tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN November 26, 2010 6:30pm-11:00pm EST
when our differences caused a major government shutdown? what the election did not do, i'm sorry to tell you, is to change the way washington operates. if you have hope for stability and cooperation, well, please to not hold your breath. unpopular opinion is that the vote rejected president obama's agenda. i don't think that that is even close to reality because they rejected how congress operates. they rejected the lack of civility in washington d.c. a they sent mixed signals on how to proceed on issues like tax cuts, climate change, and so on. public confidence in government has eroded. it has been going downhill since
the 1980's. the recent downward trend gan in the fall of 2008 when public satisfaction was at its lowest peak. republicans trust government when ty are in power. we are in a vicious circle of revenge, retributio and of course, the parsa politics of a gridlock which keeps the partisan fires burning on both sides. washington is gridlock in 2010, washington will be gridlock for the foreseeable future unless members of congress learned the art of compromise. we're used to the inflammatory rhetoric which has defined our debate. we go television and we argue
our points from our perspective camps. of course, we try to settle our disagreements by outdoing each other. we have not resorted to fistfights. unless we tone down his rhetoric, who knows will happen now that we have 84 members of the tea party ready to come to washington, d.c.. very hard to tell which traction the country will: and especially when everyone will continue to point fingers. one of the things that i found interesting in the run-up to this election was that there was a small group of lawmakers,
about 130 former members of congress, from both political parties, who wrote a letter to their colleagues urging them to be a, urging them to tone down the rhetoric and of course focus on problem-solving. what struck me after they made their announcement is that no one in the news media picked it up. this is a story that perhaps fell on deaf ears within 30 minutes of the press release. let me say that as an old capitol hill hand, i started when i was in my early 20's working as a staff member and later returning as a chief of staff. there is no question that they are not in the mood to get along or find common-sense solutions. i think that 2011 willring a very different group both lawmakers to washington, d.c.
i doubt very seriously that the republicans will move to the center for the democrats. what we have seen is the removal of those who are in the middle of the dialogue and now we are left with a healthy group of libers and a healthy tea party group of conservatives. good luck and let me say this as my closing point, a couple months ago i wrote a column and called on the networks to get rid of -- i called upon my network to remove us unless we have various that touch something very knowledgeable to say. one of the reasons why our tworks are reliant on parsons is to keep us partisan.
it is difficult to keep us together. >> thank you. [applause] they accept >> i would like to ask dr. crowley the same question, are you alarmed by the discourse? >> i am alarmed of certain elements of it. overall, no, i am not. when you look at the course of american history, we have a great tradition of verbal brawls where we on other sides of the important issue, we argue our point of view passionately and relentlessly and sometimes it does cross the line and sometimes those passions to overtake us and we get a bit out of conol. when you go through the history
of the u.s., what we are seeing is something new. you do he a 24 hour news cycle, this is exhausting because you never get the full story, he can never just read the new york times, "the washington post,", or other publications and just be done with the day. "the new york times just updated a story. when you look at the course of the united states and what we have experienced here and how far we have come in a very short amount of time, i think that this is due in large part to what we tend to bemoan here today which is a train wreck of ideas. now, we can out-we can have a
conversation about how they will be done the train wreck of ideas and drove the u.s. to the point of pre-eminence in the world in a short 250 years. think about the revolutionary times. if you go back and look at what the founding fathers called each other, your hair would stand on end. we are quite different today. they had such bitter policy rivalries, jferson and adams, that they were both obsessed with outliving the other. jefferson died in virginia and unbeknownst to john adams, a couple of hours would dine -- would die.
his famous last words were "jefferson lives." he did not know that jefferson had already died. we think about the world war ii era as a great time of unity but there was some very bitter debates about whether the u.s. should intervene in europe and in asia. those debates were wild and brutal and vicious. of course,slashfort to the civil-ghts era and we know what those debates were all about. many in this room lived through those very vicious times. in modern history, we have the vietnam era which gave rise to some very animated debates. watergate, of course. the new think of the modern presidency is, jimmy carter,
ronald reagan, highly polarized figures. you think of the 2000 election and the passions that gave rise from that. then the george w. bush presidency which was highly polarizing. that was called everything from hitler to a war criminal. then you have rack obama who was equally tarnished and maligned. this is not just on the right but also those on the left that make their displeasure known. i think the differences and the reason why we are here having is conversation is because of this news cycle that includes cable television.
i work for fox news, so i am part of the beast. this is a beast that constantly needs to be fed with new visuals. i don't think that there's anything wrong with having passionate points of view on where you think the country is going. i have a problem with people who use personal attacks to make those points. thatis a serious line that is often clark -- crossed on both sides. when you have the media, not as cable news but the iernet, facebook, the social media, twitter, which i do not do. you start getting into a cycle where it starts to feed on itself and it feels like you need to top yourself all of the time.
i worked for president nixon during the last years of his life and one of the things that he said to me it is that presidents are so caught up in the accelerated cycle that they don't build times into their schedules to think. that is true for all of us. we tend not to have the time or make the time to think. when you are immersed in this new cycle, exaggerated the differences and attracts the exaggeration of the differences. that is not necessarily a bad thing but this is up to the electorate, to all of us, to talk about what we would like to focus on. the market would then sort it out. in conclusion, i would just say that the train wreck of ideas is
what drives th nation forward and the best ideas, they don't always win but eventually they do rise to the surface. we as news consumers need to pay close attention to where we give our time, attention, and dollars, and then let the market sort it out. >> thank you i would like to discuss this next with dr nasser. i will remind all the panelists that we want to try to keep our responses in the prescribed time frames. >> thank you and thank you for inviting me. it is very good to be here. the short answer is yes, i think that the lack of civility in public discourse is much higher in its intensity and town.
this is perhaps a problem facing the ited states that encourages this trend. i don't think that the quality of our public discourse helps us in dealing with them. for instance, having the name calling and to the simplistic descriptions of health care reform or financial regulations, this makes dealing with things more difficult. there are three things which i think the while looking at it i find very problematic. one is the lack of civility which seems to be targeted at particular communities that are not covered by the rules of polity and correctness.
this can be quite controversial in ways that previous episodes might not have. secondly, i think fell lack of civili in our discourse has gone hand in hand with dumbing down the debate as much as possible and with a lack of sophistication. the most intense voices tend to be the most ignorant. this tends to be in areas such as terrorism, islam, capitalism, etc. it is like we care less about owing and more about having strong opinions. we are pushing the populaon to have strong opinions rather than not. we live in a time of international connectivity.
it used to be that only hollywood connected culture and images of the u.s. to the world and now it is also cable news, social networking. what we say and how we say it is not only limited to our own environment. that is different from earlier episodes of intense and uncivil public debate in america. this does impact both the image of america and ultimately help people understand our power or standing or influence. for instance, the tea party movement was mentioned. most of us never thought that the language would begin to seep into europe and lead it to the creation of self-styled european two-party movements. on the other hand, the image of the president of the nine states
president -- the president of the nine states as hitler is deeply shocking to those in europe. -- the president of the united states as hitler is deeply shocking. >> would you like to discuss whether or not you have cause for alarm. if he would like to take it one step further, is to any particular thing that you attribute the current state of instability to? >> i am alarmed by the collapse of the rule of law and so much that it protectsfundamental rights. that is what is very upsetting to me. i would like to speak not as a lawyer but from the perspective of someone who went to register
voters in 1961. i was a high school student and i was working in my home town. this was the tuskegee civic association that had recorded us to go out and register people to vote. i was abt 14. it was discouraging because many people were intimidated and they did not want to register. two years later, girls like me were blown up in the baptist church for demonstrating against segregation in birmingham. the bomb was put there by the klan. by there, and -- by then, i had gone off to college. then president kennedy was assassated and by 1969, i was listed on the d f p i 8 key -- list.
-- i was listed on the fbi list of instigators. tea party activists have today and are similar to the well- dressed and middle-class members of the clues klan. we have had a democratic president it was once a member of the close clan. weave had supreme court justices who were members of the ku klux klan. th are not outside of the parameter. they go inside of the mainstream. my real question whether we ardealing with civil discourse or are we dealing with the question of the distribution of power? we have had some very fundamental disagreements.
there was a lot of hatred over the health-care debate. this is appalling. i cannot understand why people are so hateful, the aboutour people having health care. those a protest in december new york against the attorney general. 200 people came and they were protesting the decision to try an al qaeda operative in new york. people were calling him a traitor, etc., but people were calling for his lynching as well. why is it ok for you to call
for the lynching of the attorney-general? eric holder is trying to represent double of law. he says that we should try prisoners in our court as criminals and get guantanamo bay closed down. there is the argument that this is a military necessity. the civil war had issues similar, how do you treat traders or prisoners? and civil war cases, this is pointed out by eugene rothschild is ss that the same issue comes up. these were the ss of liberty who were traitors and they were trying to bring the confederate army behind the lines in tennessee. they were tried by the military and sentenced to death. the supreme court said you cannot try this man under the
circumstances when the courts are open. there is no martialaw. this is the important case. this idea that wean repudiate civil liberties and allow the courts not to handle this terrorism is at the core of this. i find the idea of a university could be ordered to hire professionals -- professors of a certain viewpoint, is reprehensible. this is reprehensible because he publisd a book of the kind of professors that he did not like. he would like to undermine people like me, so full rights
workers who then came to the university and talked about civil liberties, etc. now we are being looked at dangerous professors. i got a letter congratulate me from the general counsel. what will someone to,ou are in georgia? >> you have made the enemies list. >> i think the university is where we can talk about fundamental ideas and that is what is missing. in the news cycles, you cannot even talk about half an idea. who is going to talk about what is war, what is fair because there is the whole issue of them claiming liberty. liberty is the claim of those
people who were fighting for their independence with celebrity. when you hear them talking about a pretty, they're not talking about freedom. who was out demanding freedom, freedom, freedom? freedom from what? freedom from those people. tre is the recycling of some of that element. we were able to challenge this and prevent that from going to a fascist state. when the rule of law is threatened, i am alarmed. >> thank you. >> i would like to thank you for raising the relationship between politics and culture. that is the way in which i will address the question. i would like to thank donna for
raising this question of gridlock. e of the things i'm interested in is the cultural dynamic of gridlock. getting as talking would-be interesting. i would like to address monica and -- we can think about what monica has argued for. good ideas and name-calling kind of go hand in hand. there are times when name- calling and dumbing down can go hand in hand. those are two fundamentally different points of view about the relationship between name- calling and the intellectual content. all of us agree that we would liked intellectual content as part of our old and we don't know how to get it back. one of the things i think a lot about is this question of say a
buddhist like to see from ancient india or tibet where name-calling and intellectual content actually went hand-in- hand. the more intelligently to consult your enemy, the me intellectual content you were proven to he. this is an interesting point of debate. i am fine with name-calling as long as it continues the democratic association of ideas, the democratic mix of ideas, a democratic context. when that name-calling stops the exchange then we have a problem. this is not a foregone conclusion that they go hand-in- hand. the two are actually aiding and abetting each other.
the way i see it in terms of history, i think a lot of what has happened today has its roots in the 90's in terms of multi- cultural interest groups. i think that charles taylor did a beautiful job in talking about why groups need public recognition. what happened is that as a result, we expanded the public sphere and a very powerful way but we contracted the idea of a common good. we have an expanded public spirit and a contracted common good. that is where we run into trouble. special interest groups including religion ceased to think about themselves as parts of alliances d parts of the common good. one of the things that has emerged is another symptom of
that which i think originated in this context in the 90's and the possibility of irony. we live in this age where we see ironic advertisements all the time, we see those that are ironic about irony. we cannot talk about ourselves in a healing way, in a therapeutic way. the one place we cannot be ironic about ourselves is in public. i think what has happened is because we don't have an idea of the common good, we are stuck in the special interest groups without the rhetoric of irony about ourselves. in response to the danish cartoon controversy,he
president of iran said that we are going to have a cartoon contest about holocaust and that will be our revenge. and that's really -- at an israeli is pernt that they would have a competition first. it was more about which crude could be more ironic about themselves. -- it was about which group could be more ironic about themselves. very rarely do we think about alliances in the way that some parliamentary systems do. in terms of what constutes public self irony at a group level. i would like to throw those questions out there. >> i would like to discuss this
in a few minutes. are you alarmed or worried, dr. alex? >> i am astonished by the incredible high level of good manners that americans show. i come from a country against which the u.s. fought a revolutionary war and then i travel around the country and it is very kerberos -- very courteous. thiss completely unexpected. when i was growing up, the television shows have a high level of violence. when i first came to america, it was surprising to me how peaceful everyone was. to some extent, i have not gone over this. the first american election campaign that i saw from inside of the u.s. was the campaign between president carter and
ronald reagan. it is highly ritualized behavior. people going to politics are self selected. they willingly entered the arena in which they know that there's a point to be disputes and they know that there will be bitter exchanges, etc. nrly everyone else watches this things thinking that it is just the politiciansoing at it. this is not seen as threat to the core of our being. it is assumed that they will be petunt, childish, and irritating if you are not a member, you don't have to be worried about the fact that this relentless a mutual 19 is going on.
-- mutual nagging is going on. i teach american history here at emory university. i will ask them what religion they are. they will say, i'm a methodist. i will say, tell me why this is right and all the others are wrong. they will absolutely not do this. i will not make any claims, i will not tell you mine is right. the moral principle that they share is an incredible appreciation for the importance of stability towards the others. they will not make exclusive claims on behalf of their own faith. they would do anything rather than say that they are right and therefore that one is wrong. freedom of speech is a great good and no wonder some people who have freedom of speech will use it rather aggressively. second, if you compare the
nation according to its ideals, you will be disappointed about how far short of it comes. if you compare the nation against the other actual missions in the world, then once the pictures just looking some much better, it isncredible house civil the american people are to one another. even the politicians, despite all the hard words, everyone agreed that the election would take place. >> this comes after the name calling. politicians know what they're getting into. they know what to expect. the technology allows a lot of people to hide and to throw stones from behind trees, from behind and anonymity.
this has a corrosive effect. now we have a point where a young college student couldst i voted for his sexuality and he feels compelled to take his own life. -- where a young student gets outed for his sexuality. the technology has allowed the anonymity. this has gone mainstream. you write a column and the comments that flooded into ich are mean spirited and unbridled ineffective. i'm sure you probably get some of that yourself. that does to people's ethnicity, gender, gender preference, everything. that is a real change, isn't it? >> spa i have to tell this great story. back during the 2008 democratic
primary, i would get e-mail from people who are saying, you like, you have to endorse obama. then, a few mutes later, you are a female, you must endorse hillary. i did not take a stand and that at various incendiary e-mails from blacks and they got even wse e-mail from females. i finally began to address my friends saying that i am also grumpy and become an old, so perhaps i will endorse john mccain. [applause] [laughter] it is ok to have principles, a point of view, also it is ok to hold firm. when someone disagrees with you, it is mean-spirited come perhaps diespectful to just part
my question that we discussed with some of you, does this explain why we do not he more the people we consider to be gits of the public scene, the sandra day o'connors, lee hamiltons, taking more of a central role right now? why are they seemingly off to the side? itit's difficult to say who giant is going to be.
q when truman was almost universally hated. you cannot find someone now to say a bad word about him. 20 yrs from now, people will say, why do we not have such people now? >> the political process i so brutal, given the glare of the 24 hour news cycle, that decent people on both sides do not want to subject themselves to that. they do not want their families scrutinized, they do not want to ve to file financial disclosure forms for whatever reons, and so the political process now attracts all lot of very good peoe and a lot of sort of a second string people. in terms of the giants and those that you name, those people are doing very good work behind-the- scenes. george mitchell is deeply involved in the middle east peace process. sandra day o'connor is doing good work. alzheimer's because her hband suffered from thatisease.
