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tv   House Session  CSPAN  December 31, 2014 10:00am-4:31pm EST

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>> this year marks the 10th anniversary of c-span's " q&a" and we are featuring one interview, today about inside the president's club. their history of the private and public relationships of modern american presidents. also tonight on c-span remembering some of the celebrities that died this past year including robin williams and his routine at a democratic party fundraiser in 2000 when he talked about then-president george w. bush. >> i guess the bottom line is we are here tonight because of the
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shrub. you know why am talking -- who i am talking about. george w. bush -- the w stands for where the hell is it. some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some get it as a graduation gift. [applause] i just want to ask the secret service, is it true that his secret service codename is gilligan? is that really true? gilligan is on the move, little buddy. i hate to see him in the debate keep asking if he could use his lifeline. you cannot call your dad. not going to do it. can't do it. good, good boy. not the brightest bulb on the tree. just go.
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so frightening. i cannot want to see him in charge of the economy. it is like giving oj a benihana. no. no. >> more of robin williams comedy and poet maya angelou tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. the un security council failed to adopt a resolution yesterday calling for israel to withdraw from palestinian territories. russia, china, and france voted for the resolution. the u.s. opposed it, and five countries abstained. next, remarks including samantha power said the resolution was deeply unbalanced and not a constructive step for talks and the palestinian representative told members the security council was out of step with global consensus and it was high time for israel to end occupation.
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>> the security council is called to order. the agenda for this meeting is the situation in the middle east, including the palestinian question. the agenda is adopted. my wish to warmly welcome the minister present, and the security council chamber. your participation, minister, in this meeting, is an affirmation
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of the importance of the subject matter under discussion. in accordance with rule 37, i invite the representative of israel to participate in this meeting. it is so decided. i propose, pursuant to -- i propose that the council invite the permanent observer of the observer state of palestine to the united nations to participate in this meeting in accordance with the provisional role and the previous practice. there being no objection, it is so decided. the security council will now begin its consideration of
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agenda item two. members have before them document s-2014-916, the text of the draft resolution submitted by jordan. the council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. i shall put the draft resolution to the vote now. well those in favor of the draft resolution contained in s-2014-916 please raise their hand?
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those against? abstentions? the result of the voting is as follows. eight votes in favor, two votes against, five abstentions. the draft resolution has not been adopted, owing to the lack of the required -- having failed to acquire the number of votes. i now give the floor to the members of the council who wish to make statements. i give the floor to the
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representative of jordan. >> thank you, mr. president. thank you very much for holding this emergency meeting of the security council. jordan has submitted on behalf of the arab group the draft of this special arab resolution setting a deadline for ending the israeli occupation and establishment of the palestinian state. thus implementing the resolution of the league of arab states at the ministerial level. it is our believe that the security council must respond to the legitimate human rights of
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freedom and dignity in its independent, fully sovereign viable state within the lines of the 4 of june, and security within secure borders with all states in the region, according to be accepted preferences in this matter, including the various resolutions of this council, including resolutions 242-338-3092. jordan has preceded in this process in the security council guidance by the arab consensus. in support primarily of the political decision of the palestinian leadership represented by president mahmoud abbas. the palestinian cause and all the rights of the palestinians in the security council and all other international forums because jordan has an interest in resolving this matter and
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realizing the interests. we had hoped that the security council will adopt the arab resolution because the council there is both the legal and moral responsibilities to resolve the palestinian conflict, which is the crux of the conflict in the middle east. all elements in that draft resolution were acceptable, not only to members of the security council but to the international community as a whole. these elements include the right of the palestinian people to self-determination that ends the occupation of palestinian territory. the question of refugees leads to establishing a truce in the capital of the palestinian state. fact that this resolution was not adopted will not at all
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prevent us from proceeding to push the international community, specifically the united nations, to ward involvement in resolution of this conflict. we will continue to resume peace negotiations between the palestinians and israelis. we maintain a committed framework leading to an embodiment of the two states solution within a reasonable time right and toward ending the conflict, resulting in all substantial issues, namely jerusalem refugees, security borders and orders, according to the acceptable international references and the arab peace initiative, and in a manner that is completely addresses and protects the vital interests. the jordanian position on this
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is very well known and we have submitted this draft resolution without prejudice to our legal positions and without it being interpreted in any way as a change in our position. this draft arab resolution and the fact that we submit it cannot be interpreted as anyway as a unilateral step. it is a legitimate right of the palestinian people that have opted for the path of peace and has been submitted to the united nations as a final solution as israel has blocked all roads leading towards its aspirations. settlement activities and the adoption of discriminatory laws such as the nationality law in addition to other illegal practices in the occupied
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palestinian territories which take us away from peace and threaten the future of a two state solution. the international community must address the severity of the occupied palestinian territory. our palestinian brothers in the gaza strip as a result of the most recent war, must realize the situation cannot continue and we will push toward -- and will push toward further cycles of violence. the result of our decision here must not prevent us from intensifying our efforts through consultations, negotiations, and discussions in order to achieve a just and comprehensive solution of the palestinian question leading to the establishment of a continuous viable, independent, sovereign palestinian state within the two state solution in a manner that
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the tech for -- that protects the peace for everyone. they must continue our efforts until we achieve that objective. thank you, mr. president. >> i think the representative of jordan for statement. i give the floor to the representative of the united states. >> thank you, mr. president. in recent years, no government has invested more in the effort to achieve israeli-palestinian peace in the united states. peace, however difficult it may be to forge, is too important to give up on. as we were reminded this summer in gaza and as we have been reminded to painfully in jerusalem and the west bank -- the human consequences of cycles of violence are two great -- are too great. we search for ways to support
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the parties in making progress toward a negotiated settlement. the security council resolution put before us today is not one of those constructive steps. that would undermine efforts to get back to a netlist that makes it possible to achieved two states. instead of giving voice to the aspirations of israelis and palestinians this addresses the concerns of only one side. it is deeply imbalanced and contains many elements that are not conducive to negotiations between the parties, including unconstructive deadlines that take no account of israel's legitimate security concerns. in addition, this was put to a vote without the discussion or due consideration among councilmembers, which is highly unusual, especially considering the gravity of the matter at
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hand. we must proceed responsibly, not take actions that would risk a downward spiral. the voting against this this resolution not because we are uncomfortable with the status quote. -- status quo. peace will come from hard choices and compromises and must be made at the negotiating table. confrontation in the un security council will not bring parties closer to achieving a two state solution. we voted against this resolution not because we are indifferent to the daily hardships are the security threats by palestinians and israelis, but because we know those hardships and those threats will not subside until the parties reach a comprehensive settlement achieved through negotiation. this resolution sets the stage for more division, not for compromise. it could well served to provoke the very confrontation it purports to address.
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for decades we have worked to help achieve a comprehensive and to the palestinian conflict and we remain committed to achieving peace. two states for two peoples with a sovereign, viable, and independent palestine living side-by-side in peace and security with the jewish and democratic israel. the united states did not just acknowledge the tremendous frustration and disappointments on both sides over the years in pursuit of peace who share them, and we understand the immense challenges the parties need to overcome to make peace a reality. yet the same time we firmly believe the status quote between israelis and palestinians is unsustainable. the united states recognizes the role that this council has played before in advancing a sustainable an end. which calls for the creation of a palestinian state's and both living side-by-side with secure borders.
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in a 2011 speech, president obama elaborated further, saying that the united states believed it should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that borders are recognized. he made clear that the palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves and reach their full potential in a sovereign and contiguous state. the united states will continue reaching out to the parties in an effort to find a way forward and we are ready to engage and support them when they are ready to return. we will continue to oppose actions by both sides that we view as detrimental to the cause of peace, whether those actions come in the form of settlement activities are imbalanced resolutions. if they are to bring real and long-overdue change to benefit their change. today's boat should not be interpreted as a victory for an unsustainable status quo. it should serve as a wake-up call to catalyze all interested parties to take constructive
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responsible steps to achieve these two state solution, the only way to bring an end to the ongoing cycle of violence. we hope those who share our vision of peace, israel and palestine, both secure democratic, and prosperous will join us at redoubling efforts to find a path forward that can rally international consensus, advanced future negotiations and provide a horizon of hope for palestinians and israelis alike. thank you. >> i think the representative of the united states for her
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statement. i give the floor to his excellency, the minister for foreign and european affairs of luxembourg. >> mr. president, in july of last year, the u.s. administration achieved an agreement on the resumption of direct talks between israelis and palestinians. we all had hoped. two months later, in spite of discussions in the tie was efforts of john kerry, negotiations once again were at an impasse. in the summer of 2014, with the persistent bombing of gaza, the cease-fire concluded it but an end to the clashes but the negotiations to left the gaza blockade are still at an impasse.
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we also saw dangerous tensions on the esplanade of mosques. the tragic pursuit of settlements, cycles of violence among extremists, was indeed the real risk of a new -- . the recent rocket fire in gaza has shown once again the volatility of the situation for lack of a political horizon. the time has come to create this political horizon, the time has come to take bold and concrete measures to achieve sustainable peace. it is obvious to us that the security of the state of israel will depend on the establishment's estate of palestine that is sovereign and democratic on the basis of the 1967 boundaries with jerusalem as the capital of the two states. the two state solution is the only one that is just, politically and morally.
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there is no other alternative. is to president, in voting today in favor of the resolution resented by jordan on behalf of the group, luxembourg has voted in favor of the two state solution. two states, israel and palestine, having side-by-side in peace and insecurity. we voted in favor of a solution that we advocated during our entire term on the security council, a solution that is always among the priorities of our foreign policy. we voted in favor of a peace settlement, which leads the legitimate aspirations of israel and of palestine. to say the two state solution -- to save the two state solution we need to learn the lessons of the past. they will only agree of the international community commits itself in a more determined fashion than in the past. it sets the framework for its
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settlements with clear parameters and a specific timetable. that is the purpose of a dropped resolution presented by jordan. in spite of the result, we remain convinced that the security council can and must play a constructive role in this context. to be up to its major responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, the security council must assume a more active role to support and maintain the two state solution and to put an end to occupation. mr. president, our vote today is the expression of a conviction the conviction that it is urgent to act now. the conviction that we cannot indefinitely push back the timeline. keeping a two state solution on track cannot be done forever. today's boat is not against anyone.
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we are not seeking to divide or point fingers. on the contrary, it is a vote of hope. and voting for the two state solution we are launching an appeal to israel and palestinian political officials but also to citizens, that they will choose the path of reconciliation and resumption of the talks. we call on the countries in the region and on the international community overall to make a steadfast commitment alongside israelis and palestinians so that the peaceful coexistence of two states, the state of israel and the state of palestine, will finally become a reality. we regret that it was not possible today to adopt the resolution presented by jordan but we hope very much that after this vote it will soon be possible to resume discussions in good faith and to work together for a comprehensive sustainable peace in the interest of israel and palestine
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and of the entire region. we don't have the right to fail. 2015 cannot be a new lost year for peace in the middle east. thank you. >> i thank his excellency for his statement. i now give the floor to be representative of the united kingdom. >> thank you, mr. president. the united kingdom understands and shares the deep frustration at the lack of progress in the middle east peace process and the unacceptability and unsustainability of the status quo. a just and lasting resolution to this conflict is long overdue. we will continue to spare no effort to turn our ambition, the creation of a sovereign, continuous, and viable palestinian state living in peace and security with israel into reality. we have long believed that a direct negotiations toward a two state solution need to be on the
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basis of clear, internationally agreed parameters. i recall in february, 2011, i set out in this chamber our view of what this should be in a joint, united kingdom, rants germany explanation vote. we welcome the idea of a security council resolution. however, agreeing to such a resolution requires proper time for consultation and negotiation of the draft resolution, including on its timing. we consider president abbas a man of peace and understand the pressure the palestinian leadership has been under to act. but we are disappointed that the normal and necessary negotiation did not take place on this occasion. the united kingdom supports much of the content of the draft resolution. it is therefore with deep regret
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that we abstained. the united kingdom stands by the parameters i set out here in 2011. which were reiterated by the european union in july, 2014. our views on settlements are clear. they are illegal under international law, and obstacle to peace, and seriously damaged prospects for a two state solution. all settlement activity, including in east jerusalem, should cease immediately. we call on all parties not to take unilateral steps which would make the search for peace based on negotiations harder. mr. president, given the fact that this draft resolution has not been adopted today, the united kingdom would like to work with partners to revisit the idea of a parameters resolution on the middle east peace process in 2015.
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we are convinced that it is possible with further time and effort to secure for the first time ever a resolution which commands full security council support. i thank you. >> i thank the representative of the united kingdom and i give the floor to the representative of france. >> since the april end of the peace talks, the situation has deteriorated. we are facing two threats. on the one hand, the two state solution is about to become a mirage. the public opinions in both states are both accelerating
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is negative, and there is also the matter of the west bank. the stage is set for things to take flame. we know the heart of the problem -- the absence of a political solution that reflects the legitimate views and needs of both peoples. for the palestinians, the aspirations for a sovereign state, and for the israelis, guarantees of lasting security. these legitimate needs can only be resolved if there is movement toward the solution that we all know we are sharing, that allows for the emergence of two states and two people. mr. president, france believes in the possibility of a definitive and fair solution for both parties.
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we must allow for the means for it to come about. these means are collective. successive failures over 20 years were called to us. it must evolve. the parties cannot take difficult decisions alone that come with the negotiation. the palestinians cannot bear the burden alone of seeking this difficult feat. after 25 years of negotiations it's essential the international community share the weight of this negotiation. the international community is determined to give priority to the emergence of a method that allows for closer support of negotiations by concerned international parties, complementing and in support of
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the major role played by washington, the arab league, the eu, and the permanent members of this council. this collective effort should be based on an unquestionable foundation that can only come from the security council when it comes to giving credibility to negotiations. it is incumbent on us to establish parameters for conflict resolution and settlement that should lead to the satisfaction of different claims. this council and members are called upon to fully assume their responsibilities and maintaining international peace and security. in order to set a credible basis for peace, we have proposed a constructive, reasonable alternative for the initial palestinian project so the security council can become a positive actor in this conflict
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and not a theater of theoretical declarations and successive vetoes. with this positive step filled with goodwill -- rather, without this, no credible process can come about. to the contrary, there will be deterioration on the ground, which calls upon us to act without waiting. there is urgency that we act because of a deep need to adapt a message based on the responsibility incumbent of each member of the council. it is for this reason we voted in favor of the resolution submitted by jordan. this does not mean this is perfect.
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we have reservations over some of the terminology as well as the method in which it was presented. we would have preferred and continue to hope there can be a consensus-based stepped that brings together -- step that brings together all of the members around an independent, sovereign palestinian state living in peace and security side-by-side with east jerusalem as the capital of both states. as the modality for refugees and security arrangements is part of the agreement between the parties, we can and must collectively establish the overarching parameters of these negotiations. we should set a clear timetable for obtaining this, because this is essential for credible negotiations if they are to end. the french proposal looks at just that.
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france regrets it is not impossible to reach a consensus on these points, which should bring the international community together. our efforts should not stop there. our responsibility is to continue to hope before it is too late we can move forward. >> i think the representative of france for his statement, and i now give the floor to the representative of the russian federation. >> i thank you, mr. president. the russian federation regrets the security council was unable to adopt the draft resolution, which was to strengthen the generally recognized international legal basis for the middle east peace process, including security council resolutions, the madrid
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principles, and the arab peace initiative. recent events in the middle east have illustrated an undeniable truth, that alternatives to a collective approach to resolving such a complex problems do not exist, and especially that this unresolved conflict is one of the most serious aspect at the destabilization of the region. they recruit extremists, convincing them seeking political solutions is pointless. in order to reinvigorate collective efforts, we need not only a greater profile with the involvement of the league of arab states, but also a general involvement by the security council. this would give the process new impetus, which focused the parties on more responsible
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steps towards a comprehensive, just, and final peace. we cannot share the objectives of those who say the resolution was undermining the process. last year revealed this process, how it has gone into a blind alley with its mobilization by the united states. we believe this to be a strategic mistake am a justice casting off our proposals to do brainstorming in the council in order to determine ways to reinvigorate the negotiating process, including sending to the middle east a council mission. the conflict in the holy land is deepening. violence erupts from both sides. the building of settlements and on occupied territories continues, including in east jerusalem, undermining the concept of creating two states.
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we are coming to the end of 2014, which the international community has proclaimed the year of solidarity with the palestinian people. in this year we get closer to implementing a two state solution or further from it? the answer is obvious. the inaction of the security council in this area dooms the situation to a dangerous status quo, which we cannot accept. one chance for hope is not enough. we must continue. >> i think the representative of the russian federation for his statement, and i now give the floor to the representative of australia. >> australia remains committed to a future where israel and the palestinian state exist side-by-side in peace and security with an internationally recognized border, and as such
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our efforts must be focused on encouraging parties to return to direct negotiations towards this goal. the draft resolution will not help this process, and that's why we voted against it. it lacks balance and seeks to impose a solution put forward by one party alone. the issues can only be resolved between the sides. the process agreed by both sides is the only way forward to reach an enduring agreement. the violence experienced in recent months in the palestinian territories and israel underlines the terrible human costs of the failure of final status negotiations and how fragile the situation is in the absence of general progress towards establishing a palestinian state, and objective to which australia believes and to which we are committed.
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australia urges all parties to refrain from provocative actions and for leaders of both sides to show real courage and returning to difficult -- the difficult path of peace negotiations. thank you. >> i thank the representative from australia for his statement, and i now give the floor to the representative of chile. >> thank you. chile's position has been expressed. namely, we support negotiations between the parties and the two state solution that allows the two states to live in peace and security in safe and internationally recognized borders. after two decades of the peace process, we believe the time has come to implement the two state solution. the security council has a role
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to play and can contribute to the renewal of dialogue as part of its responsibilities in maintaining peace and security. chile, assuming it's international responsibility has voted in favor of adoption of this resolution. we have not been pleased with the exercise as it has unfolded, what gives space for dialogue among members and stakeholders. as we see it, negotiation is essential when we want to bring about the necessary consensus that rings efficacy to the council in search for viable solutions. we have given priority to the urgency of addressing the situation on the ground and the trust that it is possible to
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bring about a political outcome that allows for renewed momentum and negotiations. the conflict in gaza in july and august and the events in recent months in the west bank and east jerusalem have shown the status quo is not sustainable. after 46 years of occupation the palestinian people hold fast to the hope of full sovereignty and independence. these are legitimate aspirations chile supports. we are aware there are different positions, and some delegations believe the political time has not come for taking action. it's such a complex matter that it will never be easy to determine when the time has come to act. chile will continue to contribute to this process, as we held the conviction the solution requires being realistic. many actors can facilitate the road towards peace and dialogue.
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i thank the representative of chile for his statement. i give the floor to the representative of nigeria. >> i thank you, mr. president. nigeria believes in the critical role of the security council, in seeking lasting peace in the middle east based on security council resolutions, the support of land for peace, the roadmap for peace in the middle east and the arab peace initiative. we are convinced that collective action by this council is critical in advancing and expediting the peace process and serves as the most important catalyst in the conflict. nigeria's perspectives on the question of palestine have been consistently guided by positions regarding the rule of law and respect for the principles of international law and justice. we have an abiding respect for the committee of the palestinian people to self-determination and independence.
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that is why we encourage both sides to demonstrate flexibility in their long-term strategic interest. there is no alternative to a two state solution with israel and palestine living together side by side in peace and security. nigeria remains supportive of the rights of the palestinian people to determination, independence, and dignity. we are mindful of the need to guarantee israel's security and existence of a sovereign state. it is for this reason we support our pretense of discussion of all these issues -- we support discussion of all these issues. the ultimate path lies in a negotiated solution, and the time is right for both sides to return to peace talks. i thank you. >> i think the representative of nigeria for her statement, and i will give the floor to the representative of the republic of korea.
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>> i thank the representative of nigeria for her statement, and i will give the floor to the representative of the republic of korea. >> thank you, mr. president. on the issue of the middle east peace process, the republic of korea has supported the two state solution as the only viable way to build a lasting peace in the region. we fully understand and empathize with the aspirations of the palestinian people to have an independent state of their own. we believe such aspiration is in accordance with the right of the palestinian people as embodied in the charter of the united nations. to this end, we believe direct
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negotiations between the parties are for realizing two democratic states living side-by-side with secured and recognized borders. in this process, any unilateral action by any party will be counterproductive and hinder progress, just as paragraph 10 of the draft resolution calls upon both parties to abstain from any unilateral actions. it is under this consideration the republic of korea abstains. given the deteriorating situation in the middle east, we agree with the secretary-general's repeated warning the time is not on the side of peace. we share the view the longer the present state of insecurity continues, the longer the path to peace will be.
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this is more reason each side must exercise constraint so as not to worsen the situation by engaging in the unilateral action. once again, we urge all parties to respect reviews agreements and returned to the negotiating table to work out a viable agreement with a two state solution. thank you. >> i think the representative of the republic of korea for his statement. -- i think -- thank the representative of the republic of korea for his statement. i give the floor to china. but china supports the draft resolution and the question of a palestine submitted by jordan on behalf of arab states. this draft reflects the demands of arab states, including the palestinian people.
