this house financial services subcommittee hearing is about two hours and 35 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> the subcommittee on insurance, housing and community opportunity will come to order. we are having a hearing today entitled the homeless children and youth act of 2011 proposal to promote economic independence for homeless children and youth. i'd like to welcome you all here today and, first of all, i'd like to thank the judiciary
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committee for allowing us to hold our hear anything this room. we usually are on the, at the, obviously, at the financial services committee, but they're doing some work to fix the walls because of the earthquake that occurred about a month ago. never thought that washington would have to repair walls from earthquakes, but that's the way it is. and i will, we'll now turn to opening statements, and without objection, all members' opening statements will be made part of the record, and i will yield myself such time as i -- good morning, everyone, and i would like to welcome our special guests on panel one and especially the current or former homeless chirp and youth -- children and youth also in the audience. so welcome, welcome to you. and thank you so much for being here. and we hope that your first experience -- i assume that's your first experience with the u.s. congress as a witness or in
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the audience here, is a good one, one that will help many children in the, in this country. and i'd also like to recognize a now-formerly homeless family that was featured on "60 minutes" recently, the metzger family. so welcome -- maybe raise your hand so we can see where you are. thank you. thanks for being here. you know, children should not be without a home, and they should not have to fight to prove that they are homeless. and on this i hope we all agree, and today's hearing we'll examine h.r. 32, the homeless children and youth act of 2011 which will expand the mckenzie definition of homeless person so that homeless children and youth verified as homeless by other federal programs can access hud housing and services. we have a unique opportunity to hear from witnesses about the
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bureaucratic barriers that are preventing homeless children and youth from securing hud homeless assistance. our ultimate goal is to insure that homeless children and youth are eligible for hud homeless housing and supportive services. secure and more stable housing as well as supportive services will help kids stay in school and i void becoming tomorrow's homeless adults. these goals must be top priorities for federal agencies that have homeless programs. if federal programs are not working for the people they are intended to serve, it's our job to find the flaws and reform those programs. and during the past decade two significant reforms to the act have intended, been intended to help children and youth to more easily secure homeless assistance. but our work is not complete. this week the national center on family homelessness released a report revealing that one out of every 45 children in the united
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states is homeless. the department of education reported that student homelessness is on the rise, there are nearly one million homeless children in the united states. and these statistics are absolutely unacceptable. our subcommittee will work to identify the federal red tape that is standing in the way of local providers who are helping homeless children and youth to increase what they can do. we will pursue reform measures that break down those barriers. one such reform measure, h.r. 32, our subcommittee will likely consider when we come back in 2012. with that, i would recognize the gentleman from missouri, mr. cleaver, for opening statement. >> thank you, mad call -- madam chair. i would like to, first of all, extend a very warm welcome to
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the two young men and four young women who are testifying before this committee, and you are having an experience that hardly any other individuals your age will ever have. and that 3450e7bs that you're -- that means that you're now famous, you can start your own reality tv show. [laughter] thank you for being here. to share your own personal experiences. you can't turn on the television or go out any place during this time of year without seeing at least the attempt to create a festive environment. this is a holiday season that generally captures the attention of just about everybody in this
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country. it is difficult, however, for me having read your testimonies to feel the kind of fe l value -- festival atmosphere that i would normally enter during this time of the year. why? i have four children, and while i look like i'm in my 30s, i actually have three grandchildren -- [laughter] and it is a bit painful to read your testimonies. there are, there's nothing that can touch my soul as much as finding pain with young people. in my real life, i'm a united methodist pastor.
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and from time to time i do become involved in issues adversely affecting young people. and this testimony that i was able to read actually touched my soul and caused me to do a great deal of thinking last night as i was trying to sleep. and in my struggles last night trying to sleep after having read this, i thought to myself what about all these other kids around the country who have no place to sleep? i'm in my bed. across the street, i live in the methodist building, and i'm not able to sleep because i'm thinking, boy, this is terrible. and then i thought about people without a place to sleep, and that really created more pain.
