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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  May 29, 2011 1:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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republicans have to be careful when forward. you have to offer a robust- spirited, fact-based defense of the plan and go right back out there, going hard the attack, saying democrats -- where is your plan? one does not exist. host: here is john boehner responding to the special election in concns about medicare. >> i will give you three passports -- 3 fax about medicare. the republican plan that preserves and protects medicare for current and future retirees is the plan that we put forward. the second fact, the onl people in washington, d.c., that voted to cut medicare were the democrats when they cut out $500 billion during obama care.
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the third fact, the democratic plan is to do nothing. the trusties of medicare have made clear that continuous benefits will be cut. those are three factors. we have outlined the plan that we believe in the other fact is that the democrats have no plan, which will do to bankruptcy at cut in senior benefits. host: how would you respond? guest: it makes sense. the word fact was used, but i do not know how many facts were in there. what is the history of this issue? look at when the medicare trust fund ran out of money. health care reform last year
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ended the viability by an additional 10 years. if you repealed health care reform, which is what boehner and his republicans want to do, it goes back to 24. the reason why it is the elimination of over-payment. moving away from theee-for- service model. pushing things into these private plans for vouchers, premium support to pay for a private plan, which has been found to be more expensive. i think that democrats have put out plans that increase the length of medicare. president obama pfeifer release more proposal to in april of this year. the idea that there is no other lands and that this is the only
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thing is not really accurate guest: it is accurate. there is no democratic plan. you just talke about the paul ryan plan and we could get into that but the fact of the matter is that democrats have proved absolutely nothing. democrats put across the universally panned program last year. angers sullivan called a pile of it word i should not use on c- span. did increase the national debt by $5.90 trillion over 10 years. that is the only democratic plan on paper currently. then the president said he had a new vision that will magically save money, with the rationing board doing more rationing.
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senate democrats know that there is no plant here. they have made a short term calculation and i cannot say that it was a bad one, republicans put themselves out on a limb, putting themselves out there with a bold plan. we are going to run agast it. in some cases we are going to lie about it. it does not be to us to put out a controversial alternative. we are going to sit back and throw pot shots. as far as the actual issues facing the nation, it is terribly irresponsible because of the fee-for-service plan and would by seniors, it is unsustainable in the long term. something has to be done about it. republicans have had the guts
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and the vision to try to do something about it. it has to do with parlaying that into successful attacks on the left. host: keith, you are out first. caller: i do not think that republicans can govern. they never could really catch the eye of the people. they talk about a whole lot of they talk about a whole lot of things, but got just like a regular person that works every day, getting up in the morning, having to go and take theids to school, you know, coming home to the dinner table, they do not know anything about that. guest: a democrat that thinks the republican cannot govern. i am stunned. if keith is in his 50's or
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younger, by the time he has been working that night that five jobs, paying into medicare every single year under penalty of lot, s system that is about to go bankrupt, republicans have put together a proposal that will help him and other people, including myself in my 20's, see the benefits of a program that will go the funk. this is something that belle help every single taxpaying american but wants to have a social safety net remaining intact decades into the future without it being eviscerated by european-style austerity measures, the path we are headed down and it is very unfortunate. guest: we have to get back to the reality of what the ryan to pl is. instead of actually figuring out that way to make the system more efficient, we will reduce costs
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by paying for which need as a senior, instead we would rather give you a voucher to pay for private insurance and we will only increase that by the rates of inflation, 3% or 4%. what that will do is shift the cost from the government over to the people that can afford it least. but this does the slash taxes for the very wealthy, taking the top rate from 35% to 25%. it is a serious effort to get ahold of medicare costs. this was something that was embraced by paul ryan as
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recently as 2009 when the that the paid first choice act. there was a board that would make these decisions to fige out the most efficient ways to provide service. we are in a great position in that it is not simply th case that the more money you spend, the better care the to get. there are things that we can do that with improve costs and health care outcomes. host: bryan, ohio, steve, republican line, good morning. caller: good morning, everybody. guest: hey, steve. caller: over the last three years, i have been a republican. ihink that i will become an independent. but republicans seem more concerned with the poverty of wealthy people saying that sometimes if we have to, but we will lie about something to get
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our way, which is totally disingenuous. i cannot believe that there are people in national politics that thing that lying is the way to go. sarah palin, who was going to be her running mate, take jocelyn? guest: to be clear, i was not suggesting that conservatives go out and lie as a policy that the, more the democrats have been lying about it, saying that it destroys medicare. not saying that that is a tactic that i would embrace. i am hesitant to believe someone who says they are a lifelong republican who in the last three years has suddenly decided to go left. another thing about the paul
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ryan plan, it oy increases at the rate of inflation? we know that health care costs go up faster, but we ought that obama care wasoing to fix that. that is wt we were told. on the tax point, yes, rates are lower across the board. by the way, other tax loopholes are closed. host: which ones are closed? guest: i would have to get back on specifics, but the same ones that were called for to be closed by the presidents that commission. almost exactly the type of thing that the debt commission recommended when they came back. the measures that the president himself as for. completely ignoring almost every
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single one. guest: the reality is that it is a giant *. then they say that, well, this is revenue neutral because we are going to find tax loopholes that make up for the revenue. even if you eliminate huge tax cuts and tax breaks, like the mortgage interest deductions, you would not even come close to filling in the revenue that is lost by the paul ryan plan. i tnk that what you have your is a very strong ideological document. but it is not a serious document when it comes to how we get a hold of the hane on medicare costs.
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guest: really quick, responding to that, cutting taxes across the board for every one, part of the revenue problem is the fact that we have such anemic growth. a lot of people think thatn burdening many with high tax rates, you encourage growth, the economy grows, youee more revenue coming that way. you might say that that is apocryphal and will never happen, but i would like to see those so-called in efficiencies and cost reductions that always seem to be in the back pocket of the democrats. you keep attacking the rhineland plan, but it cuts for dollar trillion off the debt in the next 10 years. the only democratic plan on the table adds $5.90 trillion to the debt.
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host: clinton, md., good morning. caller: how is everyone doing? host: very well, thank you. caller: that is good. i have been voting in the pennant for quite some time. i do not trust democrats very much. a little bit. but i do not trust republicans at all. let me explain why. republicans came up with this idea of starting the government of resources, money, because they could not directly attacked the social programs put in place. what they did was come up with a way of giving people their money back. tax decreases. it was a way of keeping revenue from the government so that they could more easily attacked the programs.
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this is why the medicare thing is coming up now. social security during the george bush administration. if the person on the right-hand side can explain [unintelligible] true santa claus theory, it would help a lot of pple understand why we are at this point now. host: you said you did not trust democrats either? why is that? caller: because i've seen them play games as well sometimes. politicians, you have got to be very careful about when they say something. guest: i agree with that. you have got to be very careful and hold politicians to account. one of the things that i think is going to play out here is that we are going to have this
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debate about what the future is about the country. how are going to deal with it the risks and costs across society? as pple find out more about the direction of the republican plan, the paul ryan plan, the debate is going to shift somewhat. i want to get back to this idea they're only being one plan onhe table and that being the one that we can debate. you can have a situation where you put outn ideological plan. the paul ryan planned prior to 2012 will not become law. ere are plenty of plans on the left that our budget plans produced by the democrats in the progressive caucus, amongst others.
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or we can try to get together and find a compromise. i think that that is what is playing out in the group being led by vice president joe biden. jon kyl in the room, eric cantor, trying to work towards an agreement that can actually pass. to me, that is much more productive. productive. guest: we have seen these commissions appointed by the president. the oldest play in washington. left and right, pointing to these commissions, abdicating leadership on this stuff. the big one, the bulls some sin commission, came out with
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recommendations that the president did not like, even though this was exactly the type of thing they say they were waiting for. they refused to implement those recommendations at all. host: are you a supporter of th plan? guest: large elements of it and it is better than what we have seen from democrats and the president, which is nothing the democrats have controlled the senate since 2007, they have not passed a budget in the u.s. senate under harry reid in something like 760 days. they did not pass one in 2010 because they were worried that voters might perceive them as big spenders. they just said they would do a piece after piece in the short, continuing resolutions, causing problems down the stretch. they are once again making the same cynical calculations, not
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even introducing budgets, attacking the paul ryan plan. guest: they did try to pass it in 2010 and it was filibustered by the republicans. there was an attempt to pass the budget in 2010 before the new congress got in, but it was filibustered. host: political editors joing us this morning judd legum and guy benson. for a lot of their a -- four lauderdale, florida. caller: first of all, i support the president obama re-election. i would like to make a prediction about the republican front runner in 2002. karl rove said that he would be interested in helping jeb bush become president. i know that many people think it is unlikely, but he has a very
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large base. he has an edge on the hispanic vote, the christian right in the nra, they love him. he has wealthy influential supporters. his policies left florida in a shambles. but he is very ambitious and arrogant. what do your guests think of the possibility of him running? guest: quickly responding to that point, i do not think that he is running. he has said that repeatedly. his last name is bush in whether or not we are over bush 50, i am unconvinced for the 2012 cycle. he left florida in such incredible, it revocabl shambles, i wonder why his approval rating there is between 60% and 70%. perhaps they do not realize the damage that he had done. you cannot filibuster a budget, as i am sure the to know.
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you can filibuster by last- minute spending on the actual budget. a giant document at the end of the year. it was blocked by republicans. guest: t point of a budget is toet police spending bill. toet police spending bill. guest out the point of a budget is that this will blueprint. host: richmond, va., you are up next. caller: i think you should run for office, guy benson. you are absolutely fabulous. i am probably the democratic worst nightmare. then african american woman living in the cell -- in the south. we are having the same conversation about what happened to this country. we are not willing to vote down
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the party line. it is just quite extraordinary how everybody wants to cover how incredibly offended the left is right now. 2012 has a lot to cover and i do not think that you guys will be able to do it. look at the stimulus bill that was supposed to help the economy. but you say one thing and then you see $3 billion going to a shrimp on a treadmill it is despicable. obama-care,ctually cutting $500 million from medicare. to go in front of seniors and say that republicans want to take away from medicare, the paul ryan budget was supposed to help to reduce costs in medicare over 15 years.
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you have someone pushing a woman off of a cliff? now we know the democratic plan. to push people to mess up as many elections as they can. the covers off. guest: i feel very confident abou my ability to change this caller's mind. just to try to respond, i think that the situation with obama care and medicare reductions that we have seen obama a lot art with programs like medicare that it. there are extensions on the life of the planters spending money more efficiently. that is what they have done. that is what john boehner likes
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to say that the obama care plan has extended the life of medicare by 10 years. it was not just a plan for a vote, but something that extended the life of this program. there are pple that are going to be unhappy about sides with what is going on. at the end of the day but have to figure out a way to come together on these issues. i do not think that that involves fundamentally changg the nature of what medicare is. which is saying that when you are elderly and infirm, we as a society are going to make sure that you can get needed heth care. breaking that social contract and saying lk, instead of making sure that she will get the health care the to meet, we are going to give you a voucher and premium support to help you pay f a private plan and if the cost of the plan goes out,
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you are just going to have to pay more whether you have it or not. i think that that is the fundamental debate going on. i think that democrats are feeling confident in that debate. host: huckabee she said that you had a lot of seats to cover in 2012 in the senate. guest of that is that " -- absolutely true. democrats have more seats that are up, numerically. it is going to be a challenge. think that it will be a differen year from 2010. the dynamics of change. we do not know what the economic conditions will be. you have seen pretty steady job growth in the private sector and it needs to be a lot more.
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if you see that trend starting to continue, think about where we were in january of 2009, we were in january of 2009, experiencing one of the greatest economic disasters since the great depression. i think he will start to see those races turning around. guest: i agree, 33 of the 23 seats are controlled -- 23 of the 33 states are controlled by democrats. i am not running for office, thank you very much, though i am flattered you should run for office, you are terrific. one of the big promises in obama care who was that if you like your plan, you could keep your plan, but then the president made an exception, taking that away by the way to extend the life of medicare.
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one of the biggest tricks that the democrats use. -- counting the $500 billion. saying that they will extend the medicare life timene. on the other hand, used on the cbo map, a brand new entitlement progra that we cannot afford and that americans do not want. the greatest breaking of that factor is the trajectory today. sitting back and doing nothing, that promise and reality will go away and the paul ryan plan helps to prevent that. host: we saw the first signs of a ry intense advertisement coming outhis week.
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those of you that have not seen it, here it is curious i will let you respond after that. ♪ ♪ ♪
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host: that reaction? caller: that was made to get free time on television on shows like this and obviously that is successful. i do not think u.s. and many democratic candidates running ads like this in 2012. people would not react that well. it does at least reference underlying point. if we are now going to say that we both get you a little support to get a private plan, and we have the costs are going
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up and up, what happens when seniors who are on fixed-income do not have the resources to purchase health care anymore? what happens to people like that? we do not have an answer under the program plan. caller: i thought we had dave -- guest: i thought we had a new tone of civility in this country. this is so over-the-top that it will turn off a lot of of voters. democrats would be wise to say away from that demagoguery. debbie wasserman shultz is saying this is a tornado ripping through nursing-homes. current seniors t have medicare will keep it under the ryan plan. seniors who will retire in the next 10 years will keep the
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current system under the ryan an. this is about the future. you ask the question, what will seniors do they do not have the ability to pay for the health care that they need? that is the essential question. the paul ryan plan will give them a little bit of money. according to the cbo, seniors will get a dog dollars per year -- seniors will get $18,000 per year. if your are sicker, you will get more than that. they will also b eligible for health savings aounts up to $8,000. we come back to the main point. if medicare goes broke, which it will on its current path by 2020 for, and we are cutting left and right, against our wl, then what will seniors do? guest: you were just citing cbo numbers. five minutes ago, cdwas cooking the books and double
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counting and now you cite them as an authoritate source? i believe the cbo numbers and i believe the numbers and he just cited. would those numbers also say is that seniors, on average, will be paying $6,000 more. there are some seniors to do not have an additional $6,000 in disposable income that can continue to go up under the ryan plan and only increases at the rate of inflation when medical costs go up at a greater rate. guest: quickly, i did not accuse the cdo of cooking the books. the democrats took to the books by double counting a lot of things including $500 billion in obamacare cuts. paul ryan has been pushing back forceful on this coming effectively, hopefully. that scoring did not include the health savings accounts that the most needy seniors will be eligible for under his plan.