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it is in accord with the relevant un resolutions and the middle east kees roadmap. -- peace roadmap. it is in accord with china's position. we express deep or greta for the failure of the draft resolution to be adopted. -- deep regret for the failure of the draft resolution to be adopted. china has always been making constructive efforts for advancing the middle east peace process. in 2013 the president of china put forward for proposals on the palestinian-israeli question. and 2014 the foreign minister of china proposed five points on resolving the israeli-palestinian conflict. china supports supporting legitimate rights, supports the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent state of palestine based on 1967
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borders with east jerusalem as the capital. supports palestine's joining the united nations and other international organizations and hopes palestine and israel will resume these talks as soon as possible, and occupation at an early date, and realize coexistence of the two states. the middle east these process is now in deep stalemate, and the tensions between palestine and israel persist. we call upon the international community to redouble effort to help palestine and israel to end the cycle of violence and return to the peace talks where we call upon the security council to effectively assume responsibility for the palestinian and israeli question. china is waiting to join the
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relevant sides in the international community in common effort and will continue to play a constructive role in promoting an enduring and just resolution of the question of palestine. thank you, mr. president. >> i think the representative of china for his statement. i now give the floor to the representative of rwanda. >> or wanda takes the floor to explain the draft resolution 2014--- rwanda takes the floor to explain the draft resolution. we note the efforts of jordan in these texts. rwanda's position on the conflict is well-known. our country, as well as all states of the african union has already -- always been in favor of a two state solution. despite efforts, there is yet to
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be a breakthrough in the peace process. for wanda -- rwanda, any final statement should be achieved through direct negotiations, however painful they might be. we fully believe only a negotiated settlement will result in the emergence of an independent and viable palestinian state, living side by side with israel. the security council should step up efforts to ensure the resumption of direct negotiations for a list -- lasting solution to the conflict as on previous frameworks. parties should make serious statements to address the conflict and refrain from any provocative action that could undermine the prospect of durable peace in the region.
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rwanda doesn't believe any action by either side could bring peace to the region. on the contrary, unilateral solutions could jeopardize a situation that is always -- already fragile. provided the resolution is consensual, agreed-upon by the parties, and supported by all major stakeholders. rwanda believes the proposal which has not gained consensus in the region and within this council could not help parties achieving this goal. it is regrettable the members were not given an opportunity to discuss the draft amended
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outside the council. for all those reasons, lack of consensus, negative impact on the peace process, and lack of process in new york explain the position of or wanda -- rwanda. we asked the stakeholders to work together to a more consensual draft resolution, which should give new impetus to the peace process. we firmly believe given the current and irreversible momentum for peace, status quo will no longer be an option. there is a unique window for the international community to act decisively if we wish to realize our common vision of two viable states, living side-by-side in peace, security, and recognition of each others'rights. the government of or wanda -- rwanda will contribute as much as it can to the solution of
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this crisis, which has been going on for too long. >> i thank the representative for his statement. i now give the floor to the representative of lithuania. >> i think you, mr. president. it is with regret lithuania had to abstain. our votes should not be understand as our abstention on the solution itself. on the contrary, most parts of this are a good base for establishing parameters for peace negotiations, seeking an agreed and peaceful settlement. we would like to make it clear there is no substitute for direct talks between the parties, and we call for an immediate resumption of negotiations. it is through negotiations that
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a final, just, fair, and agreed settlement can be achieved. it is through negotiations are realization of a two state solution -- our realization of a two state solution can become a reality. were a viable palestine live side-by-side in peace and security. furthermore, resumption of negotiations is a matter of urgency. the unstable -- the deteriorating regional context. people on both sides, along with the international community, expect their leaders to show leadership in taking bold actions to guarantee security and a prosperous future. any unilateral action is detrimental to peace
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negotiations and to a peaceful settlement of the conflict. i thank you, mr. president. >> i thank the representative of lithuania for her statement. i give the floor to the representative of argentina. >> thank you very much. argentina believes the explanation of its affirmative vote is unnecessary. the history of the palestinian people, international law, and united nations resolutions are the deepest justification of the position taken by my country. we limit this security council -- we lament the security council has not adopted this resolution. know that no resolution can
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prevent the resolve or undermine the resolve of people to be free, independent, and above all things, dignified. each one of us will have to be responsible for the consequences of what just happened in this room. they queue very much, and -- thank you very much, mr. president. >> i thank you for the statement. i would like to thank the delegation of jordan for presenting this draft resolution on the palestinian question on behalf of the arab states.
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in recognizing the right of the palestinian people to have a sovereign and viable state in the 1967 borders with east jerusalem as its capital, chad voted in favor of this draft resolution, which the security council unfortunately did not adopt. we can only express our deep disappointment and regrets at the rejection of this text which was balanced and moderate and should have led to the adoption by all council members. the text would have allowed us to put an end to the cycle of
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negotiations, which have only made the israeli occupation permanent and which has undermined all international efforts, which could have resolved the israeli-palestinian conflict. the text does not contradict the direct talk principles between the parties. it advocates a new framework for negotiations, one which guarantees the active participation of all stakeholders alongside the two parties involved. therefore, the text clearly defines the parameters for a solution and the mechanisms for security, guaranteeing and respecting the sovereignty of the state of palestine with the gradual withdrawal and integral withdrawal of israeli security
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forces from occupied territories as well as the fair and equitable settlement of the refugee question and the inherent final status issues. ladies and gentlemen, council members, in drafting this resolution, the security council has once more disappointed all of those who are indignant, who have been without dignity for many years without the prospect of a political solution to the israeli-palestinian conflict. the rejection of this draft resolution sends a negative message of encouraging a continuation of occupation continuing injustice oppression, and instruction, -- destruction, which promotes a hardening on both counts. an opportunity was given to the security council to act in order to strengthen peace in the region and to give to the
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palestinians a ray of hope after the failure of direct talks. international opinion is seeing the sad reality the palestinian people once more have been deprived of their legitimate rights to live in and independent and sovereign state. given the upheaval in the middle east and the expansion of violence and terrorism, it's in the interest of all parties, including the security council to find an urgent solution sustainable solution to the israeli-palestinian conflict. chad remains persuaded there is no alternative to the two state solution. independent, democratic states living side-by-side in peace and security and mutually and
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internationally recognized borders. thank you very much. i now give the floor to the i now get the floor to the permanent observer of the observer state of palestine. >> mr. president, i come before the security council on the half of the leadership of the state of palestine and the palestinian people along suffer a -- suffering people. to remain steadfast and fully committed to the achievement of the inalienable rights justice and national aspirations including freedom and independence. and will remain diplomatic useful and nonviolent means for the achievement of the
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objectives for which there is overwhelming and long-standing global policy. this has reflected on the palestinian people in tragedy and continuation of the situation due to the illegal actions of israel, the occupying power. it has been a year that has witnessed another political breakdown. despite the genuine efforts of the united states with the full support of the legal arab states and all about major stakeholders in the good-faith effort for all operation of palestine in the deepening of political steadfast creating total unsustainable situation acknowledged by all.
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the security council has once again failed to uphold the duty to address the crisis to a peaceful and lasting solution. the security council has looked on in this year our people under the israeli operation. thousands of civilians including children constant affronts to the human dignity in the occupied east jerusalem, in particular.
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this will completely destabilize the situation on the ground. this reached a new epic waged against the locked gated strip in gaza in august of this year. bombs, artillery shells and ammunition against the defenseless palestinian occupation. the majority civilians including children and women injured and maimed more than 11,000 people displayed hundreds of thousands terrorized the entire population enforce the destruction of homes . hospitals and schools including
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100 u.n. facilities. all of this was executed military by israel creating devastation, human trauma and humanitarian disaster. starvation and breaches of humanitarian international law war crimes were undoubtably committed by israel's occupying power. the millions of palestine refugees he remained exiled them their home continue to endure instability and former ability due to conflict and crisis in the region that has inflicted on them prisoner -- further displacement of loss with the tragedy in syria and futures of summoning many palestinians. this was the year. a year that defend the
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decade-long suffering of the palestinian people, and that took us further and further away from realization of acting and comprehensive east. mr. president, it was in this great context that the palestinian government under the leadership of president mahmoud abbas and in early september at the initiative that has now been brought before the country. an initiative meant to globalize the security council to act that diffuse the volatile situation. we are reflecting this historic adjustment. and to provide the political for rise in forward to other people.
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the oppression would soon come to an end by immediately enacting a timeframe and the justice, freedom and peace were within reach. esther president, we sincerely thanked all of the countries that took a principled stand and voted in favor of the draft resolution. we think argentina, chile, china , france jordan and the russian federation. we think - thank also the countries who supported us throughout the long trust us. we express special gratitude to the member states for all of their support and jordan for its efforts on behalf of the representative in the security council, including stabling and sponsorship of the draft. we also thank france for its
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serious effort as responsible engagement throughout the process and for its support. i also wish to thank his excellency, deputy prime minister and minister of for a foreign affairs. we deeply regret however, the council was unable to adopt this despite months of effort, patience and flexibility and our serious attempt to engage and despite the fact that draft reflected the long-standing international incentive on distribution for the israeli-palestinian conflict. this draft resolution reaffirmed
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the well-known parameters for a just and lasting solution and set forth a clear timeline for negotiating a final agreement with strong support a major stakeholders am including the concept of an international conference, as well as a timeline for a legitimate israeli agreement to a complete and and achieving independent palestine with east jerusalem as the capital on the basis of the 300 67 borders. living side-by-side with israel in peace and security and solutions for all issues including the plight of the palestine refugees. today's world shows the security council as a whole is clearly not ready and willing to shirk their responsibilities in a way that would allow for the adoption of a comprehensive resolution and allow us to open the doors for peace and just and lasting solution based on international law.
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it also shows the security council is out of step with the overwhelming global consensus for an end to the israeli occupation and achieve meant of the long overdue independence of the palestinian people in their own state. in contrast, it is clear both inside and outside of the security council, there is a global consensus under two state solution under the 367 border and it is illegal and not accepted. there is also global consensus on the illegality of the activities in all manifestations and the cavity of the israeli blockade on the gaza strip. there is growing consensus on the legitimacy on the rights of
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the palestinian people and responsibility of international community and helping to bring them to justice. we must ask -- act. why is it so important for the security council to act on this consensus and demand an end to israeli illegal actions? an end to the israeli occupation? which the can't -- the council has put fort repeatedly. and the implementation of a two-state solution in accordance to the revolution. why have the efforts with the full support of the oic and other communities worldwide passed through the security council as a distribution for bringing an end to this process
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through peaceful, civilized and nonviolent means repeatedly failed? why are we facing another security council failure as the situation unravels as peace and security further reflects. the surprise event -- mr. president, considering the situation that now prevails and the need to act responsibly on behalf of the people to address the needs of the palestinian leadership must now consider its next steps, and they will meet tomorrow and decide on the next step. we are grateful for the support of all brotherly and friendly companies in support of the just cause of palestine and the continuing journey to consider the inalienable human rights of our people and make peace a reality, despite the many challenges and obstacles.
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accordingly the imperative to hold israel into act -- holding israel accountable for violations of human rights law and violations of the resolution. such contempt must not continue to be excused or tolerated. there can be no excuse for denial of the rights and self determination of other people as long as we adjourn in the general assembly with the rights of the palestinian people receiving the overwhelming support of 180 country member states of the general assembly. the message is clear worldwide it is high time to end the israeli occupation and immunity that has brought our people so much suffering and caused so
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many crisis. caused so much instability through the region and continues to continually undermined regional peace and security. this message has been strongly conveyed in the numerous resolutions about this once again by the general assembly and estimates of palestine. it has been firmly affirms in the recent conference. convened by the depository of switzerland and affirmed in the motion by numerous european parliament calling for recognition of the state of palestine and in fact, 135 recognize the states. the more recent by sweden in this chamber. this message continues to be conveyed, largely by civil
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society with massive displays of support for the just cause of palestine and the rise of the palestinian people. it is most regrettable the security council remains how -- paralyzed. with all of the implications this has for peace and security in the middle east and beyond and repeated request for us to wait and wait while our people are suffering, while all are people rpcs just, while our land is being colonized and while the two state solution is being destroyed and the process for peace are evaporating must understand that such requests are not viable under these circumstances.
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those eager to say the two state solution must act and cannot continue to make excuses for israel to prevent and thus be completed in the immoral and illegal behaviors. the security council must act. we will therefore continue to call on the council to uphold the duty and spare no effort in this regard in the coming years. the time has come for international community to act firmly to end the occupation that began 67 and allow for independence for the state of palestine. and for ultimate realization of justice, freedom, and peace. the world can no longer wait. that has sparked a regrettable outcome today and is especially clear.
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mr. president, in closing, i wish to inc. you personally. a speedy response to the goal of convening the meeting and the leader gratitude to all council members who've righteously sub or ted the draft resolution. we also take the opportunity to express our appreciation to the non-permanent members of the security council that will and the 10 year tomorrow. argentina, luxembourg, the republic of korea and the one that and congratulate them on their efforts and service. i congratulate them. >> i think the permanent observer of the observer state of palestine for his statement. i now get the floor to the representative of israel.
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>> mr. president, the palestinians have found every possible opportunity to avoid direct negotiations with israel. they have engaged in a never ending string of political games, and now they are parading into the council with a preposterous unilateral proposal . i have news for the palestinians. you cannot agitate and provoke your way to a state. i urge the council to stop indulging the palestinians and put an end to this. thank you, mr. president. >> i thinhank the representative of israel for his statement. the security council has thus concluded the present stage of
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the consideration of the item on the agenda. the meeting is adjourned. >> new year's day on the c-span networks. here are some of the feature programs. 10:00 eastern, the washington ideas forum, energy creation with a that crane, bloom pickens , warren brown and inventor dean kamen. 4:00 easter and the brooklyn historical society hold a conversation on race. at 8:00 eastern from the explorers club, walter cunningham on the first manned a
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slight. new year's day on c-span2 on the just before noon eastern, an author on the 33 minute they're read in the chilean mine. 3:00 eastern richard norton smith on the life of norton rockefeller. it :00 eastern, the correspondent for cbs news cheryl activists and on her experience reporting on the obama administration. new year's day on american history tv on c-span3. juanita abernathy on her experiences in the role of women in the civil rights movement. 4:00 oakland college professor benjamin carts on the link between alcohol and politics in pre-revolutionary new york city. at 8:00, drawing 10 presidential caret verse as a story discussing the president and some of them boast memorable polities. new year's day on the c-span networks.
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>> as the new year approaches c-span is asking what you think of the tops or is -- stories for 2014. the link the u.s. congress went to to stop the president from accomplishing just about anything. joe writes the top story has to be the midterm election results, whether you like them or not. leave your comments as five detainees have been transferred out of guantanamo they to cause expand. two other prisoners were transferred earlier this month. 60 detainees moved to ergo i and afghanistan. now 127 detainees still remaining. the obama administration has wanted to close the prison but face obstacles including congress. the state department reporting for transfers resigned. you can read more at the hill.
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three supreme court justices returned to their alma mater to discuss core traditions, technology and the colleagues on the bench. the program includes samuel alito, sonia sotomayor and clarence thomas. it began with awards for the judges. [applause] >> good afternoon and welcome once again. each year the way it -- el law school association resents an award of merit to an outstanding graduate. it is our way of recognizing extra ordinary alumni who will face substantial contribution to
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public service and the legal profession. we are a tiny school, but we have exercised an outside influence on the development of american law and public life. it has gone to officials. martin -- margaret marshall, and jason reversed. today we continue the tradition by honoring three alumni who without any western have contributed immensely to the substance of american law. today we honor three justices of
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the united states supreme court. the tail of each of the justices is a quintessential american story. a story of upward mobility, heart -- hard relentless work staggering achievement and a great inborn talent. in different ways and in different ideals, each of the on reason has already left an indelible mark on the shape of the common jurisprudence. for as far back as anyone in this room can remember, the school has been the site of passionate arguments and disagreements. our ambition has always been to nourish the pursuit of their own values. we strive to help young men and women become as thoughtful and effective as they can possibly be as they work out for themselves how fast to comprehend this large and complex world. every year our alumni graduates
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with widely different world views, and if we have done our job right, our graduates will share and appreciate the value of reason, dialogue and open a project to conversation and will listen to those with whom they disagree and will learn from them. commitment to the values is a precious resource in today's world where wrangler and direct -- threatened to shut apart the value of, threat. i fear for our future as a nation. the supreme court of the united states has always been of the heart of controversy. i cannot begin to imagine the pressure that must engulf every justice. it exhausts me simply to think
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about the correct and that raking effort it must take every day to stand up for the vision and left one believes and to remain open to those of argument with whom those agree. in no institution are the value of a yield student more important than the supreme court. so it is a real pleasure to welcome back to you these three justices. each of whom in their own distinct ways has displayed the fortitude and virtuosity necessary to succeed in the highly pressurized chamber of the court. it is a real measure -- pleasure to welcome them back to a place that is oriented toward bringing out the best in each of us today and the hope that we will discover shared values and asked rations. each of the justices we honor today graduated from el in the 1970's. the biography of each justice is
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his -- is in the program before you. in the interest of time, i shall not now repeat those biographies. in fact i will be very brief. i will say only that incoming to you the students enrich the community in ways that foreshadowed how they would later enrich the entire country in their roles as just this is of the supreme court. i am going to introduce the justices in order of seniority. the first to graduate from yale in 1974 was justice clarence thomas. he had been born into racial segregation and poverty. the house in which he spent his earliest years had no running water and only a single electric light. when he was seven, he was sent to live with his grandfather who he would later describe as the greatest man he had ever known. he stressed the importance of education so that young clarence could one day hold down a coat and tie job.
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even though he now wears robes instead of coats and ties, i am guessing his grandfather would still be proud. his resources as a student at yale were so limited that when his son jamal was born he could not afford a place for his child to sleep. so dean jim thomas, who is here today, lent justice thomas his own family crib. before classes began he secured a job with legal assistance. frank cochran remembers thomas as a quick learner, very well organized, and the kind of person you were able to trust to do the work well.
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he brought the same philosophy to his studies. he obtained special permission to carry the maximum number of credits and he subjected himself to a rigorous curriculum of corporate law, bankruptcy, and commercial transactions. made a habit of staying at the library until it closed at 1:00 in the morning. it was clear from the beginning just how smart he was. thomas's diligence was equaled by his sociability which led to enduring relationships with students and faculty. he soon became close with the pioneering tax scholar boris and the civil rights professor thomas emerson and with clinton johnstone, a yale institution who passed away this year. around the end of his first spring, thomas lost his wallet and had it returned to him by a fellow classmate named john bolton.
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they became fast friends. their discussion of politics made thomas hesitate before casting a ballot for mcgovern in 1972. his politics may have changed but his ability to relate to others has not. there are many yield law students who go on to clerk of the supreme court -- yale law students are going to clerk of the supreme court and to a person they praise justice thomas. they describe his kindness and his infectious laugh. this elevates his deep personal humanity and his constant effort to reach out and to be helpful to them regardless of political beliefs. and that is no small thing for a justice in robes. the can be no doubt as to his dedication.
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no justice is as fearless as justice clarence thomas. appointed to the court in 19 91 at the age of 43, he has been called the court's intellectual conservative path breaker. he has passionately defended his convictions even when few agreed until gradually, and in no small part due to the force of his reasoning, his views have made their way into the legal mainstream. he has been compared to john marshall harland. someone else has suggested that he has been compared to john marshall harland. someone else has suggested that he should be counted alongside holmes and marshall as a visionary.
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court watching is always a tricky business and no one has made that clearer than our second nominee, samuel alito who, in his prize-winning note analyze the behind the scenes negotiations in the early clause cases like maccallum. in that note, he catalogued, and i am quoting him, "a long list of outwardly plausible but that they mistaken interpretations that -- badly mistaken interpretations that resulted from attempts to discern." he understood that outsiders cannot begin to guess at the negotiations and the endless compromises involved in constructing an opinion for the court. if you examine the career of justice thomas, you will find a dedicated to public service. so also, the career of samuel alito from the united states attorney office to the office of legal counsel to the third circuit court of appeals to his current chambers. public service was in his genes.
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his father, an italian immigrant who taught high school history. his mother was a school principal. both were the first and their families to attend college. at yale, he was the perfect law student. he did everything right. good friends with all. in short order, justice alito became the editor of the law journal. peter, an alumnus from 78, members seeing him in class, where he would always sit in the front row, staring intently at the professor. he never took a note and he never raised his hand but whenever there was a question that no one else could answer, the professor would inevitably call on samuel alito, who would always nail it.
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appointed in 2006, he enjoys a reputation among his colleagues as someone with you most integrity, as a straight shooter who calls them as he sees them -- with the utmost integrity, as a straight shooter who calls them as he sees them. he is a formidable jurist who combines and methodological approach and a mastery of craft that has led legal linguist bryan garner to label him "an exemplar of legal style grates with power and with clarity -- who writes with power and with clarity." it is clear that he is assuming a position of leadership authoring major opinions express conviction. at the risk of being merely another uninformed outsider, i would venture to guess that he is now conducting the very negotiations that he studied years ago as a yale student and i would further venture to guess that the force of his presence and his intellect is hard to
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resist. our third and final honoree is justice sonia sotomayor. she graduated from yale in 1979. her life story is one of determination and grit. born in the east bronx from parents who immigrated from puerto rico during world war ii, justice sotomayor grew up in a family that refused to accept that economic disadvantage would determine what their children would become. her mother was famous in the projects for saving up to buy sonia and her brother a complete edition of the insect with canada. -- encyclopedia britannica. the books paid off. after graduating, she headed
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straight to yale law school where she developed a reputation for having an analytical mind, a balanced perspective, and a fearless disposition. martha, her classmate and now the dean at another law school up the road -- [laughter] described her as tough, clear, and very quick on her feet. her torts exam was remarkable. [laughter] first termers tend to be careful. they do not want to take chances. but sonia was a rare person who from the very beginning took chances. her yale law journal note, who her adviser believes is the best work written on these subjects, concerned puerto ricans statehood. another person remembers how she was scrupulous by giving the strongest possible form two
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positions at which the disagreed. the journal found her note so important that it issued a press release to announce the publication. like justices thomas and alito her path had a life of dedication to public service. she is the only current supreme court justice who has experience at a district in this informs her perspective. rachel, i promise dollar, has
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written that her experience has -- a prominent scholar, has written that her experience has given the court a perspective on criminal law that it has been lacking on how everyday people interact with it. what has been said about justice sotomayor's criminal jurisprudence can be said about her jurisprudence generally. she has affirmed her commitment to realizing the rule of not in its fullest sense, driven by her belief that society is best served by, and i am quoting now, "a shared acceptance of the law's judgment." the idea that the law must be legitimate to all americans is a noble and essential ideal. and anyone who has followed her
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work on the court knows that she has pursued it with eloquence and tenacity. so, my fellow alums, we have on the stage today three remarkable graduates of the school. three graduates have answered the call to public service and achievement and who have already made an unmistakable mark on the substance of american law. each of you has been an inspiration that we teach, each in your own way. and for giving them faith in the value of law, and the profession of law, and the possibilities of law, we thank you and confer upon you the yale law school award of merit, which looks like this. you will each get this sent to you. as you can see, it has a picture of lady justice in it which comes from the windows of the sterling law building. i know that wherever lady
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justice is currently living, she is very proud of each one of you. congratulations. [applause] so that highlight of the afternoon, which is a conversation between justices thomas, alito, and sotomayor and our own kate. the includes 25 years as a professor at this lost her she has written passionately about constitutional law and criminal procedure. he also saw an interim dean at the, -- i look forward to the conversation that she will lead with our nominees.
