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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 13, 2011 11:15am-12:00pm EDT

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so there we are on the case. so they've been very successful. i think we've had steve moore from "the wall street journal" on the economy, john fund from "the wall street journal" on election fraud. as i said, john bolton on national sovereignty, betty mccoy on health care. these are really top people writing about the critical issues of the moment, and i think they're making a difference. >> up next on booktv, former arkansas governor and republican presidential candidate mike huckabee gives his opinion on the current state of politics here in america and presents his plan to simplify the government. he speaks at the national press club here in washington for about half an hour. >> so i want to thank you for coming today. i was almost late. i was detained for a few minutes, had a phone call from david koch and that lasted nearly 20 minutes. [laughter] but i was finally able to break loose and get here today to be
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with you. i do want to correct one thing, bob. i was actually not third in the republican primary, i was second. yeah, i want to get that -- that has been a story that is often told, so i've worked really hard to be second. not that it means a darn thing because when you come in second place, there is no prize. or third, or fourth. one of the realities of politics. i think all of you have a copy, at least i hope you do, of the book, "simple government: 12 things that we really need from washington and the trillion we don't," and i'm hope you have a chance to read it. i'm sure you'll stay up late tonight and read all 228 payments of it. -- pages of it. i truly hope at least you'll give a cursory review of it. in many ways i'm being asked the question not once, not ten times, but 100 times: are you going to run for president? and no how matter how many difft ways i say it, there's about a hundred different ways people
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report it. it's very much an option i'm considering, and i'm seriously and genuinely contemplating it. but i'm also wanting to make sure that people understand where i stand, what i believe and what i think america's roy priorities ought to be. part of the reason for writing the book is to let people have a clear insight so they'll know on the front end before i run and before they commit. of and part of the purpose in the book was to say, here i stand. martin luther was the one who nailed 95 theses at the door in didden bigger. i'm not sure this is such significance, it isn't, of course, but it is, to me, an important document, a statement of conviction. and i think if one reads the book, you'll find that there are some things that i say that are not messily politically correct -- necessarily politically correct, i don't always follow the company line of the gop.
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there are some maybe more unorthodox pointses of view that you'll find, and think that you'll find an extraordinary level of candor in which i talk about things like social security and med carry. i want to -- medicare. of i want to give a summary of some of the salient points i think are most critical in understand what's in this book, why i wrote it and then, of course, i'll be happy to answer your questions. i've always said in politics we call that q q&a, and that stands in your minds as questions and answers. if you're at the podium, it stands for questions and avoidance. [laughter] you ask anything i want, i do my best to avoid saying something that will be a career killer. the concept of the book and even the title is that while the issues that we face in this country are extraordinarily complex, often the answers to dealing with them, they aren't
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easy, but they are simple. and it's necessary to back away and look not through a micro, but a macro lens at some of the big problems and ask ourselves is there a common sense principle that we could apply that would make sense out of some of the challenges and the issues that we face? so in each of the chapters what i've done is to sort of create a subtitle. for example, the first chapter when i talk about that the most important form of government is a father, mother and children, and the reason i say that is because the first level of government to which any of us are ever subjected is not the government of our city, our state or even our federal government, it's the government of our own family. that's where we are governed first. and the fact is, it is that form of government that serves as the foundation for all of the other forms of government. i try to make, and i believe that i do make the case, that this is not just a social issue as often has been described.
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sometimes there are people who want to create this, to me, artificial conflict between the designated social issues and the economic ones. the first chapter of the book, i believe, will make it very clear that there is a direct correlation between the fabric of our culture and the relationship of its families and the economy. of a country. i want to begin before i even get into some of those figures by saying i make it very clear, this is not an attack on president obama. i believe we hear a lot of talk about civility even though on any given day you'll find politicians who will use the most inflammatory rhetoric possible. there were some comments yesterday that were utterly bizarre from a congressman regarding going to the streets. but i find in the midst of that it is important that we can somehow separate a person's policies from the person.
