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tv   Washington Ideas Forum Current Events  CSPAN  January 1, 2016 10:00am-12:00pm EST

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united. until you can achieve something like that on middle east policy, the palestinians, israeli conflict will just continue to fester. host: that is benjamin. we have run out of time. our first program of the new year. we appreciate your calls today. if you have a great friday at a great 2016. friday you have a great and a great 2016. > ♪ tonight, part of a conference on the criminal justice system and raise.
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with a focus on the prison system. a harvardpreview with professor talking about a resumeon has become of people are thrown in jail. incapacitation, rehabilitation, retribution has also looped in our reasons for punishment. we really shifted our motivation for incarceration from rehabilitation. retribution, a sense that these are somehow deeply immoral actors that we want to submit to the harshest possible conditions. i think we are now seeing the ansequences of what i feel is misguided strategy that we are somehow expecting for the 2 million individuals currently have in prison, if we can exposed them to psychologically brutal conditions, and then release them into the streets,
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successbe a policy for and a strategy to reduce crime. >> part of the conference will also hear about overcrowding in prisons, the vocational programs, and what happens to prisoners after they leave the system. that is tonight here on c-span at 8:00 eastern. on q&a,sunday night two-time bullet surprise cartoonists, michael rimer's, on his career and book on satirical cartoons. >> i have a conglomeration of extremists israeli settlers and the palestinian figure, if you notice, he is on a prayer rug, but he has his shoes on. both of these figures are sort of utilizing a false religion for political purpose. , once again,s that
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i am an equally opportunity offender. >> on c-span's usa. up next, a series of interviews on current events, including senator bob corker, bill rhodes, colin powell, mitt romney, and penny pritzker. it will run about two hours. >> good morning, thank you for joining us. the census bureau which is part of your domain reported that the median income for american household was lower in 2014 than it was in 2013. it was lower than gw bush left office before he arrived. president obama is at risk for repeating that dubious achievement. why have income stagnated for so
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long, and is or a path that you can see forward to consistently raising them again? >> let's set that for a minute. wait growth and productivity -- wage growth and productivity used to grow in parallel. if you step back and say, why is that? it is a reduction in investment. education, infrastructure, things that can keep america competitive and keep our workforce competitive. when we step back and what is the path forward, have think about how to be invest in worker productivity so that our workers are globally competitive. what happened in 1963 -- 1973, it was the beginning of globalization, the beginning of when technology advancements started to really impact productivity.
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so, we have to continue investing. that is something that is not the way we think about our budget. we think about our budget as expenditures. we have to invest. yet the invest in our people. you invest in infrastructure. we have to invest in innovation. we have to invest in entrepreneurship. you point out that productivity continues to grow even wages have not. i would talking about a problem of economics, or a problem of politics, the way to gains in the economy are distributed? >> i think it is all of the above. -- what we to do have to do is use politics to prioritize. investment,at rmd it has been flat since 1980.
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that is not going to help us when the rest of the world and other large economies are spending more and more money. that put us at a less competitive situation. the path forward involves things like basic education. what are we teaching kids in school? what are we teaching them. wife connectivity so important? why is connectivity so important? we have to invest in immigration. skilleda sort of high workers. opportunity in terms of immigration reform to deal with that, but there is an economic and moral obligation when it comes to a skilled workforce. second is we have to invest and not just our roads and bridges, and we have read all the data that we are not investing enough, but we also have to invest in high-speed broadband.
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compete?e more and more businesses being done on the internet. , a companysaid etsey that allow someone to start a business at home and run their business on a marketplace. it is a public company. it is a fast-growing public company here in the united states and is basically a marketplace for craft workers to sell their things. we have to be able to have broadband for those folks who have access to the market. 90% of which are women, most of whom are staying at home. these are micro-businesses. there is a new definition of what business and productivity is that we are not connecting. 2010, theanuary president says doubling u.s. exports over the last five years.
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a big reason was a slowdown in the national economy. what else did you learn about trying to get more companies to -- u.s. export and those that do to expand operations? >> burst of all, why is the goal so important? we need and all of the above strategy. 96% of customers are outside of the united states, whether i am a craft worker. or superhero. [laughter] >> it is not just about our market, but it is about being able to access the fastest-growing market. one of the business leaders told us. access and werket want to sell our goods. we need data about a specific market and a specific sector.
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what is the opportunity in india versus brazil for my particular good or service? they want less red tape. the processes need to be easier. we want to simplified forum. we want expanded access to international, financial -- to finance for international trade. we at the department of to call this input and what have we done about it? we put out a report for the 19 top markets, what is the demand different sectors? we have made more of our data available online, so the average person can access it.
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we upgraded screening tools online for exporters so that they can nknow -- better export centers. to help you figure out which markets are goods and services -- there is a market for them and where your goods and services are competitive. host: is there a target date for reaching this? point is that american businesses today need to be more global and think global. andre -- globalization global competitiveness is what is happening. so, what we are trying to do is provide the tools and services to help a business, whether you are a small business, like the craft business, or you are ge or boeing. >> the chinese president was just here in d.c. last week here seattlehe arrived in last week, you greeted him with a speech that diplomat -- democrats would think -- we and
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our companies continue to have an overall lack of regulatory transparency, discriminatory cyber technology policies, and the lack of a level playing field across a range of sectors. describe the state of our economic relations with china after this visit? step back. china is the second largest economy in the world. this is what i said, you took one paragraph out of what i said. it was notable and got quoted a lot. host: any reaction from the president by the way? is -- the group that was traveling with him, we had lots of conversation about this issue. frankly, this is not news to us. they know it and they keep
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saying, they want to do reform. part of my message was, it is not just american companies that need intellectual property section. your companies are telling us they are having the same problems. the big message for the chinese was, the way you got here over the last 30 years is extraordinary. -- they have accomplished what they have a conflict is amazing. ofot of it was on the backs selling of goods and services around the world. global demand today is slow. we know that. pick up a newspaper, it has slowed down. they cannot grow from where they are at today to where they want to be based on exporting their goods around the world. stronger to have a
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domestic economy, which means they need to develop a greater social safety net for their people. and it also means they need to develop things like intellectual property protection, or commercial courts of law, that they asked us to help them with. to createserious help commercial courts of law. they created intellectual property court because they recognize they are becoming a mature, innovative economy. they need these things. it will benefit american businesses, but they are not doing it for that reason. they are going to consider doing this because it is for their own benefit. they talked about a structured response to allegations of cyberattacks. the president had a poignant comment. the question is far words followed by actions? what is the timeframe -- i'm
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thinking about whether this works that are sentient still on the table if it doesn't? >> there is not a precise timeframe. i would say that the message was clear -- actions speak louder than words, and what are you doing about this? this take an area where big progress is made -- the bilateral investment treaty. that was really struggling to make progress in leading up to this visit, significant progress was made in terms of the sectors of their economy that they are talking about opening up. is there more work to do? of course there is more work to do. that will be the story of our relationship with china throughout our lifetimes. but, there was progress made. wherehave to a knowledge progress is made and have to continue to work or there are challenges. committedhe are very
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-- one of the biggest issues i have been talking with them over this year has been intellectual property protection. they want and need technologies from around the world. they have also some of their own world-class technologies. they need this. they want to do it better. they asked for our help. we offered our health. now let's see what happens. host: you're on your way to cuba soon? by the end of his presidency, what do you expect the relations between america and cuba to look like? >> we have to step back for a minute. almost 55 years without a relationship with cuba. the first thing we have to do a we have to knowledge we have relations. we have to build trust. other ando trust each so, part of my trip is really a
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fact finding mission and the relationship building mission. what does that leave? is dependent on the embargo legislation. limit to how much the president can do by executive order. we are trying to do what we can because we want the cuban -- we want a more open relationship anymore open relationship with cuba. the pace of that is going to be depended on two factors -- cuba itself. their distribution systems are run entirely by the government. they can decide how much of our goods and services they want distributed. limitedrnet is there a in access at this point. i think, only 2 million of 11 million people have cell phones. there is a lot of infrastructure
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that needs to happen. we have to this in perspective. having said that. i have seen since the president's announcement, significant changing of attitudes here in the united states about the prospect of doing more business with cuba. there is a real warming up to the idea throughout the country. i'm very excited about the potential. host: i want to ask you about donald trump. he has said, i'm quoting, china is killing us, as a co-is killing us, everybody is beating us. people.incompetent i know the smartest guys on wall street. bring my fellow icons, we have people who are great, will we get better trade agreements? >> i am friends with all of
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them. i miss that. [laughter] host: will we get better deals? that is simplifying the situate -- situation with too much. let's take tbp, we are literally as we speak, the trade representative is working on trying to close out the transpacific partnership. there helpingdown to negotiate. it's hard. between twoeal people, imagine trying to make a deal between 12 countries on 26 different chapters of issues? , andis complicated, hard
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remember, it is not about just one ago she'd are making a difference, it is about all those industries and all those countries having a point of view about what you are agreeing to and how it is going to affect their equities. that is what you are trying to do. yet, at the same time, the president has set a goal of i want a high standard agreement. we are not making just any agreement to check the box. what we are trying to do with the transpacific partnership is to create a set of what of the rules of the road in trade for the 21st century? what are the labor standards, environmental standards, intellectual property standards? what about e-commerce? are we going to have a free and open internet? these are all issues that are not been addressed in one form or fashion in previous trade agreements. this is complicated. i think we have terrific negotiators, very tough.