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sometimes our discussions on the issues of homelessness can become extremely technical, and we become more involved in, um, you know, program, descriptions and specifics. but we cannot lose sight, we must not lose sight of the fact that this discussion today is about real people, real stories. and your testimony will help us to remember that. one thing we all know is that despite the efforts we have made over the past several years and the improvements that we've made with the act, there is still much that our federal agencies
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could do to improve coordination across programs and increase access to the services that are being provided. i think that today we'll hear some valuable perspectives on how we in congress can help, and i understand that our committee chair, ms. biggert's bill, is intended to reduce the barriers for services for children and youth who are in highly unstable housing situations but don't currently meet the hud definition of homeless. so i want to thank ms. biggert for her work, and, you know, there are very few conversations that we can have here in washington that will not include a discussion of dollars. for good or bad, that's the way it goes. and this discussion is no different. so we have to acknowledge that fact as we move forward. i want to thank you, madam chair, for what you've done and look forward to hearing your testimony. >> thank you, mr. cleaver. gentleman from ohio,
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mr. stivers, is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman, and i'd like to thank you for holding this hearing today to insure that homeless children and youth have access to homeless assistance and services. i appreciate that. i'm pleased to welcome private first class brittany amber koon who grew up much of her childhood in upper arlington, ohio, in my district, and she recently joined the united states military, the army, and completed her initial service and is stationed at fort hood, texas. i'm looking forward to hearing her testimony today, and i want to thank her and all the witnesses for sharing their stories. you know, one of the things that private first class koon's testimony reminded me, she has a quote in there that she liked the idea of taking her leadership skills to the next level and serve her country, and she decided to go on active duty because she would have training and a stable place to live. we have a lot of young folks in this country who have a lot to
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offer, and many of them are fighting homelessness, and i can tell you i'm pleased to join that fight with private first class koon and try to fight homelessness. and i think i'm looking forward to hearing the testimony of all the witnesses today. i appreciate your time, looking forward to hearing your testimony and appreciate the chairwoman for holding this hearing and looking forward to continuing the fight to make things better for young folks who are suffering from homelessness. thank you so much and welcome, privacy first class koon. >> thank you. mr. clear, you're recognized for -- >> thank you, madam chair. mr. george miller is here with us. he's not a member of this subcommittee, but i would ask unanimous consent to allow him to speak on this issue that he feels very strongly about. >> without objection. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam chair. madam chair, thank you for having this hearing, and i congratulate the young people who are here today.
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i don't think this is a usual situation, congress is not a usual place, so don't think this has anything to do with most of your real life. [laughter] but i want to be real clear. this proposal today is a good proposal. it's something that's long overdue, and i congratulate the chairlady for submitting it. but i also want to be very clear, this is not going to be the final answer to ending homelessness with children or with others. the only way this country's going to do that is to put money on the table to build more affordable housing. simple. otherwise, there'll be no place to go. simply getting a family into a shelter is better than not, but we can't just leave them in a shelter. that's not real advancement, that's not real opportunity. it is better than not, but we need to build affordable housing in this country right up the ladder for the people at the bottom, the next rung up, the next rung up, and we need to make sure those people can afford to buy a home in today's world, will be able to afford tomorrow by keeping mortgage
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rates at a ran level. -- reasonable level. otherwise, most of the world will be forced into subsidized housing, and if that happens, we'll never be able to build our way out of it. so i want to be real clear, this is a good proposal that is long overdue that i strongly support and i look forward to passing, but as far as i'm concerned if we really want to get serious about addressing homelessness in this country which, to me, this is a national embarrassment, it's a national embarrassment that we have children on the streets, a national embarrassment that we have veterans on the street, it's a national embarrassment that we don't take care of some of our children with mental challenges that are also on the street. i think it doesn't speak well for us as a society. so for me, this is a great thing, but i want to be very clear that this will not end homelessness. the only way for us to do that as a society is to be honest about it and to try to put money on the table to build more affordable housing so that people will be able to move up the ladder on their own.