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[applause] >> it is a real treat to have you back here. sam, you will be able to see judge garth later on.
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he has moved up. we hope your whole weekend goes wonderful and we are very excited. we have less than an hour and a half but sometime to get to know you better. my questions will proceed in three parts. first we want learn about your life off the bench. and then about your careers before you joined the supreme court. and finally some questions about your work on the court. if there is a commonality, a common theme, it is the commonality between you in some respects. so, robert spoke of your backgrounds and we surely all took notes that none of you came from a family of lawyers. you each chose this path with some independence and grit. i will ask you about where you got that grit to study law. sonia, let me begin with you.
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you are quoted as saying "i was going to go to college and become an attorney and i knew that when i was 10." i want to ask you not so much what made you want to be an attorney but what did becoming a lawyer mean for you at that tender age of 10? >> oh. i thought you were going to ask has it meant to me, to say what i was thinking at 10 was not terribly sophisticated. but i understood that despite the repetitive theme of the "perry mason" shows which introduced me to the law, that each case was different.
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there were different people doing different kinds of work interested in different parts of the world and the society they were in. and i had the law gave one that opportunity, to learn new things constantly. but in high school i worked in an office. back then it was one man and a bunch of women, ok? in the business office of a hospital. i used to relieve them during the summer when they went on vacation. and i knew from the repetitiveness of the work that i wanted something that would be constantly stimulating. i was not thinking, back then, in the global terms i subsequently developed.
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and so that has changed. what law is to me now and what made me choose it ultimately in terms of a for sure the career i was going to do after college was that it was service. flex is there some aspect of early life or early professional experience that is important in achieving that. i did say there was a joke. i may have said that. >> you have gone to baseball camp right?
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>> i did. a couple of things got me interested in the law. i had no lawyers in my family but my father did research for the new jersey legislature. he was drafted into the law. after reynolds versus sims was decided, he had the job of drawing new legislative districts for the state, and he would discuss that as well. i still can remember lying in bed and listening to the link of the mechanical adding machine he was using. he was using different maps to make different populations. some that was one thing. the other thing that got me interested was debating. i debated in high school. one year the national high
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school debate topic how to do with a constitutional criminal procedure question. it just fascinated me. i remember there was a little book that provided arguments on both sides of the question that was written by someone at the time written as a law clerk for justice on the california supreme court. the first time i think i ever saw the word of clerk. the name of the individual was laurence tribe. those were two of the things that really got me interested. >> parents -- clarence, you once said you were never going to be on the work. -- on the court. what changed your mind and are you glad you changed it?
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>> i don't know that i haven't changed my mind. [laughter] i think what changed is a reflects what the president calls you always say yes, mr. president. it gets you into the forest gump situations. i was just reflecting on my colleagues. it is an honor to be here with them. it is a bit overwhelming. it is a particular honor to be here with my wife, virginia. it is certainly far more special than at the time when i thought my graduation was deemed. i did not think about being a lawyer. i thought about being a priest. that is your dream when you are an altar boy.
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that was the major change in my life in 1964. >> you went to seminary for a year? >> i went for four years. then the late 1960's happened. a lot of things happened including location and loss of faith and then you start thinking, what do i do? where do i look? how do i help? that is when i reflect it back on people back like atticus bench was the only your -- only lawyer i knew anything about. i knew about max from "native son, so these were the things that played out in your mind in the 1960's. those of us who were there in the 1960's cannot say we were thinking straight about a whole
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a lot of. even if we were not using illegal substances. it was a different time and what i wound up with was working in the community -- that was a common theme for all of us, so i wound up at new haven legal assistance but the effort was to come back to savannah. yale was actually quite good because naïvely, i think you said, soanya that you are thinking 10 was unsophisticated, my thinking at 20 was unsophisticated. yale took me up in my application, i said i was quite taken by the law and was excited to learn about it. that has continued. someone who read that actually believed me and it must have sounded particularly naïve but it is true and is still true today. i am 66, i'm not 20 anymore.
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i feel as strongly about it after all the experiences and more idealistic than i did back then. >> let me continue with this i am 66, i'm not 20 anymore. i feel as strongly about it after all the experiences and more idealistic than i did back then. >> let me continue with this line of questioning. the same question to each of you -- what personality trait do you think has been the greatest impediment to your success or if you prefer, you can tell us about a trait you found helpful. let's start with you, clarence. >> i am pretty much an introvert. that turned out to be one of the traits that was in or mislead helpful.
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i think my law clerk's and susan kane for pointing out in her book the traits that you have. that has been very healthy to me because i have been able to sort things out that were very, very difficult. the other thing for me over the years, whether i was teaching my health algebra or typing, it was persistence. i am very comfortable with doing things over and over until i learn them. even here, i found law school to be enormously elusive and going over reading the tax revenues and regulations over and over until it made sense, i think italy made sense when i threw the volumes out. i think persistence and respect for others'opinions has been very helpful to me. as far as something that gets in the way, i can't think of that many things. i try to work with others in a way that is cost free for them to disagree with me.
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there is no penalty, that i can respectfully and clearly disagree, but not in a way where as far as something that gets in the way, i can't think of that many things. i try to work with others in a way that is cost free for them to disagree with me. there is no penalty, that i can respectfully and clearly disagree, but not in a way where you think i'm going to make this guy angry or we are going to have some unpleasantness. it works fine for me on the court. i'm sure my colleagues can think of those things as the burn this or bullheaded this, but to me, that would be an incorrect assessment. [laughter] >> i could ask some of your colleagues boat i will not do
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that right now. >> i think to be successful generally, he use the word persistent and i use the word troubled. you just don't want to give up, so you don't. i think you have to respect people and like them. but in direct answer to your question, i have a trait that has an and or mislead help full and enormously harmful at the same time. i have an incredible power of concentration. when i'm involved with something, whether it is reading in my office, people would stand outside my door to talk because i would never hear them. once i was working, i shut everything out. that can be very helpful for absorbing information when you are not distract, harmful is that happens when i am on the
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bench and i am involved in an argument and i become oblivious to the world around me and i am just trained in on the person i am engaged with, and i am seeking an answer. to some, it seems i'm being combative when i am really just searching for an answer. that has helped me and i think it sometimes still does and i try and try harder as each year passes to correct some of that but i hope -- i have to soothe myself -- that we can all see the good in ourselves and admit some of the bad old stop >> sam merck >> impediments, more than i can inc. of.
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one has been mentioned already. it probably would have been better if i said a bit more. i said two things to the judge i clerked with during the year ice spent with them. hello judge on the first day ended i judge on the day i left. [laughter] i don't think that's exactly accurate. traits that have served me well -- >> you were very close friends with him. >> he is a great mentor and in his 90's, he has been doing active work for the third circuit and he is still mentally very sharp and he lives near here, so that is an added that if it of my trip this weekend, traits that have served me well? i think one of if not my single
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favorite movie is "being there." being in the right place at the right time, that is the best. >> i tell my students that about clerkships. just being there at the right time. let me get on a bit of a lighter note. beyond sharing a passion for the law, each of you is also a passionate sports fan. sam and soanya, you -- and sonia, you are baseball fans but clarence, have you ever gone to a baseball game?
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you are, with your wife jenny, a devoted fan of the nebraska huskers. jenny is from nebraska. is that why you are a huskers fan? >> yes. [laughter] i really like my wife a lot. [laughter] [applause] i really liked her mother and her mother really liked me, so my advice to people who get married is lookout for the mother-in-law. they were big nebraska fans and i like the fact that the players graduate. i think it's wrong for these kids who go to school and use of their eligibility of health and they probably don't graduate will stop at this moment, we are dispatching with rutgers, so hopefully that is over by now.
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>> beyond words, what do you do with your leisure time if you have any? in this round, i'm going to give the answer and you are going to tell me whom i'm referring to in the style of the old "what's my line" tv show. one of you inspired a coffee shop to label its brand old justice. d want to ask the audience to participate? >> obviously, it's made. -- it's me. [laughter] >> is comes from my day on the third circuit. there was an old coffee shop that long, long predates starbucks -- this goes back to the 19th century. one year, i had light coffee but they did not want to make that
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but this coffee shop had a promotion. you could sign up for a year and fill up a big thermos so you have coffee for the year. as a promotion, they say if during the course of the year, you sampled every lens of coffee that they made, you could create your own blend at the end of the year and name it. this involved a lot of sacrifice because there were lens like blueberry coffee and horrible things. they suffered through all of that and then created this blend, which is designed for about 3:00 in the afternoon if you are working and starting to fall asleep, if you have this,
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it will jolt you awake. that is the story behind it. the coffee expert among the three or four who did that has and that as a law professor and of course, where would he go? to seattle. >> it sounds like you are serious about your coffee. >> yes full top >> what kind do you drink? >> strong. [laughter] >> are you serious about coffee? >> very much so, but i had to give it up. i still get pounds of coffee from puerto rico because they know i was an avid coffee drinker, so everybody sends a coffee.
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i have an office full of it home for that, friends have it just get on my list. >> folgers and dunkin' donuts is fine. [laughter] you can see i'm eclectic. i am not a connoisseur. that's pretty obvious, right? >> one of you enjoys traveling cross country with your spouse in a 40 foot rv. who is that? >> that is technically incorrect. it is a motorcoach. >> is it bigger than an rv? >> it could be, but it is a better vehicle that rv. >> so you are a connoisseur about something. >> and rv is built on a light truck chassis. a motorcoach is a tour bus.
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>> he is a connoisseur about some things. >> it is old, but it is really nice. i do travel on it and this is a wonderful country. we have been doing it for 15 years and we have been through connecticut, we have seen western connecticut, massachusetts, other parts of new england, upstate new york, the adirondacks, the west, the south -- it is an amazingly beautiful country, so we have had an opportunity to drive around. >> do people ever come up to you and say you look like clarence thomas. >> after bush v gore -- you probably don't recall that case. [laughter] one thing about these old motor coaches is that you spend a lot of time repairing them.
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my said, oh, i get it, this always goes on -- you are always taking it to be repaired. it was scheduled the week we had bush v gore to be in florida. of course, i had to drive it there. i rescheduled and the week after, things were a little dicey driving down in florida and i stopped in brunswick georgia at the flying j truck stop. not many people know these places exist, but it is ready interesting. i'm refueling, which is an interesting experience, with the 18 wheelers and one of the truckers walks by and says to me that anybody ever tell you you look like clarence thomas? and i said yes. and he says i bet it happens all the time, doesn't it?
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then he went on about his business. >> one of you is a passionate salsa dancer and i guess we know who that is full -- we know who that is. [laughter] >> it's me again. >> does any other justice dance salsa? >> i doubt it. that last part, i doubt very much. i asked my mom what i did as a child because we had parties in my home for most of my early childhood. i know most of my cousins could dance, but i couldn't. she says every times less -- every time lessons started, you would run off and do something else. i later found out i am pitch death.
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-- deaf. i can't keep a beat to save my life. so i live like a potted plant. there's an expression in spanish. i live like a potted plant most of my adulthood and as i was turning 50, i had got on -- i had gone on to the court of appeals and was invited to hispanic events where also was being played. and i would sit there as all of these guys were asking me to get up and dance and i was single. i finally decided this is something i want to change. so i took lessons and i found out i totally cannot keep a beat to save my life will stop it doesn't matter what i do. [laughter] but i have a facility some of my
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colleagues would find very strange. i can follow. [laughter] this will fall a little flat in this audience except among the hispanics here. if my partner can keep the beat and i can see it, i can follow it. so among hispanic men, the best dancers in terms of keeping a beat are dominicans. the worst are cubans because they have egg steps. - big steps. >> that's profiling. [laughter] >> but it proves itself write a lot stop cubans have these very tight little steps.
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puerto ricans, i can dance with. i'm only partially jesting. before i say yes to anyone who asks me to dance, have two watch them first to make sure i can follow. so if you can't lead, you follow. >> you are going to be in trouble with the cubans. >> my husband always says he's the only puerto rican who doesn't know how to dance. >> i will give you the name of my instructor. >> it's a revelation to know soanya likes to follow for >> -- it's a revelation that soanya likes to follow. i think we will start dancing in the conference room. [laughter]
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>> now you know. getting to know you better -- am going to ask weston that sounds in all but works well when brian lamb asks it on c-span. tell me about a book you have read recently and while is good. >> i have two books that are inspirational and i keep the m on the table by my bed and tried to read them a little bit every night. my grandfather's son and my beloved world. [laughter] >> quick thinking. >> he is keeping it with his two constitutions in his pocket. >> it is a hard question to answer. i try to read things other than the law over the summer, but
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when the summer comes to an end, i vow that you can just read -- you can't just read briefs because so much of our lives is reading an incredible amount of legal material. this summer -- i also love list, so i found a list of things you can read in a day. i've started it all and that is my vow for the coming term. some things i had read many years ago like a story from dubliners and i said you did not really understand this when you are 17 years old. some very moving things like that. >> i do a combination of legal books and on legal books. -- non-legal books.
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the summer, i read a book on my colleague and i am not going to rank it. he did not write it, so it is about him. i also read justin stevens book -- justice stevens's book on the amendments he would propose if he had the power. in terms of fun things, because you want to escape from it. i read because my college roommate told me which classics to read and she still sends me books. it was the immortal life of henrietta west, and i loved that book. not only did it teach me science in an understandable way, but it had a very moving and impactful description of how science not only changes the world, but the
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individuals affected by it. to me, it was beautifully done and incredibly interesting. on my night stand is a personal book. it's a little bit of law because it talks about these cases but it is really about him and her as pete and i am -- as people and i'm enjoying it. you pick up the things friends recommend the. there are things i just have a personal interest in, so it varies. >> i must admit i think reading is a gift. it is a gift i prayed for when i was a kid, i read quite a bit. i agree to do things, to teach courses and things i'm
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interested in. i just recently agreed to teach a literature class for the last two years on law and literature. this year, we were doing native son. native son is to me -- it was certainly critical in my own development and there is so much in there. i reread that many times. i most recently reread it a few weeks ago. last year, we did to kill a marking bird which i have done "to kill a mocking bird" which i have done countless times. each time you read it, you see something different. >> where was it you were teaching? >> george washington university. i'm teaching another course that is the story behind constitutional law precedent. that's a full semester. i taught another one on swift the tyson, which is another set
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of readings. so i really need a full-time job. what it does is it forces me to read a different way, things that are important to me and that are helpful in thinking about things -- reading richard wright at this point in my life is quite different -- >> when you first read it? >> i was 16 -- i was the only black kid in the seminary. you react quite differently. i read it again during my college years. i have read it many times, but at each stage, you see things differently. >> judge alito gave my answer --
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i read them and reread them. sam, you've got to get moving on your memoir. i want to move on to law school and your priests of prima court careers. when i first asked about your time at yale law school, let us in on some former all -- some formal episodes, good or bad. tell us something in your book or something else entirely. and sam, you can tell us if it's true if you sat in front of the class and never took notes. and got all the answers right. >> it sounds good, so i'm not going to deny it. interesting things that happened -- i had some wonderful classes and great professors. i was walked over to the law
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school this morning by a first-year student -- maybe they thought i couldn't find my way here, but i had a chance to talk to him on my way over and i asked what courses he was taking and he said i'm taking tort and guido cal bracey is teaching. so many things have changed here. but it's good to have some things that do stay the same. he was a wonderful teacher and i'm glad to hear he's doing well after some recent surgery. i had some other very good courses. i was reminded of route court and i are member participating here and in particular, i marveled that i made it to the final rounds. an incident i mentioned to the
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students i spoke to, one of the judges is hammering the with one particular question. i answered as best i could -- i don't know how many times this went on and then i said i would like to move on to my other argument and he said you have an answer my question to my satisfaction yet and my response was i have answered it to my satisfaction. [laughter] this is an incredibly open-minded person who let me move on to the next round after that. >> i never knew that about you.
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>> what about you, clarence? >> i think of law school as a blur. there were some good people who were very good to me. i consumed a lot of his time. there were professors -- they were all very good to me and spent time with me. joe bishop spent time with me when i took a couple of his courses. i also love -- i had a group of friends -- back then, you were required to eat at least one meal at the law school, so there was a group of us who met in the mornings.
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mostly kids who lived in the dorm. we needed breakfast and i thought that was one of the delightful times. i also had some study groups that were just delightful. the rule was if you did not contribute, you were booted out will stop i found those interesting, but i must admit i did not get as much out of the law school as i should have and that's simply because of my attitude which i encouraged students this morning not to replicate. it was a very difficult time and there was a lot of negativity on my part.
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>> soanya? >> clarence? i really did not know how to take full advantage of law school. >> good point. >> given our background and the fact we did not have anybody in law or related to law, i did the things that sounded like you had to do through the law journal. it seemed like too much writing, so i did rarest or's union. -- so i did barristers union. but until jose talked to me about clerking in my third year of law school, i had not heard about it. i hadn't thought about it. i do think there are kids who come today to yale who don't come with enough knowledge of the system to know how to take full advantage. i understand now there is talk with students in our position but some of it dissolves to.
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>> i found out about clerkships about two years after i was gone. [laughter] >> i'm not going to repeat what is in my book. i hope those of you who have read it will. but i will say -- i have said this to the students -- in high school, i was near the top of my class and valedictorian. in college, you may have heard i graduated with honors. i got to yale and learned a deep sense of humility. sitting next to my classmates, listening to them in class taught me how much smarter so many other people were and how
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smart has different races. >> anything resonating with you? >> i tend to agree. for me, by the time i left there's a sense of confidence that i had an assessment of where i needed to be and then it was a question of what i make the commitment to get there? soanya is absolutely right. it was a lot we know and there are some things i am involved in now where we try to bridge the gap for talented kids from difficult or challenging backgrounds.
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but i do think when i left yale, i had a sense of how right or how much others knew and how much i needed to learn to be where they were. and that would take years. i go back to the point about persistence -- was i going to be persistent enough and have the will to continue preparing to get there? >> let me ask about getting there. this is an other commonality. after you left yale law school you started your career as government attorney. and that is in washington dc. you served as an assistant attorney general in missouri doing tax work under john danforth. sam, your first job after the army reserves was to serve as an assistant u.s. attorney in new jersey. sonia, you served under our
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great graduate bob morgenthaler. at some point, each of you got on a district court of appeals. we want to know how these post-law school experiences shaped you? i don't want to say shaped you as a justice, because then you might not want to answer it. which of your jobs, and there are a lot of them, the most important preparation for the supreme court? you were in the missouri attorney general's office and then two years in-house at monsanto -- he worked on the hill as an aide to senator danforth, served at the department of education, and served as chair as the eeoc before your year and a half on the d.c. circuit.
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which of these was the most important preparation? >> first of all, i was in missouri and probably wound up with these jobs. i don't want anyone to think i had a conscious plan. i would have to say each job was a good job and even the difficulties were opportunities to learn and to grow and that is the way i looked at them. not all of them were the most gratifying or fulfilling jobs, but i have not had a bad job. >> it was jack and forth, and he
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-- it was jack danforth and he is a good man. he said he could promise us more work for less money than anybody in the country. and he delivered on that. but it was a wonderful learning opportunity. the best job i had for me personally among the jobs i have had to prepare me for what i do, i would have to say eeoc. >> tell us about that. >> there were a lot of challenges. i'm not going to go back and relive that, but there were challenges and criticisms and i was constantly in trouble. you learn how to remain calm and make hard decisions under difficult circumstances. you learn to double check and recheck and make sure you are right. also, you learn how not to become unpleasant because there is unpleasantness around you to
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accept certain things. you can't always retaliate. i would have to say eeoc and i learned people who work closely with you appreciate you being loyal and good to them as jack danforth was to me from 1974 on. i would have to say eeoc taught me that discipline and calm this in difficult circumstances. >> sam, you spent four years as an assistant attorney where i gather a lot of your cases were appeals for the third circuit and nu argued 12 cases before the supreme court.
