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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 25, 2013 4:00am-6:01am EST

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>> my question is for health care plan was passed in is called the obamacare plan now. is that the plan the republicans are posed in 93 basically them yet now that it was passed, they posted? and what you do, and on that. >> the individual mandate concept that is the underpinning of the affordable care act, obamacare was actually can eat by the heritage foundation, which is obvious the conservative think tank. one embraced by republicans in the early 90s and for some reason now that it was embraced by president obama, suddenly it is a government takeover of health care by their definition and that's about the worst you can do. look, the affordable care is not perfect. i could not name a piece of legislation that would never pass in 200 years that's
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perfect. the founding fathers set up a first tee with the imperfections. it's called working together to solve problems. if there's a thick, thin me to be ironed out, glitches like fixing the website. obviously the website should work. the affordable care act as i described this afternoon is so much more than a website. it means so much more to millions of people. i'm ready. all of my colleagues on my side of the aisle are ready, willing and able to hammer out some of those problems that crop up. what we are not willing to do was repeal it and go backwards. [applause] >> is there any chance that congress will work together? specifically, i'm a lemonade in the salary cap on the fakir reductions. >> , federal reductions? >> fica for social security. >> you now, that concept is part
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of the broader discussion, which i hope we get to in congress on what to do about making sure that we had to do one terms of the sea of social security. it's really important and there's a variety of different things we can do. i actually talk about this. there's a safety net chapter for the next generation that i talk about medicare and social security and medicaid and some of the things we could do, one of which is if you take off that cap, the income cap, in a 75 years of solvency to social security. 75 years. now, will wealthier people, obviously you make of the $107,000 care that now they are paying taxes on all their income? sure. but the whole point of last year's election, remember we debated this for the whole presidential election in 2012,
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whether everybody should have a fair shot and a fair shake and everybody should pay their fair share. why should wealthier people pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes into the safety net programs that are so essential so we have the minimum floor through which we are not going to flout our frail seniors to slip through. the answer is they should ever have to focus on working towards that goal. thank you. >> i congresswoman, nice to see you again. >> you, too. >> my question is about the gridlock. yesterday, george goodman, we have a discussion about woodrow wilson and peter roosevelt. specifically wilson. he used to go down some are called the presidents room in congress. when asked about how gridlock -- how it seems to be moving, one of the suggestions from the other speaker is maybe the president should be using that
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room. another suggestion and i wonder if you comment on what can be more engaged with congress. another idea that was talk about it at pml was the idea that numbers are spending so much time raising money. so in addition to what you spoke about, not living in 10, which was also does a come as the idea to go home. so is there some campaign-finance solution we can put in place quite >> so the presidents room is on the senate side of the capitol. you know, that question i sent ms. morse embolic of the larger question, what can president obama is typically due to engage congress more? you know, i think the whole notion and criticism of president obama that is out there that is not engaging in congress is pretty overwrought. you know, he cannot all the
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beers with members of congress what he wants. he could fill his calendar with those kinds of interactions. but if we know how a belly dance partner that wants to actually get to common ground and is worried more about whether they're going to dry tea party primary if they actually work with the president, then they are about doing the right things. then the in the barbecue isn't going to matter worth a of teens. another example, so i can make you understand that practice what they preach. in the summer of 2011, when we had the debt ceiling the first time he bumped up against defaulting. we ended up with the cuts only deal that resulted in the sequester, which we are still struggling to replace. that included $1.2 trillion in spending cuts only. really painful cuts, many of which i spent my career posing.
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i was one of the handful of democrats that combined with some republicans to pass idea because we were on the brink of default we cannot jeopardize the full faith and credit of the united states. i knew a lot of people in my district would be opposed and he voted in favor of that deal and those cuts. i had to decide, okay, have a built-in of trust -- i hopefully have built enough trust in this community i can come home to my constituents and explained even though they did 100% agree with you in my decision, they trust me enough that i'm willing to spend some political capital with my constituents that they understand they have really gathered the information made the best decision i thought we could make for the country. yeah, there is risk to that. they when you have significant issues facing the country, yours beats can't be more than doing the right thing. you really can't. you stand for reelection and hopefully the people think you did the right thing.
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if they don't, that's the way it goes. [applause] >> i like your take on what we see as the shift in the wealth of the country to be very, very tiny percentage it's only gotten worse and worse and worse since reagan, the republican god. we see our discussion of us socials purity as an example for the wealthiest to impose any proposal to eliminate that cap. what could he do when the wealthiest have the power to create a tea party was founded with coke money. >> let's not distract from the myth of the grassroots movement at the tea party professes to be. corporate infused, no question. >> how can we trust those things? if we don't, we'll end up like some of the countries that did very well be an increasingly
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rebellious disenfranchised majority? >> i think your faith should have been restored with the reelection of president obama last year. and here is why. because that election between mitt romney and barack obama presented to vary this gene to clear paths down which americans could choose to go. the path of the republicans in the tea party extremist, who really sought the solution to our nation's budgetary problem is cutting taxes for the wealth he and cutting spending. we watched that movie before and we thought the ending and didn't like it. barack obama and democrats in congress take a balanced approach to deficit reduction. make some difficult choices in spending reductions, but don't cut the heart out of our future like education and health care research they really would make us less competitive. also make sure umass people who
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can afford to pay a little bit more by closing tax loopholes that people have no business benefiting from and some of the tax cuts, which we did in january when we allow people who make less than $450,000 a year for their tax cuts to continue and who made more for those tax cuts to expire. we made some progress. we have to make more. i will tell you i think it's going to take another election for us to make sure we reduce the influence and not hold those tea partiers have on the two pathways in our ability to actually travel down the path of voters chose klosterman may be elected or obama president of the united states. >> madam congressman, this question was asked to president obama when he was senator obama when he read from his book seven years ago. the question is, are you going to run for president?
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[laughter] [laughter] >> wow, okay, thank you. [applause] you know i love that josh i have now so much. i love it so much i took a second job and president of him asked me to chair the democratic national committee. after he was reelected, yes we do a full four-year term as chair of the dnc. when the president asks you to watch his back and bring them across the finish line and when you are a gimme the ball person that i consider myself to be, being assured the dnc is the coach but human and now i get to run the ball. i'm going to run the ball and run for reelection and i hope that you give me the privilege of representing them in our nations capital. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for the question. i appreciate it. >> we are actually out of time, unfortunately. let's give a round of applause to debbie wasserman schultz. thank you.
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[applause] >> thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> book tvs live coverage of the 30th miami book fair continues from miami dade college. representative debbie wasserman schultz did about an hour and half or so will be joining us here on ours up for a call-in to have a chance to talk to her about him at the issues she raised in her presentation and in her book, "for the next generation." prior to that, jeremy scahill, author wrote "dirty wars: the world is a battlefield" will be joining us for a colonist well. the next panel, which is due to begin in 10 minutes is historian thomas cahill.