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host: omaha, nebraska. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you, a gentleman. i have a question for guy. i am wondering about the republican candidate that can make it through the primaries and still been a viable candidate. is it possible that a moderate, like john huntsman, can get through and not have to change whatever it takes to have to say to get through the primaries and still be a reasonable candidate? if i would like to see the president challenged by someone from a more independent stance. i want to see the president challenged. guest: it is a good question. this is always the dance that both parties engaged in. will the person who emerges from the field and of being viable in
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in a general election? the number one issue that most republicans agree is that they want obama to lose. the question is who is best positioned to do that? i will not sit he and tell people how to vote. jon huntsman will run into some problems because he works with president obama. heat is a very smart guy. he was a successful governor in utah and spes fluent mandarin. there will be some harbor moving forward. john mccain was this merger of the coervative right for many years and he managed to win with no clear front runner and in 2008, so we will see what happens. i'd also point out that barack obama won won by a pretty hefty margin. a lot of that has to do with the mood of the country as wl. if some of these economic
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factors do not improve, a strong conservative or moderate could beat obama. guest: this is a problem for the republican party because they have moved very sharply to the right in a short amount of time. if you look at someone like huntsman, it is alsromany, and gingrich, pawlenty. they have supported these radical, socialist position is that we hear about now like individual mandates for health care, cap and trade as a way to regulate carbon emissions. like these so-called "rationing boards" or the independent payment board's committees were embraced as moderate to conservative and now they are viewed as disqualifying. that is a struggle in terms of finding a candidate that will
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have a broad appeal and r these candidates within the primary trying to explain, well, two years ago i agree but now i do not think of two years ago i agreed with a mandate and now i do not. how you explain that the primary voters? host: what about michele bachmann? guest: should to be a strong contender in a place like iowa. when huckabee got out, it opened up an avenue for someone like her to make a difference. she has an extremely strong, grass-roots fund-raising and does not have to do a lot of organizing. host: rick santorum? guest: another social conservative. respected by some in the base, for sure. he has a tough road to hoe.
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i am not quite sure that is the general mood of the base even though it has allegedly shifted to the right in the last two years. i think we have to be careful whether santorum and bachmann and this shift t the right will play out. host: will social issues be as big a deal? guest: they will believe, but not as central. there's not a single republican in the race who is not pro-life. maybe if rudy jumps in. that is an issue that matters to most people, but it will be more bread-and-butter economic issues in 2012. host: will social issues be a play in your mind? guest: has begun to the general
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election on the democratic side, but what we have seen, even since january 1st, there was a story in "the new york times" this morning that there has been over six the anti-abortion measures passed in state houses and it does not get a lot of atntion on the front pages. there is a lot of activity and anxiety within the democratic base on these issues. i think you can see this playing a factor is we move closer to november 2012. host: two more names to run out there. met romney? -- mitt romney? guest: he will run a very disciplined, very well run campaign. if he were to be the nominee, he would definitely take off the gloves with barack obama. he would be a good debater. there is romney-care where he
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did it not just a word with an individual mandate but he married it in the massachusetts. that was his baby. he has to argue that it was ok to do it at the state level and that it works, which it has not, but it is unconscionable at the federal level and repeal it. that is a need bill he will have to try to thread. i do not think he has persuaded a whole lot of people, but we will see. he is in this for the long haul. he raised $10 million in one day. host: tim pawlenty? guest: there are a lot of republicans who desperately want him to catch on and are trying to figure out a way. i think he is struggling to get name recognition and a following. someone like herman cain who is viewed by the elite republicans as a fringe figure has doubled
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the support of the former governor. there is something going on were he is not catching on. can he turn that around and start getting support? things have a way of building on themselves. if you do not get the support, show up more strongly in the polls, you c raise the money. if you cannot raise the money, you cannot do the things to start showing up in the polls. there is a lot of time, but on the other hand there is less time than if you think. he needs to get the momentum going because we are not that far away from january 2012 when the iowa caucus will start. guest: he had a very successful interview with russian lombok and came out with some of my opening proposal to bring -- proposals. he has had some funny tweets. he is a guy that democrats are scared of. he won twice in a toh state
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for democrats. he won reelection in state that had elected al franken as a senator. host: what is the untold story? what is the thing that people should be watching out for that may not be on the front page of the news as far as the 2012 election is concerned? guest: i think security will be interesting. obviously, economic matters are paramount right now, but traditionally has been get closer to the election, it has been something that the republican nominee has done. the have hammered on the idea that the republicans are the ones you can trust on national security. with the death of bin laden, will that be blunted some one this year? what kind of impact will the national security issues as we headed down to election day?
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guest: national-security and foreign-policy are getting the ort trip. they're welcome to a robust debate about those issues. the killing of bin laden was a "gutsy call." in some ways it was an obvious call, but it is hard when you're putting words on the ground to make sure you're getting the job done. no one will take that away from the president. a lot of the intelligence that led to that moment was developed using bush policies and during the bush years, but this president made that decision. it was an excellent decision. we can all agree that he should be commended and get credit for it. host: guy
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>> taking a look at the vietnam veteran memorial wall today as visitors pass by. some of them received by the motorcycle from their rally. this is the end point to provide for the bikers from the pentagon to the wall. rolling thunder has held this rally since 1988. they are trying to bring attention to the prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action left behind in u.s. wars. founded by a vietnam veteran founders that wanted to bring attention to the missing. the estimates for today's crowd are in the hundreds of thousands.
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we are going to bring you a look at the bowling funder rally and other visitors on the national mall throughout the day here on c-span.
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a number of visitors are gathered here at the vietnam veterans wall on this memorial day weekend. today we will bring you live coverage of the president as he speaks to survivors of last week's tornado in joplin, missouri. he will be at a memorial service for the victims of the tornado. we expect the president's remarks to begin at 3:00. the army chief of staff, dempsey, is expected to succeed mike mullen. we will have live coverage of that announcement from the white house, tomorrow morning. following that he will be at the arlington national ceremony starting at 10:50 eastern.
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later today, newsmakers, tom coburn discusses how congress is addressing the debt issue and how both parties might reach an agreement. interviewed by loren montgomery end andrew taylor. you can see newsmakers today at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> a perfectly good question. how much time is spent doing research? a good question. no one ever says -- how much of your time do you spend thinking? that is probably the most important part. >> tonight is part 2 of the c- span interview. you can also download this in anothe -- this and other podcasts online at c-span.org.
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>> mr. speaker, the prime minister of israel. [applause] >> earlier this week, a congressional joint meeting was held to your remarks from the israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu. he spoke on the middle east peace process and concerns over the safety of his nation. this is one hour.
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the speaker: members of congress, i have the high privilege and the >> i have the distinct honor to introduce to you, benjamin netanyahu, the prime minister of israel. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you. vice president biden, speaker boehner, distinguished senators, members of the house, honored guests i'm deeply moved by this
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warm welcome. an i'm deeply honored that you have given me the opportunity to address congress a second time. mr. vice president, do you remember the time that we were the new kids in town? and i do see a lot of old friends here. and i see a lot of new friends here as well. democrats and republicans alike.
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israel has no better friend than america and america has no better friend than israel. we stand together to defend democracy. we stand together to advance peace. we stand together to fight terrorism. congratulations, america. congratulations, mr. president, you got bin laden. good riddance.
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in an unstable middle east, israel is the one anchor of stability. in a region of shifting alliances, israel is america's unwavering ally. israel has always been pro-american, israel will always be pro-american. my friends, you don't have to -- you don't need to do nation building in israel. we are already built. you don't need to export democracy to israel, we've already got it. and you don't need to send
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american troops to israel, we defend ourselves. you have been very generous in giving us tools to do the job of defending israel on our own. thank you all and thank you, president obama, for your steadfast commitment to israel's security. i know economic times are tough. i deeply appreciate this. some of you have been telling me that your belief has been
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reaffirmed in recent months that support for israel's security is a wise investment in our common future. for an epic battle is now under way in the middle east between tyranny and freedom. a great convulsion is shaking the earth from the ky bert pass to the straits of gibraltar. they have toppled governments. and we can all see that the ground is still shifting. this historic moment holds the promise of a new dawn of freedom and opportunity. there are millions of young people out there who are determined to change their future. we all look at them.
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they risk their lives. they demand dignity. they desire liberty. these extraordinary citizens in twonies and cairo -- tunis and cairo, those of berlin and prague in 1989, yet as we share their hopes -- >> you know, i take it as a
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badge of honor and so should you that in our free societies you can now protest. you can't have these protests in the parliaments in tehran or in tripoli. this is real democracy. so as we share the hopes of these young people throughout the middle east and iran that they will be able to do what that young woman just did -- i think she's young. i couldn't see quite that far. we must also remember that
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those hopes would be snuffed out as they were in tehran in 1979. you remember what happened then. the brief democratic spring in tehran was cut short by a ferocious and unforgiving tyranny and it's this same tyranny that smothered the democratic seasoned and inflicted on that nation hezbollah. so today the middle east stands in a fateful crossroads and like all of you i pray that the peoples of the region choose the path less traveled, the path of liberty.
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no one knows what this path consists of better than you. nobody. this path of liberty is not paved by elections alone. it's paved when government permit protests in town squares, when limits are placed on the powers of rulers, when judges are beholden to laws and not men and when human rights cannot be crushed by tribal loyalties or mob rule. israel has always embraced this path in the middle east that's long rejected it, in a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, christians are persecuted.
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israel stands out. it is different. and this was seen -- there was a great english writer in the 19th century, george elliott, it's a sheep -- that was a sued nim in those days. george elliott predicted over a century ago that once established the jewish state -- here's what he said -- the jewish state will shine like a bright star of freedom amid the despotisms of the east. well, that's right. we have a free press, independent courts, an open
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economy, rambuncto -- rambunctious parliament. don't laugh. you think this is hard. go there for a day. be my guest. courageous arab protestors are now struggling to secure these very same rights for their peoples, for their societies. we're proud in israel that over one million arab citizens of israel have been enjoying these rights for decades. of the 300 million arabs in the middle east and north africa,
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only israel's arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. now, i want you to stop for a second and think about that. of those 300 million arabs, less than one half of one percent are truly free, and they're all citizens of israel. this sad fact reveals the basic truth. israel is not what is wrong about the middle east. israel is what is right about the middle east.
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israel fully supports the desire of arab peoples in our region to live freely. we long for the day when israel will be one of many real democracies in the middle east. 15 years ago i stood at this very podium -- by the way, it hasn't changed. i stood here and i said that democracy must start to take root in the arab world. well, it's begun to take root, and this beginning holds the promise of a brilliant future of peace and prosperity because i believe that a middle east that is genuinely democratic will be a middle east truly at
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peace. but while we hope for the best and while we work for the best, we must also recognize that powerful forces oppose this future. they oppose democracy. they oppose peace. far most is iran. they brutalize its own people. they support attacks against american troops in afghanistan and iraq. it subjects lebanon and gaza. it sponsors terror worldwide. when i last stood here i spoke of the consequences of iran developing nuclear weapons. now, time is running out. the hinge of history may soon turn. for the greatest daunger of all
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could soon be upon us. a militant islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons. militant islam threatens the world. it threatens islam. now, i have no doubt and absolutely convinced that it will ultimately be defeated. i believe it will eventually succumb to the forces of freedom and progress. it depends on cloistering young minds for a given amount of years and the process of opening up information will ultimately defeat this movement. but like other fanaticisms that were doomed to fail, militant islam could have its eventually demise. a nuclear armed iran would ignite a nuclear arms race in
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the middle east. it would give terrorists a nuclear umbrella. it would mike the nightmare of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger throughout the world. i want you to understand what this means because if we don't stop it, it's coming. they could put a bomb anywhere. they could put it in a missile. they're working on missiles that could reach this city. they could put it on a ship inside a container to reach every port. they could eventually put it in a suitcase or in a subway. now, the threat to my country cannot be overstated. those that dismiss it are sticking their heads in the sand. in less than seven decades after six million jews were
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murdered, iran's leaders deny the holocaust of the jewish people while calling for the annihilation of the jewish state. leaders who spew such venom should be banned from every respectable forum on the planet. but there's something that makes the outrage even greater. you know what that is? it's the lack of outrage because in much of the international community the calls for our destruction are
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met with utter silence. it's even worse because there are many who rush to condemn israel for defending itself against iran's terror proxies. not you. not america. you acted differently, you've condemned the iran regime and passed tough sanctions against iran. history will salute you, america. president obama has said that the united states is determined
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to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons. the president successfully led the security council at the u.n. to adopt sanctions against iran. you in congress passed even tougher sanctions. now, these words are vitally important, yet the ayatollah regime briefly suspended its nuclear weapons program only once, in 2003, when it feared the possibility of military action. in that same year, muammar gaddafi gave up his nuclear program and for the same reason. the more iran believes that all options are on the table the less the chance of confrontation.
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and this is why i ask you to continue to send an unequivocal message that america will never permit iran to develop nuclear weapons. now, as for israel, if history has taught the jewish people anything it is that we must take calls for our destruction seriously. we are a nation that rose from the ashes of the holocaust.
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when we say never again we mean never again. israel always returns. israel always reserves the right to defend itself. my friends, while israel will be ever vigilant in its defense we'll never give up our quest for peace. i guess we'll give it up when we achieve it. because we want peace, because we need peace. now, we've achieved historic peace agreement with egypt and jordan and these have held up
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for decades. i remember what it was like before we had peace. i was nearly killed in a firefight inside the -- i mean that literally -- inside the suez canal. i was going to the bottom with a 40-pound ammunition pack and somebody reached out to grab me and they're still looking for a guy that would do such a stupid thing. i was nearly killed there. and i remember battling terrorists along both banks of the jordan. too many israelis have lost loved ones. i know their grief. i lost my brother. so no one in israel wants a return to those terrible days. the peace with egypt and jordan
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has long served as an anchor of stability and peace -- and with -- this peace should be bolstered by economic and political support to all those who remain committed to peace. the peace agreements between israel and egypt and israel and jordan are vital, but they are not enough. we must also find a way to forge a lasting peace with the palestinians. two years ago i publicly
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committed to a solution of two states for two peoples, a palestinian state alongside a jewish state. i am willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace, as the leader of israel, it's my responsibility to lead my people to peace. this is not easy for me. not easy. because i recognize that in a genuine peace we'll be required to give up parts of the ancestral jewish homeland. and you have to understand this, in judea and sue marea, the jewish people are not foreign occupiers.
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we are not the british and india, we are not the belgiums in the congo. this is the land of our forefathers. the land of israel. to which abraham brought the idea of one god, where david set out to confront goliath, and where isiah saw vision of eternal peace. no distortion of history, boy, am i reading a lot of distortions of history lately, old and new, no distortion of history can deny the 4,000 -year-old bond between the jewish people and the jewish land.
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but there is another truth, the palestinians share this small land with us. we seek a peace in which they'll be neither israel's subjects nor its citizens. they should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable, and independent people living in their own state. they should enjoy a prosperous economy where their creativity and initiative can flourish. we have already seen the beginnings of what is possible. in the last few years the
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palestinians have begun to build a better life for themselves. by the way, prime minister phi yad has led this effort on their farther and i wish him a speedy recovery from his recent operation. we have helped on our side, we have helped the palestinian economic growth by removing hundreds of barriers and roadblocks to the free flow of goods and people. and the results have been nothing short of remarkable. the palestinian economy is booming. it's grown by more than 10% a year. and palestinian cities, they look very different today than what they looked just a few years ago. they have shopping malls. movie theaters. restaurants, banks, they even
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have e-businesses but you can't see that when you visit them. that's what they have. it's a great change. and all of this is happening without peace. so imagine what could happen with peace. peace would herald a new day for both our peoples, and it could also make the dream of a broader arab-israeli peace a realistic possibility. so now here's the question. you've got to ask it. if the benefits of peace with the palestinians are so clear, why has peace eluded us? because all six israeli prime ministers since the signing of the oslo accords, agreed to establish a palestinian state.