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i find it unnecessary, useless and, frankly, a bit unnecessary to get into all sorts of debates over president obama's religion or the authenticity of his birth. i know for some people that it is an obsession. it is not with me. i'll be honest with you, i've said in this many times, i'll say it to you, that if there was any question about the authenticity of his birth certificate, i assure you the opposition researchers in the hillary clinton campaign would have found that, and they would have use withed it. so we can save ourselves a lot of time. secondly, he has personally articulated not once, but numerous times of his christian faith. i take him at his word. i have no reason not to. for us to continue to dwell on that, to me, is missing the point. i've no disagreement with president obama as a human being. in fact, i'll go so far to say one of the things i respect very much is the role model that he
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has served as a husband and a father, and i think he has been an exemplary husband to his wife and an extraordinary father to his daughters. frankly, america needs a good role model like that, and how can i on one hand argue for the primacy of the american family and not recognize that in his own personal lifestyle he has given us an excellent example of a person who has his priorities straight in marking out time for his wife and raising his daughters in a disciplinary environment in which he recognizes that he, the parent, is responsible for the or atmosphere in which they are raised? in and i commend him and salute him for that. i further mention that as a child growing up in the deep south, one who saw the evils of segregation and the horrors of racism, it did, in fact, give me cause to celebrate that in my own lifetime i saw an african-american elected to the presidency. now, i could have wished it to be a e republican.
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and i can wish that now that we've been there, done that, we'll elect a republican next year. but i genuinely felt a sense of great satisfaction in seeing in my life that moment come. i do not celebrate his policies, and i make it very clear why. but this is not an attack on president obama, the person. even though you will see sharp elbows at the policies that he has put forth, specifically many of the economic policies. the most basic form of government, being a family, there are some things that i think we as a culture need to fully grasp, and one is that if we don't have strong families, the government is going to end up with extraordinary cost as a result. for example, there are some figures that should get our attention. simple things like the family that does not have a frequent dinner together around their own
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table. children growing up in that atmosphere are two times more likely to use tobacco and marijuana, and one and a half times more likely to use alcohol and to make cs or lower in school. now, you know, i'm not saying that the government ought to have a everybody must eat dinner with their families five nights a week program. i'm not for a nanny state. in fact, i don't want the government telling us not only what to eat or when to eat or how often we gather around the table. i'd like for americans to understand that there is some common sense that needs to be applied, and it has to start with them. but i'm also saying that when there is not a sense in which families raise their children and expect the government to do it, the taxpayers end up with an extraordinary consequence. and so to those who both on the left and the right who believe that there is nothing to be gained from a discussion of the importance and the primacy of that pacific family unit --
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basic family unit, i ask them to wake up and smell the dinner table. because the fact is there are some direct costs that result from the brokenness of our most fundamental form of government. we know in this country we have a $300 billion a year dad deficit. this is the amount of money that government spends to pick up the pieces from dads who are absent from their families and who simply don't support their children and leave it to the taxpayers to pick up the costs and the consequences. that's real men. that's real money. even in washington terms, $300 billion a year is a significant amount of money. we also know that two-thirds of the children in america who live in poverty would not live in poverty if mothers of those children were married to the fathers of the children. my wife was raised by a single mom who successfully raised five of her kids and one stepchild. and is a remarkable woman. and her extraordinary success stories that all of us in this
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room could tell of people who in single-parent homes have been able to overcome the odds. but it doesn't change the odds. the odds are that children who do not have the stability of a family where there is both a mother and a father present and where the parents, at least one of whom is employed, and where those parents have a high school education means that that child has a significantly higher likelihood of living most of his or her life in poverty than the child who grows up where the parents have achieved a high school education, remain married to each other as partners for life and stay gainfully employed. that's probably david koch calling again. tell him i've already talked to him again, no more. [laughter] daniel patrick moynihan back in 1965 lamented the fact that 25% of the african-american births in this country were out-of-wedlock births. and nobody would ever say that