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his most recent book is called heretics, heroes: how presidents artisan reformation priests created our world. that is due to begin in about 10 minutes. we will bring it to you live from miami. the final event today is at 5:00 p.m. eastern time. that would be chris mathews of hardball and he's written several books. his most recent, tipping the giver when politics works. how will all be light this afternoon on booktv on c-span2 from miami. 15 years we've been covering this festival and we want to show you right now just a little bit of our past coverage. >> those of us intimidated by science, as should those of us who are. come all-star but the good news, which is that einstein was no einstein when he was a kid. he was serious low in learning how to talk, so it's low that they called him the dopey one in
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the family. they even can alter the doctor because of the slow verbal learning ability. i think the slow, verbal learning ability was one reason he was so visual and imaginative and creative. he would think visually. he would always try to think of what he called the tory offer visual thought it weirdness. every great advance he doesn't science is done through a visualized statics bierman. a visualized thought experiment is what you and i called daydreaming. but if you were einstein can eat get to call it a thought experiment. he was also rebellious as a kid. he was always question authority, which isn't something used to do much urban school system when he was growing up in the late 19th century. in fact, because one had mastered to amuse us by saying albert einstein will never amount to much and another had really sent them packing because he undermines respect for
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authority. i too think that is part of einstein's ability to think out of the box, to be imaginative, to be creative because he was always questioning every premise and always challenging every assumption. his ability to use bank and be curious in a visualized the way. you can see it at age five when his father gives him a compass. einstein said he sat up night after night watching the needle twitching point northward and trying to visualize what it would look like. you and i probably remember getting a compass when their age five. go outside, points north. about 90 seconds later, were on to something else. look, a dead squirrel. we forget about the rest of his life until his deathbed, einstein is visualized in
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gravitational fields, electrical fields, magnetic fields and trying to figure out how something could have a force between objects like that. one of the myths about einstein that is unfortunately not true is that he flunked math as a kid. he kind of wanted to be true. if you grupo einstein failed math, you get about 60,000 websites that say things like, everybody knows einstein felt not as a kid. so maybe there's hope for me yet. the reason it's not true is even though he was not very good in languages and was not very good at school, he was very good in math because he realized that was nothing he could visualized, that a mathematical equation is just a brush stroke for in physical reality. i was helping my daughter who is 17 with her math homework not too long ago. she had gotten an equation on should multiply. i said look at it.
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it has two x plus y squared. visualize what it's like. she said what do you mean? is that you can visualize an equation. said no, dad, that not how they teach math these days. well, einstein, who even i would probably admit is smarter than my daughter at age 17, at least in math, is not only visualizing equations, but looking at a new set of equations in the late 19th century the james clerk maxwell had, with called maxwell's equations. most of you know they defined an attic way for a late wave. the interesting thing if you visualized maxwell's equations or if your einstein a visualized maxwell equations, if you look at them, they always a one name, that the wave of light always travels at a con and speed. no matter how fast you're traveling, which we are going,
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towards the light, away from the light come in the equations say the wave is always god to travel at a constant speed. 186,000 miles per second or so. so einstein is a 17-year-old is trying to visualize this. he says what if i catch up? wi-fi right alongside and i go faster and faster as you and i'm writing right alongside the wave, catching up with the speed of light. wouldn't the wavelet stationery to me? maxwell's equations don't allow for that. it was a paradox from a contradiction that cost in such anxiety that he walked around for days on end with this palm sweating. i don't know about you, but it causes me to think about what was causing my poems to sweat at age 17 growing up in the war links. it was not maxwell's equations. but that's why he's einstein and the rest of the summer.
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he kind of you know, his teachers, he runs away finally. like my old friend dr. benjamin franklin, he becomes a 17-year-old runaway, running away if renée bridges will system. infrequent case a school system in boston in and skates the german school system where they make you memorize the equations, but it's not a very creative or imaginative way of turning. he runs away, finally gets to sit by and it applies to the second-best college in zürich. zürich polytechnic. he doesn't get in. as i say, those of us who were at a 19 year olds college this month, i've always want to meet the admissions director of this or polytech to turn down robert einstein. he gave been on a second car around. he gets in on the second try any dose moderately well at this or
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polytech. but his ability to challenge authority and question every promise comes back to haunt him. he's really able to tick off all of his professors. [inaudible conversations] >> that of course is walter isakson from 2007 when he wrote his book on alberta saying. live coverage from the miami book fair international 2013, 38th year. this festival has been held here 15 tier booktv has covered it. thomas cahill, heretics and heroes is the next author to be speaking my here at miami dade college. in the meantime, while we are waiting for professor cahill to get to the stage, let's show you a little bit more of our past coverage. >> i think all of us hunger for washington to deal with it.
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and for the news media to bring you as straightforward an account as possible and to hold people to account. so when talking back, try to trace back, how did we get to this place? there was, you know, in my own career in journalism, i covered energy in the first energy crisis when jimmy carter was president. i had just come to washington a couple years earlier. i was recruited by a vocalist nation in maryland because they figured that anyone who covered the philadelphia big democratic machine outside by a very controversial, very colorful man had learned enough about corrupt politics to cover maryland. [laughter] so i was up almost literally because one of the issues with the federal court case involving the mail fraud conviction
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ultimately the conviction was overturned. who had tried to racetrack with a motley collection supposedly in the interim. well, it's very colorful and i was thrown right into this. ..
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>> so all the guys or were going, d i wasn't sent. which is another theme of the book, the role of a woman many this business at a time when i first became a reporter in philadelphia and i was told and tried to get this job right out of college, and i was told there is no room for broads in broadcasting. [laughter] and that's the way it was. and so i volunteered to get an entry-level job even though i'd been hired in a management training program, an entry-level job in the newsroom as a copy boy which is the first chapter of "talking back." and it involved the midnight to eight shift. all my friends were in graduate school or law school or med school, and i was working for $50 a week trying to run coffee to the anchormen and exist in this i tumultuous atmosphere. it was the '60s, and there were demonstrations. we were in the middle of the civil rights movement, we were in the middle of the anti-war
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movement. martin luther king was assassinated, then bobby kennedy was assassinated, our cities were erupting. there was a lot to cover, and it was a fascinating time to be a reporter. so having learned as much as i could in philadelphia, i was recruited to come to washington as a local reporter for the cbs station, and there i was covering the federal bribery trial of the governor of maryland and eventually was hired by the network. and what then ensued has been a fashion fating -- fascinating, fortunate number of experiences covering, first, jimmy carter. i was the most junior correspondent recruited to help out on holidays and weekends covering president carter. and that meant going to plains, georgia, for thanksgiving and christmas. well, i don't know how many of you have been to plains -- [laughter] may i suggest that not even rosalynn carter wants to spend
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christmas this -- no, that's probably not true. but it is a small town, so small that the nearest best western where we stayed was in a town called america. it's up the road. so we basically would go and accompany the president of the united states when he went to his mother's house, miss lily's house, at 5:30 in the morning on christmas morning to begin opening their presents and then go to miss ali's house, the mother-in-law, rosalynn's mom. when they'd open their presents there. and it was it was, shall we say, not the greatest assignment a correspondent be -- ever had, but there were some side benefits. we got to go to sunday school, and i was a pool reporter offer covering what the president of the united states would preach on sunday morning. you then communicate that to all your colleagues, and so i worked my way up in television and eventually after covering energy
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three mile island happened. and so five days into that assignment i realized, as i say, that no one had p cement me. to i walked -- sent me. so i walked into the bureau chief's office and i said you haven't sent me, you've sent all the guys. and he said in his most fatherly way, well, you're of child-bearing anal, and i didn't want to risk -- age, and i didn't want to risk sending you into that zone. and i found myself saying to my boss, well, has it occurred to you that men are as vulnerable to radiation -- [laughter] as women's ovaries? and i was on a plane the next morning. [laughter] >> and that was andrea mitchell from 2005. of course, she's still with nbc and msnbc. live coverage from the 2013 miami book fair international. that's a live street scene you're seeing outside of
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miami-dade college, and inside chapman hall just above that street, the audience is getting ready for the next event, and that is thomas cay hell who has -- cahill who has written a new book. he's written several books, but his newest, "heretics and heroes," this'll be beginning in just a second. after that the rest of the schedule for today, jeremy scahill will be joining us for a call-in, so if you're interested in mr. scahill and "dirty wars," you'll have that opportunity in about 45 minutes followed by a call-in with representative debbie wasserman-schultz for "the next generation," her book. you just saw her if you've been watching. and finally, the last author event from chapman hall today is chris matthews, "tip and the gipper," that begins at 5 p.m. eastern time. that's our schedule for the rest of the day, so live coverage continues now with thomas cahill, "heretics and heroes." ♪ ♪
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♪ >> good afternoon again and welcome. we're about to begin this session. please take your seats. let me again welcome you to miami book fair international. i'm malau harrison, and i've been a volunteer for about 23 years and counting. [applause] thank you. and i'm truly, truly happy to join everyone here today in celebrating the book fair's 30th anniversary. so thank you for being here. let me also thank miami-dade college and all of the volunteers, students, faculty and staff for coming together each year to present this wonderful book fair for the enrichment of our community. thanks also to our sponsors, ohl as well as american airlines and to to our friends, those of you who are seated here and those who are not in this room,
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probably perusing the other areas of the fair. thank you so much to the friends of the book fair for all of your support over the years and your support that will continue, i'm sure, in bringing this book fair for another 30 years hopefully. without further ado, let me say that we're asking you to consider making a donation to the fair. how many of you have heard about texting mbfi to 4141 -- 41444? okay, many of you. so we're asking you to do that today. consider a $30 donation, and that's in recognition of our 30th anniversary. if you'd consider that, we'd be greatly appreciate thetive. so without further ado, let me bring on professor rogers, and he will make the introduction of our featured speaker. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> it's a real treat, a real pleasure and honor to introduce you to thomas cahill. [laughter] and so it's a real treat, it's a real pleasure, it's a real honor to be here today to introduce you to thomas cahill. you know, there are authors who write books about things that matter, and there are authors who write books that matter. and occasionally an author comes along who writes a book and accomplishes both. and when that happens, we have an extraordinary opportunity, a rare opportunity to piece -- to see a little bit more deeply, to glimpse the heart of who we are as human beings. for those of you who are familiar with the writings of thomas cahill, then i need not tell you that he is one of these authors and that "heretics and heroes" is one of these books.