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madam chair, i yield back the remainder of my time. >> thank you. mr. green from texas, you're recognized for two minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. please, permit me, madam chair, to thank you for hosting this hearing. it is without question one of the most important hearings that we will have and one of the most important hearings i think that i've been a party to, so i'm grateful that you have had the vision and the foresight to cause us to visit these issues. i would like to concur with my colleagues who have stressed the importance of the issue. i would also want to stress the importance of the fact that we can solve the problem. it is not something that is beyond our ability to resolve. so the question really isn't whether there is a way to resolve this issue of homelessness with our young
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people, the question is really whether we have the will, do we have the will to do it? if we but only have the will, this country which prides itself on its future will take charge and make sure that the future continues to be bright for all of our chirp. children. i thank you, and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. green. we're joined by ranking member miller, ranking member of the education and work force committee, and thank you for joining us, and you're recognized for four minutes. >> thank you, chairwoman biggert, for holding this hearing on such a critical issue facing our nation. i want to thank you for your leadership on this issue, you've been a consistent champion of homeless children and families, and it is a pleasure to partner with you on such important
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issues. i also want to thank all the young people who are here to tell their stories to the committee and to the congress. i can't hear how important to that congress hears directly on the realities that you and your families face because of the lack of adequate housing. i have served on the education committee for my entire time in office, and i know what a dramatic impact housing and mobility have on a student's education. public schools have a unique perspective on social and economic issues like homelessness. unlike other community service organizations, schools see the full range of children without housing, not just children and youth who make it into a she shelter, they see kids moving from place to place. none of these places should be considered a home. we know that the homelessness puts kids at risk, much higher risk of educational failure. students without stable housing have more attendance problems, and they don't do as well in school. student homelessness is also often overlooked as a contributor to the nation's dropout crises.
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without an education these students will have a more difficult time to obtain jobs that pay decent wages and are likely to experience homelessness as an adult. federal law requires schools to support homeless students in a number of ways including keeping homeless students in the same school when it is in their best interests and providing them transportation or immediately enrolling them in new schools. however, education is only part of the answer. in order for homeless students to succeed, they must receive housing and oh 130r9ive -- other supportive services that will enable them to concentrate on their education. unfortunately, school districts face barriers when they try to refer kids to the department of housing and urban development homeless programs because of the definitions in the -- difference in the definitions of homeless. this limits community collaboration and perhaps equally disturbing, this mismatch in definition also keeps the true scale of children in homelessness hidden from view. h.r. 32 is similar to legislation enacted, the child
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nutrition and higher education act. both of these laws help homeless kids get services by taking advantage of point people in the public schools. similarly, h.r. 32 gets rid of the interagency barriers by allowing school districts and liaisons and others to verify children and youth in hud and homeless services. these are absolutely critical that this coordination, collaboration and availability be made acceptable within the laws of this country so that these children will not have these artificial barriers to put up to stability in their residencies and stability in their educational attainment and stability in their family life so that they can continue to seek and to successfully complete their educational opportunities in this country, and i want to thank you again, madam chair, for holding this hearing and, again, thank you to the students who we're going to hear from. >> thank you very much. and now we'll introduce all of the panel members, and then
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we'll come back, and you'll each have five minutes around that time to your statement, and so we'll start with, first of all, over here we have brandon dunlap from chicago, i'll. next is rumi khan, sixth grade, lambert middle school, carlisle, pennsylvania. thank you for being here. then brittany amber koon, pfc at ft. hood, texas. thank you forking with here. -- for being here. and ms. brooke pastor, seventh grade, william paca middle school, shirley, new york. thank you for being here. deathny raynor, ninth grade, winter springs high school in sanford, florida. it's a little cold here, isn't it, compared to that? and then -- and i don't know if i'll say this first name right, starnica?