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i will put them up against whoever donald trump goes. host: thank you for joining us. [applause] next up, colin powell. ♪ press"would on "meet the and say, you are in favor of it. why were you in favor of it? the president had enough to override a veto, but i thought we should get more than that so he should get more votes in order for a to go into a veto. when i look at it, the problem
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was, to stop the iranian program now, not the one that could exist 12 to 15 years, but now. when you get a country like iran that has something like 19,000 things running, and the plutonium processing ability, and they agree to cut the number of centrifuges by two thirds and allowed us to put cement at the bottom of the plutonium processing reactor, i talked that was a good deal. do,as in a better thing to that was something that was good? the otherproblem >> problem was that we were working for nine years. the allies have gone forward and agreed to it. it may no sense for us to back
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out. it made lots of sense to go forward. people are complaining that it leads a path to uranium enrichment. 15 years is a long time. centrifuges will be in storage. you ran will be starting from a much lower point. ran will be starting from a much lower point. do you think we can have a fundamental relationship with iran? >> i would never use the word alliance. i have been burned by a man in the past. illusions about the iranian regime and i know terrorism and causing mischief all over the world is their operational strategy.
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but this was the problem that was most important to the world being closer to have the visceral material. that is what i thought we should stop. that is what they worked nine years to stop. i think it is a good agreement and worked the support of the american people. i'm sorry got tied up in politics. totallyy did it become partisan? >> why does anything become totally partisan these days? netanyahu felt very strongly about it. president was able to succeed in getting the agreement in place and all of our allies are working with us. i think it does open up new opportunities, but i am not saying it reflects a new, total relationship with iran. let's focus on this particular thing. make sure they do but they are expected and promised to do and
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put a verification regime in their that ensures that we can keep track of it. i talked to be head of our intelligence community, secretary of energy, and they are confident they can verify what is happening. the lees definitive signature that you can't hide. host: one reason it became partisan is a lot of your republican friends who think very much like you, i would guess, do you have that opinion? >> i would never suggest why they did it. [laughter] >> asked them, don't ask me.
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i have been with nuclear weapons since i was a young captain. my first assignment was to guard an atomic cannon in germany when i was a 21-year-old lieutenant. the core commander, i was ready in germany to call up nuclear weapons. as chairman, i had 20,000 nuclear weapons under my supervision. i know a lot about this. i know what nuclear weapons can do. anything we can stop the program the way we stop the program, i thought, it was a valuable result of this agreement and i felt i had an obligation from my military experience and my diplomatic experience to show my point for the agreement. host: we have a confluence of interest with the ran in stopping i sold russian mark -- n in stopping isil.
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is the most coveted issue i have ever experienced -- it is the most complicated issue i have ever experienced. we have to decide which is the first priority. in the military, we are taught to identify what is the main attack and what is the most important thing you have to solve the problem. there were other supporting attacks you can launch. there is also face to that you can take -- phase two that you can take. the main thing is to defeat, destroy, that is the real threat. asad he is the. devil. . i would like to see him leave. , my oldink through pottery barn rule, what comes after him?
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do we know what will happen to him after he steps down either voluntarily, or he is pushed out. a la lights. we have to be careful before we get too deeply involved in his removal. wantw that we have said we him out to i want him out. sil defeated. host: you think the administration may be making a mistake by emphasizing assad must go. >> i don't see anything wrong with that. in recent days, the administration has been modifying their language a little bit. saying, maybe not today. we will figure out a way and work with our friends and allies. i think he will eventually go. -- i think have it you have to be extremely careful. we thought we knew what happened
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-- iraq, anda rack we guessed wrong. isre is some structure that functioning, whether we like its form or not, whether it's a dictatorship or not. there is a structure holding the society together. top, theremove the whole thing falls apart. you get lots of people leaving, fleeing to get to a better place that is safer and have a better life. kingdom -- ted cited yourtor pottery barn rule. you're responsible for the pottery barn role. [laughter] host: i didn't say it, you said it. break a government, or
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cause it to come down by invading it, you are now the government. and he got labeled -- a got a check -- pottery barn had a heckuva lot of advertising. [laughter] said we violated that by going into syria, iraq, and even afghanistan, and even going into libya and leaving not knowing what we are going to do. -- wasf all, was it to it a mistake going to all of these places without a plan for owning it? >> there was a plan. the execution may have been weakness. the reality -- the execution may have been weak.
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>> in retrospect, should we not have? >> i don't do retrospect very well. what is the point of it? >> i will take that as a yes. [laughter] we could have avoided the conflict if hussein had met the standards. >> would george w. bush have been satisfied leaving saddam hussein in power? in my conversation with the president, he made it clear that if we were satisfied at that point, he would not have had the rationale to go in and conduct the invasion and it might have been ugly, but saddam hussein might have stayed in place. but nevertheless, he thought it
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was necessary, based on the intelligence we had about those weapons, he thought it was in the interest of the world, in the absence of that kind of agreement, that in invasion was appropriate. i supported him in that. we tried the u.n. that didn't work. our greatest disappointment was we did not do it well. we made strategic mistakes. the president was told for months we were going to preserve the iraqi army and not disestablish all of the ba'ath positions, and then all of a sudden, one morning it happened. chaos and suit. -- chaos ensued. there were other mistakes that were made. i am a great believer in my own doctrine, the powell doctrine, even though it's not an army doctrine. it's just something i made up one day. [laughter] secretary powell: a newspaper, "the washington post" called it that.
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it's nice to have a doctrine named after you. it says when you start out something, make sure you have enough force in place to have a decisive outcome. we had a decisive outcome in baghdad, but we forgot that the war was not over. there was still total disarray within society. that is when we should have had the surge. we should have put the necessary force in 2003. host: didn't secretary rumsfeld say that we didn't need that force? secretary powell: that was his view. host: he was incorrect. [laughter] what lessons do you apply to syria now? secretary powell: i don't know how the syrian thing is going to turn out. i'm a great advocate of airpower. i'm also an infantry officer. airpower has a role to play.