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and for those of you who are new to thomas cahill, well, you're if for a big treat. in "heretics and heroes," we are sort of given and afforded the leisurely stroll through the thrilling period of the renaissance and the reforbe mission. reformation. illuminating in this pathway are extraordinary works of art, great moments of discovery and invention. and the ongoing struggle of religious and secular power. and in that regard there is a current that runs through so many of his books and of this one, of the great cruelty that we human beings inflict on one another again and again. and at the same time of our extraordinary capacity to find ways of of relating to each other out of which we feel and communicate extraordinary love and compassion. i think that thomas cahill wants
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to remind us of these two aspects of who we are. and in this book especially of the aspects of us that are good and of our capacity to accomplish extraordinary and wondrous things so that as our history continues to unfold fresh with promise and possibility, we move into the future aware of the firmness of our step and of the consequence of our journey. now, in addition to being an extraordinarily gifted writer, thomas cahill is a scholar and a gentleman, and you will find peppered throughout this wonderful book beautiful moments of humor and wit as well. i know that we are all excited to be here to listen and learn from thomas cahill so, please, join me in welcoming him here
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today. [applause] >> thank you, scott. thank you, everyone. i can't tell you how happy i am to be here. i love miami, and it always is different every time i come back. it aa maizes he. amazes me. and one of the most amazing things about miami which is always the same is the presence of mitchell kaplan. [applause] the last time i was here, i said i thought books and books was the best book shop in the galaxy. [applause] but i've come to believe that mitch is one of the people who holds the universe together. [laughter] heretics and heroes is a book
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about the two great forces that shaped the modern western world as we still experience that world today. one of these forces is nationalism, and the other is religion. more precisely, the book is about how the emerging nationalisms of western europe acted upon the sensibilities of human beings and still act upon those sensibilities and about how the experience of personal faith and practice partly informed by these emerging nationalisms brought about new religious insights as well as permanent fractures within the unity of western christianity. today i'd like to focus briefly on nationalism and then spend the rest of our time together talking about the force of religion. but i won't talk directory about the book "heretics and heroes."
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that's for you to read later. i've noticed that many author talks are basically advertisements for their book, and i'd like to give you something more, a sort of analog experience. during the height of the cold war, i heard a joke from an old italian priest -- a joke that still has some truth in it. nato exercises were many progress over western -- were in progress over western europe to train new paratroopers from different nations. and the great moment for any novice paratrooper is the moment that he finally jumps. or doesn't. and the instructor knowing in this decided to try to motivate
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each of his students in just the right way at that moment. so the first one to come forward was an american, and he says to him if you jump, it will be very all american. the american jumps. it's an italian joke. [laughter] the next one is a frenchman, and he says, you know, if you jump, it will be, tres sportif. [laughter] so the frenchman jumps. and the next one is an englishman, and he says to him, if you jump, you'll get a lot of pun. the italians think of the english as money grubbers because as they go through europe, they're always looking for good value. [laughter] and the italians have it a little wrong, but, you know, anyway, the next one is a german, and he says to him, i order you to jump. [laughter] and the last one is an italian,
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and he says to him, you know, jumping is forbidden. [laughter] well, her recently -- more recently i was told the joke by an australian physical therapist that somewhat updates and expands the latin -- the italian joke. and this is what will heaven be like. well, in heaven the french will be the chefs. [laughter] the italians will be the lovers. the english will be the police. the germans will be the engineers. and the swiss will be in charge of making sure that everything runs on time. [laughter] in hell, however, the english will be the chefs --
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[laughter] the swiss will be the lovers -- [laughter] the germans will be the police, the french will be the engineers -- [laughter] and the italians will be in charge of making sure that everything runs on time. [laughter] recently, angela merkel said i am so happy that i was born if a northern temperate climate and i never need to take a siesta. [laughter] she's missed a lot of pleasure. [laughter] the cultural and emotional preferences and prejudices of
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each society limit that society's ability to enter into dialogue and compromise with a different society. even if two societies are as physically close as italy and germany hidden from each other by a dramatic screen called the alps, so much for nationalism. and now to religion. high in the shining mountains of greece just below the slopes of mount b parnossis, lie the ruins of the sapping chew ware of -- sanctuary of pith yang apollo at dell my. today the ruined sanctuary remains the most spectacularly beautiful site in all of greece. once upon a time, however, it served as greece's most sacred place of worship and was
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called -- [inaudible] the naval of -- the knave vel of the earth. from here the prison tease of apollo issued her revered oracles for telling things both wonderful and terrible. we know now that the press he's was high -- priest's was high. whether or not these fumes made her oracles chew or fact white house, i can't say. though i can tell you that there was -- there's no record that any man or woman among the ancients ever questioned the absolute truthfulness of her ambiguous replies. there's no one left who still believes in the god apollo, so we may today turn away from the priest he'ses without first ado.
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still, before abandoning dell my altogether, we may wish to recall the solemn words that were once inscribed above its portals, carved into the cornice were several sayings. the most solemn of these and the most oft-repeated sentence in all the ancient world was this -- [speaking in native tongue] no thyself. it was not a sentence to be turned away from then or now. those simple, straightforward words must have sent a kill through ancient worshipers and pilgrims as they approached the great temple of apollo. know thyself. so, foo, these rez -- so, too, these resonant words stopped in their tracks those super-serious christians who in the last days of the western empire abandoned the lively greco roman cities and set out for the cityless
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deserts to become the first christian hermits, monks and nuns. know thyself, they said to one another. that is the first task, the task of a lifetime. in this way the most exalted wisdom of the acomment pagans became the motivating wisdom of christian asset schism, the first and last rule of all interior life, know thyself. what kind of knowing is knowing one self? it's not like knowing russian irregular verbs or the principles of thermodynamics. those are things we cannot know until we learn them from a book or from a teacher. but no one can teach me more about myself than i can by looking inside and coming to terms with who i am, with all my vir dues -- virtues and all my
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vices and then finding appropriate ways to water those virtues and starve those vices. the course of such an endeavor, of such a quest is the course of an entire lifetime. we can never know too much about ourselves. and we always have more to learn. as the greeks understood and as their tragic dramas reveal, much of who i am is hidden from myself. many of the mistakes i make in my life are the result of the concealing of myself from myself. and the qualities i treasure most in myself can sometimes be the very things that will bring about my doom and downfall. it's not so much that the gods are arranged against me, it's rather than often enough i'm ranged against myself, often enough without even being aware of it.