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rodgers, ninth grade, winter springs high school in sanford, florida -- i'm sorry, ms. starnica rodgers, truman college, chicago, illinois. thank you for being here. with that, without objection, your written statements will be made part of the record, and then you'll each be recognized for a five-minute summary of your testimony. so we'll start with you, brandon dunlap. >> good morning. thank you for having me here today to testify in support of h.r. 32. i am from chicago, illinois, i graduated from kendall college and currently work in the food and beverage department of the union league club. i am proud of what i've accomplished so far, but it's been very difficult. a safe and secure place to live would have been, would have been very helpful to me in many ways. for most of my childhood, i did not have a stable place to live. my parents got separated when i
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was young. after they split my mom, sister and i ended up living with different relatives and friends. since then my mom got and lost a number of apartments, and when we were not together, i had to move from place to place. the summer before my junior year i received a phone call just before work from my sister stating that the sheriff was there to put our things on the street. my mother was nowhere to be found. i went to work with tears in my eyes not knowing where i was going to go for the night. the tears wouldn't stop, so my manager offered me to go home. the tears came even stronger than possible because i had no home to go to. on that night i stayed with my cousin. however, he didn't allow me to have a key to come and go as i pleased, and there wasn't enough room for me or even a bed. i slept on the floor under the pool table. some nights i would travel a long distance on public transportation from school to work, often in bad weather only
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to find that my cousin was not home, and i needed to find somewhere else to stay for the night. i would scramble to call different friends and family members and then get back to the bus to travel a long distance to another place to stay. i developed a rotation theory in which i would try to avoid staying in the same place two nights in a row. i had to have a plan and then a back-up plan and then more plans just in case the back-up plan didn't work. the time and energy it took for me to figure out where to sleep each night and travel to get there, plus my job at subway, left little time for homework. i faced many barriers to housing in my life. my mom had issues she needed help with, but if she had stable housing with services, she may have been able to address those issues, and my homelessness could have been prevented. i thought i was on my own in high school, i could not afford my own housing, and even if i could, no one would rent to a
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teenager. although people in my school helped me with other things, nobody was able to help me with my living situation. i would have loved someplace to live that was safe, warm and consistent. a healthy place to do homework, go to school, work, eat and live my life. it would have been very difficult to verify my living situation growing up, to ask for proof that an adult allowed me, a homeless child, to live with them for only 14 days would possibly cause some adults to feel guilty or worried that they could get in trouble. i didn't want anyone that was helping me to get tired of my presence. asking them for verification would be another burden for them. for the same reasons, i would not feel comfortable asking them to say that i moved twice within 60 days. most people knew only what i told them about my living situation and didn't keep track of the number of moves. also, family members would have
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been reluctant to show something that might prove my parents weren't caring for me. i didn't want what to risk involving any authorities because i can't them going after my parents. if in order to access housing services i had to show that i would likely be homeless for a long time, that would be difficult for me because as i would always hope that i wouldn't be homeless for too long. i'd also like to repeat something i said in the beginning of my statement. i'm proud of what i've accomplished. when i was homeless, it was like steering a ship in a storm on the open ocean. above all else, this situation has forced me to look to myself for success. however, i hope that other young people do not have to go through what i went through. i hope that the situation of young people who are staying temporarily with friends and family is considered homeless by all government agencies and given assistance with a stable place to live. thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my experience with you today. >> thank you so much.
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we have rumi khan, you're recognized for five minutes. >> good morning, ms. biggert and all the committee. thank you for holding this hearing so you can learn about homelessness from how we see it as kids. my name is rumi khan, and i'm 11 years old. i'm in sixth grade at lamberton middle school in carlisle, pa. me and my mom are homeless. we got that way because my dad was abusing me and my mom. he hit me and called me stupid stupid and hit my mom. we left in june last year. she tried to find a shelter for us to stay in, but they didn't have any room. one of her friends from work offered to let us stay there. her friend changed and would get really mad, get really mean with me. sometimes she was nice, but you never knew when she would smack her son or pull his hair.