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daniel patrick moynihan was, you know, a raving right-winger. but he was a thoughtful man. and he was looking at this objectively. and at the time as a young staffer in the department of labor, what he saw startled him and gave him pause, and he wrote about it and warned the consequences of a growing level of out-of-wedlock birth saying that 25% was shocking to him. how shocked would he be to find that 75% of african-american births are out of wedlock? and across the board among all demographic groups, 41% of all american live births are now out-of-wedlock births. again, forget one's position on the political spectrum. this is a concern because there are economic consequences for those children. i'd like to think that people on the right are just as interested in eliminating poverty as people on the left. but the reality of eliminating poverty come down to simply putting more money in a
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government program does not address the root issue which is that mothers and fathers are the most important form of a government. i also want to mention that i think we sometimes forget that the origin of our country was one in which government was intended to be as local as possible and as limited as possible. and one need only to read the writings of jefferson, james madison, john adams to see that it was never intended that we would have a massive federal government. but what has happened since 2009 even states and cities get more of their revenue from the federal government than they get from any other source. this would be a shock to thomas jefferson, to james madison. and to our founders. who never conceived that the federal government would be so
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big that it would not be just as big as, but would be, incredibly, much bigger than the collective states and cities that originally the federal government was to serve. but that's where we've come. and so my title in this particular view is that the further you drift from shore, the more likely you are to be lost at sea. and the premises is, to me, again, a common sense, simple principle. that if i govern my own family, i can do that because i know my children. my wife and i have three children, they're all grown. we have a 34-year-old son, 30-year-old son and a 28-year-old daughter, two of those children are married. and for some reason, and i don't think it was intended, but we ended up once the kids all got grown and moved away, we ended up with three dogs. so we did have three kids, now we have three dogs. the kids think that the dogs have replaced them.
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they also believe that we treat the dogs better than we ever treated them. [laughter] i simply tell them that the dogs behave better than they ever did. [laughter] but this much i know, i know my own children. i know their personalities. and when they were growing up, i don't think there was any person in america who could have raised them better than me because, first, they were of me. and i knew them. and i knew when they were going to cry, and i knew when they were going to laugh. and i knew when they were getting angry, and i knew when i was getting through to them. my middle son required a little more firmness in the discipline. my daughter i could look at her in a certain way, she was the youngest of the three, and virtually could melt her just by my look of disapproval. now, all of that is to say that the closer you are to the people being governed, the better you're able to govern because you know them. and government at the
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neighborhood or the community level is usually more effective for the simple reason that you're governing people that you know, you like, and you're accountable to and are responsible for. i often tell people when they introduce themselves and say i'm on the school board, i always tell them you have the hardest job in politics because people with can see you at the grocery store, and they can find you at the little league game. i'm several layers away there that as governor, and i'm accessible and approachable, but i know where i can get away. you're on the school board? they've got your home number, and it's the toughest job in american politics. and you know what? that's a good thing. the more that government gets disconnected from the people who are being governed, the less likelies it is to get it right because it means that the people who are making the decisions don't really know those people. i'm not sure any person living 100 miles or a thousand miles from my neighborhood would better raise my children than me. now, the application of that is that we have made a huge mistake, and let me be very
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clear and i do so in the book, that whether it's a democrat or republican administration, both parties have made, i think, the unconstitutional and unconscionable mistake of moving government further and further and further from the local community and closer and closer to this city. and in doing so we've created not only a monstrous-sized government, but we've created one that is very unlike the one that our founders envisioned. james madison and the federalist papers, it's on page 29 of the book, talks from the federalist papers as to why that the power's not defined for the feds. it's not just that they were, but he explainses why. what we've come up with now is a formula in which the federal government by its own nature is able to get larger and larger by the granting of federal money to states and cities for programs, often just enough to get them hooked on something. but the long-term money is left
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to the states and cities. i remember when i was governor, the big program to put 100,000 cops on the streets, and that sounded like a wonderful thing. made for a great news conference in washington, we're going to fight crime, and the first three years it was funded. guess what happens in year four? if cities don't have the money, the governors and mayors get to make the announcements they're laying off cops. but the headline reads: mayor makes our cities unsafe. governors cut back the police budget. so what we find out is this whole idea of federal money is kind of like the free sample of heroin that your drug dealers give away. the ultimate effect is you get hooked, and the next thing you know the monkey's on your back for the rest of your life. we're seeing golfs turn down -- governors turn down federal money, and many people in this city are throwing up their hands and saying, what's wrong with