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myself included. so why is peace -- has peace not been achieved? because so far the palestinians have been unwilling to accept a palestinian state if it meant accepting a jewish state alongside it. you see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a palestinian state. it's always been about the existence of the jewish state. this is what this conflict is about. in 1947 the u.n. voted to
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partition the land into a jewish state and an arab state. the jews said yes. the palestinians said no. in recent years the palestinians twice refused generous offers by israeli prime ministers to establish a palestinian state on virtually all the territory won by israel in the six-day war. they were simply unwilling to end the conflict. and i regret to say this, they continue to educate their children to hate. they continue to name public squares after terrorists. and worst of all they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that israel will one day be flooded by the desendants of palestinian refugees. my friends, this must come to an end.
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president obama abbas must do -- president abbas must do what i have done. i stood before my people, and i told you it wasn't easy for me, i stood before my people and said i will accept a palestinian state. it's time for president abbas to stand before his people and say, i will accept a jewish state. those six words will change history.
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now, make it clear to the palestinians that this conflict must come to an end. that they are not building a palestinian state to continue the conflict with israel, but to end it. those six words will convince the people of israel that they have a true partner for peace. with such a partner, the palestinian -- rather the israeli people will be prepared to make a far-reaching compromise. i will be prepared to make a far-reaching compromise. this compromise must reflect the dramatic demographic changes
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that have occurred since 1967. the vast majority of the 650,000 israelis who live beyond the 1967 lines reside in neighborhoods and suburbs of jerusalem and greater tel aviv. now, these areas are densely populated, but they are geographically quite small. and under any realistic peace agreement, these areas as well as other places of critical strategic and national importance will be incorporated into the final borders of israel. the status of the settlements will be decided only in negotiations, but we must also be honest. so i'm saying today something
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that should be said publicly, by all those who are serious about peace, in any real peace agreement, in any peace agreement that ends the conflict , some settlements will end up beyond israel's borders. now the precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. we'll be generous about the size of the future palestinian states. but as president obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on june 4, 1967. israel will not return to the boundaries of 1967.
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>> i want to be very clear on this point, israel will be generous on the signs of the palestinian state but will be very firm on where we put the border with it. this is an important principle, it shouldn't be lost. we recognize a palestinian state must be big enough to be viable, to be independent, to be prosperous. all of you, and the president, too, have referred to israel as the homeland of the jewish people. just as you have been talking about a future palestinian state, is the homeland of the palestinian people. jews from around the world have a right to immigrate to the one and only jewish state. and palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate if they so choose to a palestinian state.
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here's what this means. it means that the palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of israel. everybody knows this, it's time to say it, it's important. and as for jerusalem, only a democratic israel has protected the freedom of worship for all faiths in the city. throughout the millennial history of the jewish capital,
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the only time that jews, christians, and muslims could worship freely, could have unfettered access to their holy sites, has been during israel's sovereignty over jerusalem. jerusalem must never again be divided. jerusalem must remain the united capital of israel. . i know this is a difficult issue for palestinians, but i believe that with creativity and with good will, a solution can be found. sos the peace i plan to forge with a palestinian partner committed to peace. but you know very well that in
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the middle east, the only peace that will hold is a peace you can defend. so peace must be anchored in security. [applause] in recent years, israel withdrew from south lebanon and fwa sa. we thought we'd get peace. that's not what we got. we got 12,000 rockets fired from those areas on our cities, on our children by hezbollah and hamas. the u.n. peace keepers in lebanon failed to prevent the smuggling of this weaponry. the european observers in fwa sa, they evaporated overnight. so if israel simply walked out of the territories, the flow of weapons into a future
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palestinian state would be unchecked and missiles fired from it could reach virtually every home in israel in less than a minute. i want you to think about that, too. imagine there's a siren going on and we have less than 60 seconds to find shelter from an incoming rocket. would you live that way? do you think anybody can live that way in we're not going to live that way either. the truth is that israel needs unique security arrangements because of its unique size.
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it's one of the smallest countries in the world. mr. vice president, i'll grant you this, it's bigger than delaware. it's even bigger than rhode island. but that's about it. israel on the 1967 lines would be half the width of the washington beltway. here's a bit of nostalgia. i came to washington 30 years ago as a young diplomat, it took me a while, but i finally figured it out. there is an america beyond the beltway. but israel on the 1967 lines would be only nine miles wide. so much for strategic depth. so it's therefore vital,
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absolutely vital that a palestinian state be fully demilitarized and it's vital, absolutely vital, that israel maintain a long-term military presence along the jordan river. solid security arrangements on the ground are necessary not only to protect the peace, they're necessary to protect israel in case the peace unvalve -- unravels. because in our unstable region, no one can guarantee that our peace partners today will be there tomorrow. and my friends, when i say tomorrow, i don't mean someties
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tant time in the future. i mean tomorrow. peace can only be achieved around the negotiating table. the attempt to make a settlement through the united nations will mot make peace. it should be forcefully opposed by all those who want to see this conflict end. i appreciate the president's clear position on this issue. peace cannot be imposed. it must be negotiated. but peace can only be negotiated with partners committed to peace and hamas is not a partner for peace.
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hamas remains committed to israel's destruction. and to terrorism. they have a charter. that charter not only calls for the obliteration of israel, it says, kill the jews. everywhere you find them. hamas' leader condemned the killing of osama bin laden and praised him as a holy warrior. again, i want to make this clear. israel is prepared to sit down today and negotiate peace with the palestinian authority. i believe we can fashion a brilliant future for our children. but israel will not negotiate with a palestinian government backed by the palestinian version of al qaeda.
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that we will not do. so i say to president abbas, tear up your pact with hamas. sit down and negotiate. make peace with the jewish state. and if you do, i promise you this, israel will not be the last country to welcome a palestinian state as a new member of the united nations. it will be the first to do so.
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my friends, the momentous trials of the last semplery and the unfolding events of this century attest to the decisive role of the united states in defending peace and advancing freedom. providence and trust of the united states to be the guardian of liberty. all people who cherish freedom owe a profound debt of gratitude to your great nation. among the most grateful nations is my nation. the people of israel. who have fought for their liberty and survival against impossible odds in ancient and modern times alike. i speak on behalf of the jewish people and the jewish state when i say to you, representives of america, thank you -- representatives of america, thank you.
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thank you for your unwavering support for israel. thank you for ensuring that the flame of freedom burns bright throughout the world. may god bless all of you and may god forever bless the united states of america.
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thank you. thank you very much. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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[applause]
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>> and even busier day than usual near the monuments and memorials on the national mall today. taking a live look at the biker
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group, rolling thunder, to bring attention to prisoners of war and people missing in action, u.s. serviceman, during their annual weekend rally. this is the rolling thunder festival, have situated themselves to the state department on the national mall. dampen holding their rallies since 1988, when the -- they have been holding their rallies 1988. >> these folks come from around the country, bringing memorabilia, buttons, patches, pence, bringing attention to prisoners of war and service members who are missing in action over the several
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conflicts of the u.s. armed conflicts that have happened. they will be meeting here for the rest of the day at the festival. they have been holding these rallies since 1988, bringing attention to those prisoners of war and missing in action. they started with about 2500 people taking part. we are bringing you live looks at the rolling thunder rally and other visitors here at the national mall. this is live coverage on c-span. we will have live coverage later today of president obama as he speaks to survivors of last week's tornado in joplin, missouri, at a memorial service for the more than 130 victims killed there. we expect those remarks to begin around 3:00. the president is expected to announce martin and csx chief of staff who will be proceeding mike mullen.
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after that, he will be at the memorial day leaf -- memorial day wreath laying ceremony. that's all day tomorrow on c- span. >> the c-span video library makes it easy to follow campaign 2012. get instant access to the events announced and presidential candidates. the peabody award winning c-span video library -- it is washington, your way. [applause] before we go to the president's remarks, here is robert gates giving his last commencement address. he retires next month. he spoke at the graduation ceremony for students at the u.s. naval academy in annapolis.
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>> of want to first welcome and thank the family members here today. your support and encouragement have made this day possible for these young men and women. more importantly, you have nourished their spirits and molded their character. you have instilled in them a love of country and willingness to serve. now, you entrust to the nation your most treasured possessions. thank you to sponsor families of the midshipmen. over the past four years, you have opened your homes to these young men and women, providing a good meal or respite from the academy life or a shoulder to lean on. your guidance and caring helped make to a possible for them. for the cast of 2011, congratulations. as the first order of business, i will exercise my authority as the secretary of defense to
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grant amnesty to all midshipmen whose antics led to minor conduct offenses. [laughter] [applause] as always, admiral miller has the final say on what constitutes minor. [laughter] today's speech represents my final commencement speech as defense secretary, culminating a month of five commencement addresses. the most recent being last sunday at notre dame. from my brief time there, i can report to you that the better dame student body is moving through grief, to the nile to anger over the pounding navy football gave them last october. [applause] on a related note, whenever
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ricky dobbs throws his hat in the ring for president of the united states, he will have my endorsement. i would like to start by thanking each of today's graduates for choosing to serve your country and fellow citizens. in everything you did hear from studying to exams to training sessions with upperclassman, you've grown together as a team. there has also been something bigger uniting you, your willingness to take on a difficult and dangerous path in the service of others. i made my first academy commencement address here in may, 2007. a short time later, your arrived here to begin a remarkable educational experience, and expire -- an experience that concludes today. all of you made the decision to
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enter this academy during the toughest stretch of the iraq war. you reported here when casualties were at their highest and the prospects for success uncertain at best. at the same time, the taliban or making their comeback in afghanistan in it -- and history's most notorious terrorist was still at large trade as a result of the skill and sacrifice of countless young warriors and patriots, many of them graduates of this institution, i am proud to say we face a different set of circumstances today. iraq has a real chance at a peaceful and democratic future and in afghanistan, the taliban momentum has been reversed and that osama bin laden is finally where he belongs. [applause]
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while many people with this history, those who step for to serve in a time of crisis have a place in history. as of today, you joined a long line of patriots in a noble calling. by your service, you have a chance to leave your mark on history. almost 100 years ago, president theodore roosevelt delivered an extraordinary speech called " citizenship in a republic per "he observed our society's success or failure will be conditioned upon the way in which the average man and average woman does his or duty. the average citizen must be a good citizen if our public are to succeed. roosevelt went on to say the average cannot be kept high and must the standard of the leaders is very much higher. the graduates of this institution are not average
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citizens and you cannot be content to be good citizens. you must be great citizens. in everything you do, you must always live up to the highest personal standards of duty, service and honor. the values of the navy, the value of the american armed forces, the values of the best traditions of our country. indeed, when you are called to lead and stand in defense of your country in far away lands, you must hold your value and honors close to your heart. 46 years ago this month, i graduated from this school dedicated to public service. at the cia, the white house and now the pentagon, i served under eight presidents and had the opportunity to observe many other great leaders along the way. from this experience, i learned
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real leadership is a rare and precious commodity. it requires qualities many people might possess piecemeal to varying degrees, but few exhibit in total. as you start your careers as leaders today, i would like to offer some brief thoughts of those qualities. for starters, great leaders must have vision. the abilities to get your eyes off your shoe laces at every level of rancor and responsibility and see beyond the day to day problems. to be able to look beyond tomorrow and discern a world of possibilities and potential. how do you take any outfit to a higher level of excellence? you must see what others do, cannot, and do not, and be prepared to act on your vision. an additional quality necessary is deep conviction. true leadership is a fire in the
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mind that transforms all who feel it's warm, all new see it shining life -- all to see it shining light. it is a strength of purpose or belief in a cause that reaches out to others, touch their hearts, and makes them eager to follow. self-confidence is still another quality of leadership. not the chest thumping egotism we see all the time, rather the quiet, self assurance that allows a leader to give others real responsibility in real credit for success. the ability to stand in the shadow and others receive attention and accolades. perhaps a leader is able to make decisions but then delegate and trust others to make things happen. that does not mean turning your back and hoping for the best. it means trusting in people at the same time you hold them accountable.
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a self confident leader does not cast such a large shadow that no one else can grow. a further quality of leadership is courage -- not just of the seas, skies and trenches, but moral courage. the courage to chart a new course, to do what is right, and not just what is popular. the courage to stand alone, the courage to act, the courage as a military officer to speak truth to power in most -- speak truth to power. in most training programs, there is and this is on team building, working together and building consensus on group dynamics. you have learned a lot about that. but for everyone who would become a leader, the time will inevitably come when you must stand alone. when, alone, you must say this is wrong or i disagree with all of you and because i have the
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responsibility, this is what we will do. don't kid yourself. that takes real courage. another essential quality of leadership is integrity. without this, real leadership is not possible. nowadays, it seems like integrity or honor or character is kind of quaint. a curious, old fashioned notion. we read of all too many successful and intelligent people in and out of government. whether from an attention or a sense of entitlement, the notion that rules are not for them, but for a real leader, personal virtues of self-reliance, self control, honor, truthfulness, morality are absolute.
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these are the building blocks of character and integrity. only on that foundation can really your should be built. treating those around you and above all your support bets with fairness and respect. a test is how you treat those you out rank, or as president truman said, how you treat those who can't talk back. whenever your military specialty might be, use your authority over others for constructive purposes to help them, to watch out, and to care for them and their families, help them approve their skills and advance, to ease their hardships wherever possible. all of this without compromising mission or authority. common decency builds respect. in a democratic society car
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respect is what prompts people to give their all for a leader, even at great personal sacrifice. i hope you will keep these thoughts with you as you advance in your careers. above all, remember the true measure of leadership is not how he reacted to times of peace or times without peril, the true measure of leadership is how you react when the wind leave your sales, the tide turns against you. just to get accepted to the naval academy, most of the of probably succeeded, allie many cases brilliantly, at pretty much everything you have done in the classroom, the playing field or other activities. i know this institution has challenged year in new ways. but from here on out, it just gets harder and the risk of failure or setbacks will only grow as your responsibilities grow. with them, the consequences of your decisions. so know this -- at some point along your path, you will surely
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encounter failure and disappointment of one kind or another. nearly all of us have. if, at those times you hold true to your standards, you will always succeed. if only in knowing you stayed true and honorable. in the final analysis, what matters are not the failures and disappointments themselves, but how you respond. about 40 years ago, a young ensign ran his gasoline tanker into a bully, following his propeller and the process. typically a career killer. i work with that naval officer every day. he's now the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral -- admiral. to be able to respond to setbacks with determination should apply as well to the military institutions you leave. i'll never forget the night of april 24th, 1980.