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but if smug self-satisfaction, for instance, is never an admirable personal quality, it becomes no more admirable when exhibited by a religious figure or a religious movement. religion so often used to cloak hidden and outrageous purposes such as land grabs. recall the incall callly blood by thirty years' war waged in the early 17th century over which european realms would be catholic and which protestant. and property grabs, recall the salem witch trials. so we must always ask ourselves the fine latin question -- [speaking in native tongue] who are profit? -- who will profit? sometimes the answer is shamelessly obvious as in the case of franz peter --
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[inaudible] roman catholic bishop of lin berg, germany, who just finished spending $42 million to renovate his episcopal palace. the bishop who, i have to say, looks and sounds rather like a sesame street puppet -- [laughter] is likely to lose his seat, so egregious is his self-love. less egregiously self-loving bishops who have spent far too much on their own comforts and splendors -- but not enough to attract international attention -- will probably keep their seats and be spared. and let's not even go near the subject of all the bishops who out of fear of discomfort have covered up for untold generations of pedophile priests. but even when greed or self-protection is not involved, never underestimate, never underestimate what a smug sense of superiority will do for many
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a religious chap. this smugness is invariably accompanied by the need to be exclusive. my religion is better, purer, more -- [speaking in native tongue] than yours. indeed, there is an aspiration that runs through religious history no matter which religion is being studied that we might call the desire to limit membership and limit it severely. many years ago i attended a religious publishing convention during which i was asked several times by people i was just being introduced to and with all the unsmiling seriousness of a cia inquiry, have you accepted jesus christ as your loved and savior? to these questioners, there was no point in further discussion of anything if i could not answer this question
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affirmatively. such people are excluders who want their circle, the circle of the saved, to be as exclusive, as small and as uncomfortably intimate as possible. luckily for me, the convention was held in late 20th century america, so i had no fear of being burned at the stake if i fumbled my answer. still, i fancied i could see the licking flames in the eyes of my interlocutors. [laughter] another negative expression of religion, perhaps the one that most of us are most familiar with, is the tendency of ordained clergy to exalt themselves over everyone else. jesus' insistence that we call no one on earth our father and no one on earth our master is the commandment that most clergy tend to transgress most eagerly.
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how long does it take clergy to assign themselves titles intended to force every head but theirs to bow in the case of christianity, only a few decades at most from the time of jesus to the creation of the hierarchy -- that is, a sacred ruling elite by the end of the first century a.d. and though roman catholicism and eastern orthodoxy and to some extent anglicanism manifest the most elaborate forms of hierarchy within christianity, there are plenty of poobahs in other christian denominations as well as in religions far beyond christianity. if you've forgotten who poobah is, you should listen to the mercado again. the new pope, francis i, has been acting as if even he is aware of the inadvertently comic
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dimensions of being addressed as your holiness and of being treated as if that title could possibly be a reality for any mere human being. if i'm right, his pontificate may open a road seldom traveled by form bal religion. formal religion. and let's not even go near the subject of infallibility, an invention of 19th century european catholicism constructed for the sake of extreme prerogatives in italy that was marginalizing the papacy. good religion, however, is neither greedy, nor self-protective; neither exclusive, nor hierarchical; but, rather, exceedingly lacking in discrimination, wishing to include and aid as many as possible in a loving embrace. of course, to do this one must lower one's standards.
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[laughter] at least in the eyes of the excluders. but from another perspective, the perspective of the includers, one is simply opening the windows to fresh air and the doors to all comers. one is acting as jesus, for instance, advised in the sermon on the mount when he blessed the poor in spirit, the humble, the merciful, the peacemakers and those who hunger and first for justice. one is acting as gandhi, a hindu advised in his repeated meditations on that sermon, how can we, said gandhi, little crueling creatures so utterly help's as he has made us, how could we possibly measure his infinite compassion such that he allows man to insolently deny him and cut the throat of his fellow man? how can we measure the greatness of god who is so forgiving, so
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divine, thus that we may utter the same words as jesus did? they have not the same meaning for us all. that's gandhi. in "heretics and heroes," most of the heroes are heretics, and many of the heretics are heroes. [laughter] but their extraordinary stories cannot be summed up in a brief talk. you must experience each one in your own personal encounter. figures such as leonardo, mix el anglo, botticelli, thomas moore, william tindale, rembrandt, shakespeare and john dunn need at least a few more pages that we can hope to devote to them here. for the truly great figures are always pointing to what is
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invisible and are somehow managing to express the inexpressible. which brings me to my ultimate and outsized assertion about these matters. good religion, like great art, is necessarily mystical, affirming what is always beyond proof or even likelihood or even possibility. so take that, richard dawkins. [laughter] think of job perhaps 27 centuries ago insisting that all his supposedly comforting and quite comfortable friends are wrong. that as job insists in an assertion without proof and in a
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better translation than he's usually given, this i know, that my avenger lives, and he -- the last of all -- will take his stand upon this earth and in my flesh shall i see god. quite impossible. quite batty really. and utterly necessary. for only such a reality can redeem, vindicate, avenge the innumerable injustices of history, the slaughtered, to to oppressed, the tortured, the abused, abandoned, the forgotten, the despairing.
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a courageous friend of mine, a woman in her 60s, a gifted painter of beautiful and ominous nature has spent years mourning for her only child, a young man who committed suicide more than a decade ago. she lives in the connecticut river valley where i visited her amid the red and gold of mid october. how she survived her child's suicide, i have no idea. she certainly knows what darkness is. but she's joined a small community half sufi, have quaker where her sense of the mystical
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universe is accepted and even honored. never denying her suffering, she is returning to the land of the living. the colors of this autumn, he affirmed solemnly -- she affirmed solemnly, are the most beautiful she has ever experienced. nature is dying, but the thrilling colors are a pledge of what exactly it may be hard to say. but i'm fairly convinced that like job and against all odds she harbors a sneaking suspicion that there may be life beyond death. thank you. [applause]
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i think the organizers are concerned about the time, but i'm happy to take some questions which i think will be suddenly and abruptly turned off by the organizationers. but we can begin -- organizers. but we can begin. [laughter] it's all right, there are no questions. [laughter] anybody? >> my question is -- >> yes, sir. okay. oh, i didn't realize there was -- okay, a way of doing it. >> my question is, is it jewish people are the first ones to believe in one god, or was it the persians? or is it some other group of people? >> well, you know that there's a theory know that the -- now that the egyptians might have thought
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it up before or moses, but i don't believe it. i think that the pharoah who did try for the worship of one god was not necessarily a monothist, and we know -- we only know a few things about him, and there's no reason to connect him and moses. and his reform, if that's what it was, survived only a short period of time. it certainly isn't the persians. no, i think that the jews still get the award for monotheism. [laughter] and it's very interesting that -- this is sort of off the point, but that the greeks who were the great philosophers of ancient times, of course the more they looked, the more the greek philosophers thought, well, this doesn't make any sense, all these gods, apollo, you know? the universe or wouldn't work if it was, had all these warring
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gods in it. god must be one. and then they heard about this strange people who believed that there was one god, which is rather like saying god is one, isn't it? you know, and so many, many people in the ancient world -- greeks in particular or greek-speaking people -- became very interested in judaism. they didn't convert completely. they were called, you know, sons of noah and thicks like -- things like that. because the idea of circumcision wasn't something they just couldn't bring themselves -- and also the dietary laws were extremely inconvenient especially if you were going to have an orgy. [laughter]
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what really happened with christianity, you know, forgetting about the word kris canty, didn't know he was a christian. he thought he was a jew. [laughter] so the early followers of jesus thought the same thing, and then they had this conference in jerusalem which is sometimes called the first council of jerusalem which is rather grand for a bunch of people sitting in one room. but anyway, they said, no, no, we're not going to insist on all this stuff. you can be part of us without -- and that is, actually, what opened the idea of this particular reformed kind of judaism to the rest of the ancient world. so, you know, the whole thing is complicated but, to me, in extremely interesting ways. yes, ma'am. >> well, i don't know if this is a question -- >> don't worry about it. >> -- or a comment, but i'm actually, one, dispinted you didn't -- disappointed that you
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didn't talk about the book a little bit because i love the renaissance period, and i can never get enough of i. and, two, i've only read one of your books, but i was blown away by the way you write and engage and headache history so fascinating. and that was how the irish saved civilization. so i'm wondering is, is this book the same as it is engaging and page turning as -- [laughter] >> i'm certainly not going to say, no, not nearly as good. [laughter] i've been writing the same kinds of books all along. i mean, they haven't changed. and i -- what's wrong with most history books is that historians are too, i think, too reverent toward one another, you know? historian a is afraid that he may be attacked by historian b if he actually says this.
