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tv   Book TV Feature  CSPAN  October 12, 2013 11:00am-6:01pm EDT

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few moments of the senate will be gaveling in today. they are expected to vote within the hour on whether to limit the the date and move forward with the debt ceiling bill introduced by the senate majority leader harry reid earlier this week. this is a test vote and that measure would increase the debt limit until december 2014. currently, the u.s. is set to reach its debt limit five days from now on october 17th unless congress acts and if cloture is invoked a vote on the final passage of the bill would come sometime next week. live coverage now on c-span2. give our senators this day the special gifts of wisdom and understanding, patience and strength, motivating them to
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follow what is true and do what is right. lord, inspire our lawmakers with a renewed trust in you and commitment to work together for your glory. we pray in your sacred name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. mr. reid: mr. president? the president pro tempore: the majority leader. mr. reid: i move to proceed to calendar number 211 s. 1569, the
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debt limit legislation. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 211 s. 1659 a bill to ensure the timely payment of the obligations of the u.s. government until december 31, 2014. mr. reid: the time until noon will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. at noon there will be a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill to ensure the complete and timely payment obligations of the united states government until december 31, 2014. mr. president, i understand h.j. res. 79 is due for its second reading. the president pro tempore: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the second time. the clerk: h.j. res. 79, joint resolution making continuing appropriations for certain components. department of homeland security for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes. mr. reid: i would object to any further proceedings,
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mr. president, at this time. the president pro tempore: objection is heard. the bill will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to executive session to consider the nomination 340, that the nomination be confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate, and that no further motions be in order under the nomination -- be in order in regard to the nomination, any related statements be printed in the record and president obama be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative. the president pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: mr. president, it's really hard to comprehend that four days from today, unless and until a few extremist republicans -- we hope it's a few -- too radical to compromise, could force a
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default on the nation's obligations. the first time ever. economists say it won't be long before financial markets react negatively to this continued uncertainty. i believe, mr. president, that monday is a legal holiday, and i believe that the markets will be closed. that's good, because what i see staring us in the face is not a pleasant picture. now, everyone should understand that a bad day on wall street doesn't just affect these great big banks and wealthy investors. it affects everyone in our country. not only those with 401(k)s, those that had no savings. it affects everybody, because everyone will lose not only in america, but around the world. the life savings of ordinary americans are at risk, and that's an understatement. and while this uncertainty is
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bad, default would be unthinkably worse. but, mr. president, to show my angst is real, one only need to look at what took place in the house of representatives this morning. they walked out of another meeting, a conference, caucus, call it what you want, defiant. we couldn't do anything. therefore, the government remains closed and the debt ceiling is every day closer and closer -- every hour now. and while this uncertainty is bad -- i repeat -- default is just unthinkably worse. mr. president, because of the collapse on wall street a few years ago, the state of nevada and all over the country, states were hammered -- hammered -- that was only five years ago. americans lost their jobs, lost their homes and their savings.
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so did people around the world. the country is beginning to recover, but it's not in great shape. but the crisis we now face is one of even greater proportion. the government has remained closed now for, i think we're at 12 days now. think about this. four states are buying into programs so that national parks can stay open. national parks. the brainchild of republican theodore roosevelt. it is really so sad what's happened to our country. defaulting on our debt would risk millions of american jobs. not thousands, not tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands, but millions of jobs. social security checks would likely be halted. medicare payments and even payments for our troops wouldn't
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happen. so without exception, the most respected economist in the business said if america defaults on its debt, there will be dire consequences. we've heard this from everybody. not only economists, but business people. mr. president, i was happy to see the republicans engaged in talks with the president; the house republicans. that's over with. it's done. they're not talking anymore. we learned that this morning. i say to my friends on the republican side of this senate, time's running out. they've urged their more radical members to compromise. for example, my friend, the senior senator from arizona, mr. president, that man came to the congress of the united states with me and the assistant
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leader. we've been together for 31 years. here's what he said. sensible word; senior senator from arizona. "sooner or later the government will resume its function. sooner or later we'll raise the debt limit. the question is how do we get there? why don't we do this sooner rather than later. why doesn't the senate lead?" we're trying. we're going to have a vote in 50 minutes, a long-term measure to avert default and give the economy the certainty it needs. i've told my republican friends, madam president, allowing the government to operate again, that's not a favor to me. it's not a favor to the presiding officer. it's not a favor to democrats on this side of the aisle. it's something that should just happen. we shouldn't consider this a time we're doing favors for individuals, groups. we should just understand that
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the government should open because it should never have closed in the first place. and the debt ceiling, my reasonable republicans should understand this should be extended, not for a couple of weeks, a couple of months. it should be extended for a long time. we shouldn't have this fight. to think that this is only a motion to proceed on the legislation. it is not a vote on the measure itself. and the republicans, i've been told they're all going to vote against this. what a sad day for america. they're voting to not allow us to even debate whether the debt ceiling should be raised. are they afraid of that? do they just want this to go away? it's not going to go away. each hour that goes by, we're closer to a calamity for our country. the economy needs more stability