you had heavyweights who are operating behind-the-scenes. you've also got heavyweights who have taken the risk to enter public life, what the barack obama on the left, or paul ryan who was one of the most serious conservative senators in the u.s. senate vote, agree with him not. you have a lot of serious thinkers entering the process. the probm is that the process so often distorts perceptions that you do not always get that, but we're doing ok. >> thank you >> i agree aut the question of but giant is subjective. the situation that we're trying to address is not one that is -- it is one that is based on trying to create a concrete sense of who is an insider and who is an outsider.
the giants of the kind you're talking -- when you have an ideal good it would then follow a great citizen that appeals to a broader group within the community. right now the issue is us versus them. interested in giants. dear. , i do not think that -- to your point, i do not think that calling the president of allied air and that counts is accountability, that that solves the issue. there's no consequence for the person who does it, it diminishes the authority of the president, of the congress, and actuly prevents thinking
about people with authority, you call at giants, -- actually emerging in this a debate. >> i am glad you raised the question. in my view, the possibility for giants as individuals who are models that we can follow, that is gone. what we have our responsibility to do instead is looking at individual genius, to look at collective groups that operate differently. groups now need to be the giants' in terms of how they deal with each other, how they talk to each other, in what way they engender trust. we need to put those models, the idea of collective genius, far more important than individual genius. and i say that for another reason because of
accountability. i just heard a piece on religion edited here at emory about book burning incidents. one thing import about accountability is the relationship between the intent of a political or cultural act and its effects. there is no predictable outcome between an action and its effects. there's been a recent analysis of al qaeda in this regard by someone who says, the way that al qaeda operates is that in terms of its effects, not really its contents. what you have to do is immediately act on the basis of the effects of your action and natural tension. we're dealing with the moral universe in which the relationship between intent and effect is completely different. the threat of book burningnot
the actual book burning, but that threat creates violence across the world. that is something that paor may or may not have thought about. one of the things that universities absolutely have to do in the internet age is rethink at the most ethical, foundational of the relationship between intent and effect. >> that is a very good point. if you look at the arc of history, many evil, terrible things are done in the name of what appeared to be a good cause. certainly in the south, while some politicians and leaders -- and i mentioned george wallace before -- certainly try to invoke the rubric of states' rights, the umbrella term to cover all the things that they stood for, the enormous number of violent actions that took place und that suggested that really it was just a cover for pure white supremacy.
my question would be in the current environment, do we have some concerns -- are we alarmed that no people might take action because they think they have cover, because in the current environment where you can say anything in people do, and people get on the radio and a harangue, someone might feel at they are justified in taking some action that would be unspeakable. >> i think they do take actions that are unspeakable. i do not know if we can blame glenn beck for a timothy mcveigh. >> that is post dating him but continue. >> the things that timothy mcveigh said in his interview with gorbachev, he did not say too much. -- gore vidal, he did not say
too much. but he bond the fbi and the same day. there is a hostile, anti- government -- of virulence element going on in the country. and the rate of mass imprisonment, what kind of society in prisons so many of its people? and largely on the basis of mild offenses. we have had extreme expansion of who can expand school, and then you look at the expansion of the prison system from 300,000 up to 2 million, there is someing going on. it is mostly drug laws and other things from the 1970's. it is not the increase of crime or the age group that commits
crime. we have a repressive environment. we havthe scandal of abu ghraib, because of behavior that was done internationally that had been -- people had been trained to do that in pennsylvania. we have something very virulent going on in my opinion that we're not addressing. i would say that it is connected. >> and we have certainly seen and it has to do with doctors who perform abortions. we have seen their lives taken amid tense rhetoric from anti- abortion. we've seen that mobile tons. i am wondering if anyone feels we are anywhere close to that kind of violence taken out in any political act -- as a litical life. >> i think the rest of people who said -- they work cookie.
this is something that people will in the side. >> maybe we are acting in a far more subtle way. >> know. -- no. that is part of our history, especially in the 19th century. we saw in this last election, some comments about, if i did not win, there could be second amendment solution. that could come out of date -- believe that came out of the heated senate race in nevada. we've seen an increase in gun sales, increase in emanation sales. the is some rhetoric that i believe is over the top by large. we try to check it from time to
time in e media and other outlets, but i hope we do not resort to the kind of instability that we saw in the 19th century on issues like slavery and some of the other issues that forces as a country to grapple with what i call conclusion. whenever we have included more people into the constitution, we have had these -- sometimes it has led to fights. >> i wanted to add to -- yes. >> to reinforce the point, the conversation that we're having today is nothing new. in the recent history of with the debate over the iraq war, a 10th of thousands of people poured into the streets of the united states. they protested the iraq war. and it was a very volatile time to the point where the president of the united statesas hung in effigy and he was called a war criminal and worse. i am not accusing that
behavior, not just setting it in context. this idea that the police said -- it is a good -- this idea is a good one but it should come from the top. and when you have the president of the united states calling the opponents of his agenda at enemies, as president obama did a few weeks before the election, that's not helpful. and he retracted that statement and said that he meant to say his opponents. he did catch himself and i'm glad that he did. you have toave leaders in this country who are going to go down the road that we are all the crying here, and that is not helpful. one final point about the concept of unity. we hear this from politicians on both sides. we want to bring the country together. i think unity has been overvalued. i think the only time you get unity for sure is enforced unity under dictatorship, and you do
not have the freedom to speak in disagree. the world's great democracies -- i agree with patrick, i believe that we are incredibly simple. you look to some of the world's great democracies, and they are throwing chairs in parliament and throwing punches. to pile on the united states is an example of an civility is unfair. >> does anyone think that it is a good idea that people are so worried that their corn to be shouted down -- that they are going to be shouted down that they just do not want a proper good idea? >> i think it is not just the fear element, which i think is very real for folks in public life, but i also think it does not make money to have very many good ideas. i think it is not possible to have good ideas in this economy
-- is not possible to have good ideas in this economy. fitable to have good ideas in this econy. i asked, could you change the person who gives you topics for the day, because it seemed that is where the rub is. she said, absolutely not. that is the interesting question, because it is not possible to profit from that. it's interesting what you are saying earlier about this question of rhetorical virtue, monica. i think that is an interesting point. obama did show rhetorical virtue in that moment. will we need to do for the future to make people think they good ideas are profitable in this society, three things for
university. they need in state by record -- they need to in state aid rhetoric requirement, including the civil courts breakdowns and knowing the moment that you talk about, hank, when those ideas cease to be part of the public's fear. that is an entirely different understanding of our rhetoric requirement that we have had in the 19th century. in education. second, all unirsity should have conflict mediation requirements were people are aware ofhat is happening in debates, so that they themselves can police themselves and think about exactly when they are contributing to the breakdown which could lead to violence. and they also think that universities need to train experts to translate themselves. one of the things that on a talk about was that we should fire off all our pundits. she koestler's about. that's an interesting idea.
we need to trade are all intellectuals in ways that will make our ideas more profitable. the way it -- the reason that just didn't know what to say methodism was the best religion, maybe it was because they were pluralistic liberals, i'm not sure which it said. i actually think that is not the reason it all. it is because ty do not know how. they did not have the rhetorical skills to defend it. >> picking up on that point and point that you made, hey, about the democratization of the media. you implied there is something sinister about it and that is wrong. it is a good thing that more people want to participate in these debates because there is much more likely that although reckless accusations will get made, if they will alsoe corrected more quickly. if you become -- think of how narrow the media was up to the 1990's, very few people having access to it all.
now everyone has access and most people make fools of themselves when they use it, but it is a self correcting mechanism, isn't it? ideas that have plausibility and can gather a contingency around them persist more than a few minutes. think about the point about the car ran burning plant, -- koran burning plan, although it did not get burned because they were ashamed from doing it. it is a good story rather than a frightening one. >> it did not get burned in part because theecretary of defense and the commander of isaf called an event of two
dozen people. these debates are not without consequence. it's not just hot air and they will settle down and nothing happens. this age of connectedness, people outside the united states, there will be others, the chinese will come under the radar at some point, etc. they are not historically or otherwise but quit to take statements out of the united states the same way. second, it is good to have many more do voices out there -- over interpreting things has broken down. but we have a cacophony now, we have not come up with the mechanism that regulates or aggregate's or separates good ideas from bad ideas.
people are getting bombarded with all sorts of things. i teach on these issues, islamic issues, and there is no way that students in the classroom, that they can separate between ballot, factually based opinions on the issues we deal with and completely biased views that are out there. where i teach in emory, it is easy to see what better educated students with high s.a.t. scores -- scores coming from good families half the sense of respecting one another's religions, whether they have the rhetorical skills are not. all you have to do is when they go to their dorm rooms and turn on their television and this person of that person says that as long as -- islam is that
religion of the devil, and violence. you can have perversities deal with these issues, but the common folk out there, they are subject to unregulated information. the marketplace ultimately decides what winds, what is valid, what is right. in the end, we work on the market information -- the market mechanism. it would you agree that the official record, instead of using the word regulated when it comes to news media, that we talk about mediated? i worry very much about the wild west atmosphere right now. things have changed a lot, the
time when a managing editor of a wspaper based on all the wisdom of the wise people in nohl room would make a judgment that this is on page one, this will go with the top, this will go on the bottom, this goes on the metro front. it would be a very awful exercise that we -- many of them, completely without controls out there. now they're trying to find a way to mediate that. it is not that democratizing tool tt some had thought, but i would not want to see us int a regulatory zone. >> i think what you say is closer. our inkling of variety of things is competition straight up. we're not in a phase where we have to regulation. leadinsome to its own devices
is dangerous. -- leaving at capitalism to its own devices is dangerous. if it is not working, ultimately as a people who respond to it the same with the we respond to it as a national crisis, and there is a precedent. there was a time when it became wisdom unofficially to regulate speech. you could not insult people. you could not name call people based on race, agenda, etc.. there was no such thing as freedom of speech on campuses if you were going to make life difficult for your classmates. what happened to what the university is raising this issue again. i am not saying that it worked, but it was regulation, it was regulation in force by teachers in classrooms, and students
themselves. but there were certain rules they were put into place. >> we're getting ready to move into another phase where we are going to be asking questions from the audience, am i correct? am i going to be reading them? how are we going too that? anyway, while we work that out, let me ask another question that goes to something dr. patton asked. any ideas on the proper role for the university and trying to influence the tone and tenor of the national discourse? to it the university is the place where you're supposed to be able to talk about fundamental ideas. what is important, what is significt, how you understand reality, how you express yourself well? martin luther king was pointing t that part of the reason he compel people to resist segregatn and discrimination
is because if you do not, you have to recnize that the week -- the salvation of the week in rich's the strong. -- the salvation of the weak enriches the strong. he must spend a lot of time thinking to deal say that so clearly. i think the tone of discourse, interdisciplinary work is key. i like what edward said, the part of the rean that universities are divided into departments is so the pple not talk to others about their ideas. you definitely would not do that outside. the university needs to be
opened to outside. and when we ran activists on campus or crops or rattlers -- dropouts are radicals, but we all got run out and went to other movements. but there is a tremendous gap in understanding ideas. you do not need a quarter-year college education to understand basic ideas of democracy. read it schools and other schools, there is a huge need for public education, public political education, public for dissipation for all sorts of benefitshat could be donat little expense, using the resources of the university and linking them in the community. that goes against the closed ory tower existence of the campus. we have to change the nature of the university to be able to enhance this.
>> the tier with the university has to -- let's hear what the university has to ask today. >> i'm a volunteer. these questions were randomly selected from the audience members. the first question that i have -- what a feisty y have when an intellectual debate becomes personal for ugly? what is your response to an civility -- incivility quarter margin we need to stop rewarding those who say the most of rages things. and to somehow or another try to tone down some of their ridiculous arguments that are not based in fact, but just personal demonizing attacks. when i get a call that they want me on against and coulter, i say absolutely.
i know how to disarm conservative. that's a start talking about sex. >> and as a conservative, i can tell you she is right. >> you can snd the room and shut them up. one of my best momen during the 2010 election is in when christine o'donnell introduced us to masturbation and witchcraft. from louisiana, i love with scrap. and we can get quicker respoe from the devil. they do not really care. masturbation should be a bipartisan compromise. it would solve most of our sexual problems in this country. [laughter] racine increase in technology and a decreasef public participation and interaction with each other. that is the concern i have. i have to say thi for up -- because we are the 10th
anniversary, but he inspired the internet but he did not see the day when somebody could be tweaking from their porch, looking at russia. [laughter] controllin the news flow of information throughout the rest of t day. but back and masturbation, i wish we did have more conversations like that. we could find ways to get along. >> up with point about social media? she just alludedo sarah palin who uses twitter very often. e of the remarkable things throughout the campaign in 2008, which the republicans really need to learn from and take lessons from, their extraordinary use of the social media. barack obama's campaign, very adroitly used facebook in twitter, and it worked to leading to the young kids and older kids. what you're standing there listening to a concert, you're
from barackeet obama. john mccain was campaigning in smoke signals. it was like night d day. it was something the republicans need to learn from. and talking about unregulated or unbridled speech, it does have an upside to the extent that it can do some good. here i am referring to the uprising in iran. but those college kids and other iranians did during the uprising, they use twitter and facebook before the regime could close them down. th were pleading and communicating with the outside world. this is what is going on. to that extent, democratizing free speech has a lot of very serious and consequential upsides. >> thank you.