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i was executive assistant to the cia director at the time and was in the white house during the secret mission to rescue american hostages in iran. i had been in on the planning from the beginning. while the operation was clearly risky, i honestly believe it worked. it did not. singh, images of bird helicopters and the charred remains of u.s. servicemen splashed around world. it was truly a low ebb for our nation and for a bullet hit -- and a military that was still recovering from vietnam. then the special operations community and the u.s. military as a whole pulled itself together, reform the way it was trained and organized, took on the corrosive service parochialism that hobbled our military institutionally and operationally. just under one month ago, i once again spent a nerve wracking afternoon in the white house as a risky special operations mission was underway. when word of a downed helicopter
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came back, my heart sank. remembering that awful night 30 years ago. but this time, of course, there was a very different result. a mass murderer was brought to a fitting end. a world in lot of america's military prowess -- a country relieved that justice was done and the government could do something hard and do it right. .
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after you have assumed important responsibilities. these qualities have their roots in the small decisions you have made here at the academy and will make arly in your career. and must be strengthened all along the way to allow you to resist the temptation of self-before service. as i mentioned elier, this is my last address to america's service academies, my last opportunity to engage the future leaders of our military as your defense secretary. as i look out upon you this morning, i am reminded of what so struck and moved me when i went from being a university president to u.s. secretary of defense in a time of war. at texas a and m i would walk the campus and see lots of students ages 18 to 25, typically wearing t shirts and shorts and back packs.
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the day after i became secretary of defense this december 2006, i made my first visit to the war theater. and there i encountered other young men and women also 18 to 25. except they were wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles. putting their lives at risk for all americans. and i knew that some of them would not make it home whole. and that some would not make it home at all. i knew then that soon all those in harm's way would be there because i sent them. ever since, i have come to work every day with a sense of personal responsibility for each and every young american in uniform. as if you were my own sons and daughters. my only prayer is that you
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serve with honor and come home safely. i personally thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service. serving and leading you has been the greatest honor of my life. may you have fair winds and following seas. congratulations. [applause] >> taking a look at downtown washington, d.c. at the crowds gathered here at the national mall near the state department and veterans wall memorial for vietnam veterans and the lincoln memorial. the group rolling thunder has gathered in this area every
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memorial day weekend since 1988 a number of the group are former veterans themselves. they bring their motor bikes to this rally to call attention to u.s. prisoners of war and soldiers missing in afpblgts taking a look at the rolling thunder festival. they have a number of booths with a bunch of buttons, and s.u.v. nirs, for bringing attention to those prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.
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>> you see here members of rolling thunder at their festival, other visitors at the mall on this memorial day weekend. sitting off the department of state near the vietnam wall. started their rally this morning at the pentagon in arlington, virginia, where former alaska governor sara palin kicked off her nationwide bus tour, she will be visiting sites, renewing speculation that she will make a run for the presidential nomination. take you now away from the streets of washington, d.c. to joplin, most where president obama is speaking to survivors
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of last week's tornado. >> heavenly father, we take time to pause, reflect, and pray amidst the pain of this devastation we have no doubt of your presence among us. you are infusing in each of us from near and afar a strength and resilience that is a special gift. you are calling our already close knit community to new heights of determination and purpose. we hear the mission you have entrusted to us and with your help we will put our hands to the plow. we are grateful for the support you are sending us and for the backing of our governor and state and for the enormous support from our president and country at this time of renewal and restoration. father, we open to your will.
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amen. please be seated. >> welcome. and thank you for coming to today's memorial service. customly a greeting would include such words as ladies and gentlemen and honored guests. but when there has been deep shared pain, when a community has suffered greatly, and cried much together, and when the compassion and the kindness extended to one another has gone far beyond the scope of words, a more tender language than honored guests or ladies and gentlemen is right. words like friends and neighbors and family and
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brothers and sisters. words like us. together here today with us. thank you for your coming. thank you for your role in each other's lives. thank you for what you mean to one another. our prayer was just led by father justin monhan who by the grace of god in a stout bath tub survived the destruction of the church of st. mary's the congregation of the lord on 26th street and physically and met forically the cross still stands. [applause] there's a three-fold purpose to this gathering. the first is to grieve. the loss of even one human life
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is a tragedy. and we have lost scores. we also gather to pray god's blessings and we rebuild our lives, asking god to lead us as we rebuild around the thing that is matter most. and we gather to celebrate the kindness that people have and are giving to one another. our foundation has not moved. it's still in the same place. we still have a solid place to stand. in roman's the 8th chapter apostle paul wrote these words. what then shall we say to these things if god is for us who can be against us. who do not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, would we not graciously give up all things? who shall separate us in the love of christ shall tribulation or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? no. in all these things we are more than conquerers to him who
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loved us. for i am confident that neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers nor anything to come nor powers nor height or depth or anything else in all of creation will ever we b able to separate us nm love of god or christ jesus our lord. and now with the hymn of promise, the choir of the first united methodist church under the direction of larry san born. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ [applause]
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>> pastor aaron brown has been a good friend of the four-state area, a faithful partner in the gospel. and a shepherd of st. paul's unenite methodist church. it too is a congregation that has lost much including its worship center. he will have our message this afternoon. >> we are all trying to process our stories and understand them in the context of what's happened. and i thought i would take the liberty of telling you mine about sunday. our family lives south of the city of joplin and after the tornado i drove as far as i could into town and ran to the home of one of my closest friends. and his house was gone but he
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and his family wur safe. from there i was able to run to our church on 26 and monroe and found about a third of it was again. and i just had to know if everybody inside was safe. and there was one person in the church at the time the tornado was hit and she was safe. she hid under a dish washer in our kitchen. i went out to the street and what i saw is that people were just running. running. i didn't know what else to do so i just ran alongside people and said, can i help you find somebody? and i dug through houses and i prayed with a young couple whose friends didn't make it out of their house. and across the street from there, there were two elderly people that had died in their own back yard and i don't know their names. but i know there was a lot of running and digging and hoping and praying. that's what i remember. i got called back to the church and the kid's wing of our
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church miraculously was still standing and it became a triage center. it's ironic, the classroom that that morning children had played and laughed around and learned about jesus around became the places where wounded were being treated and broken bones were being set and emergency surgeries were being performed. tables where kids had been making crafts a few hours earlier became beds of comfort and rest for the wounded. we have all spent the last seven days looking for family and friends we have all had those moments of unbelievable relief that hearing somebody's voice and we have all had those moments of heart-sinking pain and hearing that somebody that we know didn't make it. late friday night, i delivered the news to mark and trish norton that their son's will his body has been identified. 18 years old. absolutely overflowing with
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life and faith, he had just graduated from high school hours before he was killed. will is one of, from what i've heard recently, one of 142. what is the word of comfort for us today? the word of comfort today for will's family and for all those that are greaving comes from the god of the universe. the god who took human form and walked among us. he suffered, he knows what it's like for us when we suffer. and jesus said this. do not let your hearts be troubled. trust in god. trust also in me. in my father's house are many rooms. and if it were not so i would have told you. i'm going to prepare a place for you. and if i go and prepare a place for you, i will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where i am. he said, before long, the world will not see any me more but you will see me. and because i live you also will live. and then he also says this a few verses later.
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peace i leave with you. my peace i give to you. and i do not give. the world gives. so do not be afraid. to those families who died, i think god is saying to you right now, death does not get the last word. i think god is saying to those families right now, this is what i wanteded you to see in the resurrection of jesus that death doesn't win ever. even when you think it does -- [applause] fwod is saying to you families, even if it looks like death wins, it doesn't get the last word. life wins. life wins. [applause] and i will be honest. i don't know the faith stories of all those that have died. i don't know their faith stories. but i know this.
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that god's grace is wider than we can ever imagine, that heaven is real, and that this life is not the only life that we see. we need to be honest and confess that some of us are asking why. why did god do this, why did god allow this? so much death, so much destruction. but listen, jesus never promised to protect us from the storms of life. he never promised that life would be easy or convenient if we chose to follow him. in fact, almost all his disciples were tortured to death. what he did promise was very simple and powerful. to be with us. to be with us through the storms, to be with us as we gree, to be with us as we stand at the gravesite of our loved ones. to be with us and guide us. and our challenge is will we let him?
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and as hard as it may be to pray, to talk to god, listen for his words. let him love you. let him lo you. god didn't do this to joplin to punish us. read the book. jesus took our punishment for us. read the book. [cheers and applause] this happened, this happened because life on this side of eternity is unpredictable. and it is chaotic and it is broken. the scripture says this, though. for god so loved the world that he gave his one and only son and he hasn't stopped loving the world. you may wonder at times, but the fact is that god loves you and god loves joplin and god is walking with us through this tragedy today and he will make a way where it seems like there is no way. you know, when jesus was
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crucified everybody thought it was the end. the disciples had forgotten everything that he told them. that their world had come crashing down around him. there was this erie darkness that covered the land and for parts of three days there was no hope. but then -- [applause] but then, but then easter. death is swallowed up in victory. light crushes the darkness. life wins. life won then and life wins now. and now what do we do? we get busy. jesus didn't come back from the grave just to point us to heaven. he came back from the grave to give us a mission that those who called on his name would be the light of the world. his mission was for us to get
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busy, get busy building the city. and i love it. and i think it is the center of the universe right here in joplin, missouri. [cheers and applause] get busy. let's get busy loving more deeply than we ever have loved. let get busy taking care. you get busy taking care of your soul. get busy connecting to god. who loves you more than you can ever imagine or believe. and for those of you who have lost loved ones, get busy living out their legacy. they may have lost their lives, but none of them would want yeah to stop living yours. get busy living. we are not a people without hope. we are people from whom hope and light and life shines to the ends of the earth because god is good all the time. and all the time god is good.
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in the name of jesus, the lord of life and the lord of light and the lord of hope and the lord of new beginnings. in his name that is the good news. amen. amen. [applause] >> a simple thank you is not adequate enough. thank you. it is now my privilege to introduce a man that i have much appreciated this week. i have been in several meetings where he was present. i have been in conversation with him. i have appreciated not only what his power and his office can do. but i have genuinely appreciated what the heart of
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the man helped his office to do. i would like to introduce jeremiah nixon, governor of the state of missouri. [applause] >> thank you, pastor. to the families of those who were killed and injured, to the families of those who are still unaccounted for, to the people of joplin, who have endured this terrible tragedy, to the
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thousands of missouriens and citizens across the nation who have opened their hearts to help us heal, to the hundreds of firefighters and emergency responders who came without hesitation to climb over piles of rubble in search of our survivors, to pastor gares, pastor broun, father monhan, lieutenant colonel, and the wonderful choir, to president obama who is with us today, thank you all for coming. it is an honor to be here. joining the thousands of missouriens observing this special day of prayer. we stand on hallowed ground. to bear witness, to the destructive nature torks the power of nature, and the
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invincible power of faith. we have come to mourn what the storm has taken from us, to seek comfort in community, and to draw strength from god to build anew. it seems inconceiveable that just one week ago the people of joplin were going about their daily lives, doing the ordinary things that people do on a sunday evening. cooking supper, watching tv, walking the dog, attending their sons' and daughters' graduation. and then came the whirl wind. nearly a mile wide and six
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miles long with its 200 mile an hour winds churning and roaring, tossing cars and toppling trees, pounding homes, businesses, schools, and churches to rubble. but that storm, the likes of which we have never seen, has brought forward a spirit of resilience the likes of which we have also never seen. [applause] what our nation and our world have witnessed this week is the spirit of joplin, missouri. [cheers and applause] and we're humbled by it. you have given love thy neighbor new meaning. the parable of the good
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samaritan in luke begins with a conversation between jesus and a student of religious law. it starts with a legal question and ends with a moral imperative. the student asks jesus, what shall i do to inherit eternal life? and jesus turns the question around and asks, what is written in the law? and the student who is well versed in the torah replies, thou shalt love the lord thy god with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and with all thy mind. and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy selve. and jesus replizz, thou hast answered right. this too and thou shalt live. but then the student wanting
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greater clarity than the law provided asked jesus, and who is my neighbor? and jesus tells him the story of the good samaritan. from that parable our charge is crystal clear. good samaritans do not pass by those who are suffering and in need. they show their compassion with action. in joplin you see good samaritans everywhere you turn. you see them over in the gym, at this university where hundreds of volunteers make sandwiches each and every day. you see them passing out blankets and pillows, sunscreen and flash lights. to our neighbors made homeless by a whirlwind. you need a flashlight because it gets pretty dark here at night. especially when you're standing in the street staring at the
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lonely pile of match sticks that was once your family's home. if you had been at the e.r. at st. johns mercy medical center last sunday evening mere moments after the tornado struck, you would have seen good samaritans rushing frantically to reach the wounded and the dying. shattered glass and bleeding patients everywhere. water and gas spewing from burst pipes. one doctor stumbled through the darkness with a flashlight in his teeth following the wail of a wounded child. you see good samaritans at er checkpoint in the destruction zone where police officers and citizens soldiers of our missouri national guard keep watch over wet socks, teddy bears and crumbled wheel chairs. all that is left of our nabesors' worldly goods. you see them in the churchyard,
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men sleeping on cots under the stars after driving all night to get here from tuscaloosa. [applause] these men were so touched, so moved by the kindness of strangers in their hour of need that they just had to come to joplin. good samaritans on a mission from god. god has chosen us for a mission, too. to grieve together, to comfort one another, to be patient with one another, to strengthen one another, and to build joplin
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anew. [applause] not just to build it back the way it was. but to make it an even better place. we know that all those who perished here are already in an even better place. but for us, the living, there is work to do. god says show me. show me. [cheers and applause] the people of missouri were born for this mission. [applause]
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we are famously stubborn and self-reliant. practical. impatient. but whatever may divide us, we always come together in crisis. and once we set our resolve, no storm, no fire, no flood can turn us from our task. [cheers and applause] in the pail, hushed stillness before dawn, when the chain saws have fallen silent, if you listen very closely you can hear the sound of that resolve. like a tiny silver hammer tapping.
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tapping. tapping. inside each of our heads. in the days to come the satellite trucks will pack up, leave town and move on. joplin's story will disappear from the front pages. but the tragedy will not disappear from our lives. we will still be here in joplin together, preparing for the long journey out of darkness into light and we will need more hands, more tools, more good samaritans every step of the way. [applause] this tragedy has changed us forever. this community will never be the same. we will never be the same. the grief we share at this
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moment is overwhelming. that sorrow will always be a part of us. a stone upon our hearts. but those we love, those we lost are safe with god and safe in our hearts. and in our hearts the joy they gave us lives on and on. nothing can take that from us. we can and we will heal. we have already begun. together, we can and we will rebuild upon a granite foundation of faith. what we build on this hallowed ground will be a living monument to those we lost. mothers, fathers, our precious children. it will be a monument to the will and determination of the
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hundreds of men, women, and yes even children who helped their neighbors dig out of the ruins. a monument to the search and rescue crews who came swiftly to aid the quick and the dead. by god's grace we will restore this community. and by god's grace we will renew our souls. one year from today, joplin will look different. and more different still in two years. and three. and five. and as the years pass, the moral of our story will be the same. love thy neighbor. god bless.