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while it is playing that role, it is causing civilian casualties and destroying the infrastructure of the city. if i'm living in mclean and they start bombing in falls church, i'm leaving mclean as well. you have to understand that airpower can be a very blunt instrument and it causes collateral damage, and not just the killing of innocent civilians. but what it does to the cities, to the water plants, to the oil facilities, it really does destroy a lot of property. and you can't be too specific. when i hear things like "we have bombs an isis stronghold." isis is in movement. it is not sitting around in strongholds. after you have been hit by airpower, you tend to not make yourselves that readily available to be hit by air power. you will notice in kunduz, the
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city that has fallen in northern afghanistan to the taliban, they are not letting people leave the city. wonder why. they are hostage now. they can't be bombed because they've got the citizens. host: going back to syria, putin has been saying some things, hey, we need to get a coalition together, we need to hold the à la white -- alawite faction together. secretary powell: secretary kerry is having talks with them. i have always been willing to talk to people. people i like, people i do not like. large countries, small countries. that is the strength of the american system. not to brag about ourselves and say we are indispensable and exceptional. everybody knows that. we don't have to brag. but with constraints and humbled
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-- humbleness on our part, till to everybody in the world who wants to talk to us. we don't have to show off. they know what we can do. host: what would you do if you were secretary of state? secretary powell: if i were secretary of state -- and i know sergei very, very well -- i would talk to sergei. how can we not run into each other flying airplanes? how do we stop isil's advance? russians have also said they do not want to put troops on the ground. host: and you don't have to keep walking back once a side does take them -- assad does take them. secretary powell: we should not be surprised that the russians, who have had an interest in syria for 50 years, who have a naval base there, who have been supporting assad from the beginning of this conflict, along with the arabians, we
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-- iranians, we should not be surprised that they raised the bid a little bit by putting in airplanes and troops. he did not want to see this regime collapse. one thing that is important to understand is that the regime has to pass on. why not talk to them and see what he has in mind, what they think? host: if we can shift to domestic, on immigration, this has become an inflamed issue. how do we get beyond that on the immigration debate? secretary powell: the american people have to understand we are in immigrant nation. it is our history. [applause] if you look at what immigrants have done for this country, we were built on the backs of immigrants, and we have always had difficulties with immigration policies through our history. the chinese building railroads, eastern european immigrants looked down upon.
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i am a child of immigrant parents. my parents came here with fruit boats in 1924. jillions of people have the story. a school is named after me in harlem. the city college of new york is named for: powell school -- colin powell school. 90% of my students are minority and about 80% say they were born in another country. and as you have been reading in the paper, the asia and influxes coming on top of the hispanic influx, and people all over the world, we will be the majority immigrant nation, but they will be americans by then, in 30 or 40 years. we need a sensible immigration policy to bring these people out. if i was around mr. trump, donald, who i know rather well, i would say, let's tell all of the immigrants working in trump hotels to stay home tomorrow. [laughter] secretary powell: see what happens. [applause]
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secretary powell: are you kidding me? when these folks leave to go to lunch, who was serving you? it was cooking in the back? [applause] next time you walk through dulles or reagan, look who is manning the counters. look who was cleaning the place up. these are first-generation immigrants who will raise children who will go off to higher things. they are not mopping floors and waiting tables for their children do the same. it's the immigrant tradition -- get started and the next generation will do better and the generation after that will be even better. [applause] host: you have endorsed president obama, i think, twice. you have attacked the republican position on immigration -- secretary powell: i do not agree it is the republican position on immigration.
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i think most republicans understand we need immigrants, we are an immigrants nation, it is in our best interests to do it. but there are pockets of intolerance within the republican party that the republican party had better figure out how to defeat that. host: are you still a republican? [laughter] secretary powell: you did not mention of the fact that i voted for five presidents in a row that were republican. i worked for president reagan, i worked with howard baker. yes, i'm still republican. in virginia, you do not have to declare a party, where i live. yes, i'm still republican. i believe in a strong defense. i believe in the entrepreneurial spirit that is typical of the party in the past. i'm having difficulty with the party now. i think the party has shifted much further right than the country is, and it should be obvious to the party leaders they cannot keep saying the
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things they are saying and doing the things that they are doing and hope to be successful at national level elections in the future. not just 2016, but in the future. so, i want to continue to be a republican because it annoys them. [laughter] [applause] host: general powell, thank you very much. ♪ >> and now david morgan steen here with the atlantic's margaret carlson. margaret: good morning. david, since we were last on stage together, you have become a new father. and that child has gotten 218 million visitors according to youtube. david: you are referring to the baby panda? margaret: i am.
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who would not be alive without david. david: i don't know about that, but they did tell me it was likely they would need artificial insemination to produce the baby panda. to fight for the time that they can reproduce. they asked if i wanted to watch. i said, absolutely not. [laughter] they said, do you want to see the semen extracted from the mail? i said, no. we have a panda everyone seems to like, weighs about five pounds, and you are referring to the fact that he sneezed and everyone seemed to pay attention to that. when the government is not shut
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down, he greatest complaints seem to come from the fact that the panda cam is shut down rather than social security is shut down. [laughter] margaret: how do the pandas fit into patriotic philanthropy? extraction in particular. [laughter] david: i don't know about that being patriotic. but the national zoo is owned by the smithsonian, has always been. as a regent of the smithsonian, when i learned the pandas needed funding, i decided i would help them with that, but really, my view is patriotic plans or b is a bit of a misnomer. all philanthropy is patriotic. if you are doing any philanthropy, you're helping the community, so it's all easily patriotic.
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what i was trying to do in defying that phrase was things that particularly relate to things that have the u.s. government, they cannot afford to do anymore, reminding people of our heritage and traditions. the smithsonian gets about 60% of its budget from the federal government. 40% comes from philanthropic contributions and that was in that context. margaret: how is it doing to educate members of congress about history, your library of congress dinners? david: will what you are referring to -- i thought it would be good to have congress come together in a new nonpartisan way. which rarely happens. margaret: unlike the pandas, no fighting. david: what i try to do with this -- i organized a dinner at the library of congress where i would interview a great presidential scholar, washington, lincoln, so forth, and have a dinner, and before
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the dinner, we would have them gather and see documents from that era, go down, have a dinner, and they tend to sit with members from the opposite party, which rarely happens. i would interview the scholar. there is no press there. nobody is preening for the cameras. some members of congress tell me this is the most interesting things they are doing in washington, which is a sad commentary because you would think that passing legislation would be more interesting, but some members bring their wives in, and it is a date night. they say it is a rare time you can have a social event in washington, learn something, spend times with members of the opposite party, and not be criticized for anything. it has worked out well. we will continue doing that. we just had a speaker in who did a play, and then the next one did a four-volume book on lyndon johnson.
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margaret: you are an early signator of the giving pledge. david: yes. margaret: how do your children feel about your already deciding to give away most of their inheritance? david: the presumption is that parents of money it will go to the children. it's a presumption. margaret: it is a good presumption. david: there is no evidence that if a child inherits $500 million, there is no presumption the child will do something that will win a nobel peace prize. inheriting a lot of money, but it is a bit of a burden. if people think you have money and you did not do anything in your life to earn it, people are not going to respect u.s. much. the idea i have had, make sure my children are fully formed before they feel they are going to get any money from a, and they probably won't get any anyway, if i have given them a good education, that's all they really need. they need unconditional love, a good education, a good start, that they do not need staggering sums of money to be successful.