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after that, you spent two years at olc and then you were appointed the president to be the u.s. attorney for the district of new jersey. tell us about these -- you went from being a legal eagle most of your life to now running an office. what was that like? >> it was the biggest change in my career. a lot different from what i had gone before and radically different from what came after. being a circuit judge, particularly on my court where they are spread out, it's one of the most isolated legal jobs that exist. other courts may operate to firmly, and we got along very -- operate differently, and we
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could go literally for weeks without seeing another human being at work except for the people in my own office. the u.s. attorney job was completely different. basically all i did was read and write and exchange e-mails with my colleagues and go to philadelphia for oral arguments. the u.s. attorney's office was a big office by the standards of the day and there was always something happening. every day when i came in, i might have things i planned to do but there would be a dozen things i had not land. -- hadn't planned. good things, not so good things -- the assistant would come in
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and we would have to deal with that problem. the heads of different investigative agencies came in. it was fascinating to stop -- it was fascinating. it did not involve a lot of reading or deep analysis, but it's a tactical job trying to make sure everyone in the office was moving in the right direction and handling their cases and investigations properly. >> after serving under bob morgenthaler, you were in private practice for nine years. you did not serve for five years, making you the only justice with that experience. how have these different roles and positions informed your respect of on the law? -- your perspective on the law? >> i had a thought even from law school that you knew the profession was moving toward specialization and at some point, i would have to pick an area.
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even in law school, i spent time learning about different yields that i thought made a more well-rounded lawyer. even know i was specializing in international law, hence my note, i took corporations, i took contract, i took evidence i took the states and trust. all of the subjects that i thought made a well-rounded attorney. when i got to the das office there was some frustration there. a state court is very different from state prosecution. resources are scarce. the people involved are well-meaning but also sometimes not well trained. witnesses are often scared and we don't have the federal
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resources of witness protection in the same way. you have two could people to bring cases. after four and a half years, i decided i had rounded out the criminal right of my lawyering and wanted to learn something about the civil side. so i went to a commercial law firm, but i did everything as a litigator. now i have a sub specialty and intellectual property. but i did it states there, i handled real estate matters, i -- but i did real estate very bang i handled real estate matters, i handled banking matters -- you name it, i did a
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little bit of everything and some big things as well. that repaired me for the district court. watching judges who have become judges recently, a lot of them come from specialties and i think they have the basics of law and i had developed a more wide basis of legal knowledge starting with my district court job. even with that, there was a ton to learn. i have learned a lot. >> the district court -- let me tell you a story. last year, i was having lunch with the chief and justice kagan it was just the three of us. we started talking about how hard our senior justices worked in the various federal circuits.
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without thinking about it, i said when or if i retire, i'm going to go back to the district court. when asked why, i said why would i want to go on doing what i'm doing for however many years it has been? i want to go back to my first love and district court is a different and exciting place. for me, it was the formative experience preparing me for the court. i still look at cases a lot like district court's do. i look at the facts and try to apply the facts to law and my colleagues look at the law and that is all they look at. it is one i will never disavow
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because it has value. for me, my greatest time was on the district court in terms of preparing me for the supreme court. >> how about you? which of those things the you think you took the most from sitting as a justice? >> arguing is much more closely related to what i am doing, so that had a greater effect, but i treasure the experience of being u.s. attorney. >> we sort of moved on to your service on the supreme court and was an initial question -- what surprised you when you got to the court mark did anything -- what surprised you most when you got to the supreme court?
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anything surprise you? mundane or important? >> in monday and matters, we are more formal the way we operated internally than i was used to on the court of appeals. two thirds of our cases come from the federal courts of appeals. we are more formal in the way we operate. there was rarely anybody present, so the time expired and if any judge had more questions come more time would be given or if the lawyers hadn't covered everything, more time would be given. you can't really do that when you have nine on the bench and you have the kind of schedule we have. our internal operations are very old-fashioned. we don't communicate with each
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other at all. -- at all by e-mail. all of my communications with colleagues were by e-mail. we still have the tunes by our -- on the supreme court it's all by written document. we still have spentspitoons on the bench. [laughter] >> you said being on the regional courts of appeals, at least one that's got many state now you are all in the same
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building -- i thought you were going to say our communications are by telephone or face to face . >> the communication about cases almost always are written except when we are in conference and we are talking there. there are some, and there's nothing wrong with it, communications that are oral but if you have comments about someone's opinion, the standard procedure is to write a letter and circulate it to everybody on the court. we are together a lot more. for me, it's a much less isolated job. we are in the same city, in the same building and we are together for many more days. days we have arguments, we have lunch together very frequently so we see each other a lot more than i did on my old court. >> clarence? >> i can't say i was surprised. i had no idea what i had gotten myself into. it was very formal. i like formality. i don't like a lot of the informal stuff. your old boss, byron white, he would send around a memo -- dear clarence, i don't agree with the
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thing you said, cheers, byron. [laughter] every letter was "cheers byron." it's a little disconcerting because we are in the same building and we don't see each other that much except when we are sitting or have conference. i usually come in, go to my chambers and work and go back to the basement, get in my car and go home. i use e-mail but when i first got to the court, there was not internal e-mail, so i don't think we have gotten there yet. i was in charge in those days of the automation, so we have all of that now. we can do a lot of things on the computer on a document together. i do it with my law clerks that people prefer hardcopies and things like that. i work almost exclusively
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paperless. i think at some point, we will do it in the court. the thing that surprises me is how warm everybody was when i got there. i was pleasantly surprised by that, by how engaged everyone was. i walked from an argument with john stevens is a delightful and brilliant man and you could start talking about cases you have earlier in the week or you are working on an opinion and he is fully engaged, or justice o'connor, same thing. it was a wonderful environment and environment where people were not raising their voices but thinking they were of the view that the work was more important than they were and our job was to turn out the best product we could.
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that's the court i came to and that's the way i think the court is now. i was very pleasantly surprised at how much work it took. i came on the court and i was 40 years younger than justice locklin at the time. he's doing it in his 80's, so i said it can be all that hard. he was cruising along and i had fallen along the way. the boss used to tell me clarence you have to get a system and learn how to do this job systematically. i have to say the number one thing for me was just how warm and respectful and dignified the people were with whom i worked
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whether they agreed or didn't. that was my biggest surprise. >> i was surprised by all of this as well. for me, the tradition had one positive thing which it taught me that the court as an institution was much more important than i was as an individual justice. that is a very important lesson for justices to learn and to live by. sometimes the tradition is little silly. at lunch, -- why have i forgotten -- our previous is -- our previous justices chair. that is not by seniority, but that chair has been sat on by all the judges.
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when someone moves, you feel a lot of eyebrows raise. why are you sitting there? i have fallen prey to that stop what are you doing here? it can be overwhelming at times, the tradition. i think there are two reasons the justices don't use technology so much. one is tradition and the other is some of them don't know how. [laughter] >> then there is that. >> the almost 90-year-old justice when i came to the court, justice even -- justice stevens, did use e-mail. you could send him something and he would respond, but it was very short, so i knew he wasn't a great typist, but colleagues
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who you might be otherwise surprised -- i think the most computers that he justice issue, -- i think the most computer-savvy justice is you clarence. >> in his defense, justice stevens was my ally in automating the agency. he was a very productive man. people used to make fun of him when he went to florida but we dreaded when he went to florida because he would start churning all of this stuff out and he was always on his computer. we wanted him to just come back. you are 80% as productive -- he was a wonderful ally and in fact, when there was some consternation early on about automation, he was one of the people i could count on to always help me convince my colleagues to move in that direction.
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>> i will say something that's a different view of the isolation you talk about. i've chosen to be on the second floor and i'm the only justice up there. i recognize it is a problem because i'm separated from my colleagues. those steps down, sometimes they seem a bigger barrier than they should. so, i don't just decide, as i have done before in other courts and my colleagues were nearby, to just walk by and plop myself down to say hello. i want to do that. we have colleagues who do that. >> steve breyer? >> and a couple of others. and we do have some colleagues who like doing it. i think it is personality.
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i really do think it's what we're most comfortable with as individuals. with respect to the question that you asked, i've often said, i fell prey to what i think the public does in reading art -- reading our opinions. you read our opinions. you agree with one side or the other, anything to yourself, this was perfectly clear. this was not that hard to figure out. and then what you do not see is how difficult almost every case before us is. it does not come to us unless there is a circuit split. if there's split it is because, some could argue this point, but the reality is i think most of our court of appeals judges are reasonable people.
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and they are giving their best effort at giving an answer. i find myself struggling a lot more than i anticipated. yet, when you write the opinion, all of you and your colleagues you read the majority opinions. you read the dissenting opinion, and each one seems quite confident they got it right. but you are saying -- >> you picked great lawyers. every one of us was an advocate. every one of us can pitch the best argument on either side that you could raise. now, once we've come to our conclusion, the purpose of opinion is to persuade. and you are going to do an opinion that you hope persuades. even though you may be experiencing some initial doubt about the answer. i think that, for me, that part of it is very much a surprise.
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>> very interesting. sam, do you have anything to add to this? what makes a case hard? >> what sonia said about the difficulty of the cases is correct. most of them are cases where there is a conflict by definition those are cases with respect to which there are two reasonable positions that you can take. i keep in mind the fact that the last opinion of mine from the third circuit, which was in opinion for the on bank court, was reversed by the supreme court 9-0. [laughter] i'm still absolutely sure i was correct. the issue was whether a woman was in eligible for social security disability insurance benefits because she could do the last job that she previously had. this woman's last job was as an
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elevator operator. so, i said rather simplemindedly that the ability to do your last job should not count if that job does not exist anywhere in the real world. but the supreme court in its great wisdom said it does not matter whether the job exists. i do keep that in mind. [laughter] >> he's still a good lawyer. >> still bothers you, huh? >> no, clarence. i have gotten over it. >> remember it very well. speaking of your colleagues, there is something ironic. yale law school is supreme when it comes to populate law school faculties. another fact is that four of your colleagues were full-time law professors. breyer, ginsburg, kagan, and
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scalia. this is the most academic court of all time. yet, none of the former professors are yalies. none of you. i am getting to a question here. are there too many former professors? are there too many former appeals court judges? not enough for something else. and anyone can take this on. >> as far as academics is concerned, we are at a dangerous tipping point. they are almost in the majority. who knows what they will do to us -- >> when they have control. >> being a court of appeals judge is perfect preparation. [laughter] no question about it.
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>> it's helpful. i don't know whether that kind of being a court -- former court of appeals judge, being an academic having held an elected position, i do not know whether that kind of diversity of experiences is critically important. diversity of experience is very valuable. many different types of diversity. we all have, as sonia mentioned, very few people today have the kind of generalist background that she acquired. a lot of people spent a lot of their career specializing in some areas. and we all have areas where we have to write opinions that are going to be binding on the country in areas where we have no background. for example, i did not one bit of patent work. my first involvement in patent law is in voting on patent cases. it is unavoidable.
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that will be true for all of us. it is valuable for us to have that kind of diversity as far as fields of specialization and knowledge. >> anybody else care to comment on the observation the courts make up? justice thomas, you have served on different courts. it has changed. >> i served about two weeks on the court of appeals. >> different supreme court. new people coming in. >> i have great respect for, i think the work that our judges do. i think they allow us -- the earlier question about confidence in the opinions. i do not think we can write, woe is me. i'm having a hard time with this. i am crossing the rubicon and all that sort of stuff. you have to write the opinion.
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and you write it as best and is clearly as you can. but sometimes i think we write it in a way that belies the insecurities we might have or the uncertainties in the argument. i think we have to be open in the next cases to re-examine that. that is something i try to do in chambers -- go back and make sure, rethink old opinions. but as far as the makeup of the court, i do not feel that i'm in a position to say who is better qualified. our colleagues who are academics, from the academic world. who would be replaced? i like them all. i think they are all fabulous. you do not have to agree with them. you do not have to agree with justice ginsburg to know she does fabulous work. when you are in a disagreement with her, she is going to force you to do better work. so, i just, i like the court the
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way it is. i do think we should be concerned that all of us are from two law schools. i'm sure that -- harvard and yale likes that. but, i think we should be concerned about that to some extent because this is a big country. i also think we might want to think about the fact that we have such a strong northeastern orientation when the country there is a lot of country between here and the west coast. thank you i mean, those are my peaves. but i wouldn't, i could not say that somebody on the court who is been a colleague of mine should not have them there or should not be there. they are wonderful people. >> i may have, surprising, a dissenting view.
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you know, any one individual does not represent anything. you do not represent the justice who is an elected official. you do not represent a justice who has come from a single practice. and it is not as if you're going to be an advocate for an interest group. so justices do not play advocates in that sense of the word. but i do think that, as you're evaluating the human condition as you are talking about how you expect the reasonable person to respond, how you talk about what a reasonable police officer would would not do and all of these questions that we look at consummate, -- constantly, it is helpful to have people with life experiences that are very. it enriches the conversation. i'm worried we are not geographically diverse. by the way, i did not think the president was going to pick me because of that.
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but i and surely happy that he ignored me. and picked me anyway. it is hard to say who you would give up, because nobody wants to say it should be them. but i do think geographic. i think religious. we all believe in god, but there are issues that come up in terms of reactions where having a different perspective may be useful. but i also think that we are missing things on the court. we are missing any justice who has had criminal defense experience. everybody has either been a u.s. attorney, a government attorney.
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we do not have a civil rights lawyer except ruth. but we do not have one in bald in general -- involved in general civil rights. i think that is a type of practice that is different. tony kennedy did a little bit of solo practice. but his was a unique practice in california. and it was a product of his dad. he joined his father. we've got a a lot of firm lawyers. except for me, there is no midsize or small, single practitioner. i think you need diversity, not just life background, but of legal experience background. we are being asked to decide questions involving not just ordinary people but the profession. and so, i for one, if i had the
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power, which i do not, obviously, i would encourage the people who appoint justices or judges generally to look at that diversity. when senators ask me what i thought how they should pick nominees to district and circuit courts, i would say look at your bench and see what life experience or professional experience it is missing. and look for people who can bring and enrich the court with that. >> all of you have mentioned colleagueship and friendships on the court. we don't witness your interactions, both formal and informal. in some measure of her colleagueship -- i'm going to try something. i'm going to ask each of you to tell us something about the other two.
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and maybe something we might not know or something we do know. i have chosen these pairings at random. so, sonia, tell us something about clarence. >> clarence knows the name of every employee in the court house from the lowest position to the highest. [applause] with virtually all of them he knows their families. their happinesses and their tragedies. it is, when robert introduced him, he talked about his humanity and caring. that fact alone made me
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understand that as much as we may disagree on a lot of legal issues, we do not disagree on the fundamental value of people. and you can respect someone who you disagree with legally if you start with that foundation in principle. >> thank you. >> sam, can you tell us something about sonia? clarence, you can figure out. you can start thinking ahead. let's see if you read my book. >> every night. [laughter] i think i am not going to tell you something that you do not already know, but these are traits i admire. sonia is very independent. she is very, very thorough in her preparation.
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not only on the merits cases but not only on the merits cases but on the hundreds of cert petitions that we discuss every term. she is very strong in her views, and she does not give up on the rest of us. even when she sees we are going off in -- the majority is going off in the wrong direction, you might just drop your hands and say, well, what can i do? but she has hope that she can convince us. she makes good arguments. and sometimes she succeeds. >> great. >> i've been called incessantly optimistic. >> clarence? >> goodness. she never gives up. [laughter]
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just re-list that. sam is, first of all, he is married to martha anne who is a delight and who is a wonderful person. sam is really smart. really funny. principal. and a man of his word. and it's something -- when you can look someone in the eye and he tells you something, and you can take him at his word, that is a treasure, i tell my law clerks often that a reputation is hard to build and easy to lose. with us, sam has a wonderful reputation of integrity and honesty. plus, he's really a funny guy. and for some reason he likes the philadelphia teams, which i do
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not understand. >> thankfully, the one time we had a bet, i won. >> you had a bet? >> my first year on the bench, the phillies and the yankees were playing against one another. we made a lunch bet. i had to treat him to philadelphia cheesesteak sandwiches and he had to treat me to new york hot dogs and beer. i got a really good lunch. thank you. >> you did. it was not easy to find brooklyn lager in washington. searched a lot of places. this was the bet on the 2009 world series. i think it will be a long time before have another bet. >> i agree. >> this year is going to be kansas city. justice thomas you mentioned that you tell your law clerks that reputation is hard-fought and can easily be lost.
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let me use the final question -- asking each of you -- what is the best or most important advice you gave to the students with whom you met this morning? each met separately with 30 students chosen by lottery. sam? >> i met with a really smart group of students who had the good sense not to ask me for advice. so, i can't tell you advice i actually gave them. but i will tell you advice that i would have given them if they had asked me. [laughter] >> people around here just give advice without being asked. >> maybe it will filter out to them. first, i do not know how relevant this is to their own experiences, because it off a lot of time has passed since i was here. the first is to find your own path. at least when i was here, a lot
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of smart students who had been on an achievement track. so, the question was not, what do i want to do next but what is the thing to do next as i compete to get into the best college and the best law school and then get the best clerkship, and work for the best firm? at some point, i think you need to get off that track and ask what you personally want to do. and if you have not done it before, when you graduate from law school, i think that is the time to do it. and the second is not to confuse your legal career with your life. do not make your legal career your entire life. don't define your worth in terms exclusively of what you do in your career. i know people for my law school
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class who did that. and it led to very unfortunate consequences. so that is advice that would have given, but did not have the chance. >> thank you. sonia? >> i do not know what the students would say, but i'll change up a little bit of what i said. when i was looking into which law schools to attend i'd narrowed it to harvard or yale. and i talked -- this is the age before the internet, ok? so, i had to talk to people about those institutions. and every harvard graduate that i spoke to, harvard law school graduate, would say the toughest years of my life but i loved it. and every yale alumni that i
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talked to would say the best years of my life. and that difference in response is what convinced me to come to yale. and i have subsequently through years thought about i said that same thing. and i think it is in part what sam has said. yes, there is tracking. but i think there is tracking because there is a model of success the people see and want to duplicate because that is the only model they know of. but the one thing i loved about yale is it lets you be passionate about whatever you wanted to be. >> amen. >> you could work with whatever professor, doing whatever kind of work you wanted to do, and people volunteered to do it. and they did it because it was important to them to do. and i loved that.
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my friends and other institutions -- they will remain nameless -- are sort of picked by reason of how smart the professors think they are or their picked for programs based on that. when i was here, law journal you wrote on. you could volunteer for almost any organization and get in. i hope that is still the case. but my point basically is i now echo sam. i told the students be happy here. i did not finish my advice by saying, be happy by doing what makes you happy. be passionate about what you are doing. and that is the value of what you are getting. >> thank you. clarence? >> well, i guess i told him not to do what i did. [laughter]
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i think i, and i think sonia is right that there is a lot we did not know. and i wish -- i came here at a time, where i could've been more positive. there were so much here that i walked right by because i close my eyes and my heart to it. i credit jack danforth with a lot of opening my eyes to things. when i met him, again through guido calebresi, who did not teach me torts, i remember meeting him when he came on campus and he was a young, tall attorney general with that spot in his hair. he clapped his hands really loud and said, clarence, plenty of room at the top.
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i said, boy, that guy is off his rocker. [laughter] but that was just how cynical and negative i was. and here he was positive and energetic and believed in you, believed in the possibilities. and what i tried to convey to the students is that attitude of hopefulness. you're here. at one of the best of not the nation. you are here. and make the most of it. the friendships, the opportunities to learn, to do things, to grow. i also suggested to them that when they take a job, the jobs are wonderful. but all of the other things are equal, work for the person. work for a good person, a good
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person can turn a difficult job into a wonderful job. and a bad person can turn out beautiful job into a miserable job. i was fortunate to work for jack danforth. some people might not of thought the work was glamorous but i got to work for a good man. and who 40 plus years later, i think of in an even more positive light than i did when i worked for him in 1974. so, i think it is important to work for good people, people of integrity, people who are positive. and finally, although i did not get a chance to say this to them, i do believe this. you treat people the way you expect to be treated, whether they deserve it or not. they are owed that. that is hard to do. a part of going to the things
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that sonia mentioned earlier is the ability to let things go. to forgive and forget and to turn and move on. that is not so easy. but you want to be forgiven. you want people to give you a pass sometimes. you want people to think better of you. so you do it to others. so i feel very strongly that we are required to treat people the way that we want to be treated. and finally, i think even when it is hard, you are required to be honest, not to give in to fads, not to go along to get along. i think a lot of people -- i grew up on segregation. and i'm convinced that some people went along because it was easier to do that than it was to oppose something that was dreadfully and morally wrong in our society. >> we are so very proud of all of you. and we're grateful to you. thank you.
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[applause] >> sonia, that was wonderful. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> this year is the 10th anniversary of doing a, and to mark a decade of conversations we have one interview on each year. tomorrow nancy gibbs and michael duffy on the presidents club the world's most exclusive fraternity. their history of private and public relationships among modern american presidents dating back to herbert hoover. and tonight on c-span, we
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remember a few of the celebrities that died in 2014 including robin williams and his routine at a democratic party fundraiser in 2000 talking about president george w. bush. >> the bottom line, we are here tonight because of the shrub you know who i'm talking about. george w. bush junior, the w stands for where the hell is it? you look at george w and you realize some that are born great, some achieve greatness and some get it as a graduation gift. [applause] i just want to ask the secret service if it is true that his secret service code name is gilligan. is that true? gilligan is on the move, little buddy, keep going.
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basically, i hate to keep seeing him asking if you can use his lifeline. no, you cannot call your dad. not going to do it, can help you now. yes, good boy. run for office. not the greatest bulb on the tree, just go. i don't want to see him in charge of the economy. it is like giving oj benihana -- a benihana. >> more from robin williams, my angelou, and others tonight at 8:00 eastern. tonight on book tv, technology with walter isaacson. how a group of geeks and hackers greeted the gin -- digital revolution.