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i just don't care. [laughter] and i say what i think. and that -- and, and it's true that history is full of strange things, weird things. and many of them are funny. not completely, but there are certainly very funny aspects to not only to what happened, but to the scholarship surrounding what happened. and i'd rather be frank about that than hidden. so my footnotes in particular are not like most scholarly footnotes. i readily agree. but i hope you'll like it. i -- [laughter] i think i've been writing the same way all along. yes, sir. >> we take the view of your writings past as prologue, and if you look at our times where there seems to be a rack of spiritual depth, what do you see as the possible hope for these
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times and moving ahead as far as salvation for our world? >> i don't -- first of all, i know absolutely nothing about the future. [laughter] all right? so what will happen next? you know, because -- and when you look at the past and you see how people have tried to predict the future, and i don't mean, you know, predict it by looking at the stars or something like that, who have looked at the forces at work in their world and have said this is what's going to happen next, it almost never happens. it's something else. it's something more complex or more simple. because they didn't take into account some force that they were unaware of that was shaping up or looming on the horizon or something like that. so it's very hard to say about, to talk about where we're going. i don't mean that i won't do
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that in the last book. i will. [laughter] if i get to write the last book. but the last -- i would just say that i -- now i'm trying to remember what the question was. oh. i'm not sure that this is a less spiritual time. it's a less lockstep religious time certainly in the west. that doesn't mean that people have lost their interest in deep things and deep reasons. but we are, we, at least in the west, are changing. there are people in other parts of the world 40 seem to be -- who seem to be getting more and more lockstep. so it's hard to tell where -- what is going to happen to those two seemingly disparate forces. but i don't -- i just wouldn't,
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you know, just because, you know, we're not all diss or whatever -- methodists, whatever, you know, answer the question, you know, fill in the blank however you like, so what? you know, i just don't think that that means that we are no longer interested in answers to deep questions or especially in spirituality. we're no longer interested in of the more -- in many of the more ticky tacky forms of religion. and maybe in that way we're grow canning up. >> thank you. >> first of all, thank you for being here, and towards the end of this wonderful week it's a first time for me, and i want to thank the person behind me and all the people who put this together. it's like going back to college again, so this has absolutely been opinion fantastic, and you're never example of that.
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my quick question is no quick answer. as a historian, when one looks at the names of the people, leonardo, etc. in our current age -- >> what? i couldn't hear -- >> in our 31st century -- 21st century -- >> oh, okay. >> are there people 200,300 years from now we'll be talking about with the same reverence, and what was so unique about their surroundings -- maybe lack of tv, lack of internet, etc. -- that allowed them to have such amazing greatness that as gone on for hundreds of years? >> well, as far as the renaissance goes, the renaissance is an almost -- to begin with, almost an entirely italian phenomenon. it spreads out as it goes along. but to be honest about it, it starts off as a florentine phenomenon. it's not even italian.
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why were the florentines so good at this because most of the artists really did come from florence. i think they were very good at pleasure. [laughter] and i think that's where art begins. it doesn't begin in pain. so could that happen again? well, yeah. if all the, you know, the all the elements -- if all the elements are there. so who knows? in, many eras we're much better at pain than we are at pleasure. and that -- aside from that, you just have the happenstances of history. how did you get so many artists in one place, you know? do they sort of start one another up? i think so, yes. but, of course, if they had all been without talent, it wouldn't have mattered what they were
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starting up. so the talent part, i don't know where -- how you reconstruct that, you know? it's mysterious. yes, sir. >> mr. cahill, thank you for being here, and i'd just like to ask you, you are -- first of all, you are an artist, an artist with your words. and the narrative art that you so well put together, you make learning a joy. i'm a librarian, and i'm curious to know your opinion, the -- we've got the printing press during the age of ambiguitien burg, the renaissance, the reformation and now today we're on the cusp of a new age. and it seems like, as this gentleman had said, 300 years from now we may look back, you know, those who come after us will look back at this age, and
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it could very well be with we're in a whole new paradigm to use that word. what do you see as the future of reading? and young people today with their engagement in such beautiful narratives that you put together, you and your colleagues. are we going to see more of that? >> times of great transition are also times of great danger. there's no way of getting around it. and we are definitely people who are engaged in publishing, many of them are i would say not just frightened, but almost hysterical at this point because as older readers die off, they are not being replaced in the same measure by younger readers. for the first time in the history of literacy since printing began. and all you have to do is sort of look on any street corner and
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see what young people are doing. and they are -- i would -- this is a caricature, but young men are playing video games, and young women are texting. largely, that's -- you can see that. but neither one is reading. in the same way that they had been. but i have to say that just before i came in here the afternoon i met with mitch kaplan, and i said that how frightened the people in publishing are in new york. and i said so i don't think you should come to new york. [laughter] it won't make you feel better at all. and he said, yeah, but he said we're coming back, we're coming back. so, you know, there's somebody who actually, i think, has his finger on the pulse. and so i hope he's right, and i believe mitch. so -- [laughter] i think he knows more than i
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know. [applause] >> thank you so much, mr. cahill. and if you'd like to have something autographed, you may do so at the other end. >> right. and i'll be brought back there. i'll just say two things, i'm happy to sign my name and yours if you'll show me how to spell it because i don't want to misspell it, and that's all i'll do. i won't characterize somebody as the greatest irishman who ever lived or -- laugh all right? just names. >> well enough. thank you. [applause] >> and our continued live coverage of the miami book fair international continues, that was thomas cahill talking about his most recent book, "heretics and heroes." live coverage from miami. we've still got a couple more
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hours to go this afternoon, and now joining us here on our set in miami is jeremy scahill. here he is, his most recent book, "dirty wars: the world is a battlefield. " mr. scahill, earlier you were on a panel with dan balz and george packer, and one of the questioners asked you what do you see as the difference between how the bush administration and the obama administration approach the war on terror. >> right. , i mean, i think first of all it's great to be with you here on c-span and booktv. the bush with administration, i don't want to understate how atrocious i think that period was in american foreign policy. it really was like murder incorporated. the destruction of iraq, the creation of the cia black sites, the idea that the geneva convention was -- [inaudible] the abu ghraib torture, using guantanamo, you could go on and on in characterizing it. so i don't want to get into a thing about is obama worse than bush. i covered those wars, i know what happened.