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most people who do great things in the world come from a modest background. i do not want to say people who inherited $500 million or a billion dollars and not great people, you look at people who win nobel is, they do not inherit staggering sums. my children are fine with it. there are 40 of us who signed this initially. we just celebrated the fifth anniversary, and we will probably come to washington later this year to mark the anniversary of it. margaret: have you given away any money you would like to have back? [laughter] david: i have invested some money in deals i would like to have back. there are people who give away money and are very intense with looking at metrics and very much on top of the people they have given the money to. i tend to be more laid-back. i'm not saying the first method
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is bad, but my method is to give people money, and generally easy about it. i do not regret anything that i've done. some has been more effective than others. i have been surprised. most of my money has gone to education and medical research. but the patriotic philanthropy has got more attention because very few people are doing that. lots of people giving money to higher education and medical research. if you give a large grants there and something happens, it does not get as much attention, though attention is the most important thing. if i give 7.5 million dollars to the washington monument, people get talking about that. even though it is a modest amount, relatively speaking. margaret: well, it is high-profile. david: it is high-profile, and i enjoy putting my initials of the top when nobody is looking. [laughter] margaret: what is your mother most proud of? david: my mother is jewish, and i would say -- margaret: if only you had been a doctor. [laughter] david: she did want me to be a dentist. she thought that was the highest calling of mankind.
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you get to be called a doctor. you do not have to work weekend hours. i said, what if i get arthritis in my fingers? i talked her out of my being a dentist. my mother shortly is going to be 85 years old, and most mothers are probably pleased with their children. i think she is probably pleased. the thing that is most interesting, when i was building carlyle and making money, she would never call and say, i'm really proud you are building this company. now that i am giving away money, she calls and says, i am much more proud about what you are doing now than when you're making the money. if my mother calls and is proud of what i am doing, i think i did a good thing. margaret: we don't have much money left -- we don't have much time left. [laughter] i never have much money left. as chairman of the kennedy center, who picks the honorees? david: it is a mysterious process nobody really understands. for the first 37 years or so,
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george stevens largely picked them. i did a good job of doing it. there was a committee of artists. there was crew by the executive committee and the chairman of the board. now that george has retired from being the producer, we have a new producer in a process by which people can recommend from all over the country. we have a committee of distinguished artists -- julie andrews, yo-yo ma are on it -- they make recommendations. the chairman and members of the executive committee try to put together a slate that has balance to it. it is a combination of a lot of people looking -- the executive committee try to put together a slate that is about to it. it is a common nation of a lot of people looking at it. margaret: have you ever thought about going back into government? david: i got inflation at 19% during the carter white house, and no one has out me back. [laughter] i offered ben bernanke, i could come back and get inflation back for you.
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he did not invite me back. i think it's unlikely i will go back into government. i think you can do as much on the outside is in the inside. i'm happy with where i am. the most important thing is having the health to do what i wanted to. i'm 66 years old. when you turn 60, people look at you differently. they say, well, you look good today. [laughter] at the kennedy center, people say, mr. rubenstein, there are six steps. do you want to walk up the six steps, or do you want to take the elevator? when you turn 50, you can pretend you have 50 go, but when you turn 60, you cannot pretend you have 60. i'm racing through life because now i have access to things that i did not have before, people and money, and i do not want to waste time. i'm racing through life, sprinting to the finish line, as i call it, and i just hope i am luckier than some of my colleagues.
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i read the obituary's every morning first thing. i know i'm lucky. i don't want to be reading my obituary anytime soon. margaret: we have run out of time -- not existentially, just -- david: thank you. margaret: i'm going to escort david to the elevator. thanks. [applause] ♪ >> please welcome journalist -- and the new yorker's correspondent here with james bennett. >> so, we are going to be, i guess, exploring some of the themes we have been talking about this morning, but from a radically different set of perspectives. we have with us an author and journalist of phd and
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comparative literature, i believe, and who was taken captive while working as a journalist in syria in 2012 and held for almost two years by the nusra fronts. his mother, nancy curtis, and cousin amy rosen, who worked eventually with a coalition of people throughout that time to get him out. and then larry wright, a correspondent, staff writer for "the new yorker," he wrote a powerful piece of for "the new yorker" that told the story of theo's captivity and that a for other hostages and their fates. i'm hoping we can explore what happened with theo and how you
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managed in the end to get him out. and also, you have had probably more direct experience at incredible cost, of this movement at war with the united states than any other american and were hoping to get to insight that you learned. nancy, i wonder if we could start with you. and the moment when you first realized that something had gone wrong. you knew theo was in turkey. you are in touch with them. nancy: yes, i knew he wanted to get into syria for just a couple of days because he really wanted to talk to the people and find out, why are you doing this, what is going on? i was worried about it, but i knew he was familiar with the culture and fluent in the language. i didn't let myself worry.
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in the meantime, he was in the process of buying a wood stove for our house in vermont. everyday day we had this e-mail conversation -- do we want this sort the whatever and what color do we want? and all of a sudden, i did not hear from him. i sent him, hi, i have not heard from you, what's going on? i did not get an answer, and i knew that was it. something terrible had happened. i knew there had been bombings, shelling, conflict, and i didn't know anything, and i started calling my cousin amy, i friend who worked in a congressman's office. i didn't know where to begin. but that's how it started. james: what had happened? theo: what had happened, i had made friends with 2, 3 young men in turkey on the border with syria, just north of arapahoe.
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i believe these people to be fixers with the free cn -- free syrian army. like an idiot, iran to the border with them. -- i ran to the border with them. the first night, i slept in a band and house with them. the next morning, we did an interview -- i was interviewing them. after 15 minutes i ran out of questions. i turned to them. i said, ok. i'm done with my questions. and then they stood up. handcuffs and they said, we are from the al qaeda organization. didn't you know? james: what was going through your mind? theo: shit. [laughter] theo: i had a friendly
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relationship with these people. i figured -- i knew something about kidnappings and i was aware of the one thing you do not want to have happen is have them pass you want to another group. so, i tried to stay with them. in fact, i went to the free syrian army and i was tried in an islamic court. the islamic judge asked me a few questions, and they brought me back to the kidnappers. james: these were the moderates? theo: nice syrian people. james: and they returned you to your captors? theo: they returned me to my captors. i had a trial. the judge determined i deserve to go back to my captors, i belonged to them. james: amy, can you pick up the thread where nancy left it, and tell us, what was going on on
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the outside during this time, and when did you first get any sense who was holding theo and was he even still alive? amy: as nancy said, she reached out to me and another cousin who is a current journalist and another cousin who is a former journalist. we started calling everybody we possibly could at the time. theo was a freelancer, so there was not a firm or a newspaper or anybody there to help us working with the government. and we literally started by trying to find where he had been in turkey, where he had been staying, with the clues we had. he had changed his name legally, to protect himself, but that further complicated it. long calls with facebook and other organizations trying to
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get into his mail to see what was happening. we were incredibly fortunate because we knew a lot of people and how the world works. we kept pounding and talking to everybody. shortly thereafter, i was literally at the new york ideas center, with david bradley, who mentioned he was helping jim foley's family, and i thought, isn't that interesting? we have a missing cousin. he said, can you come to washington tomorrow? it started with david and his incredible team of people who helped us. the truth was, the three cousins, we did not tell nancy, we had no confidence that you live. we wanted to make sure that we did everything we could, for nancy's sake at that point, to find out what happened.
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it took nine months until we had proof of life, and nine months, at which point, and american he had been held with, escaped. at which point the state department, which is not provided much of any information at that point, told us they had proof of life. james: theo, you wrote a very powerful piece for "new york times" magazine about your captivity, and you describe a time after matt left where you were tortured viciously by your captors. but you also described pretty continuous torture from the moment you were taken. it really was not even clear to me reading the piece what outcome the hostage takers were after, why they continued to beat you and use a cattle prod on you. they didn't seem particularly interested in having you convert. what was the point?