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[applause] [cheers and applause] before he takes the podium, i would like to thank president obama for his tireless -- [cheers and applause] efforts for resources all across our country and to communities across the nation
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who are struggling to recover in the aftermath of deadly storms and floods. the weight on your shoulders is heavy. we will continue to need that help in the months and years to come. on behalf of all of the people of my great state, mr. president, we thank you for your service to our country. [cheers and applause] and now i am honored to present the 44th president of the united states, barack obama. [cheers and applause]
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>> thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. please, please be seated. >> we love you, obama. >> i love joplin. i love joplin. >> we love joplin. >> we love joplin. [cheers and applause] thank you, governor for that powerful message but more importantly for being here with a and for your people every step of the way. we are grateful to you, to reverend gareriss, father monhan, i'm so glad you got in
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that tub. [cheers and applause] to reverend brown for that incredibly powerful message. [applause] to senator claire mccaskle who has been here and congressman billy long, mayor wolston, to craig fugeath. he doesn't get a lot of attention but he heads up fema our emergency response at the federal level. he has been going from tussa to joplin and everywhere in between tirelessly doing outstanding work. we are grateful for him. gale mcgovern, the president of the national red cross which has contributed mightly to the rebuilding efforts here. most of all, to the family and
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friends of all those who have been lost and all those who have been affected. today we gather to celebrate the lives of those we have lost through the storms here in joplin and across the midwest. to keeping our prayers those still missing to mourn with their families, to stand together during this time of pain and trial. and as reverend brown alluded to, the question that weighs on us at a time like this is why. why our town, why our home, why my son, or husband, or wife, or sister, or friend. why?
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we do not have the capacity to answer. we can't know when a terrible storm will strike or where or the severity of the devastation that it may cause. we can't know why we're tested. with the loss of a loved one. or the loss of a home where we've lived a lifetime. these things are beyond our power to control. but that does not mean we are power lines in the face of adversity. how we respond when the storm strikes is up to us. how we live in the aftermath of tragedy and heart ache, that's
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within our control. and it is in these moments through our actions that we often see the glimpse of what makes life worth living in the first place. in the last week, that's what joplin has not just taught missouri, not just taught america, but has taught the world. i was overseas in the aftermath of the storm, and yet world leaders came up to me saying let the people of joplin know we are with them. we are thinking about them. we love them. [cheers and applause] because the world saw how joplin responded.
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a university turns itself into a make-shift hospital. some of you used your pickup trucks as ambulances carrying the injured on doors that served as stretchers, your restaurants have rushed food to people in need. businesses have filled trucks with donations. you have waited in line for hours to donate blood to people you know but also to people you've never met. and in all this, you have lived the words of the scripture. we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed. we are perplexed but not in despair. persecuted but not foresaken.
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cast down but not destroyed. as the governor said, you have shown the world what it means to love thy neighbor. you have banded together, you have come to each other's aid, you have demonstrated a simple truth. amid heartbreak and tragedy, no one is a stranger. everybody is a brother. everybody is a sister. we can all love one another. as you move forward in the days ahead, i know that rebuilding what you've lost won't be easy. i just walked through some of the neighborhoods that have been affected and you look out at the landscape and there have to be moments where you just
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say where to begin? how to start? there are going to be moments where after the shock has worn off you feel alone. but there's no doubt in my mind what the people of this community can do. there's no doubt in my mind that joplin will rebuild. and as president i can promise you your country will be there with you every single step of the way. [cheers and applause] we will be with you every step of the way. [cheers and applause] we're not going anywhere. the cameras may leave, the spotlight may shift, but we will be with you every step of the way until joplin is
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restored and this community is back on its feet. we're not going anywhere. [cheers and applause] that is not just my promise. that's america's promise. it's a promise i make here in joplin. it's a promise i made down in tuscaloosa or in any of the communities that have been hit by these devastating storms over the last few weeks. now, there have been countless acts of kindness and selflessness in recent days. we've already heard the record of some of that. but perhaps none are as inspiring as what took place when the storm was bearing down
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on joplin, threatening an entire community with utter destruction. and in the face of winds that showed no mercy, no regard for human life, that did not discriminate by race or faith or background, it was ordinary people swiftly tested who said i'm willing to die right now so that someone else might live. it was the husband who threw himself over his wife as their house came apart around them. it was the mother who shielded her young son, it was dean wells, a husband and father who loved to sing and whistle in his church choir. dean was working a shift at the home depot managing the electrical department when the siren rang out. he sprang into action. moving people to safety.
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over and over again, he went back for others until a wall came down on top of him. in the end, most of the building was destroyed, but not where dean had directed his coworkers and his customers. there was a young man named christopher lucas who was 26 years old, father of two daughters, third daughter on the way. just like any other night, christopher was doing his job as manager on duty at pizza hut. and then he heard the storm coming. it was then when this former sailor quickly ushered everybody into the walk-in freezer. the only problem was the freezer door wouldn't stay closed from the inside. so as the tornado bored down on this small storefront on raceline road, christopher left
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the freezer to find a rope or a cord or anything to hold the door shut. he made it back just in time tying a piece of bungie cord to the handle outside wrapping the other end around his arm holding the door closed with all his might. and christopher held it as long as he could. until he was pulled away by the incredible force of the storm. he died saving more than a dozen people in that freezer. [cheers and applause] you see, there are heroes all around us. all the time. they walk by us on the
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sidewalk, they sit next to us in class, they pass us in the aisle wearing an orange apron. they come to our table at a restaurant and ask us what we would like to order. just as we can't know why tragedy strikes in the first place, we may never fully understand where these men and women find the courage and strength to do what they did. what we do know is that in a split second moment where there's little time for internal reflection or debate, the actions of these individuals were driven by love . love for a family member, love for a friend, or just love for a fellow human being. that's good to know.
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in a world that can be cruel and selfish, it's this knowledge, the knowledge that we are inclined to love one another, that we're inclined to do good, to be good, that causes us to take heart. we see with fresh eyes what's precious and so fragile and so important to us. we put aside our petty grievances and our minor disagreements. we see ourselves in the hopes and hardships of others. and in the stories that people like dean and people like christopher, we remember that each of us contains resoist of resolve and compassion.
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there are heroes all around us all the time. and so in the wake of this tragedy let us live up to their example. to make each day count -- [applause] -- to live with a sense of mutual regard, to live with that same compassion that they demonstrated in their final hours. we are called by them to do everything we can to be worthy of the chance that we've been given to carry on. i understand that at a memorial yesterday for dean, his wife decided to play a recording of dean whistling a song he loved. amazing grace. the lyrics are a fitting
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tribute to what joplin's been through. through many dangers, toils, and snares, i have already come. tizz grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. [applause] 83, when this yea, when this flesh and heart may fail and mortal life shall cease, i shall possess within the vail a life of joy and peace. may those we've lost know peace , may grace guide the people of joplin home. god bless you and god bless the united states of america.
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thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, mr. president. i had been told that you were
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walking our streets. i had been told of jour genuine interest and your compassion. on behalf of just one of the citizens and yet on behalf of a very large crowd, thank you, sir. [cheers and applause] all of us have had friends who wanted to stand beside us this week. some could do so in person, others mailed us their hearts and asked to borrow whatever we needed from those letters and notes. one such friend wrote me the following. randy, this storm did much damage. i can't imagine.
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but randy, there are limits to its power. a tornado cannot and will not destroy the sovereignty of god. it cannot destroy the word of god, the church of god, the plan of god, the promises of god, the justice of god, the love of gd, it shall not destroy the grace of god, and it certainly shall not destroy the son of god. and he is right. [cheers and applause] as i wrap up the remarks that have been made so far today, i want to go back to what was mentioned earlier, at this time it's from paul. in the book of fill lipions paul does not define peace as the absence of conflict or struggle. that's not peace. but peace is the discovery of the presence of a personal god. the same christ who we want at
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the tomb of his friend weeps over the painful experiences we have in this world. he is the god who made us in his image, who made us to be his shadow, who tore off a part of himself to make us. and yet losing nothing in the whole. oh, he is the greater light and we are the lesser, let that never be confused. and yet, he is the god who shockingly says that he is inscribed our names on the palm of his hands. he is that one who has promised his presence and his faithfulness. my prayer prayer on behalf of my friends, my prayer is this. may you know him and you may -- may you know his peace as we rebuild not only our homes but rebuild our lives. clinging to what will never be
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shaken, the faithfulness of god, would you stand and join in the hymn that great hymn, great is thy faithfulness. you will find the words printed on the inside of your program. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪. .
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♪ ♪ ["great is thy faithfulness"] ♪
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[applause] >> father of love and life, we thank you for this time of prayer, inspiration, and renewal. allow us to continue to be open to your healing power in our efforts to be a people who reach out to all and meet their needs. bless this community and all of those who have come to was to be our strength. as we move forward, we pledge our love and support to one
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another in response to the words of your son, "love one another as i have loved you." we say yes and ask you to continue to bless us and dream new dreams as we move forward at this time. amen. as relieved, let us go in peace and love. -- as we leave. ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] ["god bless america" ♪ ]
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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["america, the beautiful"] ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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[cheers and applause] [applause]
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[cheers and applause]
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>> president obama speaking at the tender auditorium to the residence in joplin, a town in the southwest corner of the missouri. the president mention during his remarks that he had visited some of the ruins. >> president obama mentioned that he had visited some of the ruins earlier today, surveying the damage with some of the first responders and survivors. we will sure use some of that visit including short remarks he made with the governor, jay nixon. >> however you guys doing?
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how are you? >> hello, sir. >> are you from here? thank you so much for your help. god bless you. >> thank you for you being here. >> are you doing ok? how old are you? >> 8. >> he has been a big help of. >> thank you for helping out, man. >> my on cole lived right down here. >> was the ok? -- my uncle lived down here. >> yes. his house is gone. >> family is important. thank you all so much.
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not bless you. it is a wonderful thing you are doing. -- god bless you. everyone is trying to come and pitch in. let's get a picture together. god bless you. nice to meet you. tell your uncle we are praying for him. thanks. we got a good shot. come on, mr. mayor. you got it?
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obviously this seems speaks for itself. when we were in the tuscaloosa a few weeks ago, i talked about how i had not seen devastation like that in my lifetime. we come here to joplin, and it is just as heartbreaking and in some ways even more devastating. i want to thank the outstanding work of the governor, the mayor, all of the congressional delegation, as well as the first lady, and the red cross have done to help the people in responding, but obviously it is buildto take yaerears to up. we mourn the loss of life. we will be going to a memorial service to vote with the families know we are praying for them and thinking about them.
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these are just harrowing stories, but also miraculously. i met an 85-year-old gentleman who explained how he had gotten out his chicken pot pie, the storm came, he went in his closet, and he lasted without a scratch. there are happy stories to tell, but obviously there has been a lot of hard ships. the main thing i would to communicate to the people of joplin is that this is not just your tragedy. this is a national tragedy which means there will be a national response. the busiest man in the federal government over this last few months has been on the ground since the day after this happened and he is helping to coordinate with an outstanding
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team of state and local officials. we are going to do everything we can to continue whatever search and rescue remains. we're doing everything we can to make sure people get the shelter that they need, the support that they need. we're working with the governor to cut through whenever red tape is necessary as we start to rebuild. then we will have a tough road. but i tell every family that i have met here is that we will be here long after the cameras leave. we will not stop until joplin is back on its feet. to all of the volunteers helping out, it is incredible to see how many people, as far away as texas, ill., and firefighters, but ordinary citizens. this is an example of what the american spirit is all about.
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that gives us a lot of encouragement in a time when, obviously, people are going for a lot of hard ships. thank you again, governor, for your great work. >> i have been here every day trying to work early, stay late, back of the local officials, coordinate the federal response, make sure we move forward today. today is a day of remembrance. as we move to the memorial service, the loss of life, injuries, property, it is all significant. people take a stronger power to keep the strength of this community resolved and get it done. we are especially appreciative, mr. president, of your attention right here to help us in ways that will make a lasting difference to this community. god bless you. >> one last point i want to make, in the rebuilding process
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there are a lot of families who are thankful that they are ok, but they have been displaced. is not just their homes. many of them lost a means of transportation. the schools have been destroyed. for all americans, to take a little bit of time out and make a contribution to the american red cross or other charitable organizations or activities here in joplin, that can make an enormous difference. even if it is just $5, $10, whatever you have to spare. i felt the same way in alabama, but this can happen to anybody. the difference between you being in the path of this twister and a few blocks away. ok -- being ok is a very slim margin. we all have to come together because here through the grace
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of god go i. >> you can see the president's remarks from the memorial service again tonight at 6:30 p.m. here on c-span. tomorrow, on memorial day, the president is expected to nominate army chief of staff martin dempsey as the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff's succeeding admiral mullen. tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m., and following that the president will visit the arlington national cemetery starting at 10:50 a.m. eastern all of that here on c-span. coming up next, commencement addresses from around the country. first, center mark rubio -- marco rubio. then we will hear from alfredo quiñones-hinojosa.
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then laura american gives advice on eating healthy and lessons learned in the business world. in 15 minutes, mayor michael bloomberg gives his commencement address to george washington university. he talks about positive developments then came about after the 9/11 attacks and the importance of youth volunteering. we will bring that to you here on c-span. we now go to naples, fla., for the commencement address given by marco rubio talking about the importance of his religion. this is about 15 minutes. [applause] [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. it is an honor. it is an honor to be here today. thank you for the honorary degree and the invitation, dean. thank you to all of you. had i known i would get an honorary degree, i would have skipped law school 13 years ago and save a lot of money. in any event, i am grateful. i am privileged to be here today, on such an important day for olivia. i think this is my fourth commencement address. i always get to where this robot. i brought my kids to one of them and they were wondering why no one in the choir was singing. they are not here today. i get invited to these, i think, to share any insider knowledge that i have about how to be successful and what the
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future should look like, any tips that i have. i think i bring an interesting perspective. i am about 13 years removed from sitting were you are sitting right now as a graduate. and by about 13 years removed from sitting where you are today, watching a kid graduate from university or law school, maybe this one. i thought i would share with you what someone would have told me 13 years ago. it is something i share with people like you, those who are well prepared, have learned a lot did very well in high school, did well in your undergraduate degree and spent the last three years trained to be lawyers. you have learned how to think like a lawyer, which is a process in and of itself for your mind is remade to argue both sides of any issue. you are well prepared for your career. the one tip i can give you, the
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one i wish had more fully embraced 14 or 15 years ago when i began my career, not just as a lawyer but just in the public service and a life in general is this. you cannot do anything without god. it is a profound and elemental truth. you will not be able to do anything that you want, truly, in fulfillment, without god. this fundamental truth and the departure from it is the very story of the man's fall. once man was in the state where he did not need anything. one man was first created, he lived the perfect life. they did not know sam, pain, death, suffering, have the answers to all questions. all was perfect. man was deceived into believing that they could take more upon themselves and that life could be even better if they did more things on their round.