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under president obama i think what we have is someone who has sort of rebranded some of the more egregious aspects of the bush-cheney counterterror apparatus and i think has convinced himself that they're waging a smarter war. so they're relying on the drones much more than the bush administration did, using small team of coovert operators to conduct either kill or capture, and because guantanamo remains open despite the president's pledge to close it during his anytime office, i think that the obama administration doesn't want to capture too many people. so the kill-capture program has generally become a kill program. and so at the end of the day, i think the enduring legacy for president obama on the issues i cover is that he made possible a continuation of the bush-cheney counterterrorism apparatus. i imagine dick cheney fly fishing on his boat somewhere in wyoming, you know, sort of having a good chuckle and saying, you know, thank god obama was president because the next time we're in power, we're going to be able to continue doing this stuff. >> host: jeremy scahill, how large is the drone program in
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the u.s. right now? >> guest: well, we have very little information about it. let's remember that for almost the entire first term that president obama was in office, he never publicly mentioned the drones except on a google plus hangout in response to a question that a young person had asked him. no u.s. officials would ever publicly own that the u.s. even had a drone program. an american citizen was killed in a drone strike, this guy anwar al-awlaki who was from the united states and went to yemen and was making these youtube videos, they killed him in 2011. 600 days later president obama gives a speech where he owns the fact that the u.s. is doing this. there are secret bases in saudi arabia, oman, in east africa. my understanding is there also is a facility inside of yemen and, of course, in afghanistan drones are being flown across the border into pakistan. for some time there was also a drone base in pakistan that blackwater, the mercenary company, worked on as well and, of course, i wrote a book about that. it's a pretty large program. and to me, one of the things
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that's fascinating and devastatingly awful about the whole thing is that you can have guys who are trained drone pilots, you know, it's not true that they're unmanned. they very much are manned, but they're manned remotely. you can have a drone pilot sitting in a trailer on a military base in the southwest of the united states, and he is ening in a -- engage anything a bombing in pakistan or yemen, and he gets in his suv at the end of the day, and he passes a sign saying buckle up, this is the most dangerous part of your day. meaning that you're in a war zone theoretically, and you're dropping actual bombs on people, but you have a greater chance of being hit by another vehicle or having a traffic accident than you do in being killed in a war that you're engaged in. >> host: jeremy scahill is our guest, if you were watching booktv a little bit earlier, you saw him on the panel with dan balz and george packer. 202 is the area code, 585-3890 in the east and central time zones, 585-3891 for those of you
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in the mountain, pacific and beyond time zones. you can also send a tweet, @booktv is our twitter handle. what is jsoc? >> the joint special operations command is the most elite team of commandos, soldiers, navy seals that has ever been created in the u.s. national security apparatus. it actually started in 1980s after the failed hostage mission in iran. there's a whole other story that wasn't dealt with in "argo," and that is the that the u.s. military was authorized to go in and rescue the american hostages who had been taken when our embassy was seized in 1979. that operation was a disaster, and the navy was fighting with the army, the army was fighting with the air force, a helicopter crashed because of a sandstorm. and after that the pentagon and officials in the white house began discussing the creation of a sort of full-spectrum all-star team. and they originally acquired two what are called special missionsen units that could
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conduct -- missions that could conduct special operations. one was navy seal team six. they wanted the soviets to believe they had a greater capacity than they did, and the other was the army's delta force. and for much of its existence it operated in the shadows in small-scale investigations, they were involved with the killing of pablo escobar, the colombian drug war. after 9/11 cheney and rumsfeld really came up with this idea. they thought that the cia was a liberal think tank which is hilarious to anyone who knows the history of the cia. but they really did believe that the cia had been melted down to, basically, a debased society under the clinton administration. and they felt that the military's covert unit would be the best weapon that the u.s. could use in a discreet global secret war. and so they injected jsoc with steroids. and general stanley mcchrystal ran jsoc for much of the bush
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era, and they began operating what was effectively a global hunting organization. and they weren't hunting deer, they were hunting people. and they did their own interrogation. they have their own secret prisons. it was a whole parallel apparatus to what the cia had traditionally had sovereign realm other. >> host: how did you get involved in this line of work? >> guest: purely by accident. i went to university thinking i wanted to be a middle schoolteacher. and i discovered very soon after i got to the university what it meant to be on academic probation. i was a terrible student. so if i'm a horrible student, i don't know how i'm going to teach the youth of america to do anything. [laughter] it's not that i was screwing around and out partying, i just wasn't very good at school. and, you know, i would say that i was enrolled at the university, not that i was attending the university. and after three years -- this was in wisconsin -- and after three years i decided that i wanted to do something in the real world, and i moved to this homeless shelter in washington, d.c., the community for creative nonviolence which was just two blocks from the capitol at the
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time. you know, hundreds of people. and i started, i was mopping floors and cleaning toilets and taking a lot of veterans, actually, to doctors' appointments. at that time for me the idea that a veteran was living in a homeless shelter was stunning to me, and i would talk to all of these old guys. and i started listening to a lot of talk radio. and i had never heard of this woman called amy goodman, and i heard her one day on the radio, and she's taking on newt gingrich, the speaker or of the house, and taking on rebels this the congo and talking about social justice struggles in the united states, on immigration issues, and i said i want to be a part of that. some of the young folks who might be familiar with the terms i'm about to use, but i used a pen and what was called paper, and i wrote her something we used to call a letter and put it inside of what's called an envelope, and i licked this thing called a stamp -- anyway,. [laughter] i want to do anything for you if i can. if you have a dog, i'll walk your dog or feed your camp. and then i started going to
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events. she never responded. i was stalk her, basically, not in a creepy way, and i think she had to decide whether to get a restraining order or let me volunteer. so she let me volunteer, and i learned journalism as a trade. real reporters would ask me to help them edit their pieces, so i learned by p watching journalists who i really admired engage in the trade. and once i started going international, going places like iraq, a fire just caught inside of me, and i wanted to tell the stories of people who had no voice. >> host: jeremy scahill is the author of "black water, the rise of the world's most powerful mercenary army." he serves as national security correspondent for the nation magazine. his most recent book, "dirty wars: the world is a battlefield." the first call for him comes from carl in ft. lauderdale. hi, carl, you on book -- you're on booktv on c-span2. jeremy scahill is our guest. >> caller: yes, el low. i've followed jeremy's career
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for quite a while. i think his work is exemplary on blackwater and especially in the new book. earlier on the panel you had suggested that possibly we're in the reason that we're in the state we are now with obama was basically naive. he had no military experience, no foreign policy experience. if you could speak to him in light of what snowden has revealed, what could be done? because to my light, he's about the best kind of we're going to get. another bush or cheney would be a disaster. so here's a guy, a constitutional lawyer, a liberal, a good man. what could he do now to really make transparent and stop some of these abuses as you see them? >> host: thank you, carl. >> guest: appreciate the question. first of all, i don't think -- and if i gave that impression, i didn't mean to -- i don't think that president obama was knew brief. i think he's an incredibly brilliant figure. in fact, when he was in the senate, i worked with his office at times journalistically on the blackwater issue, you know, because he has a young -- he as a young u.s. senator actually
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was pretty serious about that issue. so i don't think it's about naivete, i think if he came into office without having military experience, without having serious foreign policy credentials and was to say to the entire u.s. national security apparatus, actually, i disagree with everything and i'm going to do it this way, i think he would have had a very tough time being the commander or in chief. ..