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julia england on dragon it nation read them in a world of relentless surveillance, followed by adam tanner and what stays in vegas, the world of personal data. >> new year's day on the c-span networks, here are some of our future programs. 10:00 eastern, the washington ideas for him. energy conservation with david crane. business magnate t boone pickens. k club owner worn brown. at 4:00 eastern, the brooklyn historical society hold a conversation on race. then at 8:00 eastern, from the explorers club, apollo seven astronaut walt cunningham on the first manned spaceflight. new year's day on c-span two, just before noon eastern the 33 men buried in a chilean mind. and at 3:00 eastern, richard
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norton smith on the life of norman rockefeller. and then armor investigative correspondent for cbs news cheryl atkinson on her experiences reporting on the obama administration. new year's day on american history tv on c-span three at 10:00 eastern juanita abernathy on her experiences and the role of women in the civil rights movement. 4:00 p.m., brooklyn college professor and benjamin cart on the link between alcohol and politics in prerevolutionary new york city. then at 8:00 p.m., cartoonist patrick roll up on draws 10 caricatures as david mccullough discusses the president and some of their most memorable qualities. new year's day on the c-span networks. for a complete schedule, go to >> the 114th congress gavels in this tuesday at noon eastern. watch live coverage of the house on c-span and the senate live on
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c-span2, and track the gop-led congress, and have your say as events unfold on the c-span networks, c-span radio and new congress, best access on c-span. >> there will be 45 african-americans in the house in the new congress including two republicans. the first republican african-american woman to serve in the house. the senate will have two african-americans, tim scott of south carolina and democrat cory booker of new jersey. next, a look at the future of education, experiential learning, and the end of school. ideas to replace traditional classrooms with hands-on education. part of chicago's ideas week held in october. >> thank you. the end of school! that's so cool to say. i want you guys to have that experience, too. so i'll say it and you say it
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back to me. how's this. the end of school! think about all the songs written about the end of school. i think this is aptly named "the end of school" because when i think about school, i think about a building that contains all of the information, all of the knowledge and you go there you get what you need, and then you leave. whereas education really means to lead an individual out. so the end of school where you have to go and get all the information to go somewhere else to the idea of education and becoming yourself, and leading oneself out.
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there was a gentleman here this week who is featured in our future global leaders summit yesterday, and his name is emerson sparks. and what's interesting, maybe even phenomenal, about emerson is his path to education. you see, he was only 12 years old when he convinced his parents that he should be allowed to drop out of school. the end of school! you could say, you could say it. but he wasn't asking his parents to ditch his education. he simply felt he could self-educate better than what he was getting in traditional school. now, his parents agreed and emerson began his journey down the path of education outside of the classroom. he read lots of books, studied successful people and what made them so and utilized a wealth of online resources. at only 12 years of age, he
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began right, harry potter fans out there? now, mugglenet was a harry potter fan site that gained 50 million paid views every month and caught the eye of the author, j.k. rawlings. today at the age of 27, emerson is the founder and c.e.o. of sparks media where he's created a predictive science to forecast the virollity of websites with a 90% success rate. leaving school before puberty isn't exactly what this talk is about but what emerson's story shows is the potential not only for learning, but extremely successful learning beyond the walls of a classroom. so we've all heard of or maybe
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even experienced online courses like those offered, and maybe even received an online certificate or degree. now, however, parents and children have resources to complete grades k through 12 through online self guided curriculum. what? is it the end of school? maybe it is. maybe as we know it. it's definitely going through a transformation and that's what we're going to explore today, transformation. now, my own path to rethink traditional education started in the classroom and so i take you to my high school chemistry class. first day of class, i pulled on the periodic table and had all of my students pick an element. that's where that he had -- they would be for the whole semester. if you were iron, i'd call you effy. if you were gold, i'd say, hey you!
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and then i asked my students to pick whether they wanted to be a solid, liquid or gas so the cool kids are like, solids and some of the girls would be like liquid. and the geeks who are thinking where is she going with this would say gas. imagine you're 17 years old, you declare to your colleagues you want to be a gas. you're going to hear some sounds. so immediately i'd separate the class, solids, you sit in the front row. your molecules are packed title together and you will not move. sometimes i would talk to them as if they were not as smart as everybody else because they were solids. the liquids, i rolled back a section of the classroom and said your molecules are a little more spread out but you will always take the shape of your container. and the gases, of course, their
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molecules were all spread out and they had all the freedom in the world. what does every 17-year-old want more than anything? freedom. the end of school! so i'd say, all right, gases, you're free to move about. if i left the door open, they could leave. they had everything. well, immediately, the solids would be like, that is not fair! and i'd say then you've got to change your state of matter, or class mobility, we have to begin to change our state of mind. and our journey together will be about how to get the freedoms that we want. my kids did great. we had a lot of fun together. they scored very well on their tests. and every day another student of mine would come back and take me out to lunch. it was my free lunch law. and so the question was, what are you doing with your science? what is your truth, right?
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science is the study of truth. so probably one of the brightest kids i worked with came to see me one day and i said what are you doing with your science? he said i'm working with chemicals. i got excited, are you smashing atoms? he said no i'm working in cleaning services at one of the hotels downtown and you'd be surprised about what people don't know about the basic properties of ammonia. my heart breaks. this kid was brilliant, probably the smartest student i had every worked with. he could have figured out cold fusion and he was basically telling me he was cleaning toilets. then i knew something had to change. i wear my heart on my sleeve, he could see i was upset and he said, sandy, i don't think you're listening to me. you've always taught us that leadership is making opportunities for others. and it doesn't matter whether i'm in a lab coat or lecture hall, i'm teaching, and that's
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what you told us to do. so on the way back it my office, i knew this was a defining moment in my life. my best friend and i worked at the same organization and we got our heads together and we said we have to change this. now we love technology because it's creative, it doesn't matter what you look like, it's a meritocracy and by teaching programming we could write the rules. it was also 1998. there were dot-coms popping up everywhere. there was a tremendous opportunity here. but the really cool thing was that there's a core set of skills that sit between technology and leadership that we could teach so that folks could not only get great jobs in i.t., they could apply those skills to the communities we come from so we could be change agents in our businesses building systems that would change the nature of business, but we could also be agents of
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change in our communities. by using empathy and reciprocity and resiliency and all of the things inner city kids are already faced with building and developing in their life by overcoming adversity. so that was it. that was the moment. now it's 15 years later. we have a 90% placement rates for our graduates. and the average earning increase is over 300%. 27 of our alums are homeowners. thank you. -- and 95% are actively engaged in their communities. [applause] thank you. just a little piece about the power of education. thinking about a lead change. i want to introduce our next
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speaker. what did education look like when there were no classrooms? no core curriculum or textbooks. no nothing. our next speaker can tell us. he is a strong advocate of the principle of evolutionary psychology, or the belief that we will teach ourselves what we need to survive and thrive. it teaches evolutionary and -- he is an evolutionary psychologist in developmental educational psychology. he is the author of the 2013 book "free to learn: what unleashing the instinct to play will make our children happier more self-reliant, and better students for life." please welcome me in joining dr. peter gray. [applause] ♪
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>> thank you and what a pleasure to be here. what a great topic. the end of school, yay! i'm an evolutionary psychologist. what it means is i am interested in human nature. i am interested in how that came about. and most particularly, in that asked fact, children's nature -- i am particularly interested in the nature of children, and most particularly, in that aspect the children's nature that lead them to become educated. the idea i am here to talk about is this. that children are biologically designed to educate themselves. they do it joyfully through play, questioning. we don't need to educate children. all we need to do is provide the conditions for their playfulness
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and curiosity. that we take those abilities away when we put them in school and prevent them from educating themselves. my argument is if we provide the conditions the children need to educate themselves, we really can do away with schools as we know them. some of you might be thinking that i am crazy. some of you more kindly might be thinking that i am a hopeless idealist. but i assure you i am neither. i am hardheaded realist. i have done a great deal of research on this topic. the idea that i'm talking about
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today is supported by a great deal of empirical observation and research which is elaborated on in my book but here i have a few minutes to try to convince you it is worth thinking about. the first way i want to think about this idea is by looking at hunter gatherer cultures. now, we were all hunter gatherers until relatively recently in history from a biological point of view. some people have survived the -- as hunter gatherers into modern times. anthropologist have found them and started their cultures. a few years ago, a graduate student of mine and i conducted a survey about 10 different anthropologists that studied seven different hunter gatherer cultures among them on three different continents. we asked them questions about
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how children became educated in that culture. one question was how much time do children, in the culture you observe, have to play and explore on their own. the answer we got all the time was that the children and the teenagers are free to play and explore away from adults all day long every day and in the process, they become educated. the other question we asked was, how do they play? what forms do they play? -- what are the forms that they play? we found that they play at the very activities that are hardest to learn and are most important to learn for success in their culture. they play at hunting and gathering and finding roots and digging them up. they play at building things like huts and dugout canoes, bows and arrows like musical and instruments and they play with music and dance.
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the other thing is that they have never seen writer, happier, -- the other thing the anthropologist told us, and i've seen it in writing many times more resilient and self-reliant children. the question is, could this work in our culture? and first glance you think of course it can't. there are things that they don't have to learn like reading writing, and arithmetic. it is not easy for children in our culture to be exposed to all the skills and knowledge that's important to the culture. i might think it wouldn't work except for the fact that for many years, i have been an observer and researcher at the valley school in massachusetts.
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this school was founded in 1968. it has about 150 students at any given time. it has about eight staff members this is not elite education, it is eminently affordable. the other things about the school is the way it is administered and the educational philosophy of the school. the school operates as a participatory democracy. all the rules are made by a school meeting in which each student and each staff member has one vote and the rules are enforced by a judicial committee
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which is modeled after the jury system of our larger culture. a couple of teenagers in one staff member. whether it is a staff member or student, if they violate the rules, they are brought up before the judicial committee. that is the way to school operates. the school offers no curriculum, no tasks, no grades, no substitutes for grades. it expects children to decide themselves what they want to learn, how they want to learn, what they want to do. if you were to go through the school at any given time of day,
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you might see scenes like on this slide. you would see children in the art room making various kinds of art projects. you might find somebody cooking in the kitchen. you might find somebody in the photo lab. children playing in one of the music practice rooms. young people may be playing games such as chess. outdoors, you might find people playing down by the brook or fishing in the pond or playing a game on the f x field or strumming a guitar and talking and singing. you might find people building a snowman or skating on that pond. you might see them playing in more traditional playground ways.
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the key to learning at this school is age mixing. the children are not segregated by age. the older children are naturally drawn to the younger kids and the little kids are drawn to the big kids. the young ones want to be able to read if they see older ones reading. they want to be able to climb trees. they also learn by interacting with the older ones. in age mixed games, the children are scaffolding the behavior of the younger ones, bringing them up to higher levels of performance. many children at the school learn to read because they play games that involve reading with kids that know how to read. the kids more or less teach them to read not because they are trying to teach them to read but because they need to do so to play the game.
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i should say that the advantage of age mixing also goes the other way. the older children are learning to care and be nurturing and be leaders by helping the younger ones in this. they are also being continuously inspired by the creativity and the energy of the younger ones. it is as valuable for the younger kids as the older ones. the best evidence that this works comes from follow-up studies to the graduates. quite a number of years ago, i along with a colleague conducted one such study. we found essentially all of the people that graduated from that school, almost all of them agreed to be in the study and we found that they were doing very well out there in the world. they had no problems in higher education if they chose to go that way and they were in a wide variety of careers.
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they were very satisfied with their lives. many of them were pursuing careers that were direct extensions of childhood play. for example, one of the graduates was a machinist and an inventor. there was another that loved both who was now captain of the cruise ship. there was another who was fascinated by computers who developed his own software company. there was another who loved making golf clubs who is now a pattern maker in the high fashion industry. people who have time to really pursue what they like to play could find ways of making a living at that. they are doing what they are interested in doing.
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a couple of other studious -- studies have been published as books. they came to essentially the same conclusion as we did. the model is replicable. mostly in this country, some in other countries. one of the closest to hear is the tall grass sudbury school. it doesn't seem to depend on socioeconomic class. it doesn't seem to depend on the particulars of the students personality. now here i want to describe the conditions that i think are
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common to the hunter gatherer band and optimizing children's abilities to educate themselves. the first condition is a clear understanding that education is the child's responsibility. when children know that they are responsible for their education, they take that responsibility. they are led to believe that somebody else's responsible for their education and all they have to do is do what they are told. they tend to do that in a minimal way and don't take responsibility for their education. unlimited opportunity to play, explore, and pursue their own interest. unlimited time. it takes time to try out different things. it takes time to get bored and overcome boredom and find your passion.
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it takes unlimited amount of time. opportunity to play with the tools of the culture. those would be bows and arrows and knives and fire and digging sticks. they love to play with computers. they know this is the tool of the culture and they need to spend a lot of time with it so it becomes an extension of their own body. access to a variety of caring adults that are helpers. how important that last part is. the last person you want to go to to help you learn something is somebody who is evaluating
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you. you are nervous about that person. you go with more of a frame of mind of trying to impress that person with how much you know and not to say that i don't know this and i like some help. by not judging the children, the staff members are much more able to be helpers to the children than teachers in a typical school could be. free age mixing. that is absolutely key to the school. the school would not work if it were children all the same age because children don't have much to learn from others who are the same age. they learn from children who are older and children that are younger than themselves. immersion in a stable, moral democratic community. the hunter gatherer band are in their own different ways
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democratic communities. they are communities in which every child knows that their ideas and their actions influence the others involved in the community. so they are growing up in a setting where they feel responsible not just for themselves but for the community within which they are developing. and that is an extraordinarily important aspect of education and one which is almost completely ignored in our regular schools. what i want you to notice is that none of these conditions exist in standard schools. it's as if we deliberately take away from children everything that they need to educate himself when we put them in school and we tried very inefficiently and very and effectively to educate them. so i'm going to conclude this way.
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i am absolutely sure that some day, people are going to look back at us now and they are going to say, what were those people thinking? why on earth did they ever believe that coercion is essential for education? believing that you have to force people to eat or force people to breathe. why on earth did they ever think that standardization such that people regardless of their interests or predilections should all learn the same thing in the same way? be tested by the same test? what kind of crazy idea is that. i am sure we will reach the day where people will look back and say that. i hope we reach that day sooner rather than later. i would like to see it come in my lifetime. i hope that some of you or maybe
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all of you will play a role in bringing that about before too long. and with that, i thank you for your kind attention. i thank you for being here. [applause] and bless you all. >> let's have another round of applause. wasn't that so cool? all right, our next speaker has dedicated his career into taking the ideas we just heard about into action. he is known for his outlandish and on spiraling educational tactics that utilize what is right in our own backyards to
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teach kids some pretty high powerful stuff. he is a do-it-yourself neuroscientist and the founder of backyard brains, an organization that develops to help kids discover neuroscience and how the brain works. the subjects of these experiments? let's just put it this way. warning, live cockroaches will be used in the following demonstration. let's bring him out. [applause] >> hello, chicago. it's good to be here. i'm from michigan so i always love giving talks.
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it you guys are good people so i'm excited about this. i am a neuroscientist. it this talk will be about and are a science and exciting changes happening in the education system. the democratization of science. they now allow us to build at low cost, tools that used to only be done in a lab. what we are going to learn about today is that this change is happening and we are seeing it happen making citizen scientists out of us. the history of what it used to be to be a neuroscientist. this is a brain that i studied and i had to go to a graduate school, spending six years in a research lab getting a phd just to get access to the tools to understand how the brain works. that seems a bit silly. one out of five of us is going to have a neurological disorder. we have no cures for these
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diseases yet. i dedicate my life to study the brain just to be able to understand how the brain works. for example, if you want to learn astronomy, you don't have to go to your phd. it you can buy a cheap telescope and understand a bit how the planets move. the point is, you can sit there and maybe you become interested. but with biological sciences there is nothing like that. there's no cheap telescope for the brain to be able to allow you to get access to the same tools the professionals do. i worked with my lab mates and we would try to change that and come up with kits to work with kids.
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we would have a papier-mâché frankenstein and put ice cream in his brain. we would transfer that to another student and the student would take out the visual cortex back here and the student what all of a sudden have blinders on and could not see for the last -- rest of the class. we would pinch his arms down. it was really so different. it was so abstract. one of our lab mates decided to come up with an idea. we published an abstract and we called it be hundred dollars bike. we wanted to take the lab equipment and make it affordable
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and easy enough. we would be able to record the same ron's in a very simple way. this is really kind of a shoddy stage. it didn't even work but there was so much interest from scientists. we kept getting e-mails about this thing, when can we buy one? we started with our prototype and we kept working on it until finally we have a version that actually works. the spyker boxx allows it to record living brain cells.
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we will do that today and we will use not a high-tech computer but students phones to be able to record been earl activity and analyze that as well. before i go into the experiment, let's do a brief recall on what neuroscience is and what the brain is and what neurons are. not many people. this is why we need to do neuroscience earlier. no one even really knows what the basic cells are. this is a neuron and a long axon that reaches out. this is where information gets passed from one to the other. the information comes in the form of electricity and it comes from one cell to the other cell and you do this enough times and that's how we are able to see and we are able to think.
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electricity comes in small packets and they are opening up really quickly and allows your brain to function. are you guys ready? let's hear you. thank you. as we said earlier, we are not going to use my brain and i'm not going to invite some appear to drill into your head. i'm going to use the brains of south american cockroaches which allow us -- whoops. the first thing i'm going to do is pull out these cockroaches. oh, disaster. you've got this? what i'm going to do first is i'm going to anesthetize him.
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there are no tricks here. this guy is alive. does anyone know why we are doing this? are they warm-blooded? cold-blooded. that means they become the same temperature of ice water. those potassium channels stop moving. he stops feeling pain as well. i am knocking him out because we are going to do a surgery right now and i will remove one of his legs so that we can record the neurons inside the legs. i'm going to take this guy out and i'm going to cut one of his legs off right there. gross.
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let me go back to the slides really quick. this is the leg of the cockroach. the beautiful hairs, they allow him to do something interesting. the neuron will send electrical messages up to the brain. the brain doesn't know that. it will try to get information to the brain. those neurons will start firing again and we should be able to listen to how the brain actually functions. i am going to take the leg and put a couple of pins on the leg. positive and negative. you need to points for electricity. we don't think there are neurons.
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i will put one into the femur where i do think there are neurons. can you see that so far? i will turn on the speaker and we will listen to what the brain sounds like. [static sounds] can everyone here that? people say it either sounds like raindrops or frying bacon. that is how your brain sounds. if i put a wire to your brain, you would hear the same sounds. the beauty of nature, these are concerns. i will turn on this ipad here that i've plugged in. we will hopefully see that as well. now what we are looking at here,
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you can see those spikes that are going by. those are the messages being sent from the leg to the brain. so what would happen if i were to touch that leg? maybe it sends a message. i will go ahead and touch the leg. you see that? what you're looking at is information. it's being encoded and being sent to the brain. this would be the same if i wanted to touch the shoulder. he feels that because there is in or on there. this is how everything works from the sensory input into the brain. let's go back to slides really quick. we'll come back and do more experiments. when people first see the spikes
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for the first time, these are not doctored photos. this is a wonderful thing. it is portable so we can get citizens involved. we can show spikes on a plane and as you get people to sit down, we can make kids understand it and give them the schematics. and not only that, what each of the knobs do. they develop their own experiments and we developed some online. i just want to do one more quick experiment. the brain not only takes an information but it sends it back out to the muscles. instead of my brain, i'm going to send information coming out rum my cell phone and i'm going to play some hip-hop music which has electricity similar to the electricity in the brain into this leg and we see what happens
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when we send a little jolt of electricity inside this cockroach leg. very similar to an experiment galvani did many years ago. can you zoom in on that? let me turn it this way. what you are seeing is the cockroach leg, when the base frequency is playing, you will see a little twitching of the leg. i just want to jump to one more video. what we are going to do now is i will show you what happens if you do this within -- this is the galvani experiment. this is a squid that you can catch off the shores of maine,
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of boston. i've done the same experiment here but inside the brain of a squid. it sends information down to the skin to change the colors. we will listen what happens when you play hip-hop music into a squid. i am looking down on it and hopefully have some audio here. so what this is, these are the cells inside the squid that open and close like tiny muscles. the cephalopods change their color on demand. we have put a little bit of electricity there. you can actually do this pretty well. so let's go to the next thing. i want to record the neurons from people through these
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muscular activities. can i get one volunteer from the audience? yes, what your name? perfect. all right. the first thing i want to do is hook you up and get one more volunteer. what we're going to do is i'm going to record the electrical activity and amplify it and stick it into someone else's arm. we are going to record your brain, amplify it, and control we are going to record your brain, amplify it, and control another brain. do we have a volunteer that would be willing to give it up? come on down. let's hook you up really quick.
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are you ready for this? i will put a couple of pads on you. i'm going to put an electrode. this is saltwater which is on a lot of the sodium and potassium that connect to the metal. and in what i'm going to do is i'm going to hook you up to hear and put this one here. >> do you know each other? >> no. >> we are going to have you do something. i want you to squeeze your hand. i want you to squeeze up like you are revving a motorcycle. now what we have here is we have amplified your electricity and we're going to turn on the led. when the red led comes on, we have amplified the electricity enough that we can make your our move.
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nish, let's do your left hand as well. you have a nerve that runs down here, the funnybone. i'm going to try to hit this so that when she moves her arm -- what you're hearing is her motor cortex. we will stick it into your arm and make a brain computer interface to a brain brain interface house that? i've got you hooked in and we are almost done here. you're going to feel a little bit of pinching. an electrical charge will hit that nerve and you should be able to feel these things. you have completely lost your free will of that left arm and you are now completely in control of his left arm. let's try it.