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somehow if we would just take it upon ourselves, things would be better. that was another light in all of that and that was that when somehow when you turn your life over to god that he keeps things from you, good things from you. it was all i live. we have paid a terrible price. the story of mankind is the story of that live. it is thousands of years of an attempt for god to rehabilitate us and bring us closer to that reality. why am i saying this to you? what does this have to do with your legal career? the answer is everything. here is why. from this moment forward, you will move towards the professional fulfillment, personal fulfillment, the desire for your life to be one of happiness. perhaps you think that the film that will come from making the right choice in terms of going into the right area of law. maybe think the film it will come from marrying the right
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person or not marrying the wrong person. mavy think that the telecom from some extraordinary case to take on or an office to run for. what i am here to tell you is the happen is you're searching for will never come for many of these things. no matter how good your job is commit your truly ambitious, there always be a job that you think is better. no matter how good your relationship will be with your spouse, there will always be a way to make that relationship better, no matter how much to accomplish your truly an ambitious person. there of the things you know what to accomplish even more so. alternately, you will find that it is not about what the world defines as happiness. you are striving for peace. not peace in the global perspective, but peace in the ability to take anything that comes your way and see the good in it. peace is the ability to be happy in good times and in bad when you have pain and when you have joy.
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it is the ability to be happy with great disappointment and a great triumph. that peace will never come from any person, any job, or anything that you did. it is supranatural and will require your complete reliance on god to achieve it. that me tell you why that is so important. those of you gathered here today as graduates, as christians you are an ambassador of your faith. of graduates as this institution, you are a ambassador of this institution. many of you will go out to work in the world and the only thing that people will know about ave maria law school as their impression of you. you'll be the first and only impression they will ever have, in the short term, of what it means to be of the school and from the school, so much more so because of the faith element of this institution. your job, as all of our jobs, what you will truly find
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fulfillment in is being a light in the world, in light on behalf of your faith, your institution, the values you have learned and reinforced here. a light in everything you do. when you become husbands or wives, and light in that relationship and an example to the world. when you become lawyers from a light to your profession and to the world. in the achievements in any other career that you may go into, but you cannot be that light if you do not have that piece. that peace will be challenged for you on a daily basis. it is a piece that will be challenged by the fear of losing things, losing your prestige, losing your job, losing your position. that will be challenged by a fear of suffering. no one delights in suffering. we all fear suffering. i remind you that anytime the fear suffering to remind yourself that god's wisdom is not our on and the story of jesus christ is an example of
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that. on the way to the messiah when he arrived, most did not recognize him. they did not recognize him because they were waiting for a political figure, taking whatever the roman empire and established a kingdom in jerusalem and role as a political figure. they could not understand god's wisdom that saw suffering has triumphed. which one of us would choose the flogging, the disappointments, the people turning their back, the ridicule? which one of us would choose that as a human concept of success? god uses suffering in the world. we have an obligation any time that we can to heal not suffering and to prevent people from prevailing. now that it will be a part of your life until the day if you die. some of us will lose our peace by the discovery of our faults. my wife discovers my faults
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every day. i would just say to you that there is nothing you can do by yourself to cure your faults, only god can cure them through his grace. also know that god is so powerful that he can use even your greatest faults to do good in the world. finally, some of you will lose your piece when it comes time to make decisions. he will have important decisions to make in your life. you will be looking for a burning bush to indicate the right choice versus the wrong one. i went through that when i ran for the united states senate. i was a 55-point underdog. the only people who thought i had a chance to win all live in my house and four of them are under the age of 10. it did not make sense. one choice was to drop out of the race for the senate and run for attorney general. the other choice was to stay in the impossible race for the u.s. senate and try to get elected,
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fail, and be embarrassed in the process. as i have shared on the campaign trail, it was a trustee struggled with for some time. i learned a couple of lessons. it was never revealed to me in some vision or anything like that. contrary, a struggle for most of the campaign. it comes down to motive. it came down to my wife wanda asked me a very simple question. "why are you in politics? are you in it to be somebody or are you and in it to do something." if i was in politics to be somebody, then you run for attorney general because it is an easier race to attend. if you are and the politics because you want a title, that would be a sure thing. if you decided this life in order to make a difference then abandon yourself to faith and run for the senate. that is what we did.
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the point is understand that at the end of the day does not matter the decision you make so much because god is so powerful and great that he can turn and the decision making to the right one. it does not matter what decision you make, what field of law you choose, he can turn a wrong answer into a right answer if he wants to. it is not the decision that matters, but why you made the decision. if you see kim in that decision, he will honor it. i promise you. he will honor it. i say these things to you -- you may ask why i talk about peace. i will let you know when i find out. we struggle that -- with that even to this day. one is to simply accept that this is not a human thing. achieving the peace that allows you to shine your light on the world is not something that you
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will be able to accomplish. it is grace. he paid for it. is given to you. as was man's original state given to man. the other is to become more childlike. not amateur -- childlike. what i mean by that is when they are very young, anything i ask them to do, they will do. i have a 5-year-old son who is becoming an assessed with being a football player, but he does not like to eat a lot. i have convinced him that the more he eats the better he becomes, and he believes me. he believes me because he knows that i love him. he believes me because he believes that i would never want anything bad for him. he trusts what i tell him because he knows that of all of the people on earth, none love him more than me. i love my son, so how much more does god loves you? i would say to you to try and become more childlike.
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my kids believe me less and less. sometimes i fear that the more educated we get, the dumber we get. the more we embrace the wisdom of the world committee for the web when it from the simple truth we get. this is not my story, so this is being taped for television so i do not want the author of this to hear me say i stolid, but i literally do not remember. i think you need to be that way now days in politics. [laughter] i hope this will serve as an example of what it can become. the way it was described to me was picture for a moment a sunny day, like today, at least for now, where the sun is shining bright and there is not a cloud in the sky. you are at a lake. the lake is stormy, the waves are high. from time to time, when the waves crashed, you will see a sparkle of light, but when you
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look at the lake, what do you notice? you do not notice the light, but the waves being treated by the wind. you notice the stormy nature of the lake. that is what catches your attention. picture a different light on the same day, one that is perfectly still, one that is perfectly at peace, one that is as smooth as glass. it becomes a mirror, completely radiating the light of the sun. that is but we endeavor to be in peace so that we can reflect the light of the sun. i say to you to try and embrace that piece said that you can be in -- a light to the world on behalf of your faith and your institution. the world today is as dark as it has ever been and it needs every bit of light it can get. i congratulate you and i wish you all the best. may god bless all of you.
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[applause] >> memorial day on "washington journal," major general jeffrey buchanan on an update on iraq and the progress made by the security forces. then major general james mallory on efforts to train the afghan army and police forces. after that, the center for american progress senior fellow brian katulis on afghanistan and finally fawn jonson about the role of federal and state gas
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taxes. your emails, phone calls, and tweets. "washington journal" on c-span. all this weekend, commencement dress -- addresses. next come mayor michael bloomberg speaking at george washington university. after that, on the award winning neurosurgeon alfredo queen johannes he now draws said. -- quinones-hinojosa. next, new york city mayor michael bloomberg addressing the graduates of george washington university. he talks about positive developments that came after the 9/11 terror attacks and the importance of youth volunteering. this is 15 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. and thank you, president knapp,
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for that kind introduction. i really am honored to be this year's gw commencement speaker, even though i hear i was your second choice after charlie sheen. [laughter] apparently he was already booked to speak at a warlock convention. [laughter] seriously, i was very excited when i got a call from president knapp inviting me. i was hoping he was inviting me to stay a night at his legendary sheep farm. president'm saying knapp is full of sheep. i just want to be clear about that. although, ultimately i decided not to stay overnight even though some enterprising student did offer to rent me his single in hensley for $10,000. [laughter] he said that was half of what he got for the inauguration weekend. now, i know this is a bittersweet day for all of you who are graduating. it won't be easy to leave a place where you can rub a
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hippo's nose, break-dance with big george, sit in einstein's lap, pet a dog named ruffles, or buy a hot dog from a guy named manouch! [cheers and applause] i can see why you love it here. however, i can also see from up here that some of you look a little tired this morning. maybe you haven't recovered yet from last night at mcfadden's? [applause] so i promise to be brief. and besides, i don't want to be the biggest hurdle between you and your degree. now, before i offer you some thoughts that you graduates will undoubtedly remember word for word decades from now, let me first thank another very important group here. and i'm talking about the group sitting out there this morning beaming proudly, not even thinking about what it cost to get you to this day.
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[laughter] or what happens if you can't find a job and you have to move back home. why don't you give your parents and relatives a big hand? [applause] with their support, all of you are joining a distinguished list of alums, including jacqueline bouvier kennedy and colin powell. so take a look at the people sitting around you. the guy sitting to your left could be a future secretary of state, and the girl sitting to your right could be a future president of the united states. [applause] also, take a moment to look around this national mall. we gather not only at the foot of the washington monument, but also in president lincoln's long shadow. last month, our
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nation marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the civil war. it was fought to preserve the union, to preserve america's bold experiment with democratic self-government. but lincoln's war for union grew into something even larger, a struggle for freedom. and while more than a century of struggle for equal rights and equal opportunity would follow his death, lincoln's leadership redeemed america's original sin and allowed us to fulfill our destiny as a land of freedom and opportunity. ten years ago, while many of you were in the sixth or seventh grade, the freedom that lincoln secured for all americans and that generations of americans have fought to protect came under attack by terrorists, the most deadly foreign attack in our nation's history. i'm sure some of you remember where you were or what
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you were doing that september day when you first heard the news, and i'm sure all of you will remember for the rest of your lives what you'd been doing when you heard the news that osama bin laden had been killed. [cheers] there are certain moments in the life of our country that stay with us forever. for my generation, it was the assassination of president kennedy, then bobby kennedy, and then dr. martin luther king, jr. for my parents' generation, it was pearl harbor. for my grandparents, armistice day. there have been other moments of celebration and crisis. the landing on the moon, the explosion of the challenger space shuttle, the inauguration of america's first african american president. [cheers] and there will be many more. but before thisthis recent moment becomes a memory, and because all of you have had such a big part in it, let's take a moment to reflect on the
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legacy of 9/11 beyond the ongoing war on terror and what it means for the future of our democracy. i was elected mayor just two months after the attacks of 9/11, when smoke was still rising from the rubble of ground zero. back then, the conventional wisdom was that it would take new york decades to recover, if it ever would. people thought businesses would flee, and that there would be a mass exodus to the suburbs and that crime would return. none of that happened, and i will tell you why. our city, in fact our whole country, did not give into fear. we came together as never before and did everything we could to help the victims and their families. we offered our prayers. we donated our blood. we opened our wallets. firefighters and iron workers around the country came to new york to pitch in. people around the world gave us their support. and by making smart investments
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in our future, we brought the city back faster and smarter than anyone thought possible. today, osama bin laden is dead, and new york city has never been more alive. [applause] the unity that defined our nation in the wake of the attacks was critical to revitalizing our city, and it also led to two other very positive developments for our country. first, it reminded us that we agree on far more than we disagree on. especially here in washington, that can be easy to forget. now, i know many of you interned on the hill or in the white house, proudly wearing your id badges at all times of the day and night and probably annoying your housemates in the process. but you've seen first-hand how consuming and counter- productive partisanship can be. but in new york, we didn't bring our city back as democrats or republicans, as liberals or
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conservatives. we brought it back as new yorkers and as americans. [cheers] as we head into the next election cycle, our leaders would do well to remember that although our hard-earned freedoms give us the right to disagree, they also give us the right to agree. the idea that democrats and republicans hold diametrically opposing views is just not true. you can be a democrat or republican -- as a matter of fact, i've been both -- or you can be anything else. but never make the mistake of thinking that any particular party has a monopoly on good ideas or god is on its side. even though the unity that existed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks has had no lasting impact on washington, it did have a lasting impact on americans, especially young people.
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your generation, more than any other before it, recognizes the truth of what john f. kennedy's wisdom was when he said, "sometimes party loyalty asks too much." and i think that's a big reason why independents are the fastest growing block of voters in this country. as usual, the people are a step ahead of the politicians, especially young people. i believe that it takes a generation in this town to change, and i have no doubt that many of you will occupy some of its most powerful seats, you will begin moving the country away from this period of hyper partisanship, which is preventing us from accomplishing so many urgent needs, and towards a new era where more independent thinking allows for consensus-driven solutions. the second lasting, positive development that grew out of the 9/11 attacks was just as
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encouraging, a growth in service and volunteering. americans of all backgrounds, but especially your generation, wanted to do more to help, so they signed up to volunteer at a school, hospital or a homeless center. and, as a result, volunteering has become a bigger part of our culture. i know there are a lot of service opportunities here at gw, and i'm told your school not only met but exceeded the challenge that first lady michelle obama set for you last year to perform a combined 100,000 hours of service. and i think that deserves a round of applause. [applause] i would also like to add my applause to those graduates who volunteered for the most dangerous and selfless assignment, serving our nation in uniform. [applause] we can never take their service and sacrifice for granted, and
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we should never make the mistake of thinking that the defense of freedom is solely a concern for the military. the freedom our founding fathers secured, the freedom that lincoln extended, the freedom our armed forces now protect, the freedom that billions of people are yearning every day to experience, is a freedom that all of us must defend. even when it's not popular, especially when it's not popular, we have a responsibility to stand up for the rights of people to express themselves as they wish, to worship how and where they wish, and to love who they wish. that's why, two weeks ago, i spoke out in support of an artist who was scheduled to open an exhibit in new york city but who has been detained indefinitely by the chinese authorities. it is why, ten months ago, i strongly defended the rights of
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new york's muslim community to build a mosque and community center in lower manhattan. [applause] and it's why, on tuesday, i'm going up to our state capitol in albany to support legislation that would grant marriage equality to all men and all women. [cheers and applause] the freer we are to expressing ourselves as individuals, the stronger we become as a nation. earlier, i met todd belok, who was expelled from the rotc program because of his sexual orientation. but because he and so many others stood up for change, including one of today's graduates, michael komo, congress recently passed, and president obama signed, a repeal of don't ask, don't tell. [applause] now, let me give a perspective from somebody that's a lot older than you. it takes courage to stand up to power, to take an unpopular stand, to risk life and limb
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and livelihood for your ideals. but that's the courage that led to lexington and concord, to fort sumter and to seneca falls, to selma, alabama, to the stonewall inn, and to this national mall, where martin luther king shared his dream with america. here forever changed the course of our history. today, thanks to all of those who had the courage to march and fight and speak out for freedom, there is no road that you can't travel. no future you can't create. no dream you can't realize. you are bound only by the limits of your imagination. the question for all of you graduates is, how will you use that freedom? don't worry if you don't have all the answers right now. your life, your career path will not be a straight line.