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>> whistle blowers have been indicted and others in prison for blowing the whistle on water blowing. obama used this credibility to put a stamp on policies that republicans would not approve of. >> i promised you would ask you why you continual bash the president? why do you bash president obama? >> i don't see it as bashing president obama at all. there is a reason why journalism is the only sited job in the united states constitution. and that is because we have three branches of government. and if those three branches of
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power collude together against the interest of the people the press is the forth estate. and journalist have a role to take against those in authority. what i would say to the caller is go back and look at my record in reporting on clinton, bush j obama. i have been consistent towards those in power and that is a core tenant of journalism. it doesn't how president obama treats his daughter. i care about how he treats the broader children in america by his policies. >> robert, you are on booktv. >> hi, jeremy, thanks for taking the call. first off, thank you for your
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courage is being the last shining light of journal'tshinig light of journa shining light of journal'ism. and it was cool to hear you write the letter and i will pester you to get an internship in the new outlet you are starting. i watched the film dirty war and there are many aspects of this story that strike me to believe the united states foreign policy and what they are doing over there, is creating more terrorism than it is ridding the world of. my question to you as someone who knows about this, and the true consequences of these policies, is do you think it would be beneficial to leave that part of the world alone?
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bring the military back. defend america. and stop invading countries. or do you think some presence over there is necessary? >> thank you, robert. >> i do think that we should totally pull out militarily from this nations. i think there is a responsibility way to do that. you cannot move tens of thousands of troops and equipment overnight so there has to be a safe way of withdrawing. and i don't know if you remember this but when governor george ryan was governor of georgia. he was a republican and cochair of bush's campaign. it wasn't that ryan was opposed to the death penalty.
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it was that there was proof, a lot generated by students, that innocent people were being put to death and dna evidence was working for them after hey were killed. i think we have hit that point with the drone strikes, targeted killing and night raids and the use of secret prison. we need to look at how far we have gone over the cliff since 9-11. >> and debby is calling from just across the mbay in miami beach. your on live with jeremy scahill. >> debby, we will have to put you on hold. remind her to turn down the volume and we will move on to the next call. this is richard in
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massachusetts. >> hi, i am like you and i need my daily dose of amy's show and i brought your book in cambridge when she interviewed you. my question is three days after 9-11, the congress minus congressman lee, was the only authorization of the use of military force was passed. and bush and obama have used the authorization to do anything they want in the middle east with drones or whatever. my question is do you think that the neo conservatives and liberals will resend that law? can you believe we will have troops in afghanistan until
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2024. >> there is a lot there. i think the original authorization was a disaster piece passed because of fear. i tell young people to be watch barbara's speech. imagine being the only decenter in congress on that vote days after the 9-11 attacks took place. there is discussion about repealing or modifying the authorization for the use of military force, but at the end of the day, under the article two of the constitution, the american has the right to control foreign policy. democrats and republicans alike have violated the war power act and not sought congressional approval to go to many wars. even if we repealed the amf,
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there is the overlying issue that there is an incredible executive power grab that was the life work of chaney and obama pushed it further along. >> jeremy, in reading "dirty wars" where are we surprised about the troop ss? >> a lot of the book focus on africa and near the kenya boarder and it is called camp simba. and there is where they con fronted the pirates that is now made into a movie. but they regularly do raids there. and they have a military base in another area where drones are
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flown. there are troops on the ground in syria, libya, and a lot of smoke about ben gaza and a lot is conspiracy on the whitehouse. but there is a lot we don't know about. there were operations that are not documented and my sense is the attack had nothing to do with the video, but everything to do with the dirty wars. in the conflict in mali there were people on the ground. in central america there are united states military and cia engaged in military style tickets. on any given day, j-shock or others are deployed in 120 countries. some cases are training but some
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are hunting them down. the united states is targeting islamic rebels in the fill feenz. -- philippines -- >> i have a quick question for you: have see seen the rise of amy and which version of journalism do you consider the most legit form? alex jones is more basic. what is your answer to that? >> i got the question. i want to be careful in choosing my words. i think alex jones is a lunatil.
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he has forwarded the most outrageous conspiricacy theorie. he is pushing outright law and that subverts real journalism by giving the impression everyone is running around with a tin foil hat on. he is not in the same category as amy goodwin. >> greg from iowa. >> let me put this on mute here. i was wondering is the common tater here earlier said he was going to ask you the question about how come you always slam president obama. and you mentioned that for you
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it was because of some of his policie policies. oh, crum. the person in the whitehouse -- >> greg, what is your point? >> my point was -- oh -- >> greg, did you have a question for jeremy scahill? >> he did a good job of explaining. >> greg, very much we appreciate your calling but we will move on to lorenzo in berkeley,
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california. >> thank you for taking my call. i am calling from barbara lee's congressional district and i was lucky enough to see you speak in may and love the book. my question is for you is given things like rand paul and the drone issues and the hearings and then people visiting for the congress people. do you think events are a shift in the drone strikes or are they drops in the buckets. >> i felt embarrassed as an american when he had the pakistan and yemen family members of drone strike victims and only a handful of
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congressmen showed up. he is an incredible man and is on a panel with academics and was asked almost no questions. i don't think it represents a shift. i think congressman grace credit and congressman myers and lee has been-spoken on this. you raise rand paul and this is fascinating thing that has happened. rand paul did something i think congressional democrats should have done and that is to shutdown the congress and say let's take a stock of how far we have gone. we have a president who won the noble prize and saying he has the right to assassinate a
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united states citizen. rand paul is against everything i am in favor in. but on these he is right. but when people like sarah palin starts tweeting against drones that is political. she is riding around in the helicopter shooting at animals and she would love drones if she were in charge. >> chen from richmond, virginia. go ahead with your question. >> thank you. this is kind of along the same lines as the last caller. but i want to get your thought about what happens with syria and how, you know, all signs pointed to a strike. and it just changed and if you thing it was political against
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obama or congressman like grayson. what were the difference forces at play that affected us not going in? and if you could talk about what happened this morning in iran as well. >> so, first of all, on the syria issue, the united states is already intervening in syria. the cia is supporting groups with weapons and strategic satellite imagery to enable them to engage with forces. the russians are involved. the iranians are involved. the united states is engaged already. but your question is interesting. i think what happened was president obama made this statement that for him a red line was the use of chemical weapons. and when it came out they used
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chemical weapons. obama is being asked by the press and al llies what are you going to do? and they were looking at a strike with maybe drones and tomahawks that would send a m s message and didn't intend for an exte extended air fair. and the obama was caught off guard on the opposition. and people on the left are fed wind up with the wars. the whitehouse miscalculated the opposition >> what is the companion to this? >> i was writing the book while
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the film was being being shot. so the nfilm is about an investigation that beacame a book. it was challenge and beneficial to do it this way. when you have interviews on video you can write color you would not be able to by taking pictures in your reporter's notebook. but when you stick a camera in someone's face they act different than if you were writing shorthand. it was an interesting road. i don't know if we would do anything like that again. i felt like my whole live was being filmed for three years. but the director of the film is a combat camera man himself. >> you are first book on black
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water. have you read eric prince's book? >> you said eric was in the c-span and coming out and arm wrestling me. he would beat me. no doubt. he was a navy seal. this book was supposed to come out a year ago and there is a legal battle going on and they are suing each other. and one of the things that helped him write the book said it was in part to get revenge on me. there is a lot of propaganda people are going to put out. i only started to read the bookfe bookfe bookfelt. but the fact no one from black water was held accountable for the killing or involvement wasn't exposed is a real
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injustice. i think eric prince is engaged in something we call gray mailing. not blackmailing. but he has been doing this for a long time. this is a guy who worked for the cia and has top security clearance. and black water men were at the center of some significant events. when ford chapman was blown up in 2009, there were two black men among them that were killed. and thaz that is how close they were to someone that was aware of the meeting. eric prince knows where lots of buddies are buried and whose closets contain threats that would threaten the livelihood of people. and eric prince has been
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affective at keeping the government away. >> two best-sellers, george poke awards, you write for the nation, how has life changed since mopping floors at the center of non-violence? >> one of the first interviews i did was here on booktv. i had never done anything like that before. when i wrote the book, i went on the daily show and i said i don't want to ever do this. i feel every time i am invited to go on a bigger television show. i feel like i am speaking for a lot of people whose voices are not heard. and i assume it the last time they will let me on people so i try to talk fast and get in as much as i can. >> jeremy scahill, please come back to booktv.