>> in a direct and pragmatic respon, donna brazileust did a wonderful example of the public use of irony about one's own group. a great example. >> and mastuation. [laughter] >> it does not have our rhetoric requirement. but seriously, two things that have helped me in this conversations, and the religious ones tend to be very volatile. if you agree on the rules hand, so if it goes awry, you said remember the rules. in cultural conversation we assume we know what the world's are. but in other countries, the rules are really different. it is iortant to state those rules beforehand. in the second thing is, if it
still goes to name calling without good ideas, then you simply call it and say, i am not one to call your name and i'm not want to continue this conversation unless we can move back to another space. there is real power to saying this conversation is over. we need to be braver about saying that. [applause] >> we ha another question from the audience. >> another volunteer. the question is, in order to move toward building alliances, it seemed that might be time to expand from two parties to an array of viable party. do you agree? how we spend the infrastructure? how do we expand
infrastructure? to in any proportional representation system which is common in europe, but no one of them can take power is set by going into alliance with several others to greet the parliamentary majority. they have the cost and headache of working out differences among the parties which are creating the coalition. you exchange one set of procedural difficulties for another said. in that sense, the questioners is opening for a solution which does not exist. [laughter] >> let's go the next question. >> cable news has a lot of pundits because that is what most people want. how can use all this from a top- down approach? -- how can you solve this from a ?op-down approach if yo
>> it starts smallf the university. is there any hope of a national solution? to four people ever come together and create a national exhibit is a -- do four people ever come together andreate a national group? maybe ve the big bang solution to this poisoned atmosphere that we of the right now. >> i think the question is inresting. the assumption behind a question, if i understand it correctly, is that democracy and what do people want popular discourse = cable news, = a putdown down discourse. i do not think that you necessarily need to assume that. a wonderful coeague here
speaks about this idea of a micro public. when we speak for the public, yethe idea of a monolithic public, where is monica is quite right about the impact of social media. what is the social media movement work as well as it has is that the deal with micro publics. as they grow, they create alliances. they do not thi we're there yet, but i do think the social media has really interesting potentials for elevating public discourse by the virtue of recognizing micro public's in creating alliances between them but we do not even know what they would look like it. that is the metaphor of a coalition blocked, it should be replaced by the ia of a coalition web. the more that we think about networ, their ideas are one of
the most politically powerful ideas that are out there. i don't see them nearly reflected a enough. >> the paradigm is always the first is right, rebars is blue, conservative versus liberal, and most not aligned with either party. congress is a root canal. we spend all our time going through all the sauces macon, but you do not want to see it -- the sausage making. just eat it. we have to figure out in cable -- i love cnn. i love cnn when there is a crisis, the situation and haiti, hurricane katrina kumho within cover the issues, they go to the people, they are on the ground bringing us the news, the fax
and the information's to weaken on rigid form our own opinion to help the situation. i like the night time crossfire, because most people are trying to call down unless you watched thoughts, then you just roll. i often go right back to cnn so i can get my head together. >> i think we had equal time requirement. >> i love donna brazile, by the way. she is one of the smartest, most honest people on the other side. i really admire her and i respect her so much. and i know when she comes on, i am going to get this straight up truth from her point of view. and she is very intellectually honest and i respect an admirer that. the paradox of cable news is
that they have 24 hours to fill. you would think they have all the time in the world, but in all honesty you have no time. they have 24 hours to fill, but when donna is booked on cnn, you about 5 minute segment, your book was someone with an opposite point of view, you're anchor, sowith the tank you have maybe one minute to say your peace. you have to get it out. 50% of the country is counting on me and 50 percent is counting on donna. so this class without a lot of deep thought into it. a quick anecdote -- house on the fox news channel from day one, when it was in october 1996, when it consisted of one camera, one camera guy, and the entire set was a medal pullout chair for me.
because they did not know what they were doing at the time and it was a brand new netrk, we were given 25 minute blocks of time. think about that. we're here for two hours on this panel and we have had awful civil conversation. we had 25 minutes to kick around what was happening in russia or what was happening on capitol hill. that retrospect was a lot -- a luxury. but then the cycle that's faster and they do not want people to click off. so the segments gets shorter, they get 10 minutes. then they got seven minutes. then they got five minutes. done it in testified that you do not come even if you're sitting there on election night covage you get one shot an hour to secure peace and that he is dead. -- to say your piece and that is
it. >> two more questions of weekend. >> sometimes the media will not have an impact on this. sarah palin can use twitter, so can president obama. now fox news on the other side and msnbc. if the ratings are any indication, cnn in the middle with conservative and liberal shows is lagging in terms of ratings if of a different perspective on the. -- you have a different perspective on the. people are going to watch the shows that they want to shock. -- they want to watch. universities can provide something much more national
direction that the other mediums in and of themselves are not able to provide. >> over here. >> you're talking about name- calling. how does the name calling affect the younger leaders of tomorrow? >> how does it affect the young leaders of tomorrow? >> they thrive on it. is it the case that one of the things we do in education is teach people self restraint. think about kids with their four or five, they are horrible to each other. we find it in during the gradually we discipline this to prevent them from doing it. but the time they're 10 or 11 or 15, the only place they're able to do name-calling is politics. is there anyone out there thinking, i would go in the
congress if only for the name calling? in a lot of people are not, so it is an interesting question. some of the educational literature suggests that if you are used to name calling and you're labeled in a particular way as a certain kind of lerner or you dnot have the capacity and you have labeled slightly different, if you're going to of the bill that -- you are going to fill that in a certain way. there is some very detrimental fax which is another reasonhy i think helping people to understand the difference and being able to resist certain kinds of public labels and do so not only in terms of working on self-esteem, whatever that might mean, but also verbal skills, hence the new rhetoric requirement, we would have an
entirely different capacity for political engagement on our hands. >> one person said to me -- my mother said to me, is not what you call -- what you are called, but would you answer to. -- what you answer to. >> very good. >> i think it has to do with whether the name calling is ironic or if it is a threat. >> important distinction. >> i have at the mall. >> next question. to indian think there is of parallel --
>> absolutely. the tone that we are setting when we have these debates on contentious issues, on issues of equality and fairness, that often translates and transpire in our own communities. a couple of weeks ago, when we were called upon to wear purple. i wore purple on campus and encourage my students. i try to educate people about the campaign and why was important that we teach tolerance and be able to have a conversation where kids do not feel afraid to come out and express themselves. i want to allude to what anderson cooper did that evening when he talked to the lawmaker down an oklahoma. i might get the state wrong. the lawmaker who said that i would not care if these kids died from aids and all the other vitriol.
we need to teach tolerance is a way of understanding our differences and not just treat people, because they e different, or they want to express themselves and come out as they did -- is who they are. we should encourage us -- we should not encourage others to pick on them. >> another question? we're coming to the end. i just wanted to ask one final idea. i get the sense that none of us is truly alarmed that we are the worst crisis ever, but we're taking note of the fact that things are spending a little out of control, but expanding -- spinning a little out of control. some of us worry about what it may provok on other levels. we certainly feel from what i have heard that we might agree
that there is an opportunity for an initiative on this, that teaches us once again something we should have known or that we did note and long since forgotten, which is how to talk to each other. and that is what we have done today. we're talking about talking to each other. i think it's been very enlightening for me and i am sure for our audience. it has been wonderful to have such luminaries here. great wisdom, and that this point, i want to turn this over to the provost, and thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> which organized this event for one simple reason. i'm a historian as well, american history. while we may argue in there is evidence that there is always
been contemplation of ideas in american society, and that those ideas led to deadly consequences, is also clear that with the sort news cycle, our ability to understand what is real is constantly changing. the what is civil in discourse could actually disappear. as citizens we have responsibilitieshat confrontation should be about the ideas and not thendividual and not who they are and what they are about. in that way, we wanted to bring six folks together tongage us in a conversation. you have donexactly what we hoped. you have reminded us that in no way, a democracy is always in the making. -- that in a way, a democracy is always in the way. we never quite get there.
we are reminded that all actions day in and day out make for what is perfect and an ideal democracy, requiring people to do what was noted earlier, to not only speak but to listen. the ability to be heard is one of the critical parts of being able to understand. as i looked and i said and i think, it is great role of the university. 25 minutes is too short and by this is impossible, either remember the first time i was on a news program and they said, how long do i have to speak? you have 30 seconds to make two or three points. make sure that you can handle them and about six words. that is all that you have. you want to make sure that you could say and in the way they will not be edited, in a way that will not contradict what you want to convey. the intellectual gymnastics that
have to go on to be able to figure out how you will convey the simple points, in less than 30 seconds to an audience on the news cycle where you know that if something actually happens -- all living in michigan in the was a crisis locally. you're thinking about the way when you're dealing with a range of electronic media that we have at our disposal. if you listen to this audience on this campus, and i think campuses around the nation, we are reminded that this particular point in time, we are connected globally, locally, nationally, regionally. we may be divided 50-50 on either side of the aisle but there are a great deal of people in the middle. we all have responsibilities. a university is a way to save
time now, let's tk, let's understand. that is the role here. this will not be theirst event or the only event that we engage in this year. we will sponsor several other events to remind us and to remind that the universit stores have to be open. civil discourses about community. in a singular and plural form. somehow if we get that wrong, then we risk the broader fundamental issues of democracy. i say to those of you who participated this evening and came out, thank you. for those watching, come back again. we will find other ways to engage ts issue from different perspectives. in to our visitors from out of town and our colleagues here, i do thank you. [applause]
>> coming up here on c-span, a former republican senator and congressman discuss bipartisanship. we will show the conversation on bipartisanship in congress again shortly after 11:00 eastern. later, retired lieutenant general ricardo sanchez. won praise from the midterm elections remains to be called. new york's first district, where democratic incumbent jim bishop is leading his republican contender by 100 votes.
republicans has already gained more than 60 seats in the u.s. house. when the 112 congress is sworn in january 5, the senate will have 60 new members. 13 republicans and three democrats. dan coats is one of those republicans. he is taking the seat held by democrat evan by, who is retiring. mr. coats spent 10 years in the senate before becoming ambassador to germany under president bush. mr. moran started in the state legislature before being elected to the house for 14 years. congress is out this week for its thanksgiving holiday break. when members return, the house votes on a temporary delay and a 20% cut in medicare reimbursements for doctors. but the house and senate will take up remaining federal spending in the budget year and
the senate continues expanding on food and drug administration oversight of food recalls. live senate coverage on c-span2, the house on c-span. cam videoar's student documentary contest is in full swing. up load your video to c-span before the deadline of january 20 for your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. for all the rules on how to upload your video, go online to studentcam.org. >> the c-span networks, all available to you on television, radio, on line, and on social media networking sites. byner content anytime 3 c-span 's video library. bringing our resources to your
community. it is washington your rate, the c-span networks. now available in more than 100 million homes. created by cable, provided as a public service. >> this week marked the 47th anniversary of the assassination of president kennedy. this week we will talk with two former secret service agents whose job was to protect the president's on the events of that day and mr. blaine's new book. sunday night on "q&a". >> good afternoon, everybody.
welcome back for one of our more interesting session show. we will talk a little bit about a new project at the bipartisan policy center. the conference is titled beyond the ballot in making washington work. we have talked about the need for real leadership. we want to talk about a little bit about the structural democracy. there are a lot of ways that you can engage in this conversation. there are many organizations that focused on the metaphysics
of campaign finance reform, mandatory voting and other issues that i think a very fascinating. but we think they're not practically realistic. we try to focus on some very discreet issues. some people may call them small balls, but it is my view that not only do we have opportunities to make real difference, but in the world of gridlock that i think we existence, little things can really matter. not only do they matter in the substance of their own experience, but they give the congress, the country, a sense that we can get things done. it is that building that inertia momentum for building things that we humbly call the cops to project. we have three co-chairs for that project with us today. we have dan goodman and dark
california. -- and dirk kempthorn. we are happy to have two members with us in the audience today. hopefully, there will be available to talk a little bit after the discussion. walter isaacson directs the discussion. there has been a lot of concern over the last several hours about the filibuster and how that is undermining our democracy. if i read walters resonate, i would be guilty of that same sin. he is currently the president of the aspen institute. he was president and ceo of cnn. he is a best-selling author.
walter, i have the great honor to turn the discussion to you. >> thank you very [applause] ] -- thank you very much. [applause] >> there was a congressional district that included the inner-city, uptown, downtown, and the suburbs. then you have a congressman, somebody who had to be a great congressmen representing a southern district and a co- sponsor of the civil rights bill, and be the type of person who created a center so that the civil rights bill could pass with bipartisan support. after he died, ms. levy took his seat. -- ms. lindy took his seat.
but then there was redistricting and you had very polarized districts and you never gets away who could bring people together. when i was in high school, i had the honor of working as an gs.ern for congressman bo highest of the bartender when these to go to the side of the capital. -- i used to be the bartender when they used to go to the other side of the capital. people would go there -- certainly, when i was setting up the bar in the afternoon, you
and somee gerald ford too of the democratic leaders coming together and doing what they needed to do for a civil rights bill or even a transportation bill. they were working together well lubricated by burn and brand water. if the congress and drank more, they might get along more. we will put aside the third issue and focus on the first two. we were arriving back from somewhere and you came up with this whole proposal. how did you come up with that? >> that is kind of you. we were coming back from an
event in texas hosted by president bush's library and president obama was speaking. it was a great day people coming together, putting their differences aside. we talked about why there were not more those days. i was reflecting on our discussion and i was in washington, d.c. more than half my life. i watched it to deteriorate in this hyper-by partisanism. we a democracy is messy. -- we know democracy is messy. we recognize that it has gotten worse over the past few decades and has become more of a hyper- partisanship. people are more in their extremes in their camps. oftentimes, they didn't even talk to each other. they are in their groups preaching to the -- they do not even talk to each other. they're in their groups preaching to the converted.
from my standpoint, as a citizen and an entrepreneur that brings an end internet technology orientation, i was sitting on the sidelines of bemoaning how worse it was getting. so maybe there was something i could do to change the trajectory. we all recognize that it is very complicated and that there are no easy solutions or a quicksilver bullet. it would take a sustained effort. but trying to focus on things like redistricting to bring a fair process, some states are doing this, but most are not. most of the redistricting is around preserving incumbents and the power of that particular party, which does not create a free exchange that would be healthy for democracy. on the stability side, there is a lot that can be done to build bridges between folks who all have the best of intentions, but
often get caught up in the day- to-day flow of things and we need to look at structural changes in how the process works with the hope of building some races again. -- building some braces again. right now, for a large number people in congress, they're not really relationships with a great level of trust. these guys know it firsthand because they have served in a number positions. they have remarked about how bad it has gotten and we need to do something to move this forward. >> you serve in all levels in a way. what do you see being done and places are for pleasanc bipartisanship. >> bit is the government closes to the people.