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when i graduated from college, no one would have believed, least of all my professors, that i would start a media company and later become the mayor of new york city. even my mother can hardly believe it. [laughter] but as you think about your career, whatever you do, don't worry about mapping it all out. just don't play it safe. don't be the person who quits a startup company, or a band, before giving it a chance to make it big. and don't be afraid to start over or change direction. the more risks you take, the happier you will be, even if they don't work out. and i can assure you, sometimes they won't. but i can also assure you this. no matter what job you have, no matter who your employer is, the harder you work, the luckier you will get. and whether you feel ready to begin a career or not, the education that you received here at george washington has prepared you for success. and i just don't mean the
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education you've gotten in the classroom. you've heard from some of the most important and influential leaders of our time. you have been given unprecedented access to the power center of government. and i will bet you learned a few other things, too. like what the meals to avoid are at j street. whatever you are going to do next, there will be new rules to master, and new frontiers to conquer. and my advice is relatively simple -- continue learning. continue asking difficult questions. continue thinking independently. continue volunteering your time to help others. continuing defending, and enjoying, the freedoms that make america great. tonight, before you begin this new phase of your life, enjoy one last happy hour at mcfadden's, one last hot dog from manouch, and one last hail to the buff and blue, because tomorrow the real work begins. congratulations to you all.
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best of luck. and god bless. [applause] >> next, bennington, vt., for the commencement at southern vermont college. the graduating class -- [no audio] major general jeffrey buchanan giving an update on iraq since the reduces the withdrawal of u.s. troops. then, major general james a
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moderate on efforts to train the afghan army and police forces. after that, the center for american progress on current counterterrorism strategy in afghanistan. [no audio] [applause] >> and is now my honor and privilege to introduce our second honorary degree recipients and their commencement speaker. [no audio]
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i just ordered his forthcoming book which will be out in october. taking night class's at a community college and in those early years he worked other odd jobs, always dreaming of what one day could be. from this start, he went on to harvard medical school where he graduated with honors and gave the commencement address. just so we are clear, this is not his first command -- commencement address, but i am proud to say we are the first institution to confer upon him an honorary degree. [applause]
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upon completing his residency in neurosurgery at the university of california at san francisco, dr. quinones-hinojosa studied stem cell biology which brought him to johns hopkins. he is now recognized worldwide as an expert in his field, as a professor of that narrow surgery, neuroscience, oncology, cellular, and molecular medicine, and is the director of the brain tumor stem cell laboratory at johns hopkins university school of medicine. he is someone who is deeply committed to finding a cure for brain cancer in the non too distant future. he is known to spend considerable time with his patients and their families,
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explaining their disease and the rest coming surgery and in short he cares. we should all have that such cangeah re presons wchg ers. an award winning neurosurgeon, he was named one of the top-10 brilliant scientists in the u.s. by "popular science" magazine and has been awarded numerous prestigious grants and awards including the recent national institutes of health grant for stem cell research. he was named one of the usa's science and engineering best 50 nifty speakers. for all of his accomplishments, awards, and prestige, however, dr. q as he is known by his patients and staff remains
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humble never forgetting his roots, his journey, and always remembering the importance of family with his wife and three children who are with him today to share in this event. it is nice to have the. indeed, one of our trustees listen the to this doctor speak at the center of scholarship bureau in maryland and was so inspired by his message of turning obstacles and to opportunities that he immediately called me up and said, "he has a remarkable story to tell that will inspire svc students to persevere. see if you can get him as a commencement speaker." i raised every convincing argument i could think of. anything to get dr. quinones-
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hinojosa here. i hope his inspiring message and his dedication to helping others would make canada a role model for our graduates as they embark on their journey -- that would make him a role model. he said yes. that conversation did me an opportunity to speak in spanish, which is one of my favorite languages, and confirm for me that the doctor and i both literally and figuratively speak the same language. [speaking spanish] [applause] chairman alton and trustee wagner, please join me at the podium. i am deeply honored to
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introduce to you our second honorary degree recipient, who will after the awarding of the degree address the class of 2011 as the commencement speaker. please join me in welcoming to the podium and dr. alfredo quinones-hinojosa. [applause] and now the magic words. by virtue of the authority vested in me by the board of trustees of southern vermont college, i hereby confer upon new a degree of doctor of humane letters, with all their rights, privileges, and
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obligations there and to appertaining. ladies and gentlemen, our commencement speaker, dr. alfredo quinones-hinojosa. [applause] >> i am quite honored and humbled. when i told my family, my wife, and my children i was getting an honorary degree, my daughter gabrielle asked if we had to pay for this, since we are still paying for medical school. i want to think the board of trustees, parents, family members, and students in my family.
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i am going to keep it within 10 minutes, because i am between you and your degree here. to the graduates and your families, the excitement, admiration, mentor ship, and strength are the words that come to my mind to describe your journey. my grandfather, who was going in 1907 and died in 1984 -- who was bon in 1907-- who was born in 1907 and died in 1984, told me that if you are worried wait for night, and the stars will guide you. these words got me through many nights of hard work, many nights of study to prefer for what i did today, which is bring science and brain surgery.
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i will share with you a poem. a storm of bruce and lightning strikes. the tree falls onto a grassy spikes. the clouds roll away and night turns away. the days go by. the tree decays. all life withers away. but when all hope is lost, tiny leaves sprout out. soon, sproutlings sprout. my young daughter wrote that poem a year ago for me. this palm i love. it blends my past their ground as a migrant farm worker and my current work not only as a brain
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surgeon and scientist, but most important someone who tries to keep hoping within reach every day in my profession. let me start with the patience story. i was leading a team of trauma surgeons and insurgents. i hear the words, "we have officers down." i thought they were filming a reality tv show, but this was real life. a high-speed chase resulted in the fatal death of one police officer, and the second police officer was rushed into the hospital. immediately, with a team of surgeons, we took this young policeman to the operating room that night.
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there was all kinds of things in his brain. do you think this man went back to the police force? he was saving lives. from this experience, i received two words. one was a beautiful plaque that hangs in my office at home. it has a quote from vince lombardi. lifequality of a person's is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." the second thing i got was a beautiful plaque in appreciation of the san francisco police department. most important, i received a small business card. on the back of that card, it said the following. and the courtesies you can will be highly
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appreciated. they get out of jail card. i am sure it will be handy one day. what would happen if we had waited another minute or two? i ask myself the question often. it was thanks to the determination and resilience of not only this patient, but also the team i was leaving at that time, that we were able to save his life. we came out triumphant from that battle. to the graduating students, you will have many, many more advice. the only advice i can give you is the advice i have gotten from my own patients. you have to find the steel in your soul. that determination and resilience in new, no matter
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what happens you have to keep moving forward. my grandfather used to tell me do not go where there is a path, but go where there is no path and be a trail blazer. i started believing that at a very young age. once a very wise man, a migrant farm worker by the name of cesar chavez said the following about here. if you are frightened, you will never do the job. if you are frightened, you will work like crazy. it is not fear that matters. it is how we respond to the fear that matters the most. i deal with brain cancer every day. cancer attacks the most beautiful oregon, the brain. my patients, taught me very
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important lessons, some of them about dying. it is not about dying. it is about living. to remain excited about life in the middle of a battle for your life is the most inspired event i will witness personally. talk about admiration. the president and mr. wagner told me the following about you guys. one needs to judge our students not on the basis of their entering qualifications, but on where they are when they leave us, remarkable men and women ready to enter the workforce for further education, individuals who will contribute meaningfully to our world in ways people might not have expected. two words come to mind when i think about this type of accomplishment -- hard work.
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the winner of the nobel prize in 1996 said the following. he said chance and good luck does not come to those who want it. it comes to those who look for it. albert einstein said once that the world is a dangerous place not because of people who do evil, but because of those who look and do absolutely nothing. we talk about determination, resilience, excitement, and admiration. hi have been mentored my whole life. my children mentor me every day. there was a beautiful fall day around 2006. i woke up on a beautiful sunday morning in baltimore. i walked with my son, david. i turned to my son as we were walking. leaves were falling.
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seven in the morning. it was a little bit chilly. i said to him, "david, you are the man." he looked up at me. he said, "dad, i am not the man." i was quiet for a few seconds, and i said to him, "i just want you to believe in yourself." he looks up and says to me, "i do believe in myself. i just know i am not the man puzzle -- not the man." he is 5. [applause] at age 5, a lesson about humility and self awareness. regarding my wife and three children, my parents and siblings, my mentors -- i am sure you feel the same way about
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your family. i am reminded of what albert einstein once said. many things in life you count that do not really count. many of the things that you cannot count are the things that truly do count. therefore, i leave you with a few tips for your life. these are lessons i have learned from my own mistakes. there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. i crossed that line the second i accepted the invitation to get an honorary degree or decided to step in front of you to think i could say something memorable. we need to teach future generations what is useful. affability and accountability. success, winston churchill said once, is going from pillar to
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failure -- failure to failure with a passion for life that has to stay with you forever. treat others the way you would like your loved ones to be treated. cesar chavez once said there is a substitute for hard work. 23 or 24 hours a day, there is no substitute for patients and acceptance. my grandfather used to tell me a fool with a good tool is still a fool. it is not the tool that matters are the education you have gotten, but what you do with your education. we are today what we did yesterday. we will be tomorrow what we do today. sometimes, you just have to wait until the night comes. then you can let the light from the stars guard you -- guide you.
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yourselves are stars already. congratulations for all your accomplishments. i am certainly humbled to be here in your presence and to receive this undeserved of honorary degree. thank you very much. [applause] >> people often say to me, "how much of your time these spend writing? how much of your time these been doing research?" good question. nobody says, "how much of your time do you spend thinking," and that is probably the most important part of it. >> the greater journey,
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americans in paris. download this and other podcast from our signature interview program on line at c-span.org/ podcasts. >> president obama named army chief of staff general martin dempsey as his new chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. if confirmed, he will replace admiral mike mullen. we will go live to the white house tomorrow at 10 eastern with that announcement. after those remarks, he will have to arlington national cemetery. he will then deliver his annual memorial day address. you can see the president's comments live monday morning at 10:50. also tomorrow, more commencement addresses. we begin with actor denzel washington at 3:00 p.m. eastern. after that, john rats and burger
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speak to students at providence college. after that, sonya so, are -- sonya sotomayor. commencement addresses memorial day, starting 3:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> would continue with the commencement address by -- at sweet briar college in virginia. it is just over 10 minutes. [applause] >> thank you, president parker. it is truly an honor to be here
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on such a momentous day. i'll want to congratulate the graduates for this remarkable accomplishment. 21 years ago, i sat in your shoes, wondering what i would do with my life. i had no idea. maybe some of you have the same feelings today. you do not have to have them all figured out. when i sat at my graduation with parents and extended family, i worried i was not one to pass the political science exam i had taken two days prior and get my diploma. needless to say, i had a lot of anxiety. i did end up passing the exam. you might imagine i chuckled as i got the invitation to be your commencement speaker, the ending of myself 21 years ago. being commencement speaker was the last thing i ever imagined myself doing.
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i had taken a public speaking class in college, thinking thankfully i would never have to do that again. here i am today. i am here to let you know that anything is possible. here i was just out of college, wondering what's next. i had grown up looking at my parents' retail business. they had found success so naturally, i wanted to be just like them. but it really was not my passion. i began to search and realize i had a passion for helping disadvantaged kids and i wanted to make a difference in their lives. i decided to become a social worker. i put my heart and soul into it. 10 years later, something began to change for me. i was not excited about what i was doing, so i started to imagine the possibilities. in my free time, i began
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experiencing -- experimenting and cooking and learning about health and nutrition. i took a leap of faith and decided to leave my career and start over. my message to you is do not be afraid to take that leap of faith and follow your true passion. even if they change, you never know where it is point to take you. one day, in the spring of may 2000, 10 years after my graduation, i went for a hike in the rocky mountains. little did i know it was coined to change my life. i was eating telmex and thought, "why isn't someone -- i was eating trail mix and thought, "why isn't someone making something truly healthy and delicious?" i realized i could do this. i felt excitement, passion, and a feeling of and stability. i got out my cuisinart and rolling pin and began
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experimenting. i combed the grocery aisles for inspiration. i fed test batches to my co- workers on their lunch hours. thankfully, there were honest. not only did they give me great feedback, but eventually somebody asked me, "can we buy these from you?" it is important to follow your intuition and surround yourself with people who follow -- who support you to follow your dreams. i wanted to get my business going three months. that was not happening. i decided to take a job at a wholefoods to learn more. i was stuck in grocery shelves, earning $10 an hour. i did not let other people's
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opinions determined. it was fuel for me to keep going and stay true to my own vision and dreams. i learned everything from shelf life to manufacturing equipment and commodities. there were days when i felt like i got nowhere. i often thought of how easy it would be to give up. but i persevered. it turns out that working at whole foods was one of the best decisions i ever made. two years later, when i was taking trash out one morning, i ran across the regional buyer and he said, "what is new?" i thought this was my opportunity. so i said to him, "let me tell you what is new." he was not expecting me to tell him anyway. he said, "do you have samples?"
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luckily, i have samples at home in my kitchen in a chinese take- out box. i presented my product in a very informal way. he said, "these of the most exciting things i have tried in so long." when you are ready, i could bring it to the colorado stores. sometimes, your opportunity to seize the moment happens in the most humble of settings, in my case next to a trash can. i had the green light from whole foods, which seemed like the hard part. the biggest challenge of starting larabar was finding a place to manufacture a product. i drove around colorado from manufacturer to manufacturer. almost a year went by before we finally found a kitchen space with the equipment we needed to begin self manufacturing. because all of this had taken much longer than expected, the original investors got cold feet
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and walked out. this is when i learned not to let other people's lack of confidence affect my vision of what i thought was possible. i decided to keep going and eventually launched larabar three years after i had planned. the night before i debuted, i got family and friends together to make the first batch by hand using pizza cutters and a heat sealer. it took us 15 hours. i remember stalking them next to the other product and went, "do people even like these?" two hours later, i stood in the store, putting up samples and talking to people. i felt excitement, nervousness, anticipation, and relief. people started sampling. the responses i got were amazing. within a week, it became the best-selling item in the store. i knew i was onto something.
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the magic carpet ride had begun. stores from all over the u.s. and internationally were contacting us. it was so exciting that long hours of hard work set in just trying to keep up. but it was so much fun making it happen, and making our own rules along the way. we had our challenges. we were becoming the brand to beat. our competitors were knocking off our products. we decided it was time to launch a new brand of health the chocolate bars. our products were known to be soft and too weak, which was a unique quality in the industry. the minute i cut into these bars, they were as hard as a rock. it was my worst nightmare. we flew in food scientists. we had a team of experts working on the issue. we had to make a tough decision and recalled almost half a billion bars out of distribution
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before we even got started. we knew it was the right thing to do. we got a letter from a large company saying we had a possible trademark infringement with the name we had chosen. it was among six months. we finally decided it was an excellent opportunity to rename the product, reformer like it, and move on. this is when i figured out not to get stuck in a problem, that failure is not the end of the world. our company continued to thrive. we became one of the leading brands in the industry and have delighted millions of people. in 2008, general mills contacted me about selling our company. i was tentative. the next set of challenges was ahead. i was up for them, but i also knew my limitations. my intuition told me immediately there were the right company to carry my brand forward into the future.