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theo: they are interested in having all unbelievers, all christians, anyone who is not muslim, they want them to convert. but not through torture. you're supposed to read the koran and arrive 8 -- james: you had lived in yemen 14 -- four two years and were fluent in arabic -- you had lived in yemen for four years and were fluent in arabic. theo: four months and months and months, they were just beating me. i would come back to my so afterward. and i would think, what was that about? they would go through the motions of asking the questions. they would pretend this was an interrogation, but i knew they were not taking notes. at one time they said, are you from the pentagon or the cia? i said, what's the difference? they said, oh, good point. they were not after specific information.
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in my opinion, the function of the torture is for them. it's something -- it's an initiation ceremony that deepens the commitment of -- especially the children. always the children were involved. it's frightening for the children to participate in this. it alters the psychology of the children. the entire environment is frightening, particularly when they are bombing. that bombing alters the psychology of the children. they bring them down into the basement. they give them torture instruments and they say, have at it. the kids go, i don't really want to. that they do eventually. over time, it alters them. in my view, all of the outsiders, the midway muslims, the people who are not totally committed, they get committed through the violence. the more violence that exists in this culture, the worse it is for us. james: larry, we have a photo op before other hostages taken, if we can project it up there.
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i wonder if you can tell us a little bit about each of them, who they were, how their experience, how it differed or was similar to what you went through? larry: the main differences they had the misfortune of being taken by isis. jim foley was a reporter. he had been captured previously in libya, and thanks to david bradley, who is really the hero of the story, he was freed from that incarceration. and then went back into conflict journalism and was taken by isis, as was another reporter, steven sotloff. two aid workers, cassig, who started his
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own entrepreneurial service to get care where it was most needed, places the u.n. would not go to, he personally went and trained people in emergency care and took care of people. and then kayla mueller was a very extraordinary person, had been assisting people all over the world, especially in syria. she had taken on this task of going to probably the worst place in the world to try to help people out. she was on the path to some kind of sainthood. these are the kind of people that when you have conflict, you need information and you need help. often they are criticized for going to help out, but where else do get the information and who else is going to help if young people, idealistic young people like that, who are the
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people who go and try to participate and help out? james: the four other hostages all were killed. you say the difference was they were held by isis and theo by the nusra front. split those groups apart for us . how was it that theo was freed in the end? larry: as the old tell you, it's not easy to split the groups. they are very fluid. the movement from one islamist organization to another -- nusra had relationships, in one case, with qatar. some of these islamist groups defended on foreign aid. different category.
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it has oil, banks, taxes, and it really does not depend on the aid from foreign countries. nusra was in a different spot and was more amenable to the pressure that was brought to bear on theo's situation. group, andough this through david and his efforts, through the head of intelligence in qatar, and he actually sent one of his operatives into syria, who was threatened. they talked about killing her. but they did get the word out and the transfer was affected
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through the agency. james: just to back up -- i should be clear, david bradley is my boss and the owner of "the atlantic." nancy, can you talk a little bit about what the relationship was like among the five families during this time when all of your children were being -- nancy: yes. early on, some of the said go to the red cross, the international red cross. that was them. the woman said, i probably should not be telling you this, but there's another family from new england who has a son who has been taken captive. that is how i got in touch with diane foley. and theo and jim foley had a lot in common. both teachers, both committed to helping the disadvantaged, both writers. both from northern new england. we knew they would be best friends when they got out. i did not meet the other
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families or even know of their existence until david bradley and "the atlantic" brought all of the families together, all five families together for a meeting in may 2014. we spent a whole day talking about our situation, and the second day we were taken around capitol hill to the fbi to meet various congressmen and senators, all done through david bradley and his team. but i think that diane and i -- we were the ones that really remained close, but again david bradley has brought us all together. for both theo and me, it's hard to recognize that he is survived in the others did not.
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it has been something for us to struggle with. but i think the other families, in their great generosity of hearts, recognize that something of their children resides in theo and welcome him with open arms. james: i would like to return to the question with some of the lessons that could be extracted from this, and maybe what we should be doing as a country now. it's just astonishing to hear you say you were being used as an instrument to desensitize the kids and prepare them to be members of this extraordinary violent movement. what explains how your captors -- what draws them to this? what makes them --
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theo: i do not think -- desensitization is not the right word. it is a heightened experience. it's a spiritual experience for them to participate in these rituals that extract them from normal everyday life. when you're causing another human being to suffer, they would tell me in the torture room -- and there would be somebody hanging from the ceiling screaming. screaming at the top of his lungs. they would tell me, this is our music. they would say it brings them closer to god. to punish the enemies of god -- of which i was. by the way, all of you people here, as americans, your enemies of god. we are enemies of god because they believe that we are killing muslims as a country. they believe christianity is destined, all christians, by the way, are destined to come to an end of times conflict with islam and islam will eventually triumph over christianity. they are participating in this triumph at the moment.
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they are approaching godliness. so, what was your question again? [laughter] james: you have answered a much better question than the one i asked. but you say it is all in the koran, and this is the debate we keep having in the u.s., how to understand whether the origin of this version of islam is authentic. theo: this is not an issue they debate among themselves. 99% of the time, they spend their time doing the things that the conventional muslim does. they're very punctual for their prayers. it is wrong to be late for your prayers. they meticulously maintained the fast. you're supposed to get points if you read a page of the carranza -- chiron -- this version of islam is authentic. theo: this is not an issue they
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debate among themselves. 99% of the time, they spend their time doing the things that koran every day. muslim does. you get merit points if you read the koran. they read the koran a lot. if you said to these people you are doing it all wrong, who are we to tell them that they misinterpreted their religion? they are praying five times a day, they are reading the koran. you are reading it with them, by the way, and you feel surrounded by islam. it's a mistake to say you guys do not know what you're talking about. james: you're still in touch with some of your captors, right? i am. i'm interested in what they are up to. i like to be useful in getting the people that they have out, and i hope to getkayla and peter and stephen out, too. we were not able to do that. my relationships with these people can be used to our advantage. james: the next question is do you and then to larry -- based on everything you have learned, what do you think we do about
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this movement? theo: we should send them aid and chocolates and blankets. i think we need to be nice to them. i really believe -- we can keep killing these people, but more will come. if you have 10 and you kill 2, you don't get eight. you get 20. this is true were in syria. the bombs spread the hatred. the bombs at we are dropping now, they only spread the hatred and create more. they are coming up from chechnya, they are coming from turkey, they are coming from the entire region. this is an issue bashar al-assad has confronted. it is a vacuum for islamic extremists. me, the solution is peacekeepers. all of these conflicts and in the same way. there has to be a strong, strong powerful force that buys off some of the people and punishes
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the ones that refused to be bought off. james: and you think we should work with assad? theo: yes. that's what i think. james: larry? larry: the assad regime does not threaten american interests, and isis does. isis is a really dangerous entity. however, both of them create a problem that is threatening the west and our allies in the region, which is a massive flow of refugees. one out of every four people in lebanon right now is syrian. there are 2 million syrian refugees in turkey. the whole palestinian exodus in 1948 was 700,000. now we have 5 million syrians away from the country, 10 million, half the population of syria is in a refugee state.
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this is politically destabilizing. so, i think our focus should be on how do we stem that tide of refugees? i think a no-fly zone would give a sanctuary in northern syria would probably be helpful. the other thing is our sunni allies in the region are ambivalent about this, because they want assad gone. so, they are restrained in their attempt to help us contain isis. i think eliminating that ambivalence would be very helpful. it happened in jordan when one of their pilots was burned alive in a cage.
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but that may have led to kayla's death. this is the middle east. it's like a rubik's cube that does not have a solution. you can keep moving the pieces around. james: nancy, just in closing -- i like to hear your answer to a simple question, which is how is theo doing? nancy: i think he is doing fine. he has endured a horrific experience. at as have the other families. i think it is helpful that he was a mature man. he was able to withdraw into himself. deepercome out wise and and hold. theo: thanks, mom. [laughter] james: we'll leave it there. thank you.