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these guys? what do you mean they don't want money for a high-speed rail? to expand their medicaid program? because they're smart enough to understand that if money is only good for two, three, or four years, some governor in the future is going to curse them for having ever taken money that they can't sustain once the federal funds dry up. and that's why more decisions need to be brought back to a local community. when i was vice chairman of the national governors' association, mark warner -- who was then chairman -- and i worked on getting all the states and governors together on a medicaid reform plan using some 1187 waivers that we would get through the hhs, go to the congress, go to the senate ask them to approve these changes, in exchange give the governors more plex about. -- flexibility. every democrat, every republican signed on except one, rod blagojevich did not sign on. [laughter]
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he now wishes he had so. had he done so, all these problems would have never happened for him. he was the only one who didn't. all the others signed on. we thought, this ought to be a slam dunkful we're presenting something that -- slam dunk. we're presenting something that saves the federal government money. one democrat, one republican, we go to the senate finance committee, the house energy and commerce committee. this ought to be simple. here, guys, we can save you several billion dollars, all we ask of you, let us govern our medicaid programs a little bit more. not completely, just a little bit more. and it was the biggest fight i've ever been in. and mark and i would look at each other after going to these committees and just shake our heads and say, what's wrong with these guys? because they wanted to fight fights we weren't even having. and it taught me an important lesson, that the further you row the boat from the shore, the more likely you are to be lost at sea. and i'm convinced that we've got
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a lot of folks in this city who are lost at sea. justice brandeis in 1932, i quote him because i think it's an important quote in the book. he spoke of states as being the laboratories for experiments in government. this was really the idea that our founders had that the states would be where the power was distributed, and they would have the opportunity to try things. sometimes bold things. sometimes those things wouldn't work. and when they didn't work, then not all the states would make the mistake of attempting them. but at least that would have been one thing that would have been tried and put aside. maybe we try something else. but if it did work, then all the other states could adopt it. now, think about what we've done in the last year with obamacare which i specifically reference as one of the prime examples of rather than road testing something in the states -- which in essence it had been road test inside two states, tennessee and massachusetts, and it has not
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worked, it has proven to not be an effective way to lower costs and to increase access and the to limit the amount of time people wait to get health care -- but no one really looked at those programs. they decided even though two states had put it in the laboratory and it didn't work rell whale, let's go ahead and put all 50 states in. it's that kind of insanity that, i believe, we have to speak to. and by the way, every one of the attorney generals in the united states, every last one of them complained to the office of the comptroller of the currency about the growing housing bubble and the fact that we were headed for serious consequences and dire consequences if we continue to follow the policies without stepping in with different levels of regulation on making loans to people who could not afford to take those loans. again, bipartisan, all attorney
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generals in all 50 states filed the complaint. this was states versus the feds saying, are you guys nuts? and, basically, they didn't say they were, but their actions said, yes, we are crazy. and the result has been an economic meltdown now that has cost all of us dramatic impact whether it's in our retirement accounts or in the value of our homes. and for that we ought to be outraged and angry and demand a new level of accountability. by the way, one of the things i want to mention, and i won't get to cover the entire book before i take your questions buzz i know you have some -- because i know you have some, but i want to just say part of this book was written last summer in june, july and august, put to bed in october and november. and nobody was talking about public employee unions and their impact. but if you look on page 35 of the book, i feel somewhat
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validated because i talk about the coming meltdown that we're going to see as result of the public employee unions and the fact that in the public employee unions versus the private sector, the wages are 30% higher among public sector union employees, and the benefit packages in health and retirement are 70% better in their corresponding private sector. and i simply pointed out that -- and i've been a governor for 11 years. it became obvious to me be you look at simply the long-term calculations here, it's unsustainable. in the same way that if a golf looks at -- governor looks at his medicaid program, and he looks at his state employee health plan, every governor run the largest health plan in his state. in my state it would require all the employees of walmart and all the employees of tyson foods -- the two largest corporations in arkansas -- combined, and they still wouldn't with equal the number of state employees. because in most states the state