it is more accessible. when you're dealing with six council members, does not matter if you're a republican or democrat. you either got the job done i did not. if you did not, you knew what -- they knew what copy shop you're going to and they would talk to you. in a larger universe, it gets more difficult. the relationships that steve referenced, i had the honor of serving on the armed services committee. one day, as a freshman republican senator, because under the impression that you're supposed to go to these hearings, i was the only republican that showed up that day and most of the democrats were that. an american icon was speaking -- john glenn. i listened to him. what i did not realize is that he made the same arguments for the same three years, but he never had the support of his colleagues. then a staffer leave florida and
said, do you know that you have the proxy vote of all the republican senators? i said, you're kidding. i seconded the motion. then a voice was from the new guy of the end of the table. they called the roll. they went down the line and they said no. they said, john glenn. he said yes. then they named the republicans and i voted by proxy. and john glenn 1. [laughter]
sam nunn immediately adjourned the hearing and the role that of those doorways. i headed back to my office. standing at the end of the hallway was john glenn. as i approached, he said, who are you? [laughter] >> and where had you been? >> apparently, i am your new best friend. that is how we established a friendship. then i brought my efforts with my partner being john glenn. >> how did you come to this? what is your take? >> when i was a freshman member of congress from kansas, i was pushing ethanol, alcohol fuel, the bigger issue here in louisiana. president carter had his energy bill and i can i get an amendment to require some
methanol additive and fuel or whatever it was -- some ethanol additive and fuel or whatever it was. i looked at the chairmen and said, "chairman, you really must become interested in alcohol." and he looked at me and said, "son, that has never been a problem." [laughter] i was a congressman iand the secretary of agriculture. there are a couple of principles here. one principle is that politics is not beanbag. it is top card and it is fought vigorously and sometimes with a mean spirit and that is nothing new. that has been the case from the beginning of the republic. it is just worse now, i think. the second side of the picture
is that there are issues like the golden rule, treating people with respect and dignity, and those are supposed to be things that emanate from our society, whether it is a politics, in the clergy, or in business. for whatever reason, those two spirits have not learned very well together in recent years. there is a lot of causes to it. but there are no incentives in the system right now. to get people to work together. for the lack of incentives, it makes it so that there is no real push for people to try to find common ground on issues. i think that is the greatest problem. they become structurally -- the need to become structurally responsible, especially the congress. congress is the lowest -- congress has the lowest approval
rating of any institution in america. mark twain said that there was only one criminal class in america and that was the congress. he said that 100 years ago. it really has gotten much worse. the problems are extremely serious in our society. there is a huge amount of anxiety out there. people see a lot of role- playing. they do not see a lot of coming together to solve basic problems. bob dole was for my sestate. he once said that you have one ear -- you have two years and one mouth so that you can listen twice as much as you talk. he did that very nicely. that is not necessarily always the common principle. this organization, this group, they are great folks. we will spend several months to try to listen and figure out
what things we can do to make our system work better. they may not be cosmic things. we will not be able to change the constitution in the next year. but there are smaller things rican do. one thing we can do is to try to get -- things we can do. one thing we can do is try to get people in congress to relate on a social basis. one of the thing the president was encouraged to do was to congress to the white house. mutual respect is one way to build -- to get people to trust each other. personal and spousal types of things are really important. if they like each other, they might work with each other on occasion. there are a couple of other things i think we need to do. we need to look at scheduling of
congress, the numbers of committees that congressman work at. the whole issue of the senate and the hold that one senator can stop the entire congress from going forward. we will talk about the film star. one issue has to do with money in politics. that is a big change from 50 years ago. when i ran in 1976, i defeated a congressmen who spent $100,000. today, that would be a race between two million dollars and $5 million today. it diffuses the system and makes it lot less resilient. these people have a whole litany of other issues that we think and maybe help the system, help the process work better. there will be no miraculous cure for this. but for a time, may be improving human relations and the systems in congress will make a
political system work better. >> why is redistricting at the heart of this? >> i would not say at the heart, but it is a critical issue. over time, the process of shifting districts around and determining how many seats that each state should have and what is the right to allocate them has always been there and will always be there. but in the past few decades, it has been much more of a precise act of the people who are in power, who have the maps and can draw. they really draw those districts in a way that preserve the incumbent and preserve them as safe districts, whether it be on the democratic side or the republican side. that resulted in a less interesting coming together. sometimes you get punished for coming together. you are playing to the extremes. that coupled with the media and cable television and the internet and blogs and so forth, it creates this noisy environment where everybody is focused on the extreme and
talking past each other. it use of the redistricting process, it is complicated. it will vary by states. some states have started to do some interesting things. it will take some time to get a majority of states to do this. there is a majority competitiveness. right now, the incentives are more at the point of the extreme. >> but the incentives of every elected official to create a set district for his or herself, do you think that the and the dutch -- that the anti- incumbency side will say quit treating polarized districts for your base. >> the tea party movement is about a lot of different things. but part of it is to take the government back and kick at the incumbents. i also think it can resonate as
we educate people. as we talk about redistricting and gerrymandering and maps and a policy issue that most people do not understand or do not find important, it is a way to educate people about the importance of the issue and galvanize support to take action and it can be a way to create momentum. >> what principles do you think we should use when we draw congressional districts? >> that thinking need to do one that is equitable, that reflects the community, that is not so geographically constructed that it is really clear that it is only done for votes, but instead where do you see sameness? have we join the committee are divided a community? if you divide the community, you divide the country. you can keep them working
together. since leaving government, i was laid off as the secretary of the interior. i have been in the boardrooms where we talk about a five-year strategy. if is an invigorating discussion. we talk about what we're trying to accomplish. we talk about what the competition is doing. everyone is united in a discussion. i thought, what would happen in that board room if we simply said, by the way, half of you now have to be of this type and the other half of this persuasion and now you take shots at each other? it would diminish the discourse. it would diminish our effectiveness and the well-being of that corporation. we want that corporation to have a bright future. we want this country to have a bright future so that we can have those same strategic sessions where we think of the
best interests of the united states of america. by son-in-law's leaving next week for iraq. we want to make sure that these people who are elected head of civil discourse without becoming discussing and do what is best for the country. >> i was redistricted twice. self preservation is very important to us in our daily lives, whether it is in our business, our family it, or in politics. were the politicians get to pick the voters instead of -- this is where the politicians get to pick the voters instead of the voters going to pick a
politician. the contiguity is -- the other thing is that the voting rights act as required by law, we have to make sure that we do not diminish the role of minorities in congressional districts. that complicates the issue. i agree with what they have talked about in terms of trying to minimize the and we this and the lack of political reality. >> going back to the original question, i think we have been through five presidents since i have been in washington. the elected it and thinking -- been elected and thinking they will bring everyone together, but they'll
actually have trouble implementing it. my view is they have the best in tensions, but the process bars them from making rope progress. by reducing or are a lot of people with those intentions who, once dropped in to the process, deal with a lot of other challenges and are not able to achieve the objectives they have set out. it is not just about people, but about the process. people do not like to talk about it as much. but i really do think that, if we can fix the underlying process, then we have a lot more opportunity to deal with some of these complicated issues. >> the question is, after a very tough election we just had -- and it was tough. -- can you after that atmosphere, come together?
this past weekend, in "the washington post," they said it was a very tough race. they had a full page spread for this thing. the're talking about lincoln-douglas election. that was a tough election. but that debate was a crystal visioned by very good people about what they felt than believed. but they did it in a civil fashion. two years later, they ran against each other for the president of the united states. lincoln won, but douglas went to that inauguration and told the newspapers of that, if anybody attack abraham lincoln, they attacked him. there was a time for good, vigorous, tough, rough-and-
tumble politics. but once that is decided, there is only to do with the people want you to do. this is not to say that you put your principals in escrow. absolutely not. you bring them right out there. but the american public hear you. but do it in a fashion that is appropriate for democracy. >> what worries me about our political system is that we are in a time of the toughest economic anxiety. many worry that jobs will not be available and that our economic dominance is questioned right now. that the unemployment rate reflects something more structural. the division and viciousness from the last election, people are genuinely worried about their lot and they are not sure
that the political system can handle it or can cope with this. i think it can, but i do not think it can people do not trust each other. i remember when i was a freshman in congress, hubert humphrey was a senator in 1977 and was dying of prostate cancer. he was the only u.s. senator to address a joint meeting of the house and senate. he can to the floor and said, "i want you to fight every battle like it was the most important battle of your life and do not spare any effort and energy to get what you want across. but after your den, the to your adversary, shake his hand, because he may be your ally in the next battle." that spirit is waning. we have to figure out how to get it back. that is what does produce a shine to do, to find those tools, sensible and realistic tools, where we can get people
to shake hands across the aisles. >> to what extent is gerrymandering causing some of this bitter partisanship, making safe districts where people play to their bases rather than working across the aisle? >> i think it is a contributing factor. i do not think it is the only factor. i believe that excessive money, the saturation of money in politics is also a very significant contributing factor. but i do believe that the nature of the basic leasing will districts where you do not have to talk to a diverse group of people tends to tolerate. >> not all the gerrymandering, but the humanity of it, there were too close friends when i had the honor of serving in the senate. we had a system that really is, where we stayed in the sea -- in
d.c. and we spent one week in our state. it allowed us to get to know very well. when i come home, linda had been talking to patricia. i knew they knew what they marching orders should be. the families are a part of this, too. candidas run on the issue, -- candidates run on the issue, but we have to have an institutional structure so they can live with the family as well. >> so you're talking about the calendar will, which is nowadays -- most senators and congressmen go home on thursday afternoon, spend the weekend back home, fly back tuesday, and there is no socializing. there is no being with people of the opposite party, partly because of jet travel. it makes it easier to fly home.
but secondly because the calendar does i give you three weeks on and one week off. >> they do not live in washington any more. they live in their home districts. their families are not in washington. they are ready to get out of town as fast as they can. i think that is why this idea of some time to give people together and socialize and be friends is important. >> so you think a calendar can help that a bit? >> i think so. >> this is exacerbated by this running against washington dynamic. people think that if they spent too much time in washington, they are losing what the community is all about. but if they do not spend enough time in washington, they do not have time to make subcommittee'' and raise money.
they have to understand the issues, but they have to understand the other side of the issues. encouraging that and awarding that, as opposed to penalizing that, could help. hereuling a mayday's your and the lunch, it seems sort of -- scheduling the time you're here and the lunch, it seems sort of a soft tissue, it is actually pretty important in terms of driving a ford. >> on the map -- driving us forward. >> on the mapping think, it is the money chase. it never stops. you were considered a weak political animal if you arnot successful at this, this continued frenetic money chase. sun districts prohibit their legislators from -- someone district prohibit their legislators from raising
money while the legislature is in session. one of the things we need to do is also recognize the amount of time that legislators have to raise money. they leave the confines of capitol hill, go across the street -- i did it myself on occasion. they spend hours on raising money. the system encourages that across the board. that is an insidious way to get people away from their jobs, focusing on issues, and building relationships. >> instead of running to the microphone, right there, in the green t-shirt, yes, you. >> [no audi[inaudible] >> in light of citizens united, how do you view packs?
>> this is a great venue here at tulane. i am impressed with the students. [applause] >> bravo. >> i believe in political action committees, personally. he may be working for a particular industry or company and you want to make sure your company will be successful. if you combine your efforts, it is very appropriate. it allows u.s. force multiplier. and you have to be transparent. -- it allows you a force multiplier. and you have to be transparent. >> i recognize that money is a mother's milk of politics. the problem is that it has become a cottage cheese and butter and everything else of politics right now. the problem with the citizens united case, it allows people to raise money without full disclosure of where the money's
coming from. you do not know who the donors are of this process. i believe you cannot have the system without having people contribute to that system. but it has become a malignant system now. it is the be all/and all of our politics. when someone wants to run for congress, they will say, "i want to see your fund-raising capabilities. once we see that, we will see what we can do if you." -- do with you." >> [inaudible] >> what can we do to fix the campaign finance system now?
>> i do not think we can change the terms from two years to four years. that would take a constitutional amendment. i would like to see some form of public finance in the system. but right now, do not see it terribly feasible that congress will pass such a thing. i hope it does not take a massive scandal for people to focus on some of these issues. in the past, historically, that is what has caused the changes in our campaign laws. one positive thing in this last election is that, a lot of the people who ran, a lot of people lost. a lot of people who put in a lot of personal wealth lost. some people have a public' problem. i would like to tell you that
there is a way to get campaign laws changed. >> to the woman in the white shirt. i am aiming at students' right now. >> [inaudible] >> how you address a the stigma of going native in washington? ? -- bring back the >> one way is you ask people like patricia and linda. ask those who have -- as the spouses who have lived that life. ask them so you are not asking for politicians. ask the families. you are right. there is that aspect that looks like you will not move your
family to washington. but the reality is that that is where you will conduct federal legislation. that way you may be able to be a full-time mother, if you're serving in congress, if your family is closer to you. >> the other aspect is that, in a corporate environment, if you hire somebody to days or three days a week and they live somewhere else, they're not really doing what you hire them for. but it does not need to be three days or four days a week. there was a member of congress from hawaii was flying back every weekend. many spend all your time traveling and going to meetings.
changing some of the expectation and some of the culture -- we recognize that these are complicated issues. there are notn easy solutions. we're trying to figure out how to redo our democracy and changed some of these processes. it will not happen overnight. but we cannot to complain about it. we have to take some shots in turn to change the trajectory. it is all about the challenges in doing that. many of the approaches have risk associated to them. we have to figure out some way to move toward a more constructive way. the problem our nation faces in a complete -- in an increasingly competitive world. >> we will have to wrap up in a couple of seconds. >> [inaudible]
how do we get them in charge of the plan to be more fair? >> those are two book ending questions. had you get people in washington and party leaders to work together and on the grass roots, had you get people involved? >> i have an 8-year-old grandson myself. he has the same hairline is you do. [laughter] first of all, individually, everybody wants to do what we're talking about. what are the incentives in the system to get people to work
together? when you hear the new house speaker, john boehner, or you hear the president's talk, i think they're willing to listen to us. but ultimately, the people have to speak as well. we will go around the country a bit and talk to people around the country and see if there are any other ideas out there. most of them will not be ideas that can totally ship the system. -- will shape the system. if the system does not work and the people two years from now still say that these guys cannot get along together and cannot work anything out, then maybe the cost is in both houses. you could see a third party development in america. >> all right. >> on the exit polls, you saw people were asked to give their approval rating of either party.
neither party did well. we talked about the indicator of the institutions. about 88% of america say that they have confidence in america. 66% said they have confidence in america. 11% said they had confidence in congress. it is the lowest. it is your leader. you need to rebuild the confidence of the people in the organization your leading. we will be meeting with the leaders of both parties. they are good people. of also have the support - congress organizations. >> they are here. >> it is a concerted effort. we have wonderful young people who are interested in this, to be here all day and to ask intelligent questions.
it is about democracy. >> getting people to engage on these issues, hopefully some people in this room, and galvanizing grass-roots work, in terms of the specific redistricting issue, i think i know i had the recently independent process. california did some things. florida passed something last week. it is the beginning of the process. there is always an independent body. as long as that principle is adhered to, there is a variety of different ways to deal with it. but it really does require engaging in these efforts. maybe we should have the date they are effective 10 years from now. everyone is preserving their position in power. 10 years out, even though you
would rather have things done sooner, then they could have more support around these changes because it is out there and they can predict who will be in power at that time. it will take a while to deal with these issues. we're just starting the process today. >> awesome. thank you very much. [applause] >> we will do a quick reset of the stage and do the next panel of the day. that is in five minutes. >> congress is out this week for thanksgiving holiday break. when members return, the house will return in the delay of the 20% cut in medicare reimbursements for doctors. the house and senate will take the remaining federal spending for this year.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> coming up on c-span, the ethics of war with speakers from france, england, israel, and the u.s. service academy. we will show the conversation on bipartisan in congress again shortly after 11:00 p.m. eastern. then retired lieutenant sanchez.neral ricardo >> one race from the midterm elections remains to be called where tim bishop is leading randy l. shulealtschuler.
in wyoming, republican matt meet succeeds the incumbent who did not seek reelection. wisconsin is also getting a new governor, scott walker. he takes the seat of jim doyle, who also shows not to seek reelection. mr. walker is currently the milwaukee county executive. before that, he was in the state assembly. >> this weekend, polling data from eight arab countries. our guest discusses his findings with somebody else. >> every weekend on c-span 3, experience american history tv starting saturday at 8:00 a.m.
easter here historic speeches by national leaders and eyewitness accounts of events that shaped our nation. american history tv, all weekend every weekend on c-span 3. >> now the ethics of war, what is acceptable in conflict and what is not to? this discussion features speakers from france, england, israel, and u.s. service academies.
t's -- will start now. my name is jeremy and i am and the philosophy department here. i work with shannon at case >> we have the very important panel i feel today on war healing, the recovery and a reintegration of our combat veterans. this is a complicated panel, even at the level of its construction. we have different audiences that this panel might speak to. there are many combat veterans here who know too well or very well with this panel concerns. there are also general citizens and people coming into adulthood who may not know much tall about
what this panel involves. in addition, this panel was being taped, and in that way it enters into the public's sere where conceptions and perhaps misconceptions about this topic reside. so it's a complicated panel because we want to be able to speak to all the audiences that really matter. we want to be able to speak in a way that is helpful to people combat veterans in particular, but also the people with whom they spend their lives, who are dealing with this issue and may be helped by some of the insights of the practical experts and theoretical researchers who are here with us today. we also want to be able to help students who are becoming citizens understand the gravity of citizenship, and many of the
complexities when we try to get on with business as usual in our society. and finally, insofar as this panel is becoming part of the public sphere through media, we want to be able to come at some later point in time, to laugh least paint a picture of this issue that is not simplistic and that is not overly optimistic or vision, but has what the genuine hope there could be in it which is faithful to the complexity of the experience surrounding war healing. i say that as a preface to set the tone and also to help us understand why there may be different levels to the conversation. some people may feel it's too simple or two basic. others may feel at times it's too abstract, and we will all try to negotiate that.