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thank you. nancy: thank you. ♪ [applause] >> the cofounder of black lives matter here with "the atlantic" -- ♪ >> thank you so much for joining us. it's an honor to talk to you. obviously there's a lot more than we can cover in 15 minutes, but let's cover as much as we can. let's start by talking about what is black lives matter? it's something that any informed person is aware of, it has become fairly omnipresent certainly since ferguson and there have been black lives matter protest in every major american city, but i think a lot of americans are uncertain or confused about what it is. is it an actual organization?
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is it in organizing strategy? is it in advocacy concept? it is a social media phenomenon or a meme or a rallying call? what is it? >> thanks so much for the conversation. it is actually all of those things that you mentioned. i think that is what has been so beautiful about it. so, #blacklivesmatter began to -- two years ago in the wake of martin andof trayvon the subsequent acquittal of george zimmerman, his murderer. it also began as a political project. we created a platform. we created a social media presence to talk about what is happening in communities, around a number of social issues and
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the disparate outcomes that our race are experiencing and everyone of our lives. this was a racial justice project for black people, knowing that if we had to create a platform and a new way of thinking about what was taking place in our communities, we would have an opportunity to reframe the conversation, and hopefully, create a world where black lives would actually matter. it was a number of things. it was a hashtag. it was a platform. now it is a network. we have a network of about 30 chapters across the country and a couple in other countries. in ghana, in canada. scott: this is a real organization. if there are hierarchy, a structure? there's no funding for this?
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this is all grassroots, spontaneous organization? opal: right, it's a grassroots effort. we are still raising funds, but it is a decentralized network. people are acting on their own. at the local lever -- level. they are figuring out campaigns. they are figuring out strategies that work for them. they are engaging with committee officials. they are having their own community town halls and healing circles in a range of activities that make sense for their local context. however, we are savvy. we are strategic, and we are coordinating at the national level. it's not only black lives matter, but there is a constellation of social justice organizations across the country.
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we are truly a movement of various groups, various community organizations and so on. scott: interesting. i want to come back to talking about the tactics and philosophy of black lives matter, but owing -- i want you to tell the story in three minutes or less of how it came to be founded. i think i recall reading you were actually at a movie and you we are truly a movement of various groups, various community organizations and so on. came out to learn via social media the verdict that george zimmerman had been acquitted -- i guess this was july 2013. how did that then lead to what has become this national movement? opal: yeah, thanks for the question. back in 2013, i along with many others, i'm sure, was watching very closely the trial of george zimmerman and many of us were concerned that a young boy like trayvon martin -- you many of us have identified with, right? we have sons, cousins, brothers. we recognize this could have been one of our own, right? we were watching and waiting and i know myself, i had just
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watched "fruitvale station," the film about the life of auster -- auster grant, who was killed by the oakland police department. grant, who was killed by the oakland police department. i was with some of my closest girlfriends. i remember sitting on a corner and getting text messages and tweets, folks that were frantic. "hey, did you hear? george zimmerman was acquitted of this murder." "what are we going to do about this?" folks were beginning to strategize and rallies were being planned. i've remember that moment just sitting, really with the fact that everybody knew what took place, and despite all of the knowledge, despite the testimony, despite all of that, trayvon martin was put on trial for his own death, his own murder, his family had to be put through all of this, the entire society, right?
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u.s. society, we all went through collective trauma, witnessing that, right? i was struck with the fact that my younger brother, who was the youngest brother, 14 at the time, could have been trayvon martin. this young boy that i loved so dearly, that i would do anything for could have his own life under threat, and so could my other cousins, my god kids, and so on. so, i knew something had to change and i wanted to help to construct a political project that would say never again. never again in our lifetime. scott: i don't know if you knew her before, but two other founders with you of black lives matter, you wrote a facebook posted that galvanized to this. opal: yes, i read this post by only see a gardens.
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it was basically a love note. to our people. she said, we should be outraged, we should not take this for granted. at the end of your post, she said our lives matter, black lives matter. and our dear sister patrice put a hashtag on it. and you know, that went viral, but actually i thought, we need to create our own social media platform. create a facebook page, a tumblr and a twitter. beyond our walls, we need this to be public. we need people to try to this message and in sure the work that they are doing. what does this mean for them? and how can we as a collective make sure we are coordinated and uplifting a message that will ensure all of our black lives matter?
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scott: that is my segue to questions about tactics, philosophy, and goals. i guess the overarching -- and there are a lot of sub elements of this. black lives matter, do you see yourselves as a revolutionary movement working outside the system or an evolutionary movement working outside political structures? let me cite a couple of examples that have been pretty controversial. one of your cofounders, patrice, led a protest when bernie sanders was trying to speak. she said burn everything down and interrupted his speech and martin o'malley's. in the following month, again, bernie sanders, who is pretty far to the left side of the -- progressive side of the democratic party was also
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disrupted in seattle and that ended up disrupting his -- and a current one i was just reading from the "minneapolis star tribune" was reporting that there is a marathon in minneapolis this weekend and black lives matter organizers are saying we will disrupt the marathon and there is pushed back against that. and you say, decentralized group -- you may have nothing to do with this guy, but when marathoners said we're just trying to run this race and we are sympathetic to your goals, but please let us run the race, the st. paul's spokesman said "the negro's great stumbling block to freedom is the white moderate. method agree with the you take, but i agree with your
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goals." you work in the system are without it. where is black lives matter and do you condone or endorse the disrupting of bernie sanders, hillary clinton, other sorts of -- opal: yeah, well, where i think where we are at, we're open to a myriad of tactics. we know there are people who will be inspired to work within the system as it is. we will not denigrate their actions. everybody, no matter where you are, what your socioeconomic status, what your job is, you have a duty to take action and stand on the side of people who have been oppressed for generations. we think that is crystal clear. whatever means that needs to take, we think folks should do that. scott: do you think that that can be up to the more natural -- he yoked to the more natural and existing party system or is that not sufficient? the existing mainstream politics is insufficient to address the
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the deep structural racist inequalities? opal: i think the two-party system is not working for us and has not worked for us for generations. what we're seeing is a crisis in our own democracy, and the reality is these types of actions we are seeing -- the disruptions, the really courageous acts of nonviolent disobedience taking this country by storm really -- is an effort to call attention to the very real crisis happening in our communities. our communities are reeling from poverty, unemployment, discrimination of all sorts, different interactions from law enforcement, our education system, and so on. these actions are actually to make very visible what is taking place and also to put forth, i would say moral dilemma. let's demonstrate the ways our communities are being undermined
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time and time again and make sure that the broader public and those in power choose to stand with us. that is what these actions are all about. i think what is really brilliant and beautiful about the types of courageous actions the board taking, be it around the elections and so on -- we are really redefining the political process. this is civic engagement. it is our democratic duty to dissent. it is our democratic duty to rise up. that is what we saw in ferguson. people were willing to put skin in the game and say, hey, mike brown was murdered here. our lives are not mattering. we want to make sure that people know about this. i think we are involved. very much so, they're right. i'm inspired by people taking action across the country.