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employee body is the largest group of employees in a single entitiment and if they're unionized, they're even more expensive by virtue of the fact that the collective bargaining has resulted in disproportionate pay and benefits that has grown, and i call it a parasitic relationship with the states and is symbiotic relationship with the government. you could see this coming. now it's playing out on the lead story of every newscast and the front page of every paper in the country where in wisconsin and in indiana and in ohio and probably coming soon to a theater near you there is a growing sense of urgency about how are we going to fund these costs. and, again, i'm going to tell you that while some will try to pit this as republicans' attempt to bust unions, this is a factor that jerry brown is dealing with in california and andrew cuomo is dealing in with in new york, and neither one of them are
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right-wing republicans, and i doubt they watch fox news every night. they should, but i doubt they do. [laughter] i want to mention one other thing, and that is that we can't spend what we don't have, and you can't borrow what you can't pay back. you understand that in your family. if you're in real serious financial trouble in your family, the first thing you do is say, okay, we're going to have to stop spending. i've never met a mother and a father, a husband and a wife who have said, okay, i lost my job. i don't know what we're going to do. we're broke. we have no savings, so, you know what we need to do? let's go to disney world. we don't go spend money. we figure out how to cut back our expenditures. we start figuring out what we can sell. i mean, my gosh, when i ran for office -- and i knew i didn't have enough money to live on -- i cashed my insurance policy, i cashed in some annuities, we sold off things. my point is that you don't just
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go out and recklessly spend if you don't have it, and the last thing you do if you can't pay it back, you don't go to the bank and ask for several million dollars. how are you going to pay it back? i have no idea. i actually don't plan to. and what i would love to do is to be able to go and build a $100 million home in the hamptons, hire servants to take care of it. why do i not to that? pause no bank would ever loan me the pun for that because they'd say, there's no way you can pay that back. and yet we had a whole series of times in this country where the government encouraged people to take out loans they could not pay back because the government had set the example, the government has been borrowing money that it can't pay back. we know more money than our total combined gross domestic product in a year. this ought to be shocking to us. the fact is we now have a grotz
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domestic product. all the things we make, manufacture and put together isless than what we owe. now, when you do -- i'm getting the question signal, right? >> right. >> okay. either that or you were making a at me, i'm not sure which it was. [laughter] i'm going to assume it's about the questions. but when that happens in your family, you're underwater. that's what we say. the last thing you do is pour more water on ourself. so i try to cover the waterfront from terrorism to border security and all things in between, but most importantly i just want to say that this is an attempt on my part to say, here i stand. here's what i believe. and the question that you probably want to ask is, are you going to run? the question that i have for america is, do you think this message resonates with you? if it does, that give withs me a
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whole lot more encouragement to go put myself through the sausage grinder of a campaign. >> and for more information, visit mikehuckabee come. mikehuckabee.com. >> bill, tell us why you chose football as a way to share the story of racial tension in georgia. >> well, rachel, first of all, thanks to you and c-span for taking the time to talk to me today. this book has been out a few years, but one of the important components of it is that i interviewed the first black player who played on the all-white albany high school in albany georgia football team in 19 -- in the mid '60s. and this particular player and another black player decided to go to their football camp. and the football camp at that point was in the middle of the woods along the creek and bad thing could happen out there. and the first night one of the black players didn't make it and went home, and the one who
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survived is grady caldwell. now, this book, i think, is important to help us understand how football in the deep south helped further integration. and the forward of this book is written by university football coach vince dooley, and that's what appealed to him about it. i interviewed grady caldwell, other blacks who came after him and other whites who had to make adjustments in that period and white coaches who supported braidty and black players that follow him. so one of the things -- and be there are other themes in the book, but one of the themes is that high school ports, specifically football in the deep south, did help further integration in our part of the country. >> and you played on this football team a little later than when grady caldwell did. what was the mood like on the team? did they talk about other black players? >> no, and that's a great
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question. i played forral albany high in 1972, and by that point our team was probably 65% white and the rest black. it was not discussed a few years earlier that that was an all-white football team and the color barrier had been broken in terms of that particular school. it wasn't discussed by the players that i've played there, and the interviews, i think, in this book would help the reader understand that many of the white players and many of the black players who got that football camp, and it was a hell of a camp by the mid early '70s just wanted to be a part of that team, and race didn't matter. >> you write about how brutal the camp was. how much do you think the social challenges played into the physical challenges? >> for blacks? >> ya -- yeah. >> no question about it.