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a day before my 40th birthday, i sold by company to general mills. i continue to be the creative director and work with a team i hired. i had an inspiration on the hike 11 years ago. i was simply following my intuition. it never occurred to me i was quick to make a product that would compete with multi-million dollar businesses, let alone be bought by one. i would like to leave you with these following thoughts. discover and cultivate your passion and dreams. you will experience more happiness and success doing what you love. be sure to listen to your intuition. it is the truest part of yourself, and will always serve you well. do not be afraid to take risks and experience failure. these moments make you stronger and wiser. enjoy your journey. there is no right answer or formula. you are the architect of your
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own life and can make up your own rules. and remember that anything is possible. congratulations, and thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> memorial day on "washington journal" -- >> , of your time these spend riding and how much of your time the spend doing research? no one ever says, "how much of your time do you spend thinking," and that is probably the most important part. tonight, the second part of our interview with david mccullough. you can also download this and other q&a podcasts online.
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>> memorial day on "washington journal," an update on iraq since the withdrawal of u.s. troops and the progress being made by security forces. then, u.s. efforts to train the afghan army and police experts -- police forces. after that, current u.s. counter-terrorism strategy in afghanistan. finally, the national highway trust fund, and the role federal and state gas tax is play in its funding. "washington journal."
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[no audio] >> it is not a very special honor for me to present -- now a very special honor for me to present today's commencement speaker, who possesses the leadership quality and attributes to which we want each of you to aspire. when she founded her own cosmetics company nearly three decades ago, it was hard -- the beginning of her 27-year career with estee lauder. she caught the attention of "essence magazine" editors.
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she rose to the position of editorial director. today, she is a legend in the publishing world and is credited with building "essence" as a brand unto itself. she was the driving force, causing it to become the leading magazine for african american women during a time when it was often a challenge to simply secure the advertisers to support the magazine. she has spoken of those early years and the obstacles she faced monthly, trying to help corporations understand the importance of african american women as consumers and why it is important to advertise to them. although she had great success and leadership, the road was not without many challenges. she overcame each one with grace, dignity, high moral
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value, and determination. because of her leadership and business acumen, it became more than a magazine. it evolved into a leading business empire that now provides entertainment, magazines, health and wellness partners for women, and catalysts for change. today, she holds the position of editor in chief emeritus, underscoring the impact it continues to have. she is always a pioneer. in addition to being the first and only african american woman to be honored with the industry's highest award, she has won so many other awards. a longtime youth advocate and support of a host of organizations dedicated to
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moving the community forward, she makes sure our children will become the leaders we all need, through the mentoring movement she founded in 2006. the goals are increased high- school graduation rates in the black communities, and and the over incarceration of our youth. we are forming a partnership with three of our local schools. in addition, she is the co- founder of the first national political action committee devoted to providing support and funding for progressive african american women seeking federal and state level political office. she is a highly sought after speaker and recipient of award after award. ladies and gentlemen, i would present mrs. susan l. taylor.
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[applause] >> i am overjoyed. more than that, i am honored to stand before the 2011 graduating class of this university. to stand before you on this magnificent, memorable day in your life. you have done the work. dr. carlton brown is such a phenomenal leader with such a good heart. he is so present and available to you. i just want to honor you for that. but to stand here before your parents, the school and illustrators, those who invested in new, believed in you deeper -- deeply, and helped bring you
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to this day -- your graduation day is such an honor. it is such a stupendous moment that i remember in my own life. i know you just want to get on with it so that you can get your degrees and go on with your families. i have a lot to say, but i will make it short. we are praying the rain away. i would speak to the legacy alums and the golden sons and daughters. i apologize for my generation that came just after yours and before yours. i am apologizing to you, my beloved young ones, and to the legacy once for what my generation allowed. i am apologizing you for
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forgetting who we are, for forgetting the legacy, for forgetting what those who came before us, those of you who stood up when it was dangerous to do so, the risk to life and limb and everything, for justice for our people. i apologize that my generation did allow things that should never have been allowed. we allowed defiling lyrics and images, images that undermined traditional black and values that sustain us over the seasons and centuries. we forgot. we just forgot who we are. we forgot what our ancestors withstood. today, we watch middle-class black people from a distance as
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millions are struggling among the margins and our little ones are dropping out of school and filling up prisons built on the backs of our young brothers and sisters. no more. i am here today because i want to speak life from my own heart and into yours. we are abdicating our authority, relinquishing it to a small circle of super rich people who are focused on making more money. but a new world is on the way. a new world is on the way. the holy spirit is bringing it forth. it can only come through us. it is a world of equity and justice. because what we have allowed it reads like poor fiction. it reads like perfection that 80% of black fourth graders are reading below grade level in the wealthiest country in the world.
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that was the day i decided i was leaving the essence. today, that number is 86% of black fourth graders reading below grade level. underserved schools rarely are the pipeline to prison. it is our responsibility to link arms and aims and do what is so needed. it is unity and a plan. we have to know that any good thing is absolutely possible. in order to turn this nation and around and live our lives in the exquisite way, by whatever name you call your god -- i call the holy spirit of god. some of it called -- some of you
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call it a lot or yell when -- allah or yaweh. there is nothing you cannot do. there is nothing you can't do the honors god and is dedicated to a higher purpose. the way the holy spirit is trying to heal the world -- the holy spirit is looking for leaders. step forward and say, "send me." all you have to do is look to the right, those people are right there. in good saunders jones -- ingrid saunders jones had stood still strong for "essence magazine" while at coca-cola. she understands. other people think that we need
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to spend our dollars on things that create what? create revenue? create some economic benefit? this is a day of awakening as you move out into a larger world. you have to know who you are. know who you are. study yourself. learn what is unique about you, the defiant original you are. learn to love your looks, your noses, your hair, your hips, everything about you. each one of us is a divine original. what will help you through these lessons -- coming out of the magazine world, we retouch all those pictures. know that. we were made by an entity that is beyond our understanding. we cannot understand the god that made every living thing, every leaf on this planet. every blade of grass is unlike
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any other. how dare we negate what god made. learn to love yourself. learn to love what god made. i will tell you what is required to have joy. you have to challenge yourself to see life more deeply, to understand the larger circles at work. the holy spirit sometimes makes things disintegrate so we can put them back together better again. that is the moment we are at right now. what you give your time and attention to, your energy to, will determine whether you suffer or thrive. you are human and divine, made in the image and likeness of
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that which crated you. that means you have the power and responsibility to create. what you think, would you host in your heart, would you speak. we cannot understand it. it is beyond our capacity. but it is real. if you think you are not enough, that is how you behave. if you know you are divinely called, called in this hour to do phenomenal work, not looking down on anyone, not thinking you are better than or less than anyone else, never looking down unless you are reaching down, give someone a hand. lift them up. do not let your education separate you from your community. we are multi-lingual people. we have to be. but we also have to know how to go back to the neighborhood and speak to our people, and how to
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advocate for our people at the very top tier. this is who we are. this is what this university has produced. you are stepping into a wider world, away from this great university, out of the warm embrace of your family. that protected shield is not going to be there every day. you have to know that the world around you is also with the new. -- is also within you. as you hear yourself, you heeled black american -- you kill black america, you heal your family, -- you heal black america, you heal your family. there is enough. there really is enough on this
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little planet. there is enough land and food and water and sky. there is enough with common sense and love. what i am saying to you is bring those. bring what is missing. bring love and critical thinking. life is on your side. life is on the side of healing, justice, regeneration, and sustaining itself. the explosive rise in technology has made advances that were unimaginable even a decade ago, affecting every aspect of our lives. these are revolutionary times. a rector from time magazine said this is a revolutionary tide, and anybody who does not understand that and believe deeply in themselves -- there is a name for those people, and it
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is victims. we don't want to be that. look who is in the white house. barack obama is in the white house. people in his old -- in his own family did not believe it was possible, but he did. he knew the holy spirit was trying to heal the world. he said send me. that is your secret talisman. a belief in itself standing for a higher purpose, something more than making money and having a big house. i am here to tell you it does not satisfy. everything you can see, all the custom-made clothes, shoes, cars, and houses -- guess what they are? dust. here today, gone tomorrow. they don't bring joy. what brings joy, and i mean a lasting joy, is service.
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it is what carlton brown said last night. let's start with you. serve you. braley love every day to yourself. start by just amplifying yourself. i do not know what the situation are around you. the holy spirit has a plan for you. sometimes things will fall apart. but no matter how many degrees you have, no matter how much money you have, you are going to no pain. oprah winfrey, barack obama, drawn -- john travolta, george bush -- everybody knows pain. it is a natural part of life. pain is going to come your way. suffering is a choice. suffering is choosing to remain in that painful place. pain is one thing. it is information.
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i remember the doctor telling me i had acid reflux. he gave me a prescription for prilosec. what about looking at my life and seeing that i was eating dinner at midnight? today is graduation day. even if a family member is not here, that person is not your partner. learn to know what is going on inside of you. the truth is you know there is painful stuff. i grew up in a family -- i did not even think my parents loved me. they did, but i know this. hurt people hurt people. not everybody is healthy enough to be a parent. we survived me. you love to work at that. every day, you have to put on your spiritual armor.
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every day, you have to be reminded you are human and divine. this is what you must ask. rumi is a favorite poet of mine, a 13th century sufi mystic. he said every day is a new arrival and life is like a guest. if there is drama at the door, do not lock the door. open it widely. do not let it take root in your house, but do not shun pain. people who shun paint and up drugging and drinking. god does not want you to live in the bible. he wants you to roll up your sleeves and do the work. get the wisdom and do the work. open your door widely and invite those guests in. ask them questions. please remember this.
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remember you are hurting. ask questions. what have you come to teach me? that is it. what have you come to teach me? we think life is a playground. it is not. it is a school room. forever more, we are learning and learning. i want to say one thing. no matter where you work or who you work for, no the stress level rises high in the workplace. for many of us, no matter how talented, educated, or hard- working we are, the workplace can be a painful place. racism is real. sexism and classism are absolutely in place and ready to try to grab you. the challenges are not just in the best tunes of white male power. even in my beloved "essence
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magazine," it was there. people in pain bring that paine webber they are. they act up. put on your spiritual armor. you have to know why you are working where you are working, even if you are at the top tier. you have to have an entrepreneurial pursuit on the side. without the money i put in real estate and those kind of things, i would not have been able to leave "essence" and began working with the national organizations i now work for. if you spend on something that loses its value, you carpet -- you are wasting your money. by things that will protect you and your family at the end of the day. people spend on the symbols of wealth and power. we rarely are a community the --
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what is the word? low wealth. never again am i going to say we are poor people. we come from a low-while community. we are working toward becoming a high-wealth community. there is a proverb that says it perfectly. if you want to go fast, go alone. if you want to go far, go together. we must have unity. have to have unity. this is the essential lesson for black people to learn from sisters and brothers in our motherland and europe the diaspora. in this decade, china, a country that has an average daily income of $7 per person, amassed nearly two trillion dollars in u.s. debt. we know china is a complex
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communist society that is oppressive. do you know what they also have? unity and a plan. we do not have to look far. we do not have to look offshore. we only have to look at our heritage. i am going to ask you to pick up two books. talk about the names. one book is by eugene robinson. it is "disintegration." just a few more things i want to share with you. you have to heed the call of your heart. you can't follow other people's directives. they say, "you don't know what my doctors sacrificed -- my daughter sacrificed."
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answer your calling. if you do not, the thing you were created to give to life is missing in the world. we need you to bring that. quiet time is the most important time in your life. the time when nothing is beeping, buzzing, and trading, and you are just listening into that still, small voice that is always calling you, listen to the holy spirit trying to encourage you. always. relationships -- choose wisely. take inventory, don't be desperate. when i come to your town, talk to me. i am not going to speak to you about sexuality. your parents are here. they are looking at me. but we know aids is the number- one killer of young black woman. and we know there are women who are looking for the brothers who
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have college degrees because they are looking for a paycheck. know what that person is going to be in the rest of your life. know this. not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in your life. not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in your life. some of those people could even be family members, so just think critically. nothing will derail your life or your career faster than becoming a parent before you are emotionally or economically prepared. some of you may be parents already. i was a parent before i was economically or mentally prepared. finally, i want to say you have to -- the holy spirit is not
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expecting perfection from any of us, only that we try, that we try to be the better person tomorrow than we are today. we are not in competition with anyone. if you are in competition with anyone, you are going to be a miserable soul. be in competition with your former self. no group of people on this planet lived through what we lived through. every time i hear the black national anthem, it brings me to tears. left our hearts, drunk with the one of the world. we have forgotten. i am asking you to remember. cut yourselves and one another some slack. do not be so critical. i love the way to pock put it --
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tupac put it. we would not ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged pedals. we would celebrate its tenacity. we would love its will to reach for the sun. i am not rose. this is the concrete. -- i am that rose. this is the concrete. we can heal and grow new pedals. -- petals. i am saying to you, stand strong every day. even when your heart is breaking and aching. even when someone has disregarded you and is respected you. know that your relationship is with you and god. you cannot determine how other people stand, how they behave, or how they treat you.
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you can get out of your way. stand strong. square your shoulders, shoulders back, head high. reach for the sun. reach for the sun, my beloved sisters and daughters. reach for the sun. john bless you. go strong and change the world. god bless you. [applause] >> that completes our sunday coverage of commencement addresses. on memorial day, we will show you more speeches. that includes john luxembourger speaking to students at providence college. -- john ratzenberger speaking to
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students at providence college. commencement addresses memorial day, starting at 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> people often say to me, "how much of your time do you spend writing? how much of it do you spend doing research?" great questions. no one says, "how much of your time do you spend thinking," and that is the most important part. >> the second part of our interview with david mccullough. you can also download this and other broadcasts from our signature interview programs online. this june on "in-depth," the balance between security and liberty, the climate change
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treaty, and the limits of international law. the questions for law professor eric posner. he will take your calls, e- mails, and tweets. >> our guest on "newsmakers" is tom coburn. our reporters are the economy performs her for the "washington post" and pay a congressional reporter. >> one of the main things i want to talk to you about is something you have become well known for. a group of senators was trying to solve the problem of the $4 trillion national debt. that group was trying to bring all the pieces together to try to address revenues come to bring down spending, and deal with entitlements.
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it seemed like our best hope to find a bipartisan compromise. but you decided to take a break. can you tell us why? >> it is not just a $14 trillion debt. people need to understand that. we are projected to run excesses' of $1 trillion deficits each of the next nine years. that is unsustainable. our country will crash economically if we don't fix that. the largest component is mandatory spending programs -- social security, medicaid, medicare. we ran into an impasse. i do not think there is any hard feelings. i just thought we needed to take a break from this. it is a false

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