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this may be a completely predictable response, but you have among conservatives rush limbaugh and bill o'reilly, pretty much everyone down the line of fox saying, actually black lives matter is a hate group. they are demonizing police. you have the police benevolent association of new york appropriating your language and saying blue lives matter. is this standard politics, the reactionary wing of the right reacting to the radical wing of the left? or is there the danger this becomes an escalating conflict? opal: right. i think when we say black lives matter -- in fact, i don't think, i know when we say black lives matter, we are not saying that any other life does not matter. that has never, ever been our message. our message has been a place of , for love for our people our society, for our brothers and sisters. when we say black lives matter,
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we know it is to ensure the quality of life and the viability of life for black people. then every other community that has been marginalized and oppressed will also have an uplifted quality of life as well. so, i think it's a distraction in many ways, when folks try to pick apart the words, but when they truly understand the reality of the black experience in the u.s., they could not be so scared to come alongside us and really speak authentically and earnestly about what is taking place. scott: you have said this was obviously galvanized by ferguson and freddie gray and eric garner and trayvon martin and tamir rice, but this is more than just about criminal justice. this is about addressing structural problems and problems of poverty in the black community. last question, you have a very hopeful -- he would not be doing
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this if you did not believe there was a process -- progress. has become more darkly pessimistic in his view, and does not believe that we can -- post-racial utopia, that we are never going to get past these things and beyond that, we will never regain the suffering and misery and struggles of previous generations of african-americans. you do not believe that. you have a more hopeful view. opal: the reality is that we are seeing people of conscious from every walk of life to take part in a multiracial movement for black lives. i have seen actions of solidarity from south africa to germany to venezuela and so on, so i believe the there are people of conscious everywhere who will not sit idly by while
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black lives are being devalued systematically. i am very optimistic. i come from a social justice background. i believe that when we take action, things can actually change. i have been inspired by young folks who are leading, elders who are coming alongside us in teaching us all sorts of important lessons and guiding us in this movement, and the fact that there are people from all different walks of life as a part of it. some changes already and i believe we will continue to see that. to be clear, i believe it is not only policy but it is also a cultural shift that we need to see. on that -- scott: on that hopeful note, let's end. good luck to you. [applause] welcome the director of
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darpa. >> hello, everybody. one of the coolest people in washington, d.c. i knew somebody who is considered the least known smartest person. you are the least known coolest person. researchof the defense project agency. i guess i want to start off somewhat comically and ask you if you are really responsible for captain america in addition to the internet. >> we try to take credit for all the good things in the world but i think that would probably be a little bit of a stretch. >> it is bad to refer to james bond, but you imagine exploding pens and technology that is used in national security issues that , you are the home base of that in america, of the cool gadgets,
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the cool computers, technology. >> those are some of the things that come out of our research. we are responsible for creating technological supplies for national security. sometimes that means working on the next generation of military systems in the battlefield. sometimes it means investing in the core technology. for example, the internet. >> you invented the internet. did our core have any role in that -- did al gore have any role in that? role traces back to the late 1960's when we had this idea that we might want to connect computers together. that inspired the "terminator" movies? >> the first thing was, could
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you share these resources. at dark and our part of the story, the people who wrote the first protocols essentially defined the internet, but our core played a very important role in getting it from the research community to the whole rest of the world. >> you gave walter isaacson a great deal of credit. he wrote a book called "the innovators." that book for christmas and i was reading it, a wonderful book. there's a chapter that delineates this wonderful story of how the internet went from a research project to something that has changed all of our lives. i started reading it out loud to my husband, who had been a staffer for al gore and it was so wonderful to see that story come out loud and clear. >> you dug in and did some research. if you are president of the united states, what is the first thing you would do, go to the
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place that makes all the cool gadgets. hasderstand president obama not visited but hillary clinton loved to drop by. >> not since i have been. >> which clinton? >> i think what you have to realize is we are this miniscule part of this much larger research and development. our mission allows us to do these amazing things, and it is actually only because people in my chain of command up to the president actually understand our mission and give us room to do it. >> define your mission for a -- for us. in the national security realm, you have objectives, a very key role. the most known and respected institutions in advanced technology in the world , so how do you define what your mission is? >> a traces back to our founding
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, in 1957 when humans put the first artificial satellite in orbit. the problem was the human beings who did that where the soviets in the height of the cold war. i think this country did a range of really smart things to respond, and one of them was to create darpa, the advanced .esearch agency job from the beginning was to prevent the kind of technological surprise. the way to prevent surprise is to create surprises of your own, and from that core mission came decades of investment that led to a transformation in how the military fights, stealth technology, precision strike, and other underlying components. we invested in court technology
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that led to the internet that led to a lot of the great advances that are the foundation for what has happened in the semiconductor industry, in artificial intelligence and advanced materials. we did this for national security but a few other people got into the game, and as the private capital drove both technologies forward, they not only changed how we fight but how we live and work. , who was theall net assessment chief at the pentagon for many years, was obsessed with chinese obsession about what they call the revolution in military affairs. as they sought, it was primarily what darpa was doing to change the games of war, to synthesize information and communication in ways that had not been there. how much of chinese paranoia was correct? >> just to be clear, it's sparked a lot of that.
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we showed what was technologically possible and of course it took the rest of the department of defense and our military servicemembers, all of that came together and created this military capability. the whole world really saw with that was all about in the first gulf war. that was a time when we had built these capabilities to counter a far numerically superior soviet union. we built all that technology for the gap. in 1991, when we went into againstwe were going air defense systems that were based on that soviet model, so it was in essence what we had designed against. moment, i do that not think we really knew if our investments were going to pay off. longcould have been a very air campaign going into baghdad and a long, drawnout war of
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attrition. soread, we flew hundreds of , andand owned this guys demonstrated this overwhelming advantage based on these core technologies that had been developed. isually for many of us, that still the picture we have of what u.s. military superiority looks like. aboutll have this notion being able to operate far from home against a fairly sophisticated adversary and being able to do whatever we need to do with minimal losses. i think it is important to say, that was awesome, that was really good, it was not an accident we could do that, and now it's 20 years later. everyone around the world has seen exactly how we do that, and any of these big advances are only fleeting opportunities for that kind of offset. where we are today in the department of defense is exactly
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at that point coming out of a decade and a half of ground war, thinking about this issue of how do you deal with where advanced military capability is now? it is not where it was in 1991. advertisers -- adversaries have access to global information. >> any chance you can share with us some supersecret next thing you have not shared with anyone else? >> no. aboutsly we cannot talk it, but there are some really powerful ideas brewing about what this next offset strategy could be. it has been driven from the most senior levels of the department, but i think the core ideas -- we are not going to turn the clock back to a time when the u.s. has all the secret stuff and no one else can play. >> if you know you have a tangible feel for what we are investing and resources, what we
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are going to do in cyber, what smart soldiers will look like in the future, and i think the question is as i hold an iphone, if you look at what is happening with technology globally and what has happened with innovators in the united states, i assume the gap between the supersecret stuff you are doing and what can be done outside your shop has narrowed over the years. does that worry you? >> number one, i think what you are talking about is the effect of both globalization of technology and the fact that we used to be, for example in this country, two thirds of the country's research and government came from and one third came from private, and now that is reversed. those are trends that are very important. most of the implications are great. it is a great world when
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technology is alleviating poverty around the world, and a better world when our private sector is thriving technology and becoming this much more innovation-intensive economy. implications for national security are pretty significant. so i think the secret to success here is not to try to build a wall. it is not to try to do something magic. i think the secret to success is going to be to harness that commercial technology and turn it into military capability much more powerfully than anyone else can. >> one of the interesting things about you, when i knew you you ,re head of nest -- nist interacting with universities, a broad range of bridging the gap between various technology pools , oftentimes with the national labs in the private sector.
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ask you,ion i want to should we be worrying about the ecosystem for technology innovation and this country as we have always known it? should we just be relying on google to invent the next thing? is there a broader world for the health and ecosystem? >> maybe not worry, but never take it for granted. that community that creates technological advances is what keeps our country secure, allows us to live longer, and have reliable, secure energy. it is an ecosystem. it is not static, it keeps changing. i think it is great to see google and others who have foresight and resources to invest in research, but i think we need to realize that as it has been throughout history, there are public roles and private roles. we want to make sure we keep that balance with the basic research. isaacson and he
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said talk to you about cyber. this is something we really need to double down on, when he to think, and those adversaries out there challenging us, be they state likes china or russia, we need to develop a new architecture of deterrence. is there a way to go from your ?hop on the offense on cyber and how do you think about cold war analogies coming into that space? >> let me tell you what our role is in the cyber world. everyone is in the cyber issue because everyone of us needs information technology to do our daily jobs. >> have you been hacked? >> i have been hacked, you have been hacked.