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i will turn it up a little bit. when you move, go ahead. that we will do a really quick experiment. you look the other way. if i were to move your arm -- why is that? it has to be your brain sending it down to match your muscles. that is the last experiment right now. you can have a seat. will we are trying to do is make them available.
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including antarctica. we are going to be on the eighth continent. we have an agreement with nasa to send ourselves into space. i want to thank you all for your time. thank you. >> that is so cool. you had me at narrow. the cockroach is still in there.
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in keeping with the theme of education outside of school walls, it is my honor to introduce you to the next speaker. what risk would you take to change your life? change your world or your community for the better? this is the question the next speaker challenged himself to answer. instead of attending a traditional grad school for an mba. this transforms the way you think.
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>> i have been given 12 minutes so we will dive right in. a blank page and a problem. for most of my life even though i was seven years old, i was supposed to become and engineer. it has limitations meeting you have to go through a lot of schooling and that means you have to be incredibly smart. if she saw that, she would have elbowed me the whole time. in middle school, i came across some incredible mentors and
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teachers and friends. these guys became my heroes. ok, sorry. i told them i wasn't be going -- going to become a doctor or engineer. they said, why can't you do both? which is a a la point. i found myself helping build a 40,000 space called the hub. i got to do some of that work. i fell in love with this idea of the social enterprise. building businesses and organizations that were
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for-profit or for purpose. the common answer is i will get an nba. there were several great schools here, two of the top five or 10 schools in the country. i started down that track. the more i looked at the style of learning, i did not know if it hit me. i didn't want to get into so much debt that i couldn't navigate what i did afterwards. i thought if i could start from scratch, how could i design my education. i started a blog and a newsletter. i know what you're thinking, you
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got people to give you money? i convinced them that i would pull off 12 projects. it was from design, business and social change. and i would also make collections along the way. it happened to be a leap year and i designed my own masters. it led me across the world. but by rocket scientists. i found myself in a digital agency. i ended up serving thanksgiving dinner learning with -- it put
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me in a position where i was slightly alone. designing your own education you are a little bit of a vagabond and a little bit of a vigilante. i would talk to these companies and i would say, can you give me a month? if you days to solve a problem? i would scope a project and find something that i could solve and at the end of that month, share that with that company. over and over, that's what happened. interview, pitch them on an idea. it was scoping this thing. it was finding people wanting to create risk to make change. it was finding these people that were thinking about could i
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adapt and start a business this year? and so those people started sending me their stories. at the end of the year, -- the beginning of the year, if you guys share your stories, i will compile it to an end of the year project that would be my version of dissertation. we designed a book of stories that were learning the risk. it became the theme of the leap year project. and finally i had to figure out how to design my on graduation. i had a community now, a dissertation. i put a cap and gown on and on this very stage. it was 18 months ago.
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my parents sat right there. my dad was elated. he introduced himself to everyone as the father of the leap year guy. awesome. the question came, how might we establish experience as a credible form of education. in a lot of cases, i would not be compensated for some of my work. i learned a great amount of practical tools. students, instead of doing 12 experiences in 12 months which is kind of the everest of the program. we would do three experiences with 10 to 12 weeks and we would have classes peppered him throughout. we would find a small group of students.
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self-awareness, community building, human centered design and human centered design and community building. how do we redesign all aspects of higher education? we did not have a massive campus. the first thing you see is all these images of beautiful campuses. what does that look like? for campuses, we thought about countless office spaces with extra space. they be we could meet with them. companies started giving us space. and the idea of instructors, we
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ask them to give us two days of their time to teach us one of those five core competencies. we teamed up with a hostile here in chicago. it was kind of turning into a mix of harvard meets the amazing race. stanford was in the middle of doing a project where they were dissecting for cart -- for parts of higher education. library, accreditation, and experiential learning. it we asked to be one of the partners. just last may, the final presentation called stanford 2025 where we were able to share
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some of the findings after a year of studies with them. that is my class, myself, and if you haven't gotten to check that out, a super awesome project. and of course there was the actual experience. this is the quick telling of what she did. >> when i started my year of experiences, i knew i wanted to become a better designer. i know that they are communicated. i want to get better. i began working as a project manager for dojo. for the first time, i communicated with them throughout the entire design process. i felt confident to take on my
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next team in seattle. i was in studio seven with the architecture firm. i was able to design experiences for civic and corporate projects. for my last term, i was in the department of design for arts education campaign. together, we worked on all aspects of the project for designing the physical form. my undergraduate degree is an architecture and music. when considering careers, i thought it would have to limit myself to one or the other. i got to work on projects that let me exercise everything.
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it will help me design in every medium. rather, i can show how those skills make me a better designer for teammates. >> and giving me creative confidence going ahead. i say, don't study it. experience it. [applause] >> right? may have been things like creative confidence, creative agency. navigating things that are seemingly gray or white. they don't have a framework yet. the real world portfolio. not seeing what they are able to do with it. but what they are able to do with higher education.
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they continue sharing this idea of designing education through experience. at the very end of last year which was just last month, they designed their own graduation with a shared for discoveries and they were able to tell their stories. they were also expected to welcome the next class of students. and they were able to hand them their diplomas on the first day. a piece of wood with the logo cut out. after each experience they are given a token that fills in the diploma. and the next 12 students have begun. they are starting off in their fall experience. obviously, starting with schools at a city or a museum, where do you start?
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it has been this combination of learning funding models and are we in movement? we have been able to work with businesses to consult and foster this community of curiosity. and we have 1000 people or 2000 people that design education through experience. what has been interesting is to think about having that many people come through here, and how do we create this process. this discovery of helping people start with intention, don't declare a mission -- i'm sorry, don't declare a major but start by declaring a mission. debbie patterson is interested
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in health care. they are opening the challenge and administering the challenge for the ebola virus and finding ways to create solutions for that. for her to be in a position where she is able to learn and do so in a way that is building her body of work and serving an actual common need. and to take a risk and find things that push you out of a comfort zone. not that classes are bad but thinking about what i actually need to do that i don't know yet. this will push me out of my comfort zone. johnson was in a spot where he had an invitation from an ad agency. i am really interested in either -- eastern orthodoxy and i would like to do a writing project on
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a monastery. i am thinking i am the leap year guy, this is -- i don't know if it's the right thing to do and he sends the new york times writer to mentor them. he lives in a monastery and rights a paper on this wall project. and not have this amazing piece that he's able to share. experience needs is valuation. it you can just move through things at 100 miles a minute. it will define your future if you take those moments to look back. a way to do that, there are countless ways each day to take chances to look back. april used instagram, each place
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she did, showing how seat -- how she processes cities. how do we make learning a habit? it was one of our younger students, 20 years old in a position where they wondered how teams worked. the idea of iteration is now launched him into a year of studying how i make my city more alive. they do a traveling tour of cold-weather cities. i think he is there right now. a study about what is making copenhagen come alive. this process of intention, action, iteration.
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it is a framework and is becoming something that anyone anywhere can begin to execute on and think about and their own context. i think as i look at what scale looks like, those that design their education will be the ones that design their future. think about it in the context of design in general. the computer opened up an entire new type of design where people can design everything from websites to systems, to print design. and now there are countless ways to create things without much cost and you can easily excel at them and learn how to do so. same thing with businesses. it felt like you needed some
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sort of great credential to design a business. but now, anyone can launch a billion-dollar business and do it from their garage. i think this is going to happen with education. i will end with this. there is a new breed of learner that realizes they don't need a costly degree to achieve the tools and networks to make a valuable contribution to society. but thoughtfully leaning into the countless resources around them. individuals can design their education. it will take extra attention to detail and an emphasis on telling their stories but those are increasingly necessary skills. those who venture to take such a leap will set a lifelong pattern of being inventive, helpful, adaptable, and curious. and they can do so without the crippling debt that comes with higher education. it will be seen as an incredible option for someone of any age.
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from the corners of the inner-city, two workshops and any industry. on a systemic level, i propose you find every way to cultivate curiosity and leave a seat at the table for those curious and impassioned by what you are doing. and on a personal level, the tassel may have been turned and the final school bell may have wrong, but what does it mean for you to intentionally learn now? as the pace of change quickens all of us find ourselves with feelings and at crossroads. if it is time to learn, i am inviting you to the same call i have shared on the stage 18 months ago to be a student again. find ways to solve problems.
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people that are striving for change. watch how it inspires others. thanks. >> fantastic. reading, writing and reality. if you had one wish, what would you wish for? i heard that. our next speaker is the founder of wishbone, a nonprofit organization helping make extracurricular dreams a reality for low income students, making the impossible dream a reality.
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she is a coffman labs education venture fellow, and a newer and she has been recognized twice on the forbes 30 under 30 for her work in education. she's joining us today for her social intervention fellowship. philanthropists and onto was leslie bloom and david half one created this award is a way to recognize young socially conscious individuals and encourage them to continue their efforts. join me in welcoming beth schmidt. this is where i went to high school and it is known for its
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academic rigor, structure and obvious opportunity but what was really interesting about my experience is that it wasn't really the same when i got my 16-year-old self out of bed, it was not the thing that got me excited or passionate and in fact i did not relate to the opportunity offered here at all. instead what created a culture of achievement in me was not academics at all. it was figure skating. growing up i was a competitive figure skating and that was the thing that taught me dedication, passion, purpose and confidence. that was the thing that got me out of bed in the morning, nothing to do with academics. notable what funny a true passion felt like but a self driven sense of motivation to achieve and this translated not only into everything else i did
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but also to school. no one had to convince me that effort and really hard work was required to achieve figure skating. after that the opportunity was obvious. let's fast-forward to two dozen seven and i found myself teaching at locke high school in south-central los angeles. i was a teacher for 160 10th grade students and most of them were at a fifth grade reading level and a quarter of them had one child and some had two or three it a lot came from single-family households. many suffered from domestic violence and other forms of abuse and in fact my first year of teaching, a right it is 600 broke out on campus and the lapd had to break it up with gas masks. naturally the opportunity of school was not on my student's mines. -- minds. i realize some the more
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interesting than these statistics, despite all the darkness there was something more interesting. they were still motivated by the same thing that motivated me they wanted to fill confidence purpose and dedication so despite the obvious lack of traditional resources what i would argue they were most starved for was the opportunity to pursue passion. when i was teaching in my first year i had a research paper, out of 160 students less than 10% turned this paper in. so i took a step back and thought about the relevance of this paper and i think it was on migrant farmworkers. i changed the topic entirely and said forget about farmworkers
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just tell me what passion you have, the most relevant thing i could possibly think of. the research component was atomic how you would pursue this passion -- was tell me how you would pursue this passion and 80% of them turned it in and on time which never happens. what was more interesting was that 20 of the papers started with something like this sentence, no one has ever asked me what my passion is. so i stopped myself in my tracks and i started to read these papers and students wanted to pursue stem cell science, and wanted to study art, they wanted to learn film production they had all these passions they were hoping to pursue so wanting to capitalize on this momentum i ran a marathon to raise $12,000. with that $12,000 i sent seven
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students on the programs they had written about and what is interesting is when the students came back they were way more confident and their attendance rate went up and they started showing up at school more. in their gpa's went up as a result of showing up. i thought it was an interesting coincidence. this became my most important time in l.a. and as a result i realize that running a marathon was not a sustainable form a fun rising -- fundraising so i started a proper organization called wishbone or we have said 250 students to afterschool and summer programs to pursue their passion. pose a luis -- jose luis has studied architecture, kayla has studied fashion design and watley has learned how to code. we are just beginning.
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we are on track to be the leading provider for out of school access to the nation's poor. [applause] >> thank you. like so many of those first students from locke, the first seven kobo we are smeared all of his students graduate high school and they are attending college and they come back and say this experience made the realize what could be possible. so while this impact seems so large it started so small. it started with just recognizing what passion feels like myself and then it continued by putting passion at the forefront of the schooldays of my students and that it continued also understanding that when students are curious they will learn and when they learn they will succeed. thank you. [applause]
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>> awesome, just awesome. i feel that confidence and it is such a simple concept of pursuing passion that changes our lives. thank you for changing so many lives. imagine a situation in which the circumstances were so extreme that you had to relearn much of what we typically take for granted. like walking, talking, eating, writing, everything. our next speaker is here to tell you, based on her experience she founded the clara and 2013, they cannot go to -- a technology platform that uses algorithms for learning.
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she has at careers in both neuropsychology and software development. please welcome miss ramona pearson. [applause] ramona and i will just sit down and talk. so, great to have you here in the roots of your company are in your remarkable aspiring recovery from an accident you recovered, tell us about that and how does that inform what you do. >> when i was 22 years old i was in the marine corps and i was running and i used to run marathons and i would grab my
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dog and started out to run and at the same time i was leaving i left a bar and we hit an intersection at the same time and he read -- ran a red light and my left foot got caught in the will well and the car spun my leg around in the bumper sliced my throat and i suffered blunt chest trauma and if it was not for somebody, a passerby who opened up my airway, i would not be here today. so declara came out of the understanding of innovation and radical corroboration because the innovation of being able to keep me alive and everything that was invented along the way inspired me to be an innovator myself. >> what do you mean by radical collaboration? >> a few things happened so when
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you look around this room and i think about curiosity and the end of school, i get excited because a lot of people who invented some of the body parts i am wearing today inside of my skin were people who dropped out of college and school and drop -- invented -- both by feet are titanium, my knees are titanium and i've different pieces in my heart, my nose is plastic, my cheekbones titanium and i getting a titanium job of next week. -- i am getting a titanium jaw bone next week. every time something falls off someone has something for me. [laughter] it was this radical collaboration the hospital had given up and the medical professionals never thought i would speak again and it took me four years to learn to speak again and it was when they dumped me in a nursing home and
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i look like et had just landed there about 68 pounds bald and did not have a lot of my face by then that i had 100 grandparents who all came around and read top me everything -- re-taught me everything i know, how to speak and walk and how to function as a blind person or in is completely blind for 10 years until some dropout figured out how to invent robotic surgery so i could have brain surgery to get vision in one of my eyes back. >> wow. [applause] you are the definition of extraordinary, extraordinary that is amazing.
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we see terms like machine learning and semantic search techniques and descriptions of the platform, can you say a little bit more about what the clara does? >> one of the things i learned when i was in the senior home is that a lot of people can come together and help accelerate your learning, not just once on the stage or a teacher but that acknowledges and what we do is we replicate a lot of the hierarchical processes of the brave, so when you think about it -- of the brain, soanya think about your cell phone is a simple tool i can access a library that is the sum of all human knowledge. it is fascinating that we have that much content in the world
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that jesse's be indexed classified and sorted and then provided in an easy to use way for learners. i believe we are all lifelong learners and we are driving our learning through curiosity and every day i work by studying and learning and driving my work through what i learn. so we use the machine learning to understand and process content and be able to deliver that content to people based on their intent for learning. sometimes we just automatically provide that to them. >> brilliant, really. i have this image of you in the nursing home with all these ladies standing around you -- teaching you -- right? it's beautiful. who is it available to? >> we have been working with the
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nation of australia so what is fascinating is australia said we're rolling out new curriculum to our teachers so instead of taking a hammer and beating teachers over the head saying you have to learn this curriculum they decided let's use the clara and we will roll this out and we will on board educators to the new curriculum so what they did is the educators started leveraging our platform to be able to identify the holes in the curriculum and to create the support around each other and the invention of new content so that they could support the role. we are in mexico right now and doing the same thing, i am bringing on educators to a new curriculum so what we started doing was understanding the skill and labor mismatch and seeing how countries who have to transform their entire workforce because of their trying to
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onboard into the information society or their finding that their current economy is collapsing, so most of the countries that have come to us have said how do we transform our workforce at scale immediately, so those are the kinds of clients we started out with and now we are working with genentech to help researchers solve clinical trials for cancer much quicker and faster. coming this spring were going to have consumer products so that anybody can use our products for free. >> that was want be my next question -- did you hear that? awesome. this is your third startup, what other companies do you envision starting? >> since i am a lifelong learner
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i am always playing around with studying things so nanotechnology is something that i am fascinated with. mainly because i will probably have to fix myself. i got into neurosciences because i thought i will have to figure out how to see again and fortunately someone figure that out for me but i started really focusing all of my companies around learning, mainly because it was such a difficult thing as an adult to come back and learn. mainly because my ego kept getting in the way, hout -- needing to relearn how to speak i had to learn how to move my tongue and move my lips again and when you're a kid you learn things so naturally because nobody is telling you that it is strange for you not to know
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these things and when you are an adult your ego starts to inhibit your ability and your curiosity to try things and risk-taking so the reason why all my companies have been wrapped around learning is i started out helping students learn and now i've been focused on adult learners because all of us have to be continuous learners because the world is changing so fast. to be able to have 2 billion out in the world to be your teachers through mobile devices, there are 2 billion people connected today and 5 billion in the next five years, we might as well create a platform that would allow all of us to connect all the time and to learn from each other.
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>> you are so right, it is not even the answers we are looking for it is about having the right questions. >> you read my mind because one of the pieces of my product will be of about curated questions. one of the learnings i had from that was from a project called fold it. but uw had an experiment about taking novice learners and teaching them cellular biology so they created a simple school that game a five learning and they had a rocket ship and it started out with 40 people old ladies who were knitting and high school students but pretty soon that 40 became 700 and 40000 and 70,000 and these people now by crowdsourcing solutions are able to be double doctorates in predicting how proteins are going to fold so
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imagine that that kind of power can help us invent new drugs and and issues and diseases faster than probably companies like gin and tech -- genentec will be able to do. that is about learning to curate questions so you learn from the question. >> it is the essence of education and i think everyone of our speakers talked about this that there is something very powerful about the act of giving in that we receive so much more when we are able to just open up our hearts and give and what you're doing and solutions are coming that would be 50 years in the making it's amazing because when we start thinking about how we can open up learning and provide democratization of content and resources and when i think about
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the greatest resources that are out there those are us. everybody in this room and when i think about the senior citizens who helped me come back, i imagine the power of people who are not being used and they have all the skills and talent of everybody in this room but they just need access. >> and that is what helped you see it? >> exactly right. >> beautiful. we've a few seconds left and i will be rapid fire. the first is what advice do you have for all the entrepreneurs in the house starting their own company? and the second is, why do you think such smart people dropout? >> good question. the first question take risks and be willing to undo everything you have done, right now what we have been doing is inventing new tools that we are going to provide in our consumer product that will actually probably undo the tools we have
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invested in already and that is because you have to take the risk to invent and reinvent and continue to undo yourself so with education and learning a believe you have to unlearn everything so that you can actually relearn and teach so why do people care about some of the smartest people dropout because we are not challenging them and we are restricting them on the pathway that isn't right for them so when we define a learning pathway for people or a curriculum for people and do not allow them to develop an curate their own curriculum and their learning pathway with her at their mind and the only way to free themselves is to escape. >> here here, give it up! [applause]
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>> right from the beginning to the end, there it is president john f. kennedy once said that the goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth if we look at education in this matter it can be surmised that is not a method time or place that really matters it is the outcome thanks again for joining us today and participating in our community of curiosity. the end of school! i want to give it up for all the amazing speakers that we heard today in the beautiful art that we came back to about curating our own learning. if you love what you heard and what to keep the conversation going, head to the back door right now because i am done
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talking to continue the conversation with other attendees. on your way out check out our info table where we will be selling the 2015 memberships at a 20% discount this week only. then you will also want to stop by the general store we can pick up great gear and get your book signed by peter gray. definitely do that. then finally don't forget to share your feedback for the chance to win great prizes by texting "talk" to 37479. thanks again, have a great evening and don't stop learning! [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
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>> this year is the 10th anniversary of "q&a." today nancy gibbs and michael duffy talk about the president's club -- inside the world's most exclusive fraternity. their history of public and private relationships among modern american presidents dating back to herbert hoover. >> new year's day on the c-span networks -- here are some of our featured programs -- 10 a.m. eastern, the washington ideas forum, business mag 8 -- business magnate t boone pickens and inventor dean kamen. at 4:00 eastern, the brooklyn historical society will the conversation on race. then from the explorers club, walt cunningham on the first manned spaceflight. new year's day on c-span two
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hector tovar on the 33 men buried in a chilean mine. then richard norton smith on the life of nelson rockefeller. at 8:00 eastern, former investigative correspondent cheryl and can some on her experiences reporting of the obama administration. new year's day on american history tv on c-span 3 -- 18 a abernathy on her experiences in the role of women in the civil rights movement. at 4:00 p.m., benjamin cart on the link between alcohol and politics in prerevolutionary new york city. at 8:00 p.m., patrick all of five draws 10 presidential characters as david mcauliffe discusses the president and some of their most admirable qualities stop new year's day on the c-span networks. for a complete schedule, go to
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>> as the new year approaches we are asking you what you think where the top 32014. several hundred people have left responses, including joann who writes children going hungry throughout the world and right here in america -- 22% of our children go hungry. you can go to our facebook page and leave your comment on this years top stories. >> next, a conversation with a space lane test pilot. he piloted spaceshipone in december 2003 on the 100th anniversary of the right brothers first hour flight to stop he describes the experience and gives advice to private citizens buying tickets on
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upcoming spaceflights. the explorers club in new york city hosted this discussion one week after spacious to crashed on an experimental flight. -- spaceship 2 crashed on an external flight. >> brian is a private astronaut. he flew spaceshipone 10 years ago, october 4 2004, to when the -- to win the x prize for his employee year at the time. and spaceship 2, which richard branson is working on now is outgrowth of spaceship one. i've got a spaceship -- i've got a ticket on spaceship 2, but he's gone over to the competitor now, so i may have to get a ticket on that one.