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once the lady pushed me up the stairs, and she was really mad at me. when my mom said something to her about pushing me up the stairs, she told my mom to leave. another friend that my mom grew up with heard about our situation and invited us to stay with him. it turned out that he had mental problems and was a big liar. my mom tried to get us into shelters for families that have been abused, but we couldn't because of me. they don't allow older boys like me to stay there. we were in one shelter for a little while, but had a time limit, so they moved us into a hotel. it was really scary because drug dealers stood around outside, sometimes men would knock on our door, and when my mom would open it, they would just look at us, and my mom would try to not say anything to make them mad and tell them they had the wrong door. i didn't want anyone to know
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where i was staying. when the bus, when the school bus dropped us off, i waited until no one would see me, and i then went to the hotel. another friend said she had a spare room we could stay in, but then wife got mad, and we got kicked out. so we went and stayed as a motel for one night. it was better not being around all the fighting, but we couldn't afford to stay there longer than one night. we had to change states to find a place to stay. my mom's friends invited us to stay with her until we could find a place. it was really hard having to start all over again. we had to leave there, too, and stay in another hotel for one night, and then we got into safe harbor. staying with other people was tough. it was really hard adjusting to families, different lifestyles. if we crossed the line for some
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reason, boom, we're out. the hardest part was having to move so much and stay in so many different places. we lost everything. it affected my attitude because i lost all my friends over and over again. i was afraid to get close to people because i knew we had to move again. i struggled in school and came to school very exhausted because of having to sleep in different places, constantly moving and not being able to rest. i know my mom was thinking that we should maybe go back to my dad. i missed him a lot, but i knew he hadn't gotten any help, and i was too afraid that he'd hurt us again. now we're at least in one place, and i don't think we'll get kicked out, at least not for just, not for just nothing. moving around and staying with so many different people was being really hard. i hope that now that we're at
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safe harbor, we will be able to stay for a while and find a place to live. thanks for listening to what homelessness is like for me and my mom. >> thank you so much. and we have britney koon, you're recognized for five minutes. >> good morning. thank you, all the members of the subcommittee, for this opportunity to share my story today. my name is brittany amber koon, i was born in arlington, ohio, in a house that had been in the family for years unless it was foreclosed on. my mom, my sisters, my brother and i doubled up with a neighbor. that was the beginning of a look, scary journey -- >> brit any, could you pull the mic a little bit closer to you? thank you. >> that was the beginning of a long, scary journey of instability and lonely transition that would lead me to foster care and homelessness, but finally success as a proud member of the united states army.
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after aging out of foster care my senior year of high school, i became homeless again. i had a scholarship to college, but i lived in my car and on the couches of some relatives and friends for two months before college. housing solutions just didn't really exist. i made it through my first year of college, but as the year ended, i was again without housing. i crashed out on the couch of a girl i met at a party. after a couple l weeks, i was buying all the groceries and because she did not have a car and i did, i was expected to drive her and her kids wherever they needed to go. i felt stuck. this happens a lot when you are doubled up. you feel indebted to the people for letting you stay, but then you are taken advantage of by them. they took my money and told me i had to leave. i started hanging out at bars and nightclubs so i would have somewhere to go at night. i know it sounds dangerous, but i was making friends because they would let me come back and crash on their couches. at the time, i thought staying with these people was better than my car. in my car, i was in control and
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didn't have to worry about what would happen to me or people who would try and touch me when i was asleep. i wondered why there was no help. as it got colder, i asked angela to take me to a shelter, but there was a waiting list. i decided to move in with my boyfriend. then my relationship went bad, and he kicked me out. i was so stressed that i had to quit school for the second time. that is when i talked to angela's husband about going into the military. i decided to go active duty so i would have a training and stable place to live. i am now stationed at ft. hood, texas, even though i feel more stable and supported than i have in years, i still don't have a place to call home. i'm coming back for the holidays, but i still have to couch surf while i'm home. the people they couch surf with will only create problems and stress on us and more frustration with the system. none of the people i lived with would have been willing to document that i was living there. they would have been suspicious and afraid of getting in
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trouble. also many of them i didn't know well enough to ask them. i believe that allowing homeless education alley yea sons and others would be best because it would be easier for youth to trust adults we know. most who are doubled up are getting used. this is true of too many youth. in fact, to support me here today, danielle and shannon daniels because they also have been in my situation. it is very important for hud to count doubled-up youth because i don't think people realize how hard it is for them. if we were not counted, we can never be served effectively, recognizing that there are limited report resources, i would suggest increasing resources to those programs so that every youth could be housed. but ignoring us has only reinforced our knowledge that our community has abandoned us and nobody cares about us. like me, you have chosen to serve your country. just as you have faith in me
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that i will be out there protecting you, it is my hope that you will use your power here to protect youth like me. thank you again for this opportunity. >> thank you so much. next, we have brooklyn pastor. wrur you're recognized for five minutes. >> hello, my name is brooklyn pastor, i'm 12 years old, and i'm in seventh grade at william paca middle school in shirley, new york. i'm here today with my mom and also ms. benjamin from parent/child home program. i've lived in over 16 places in my life, six shelters, four times doubled up with many different people, and we had our own house six times. we had to go to emergency motel motels -- emergency motel rooms many other times in between shelters and houses. i really hate moving from place to place. it's so hard because you get to know people, and then you have to move.