the key to doing so is your participation. and the standard format for panels at this conference is something like an hour of the various experts talking to get their a round focused questions followed by an hour of question and answer from the floor. we all agree, however, that would be most helpful sooner rather than later, to find out what you will find useful from this panel, and so, knowing from lecturing but something between 30 to 45 minutes is about the tolerance level in the same brain has to talking heads, i will cut the panel part on the shorter side closer to 45 for between 30 to 45 minutes depending on where we are going. and at that point, we really appreciate your questions from the floor and we will work it
out from there. okay? okay. joining me today are worth six very special and very different people related to this topic, and i will go down the road from the left to the right or from your side of the left to the right. cheryl stone. the last 12 years has been employed at the vm and know how you as a psychotherapist working with combat veterans and other veterans with ptsd and a specialt clinic. she is treated veterans of war extending back to world war ii, and during the time she has done research on ptsd and its treatment. for the past five years she also served as a supervisor. before joining the va, dr. stone worked for several years over
here at the university hospitals in the anxiety disorders program doing research in psychotherapy. next to her is ron who spent a year tour in vietnam, acting both as a platoon sergeant and a platoon leader in two different light infantry units. during the tour come here and four bronze stars for valor. upon returning to the state, he spent another 18 months in the company honor guard of the old guard and during the time, he participated in many funerals for fellow soldiers who died in vietnam. after military service, he found college life stifling. imagine that. so he went to work as an arborist, which became his career for 30 years. during these years, ron also studied martial arts, earning a
fifth level black belt. so should problems arise of here -- [laughter] he also led the community and traveled extensively throughout the country by motorcycle, and he studied buddhism. as individual counseling as a grass worker. ron has rad, written and thought long and deeply about the lives of combat veterans, especially how their lives are irretrievably changed by their experience. next is brian o'toole who is an epidemiologist with real interest and mental health and psychiatric epidemiology with the focus on post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological adjustments following trauma. he has worked in veterans' issues since his time at the australian agent orange studies in the early 1980's and subsequently he initiated and led the first epidemiological
health study of any returned servicemen and women in australia. the vietnam veterans health study. he was an author of the first evaluation report on the fledgling vietnam veterans' counseling service and subsequently was invited to become a member of the department of veterans affairs governing committee of the vvs for 18 years with funding from the australian national health and by the council he has recently completed a follow-up study of the vietnam veterans three decades after the war and has completed field work for an adjunct study of veterans' wives and partners, from which preliminary results are now emerging. jason is the integrated ethics primm officer at the cleveland louis stokes va medical center and the director of ethics consultation at case western reserve university's center for biomedical ethics at metro health medical center, where he
serves as a clinical ethicist. he's a graduate of the cleveland fallujah and advanced bioethics and has served as the william lyons chair in professional ethics of the united states air force academy. his book, quote cutter was on and just war tradition," was published in 2007. he served over 18 years and active and reserve components of the military, including four years in the united states air force as a military working dog handler. his current research focuses or his current research focus includes the reintegration of military members into civilian life and influence of the military culture on the expectations and experiences of patients in the v.a. health care system. max mehlman is the director of the law medicine center case western reserve university school of law and the professor
of biomedical ethics here in the school of medicine. prior to joining the faculty in 1984, professor mehlman practiced law with arnold and porter in washington, d.c., where he specialized in federal regulations health care and medical technology. he's the author and editor of seven books and numerous articles on subjects including "the ethical, legal and social implications of advances in human genetics." ethical and legal aspects of the patient position relationship and "medical malpractice reform." last but not least, christine borgelt doherty with children with emotional and behavi3 borgelt doherty with children with emotional and behavioral. in addition she works closely with families and professionals to collaborate on methods to improve warning and quality-of-life for those individuals and their families. dr. borgelt worked at quality
living incorporated in nebraska from august, 1997 to may, 21. first is a doctoral and then as director of clinical services. in january of this year, she rejoined the leadership team as the director on the east coast representative and working from her home in virginia, she represents them throughout the eastern united states. also in this year, and quite relevant to this panel, she's completed three textbook chapter is regarding a traumatic brain injury that addresses squall transitions from efiks and survivors psycho social challenges. okay. thank you. okay, we're going to start, and i will just ask the very simple question that many of us thought would be both basic income and yet get into deep issues to start with. from your different perspectives
, what is war healing? >> it's the hard way to start. >> is this working? okay. we take people from civilian society. it takes a year to turn them into a soldier. we send them out to do the dirty work for the country. and then they come home. they all come home and changed. war changes in the -- individuals. i think the constitution recognizes the right to the pursuit of happiness. but when you are changed by the war, the pursuit of happiness becomes very, very difficult.
and so, what is healing perhaps to me is to regain that sense of society, that sense of legality, and quality, of the spirit of the mind to enable you to assimilate, comeback with the war experiences, assimilate them and then get on with your lives in the pursuit of your own development and happiness. have i said anything controversial? [laughter] perhaps something simple. >> i think it becomes important to make because oftentimes when we think of war healing and we integrating, we have this kind of simple picture that we send people off to the war and when they are done what we need to do is take them and put them back in their lives and do what we
can to kind of set them on the path they would have been if the war hadn't interfered now. there are a couple problems with that. first of all, at least in the united states a lot of people that enter the military aren't actually in very good positions when they start. so a lot of them are on bankruptcy, homelessness, they have a lot of social issues to start with. and so, you know, we need a model that puts them at a good foundation. another thing it does that military service and war changes people, there's lots of negative consequences but there's also a lot of positive changes as welcoming and this is why i think the way you described it so well is because we want them to be able to deal with experiences and take what's
beneficial for them and keep it and move forward with it to make their lives better come at the same time allowing them to deal with the parts that are going to cause them harm. >> let me follow-up and see if this will help bring this question even more forward. if each of you had to point to a simplification of war healing and the society that you are from, we have an international committee here, so i'm going to put it in that way. what would that simplification be? and how is it that you discovered it? what did you see the was simplified about the way our society or your society might look at war healing? >> let me start there. one of the things i have objected to the most is simplifying the process of war
healing into a by mary way of looking at it and that we go to a process, the person is healed from the war. and rather than say i used to work irretrievably change, it deliberately, because my life was changed in ways the will never be retrieved. now, some of the things i've learned from my combat experience have been a great benefit to me. some have been very much not so. so, since 9/11 what i've noticed a specially is the transformation to describing people who serve in the military as selfless heroes. and i know many people who've gone into the military out of a great sense of patriotism and duty and service. however, a vast number of people
go into, especially the enlisted ranks, out of economic necessity and opportunity necessity, which is something very different. and so, i have to look at this within this context that the people in my experience during vietnam, the people in my platoon, were the young man who had the least opportunity in our society, economically and socially, because we made a deal with the middle class and upper class that we would leave their sons alone and take the less advantaged, especially after attack, in order to maintain political tranquillity. now currently, we have an all volunteer service, which in theory has many admirable attributes. in reality, some less so. so, we have a small minority of the population doing, as brian said, the dirty work for our society and we are not investing
their lifelong need for attention afterwards. if we accept the myth that people join the military out of patriotism and service, we also have to accept that african americans are twice as patriotic and twice as willing to do service than the whites who have to accept that hispanics are two and a half times more willing to do service and the patriotic than whites, and we have to certainly accept that all the children of senators are somewhat less patriotic than those who aren't senators. [applause] [cheering] and we would have to accept that in the enlisted ranks, has less than 1% of enlisted ranks have college that the uneducated, relatively are much more
patriotic than those with education. now, i'm just throwing that out to stir the waters. and i hope my new friend isn't too upset with me for saying that. so, healing becomes very problematic because one, we have a society who says i'm going to quickly solve, let's do this job and get this done. and number two, most of the people, such as myself and many of my new friends in this group, came back with limited resources to access what was available to us. so i see healing as a lifelong process towards regaining some equanimity in a functional life. >> cheryl, did you want to speak? >> yes. my feelings are so complex. you have had firsthand
knowledge. i have had second hand knowledge. i have sat and listened for 12 years, and so on know a lot of things. first of all, when i -- and again i'm going to be a little provocative here -- i wonder about the concept of healing because i don't think that ptsd or trauma related things are a pathology. i think the art and normal response to horror, and i dare anybody out there who hasn't been there to go out there and give it a try and see how you turnout. i listen to the news, i hear people talk, i hear people make judgments. i was there in the 60's. although imet had a slightly different attitude.
my father, at 17-years-old, joined, ran away from home and joined the canadian air force, where he flew in battles over britain, when america joined he went to fight ruml. after that he flew in the raid and he was a flying tiger. and later, a few years later, he died in a plane crash. okay. my mother was a sergeant in the marines. my brothers, cousins, my nephews, etc., were in the surface. we marched in parades on veterans' day. my father specter and my mother's picture or in my office that right there i think says something or at least it does to me. anyway, the people that i see i agree with all of you have said so far. i think you are a changed person
when you come back from the war. i think you see things no matter how much training you have, no matter how much indoctrination you have, no matter whether you are patriotic are not in the first 15 minutes of a five-year fight, you learn something that it takes the rest of us and we never really learned, at least 50 or 60 years to learn and that is to come face-to-face with morality and the fact the world is chaos. there is no order. we impose order and the people you believe might not necessarily have been telling you the whole truth and you do things you never thought you would do. you see people do things you never thought you would see people do, and in order to face up to this experience, and not die of course, you cannot face up to it and die, or you can become numb and you become closer to your squad then you
are two other people you may ever meet in your life on a certain level. and you have crossed a line. you have been allowed to kill people. that's not a line most of us cross i think in in the area when a person goes across the line they are forever changed. and then when you come back and you are back with your same old buddies and your wife and your kids or whatever and your parents and looks different, very different, it is then on a microlevel hopefully your job with or without help, love, support to integrate within yourself, and new learning with your old learning which is often
of the crux of the great problem because-year-old earning made you happy and you were lighthearted and had friends and so forth and he believed in god and the authority and on the other side is different. savitt healing begins -- i don't know where it begins, but i think at the end you can look back and say we are dealing in the healing is when a person can accept the whole of themselves and they can bring that whole into the world in an efficacious way as best they can, hopefully they will be successful and you realize that what is between entering the world and success is a long detailed road and some are successful and some are not successful.
and suffering is without end. >> to ago that, cheryl's print of pathology is critical to how we have reacted to the whole idea of war healing and healing in general and it's certainly come to the forefront in rehabilitation where there should be a finality you should be done at some point even the soldiers experiencing minor brain injuries or tauter after a year you want of symptoms and that isn't necessarily the case. so this idea that it is a pathology there is something we are going to diagnose and fix and you are going to be done with it the terms of healing may mislead us you heard in every response so far this sense of integration of self, taking your experiences and pulling them into your own identity and it is a journey and then i think that is one of the things that not just in the brain injury world
with ptsd with the return from war it is a lifelong journey and i know that ron touched on that and i think that the word heeling kind of trips that a little bit. >> let me add one thing to this and see where this takes the question. we are on the first question and we are trying to walk around it and see what we think of it. it seems the assumption and the question is about the combat veterans of him or herself who is dealing with, according to the term healing, but as many of you know from your research, there is of course the circles of affiliation around the combat veteran, and as we have seen in this conference itself of the summit, some of the healing that goes on between the combat veteran and the former enemy
combat veteran and noncombatant combat zone and there's also the suggestion that there's something about society i put it in scare quotes because it is so abstract that it doesn't quite get what it's done or what it has to deal with, and i'm summarizing and that makes me wonder if there's not some sense in which healing is also needed beyond the veteran, the souls of with of the legation around the veteran, the former enemy, the noncombatants and so on. so the question is to whom is he yelling important and highways healing different based on the
different from your experience or in the process of it. >> so in other words it is a question we talk about what is war healing, but to whom and what are the differences in the understanding of the term, and in particular looking at our society and its public discourse are there simplifications and invisibility. am i making myself clear or is it too complicated? >> i think i can nibble on that. >> one of the things we've talked about and experienced the last couple of days is how important it is for me as a veteran to come back and impact society. needless to say in vietnam that
didn't exist. so on the individual level it's important that many of us who were in the enlisted ranks did not come from well formed families or communities or societies. so having -- not having a fallback what's important i think and i want to take from the admiral's comments i've sworn to the constitution, and i'm very grateful for richard nixon -- sidetrack. when i came back and stood behind richard nixon as a potted plant in the white house for 19 months, and listening to this guy and watching him work convinced me i was no longer going to work for his military. i was stunned. i was going to be a career by. i'm not fighting anymore wars. i'm done. but the issue was my society
then and my society now is not choosing war with good reason with intention that holds water. a simple soldier should be able to save this war is worthwhile, and my society supports it wholeheartedly. but i'm doing these things really in defense of my constitution that i was steeped in. i find it very problematic for us one to be free integrated when that's not so. i find that it's really difficult for us to be part of our society as a whole being again. when our society refuses to look at the caskets, refuses to look at the bill and fortune, refuses to look at the long-term cost of
our ventures. we can do a great deal of work as individuals to get through our lives as somewhat fashion and most of the guys i serve with have functional lives. we go to work, we have careers, get married, have kids, retired, motorcycles, we do all these things. but we always have the sense that we are out of step with the rest and have set back to the doctor don't welcome me home, i didn't leave my home. the home didn't increase our efforts to to get so i find as being at war under those conditions then or now problematic and healing problematic because of that. >> i actually have a question. i wonder if my colleagues on the panel have a view as to what your healing is easier with an
all volunteer army or a conscripted army or it doesn't make any difference? >> it may be true that for certain elements of the military force that they don't necessarily come from the children were the centers but that is the enlisted. we call them the irregulars. the regular army. the last time that we had the conscription would there was no issue of them volunteering the certainly ideas you could have gotten out of it if you really want to. but the reality was that's not true. that conscripted people randomly selected by wasn't. patrick has been looking after me perhaps. but in the work that i've been
doing, particularly in the differences between the regular enlisted and the national servicemen, and you know what i find that the regulars were generally a little bit older. they are the ones in command of the platoon. the national service men, generally younger so when you look at them for 30 years down, the age are showing that the regular soldiers as a group are generally not as well physically as the national servicemen. they are still young, fit. and that's served for two years. some of them did several tours. some of them got a discharge on the way home. but when you look at the mental health, no difference. so, there is a difference here. it's when the conscript, the draft and the volunteers and it
is partly due not unnecessarily to the war. it may be the length of time they spend with 60 kilograms jumping out of helicopters and doing all the things people have to do in the army but when you come to the mental health there is no difference does a minimum of time with some experiences will do the same kind of damage. >> what was the question again? >> if we think that healing is easier when there was a conscripted military versus an all volunteer military and the damage may be the same, but i wonder about the healing process. does it make a difference? does that suggest anything for the future policy in this
country? >> i actually would like to kind of take you back on something that was set before the during vietnam that the discharge returning troops at the airport i actually think in some sense it's a good metaphor for what goes on so the government spends a lot of time turning civilians and two soldiers. he spent 40 years in the military you're going to spend 40 years training so there is no point in your career when they say okay you're done you can go ahead and sit this one now. but when we return the soldiers to civilian life we dropped them off at the airport. there is no thinking that well, look we spent two years turning this person into a combat veteran. you know, it's clear to take at
least that long to return him into the civilian world. the other point it made me think of is when we integrate civilians into the military model, the military model was fixed and so a lot of the process is taking a square peg and grinding them down until the ground and sticking them to the -- into a round hole. when we return people to civilian life we can't do that. so it can't be just how do we change returning soldiers so they can adjust to the civilian world? their families, their societies, other communities, they have to adjust as well because now they are round and we can't fix that square hole and some people have to kind of move in.