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i like a really warm welcome for brian because this guy has the rights tough. -- the right stuff. [applause] >> i'm in the private side of the house. i don't take your tax money, we do business for better or for worse our way. i'm working on my fourth spaceship. i have pictures of my private career, post military available with a business card at the back. as jim says, it has been 10 years now since the x prize flight. coming up on 11 if you count the first powered flight.
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are the c-span cameras running? get this on screen. i have written a book about the experiences of that program. there certainly were a lot of logs that came out at the time that told bits and pieces, but the fun stuff is in here. i kept thinking if i could just find myself in a city that has some expertise in books writing, publishing, editing come in that kind of stuff, if i could find myself in a crowd of people that might enjoy reading what it is like to explore a brand-new private spaceship, i thought here's an opportunity.
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i'm going to pass these around i think there's probably enough for everybody in the room, but if you are in the book business my business card is on the back. please take one. off they go. that's really much all i had to say today. [laughter] >> now to move on to our next presenter, greg olson. >> brian is not only a great aviator, but he's a friend of mine. i guess you would say full disclosure brian wrote the forward to my book, "the right
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stuff." i once took him in a car in the mohave desert at 200 miles an hour, so he has the right stuff. was that scarier than spaceshipone? >> spaceshipone really was not that scary. 200 miles an hour is faster than any of the designs. it's curious that it took an automobile to get my attention on the runway. >> i want to start with brian because many of us never thought the x prize was going to get one because there were so many different competitors and all the sudden, with a couple of
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months to go, you guys fly spaceshipone into space but then you have to do it twice within two weeks. mike fluid on the first leg of the prize and it looked really dicey to us. then, you had to go up and finish the job and fly it again within two weeks. talk about that a little bit. richard branson was there, you had to make it happen. >> what i want to talk about -- i will get back to that but the comment about cell phones, i am not a cell phone kind of guy until one day i was out flying a
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plane. the only requirement to fly spaceshipone was to have a commercial gliders rating. if you start to think about it, it's a pretty low bar, flying was. i'm out there in the foothills where there is a glider portstill, the airplane glider that weighs just about as much as i do. and the plane takes us up over the mountains to the south which are about 8000 feet and get released, and immediately hit sync that is 1500 feet per minute just making the turn
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away, and i am coming down like a freaking break. the stick is swinging back and forth, just trying to get the wings level. i decide today is not the day to fly this thing, so i start aiming back toward the field except i may be pulling that way, but i am still flying this way down the ridge line there is no place to go. at some point, you have to kind of give up and say, today i am not going back to the field. i am going somewhere else -- [laughter] >> where that somewhere else -- who knows where. i have this little baby airplane, no canopy on it.
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and eventually make a sharp turn and this is where all of the windmills are in mohave. 3000 windmills can't be wrong. i am looking for a place to park this airplane. they have these little access roads and i find 15 or 20 feet of road that is in their in the right orientation.
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i have got about that much altitude. so i date for little bit of airspeed, and as soon as i turned into the wind, it stops and the thing just settles ever so nicely onto this access road. and i go hey i made it. how about that. that's pretty good. that is when i realized i was still flying. >> so, your point is after that harrowing mess, you survive how could spaceshipone have any pressure? that would be easy? >> i was still stuck in this plane. i can't get out. because if i get out, it will fly away essentially. at the, i am sitting there.
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it is a sunday morning. and you know, the adrenaline gets through, starts to pump and for once in my life, i go, if i had a cell phone -- [laughter] >> the punch line. >> i could call someone. of to that event, i broke down and joined the cell phone generation. >> all right spaceshipone, that day, that was a lot of pressure, was in it? >> it was a tremendous amount of pressure. i had not flown in some 10 months. my flight, the second x two flight, as we called it, was going to be on a monday morning. right before, sunday night the
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first airing of the discovery channel's program called the black sky. there were two parts to that. the first heart was the race to space, -- the first part was called the race to space, which was focused on all of the effort it took to get mike melville's first flight back in june. so, that was being played out on national tv. when it broke between segments, instead of going to commercial miles o'brien, these tnn reporter -- the cnn reporter -- the first question he asked, who is the pilot tomorrow?
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and they would not answer that question. so, miles pushed a little bit further and said, how do you think it is going to go? and i don't know how many -- if you know him, but he has an audience for a crowd, he knows how to work it, and he has the world's stage in his hands and his response -- and i am at home, piecing up and down listening to this, his responses not only are we going to hit it -- he hit a homerun, but we are going to hit a grand slam. that was his quote. no pressure. no pressure. i am thinking, the bar is not high enough. here is hurt, just making it even that much more difficult. three things i do happen.
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you had to have the line, 100 kilometers which -- >> that is considered space right? above a look -- above 100 kilometers? >> that is the definition of space. walt would be barely awake at that point in time. that was the $10 million part. we also then add sir richard branson, who wanted to invest in spaceshiptwo, and he had a multi-hundred million dollar contract ready to go, should we demonstrate that not only could we get to space, but get there without doing all of the twisting tumbling -- >> which mike had done a couple of days before right? >> mike sturla flight was on a wednesday.
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thursday we kind of thought we figured out what was causing that particular problem, which gave me hope. thursday night was when it was announced that i was going to be the pilot. up to that point skills management, a way of doing business, not unlike george abbey at now the or the way the chinese have conducted their programs -- they wait until the last minute to tell you who the crew's. thursday night, i find out i am going to be the guy, except all of the work i have done to date to kind of keep my hand in the game, just on the outside chance i might get an opportunity to fly this little east of an airplane -- little beast of an
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airplane, now it is all out the window because now we need to change it. the way it was changed, it is subtle. they explained. it is quite entertaining. but it took a lot of orchestration between myself and mission control at the time which was run by dog, and -- which was run by doug. the idea was to get the nose pointed 60 degrees, nose up, as quickly as you can make that happen. we got to 60 degrees, nose up within 10 seconds, and then when he took 50 seconds or so to coast from about 60 degrees nose up to about 80, and then the final endgame the last 20
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seconds or so, we would be pulling on the vehicle to get up to about 87 degrees nose up which in the vernacular -- the angle of attack, which meant you had better directional control, which meant this little rock it motor on the back -- this little rocket motor on the back does not try to knock you off course. the rocket motors that we flew back then, that we fly now that excorps flies, they do not gamble. they are not steered for you. they are fixed in space.
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the plane of those rocket motors is no longer along the body, the axis of the vehicle. it skews off in some direction and now you are in the up her -- upper atmosphere trying to counteract that symmetry. we could reconfigure to fly at about 150,000 feet before i had to shut the motor down to avoid the rocket motor overwhelming bb of coal. -- overwhelming the vehicle. we found we could do a little bit better than that. in my flight, we got all the way up to 20 13,000 feet before shutting the motor down, which is about -- somewhere between 10, 12 not syndicated airspeed. so, i am just about in a paris
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stall in terms of aerodynamic controls. are you getting this? so anyway, this new procedure worked great. there is no expectation. we had only had six howard flights in the vehicle total. the previous flights had all presented problems, difficulties situations we had not anticipated, but about understood, and kind of had to go back and go, this doesn't make sense. we have got to change this or do that different. there was no reason to expect that this sixth flight that was
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critical, not only for my personal sanity, but for that of the team that of the company for that of richard branson for the hopefulness of the future of commercial manned spaceflight that it all workouts. and we scooted out of the atmosphere past the carmen line, past the line set by joe walker -- >> you went almost 70 miles, did you? >> 70 miles. it does not sound like much, but 70 miles is a lot. from my house, that those neighboring get you to l.a., but straight up, it is a challenge -- from my house that does not even get you to l.a., but straight up, it is a challenge.
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that flight -- >> i know that weight was a big deal, isn't there some anecdote where your mother-in-law spilled a whole 16 ounce soda on you before you went up? >> [laughter] at the time, i was 50, right? and if your mother-in-law still wants to give you a hug, and you are mature, your he years and life, after the egregious error of marrying her daughter then you take it. and it is about this time of year. it was cool in the morning. she had obviously come from the local mcdonald's. she had a large cup of coffee.
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she is the same personality as the mother in "everybody loves raymond." [laughter] alexei that mother? >> yeah, we got it. >> she comes up and she says you know -- you are good, here is a hug. there is this cup of coffee. i am kind of wondering what the game plan is. her arm sweep around me. it becomes apparent there is no game plan. it all just flows down the front of my flight suit onto my -- in wearing a t-shirt underneath and now i am just sopping wet. that coffee is freaking hot. [laughter]
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>> it was heavily sugared. vanilla flavor, by the way. [laughter] >> it weighs about a pound, 16 ounces. we had a rule of thumb. we would -- one pound additional weight is about 500 feet of apogee. mike marble in his first attempt to get into space in june had just made up by 400 feet. >> coffee would have stopped it. >> i was reminded by the chief of air dynamics -- aerodynamics, that i now had an extra 500 feet
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of apogee penalty. it was kind of on that note they closed to the spaceship door and off we go into history and and you know -- >> is that in your book? >> my mother-in-law is now one of the most famous mother-in-law's in the world because she knows i tell the story. it is all true. it couldn't have been more disconcerting. little spaceshipone was not a big cabin. as soon as the door closes the aroma just overwhelms. [laughter] >> that is how we went to space.
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>> now listen, ok, so you are up there and you have seen these pictures. you are a fighter pilot and this stuff. when you got up that high, explain what you felt when you saw that view. i know walt was too busy with his stuff to have any emotion. did you have any? when you saw that view up there 70 miles above the earth? , >> shame on you, walt. i'm here to tell you, it is the most fabulous ride in the world. riding a rocket motor it pegs the senses, because that rocket motor went off like an angry bull, like someone slapped the gate open, and you are just
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trying to hang on for eight seconds. >> yeah, you have to stay on for eight to get the score. >> that's right. except you were hanging on to this thing for a minute and a half. it is thundering, shaking kind of experience. we had a gauge that would, we were not sure we would be able to read. the flight controls go from mushy light as you come off the mothership to within eight seconds you are supersonic and the control forces are so high. you think you are moving the stick, but you are not affecting anything. then you have to transition to electric trams to control the trajectory.
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the end game, you're back to flying like an airplane again because the motor wants to adjust the thrust line on you. the magic, and i do mean this, the magic is when you finally turn the motor off. read wonderful things happen. -- three wonderful things happen. and they happen in a blink. the shaking, shuddering vibrations of that motor, they go away. in the case of spaceshipone, the shrieking sounds of that motor this big nitrous tank that is two feet behind you is emptying itself making all kinds of -- it , is like a possessed cat behind you. >> i have never heard you say it that way. >> and then you become instantly weightless.
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even though you are strapped in, the tension goes away. your limbs, your legs have no weight. your sense of right side up no longer matters. when the motor is burning you are paying attention to the instruments. after the motor is burned out there is nothing much you can do to affect the trajectory of the vehicle you are on. you can change the vehicle's attitude. then you get to look out the window, and my god, there is this view you have never appreciated or never seen before. from mohave, which if you have
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ever been, it is one of the most dreary, disappointing -- >> godforsaken places. >> in the world. but the view is spectacular. san francisco to the north baja, mexico to the self. you have the pacific ocean, the mountains, weather patterns they normally only show you on the evening news. of course, the void that is space. separating these two improbable extremes is this thin blue electric curtain of light. that is the atmosphere. it is the first time you get to sort of appreciate and realize that you are now in space, in a spaceship. that sounds cool to say. what did you do this weekend?
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i cut the grass. really? i went to space in a spaceship. you worked pretty hard physically just to get there. so everything your body feels is wow. and everything you see with your eyes just because they're so much more dynamic than any camera or video is, you take in this vista, is wow. i've told the marketing people at virgin this for years. that they're all going to be out of jobs as soon as they get into business. because it's an experience that's going to sell itself. it doesn't need to be -- you don't need to be coerced into this. people that come out from having had that experience are going to be doing the marketing for them.
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>> what you just described, i have a ticket on virgin galactic spaceshiptwo. will spaceshiptwo, when it flies, if it flies, will i feel the things you felt? i obviously will be a passenger. i wouldn't be a pilot. but will i feel that rocket burn and the shuddering and shrieking and all that, is it going to be similar? >> absolutely. it might be more intense for you because, as a passenger, you're not in control of anything you're just, you know, along for the ride. anybody can tell you, in an acrobatic kind of airplane there's a huge difference between whether you're making the control inputs to the
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airplane or sort of reacting to what somebody else is doing. and so i think you become a man of god very quickly. >> i already am. but -- >> if i was orchestrating the spaceshiptwo, i would have a five-second countdown light after separation from the mothership. and that was the time between they arm the rocket motor and they fire it. >> like a drag racer when they take off. >> in those five seconds, your life is going to be changed profoundly. and then off you go. and it's such a compressed experience. it's not like, you know, you're not days in space, you haven't
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spent an entire career working your way up the competitive ladder to get there. but you still get all the same benefits, the view, the weightlessness, the experience of riding a rocket motor. in spaceshiptwo, we'll see how it plays out. but it's got a pretty big cabin so you can unbuckle your seatbelt and then you can wrestle with the other -- >> while they're puking? >> well, i don't think puking's going to be a problem. as long as you can reference an outside window and there's plenty of them, you'll do just fine. >> i'll remember that. >> and that's just getting up there. there's still the ride back down which is an entirely different
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experience in itself. >> what's that like? >> i liken it to, if you're driving a car and it's starting to rain and you get a little splatters of rain drops on the wind shield and if you're driving into the thunderstorm, then the intensity of that rain just, you know, continues to grow. re-entry is very similar. where the rain is actually the noise of the atmosphere against the -- in spaceshiptwo's case, the belly of the vehicle.
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and you can actually sort of hear it go from a pinging sound to one that just grows and grows in intensity, as the noise level grows, so does the g levels that you feel on your body. but unlike riding a rocket motor, and this is strange to articulate, but it is buttery smooth. you are just getting heavy. so it's like going over niagara falls. you're on your way down, there's nothing stopping you and it continues until the vehicle is in a thick enough atmosphere that once again it's subsonic and once the vehicle is subsonic in this funny configuration, the vehicle just doesn't quite know what it really wants to do. it's sort of in a confused state
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and so you put the tails back down, you become a glider and now you've got your 10, 15 minutes to breathe again and look at your passenger who's sitting across from you and sort of mentally trying to assimilate to all that has just happened to you in the last hour or so. the majority of the flight on the virgin side of the house is just climbing up underneath the mothership, which is probably from passenger standpoint where the co-pilot is going to have to have a degree in psychology or stress management or stuff like that.
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the concept is different in that from get-go you take off on the runway, under rocket power there's four motors, you use burt ratan designed light them off is he sequentially so you don't get the big jolt. you take off like an airplane and just keep going. >> now i want to get to that. brian worked for many, many years for scaled composites and when spaceshipone was a success and richard branson invested his hundreds of millions dollars into virgin galactic and hiring burt and brian his team, brian
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went into a lot, and i guess the question is, why did you go over to excorps which is a competitor of virgin galactic? >> my motivation, there were several levels to it. given our friends in the back of the room, i'll just say we had spent close to 10 years trying to develop the rocket motor for spaceshiptwo. and i had read a book some time ago called design in nature. and this book makes the case that if you, for example, take the size, the heart of a rabbit and compare it to the size of the heart of a shark or a lion and an elephant and you plot them all out versus the animal's weight, they'll follow on a curve that is fairly
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predictable. i mean, there's always a little bit of noise in the data. but they follow this curve. and i just had the sense after 10 years of trying and crying and praying and saying, god, please show us the truth, light, the way for this spaceshiptwo rocket motor, that we weren't on the curve. and that has been the holdup for spaceshiptwo. i'm not a rocket science guy. i felt like my contributions to the program had kind of run its course. here's excorps next door, they've spent their last 14 years of their existence building a rocket motor, a very different type of motor, one that's restartable, which is a
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remarkable, clever thing to do for a rocket motor. it's reusable, it's gas go, it's standard liquid oxygen and kerosene. >> which are proven fuels over the years. the apollo guys used it. all the old astronauts. >> there's a lot of history out there versus these hybrid motors. and -- but now they're building an air frame around the proven engine and if you think about the world of airplanes, when you go to build a new airplane, you first find that the power plant that's going to make this thing work, then you build the airplane around it.
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you don't first build an airplane and then go, well first my engine. and that's kind of the difference, if you will, between what was going on between spaceshipone and spaceshiptwo and excorps' now in a position where i think i can be a lot more use in terms of flight test planning, helping sign new flight controls, take to layout, crew check lists, all that kind of stuff. >> now, when i drove you at 200 miles per hour in mojave, we made a deal and the deal was i'll take you at 200 and you're going to fly me in spaceshiptwo. that can't happen now. so should i be selling my spaceshiptwo ticket and buying an excorps ticket? >> i'll just say this.
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sir richard branson has put an awful lot of his own money into making this program work. i believe it will work. it's just taking longer than anybody would have ever thought. >> tell me about it. >> but on the other hand, for -- well, you'd be in the quarter million dollar category at this point. >> i bought the $200,000. he raised it by $200,000 to $250,000 by now. >> you can get two rides for the price of one. >> at excorps. >> at excorps. >> i could save some of my 401-k plan. >> yes, you could. and we'll be sitting side by side. >> just like in the mcclarren, on the runway. >> you'll see what i see. you'll see all the instrumentation.
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you won't be in the back bumping elbows and knees. >> with angelina jolie or whatever. >> if you're part of that flight, that might be worth it. [laughter] >> you know, i need to know, you have this great anecdote about meeting the late neil armstrong and i think this really goes to the heart of neil's character. can you tell us about that time that you guys met? >> so, it was a rather bizarre the way it unfolded. because i didn't realize neil was anywhere near -- in town. but my wife and i were at disney land.
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and we had just finished dinner, had come outside and from about here to the end of the room, 20 yards away, whatever, there's neil armstrong. and he's standing by himself and there seems to be nobody around him. and i'm just thinking, wow. here's an opportunity to just say hi. and i point out to my wife, do you know who that guy is? and there's a saying in life you never want to meet your hero. because they will just disappoint you. and i had this concern that, you know, neil probably gets bombarded with all this kind of stuff and he's sort of a reticent guy.
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he's not the buzz aldrin -- >> there's the odd couple right there. >> but anyway, my wife, we went over, regardless, and under her encouragement, and i introduced myself and neil -- this was 2007. we had just had a rocket motor accident at mojave where we killed three people, sent three others to the hospital. so things were not going well. and anyway i introduced myself to neil. neil was gracious enough i believe to pretend to know who i was. >> he knew who you were.
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>> as it turns out his dinner party comes out of the restaurant and we all end up walking back to the hotel together and as i'm talking to him i just said, how bizarre is seemed in the world of glitter and fantasy land of disney land that we were unable to repeat what alan shepard had done 40 however long it had been, 45 years ago. which was -- >> suborbital flight. >> just a suborbital flight, a lob shot. he was the first guy to do that. in the mercury capsule. what neil said next just stopped me in my feet because he turns and looks at me and says, you know, none of this stuff is easy.
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it's all hard. it's all very difficult. just because you've done it once doesn't mean you can do it again. the only way you have a chance of succeeding, the only way you know you're on the right track is if you can come into work in the morning and look at the guy across the coffee table from you and appreciate being there and then he used a word that i've heard out of burt's mouth for 12 years. he says, if you're not having fun, you know, you're not doing it right. and you don't belong in the
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business. burt rutan, since the day i met him, since the day i started working for him, always said whenever he got anybody together, was, if we're not out here having fun, if we're not enjoying what we're doing, then we're not doing it right, we're not going to be successful we're going to run into problems and things will go badly. and here it was coming back on the heels of a tragic incident but nonetheless now coming out of the mouth of neil armstrong. i was just blown away by it. >> one last question before i open it up to the audience. you mentioned burt rutan. describe the genius of him. you worked with him. the guy is a genius. it's amazing what he's able to do. but what about him that makes
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him special? >> other than him being a smart guy, he latches on to things and he won't let go. and he will wrestle whatever it is until he has squeezed the life out of it, until he understands every aspect off it and then he'll take that information and if it's in the world of aeronautics and airplanes, he'll apply that knowledge to the next vehicle he builds. burt had a common saying that, whenever asked what's your favorite aircraft, he would always say, the next one i'm going to build.
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burt and i were also golfing buddies and before i started working for him, for a couple of years, and burt was the same way in golf as he was as an engineer. he was tenacious. he practiced. he was competitive. he had in his back pocket these laminated cue cards that would show the loft and carry of a golf ball that would show whether it was out of a sand trap. a 60-degree lofted wedge, a sand wedge or pitching wedge, whether it was a half swing or quarter swing, the face was opened or
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closed. it was all there. and that was sort of his nature. he went to extremes other people would not go to. but he was the man of great wit. he enjoyed having fun. he enjoyed pointing out inconsistencies in other people's behaviors. i went one time with him to singapore. singapore's a little island nation just south of malaysia, if you've never been there. at the time they were doing a tremendous reclamation effort where they were basically pushing back the china sea so they can get more land.