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this is his most recent book "dirty wars. the world is a battlefield". coming up, a call-in program with debby shultz. congresswoman from south florida. and then chris matthews wraps up the coverage from miami book fair. first, it is our 15th anniversary and miami book fair's 30th anniversary and we want to show you coverage and here is president bush talking about his book from 2010.
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>> the world saw this as threat. and i felt it was important to deal with him because the biggest danger facing america is weapons of mass destruction in the hands of someone choosing to do us harm. one thing that is clear is i tried to make diplomacy work. it was exhausting to convince him that we meant what we said at the united nations security counsel. there was a debate -- council -- if i should go to the council at all. and some said no, you don't need
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to. >> your position as you say in the book is that legally he was in violation of previous trust. >> and what is interesting, that i think will interest people here in america, is that i wanted there to be a coalition of freedom-loving nations who were willing to confront him so he would understand it wasn't just the united states. but those nations cannot act without a un security resolution. not the case for america, but a lot of the nations the leader said let's go to the council. and we passed the resolution. and thren we had a diplomatic and military track trying to send signals that say if you
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defy this there is consequences. in terms of weapons of mass destruction, what i think people forget is that prior to my arrival in washington, the congress passed a resolution calling for regime change. and we passed an authorization allowing me to use forces to protect the american people. you can't be playing politics with the security of the united states and with those who wear our uniforms. [ applause ]
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>> i am not aquasaying it the s feeling of when a person is sent to the fight and loses their life. >> the president talked about the strength we gotten from speaking it family members that have fallen members. can you tell us about this? >> i want the military people to understand the strength of the nation. i go to see a woman and her two children and i talk about going
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eye level and telling them how i fought back tears because i wanted them to hear the words your father was a hero. and after the meeting, valerie handed me a flier and says question this: it says john did his job, you do yours. so there is a lot of meetings like that where the strength of character of our people come out. we are a blessed nation to have brave people that volunteer in the safe of danger and their families that support them. [ applause ] >> mr. president, some of my friends in london didn't think you would get along with the
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british prime minister. he has the london skityle and i sophisticated. >> i am not sophisticated; is that what you are suggesting? >> blare and i became fast friends. i admire him because he is a courageous person and he gives you his word and means it. laura and i spent time with him and his wife. i made a lot of friends in the national arena, but i would say tony and i ended up with a fast friendship. what is interesting is i found it to be unusual to find politicians or people in elected office to be able to look beyond the horizon. i thought blare did that in a
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strategic thought. i believe they had a long-term view of issues. >> you did have a few debates with blare. >> one on the death penalty and lost. i made it clear, he was objecting to my position as governor of texas and president supporting the death penalty. i happen to believe i made it to her the death penalty saves lives. >> you were reelected with the majority of the vote. the first time in 16 years the presidential nominee got the mau mau majority of the vote. you went in with social security and then pushed for changes in the immigration laws. they were not successful. >> i would probably run the immigration plan first if i
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could do it over again. but i didn't. so i pushed those social security hard. and through the matters, congress didn't want to reform social security. there is issue where i will congress is more proactive on the issue. and i think it is unfair to pay into the a broke system. i went to washington to deal with problems. and not shy away from them because there might be bad political consequences. so then i ran the immigration reform which was widely praised after the speech in the oval
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office. the issue got away. the rhetoric on the issue was difficult. someone was nervous about the boarders and automatically labeling the plans made it difficult to get people to paw attention. i have no regrets, but i wasn't successful in both cases >> you have a chapter on iraq going into 2003-2004 and later in the book you have a chapter on the surge and you talk about in the spring of 2006 you came to believe that our strategy in iraq was failing and that you needed to make changes in that. that resulted in the search strategy which i think is
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generally agreed to have been successful. why did you change your mind? how did you turn the government around on that? >> first, i changed my mind because i feel we were beginning to loose. and a loss in iraq would be a major blow to the security in the united states. and it would have meant the sacrifices were in vain and it would send shockwave throughout the universe. i believe freedom exist for everybody if we gabe them the chance they would express to live in a free society. we pushed saul policy, but then the security went down hill and
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democracy couldn't take ahold. i asked my security ad visor fo options >> our live coverage from miami is continuing. chris matthews will be in chapman hall in a half hour and he is going to talk about his newest book. first we will talk with congressman debby shultzs. you said in yourpress presentat three years to write this. why? >> >> well, about four months after i decided to move forward, obama called me and asked me to take on another full-time job and share the democrat committee. i felt like in order to do the
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book justice and my job justice coming out with a policy book during the campaign wasn't the best idea. so we pushed it forward and i spent another year researching and writing and came out in october. >> by the time this book is published you write i hope we will look back on the health care reform and debt ceiling and knowledge it was rock bottom. i don't want to imagine how it would get worse. >> well, just when you thought it could not get worse, we end up having the republicans and tea party stopping the government to stop people from getting quality, affordable health care. >> who is the next generation? >> that is our children. i wrote thigs through the lens f
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being mother. even though politicians talk about the next generation, it isn't abstract concepts for me. i have one in the back of my car. i wrote the book to say we have to measure the success by how well our children are doing. and we have to get engaged in issues that matter to us. >> representative will we with us for the next 25 minutes. the numbers are on the screen and if you would like to call. 202-585-3890 for those of you in the eastern. and 202-585-3891 in the mountain time. and you can send a tweet at booktv if you cannot get through on the phone lines.
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you talk about the patriot act and spying. in 2011, when passed, most of the congress voted for it. how would you have voted? i happ i know it isn't a fair question. >> i was in congress when we vote for the reauthorization and i voted against them. they didn't strike a balance between protecting our privacy and security. there were versions i voted for. it is hard to see how i would vote in 2011. but we have to find the balance and we need to continue our quest to strike it because i am not sure we have there. >> edward snowden, has he done the nation a favor? >> he is a trader. he has dramatically damaged our
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country and shouldn't be looked out as a patriot. he compromised national security and violated an oath he took and did serious damage in the united states of america. >> one of the terms you use, bipartisanship, in your presentation earlier, you talked about the dinners and things you do, but how do you maintain bipa bipa bipartsenship? >> the easy thing to do is default to our respective corners and dig in. as the chair of the democratic national committee, i support my party's agenda, but i recognize it can't be my way or the
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highway. we don't have enough people that believe that. so it is my responsibility to reach congress the aisle and find republicans we can work with. but there are a precious few. many are worried about loosing their elections. you cannot have people in congress that care more about power than the right thing >>. >> are they suspiuspicious of y? >> there are some. but we hold dinners to clear away perceptions that our roles create. >> one thing you wrote in the book is that obamacare/affordable care act can be altered.
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is that a fair assessment? >> like any legislation. what i wrote about the affordable care act/obamacare in the book is that just like legislation we have had for more than 200 years, when there are problems we need to sit down and work together. we don't need to go through 43 different attempts to repeal or deny people the access to health care. the affordable care act is a bill that was passed by both houses, sieb signed by the president and upheld by the supreme court. as problems arise, we should sit down and commit to work together. but republicans have to agree on the basic premises that health re

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