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tomorrow night grady will be speaking to one of the civil rights constitute. grady told me about the intimidation, about the name calling, about the threats from white players, and white players admitted it. i record them in the book, and then as i said a moment ago, ernest jenkins was another black -- two blacks went out on that team in '65, and there was a tremendous amount of pressure and intimidation to run them off. >> what was the mood around the city offal albany that at that ? did they see this one immigration helping the state of georgia move forward? >> >> i think there's no question about the people who saw that were the same people who marched with dr. martin luther king when he came here in 1961 and '62. and gradety caldwell's -- gradety caldwell's own family.
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these were black guys whose families, whose mothers understood that if you could integrate that football team and not have whites fans on one side and black fans on the other side in this pig stadium you have, if you could begrate that team, you could further integration in this community. >> was there a lot of pushback or tension from the community when grady played on his first football game? >> there was pushback from his own white team teammates, and then i recorded their interviews, and they later regretted that, and in this same season they realized that grady caldwell was a fellow with strong character. so there was early push, early resistance, yes. and thal albany high school coah who just recently passed away made a point. the cafeteria on camp, he would go sit by grady, and all the other white players would not is
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accept him, but coach cook did that. and the the other thing coach cook did at night when he felt there could be problems, he had grady sit by him. there were people to help forward. >> and tell us about the title, why you chose "made or broken." >> doing research for the book i did interviews with the player and my own hell irk memory -- hellish memory. no water, the asking, the water moccasins. i was going through some old story at the albany herald, excuse me. this was built during the mid '30s during the great depression, and there was one story, i believe, that copy out '672, '6 be, and, of course, this is the deep south. football is it, it's king. one story written by a local
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sports writer, and he's talking about the upcoming season and albany has had great 2350b8 teams. a lot of excitement, and you talk about this camp. and he uses that phrase, made or broken. he said the coach will take the kids out of the camp, and they'll either be made or broken. so when i saw it, that was it. >> and what other books are you work ogg on? -- working on? >> well, i've written two previous books. one, a bit about the first two. one is about a sharecropper, cotton-picking boy born in 960 and became a mill worker. that came out a year or so ago called "the mill daddy." and then identify written a book -- i've written a book about my mother's dream about watching my dad play baseball with. well, my dad organized a baseball team in the late '50s in atlanta. it's more than a sports book in
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terms of that particular book. i have begun working on a book about grady caldwell because of what happened to him. grady, who is a central figure in this book, i mentioned, he fell into the pit of drug abuse and i interviewed him in prison, as a matter of fact, for this book. but then there are other things, his family stuck with him, and now he's a minister, i believe, in macon, georgia. going to be able to interview grady this week as a matter of fact. >> well, thank you so much for your time. >> inn mail reed is on "in depth" live sunday, april 3rd at noon eastern. join our three-hour conversation taking your phone calls, e-mails and tweets for inn mail reed,
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and watch previous "in depth" programs at booktv.org where you can also find the entire weekend schedule. >> dr. bush, how did the juvenile justice system get started in this country? >> well, it got started right around the turn of the 20th century. the first juvenile court law was passed in the illinois in 1899 establishing a separate court for juveniles, and along with it came separate institutions for juvenile offenders. the system was so popular that it was copied by almost every other state in the union by the 1920s. texas adopted a juvenile court law in 1907. >> and you write that the juvenile justice system has failed in this country. why do you think that it's failed? >> well, it's failed because it's failed to live up to it founding promise which was, basically, that it would establish a more protective of system for youthful o offenders. the you'll jus sis system was
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founded on the concept that children were different from adult offenders, that they were less responsible for their offenses and they were more capable of being rehabilitated. so you'lls were supposed to be separated from adults and treated differently. today it's very common place to see abuse scandals in juvenile institutions that are scarcely different from adult prisons. juvenile courts have adopted most of the same procedural features as adult courts, so to many critics -- and i guess i would include myself in that group -- it really has failed. tell us a little bit about the scandal at west texas state school that caught the public's attention and sort of fueled this issue? >> well, the scandal broke in the news media in early 2007, and it was a sex abuse scandal. in fact, as we're sitting here right now, the last mayor figure
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in that scandal is now on trial four years after that scandal to give you an idea how long it's been going on. in this case, one of the administrators at one of these facilities in a remote area of west texas were coercing sexual behaviors from several boys using their power as administrators. this went on for years and it was, basically, covered up by higher ups within the state agency that oversaw that constitution. and it was finally leaked out and then publicized. >> what is a superpredator? >> superpredator is a word that was coined in the mid 1990s by a criminologist named john, and it was originally intended to mean kids who kill without remorse, without conscious and sort of randomly. really captured in some of the popular movies of the period like "natural born killers."