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it made my life hard. when we lived with other people, they were not nice to us. we couldn't ask them for anything, they were mostly mad that we were there and did not want anyone else to know, especially their landlord. they would never let us say where we were, my mom couldn't tell anyone where we lived or for how long. it was like being ip visible. the hardest thing about living with other people is watching my mom cry because the people would yell at my mom because we did not have any money, and they would yell at us to get out. it hurt me to see my mom hurting, and i couldn't do much to help her. i am always trying to help my younger sister and brother to decrease my mom's load when she comes home from school -- wait, when i come home from school. mom has enough to do, so i try to play with them and keep them happy. so i do that at home and maybe
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not so much homework. i do not have time to social eyes because -- socialize because i am looking to see if i can help mom. i follow her around to try to keep things going. if my mom is late for a bill, i worry and get afraid and do not ask her for anything until it's paid. it's especially hard for my 2-year-old brother because he does not understand why mom is always crying. he cries too. he asks her not to cry. he wants mom's attention. she has to go out a lot to work and to appointments. he has to stay with different people. he has no daycare or prel school because there's no money for that transportation and no openings near us. there are no services for his age except the parent/child home program that comes to us. we are in a house now, but things are not perfect. we had a hurricane, and the roof caved in, and my ceiling is still hanging, and it is not
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fixed, and the landlady yelled at my mom. i do not want to ever be homeless again. i think the only way we will never be homeless again is if my mom got a different job, a real job in an office or something. she works in a restaurant, and i hope that will happen soon. this year my mom got her high school diploma and a driver's license, and she is going to school in a few weeks to be a certified nurse's assistant. wait. [laughter] the things that help my mom go through all this is being close -- the things that help us go through this is being close to my mom, being close to god. mom does good things for people even when we don't have enough money, and i know god will help us. i would like people to know that it is different going through this than just hearing about it. you never experience being
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homeless, it is hearing about it or watching a movie about it. you are in it. there are a lot of kids going through it. thank you. >> thank you so much. and we have destiny raynor. you're recognized for five minutes. >> hello, my name is -- hello, my name is destiny raynor, and i'm a freshman at winter springs high school in florida. i'm here with my father and my sister, kimberly. i would also like to introduce you to the metzger family. they were homeless in central florida, too. my parents used to have this thrift shop and a beauty store. we lost our house when the economy got really bad, and we had to close all of our stores. both my parents didn't have a job, and they just kept looking. that summer the power and water got shut off. we didn't have electricity or
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water for six months. we had to eat at the gas station at the corner because they had a microwave. the tie let smelled really bad because we couldn't flush because the water was shut off. we had to bring buckets to a local church to fill with water for the toilet bowl. my participants didn't want to go -- parents didn't want to go to a shelter because they split families up. we ended up moving in with my grandmother. this was horrible. it is a three-bedroom mobile home, but only two rooms were usable. my mother, sister and i leapt in one bed, my dad slept on a small couch, and my brother slept on a lazy boy chair. we stayed there two to three weeks until we couldn't take it anymore. my grandmother was also dying of cancer, so it was really hard. we move spood a motel. the school district homeless coordinator beth met us after one week and started to help us. my parents pay the bill if my dad is able to make money at the day work labor place.