we need to meet in the middle. it can't be just a one-sided transition. >> also in addition to that, what happens when someone goes over the line and becomes a different person in the meantime their family is also moving on. it's not like they are sitting in the still. you take somebody out of the mix and in a couple of years goes by and they keep having a life and make friends, they close the gap while that person is gone so what the person refers to is never the same. they are not the same, it's not the same, so it is the matter, and just again, all the more microlevel with husbands and wives and children and so forth, that is the point that has to be recognized in the bitterness and combination of bitterness and love and hatred and anger and
frustration on both sides has to be dealt with. both sides have to be willing to talk peace and change. >> i want to go back to what jason was saying because i was under the impression we don't just drop them off their perch but there is now at least an effort to make a sort of gradual reintegration if you can call it that with a series of opportunities or steps to the of the -- last week i was talking to a former marine who did a couple tors and iraq and said that when i asked him about this he said was very perfunctory. so i guess my question is if it is perfunctory would seem like a no-brainer to do something more meaningful, and i wonder what's going on. >> [inaudible]
>> in the sense there was a real commission and australia in agent orange the declared agent orange was not guilty but one of the things it pointed out is the way the soldiers retrieved it would take a national service man training for your comments and hinault to vietnam for a year and then on his discharge papers, the discharge reason would be not suited to be a soldier. and this is institutionalized within the military. so you have the military -- this is something they've been fighting with for years that you have attitudes within the military itself, within the government, within the society and the media when we have politicians leading demonstrations against the war and the 1960's for a sample, then you have to cut to the family that is in on their own for eight [cheering] of time. we know this happened after the second world war when men went away the women started to drive the tractors and planned the fields.
when the men came back, we had a conflict. a conflict of the roles. there are many issues here as to the attitudes of the government, attitudes of the services themselves, attitudes of the families, attitudes of the society, the medi and so on. as we have a many headed beast that has to be false or dealt with on a number of different fronts. >> okay. we are getting close to the 45 minute mark, and so i would like to open it up and, you know, it's possible for us to come back to some of the questions and i would like professor mehlman's initiative, and i would encourage you to also have that to be able to ask each other questions and be able to ask the audience questions. i think there's already somebody waiting; is that correct? please, would you mind introducing yourself at least briefly for people who don't know you? >> my name is susan and i'm from canada. we have a lot of the same issues only on a much smaller scale. i wonder if any of you can
suggest a strategy to deal with what i think is the coming onslaught of iraq and afghanistan veterans that we haven't even seen the magnitude yet. or are we going to land along the next 40 years liquid with vietnam and put out the brush fires. there and why gilmore are committing suicide and becoming homeless? i wonder if any of you have a strategy in mind. specs for this domingo those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat the errors. no, i have no strategy. i don't think there is a magic bullet. >> by the way, i work for the va but i am not here in the capacity of to represent the va. my thoughts are my own.
but i don't know what to extent there is, although as if it is my stand on suicide is quite different than the institutional imperatives. it was kind of funny i went to the cleveland clinic the other day and the hand of the little computer and i stood at the desk with 14 people around me and they gave me a stylus and i was supposed to check off the boxes and i looked and it was you're going to kill yourself today. was a suicide checklist. and i said well that says it all. because, you know, -- but i do know that there is an effort, however effective or ineffective this, for the va addressing a lot of money getting spent on homelessness and suicidology. i don't have any idea how effective it is or if it is
reaching populations were, you know, doing the right thing. so. >> [inaudible] >> i don't know in terms of broad strategies. i wish i had that, that suggestions from being in the private sector i think some of what you see in the mental health world is folks in the private sector who have models for, example, brain injury for long-term handling of helping someone go through the journey of solving the brain injury long-term, and i have had the experience more than i would like to tell you where someone, a veteran or a spouse has contacted me or brain injury association somewhere in the country with a frustration
jogging to access services i think the services are improving. i think we have seen a lot of effort the last couple of years especially in the issue of brain injury and ptsd and being aware of suicide and the impact on children. but i think there are those of us in the private sector saying let us help. and it is a lot to manage cannot manage but a lot to maneuver. and so, to get through the political leaders and the financial leaders and all of this difficult and where a strategy has worked there has been a commander who es said this needs to happen. so i think we continue to partner, but i think it's important that we use all the resources we have in the country to put forward solutions. >> a think the most important thing we can do know is recognizinthat we are not even close to having a solution.
so a couple years ago i was activated but wasn't deploy and i spent about a year in north carolina and from the last stages in my discharge was sitting there with a company clerk and ask have you ever killed anybody, you know, are you suicidal, do you feel like you're suffering from post-traumatic stress? have you been the victim of sexual assault, so there is this checklist of things that would obviously send out flags the tiny assistance, and in my case, none of them were applicable, but i have a hard time imagining a a 23-year-old kid from alabama talking about these issues and the last thing we want to think is that this is accomplished something important. we need to make sure that we are actually following up with the
people we think there is a reason to follow-up with and not just have to be a checklist as a part of the process when we are moving people out the door. >> as far as i have any personal ways perhaps that's what you were talking about to address suicide i would say first of all to the family is your great loss but it is not your fault that you did not pick up all the details that now you have in hindsight if i have only noticed this, if i had only noticed that it would have been different. i think all the things we are talking about today cause to spare and a person working out these issues of identity, the horror of what they have seen a fitting back in, substance
abuse, there's just a number of things that make it hard and what can be done to help them hold on can be done i think by other veterans, most importantly i think very good with their fellow veterans that are the chief source of being saving somebody. i think if you've got a veteran in question thy often don't like que nosing into their business. a network is a good thing if a person comes back to a strong family. i have a family that i work with. the father lives on the beaches of normandy, like 89-years-old he crawls into bed and cry is when there is a thunderstorm. his son was on and i shall not
mention the place is here in combat on a great destroyer that caught fire and virtually everyone, not everyone but many people died and the people on that ship were traumatized and his son was not in iraq in another death squad because the miracles of modern telephones could call us back. his grandfather said i can't do this. i can't do the body count anymore. i can't forget the dead people, i can't count the women and children, but what he had was three generations of a very, very tight ethnic family that held him together. now family is good, love is good , brotherhood is good, sisterhood is good. and i could go on and on. that's just a short answer.
>> before i get to the next person as some are listening i actually think there is another strategy that was wrong but i think was echoed by a number of you and this is coming off of your comment that it's important to know what you've done as a veteran has been for a purpose or that if one should then that later on think the purpose was mistaken or fall in some way that the society that you are a part of takes responsibility for having made a collective decision for asking for telling you depending on whether it is construction or volunteer service to carry out that intention. and what i hear what your particular question, i think there is a real large question at least for the society that my society, american society which is to say that have we taken responsibili for having made
that decision? and if we haven't, what does that do to people who are returning? just one last thing and i'm trying to echo what you're saying. there are many dimensions, psychological dimensions to despair. but at the level of the philosophical analysis, despair involves not having hope, not having n object that one can obtain or a good that one can see coming. and if one feels like ones and how your life has been folded into a kind of emptiness, because the society that sent one has kind of like this or looks the other way or turns on snoop dog or something ridiculous, then this is a problem. so, life and you're talking about -- i think there's also the social dimension of claiming responsibility for the act. >> one is the last time you declared war?
>> they covered the issue in this morning -- if i had a strategy of my first response because some of those bitter vietnam veterans is don't depend on the va or the government strategy. [laughter] not that the va doesn't do marvelous work especially -- >> i don't speak for the va. i do marvelous work. [laughter] >> would be a national strategy for somebody to fund training and deep listening for all the families of all the people who serve. the willingness to say tell me about your experience and listened without flinching. [applause]
but because the expression was used this morning we are at the pointy end of the stick, but i was taught a different version which goes the fling at the tip of the candle. i burn brightly with a war but i went to war for the whole societies of the whole society has the obligation to listen to my experience and that strategy alone was to me to be the simplest most effective. >> my name is tom -- is the better? i don't like microphones. i am tom, retired marine lieutenant and a retired high school english teacher and today i work with debt burdens of a homeless shelter in ohio and i'm also part of the journey home
which is a branch of the doctor's group and we reach out to the iraq determines. of what you just said, right on. i want to say i -- one preface, all i applaud you for the work that you're doing and the dedication that you have to the healing process. i'm not sure i always agree with everything but i applaud you. my little heart his been going pittard sadr since the panel began. i just want to make two statements and you can respond if you want or you cannot. that is your choice. number one, i don't think the army does nothing. i think the army, the military does nothing for soldiers when they get out. i've talked to too many to get a recently renewed for times article maybe two months ago i wrote a poem about it in fact where soldiers have gone -- they
are told if you've got a problem, especially with iraq and afghanistan debts, if you've got a problem we will help you come and fort carson, maybe, where they had a group of soldiers who went for help and were not only ridiculed by the sergeant's who were in charge of them but they were also drug and medicated to death. i.t. -- i can't stand medicating people who have psychiatric issues. we need to talk and the young man who has the bronze star said so well we need to talk. both of you. so, that being said, i really don't -- from my own experience i don't -- the military says they are doing this and that for these kids when they are being
discharged, but i -- that's nice words on paper that we see to the public to get the public to believe that everything is cool and these guys are being taken care of when they are being discharged, whereas in reality at least personally i do not believe they are in any sense of the word. secondly, the thing that got me at the beginning. i think sometimes we have a tendency as professionals to overgeneralize the statement was made more than once by the panel with reference to the class of individuals who are drfted versus joined, and maybe they might have issues prior to that. i know that i am not real happy with the va and some of the
decisions they've made along that line with post-traumatic stress disorder, the diagnosis that have come up. i think we need to be careful when we save boards like a lot of our military are made up of this certain class of individuals or many or most doherty anything like that because we are unique as individuals, and i think that we need to be at least ideally treated as unique individuals. and sometimes our government facilities see us as a group and i personally do not like being spoken of in generalities. climate person. but all that is great to see and great to wish and i also know the reality of that is not always the case.
thank you for those comments. i very much appreciate that. let me work backwards, if i may. i am unique on this panel and that i am the one that nonacademic person. i am just a drop out. having said that, even a country boy can read the data. look at demographics. who is in the service? we can infer certain games. -- certain things. individuals. i know that in my platoon, which was a long time ago, 40 years ago, i had a long range of individuals. and for the most part, regardless of their economic or education background, they did
right action. they served with courage and did things that to me just are unimaginable today. but the one thing i did learn in the infantry and learned later through reading is that our military is built under the model of interchangeable part. and so one of the fundamental lessons i've learned is that as a human being, regardless of my sterling individual characteristics, i'm disposable. now, i could be angry about that and say i'm a throwaway. i choose to use it as a source of strength could what that means i'm responsible for my behavior and my life. how do i find the tools to do that? and what i'm suggesting also to think about, we've been talking about ptsd. and i think we have to separate our clinical -- people who need clinical health in the majority of others.
some of the people -- i just speak from my own experience. some of the people of my platoon had been diagnosed and it disability for clinical ptsd. most of us have it. we went and ran her functional affably okay lives. but when we sit around a table at reunions and chair, then there's a clinical person sitting there with their checklist, everyone could hit almost every diagnostic criteria and put it in her pocket and went about her life successfully. we didn't do it because of what the military did for us or because of what our society did for us. we did it in spite of it. and we did it because as individuals, we had fortitude to do it. i have every faith that most of the people who serve in the military today, regardless of what i perceive as the inequalities abou the way society is doing this, we'll have the resources to, over
time, achieve a good life. and if we can shorten that process, we can help that process, that is our obligation as citizens, let alone his veterans to help with that, to pony up for that part of what we've decided to do. >> okay, fair, thank you for being so patient. i don't know if you folks are waiting in line would find this easier, but i'd be happy to 30 speakers list over here. you could be turning down the mine incident that down. would you like that? i'm going to do this and if you could stay in the order they choose to an finite, that that would be good. >> jeremy, what are you doing? this is a completely different issue. we tuck what society has come up with many times. i'm still angry about my society
because i don't think it's society that sends people off to war. it's not society that does that. i'm angry about a number of things in my society. i'm angry about things like we have more suicide every year and we have murders equaled death. where is the similar amount of resources put into preventing suicide that is putting to preventing motor vehicle deaths? and a cynic might simply say you prevent suicide, you know, make money. but every time you run a red light, every time you go over the speed limit, your making money. now, that the cynical view perhaps. but it is not society that's doing it. it is individuals who are in decision-making positions that are doing it. i think society and government are quite different things. >> thank you.
sir? >> my name is steve perry. i spent eight years as a united states officer army and combat veterans from vietnam. what this group has addressed, has attempted to address nic has the dynamic of this whole healing thing is focused on the veteran. i think though that we're missing part of the equation here and i just like everybody's comments on that. and that as i can speak for my own standpoint and i suspect i speak for many combat veterans and that we, all of us, have an overriding sense of betrayal. and that regardless of what happens to us or how we're treated by society or whatever or how we try to address our combat issues or memories and events, what have you, there doesn't seem to be any kind of
atonement understand parts of the government to place us in harms way. there is no -- there's no accountability for the political leaders that made the decision that many of us have come to believe for invalid. and so, we all had this monkey on our back, if you will, that we are the ones that are being blamed for all of this does and we're broke in and we have to get fixed and everything. but who's -- who's responsible? and half-day or have they not been called to task with this? just comment if you would, please. >> partner in silence. [laughter]
>> not me -- [inaudible] >> and be economic, it was one congressman's son who served in the field as an infantry officer. clarence long deferred for my home district. great guy. and hopefully we're going to see more veterans in congress so there will be more accountability. i'm sorry. i just don't expect -- i was talking to dr. french about this. i don't take personal offense that i was a. you can't pay attention to individually you have to pay attention to the mission. cannot say the way our society uses military much different to the way our society uses labor or economic resources or natural
resources. it is something to be used for an end that, in my opinion, and i speak my for myself, not an institution, favors a very small percentage at the expense of many. so i don't have any expectation of accountability, especially as as was pointed out this morning, only 40% of us bothered to say very strongly to the people who supposedly represent us, we want you to make different decisions. we want you to take different actions. so the old expression is if we want to change that experiment, we have to change our input. and we can't give up and say we can't do that. >> i would challenge -- [inaudible]
>> i think you just supported my position. having said that, i will go vote every time and i will encourage everyone i know to go vote. and our system, that is the only shot we have in changing, really changing. and i mean more than both, it is right, call and talk to your congresspeople, whether it's on my local level or the national level. without saying anything to younger people it's read, be informed, the act does. i think i heard that does this morning. read, be active. if you're not informed, you'll repeat history. if you don't take action locally in the state level and national level, they'll repeat the same mistakes. we have a responsibility to do that.
we can't say no. we've given too much to say no, it can't be done. if you and i have been to war and we know the price, we have voice that has resonance, how spores, has power. we need to use it. we have to use it in our families, and our communities and in our society to create batch range so more people don't suffer, so the earth doesn't suffer. we have to do that. we have to never quit. we have to never stop trying. >> i don't want to hold up the show. i don't want to argue with you. [inaudible] >> improvised. it will come. you've heard that before.