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because they're running out of land, too many people. and burt was invited to talk to this rather large assembly about a thousand people of bureaucrats, military types, students, you name it. and his comments to just sort of typify his thinking and his sense of humor was, he said, you'd be far better off, instead of this reclamation effort putting these young men into the new f-16's that you've just bought from us and going and bombing malaysia to the north and getting your land that way. you motivate and tie the new -- motivate an entirely new generation, you take advantage of hardware that you've spent good money on and you do it the old-fashioned way. before the crowd could sort of assimilate this -- oh, my god,
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did burt just tell us to go bomb malaysia -- you know, he had moved on to other subjects. that's the kind of guy he was. he was a lot of fun to be around. he currently lives up in idaho and he's working on the lake. he's building himself a sea plane. and he plans to turn the sea plane into one that he can fly around the world without ever visiting an airport, without having to deal with the f.a.a. with whom he has -- >> mixed -- >> a checkered relationship. even though he's retired, he's not. and he's still out there having
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fun and he's still pushing boundaries and he's still challenging the way people think about conventional approaches to old problems. >> ok. we're going to open it up for a couple of quick questions. anybody have a question for brian? yes, way back there. >> hello. i have a question about burt's relationship with peter. of course the x prize foundation. hearing you speak about burt's personality. peter has a larger than life personality as well. did you see that burt kind of went to the next level after he decided to take on the project? what was the relationship between those two men? >> you know, these are the kind of questions that -- if i'm writing it down after maybe the fifth draft, i'll get the words
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just right to where i can weasel my way through any controversy. but you're right. it was a strained relationship to say the least. but peter was bringing something to the table that was attractive. it gave paul allen about 40% of his money back if we won this thing. it put mojave on the map because we had to become a spaceport to satisfy the requirements of the x prize. it was -- peter's side of the house, what he did, i think is still fairly brilliant. without his efforts i wouldn't have had my opportunity, for
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example, i don't believe the vehicle would have gone straight to the smithsonian and that would have been the end of it. i've never met anybody to out-big dog burt. >> even peter? >> even peter. and burt's a big guy. burt's not, you know, if he stands up next to you, he casts a shadow and he starts sucking oxygen out of the room and peter's, you know, not a big guy. but sometimes it's the little guys -- >> the napoleon complex. >> that's right. it was an interesting
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battlefield. but it ended up being win-win. it all worked out good. >> one more question because we're a little behind schedule. anybody else have a question? right here. yeah, yeah. go ahead. >> you're a test pilot. what kind of courage do you need to have in order to be a test pilot? >> it's not about courage. i'll go to what walt says. fear doesn't really come into play. alan shepard, also off the first suborbital guy, was a navy admiral and i think once he
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realized that he was going to receive his admiralship, he came up with a test pilot's prayer. and i believe this is one that most, if not all, live by. and it's a very simple one. and it's got nothing to do with fear or courage. it's, dear god, please don't let me -- >> f up. >> f up. [laughter] >> and -- what he really means by that, i think, is that there's any number of things that can go wrong. there's probably four or five reactions you can take or make that are incorrect that make
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that wrong thing worse and there's one maybe right thing and the prayer's really to say, in the event something starts to go askew, give me the wisdom and the knowledge to do that one right thing. and it wasn't about fear. it wasn't about currently. >> that's renata by the way. we're going to do our centrifuge training a a few weeks at nasa. any advice? >> i've never been there. i think it sounds like a great experience. they don't start you off at nine g's or i hope they don't. >> but they do get you up to nine g's. >> they can if that's where you're headed. if you're going to assimilate the spaceshiptwo profile they'll do sort of a half g
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simulation, then they'll build up. >> yeah, we're going to do spaceshiptwo. >> i think they're great people there. and i'm sure you'll have good memories of coming out of it. >> all right, guys. let's hear a big applause for brian binnie. which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> sports stories continue with conversations with space travelers from the explorers club. the talk about the apollo mission, the space race with the russians, and the future of nasa. here is a preview. >> apollo seven, to this day, is
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the longest, most ambitious, most successful engineering test flight of any new machine ever. the reason it was so loaded -- a planned 11 day first mission -- because we lost 21 months after the apollo moon fire failure a year and a half, maybe a little less than that, because there was another flight and there, to go to the moon. we had to do that supposedly by the end of the decade, so we were trying to make up for that follow. none of us thought we would go 11 days. you couldn't do that on a first mission. we were actually surprised and a little bit toward -- little bit irritated towards the end. we still had to go in 11 days. so, that was critical and because it was so successful apollo eight then, you know, when around the moon. >> the event also includes a
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conversation with caddy coleman, with ian anderson, founder of the rock band jethro tall. you can watch that at 8 p.m. eastern. next, a look at the start of the 114th congress and the new republican majority. from today's "washington journal." 114th congress, both control by the republicans. and here to talk is bill crystal, well, let's start off, yesterday, on the third ranking republican, has spoken to a white sue premissist group and here's what he said in response. it was wrong and it was
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inappropriate, like many of my colleagues, i know steve to be, a man of high entelling grety. what's going on here? hard to tell congressman hasn't been clear, and i guess it's hard to remember, who you spoke to, 12 years, were you a little bit unsure. and i think if nothing more comes out, he survives, it is ridiculous, you speak it a group once and, not that he said anything, to that group. and he was a crusade and, he said he is accepting invitations, and he thought it was a special group, and he spoke 40 minutes and, had no particular connection wes that group. they're pushing guilt by
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association. i guess his colleagues will decide in the house, and the voters can decide if they want to remove him. host: more than a decade ago and i wonder, with republicans, holding both chambers, they have said, we want to govern and, we want to focus on getting things done, in washington. is this too distracting? no. if nothing more comes out one of his colleagues defended him as a decent person and i don't know him and i never heard anything about it. in terms of his personal treatment of people and, i love david duke, and he loves me, and i think, i can mention it.
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seizing control of the u.s. government, and there are americans like him, paid a tiny role in the first bush white house, and working against him when he was in the run off and he was claiming to be the nominee. and many people thought that they not accept his claim. and he won, and president bush came out against him and we endorsed edwards, the democratic candidate for governor. we thought that was better than having david duke elected republicans. so, think they have been good, in distancing themselves, from repudiating, him. and he did it again. let's go to another story, that they are running the
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congressman, michael grimm said he's going to leave his office and,. everyone thought that was one that the republicans might lose, and he won it. and i think it's a mostly republican district and, i think, it was right to step down. and maybe pressure you are him to step down. he is pretty good hands off way of manage things, and gets people to resign, without that. i don't know, he wanted to hang around, and without him on the ballot republicans have a good chance to hold the seat. our guest is bill crystal he's here to talk about the startup of the republican controlled congress. and reach out for us
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our first call is from betty in illinois on the democrats line. caller: my comment is, how could the country reelect a person who said his main thing was not to help the president. my other comment is the disrespect that was given to president obama, and also they criticized al sharpton and jesse jackson when rush limbaugh and sarah palin had said some terrible things. those are my comments, and happy new year to everybody. thank you. guest: happy new year to you and
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everyone else in the great state of illinois. the senator said he wanted to torch president obama at every turn and i think he did a really good job of that. president obama is the only person who gets elected by the whole country. you have to give him some credit. he's proving that he is president, he knows he is president, he is not giving up just because he lost the midterm election. doing what he can to push his agenda at home and abroad. we have all focused on the republican congress, but the president matters a lot especially on foreign policy. he's going to keep wishing his agenda. there are people on both sides saying plenty of foolish things.
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al sharpton has been at the white house 60 times or something like that. is he a constructive voice in america or not? it is a legitimate question. he can make his case and people can make a case against him. host: charlotte, north carolina, earnhardt is on the line. caller: this is an example of a big distraction, this whole thing. it is just typical that we live in a system of white supremacy so that is just the way it is. but it is the president's fall because he allowed this disrespect. you think al sharpton is in charge of the movement. al sharpton is not in charge of
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any movement. let's get for real about that. guest: i don't think it is a white supremacist country. it's a country that elected barack obama as president twice. i'm not making al sharpton the leader of anything. if he were treated as a leader of the african-american community, i think he has some dubious claims. african-americans have done a lot of impressive things over the last 30 or 40 years. a lot of people have achieved more in their lives. one of the distressing things as we look back on new year's eve i did not vote for barack obama either time. i worry that his foreign policies are getting us into deep trouble. i did think he would help
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improve race relations in this country. i did think that would be an upside to president obama's election. i think the first two years that was a reasonable judgment. he has personally been pretty responsible and tried not to play the race card too much. the last few months -- obviously 99% of the time interactions are normal, but the degree of racial tension has been something that does happen because of incidents that you could have predicted. some of the reactions have been not helpful, to say the least. i just wish that were not the case. i think it would be a shame if after eight years of barack obama, what are we think of obamacare, his judicial appointments, it would be nice if we could say this was a
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milestone for race relations in this country and they are better than they were before he was elected. it is a question whether we can say that now. host: riverside california. hanna is on the line, a democrat. caller: i'd like to know what he thinks about the republicans repealing the dodd-frank act and letting the banks gamble with the citizens money. and also, what does he think about the u.s. defending nazis in the u n resolution. since ukraine is being overrun by nazis, i think he has a valid point. >> there were real problems on wall street and in washington in
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2006, 2007, and 2008. i do not think that frank was a particularly good solution to those problems. i wish republicans who want to repeal dodd frank and replace it, i think in the short term, they will not have the votes to appeal it, and they will not get president obama to sign. frank in the next few years. why not exempt community banks? this is something the chairman of the house and the financial services committee talked about common and they have not actually move this legislation. republicans in congress, if we could talk about that for a minute, they need to find things they can do that are not just symbolic, that could actually help the country and embody conservative principles, but are so unrealistic, they cannot get signed by the president. or even get 51 votes in the senate. i'm not against passing think the president will veto, but there are middle side things are public ends can do.
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-- that republicans can do. there is concern on the one hand with little symbolic inks, and on the other hand, grand symbolic things. the regulatory burdens on them which they are not well enough to their. -- not well set up enough to bear. the banks and different states have trouble doing that. it is a burden on them. why not exempt them? they are still covered by a million regulations, obviously and they always have. a good example of something republicans have made progress on. show the voters they are serious, and then lay the groundwork for a conservative agenda in 2017. it is a very decent government now.
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i think it is really an unfair charge. we have had real setbacks. putin has gotten away with doing things you would have thought a year ago you would not get away with. russia is suffering because of a drop in oil prices due to our energy. letting putin get away with crimea and eastern ukraine, very bad. >> he started to talk about this earlier. what are your expectations going into this congress? what are the big areas of conflict? guest: i have modest expectations. such a talking point for the past four years, maybe this is the congress that does not get anything done. the main reason they did not get anything done is because harry
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reid did not bring anything to the senate. the house passed many legislations. with republicans controlling the senate the house will repass a , lot of legislation, some of it to ambitious for the president to accept. some of it they could sign. now the piece of legislation will come to a vote. some of them will die in the senate, and some of them will pass the senate. some will pass with democratic support. the key attitude is do not overthink everything. they micromanage everything. let's let the committees do their work. i think you would get a fair amount of legislation passed and some of it signed. there is not a great sense of the economy honestly.
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the economy is growing faster than it was here the deficit is down. some issues like immigration doing nothing, -- there is plenty they can do and they will pass pieces of legislation a reasonably successful you have. -- year and a half. everything depends on the 2016 presidential election in terms of the future of the country. there may be some sort of revival after a couple of bad congressional election setbacks, winning the presidency a third straight time, that would be a big moment for democrats, for liberals. republicans could say, ok, the obama era is unique, and now we can go ahead and legislate conservative justice. 2016 is the big election. a lot of republicans in congress spent a lot of time worrying
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about not messing up, which is reasonable, but they should not do that either. you can overthink these things. a year ago, you were there, the terrible government shutdown ted cruz, the government would never recover, it would destroy them in the elections. you can go back and find headline after headline, including conservative publications pulling their hair out about how much damage had been done. 2014 ended up fine for republicans. i think they should be a little more relaxed, honestly, in congress. let the committees do their work, have a piece of the legislation, hope the president signed them, and not over plan overthink, and over strategize which they do sometimes. host: my colleague that he was going to approach it. let's play that back and i want your thoughts. >> is there anything that you personally intend to do differently in your approach to congress in hopes of getting better results?
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>> i can always do better in every aspect of my job. congressional relations is not exempt from that. i think the circumstances will have changed, though. i am frustrated with the results of the midterm election. we have a great record for members of congress to run on. i do not think i am the democratic party made as good of the case as we should have. as a consequence, we have low voter turnout. the results were that. now you have got republicans in a position where it is not enough for them to simply grind of congress to a hold and then blame me. they will be in a position where they have to show they can responsibly govern, given that
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they have significant majorities in both chambers. what i have repeatedly said is that i want to work with them and i want to get things done. i do not have another election to run. host: what do you think? guest: it is nice president obama thinks he had a great record. we should ask in particular what exact way should they run on that they did not run on? i think the record was well highlighted in both parties and that the public did not like that record at least big swing states where republicans one easy victories. a little denial there but he is entitled to that. harry reid, honestly, i agree with barack obama he is probably frustrated because he has a sense he is getting blamed for
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the election. one thing -- one person who should be blamed more than he probably has been is harry reid. i find it amazing they will just reelect him and not putting new person in there. isn't this the time to move on? that he has the strategy incredibly determined. resolute in a stubborn way. not letting anything to vote in the senate. nothing came up in the senate. the ridiculous position of people like the senator from alaska had never had a piece of legislation, -- harry reid, his own leader, was so nervous that if they got a vote, the republicans would offer an amendment to the amendment and so forth. harry reid, in the short term,
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he did well. they held the senate. it turned out to be pretty much a disaster in 2014 and a disaster for democrats. he watched president obama, you cover the hill, whatever you think in terms of legislation, they pass a ton of stuff here at mitch mcconnell kept saying, whether it is getting rid of the individual mandate in obamacare, many pieces of the legislation were passed by the house that never came up in the senate. it is just not credible for the president to say republicans were primarily responsible for the gridlock. there will be some of that gridlock, but in terms of actual mechanics, it was harry reid that shut us down. i am amazed in not moving tissue than for somebody else, but it is not my problem. internal senate and house celebrations is something i
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learned over the years, you look from the outside and you cannot quite understand it sometimes. it is like high school. some people are popular with their colleagues and have done favors over the years. some people do a very good job behind the scenes that people like me do not see. there is loyalty to members in a way that one does not back. it is also democrats, barack obama was a great candidate and a fresh face. it gave the democrats a whole image of young, new, change, different, and running against republicans a generation older. now look at the democratic party sedley. harry reid, nancy pelosi. i noticed this yesterday in california, progressive politics in america, it was has been, totally democratic state. governor of california, 76. two centers in california, 80 one and 74. nancy pelosi is a leader from california, 74. that is the forward-looking,
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young progressive democratic party currently take that -- take joe biden -- i do think there is a way for me as a republican, as a conservative, the most encouraging thing about the election was not so much just the results and the numbers, but the quality and the youth of republican candidates. you have got dan sullivan and cory gardner and others coming into the senate. people in their late 40's and 50's. military veterans, impressive people. they were all younger than the democrats they beat in each race. the republicans will be younger than the democratic congress.
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suddenly the image one had and i had as well, depressing as a conservative in 2012 of the republicans as the party of backward looking, older, hanging on desperately, democrats are cutting-edge, i think that will look different in the next year or two. that could affect the 2016 election. hillary clinton has been around for a long time. republican candidate is much more likely to be someone in his early 40's or 50's. jeb bush would be a little older, even though he is a little younger than hillary clinton. that is an argument against jeb bush. if you want them to be young and forward-looking, it is hard to explain why you are nominating another bush. host: we are talking with bill kristol, the editor of weekly standard. on the republican line in texas. caller: good morning. just to add a fairly simple question, i do not understand
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why the republican party and the conservatives have not been able to frame the concept and educate the american people of the concept that you simply do not have a nation if you cannot fundamentally define and secure and control your borders. if you cannot fundamentally define and secure and control your borders. that does not mean just your physical border at mexico. it means immigration as a whole. new not have a nation. you'd -- you do not have a nation, you do not have a country if you do not do that. why the immigration debate ends up degrading into a tit-for-tat in -- as opposed to a need to define your borders as a nation, which every nation in the world doesn't have that right and obligation to do. we know to some degree, the census works or we would be able to take down the fence from the white house. in order to identify where
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people should and should not go there it and yet it is something that will not work. if that is the case, let's take down the fences from the white house and see how it works. if you could elaborate on that please. thank you. guest: i agree with your sentiments. there is border security, important for our nation. we have made progress on that. president obama does not really want to enforce it, i don't think. and then people who overstay their visas, which i think is most people here today. we have done a very poor job there. there is not much stomach to enforce that. some nonenforcement is reasonable. people who are here for 20 years, no one really wants to throw them out. that is why we do some debates these children who might be citizens. there are a lot of debates which are important, the immigration issue, but i agree.
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you need to have citizens secure in their own country and not have people overstay visas randomly. you cannot have millions of people overstay visas, not all of them with good intentions. the good news is i think the american public agrees with the caller on this vast -- this aspect at least. one of the big conventional wisdom's of the." is, those republicans better pass the immigration bill. the future of the republican party is terrible if they do not cave and given to the immigration bill that passed in the senate and the business community was hammering the republican leadership in the house. newspapers, wall street journal, even, which is liberal lebron immigration, and i have been fairly liberal on immigration. and i thought clinically republicans would pay no price on immigration.
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and they pay their price honestly, in the election. they got more hispanic and latino votes ann romney has gone in 2012. turns out voters are multi-issue voters. they all have different views on immigration. the immigration system, is it broken? yes. republicans have to have their own agenda for how much legal immigration there should be, how we enforce and verify and all these things. these are complicated issues. i am not sure about what i think about some of them. it is an argument that is a reasonable one to have their but i agree, i think being serious on border security is the right place to be. it is a good place to be politically.
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>> florida now, flank -- frank is an independent. >> hello. i enjoyed watching you on tv over the years. your knowledge of washington is good so i will have to ask you a question. you might know something about it or you might have some ideas on what direction we could go in. one of the things that have just that could happen, if the scandal gets bigger and bigger, the fact that he had a powerful position as a majority whip, if that is correct i saw a film on the washington examiner online where he was questioning al gore a while ago. i think it has to do with oil if i remember correctly. louisiana is a big oil state anyway. among other things, al gore had dad connections with people. he was connected to someone who
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bought -- brought specimens specimen id 20's. his father did too. i'm not blaming al gore for that. the fact that he never expressed any kind of regret for that or anything else, we have a problem with tort reform with asbestos also. i do not know if he is involved in anything like that, but it makes me wonder whether this could be derailed, or maybe somebody else, if he had done enough trouble and lost power, somebody else could move in to that particular area. thank you ahead of time for your reply. >> thanks for the question. you said is the scandal gets bigger, he will be in more trouble. that is true. one thing i learned in washington is not to predict. some of the ones that look really good on the first day or two, it goes way fairly or unfairly. two weeks later, no one can member what they are about.
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others seem small to beginning and then more stuff comes out. if that were to happen in this case, knowingly participating in any organizations, i think his colleagues would not want him in the leadership of the republican party in the house. i think this'll be different by what comes out. it is a tough business politics, and collects make hardheaded decisions. what is best for the party. having said that, based on what we now know, i think he may have made a mistake, and perhaps went into a meeting he did not fully understand. there was some murky mess and i think he is personally popular. as is down to what did he believe, what did he say, what did he do, giving money to a group, a member of a group like
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this, that is one thing. not a personally bigoted man but he said something, so it is a little unfair in a way. i think he was just being nice to a very elderly senator, but saying the country would be better off is a little weird and to say that in 2002 or something like that. he was held accountable for that. they kind of used it as a way to ease him off the stage for being leader. again, the claim really is literally guilt by association that is something liberals and most of us used to think is not a good way to judge people. liberals and the 50's, going to communist sponsored events.
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they gave talks, and it turns out they were, in a way being used. that is probably the case with him. charges of guilt by association typically have not gone very far . different if he said certain things and its earnings. host: what we're talking about is the fact that he was there not that he said something objectionable. there is nothing about what he said as far as getting into hot water with his conference and others very just the act of being there. >> right. if you are a state legislator which is what he was at the time, you get invited to something, people there, your constituents, the neighbors invited him, murky, but i will go and give my pitch about taxes and i will leave. you do not probably think to yourself exactly who is responsible -- sponsoring this. 40% of louisiana voted for him
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in 1941 for governor. you cannot go around in the state and say anyone who is ever vaguely been associated with them is ruled out of bounds. i would be pretty strict on the ruling out of balance of anyone who has been associated with them. so far, at this point, based on what we know, i think it is probably fine. but the history of these things, things can come out and people can make decisions. you can make decisions that he is a decent man and i did not think he is a racist at all. you could end up in a situation where cussing he is just not the right person to be the number three leader in the house and conference. i do not expect that to happen but it could. >> i want to make sure we have time for our parlor game. jeb bush talking the 2016 field by 10 points. could this perhaps be a reason bush should not be the nominee?
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my question to you is who gives republicans -- to the white house question mark that he has been around a little bit? >> yes, that he is just another bush. hillary clinton, i think is not that strong a candidate. she at least could say she would be the first to run for president. it is kind of a first and gives her a certain way of overcoming the fact. jeb bush would really be the third bush president. it could happen. it has never happened in american history three people of the same family being president let alone in a 25 year stretch. but i'm skeptical. i think jeb bush would be a good president, but as an analytical matter of, is he a strong going into the primaries, i am dubious.
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i'm curious to see the cnn poll, it is early, he got a lot of publicity in the last month, is that a high water mark or does he keep going off? who would be stronger? i think one of the younger and fresher faces whether it is rubio or cruise in the senate, scott walker, chris christie in the governor's mansion, bobby jindal, and others as well. republicans have a lot of young talent. we had romney and mccain in the last two cycles. the younger candidate has won the popular vote in all six of the presidential elections. really, you're better off with the younger candidate host were. that is the rule today. yung, change, reform. cruise is a little more conservative, rubio is center-right.


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