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and in the mid 1990s you'll recall there really was kind of a national panic over violet juvenile crime, and that word became attached to that panic. the word with also carried kind of a highly racial connotation to it. it seems to many critics to refer to african-american and latino juveniles who are increasingly overrepresented in the incarcerated juvenile population. >> so what role do you think race plays in the problems with our juvenile justice system? >> i think it's really central in a lot of ways, and i'm certainly not alone in thinking that. whether you want to believe that youth of color commit more crimes as some conservative critics believe, or you want to believe that the system actively discriminates against them or institutionally discriminates against them in some way, there's no doubt that race is a central factor in the juvenile justice system. >> how is texas a good case
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study for problems throughout the entire country? >> well, texas throughout much of the 20th century was one of the largest juvenile justice systems in the country just in terms of the number of youths and the number of institutions that it managed. it's also a useful case study just because of the political and economic clout that the state has come to acquire over the course of the last 50 or 60 years. it's one of the largest states, it's one of the most demographically diverse states, one of the most geographically diverse states, and it's one of the most politically powerful states. several recent u.s. presidents have come from texas, important national legislators have come from texas. >> why did you want to write this book? what was the impetus to get you started? >> my impetus to get started on this book really was an interest in how we as a society decide who the good kids are and who
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the bad kids are and then what is to be done with them. and i initially began looking at popular culture and representations of youth, and then i became dissatisfied with that anded thed i needed to look at real kids and real policies and institutions that affected them. >> so where does texas and other states go from here? have you seen improve. since you've written the book? >> well, there's been a lot that's changed since i finished the book. as we sit here, the legislature is considering abolishing the agency that oversees juvenile justice in texas. several of the large facilities have been shut down. as i was finishing the book. lots of kids have been sent back to their communities, and there really is a movement to move away from big institutions again and towards community-based facilities. and part of that is being driven by the budget crises that are
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affecting many states across the country including texas which has something like a $27 billion deficit to deal with right now. so that's really fueling a lot of this sort of progress i have movement in some ways -- progressive movement in some ways. >> well, great. dr. bush rg thank you very much. >> thank you. ♪ >> coming up next, booktv presented "after words," an hourlong program where authors are interviewed by guest hosts. this week, ruben "hurricane" carter talks about the 20 years he spent in prison and his work for the incidence since his 1985 release. he talks with veteran journalist, juan williams. ♪ >> host: ruben carter, thank you for joining us this, this wonderful day. how old are you now? >> guest: i will be 74 years old
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in may, and that's dr. ruben carter. >> host: because of honorary degrees? >> guest: i have two honorary doctorate degrees, one from brisbane, australia, griffey law school in 2003, and one from york university in 2005. so it's dr. ruben -- >> host: both in australia? >> guest: no, no -- >> host: oh, york is in canada. >> caller: that's correct. >> host: your book is called "eye of the hurricane: my path from darkness to freedom." with a forward by nelson mandela. >> guest: yes. >> host: and your co-author is ken klonsky. you want to share that you have discovered the truth. >> guest: to be the truth. >> host: well, it says -- yeah. [laughter] the love of truth is the spirit of man. given where i was and for how long i was there -- this is

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