>> you see in australia voting is compulsory. >> is it really? >> yes. >> okay, the problem with that is you still get rubbish. [laughter] >> and the longest election in australia had a wonderful retired politician say i did not hear certain things are in the campaign. i did not hear the word education. i heard training, job rating, not education. i didn't hear those kinds of things. what i heard was xenophobia, old people. i heard refugees. i heard of mining tax. these are not the issues that are salient to the majority of the people. these are the issues the politicians were choosing to fight the battle on. >> okay. you've been very patient. just, shelley is going to comment about six or seven
people. is she just cannot be made an interesting comment. and i would just like to market because these is one of the areas where the complexity of the panel is starting to appear. the shelley, i'll let you come up when it's your time. i'll let you respect the order. i think you're coming up and feeling passionate to do that indicate something, which is are we talking politics are we talking healing? shall say more about that later. but i would just like to point out, i was also thinking a similar version of that question. i was thinking here we are talking about -- we started off talking about the healing of combat veterans and were full-scale into social and political philosophy or social and political critique. i think it's worth being in being a little more rigorous about again whether or not that should be the case. and if it's the case, why exactly is it the case? i think it's important to note that with the exception of professor mehlman, i don't think we had this thing go political
scientist of some kind. i think you're a political scholar. what happened is he pushed us into thinking about politics and social structure and bureaucracy and so on. so this is something we may want to explore later. thank you for being so patient. >> i want to qualify my question. my question is how do we keep the killers accountable to hearing. and i'm going to qualify that by saying my name is cassie schumacher and i am the daughter of a vietnam veteran. i grew up around vfw post. i participated in cleveland in 1988. and at that time, my father, his ptsd got triggered. and in 1999, as a 20 some year old college student, i had to sit in a courtroom and hospitalized my father against his will to the va.
and at the end of a 30 day stay, which he ended up escaping from, i talk with the nurse. and she said, we confiscated weapons that he was making. and i got on the phone with a psychiatrist and he said to me, he's doing much better. we're going to release them. that is unacceptable and it's substandard care. thank you. >> i agree. i agree. let me just finish. we just completed a study on the intervention and psychosis. now, schizophrenia is not something you can treat with words. one of the sad things we found up to six months, 30% of people did not have a diagnosis that would not be acceptable in terms for for heart diseases or any other bodily system, but it seems to be okay and bodily health.
you can see that because we don't have enough research. we don't know about the way the brain works or whatever. but is just not acceptable and i agree with you. the mac hello, my name is tom. tom campbell frowned montana. i'd like to talk a little bit about an atmosphere of culture and of trauma, how to charm all its individual, and a couple in a family and a community and as a nation and how i think there is a denial about really was honestly going on. the military or the politicians say we have a nuclear weapon in iraq and they know it's not true and they keep doing it. and so, it's kind of like a lot
of lies and like all the politicians, they are all kind of lying about themselves and everybody knows they're lying. but it's kind of a lot of dishonesty and a lot of dysfunction and just regular culture. and it's like we can even say i heard. like men aren't supposed to be heard as much as other people. and so, somehow this historical trauma, stuff that's going on today. it's kind of interesting vietnam, people there are opening up and talking and sharing with us. and so, some of us can share back and do some healing. but a lot of times they think there is so much cultural lying, cultural brainwashing where were not honest and we don't talk straight. we don't even share who we are really because we're wondering what other people think we are or other people are trying to
make us think or something. or we're not even worth stealing and there's nobody they are. or my humanities en masse is financial poverty that's dysfunction. and it's so dishonest that we don't really even look at it and say hey, that's a person back from vietnam are back from iraq. but you know, we don't have the money or we don't have the energy to help him or her. the essential use of women in the military and the and thomas don't tile is so much lying, so much dysfunction that finally getting in a small group and talking and sharing real-life stuff is good. hey, that feels really good because it's not the normal. and it's like, the health service is.
the veteran is just a point. she's kind of wound. but it's everything else that's not hoping. or the life, or the money. it's all about money. we're not going -- we can't afford it. and we can't even afford to tell the people what the military costs and the consequences yet and so, it's like we are tom. or we go along and somebody is making money or somebody's benefiting, but a lot of people are. and so, i think a lot of it is so much honesty. this needs to be so much honesty and communication. that's all. [applause] >> thoughts on that, christine? >> i want to be careful to honor what you said. i have had the wonderful experience. i just feel compelled to share. over the past year working with the military and civilian folks
on military and civilian healing, there are when you get the person who is suffering and you connect with family members and you connect with metal case managers, military medical case managers are folks in the coalition do a tremendous amount of care management for their soldiers, there are a ton of people and pockets of places, tend to be nonprofit, trying really hard to be honest and to be helpful. and so, i just want to share that i've seen some really good stuff from small pockets in places where there are individuals great if you get it back to you and me sitting down and trying to figure out well, we've got this friend or this person in our community, there's a lot of care going on at that level. and i choose to live there
because it's a lot easier than living up here were some of our questions are. i do want to share their are some good is going on as well. >> okay, thank you. >> i would actually say, one thing you brought up his military trauma. and that actually is a really good point. the focus of this panel is combat veterans. the military service in general and the experiences people have can have profound impacts on veterans, whether or not they are in combat. so oftentimes is peacekeeping missions. oftentimes it disaster relief, where they encounter horrific things. often times it's a matter of a personal violation and attack. and it's important to keep in mind as well that we have an obligation as great to these veterans as we do to the combat veterans as well. the other thing and, you know,
i've had several friends who told me when i get back to their families, when they get back to their communities, you know, they recognize that they have issues. but from their perspective, you know, their families are broken. their communities are broken. and they don't feel as if their needs should come first, right? so they just got this charge they don't have a job. but most as important as getting their job back on track. and you know, i think in some places in the community, you know this is our attitude as well. you know, were 10 years into the conflict. and i've encountered people that don't know that the conflict is still continuing. and it's also become an afterthought for lots of people. and they feel as if there's more pressing things. and it's important to keep those rolling in the forefront. >> thank you.
[inaudible] >> -- and to be -- should being paranoid and jaded and so forth. and i'm not sure we are not all correct. sir, where are you? where did she go? okay, hi. i see a lot of whining. i see lies, and damned lies and statistics. but, i have to agree with you. you need to look for pockets. i know people who are good, honest people. they are individuals or small groups of people. are not part of a mass government or mass political structure. and i think you need to find those people and grab them stay
in that healthy plays of sincerity and trustworthiness. you'll know it when you see it if you open yourself up a little bit, okay? the problem of course is being that war is you don't trust many people, right? so you've got to open yourself up a little bit. but there are people, not your whole government, not all the political status -- [inaudible] can i tell my joke? i've been dying to say this. and it has to do with the interest in healing and the interest with reintroducing the veteran. that isn't addressed to one single soldier in here. i want you to understand that. okay? it is somewhat into you people who are interested not in the trenches with the aftermath of war.
and it is most certainly addressed to our larger society and governments who frankly on the whole appear not to give a unless i'm mistaken. have i missed something? if it isn't their son or daughter, why does it matter? but does anybody ever listen to garrison keillor? you know who he is? remember and that there is a pastor of the church -- of our lady of perpetual, what is that? responsibility. our lady -- the church of our lady of perpetual responsibility. there's this pastor and he always gives his speech. and he does it about sex, but really it applies here. if you didn't want to go to minneapolis, why did you get on the train,okay? and other words, if you didn't mean something to happen, don't do it. don't start a war.
things happen when you have a war. they always happen. they they always have happened. smarten up. okay? >> okay. josh clacks >> by name is josh due back from independence, ohio. i'm a student here. this past summer i worked at outback steakhouse. and one of the guys that i worked with, he was extremely nice. one of the waiters i connected with the most at work. when a big family would come in, he would always love giving the little kids like coloring books and extra, you know, pop stay, and whatnot. and i ended up learning that he was a veteran of afghanistan and that he was diagnosed with ptsd and when he came back he had a guess a nasty divorce with his wife and because of that, in
court, it was decided he was not capable of being -- of having sole care of his child because of his ptsd, and that his wife was able to just take the child away from him because of the ptsd. and i don't know all the fault, you know, core circumstances. not to get too political or to social issues, basically he wasn't able to have a lot of visitation with the child until he was back to normal. and i put them in quotes. so my question is, how do we know when someone is back to normal again, when their ptsd is cured? >> that's a great question. >> if i may, i started with a different is perhaps. n.a.b. is influenced by medical
views, their ptsd is sometimes treatment resistant in the same with the brain is too good. it won't let you forget. that issues, the stimulus you see, those kinds of things can trigger these events. a story that a veteran once told me, he had returned and he was with his fiancée, now his wife and brother and his wife. and it was in downtown melvyn. the car backfired. one reaction as he hit the deck. and he felt like such a fool. is that a common thing? you've had that experience. until somebody just materialized out of the crowd, taken by hand
and said he'd just been in iraq, have a nate? he said yeah, okay. it's all right. and then disappeared. okay, now that was a fresh psychological segment. that's very hard to abolish. but there are other parts of ptsd that can be amenable to an intervention. my dad to is that he ptsd will go away. so for legal case is hinging on somebody being cared, though not a hopeless curse. it is getting people to accept and understand their problem and
to not engage in the kind of behaviors that become self destruct days. interpersonal violence with families. so you can help people to overcome some of these problems, but it won't go away. >> and built into that is also improving how we respond. so i suspect that most of us, when the person dies on the street, you know, we're like what the hack and were backing away rather than movie over to help him in a period and it's still prevalent in the society, right? decreased combat that. i mean, this is what people think about when they think about posttraumatic stress. >> ticking time bombs. >> yeah, absolutely. part of it is educating people
that's not the case. and that's unfortunate because i know -- i mean, one of the unfortunate side effects is, you know, the careers that share average duty military best prepares you for being a firefighter, police officer, these positions that people now if they want to seek treatment related to mental health that all, it would significantly negatively impact their ability for these positions. and so the stigma that we as a society hold in general towards mental health and in particular towards things that poster manic stress have a huge impact on the willingness of veterans to seek help. >> so if i could summarize, part of the problem is surrounding world is itself not normal. if i normal we mean healthy, it's normal -- a savage, and
statistical. it's the norm, but it sure isn't healthy. her silence built-in or failed expectations about how to live with people who are dealing with trauma and so on. roger. >> is roger cran from hiram college. in addition to your backfire story, about 15 years after the vietnam war i was walking through the woods of arkansas with the vietnam veterans, a friend of mine and the trail was so small that we had to walk single file. and i was talking up a storm and he was commenting on my watch for another 10 minutes and he wasn't answering me. and i turned around and he wasn't there. and so i turned and backtracked for probably a quarter of a mile and i found him frozen like a
manic and, not moving. and in front of them, as they trail marker were three rocks piled on top of each other. and i later learned that evening that was a sign of a booby-trapped. and he saw it and immediately froze. and this was 15 years after the war. my question is, during the vietnam war in shortly about two years afterward i was a police officer in fort lauderdale, florida. and i started being sent on an inordinate amount of calls allowing sites and vandalism undisturbed as involving vietnam vet. i discovered that almost every one of these calls was started by someone picking on the vet, saying he was for having gone to vietnam and that nobody appreciated what he was doing. i couldn't believe the way our
veterans were being treated. i actually became somewhat of a poor police officer because of that because anytime i start anybody who would say that i let them go. [applause] by my question is there a 55,000 people killed in the vietnam war, american soldiers. and afterward i understand there is about 55,000 committed suicide. this is a 10 year war. we're now facing another 10 year war. when these veterans come home because they're not being dead or humiliated, but welcomed as heroes, might that help reduce the suicide rate that we might see or is the damage for more damage for more? >> i think that labeling people as heroes is actually an extra
problem. i think it's another layer to work through. because if i'm a hero, what am i feeling like this for quite and statistically we know already that, for example, the homeless rate among veterans are showing up 10 years sooner than for vietnam. the homeless rate is twice the general population. the unemployment rate is twice the general population except for african-american veterans and hispanic veterans worth almost three times the general population. and the suicide rate is always way higher. we don't have accurate because of suicide by motorcycle. i've been riding a bike since i came back. i haven't managed to do that yet. but there's all kinds of ways for young men and women who are having issues to harm themselves. but i see multiple deployments, more of a problem, not less.
i'm very fortunate. most of us had one to her and we were done. our nephew has had three so far. >> that's a big problem, you know, when this war started off they said okay, we'll bring him home and they can see their families, which wasn't like the vietnam where he stayed for a year and you hardly ever talk to anybody. he wrote the memo. you never told them anything. he just said were doing fine. everything is tacky. now, another was that young people coming in with three tours. notes for tours and five tours and six tours and then they can be called back if need be. and i don't think they're signing up. i could be mistaken, to take the place of those soldiers as we increase our military presence.
and yes, i think there's going to be a tremendous impact because coming home, seeing what it's like and having to go back. i know oneyoung man who is a son of the one of many of the sons and grandsons come back and i see it. like in vietnam when he wento enlist, especiallyif well, anybody, but if you are a draftee, you're supposed to come down. you thought u'd go back for christmas with your family and instead they had a bus waiting for you. you signed up, got on the bus and he was bi, i, just in case you change your mind. and in this case these guys came home and they were supposed to go back to that think that disembarkation point with summer in seattle may be. and they won't allow it to go on leave to see their families as they were afraid people would run away. so i think it's tremendous and
these people, the young people who come back when they're doing that have a lot of profound problems. >> i think it's also to keep in mind it's not just young people. >> that's true. >> one of the folks i was activated with, we celebrated his 63rd day right before they shipped them off to iraq. >> well. >> back to ron's question -- rogers questioned enron's comments. i think it goes back to what we were talking about earlier, we're listening is very important and inside of us imposing a label, you're a hero, you're a villain, whichev label. instead of us imposing knights, hearing the story and letting that person tell the story that were looking for strategy, a
better strategy in terms of lower suicide. >> okay, let me just to a little bookkeeping. we've gt roughly 20, 25 minutes left. there's four people left on the roster and then i think what i'd like to do because this conversation is done on many different points that seemed to be sometimes tenuously related to each other. and so one of the things i'd like you to do if we could go down the line after that and if each of you do please try to not make it too long, but a couple minutes. and please reflect back if you were to each other into the room what it is that you are coming away with from this conversation or is there some indie feel has been insane and you really feel should be put in. i would appreciate it if you would do that. is that okay? sound like a good way to go? okay.
i'm sorry i can't read the handwriting. starts with an h. yes, sir. [inaudible] >> because that's part of ptsd. and i'm not here to bash the va, but i want to tell you just two stories real quickly. i happen to live not too far from fort lewis, one of the largest army post. i talk to these guys. i ride a motorcycle with 30, 40 old guys. i'm 62. the reason i do that as it gets that close to them to them and i can talk to them and listen to them and hear about their pain. it takes them three months to get into mental health in el paso after they're released military because all the talk is on there have left because the bureaucracy of having to fill a little chat marks. are you going to kill yourself? exactly what these people said. two weeks ago i had a 24-year-old marine who's been
home for a year killed himself. he went to the va for mental health three times and didn't get it. and what i want to say as we've been in iraq for 10 years and we still haven't figured out there's mental health issues for these guys coming back? how long is it going to take? we're going to be in afghanistan long after i'm gone and we're still going to be discussing this. and when i came here i thought, you know, academia is great. he gives us an out away to talk about it. there's formula different symptoms of poster back stress. some are better than others. some are worse. i was diagnosed with ptsd about six or seven years ago when i worked with that now. they can be controlled. they can be healed. but it's a soul thing. it's not a mental disorder. when you kill people, that spark of life inside you guys just a little bit. and the more you do that -- i
was a door gunner in a helicopter for two years. i looked in the faces of the people i shot. and you don't get over that putting them on tour is seeing or talking to them once every six weeks. and i know somebody is going to disagree with me here, but i think george bush was a brilliant president. he didn't bring back the draft, therefore the majority of americans are paying attention to what we're doing to these young people. i've got pictures on my phone and you can look at these guys. they're dead. their soul is gone. and when he does save them. i'm saying right now there's a perfect storm developing. and if we don't do something and do something with the va. dr. tic has a program that works. why won't the va pay attention and so most people to hand? i have no question. >> if i could just add to that really strong comment. i mean, the philosophical point
is that where a panel that been focusing -- our talk has been focusing increasingly on politics. our expertise focuses on psychological and medical issues for the most part. but your claim is that this is a spiritual issue. >> yes, absolutely. >> exactly, said the point is -- no, exactly, so what do you have a panel think about that? i mean, are your profession structured in such a way you can even at knowledge the point that he was making? or maybe you can, but will your profession at knowledge at? >> can we jump in? >> one more thing and i'll sit down. i spent three months last year in australia and i hung around a lot of ourselves and i talked to viet am small civilians and they had the same problems. so it's not just unique to us.