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nothing marvelous going on there. i think how we all do with it today is patch and pray. we are finding vulnerabilities and patching them as quickly as we can. that is why we are talking about hiring more cyber warriors to do that faster. , the threatuestion is growing at the pace that information technology is growing. that is a phenomenal pace. data,about the amount of our continued growth and reliance on information systems. all of that comes with more attack surface and vulnerability. can we outpace the growth of those vulnerabilities? can we find foundational approaches that will take hold classes of vulnerabilities off the table? can we find ways of cyber defense that will scale faster than hiring more cyber warriors? one of the things you hear a lot about these days is the internet of things, as more and more
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devices get connected. our cars, there has been a lot in the news lately about vulnerabilities of automobiles. the defense department is chock-full of everything we have. this is a big problem for us. one of our programs is building, taking some basic, beautiful fundamental math and scaling it so you can build embedded processes. code builtamounts of in a way that is reasonably secure, it cannot be hacked. that changes the game. if you are an attacker, that is a lot less attractive place for you to spend your time, and maybe you will bother someone else so we can create a safer environment. >> did anybody see the movie "transcendence" with johnny depp?
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sitting in the audience with a cameo of may -- elon musk, and he has been out there where it as the movie worries about, advances in artificial intelligence, and robotics, a kind of turbocharged internet of things where people become less wrote about the advances in computing and nanotechnology, etc. were creating new risks. i am interested, given the role -- are there things that we should be worried about, that elon musk is not crazy, that there are things we should be thinking about as we propel ourselves into this new world with a very different association between not human stuff? >> if you are going to work on powerful technologies, you have to be aware that with every one of those advances comes the opportunity for great possibilities, great
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capabilities. but history tells us that every powerful technology is going to bring with it huge societal challenges of ethical questions and a potential of misuse. i just want to be very clear eyed about that. i think it is essential that we ask of those kinds of questions. i am not sure those questions are being asked in a way that is going to give us the insight that we need. what i worry about is not what technology will do by itself but what humans will do with technology. it is when the human beings get in the mix that it gets very interesting. yes, machines are going to be able to do more and more whether it is on a battlefield or in our work lives or personalize. i think we are going to face some very human questions about how much autonomy will we give them, under which circumstances so that we still accomplish our
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human objectives. yes, let's be talking about that. >> thank you for spending time with us today. you are one of the great technology leaders of the united much lessd you seem dangerous to me in person than on tv. >> and now, a conversation with one of our underwriters, tom cass, david:, pose a ds will are. >> how are you, nice to see you all. david, good to see you. internet essentials, what exactly is that program? >> it is comcast's low income program. megs ofmonth for 10 internet service, the option to purchase a subsidized, holy internet capable and microsoft
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under loaded computer for $150, and most importantly of all, you own it. all, aportantly of comprehensive suite of digital literacy training materials and print online, and in person delivered through thousands of nonprofit partners in the country. the basic program, classic internet essentials program, and a family in the country who is a child eligible to anticipate international school -- eligible to participate in the national school lunch program is eligible to participate. we have been able to sign up more than 500 thousand families, most of them for the first times in their lives. >> a great program. we always hear about this digital divide. what exactly is it, and how big of a digital divide are we living in? >> it is simply the disparity
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between people on one end of the spectrum who seem to be mostly low income and living in urban america who do not have access to the internet at home, and a population of mostly wealthier people, most of them in suburban america and wealthier areas who do have access to the internet. and lowd adoption income, urban communities can be as low as 15 or 20, really more than 30%. broadband adoption in the wealthier communities is 85%, that he percent, or higher. higher. 90%, or >> 70% of the people living in many of our communities do not have access to internet. at home. >> that means they do not get access to the richness of the internet that my bet everyone in this audience and their families
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enjoy. tools,to educational vocational opportunities, news, information, and entertainment that we all take for granted. a wide swath of our population is being left behind. >> if you are living without internet access in this day and age, and living in one of our cities, you are literally ,urrounded by a moat of silence and your children do not have access to the basic understanding, research that many other children do. >> i have traveled the country and that with teachers who are excited about new educational software that has been provided to them. and they are conflicted as to whether to use that software because they know that half the more themore -- were kids in their class do not have access to internet at home and will be left further behind because they cannot do the homework. >> i have a fourth-grade
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daughter, and her homework is through the internet. comcast is the largest internet service provider in the country, and all of our employees from technicians to call center employees to senior employees recognize how essential the internet is. it is why as a company we have a passion for this program. i have said this before. i do not understand how in a country that is the richest nation on earth and the most technologically advanced, how we can tolerate as a public policy matter leaving millions of our low income children and families behind, and denying them access to the internet. >> when you have access to the internet, it is generally surely changing -- generationally changing. >> if we can get a computer and
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internet access into a home, it is not just the eighth grader or fourth-grader or 11th grader who benefits, but all of a sudden you have the parents. jobscan search online for and you have grandmothers who can get access to health care. >> absolutely. >> you are literally opening up the world of the internet to the entire family. >> coming up on your fifth year -- year, you have expanded to low income seniors. >> a couple of pilot programs, one in florida which you are familiar with. for low income seniors, to sticks show fewer than half of low income seniors -- statistics show fewer than half of low income seniors have access to the internet. the sense of isolation that seniors have, the internet is a
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great way to maintain connectedness to their family, their community, and resources that they need. we have a couple of pilot programs expanding eligibility to low income seniors as a way to try and contribute to attacking the problems of the digital divide with that population, which of course is very different than the school-age children population. >> there another program on community colleges. >> we have a couple of pilots in the state of colorado and the state of illinois where we have extended eligibility to, eligibility for internet essentials for low income college students, and that is the extension of the program. imagine you have access to the internet as a high school student, you graduate, you get a job, move into your own apartment, and enroll into community college but you do not have access to the internet anymore. we have to make sure that path
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to educational success continues , and you need a computer at home just as much for community college as you do for high school and middle school. >> coming into your fifth year, what is next? >> we continue to try to make this program easier to enroll in , continue looking and other populations, but the key learning here -- and if everyone leaves here with one thought in mind, it is not just the cost of the service or equipment, the real issue is digital literacy and relevant. we are bound and determined to crew -- to increase our digital literacy programs. our literature is available in 14 different languages. the website is english and spanish, so that is our priority, expanding digital literacy, digital awareness, and driving rock band adoption and making it a reality -- broadband
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adoption and making it a reality for all of the united states. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> president bill clinton's first campaign trip for hillary clinton in 2016 will be in new hampshire, for a series of grassroots organizing events. live coverage from monday -- on monday from exeter. this weekend on the c-span cities tour, along with our comcast cable partners we will explore the history and literary life of oakland, california. on book tv, we will visit marcus books, known as the oldest independent black bookstore and talk about the rich history and its importance to the community as a source of information, and a meeting place during the civil rights movement. >> the history of marcus
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bookstore is that it was started in 1960 by my parents, doctors ray and julian dickerson. the purpose was to offer this resource to the communities, hearing that lack people needed a place to go -- black people needed a place to go with a could learn about themselves from other black people, mostly. it was a service they were providing to the community, but also the community at large because the more other cultures know about black people, the better it is for everybody as well. >> on american history tv, take a trip to oakland's chinatown neighborhood and learn about the history of the chinese in the east bay area. wong- author william shares his experience as a chinese-american growing up in the chinatown neighborhood.


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