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when we don't have the money, beth pays from her donation from her program. beth is here today too. the hardest thing about live anything a motel is being on the bus and watching all of the other kids getting off knowing that they are going to their own home, and i am going back to a one-room motel. it makes me feel really upset. prior to planning the trip to washington, i only told one friend, jonah, about the situation. i was afraid that people would talk badly about the situation, and we would be called poor and homeless. my teacher announce inside class that we should all donate and help the homeless kids because they are poor. she was talking about me. i know how bad it feels. it is just that any minute you can be kicked out of the motel if you do something wrong or if your participants don't have the money. you can't go to your own room and have your own privacy. i was doing really well in school, as and bs, but since this has happened, three of my grades drop today cs and ds. i am now working on bringing
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them back up. once families in transition started helping, it made et easier and took a little weight off my shoulders. now i feel i can focus more on my school rather than the home situation. it's still hard for my family. even is just too loud in one room, and my brother always gets a headache. my parents have no personal bonding time with each other anymore. they are always busy making sure that we are taken care of, and they have enough money to pay for the room. i have seen my dad cry the last month more than i have in my entire life. when i see my father cry, it hurts me a lot because i know he is trying his best, and it still isn't good enough. it makes me feel scared like we will never get out. like last week he went the whole week without getting a job, and it was horrible. the families in transition program from the school was the biggest relief because they helped us so much. they helped set up a school bus so my parents wouldn't have to stress about getting us to school, helped sign us up for a
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free breakfast and lunch program and a backpack program so every thursday our backpacks are filled with food. our food stamps didn't cover the whole month, and we would always run out the last two weeks. there are some programs that provide housing help, but we don't qualify because my dad doesn't have a regular job, and he doesn't make enough money. when beth pays for the motel room, we are considered homeless. when my dad pays, we are not considered homeless. that doesn't make any sense to me. it's the same hotel room, and it's hard to live in when you're young no matter who plays what we really need is a home of our own, and since two nights ago, that has now happened. our community has come together and provided my family with a home. i now know, i now know that my family's basic needs will be met, and i can concentrate on what is really important, my education. my prayer for today is that not only has our community stepped up for us, but now for our government to stand up for us as
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well and help all of the other homeless children so that they, too, can get a home as well. thank you for the opportunity to be here today. >> thank you so much for your testimony. we've been joined by another member of, from illinois, danny davis. ask unanimous consent that he be allowed to participate. without objection, so ordered. now we have t.a.r.p. ca rodgers. your recognized for five minutes. starnica rodgers. >> good morning, everyone, i am 18 years old, i have lived in chicago my whole life. thank you for the opportunity to testify here today. it is a true honor. currently, i am a student at truman college. i just finished my first semester and received one a and two bs. i am also eight months pregnant, and i'm expecting my baby boy
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next month. don't worry, i checked with my doctor, and she said it's safe to fly. [laughter] right now i am staying at a shelter for parenting teens on chicago's north side. it is ran by the knight ministry. when i first got here, i was very nervous, i was worried about being in a new environment. but now i realize that everyone is here for the same reason. we are all homeless and alone. since i have been here, i have found support from other girls and staff. they help me with my homework and find clothes for me to wear to school, and they are helping me find a more permanent place to live. i have been homeless on and off my whole life. my mom was a single mother with four kids and had worked minimum wage jobs her whole life. i remember watching my mother struggle to pay the rent and us having to go to a shelter when i was 5.
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i want my life to be better. as i grew up, my mom and i started getting into a lot of fights. she was verbally abusive to me and sometimes physically abusive. by the time i was 16, i knew i had to leave for my own safety. there i was, 16 and homeless. i went from house to house staying for two or three days at other family members' houses not knowing where i was going to end up. throughout the struggles i was dedicated to graduating high school no matter what. i worked with the mckinney-vinto counselor so i could get free transportation to get to school. i graduated this year, and i am very proud of that accomplishment. i am now in college. i am on the drama team, and i was elected to student senate. i have graduated -- i will graduate college no matter how hard the obstacles may be. with a college degree, i know that i will be able to get a
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good paying job with a guaranteed salary. my dream is to be a social worker to help people that are going through the same struggles i have faced. right now i'm working into a transitional program also run by the knight ministry. the program receives federal hud funding, but there is not enough housing programs in chicago for people like me. before i got into the program, i had to call over 25 different programs, but they were all full or had a wait list. i have had to struggle my whole life to find a place to call home, so i hope that you understand how important stable housing is to a young person. without these programs i know that i wouldn't be able to attend college. i would be too busy worrying about where i was going the stay every night. thank you for listening to my story, and thank you for


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