>> thank you, sir. >> i can safely say i have no tears answers. and i think that treatments, therapies, and go. when i was first trained many years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth i tell my children. there was a least 142 types of psychotherapy is and god only knows how many there are now. what psychotherapies and institutions are offered are part of policy and part of politics and no doubt part of who knows what bureaucracy, money, whatever that may be. currently the therapies which
are being offered as in the general public are called evidence-based practices. this may mean nothing to you, but i'm going to come around to what she said. and they are based on several things. and this is kind of intellectual. i'm not an academic. i think a lot and i read a lot. all psychology is our of philosophy. they are trained to scientifically prove whether a philosophy and i will give you an example, cognitive behavioral therapy is the explication of stoa to them of the stoics fall off of the, okay? and is trying to test whether this is good or not. the way people have over a million years thought about things, what turns out to be true or not. in addition, however, besides
those arcane things, which are very intellectual and often very academic, those of us in the field, i myself for one have to say that everything i know about treatment i have learned from the detriments. everything i know i have learned from the veterans. i have certain skills. i have a certain personality. i have a certain dedication. in my day you hoped for a calling. to be called by god to have something good to do, okay? and i have to say in my small group that those people were very dedicated. i can't say that i know what quote, heels, heels ptsd. i have watched you guys and i know it helps. and i use that in all my
treatments. i read dr. tic's book. i heard him speak he for her. i may not agree with every word he says. he has different philosophy than i do. nonetheless i don't disagree with the word he says. okay, but there are different ways. and i will wait my summary till the end. if anybody else wants to speak. >> to your question of whether the fashion mag knowledged back, i think the american psychological association has come a long way in the last 10 or 15 years, especially in shifting from a medical model of diagnostics to okay wait a minute, there's a lot of people out there talking ronnie mentioned some oaks move forward. a lot of people who are successful, even under extreme conditions, let's ask them what's working and let's figure out, you know, how to trans late to the folks who are struggling. and so, i think and cheryl i
would agree, i think the profession has turned a corner, looking up the importance of optimism, the importance of spirituality, the importance of resilience. it's still pretty new to a lot of missionaries, but i think were getting there. >> i think we agree on some things and not on other things. i think for instance the word resilient is the thing which every single one of my veterans has always said no matter how sick and i do mean sometimes some of them are sick. but the resilience is often used as a pejorative word. what does that mean? so in a way they think that they catchword. the only thing i have about depression in general is they think that it's easier than it is. >> absolutely. >> far easier and shorter than it is. they might guess. >> okay, thanks for that question. i think a lot more could be
said. i'm just trying to get everyone in. pc, craig. >> it's truly a humble honor to be able to stand in front of such a distinguished panel. i have just a couple questions in regards to comments made earlier in your presentation. if i am hearing correctly, i thought i heard several times, we have no models or model currently adequate to address the issues we face here today. if that is so, however, i find it so interesting that the military, dod, is still at utilizing the logistic -- logistical and tactical mentalities and strategies of the light of such a chief joe says, ynez pierce nation or
chief to come some. and just as bewildering to me is the fact that the same first people of this land, the native americans also utilize well-known secret ceremonies such as the sacred spring and fall of the chuan, the warrior societies, the sacred sundance and gas, the studio do this, the illegal ghost dance. sacred sweat lodges talking golds and other strategies to address the spiritual lives of their warriors. to integrate them into such societies like a gucci.com is sacred psyd of the warriors of peace, chief sitting bull's most
tightly held possession as dr. tic so eloquently speaks out in his book, war and the soul. so in closing, we in fact do have the model available. why are we using that? mag which, make which, make which and semper fi. thank you. >> anyone like to try this? >> see, as you're mulling over that, i think the question that has started to build a someone who is a listener. i'm not an expert on this at all. i'm hearing really clear patterns, right? and we're going to get pretty soon to shelley who will try to talk about her concerns about over politicizing or miss politicizing things. but what i hear is there is a
real problem created by, i think, people are talking about the bureaucratic patient is war. but the way -- what i'm earing it's real problems created by the impersonal or depersonalization of the work process and the way that it's retrieved on the other end. and i could go into this, but it's not my panel. there is something pretty, to my mind, pretty profound here, very hard because you're talking about the entire structure of how people think of work and what it is to work with people when people are in situations that are flesh and blood in sentiment and heart. i don't know if you folks want to reply to the comment at all. >> it's a tough one. okay, thank you for your comments. i think it's point taken.
you people are supposed to be professionals. don't leave us out. that's my first complaint. i have to say i'm really upset. i came to this conference. i was really excited. i came up away from oregon. i was so excited about this conference. i thought i was going to learn some really great stuff from you professionals, from the experts. i was totally unimpressed this morning. sounded like all you people are more for war than peace. i thought i was going to learn something about strategies to treat ptsd. i deal with veterans all the time back home. people committing suicide, people threatening to commit suicide. many of us veterans have been the classes to try and help our fellow veterans. we know how to heal. maybe all you academics need to take a clue from all of us
regular people. and i'm sorry. i don't mean to be disrespectful, but i've kind of had it up to here. i spent a lot of money, saved a lot of money to gain your to try to gain some sort of intelligence from you people to take back. so far all i've gotten is total frustration. when you are asked, what is healing? you people don't even know. you don't have a clue. i've watched all of you. all of your faces when you're asked that. and i thought to myself, why in the world are any of you out there. you needed to have up there was ed tech and maybe some of us veterans who have been working damned hard to heal and to help our fellow veterans and to help our communities and our families. i am just totally blown away. and i'm sorry. i know i'm being very
disrespectful, but i also know a lot of my fellow veterans are very upset right now, hugely disappointed. and i think we have a right to say we're disappointed. a lot of us paid a lot of money to come here. >> shelley, i think it's a great question. i'll be the first person to say academia is not in for free speech and you're speaking from your heart. so you don't have to feel bad about that. it's a tough question. why not. it's a tough topic. so i mean, i'll take some responsibility. let me ask a question that will turn it around because i was thinking maybe i should've gotten to this question right away. these people do have some real expertise. so, what is the golden nugget from where you folks are? this is what i was trying to get at. i'll take responsibility. i didn't do it in a direct enough way. what is the golden nugget that you folks have been finding your part does? something that you think, you
know, you walk around and they don't know this. they don't get it or the people that you're working with themselves are struggling for and they don't get? but you've been doing it for 10, 20 years and you're starting to see it. give us a golden nugget if you can. it might take a couple minutes for you to observe again, but maybe that should be which are closing comments are. is that all right? i'm going to let people respond. ..
but some of the things i do with my fellow veterans back home, we do not have any official there be sessions. most people cannot get in. and people cannot afford to pay for therapy. we do have a lot of practitioners who are offering an hour of their time a week to veterans. it is wonderful. we really appreciate it. we get people doing work with families. but we still have people out there helping. >> in the public community? >> yeah, ex-community deals. >> like going out to reach out to the community on a volunteer basis? >> sure, reach out into the community. you can't just feel the veteran.
you have to heal the family. you have to heal the whole community. [applause] it doesn't just stay within the veteran. we go out and take a veteran out for coffee. just to feel connected. that is part of the problem. we come back and we don't feel connected. why would we? >> i think if i could just add, maybe we are way to bar in the stratosphere but that is why people, one of the reasons why people are going to politics. that is my read on it. people are saying the talk about healing it. it is media that you said the whole community and so what was happening on this panel, this is something i'm learning from the panel, is that veterans are agents of the society. you cannot disassociate the healing from the healing of the society. [applause] that is why we went so quickly to politics. but that is not getting into the heart of what are your concerns but you are concerned earlier
about you know why are we going into politics and i think in some kind of foggy way that is why, because people sense that you want to heal for more. you want veterans to you for more. you've got to also have a society heel with a. >> that that is neatly-- mean we need to bring in politics when we are trying to discuss healing. >> i understand. >> we have thrown that out the door quite frankly. we are really pretty good at being able to separate policy from truth. troops. military members. >> right, right. >> thank you. thank you. >> i will let ryan-- and then there is dana after we are done. >> i'm not here to-- norm i hear necessarily to attack individual workers, but one of the things i
think we need to keep these messages coming out because there are people who are entrenched within the structures that in fact do have difficulty understanding. when we can find a military psychiatrist in the u.k. writing paper saying, going to war doesn't have to hurt, okay? now, that is a military psychiatrist. he is currently working in london. when we find that people in the va in australia have given an address on vietnam veterans day. recall that-- day. i tried to address 10 agents about vietnam veterans. they are walking time bombs. we don't have to worry about them. they would have been like like that anyway.
these are the kinds of things that i hear in the corridors of veterans affairs in australia and i'm sure it is the same right across other developed countries. so, i am not hear necessarily to defend the clinicians. we are in some ways ignorant about the best way to proceed. we are also fighting at battle in a different front in that front is the understanding and acceptance of individuals in power positions to create circumstances that allow this to happen. a simple problem, when i was on the nac, there was a group of people in tasmania who had-- one of the veterans was an expert carpenter and he had a woodworking group. the government was out, would you supply of wood for the woodworking group? and this is more than just a group of men getting together
smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee and turning would. there were more things going on there than what was visible on the surface. and yet after 12 months, the government wants to cut the funding. we can't say that this is in any way therapeutic. at which point, you know i take my hand from the throat of the man making a decision and say well, you are wrong. you are just wrong. i do appreciate your feelings, and i share them. i can only report what i hear from veterans and what i hear from veterans are the same kinds of things you are saying too. we have problems than we do not know how to ameliorate completely the problems that arise when you are confronted with the horrors of war. we don't know how to do that in society. and mental health survey in australia recently has found that eight t 12% of all women
randomly selected have a post-traumatic stress disorder. it is not fixed within our society. we are battling against attitudes in government and in the administration. you are not alone here. there is no quick fix. we just have to keep chipping away. that is all they can do. >> thank you. >> dana, you are the last one up. >> continuing on what shelley said, i would-- i was wondering how much the society understands to my knowledge all of the work was outside of the country, and
the society has a misunderstanding on how could it help the process that is here. i think the society invest in the state in the state should somehow-- it should be the result of this choice. thank you. >> yes, so when your you are worth, how important is the absence-- exempting combat veterans and their families and friends? how important is the relative absence of any experience or sense of what war is in american society. i will focus on that and you can focus on australia if you want. how much of our world is that absence of experience at the societal level of play in the ability of combat veterans to
heal or to reintegrate? in other words is the fact that your average american does not really have any clue about what war is about, does that really-- how much effect does that have on war healing? i think that is the question? yeah. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> i can't answer your full question. i again come again, as much from usa due from anything else. i know the boundaries that i face, the things they can't move.
i can only do what i can do. how does a society learn to welcome anybody? i think one thing simply is, what did you learn about compassion? it was only by suffering. how does anyone learn about compassion? they learn about it by suffering which is a developmental issue and an issue of lock. so if you had good luck and you have been lucky in life, and you have been lucky, i don't know how much compassion that you are going to get and feel. we are all busy. we are centered in our own lives. much of what we do-- we are so busy leading our own lives that we don't reach out with ourselves, and that is a societal issue. what do you do about that? i really don't have an answer,
so you are causing me to think about something, okay? and that is always good. it is always good to have what you believe turned upside down, because that is what i live for every day. i live to learn something. that is why it is worth giving getting up the next day. i will have to think about that. i am going to guess, like that movie, it starts one person at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time that you have to wake up and smell the coffee, and maybe you veterans can help do that. whacking somebody over the side of the head probably won't do it something else will probably have to be done. i will think about it if you will think about it. >> the other thing i might add is that we might also thinking about it at the wrong level so you know we are talking about how society treats veterans and this goes back to one of the
gentlemen's earlier comments. you know, we don't need to look at it at the society level. i have veterans in my neighborhood, so it is how do we treat, you know the veterans in our community. i mean it is an individual question as much as it is a question of. >> in other words, if those of us who are not veterans or not directly related to veterans took the time to stop and listee thought that we have to be responsible for what our fellow citizens-- we have asked her if fellow citizens to do, then we would learn that experience. we learned it for what i believe is called deep listening earlier. because of a society or parts of a society can decide not to be responsible for their decisions and can decide to turn away and deny what they have asked other people to do, then you have, you
you have an inability to learn vicariously through the experiences of people who have actually dealt with war. there are been one gentleman who has really been trying to speak. >> i am really trying not to speak. you asked the question about healing. we have got a healing circle this afternoon that shows compassion, that shows love, that shows healing and action and shows people actually showing their feelings and talking about past history and other people in that room are listening. how many people care enough to be there? >> i could not be there. i have responsibilities. >> i know, i know and i had to walk the dog too. but i'm just saying you have an excuse for everything. there are no excuses. there is a reason but whatever.
you have to be proactive. >> sir, no offense. okay, i understand that people do it in different ways. some of us walk around for an hour really trying to get in the mood for this, researching it and listening to people. i don't know, do you people want to address that? i think the content of the issue is that this panel is set up theoretically, not spirit chile. and you have had a very powerful spiritual experience and the point is that is immediately nursing. this is not practical in that sense, so i can understand why that would be frustrating. maam? >> i would like to carry that further. [inaudible] i think, no i believe as an individual that i have the responsibility for my post-traumatic stress. a lot of that i'm not willing to
talk about but i must feel that myself. when i go to family, they are like up. so i think it's individuals and as a community, we do need to bond as a community. we cannot ask the government to spend billions of dollars on something that is not going to-- [inaudible] this is a community thing. that is my only comment. >> okay, thank you are going fortunately we have to close. we are 15 minutes over. i just got their marching orders on that. we had wanted to do round of comments but i hope it is okay.
please continue the conversation. just this one thing, you feel bad as the moderator not digging out some of the nuggets that were there and i think you should trust that they are there and please, if you have questions, go directly to the people on this panel and really dig. you will find something. this is really hard to do in such a public forum. thank you for your patience and thank you for being here, all of you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> former republican senator and
former democratic congressman discuss whether democrats and republicans can work together in congress. then, a retired the tender journal record at sanchez. that is followed by academy award winning actor jeff bridges, the national spokesman for the new kid on reet campaign. later, the fifth anniversary of the peace corps. one race for the midterm elections remain to be called -- new york's first district. tim abhisit is leading his republican challenger by a little more than to madrid votes. they are going to court next week over the counter. republicans have gained more than 60 seats in the u.s. house. the u.s. senate is getting 16 new members. 13 of them are republican. 13 of them are republican.