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than short-term republican proposals. congress and the country must not be back in a few weeks ago wondering whether republicans will force our nation to default our financial obligations. and to think, house republicans are saying we'll extend the debt for a little while but we're not going to reopen government. wow, that is so logical and so sensible and so good for the country. i've said that very, very sarcastically. senate democrats' position has been and remains this: reopen the government, pay our country's bills so we can move forward with good-faith negotiations on a long-term budget. it's not too late for our republican colleagues to do the right thing for this country. i'm so concerned that it seems the worry about whether the country should have a
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functioning government and should extend its debt ceiling is only democrats. that is the way it should be. i admire president obama for doing what he's done the last few days. he has invited every member of congress, 535, to meet with him. first he had the house republicans. then he had senate democrats, another meeting. and then senate republicans and house republicans. remember, last time my friend, the speaker, was on television, he said, maybe, oh 18 times -- i haven't counted them -- he wanted to have a conversation. the president took him up on that. invited all 232 members of the republican caucus to come to the white house and visit with him. they refused that. they sent 20 down. so, i appreciate the president being willing to talk to all of
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us. and he's done that in detail. the problem is the conversation is one way. the republicans are not interested, it appears at this stage, of doing anything constructive to extend the debt ceiling to opponent government. later is what they always say. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the time until 12:00 noon will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader. mr. durbin: thank you, madam president. madam president, at 12:00 noon we'll vote on s. 1659. it is barely one page but it is of more significance than anyone can imagine because it basically is an opportunity for us to start the debate. not to end the debate. to start the debate on whether
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or not the united states of america will default on its debt for the first time in the history of this nation. other nations have defaulted. argentina, venezuela, cameroon. we have never defaulted. as a result of that, the united states dollar is the soundest currency in the world. think about it for a second. where else would you turn? the united states dollar is the soundest currency, and buying the debt of the united states is considered to be the single-safest investment any person, business or country can make. you know, we didn't just inherit this. we earned this. because every year the united states has been a nation, we have paid our bills. now that is being brought into question. and today at noon on the floor of the united states senate there is going to be a vote on this measure as to whether or
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not we proceed with the debate over paying our bills. sadly we are told that not a single republican senator will join us in just allowing the debate on paying our bills. that is a sad commentary. when you think about it, it is taking the events of the last week or two to the extreme. it was bad enough to shut down the government of the united states. when the republicans decided that shutting down the government was a great political move, the american people said, are you out of your mind? 800,000 people are going to be furloughed. we're going to stop the services of our government. and for the last 12 days we have seen every single day another indicating, another piece of news about how the government shutdown is hurting ordinary people across america. whether it's those who were denied clinical trials at the
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national institutes of health, right outside washington, d.c., clinical trials that literally were life-and-death decisions, whether we are talking about food inspection, reading the newspaper about sam medical la poisoning -- salmonella poisoning and realize the government shutdown is reducing the number of food inspectors. the list goes on and on and on. but i will tell you this, as sad and unfair as it is for the republican shutdown of the government to result in 800,000 furloughed federal employees, the hardships on their families and the hardships on all the americans who count on their jobs and basic services of the federal government, this is worse. this is worse. the republican shutdown has reached a new level of recklessness, a new level of irresponsibility if we default on america's debt. sadly, it will mean the victims
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will not just be federal employees and their families. no. not even just those who count on government services. the victims will be virtually every person and every family in america. now, is that an exaggeration, just another politician reaching extreme rhetoric here on the floor? let me quote a few people who do this for a living, people we trust. the treasury secretary jack lew at a finance committee hearing on october 13 said failing to raise the debt ceiling will impact everyday americans beyond its impact on financial markets. between october 17 and november 1, treasury secretary lew said, we have large payments to medicare providers, social security beneficiaries, and veterans as well as salaries for active duty in the military. a failure to raise the debt limit could put timely payment of all of these at risk.
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of course he's a government employee and appointee of the administration. you might say, well, let's discount that. he is just putting the president's political spin on this. so let's go to frank keating, no friend of this administration. he's the head of the american bankers association. before a banking committee hearing on october 10, he said -- and i quote -- "ordinary americans will bear the brunt of the damage if our leaders do not present the -- prevent the united states from defaulting on its debt for the first time in history." he went on to say "it would raise the cost of borrowing for businesses, meaning job losses and price increases, be a blow to retirement funds, leaving fewer resources available for retirees. for banks, which hold $3 trillion in treasury, agency and mortgage-backed securities, the sharp decline in value of these securities would translate into fewer resources available for mortgages, business, auto, credit card and student loans."
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to put it in layman's terms, mr. keating, the head of the american bankers' association, is saying if the congress fails to extend the debt ceiling, as we are proposing to do today, interest rates will go up. interest rates on ordinary americans, ordinary families and ordinary businesses. this is entirely preventable. i'll till in the past, let me just lay the cards on the table. i've been in the house and senate, nobody wants to vote for this because most people don't understand it. oh, so you want us to go further in debt, senator. that's why you voted for it. that's not the case. the debt limit is paying off the bills we have already incurred. it's like going to a fancy restaurant and ordering the best meal on the menu, eating the meal. and when they come ask to you pay the check, say no, i'm not paying the check. you see, i'm a fiscal
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conservative. i just don't believe in extravagant eating. you just ate the meal and now you're not going to pay the check? that's what this is all about. we have incurred these bills. now the question is whether we will pay these bills. and that's what it comes down to. this is very basic and fundamental. at noon there will be a vote on the floor of the senate which will have a direct impact on everyone. everyone in this country. and the question is whether the republicans, fresh from the failure of their government shutdown, are going to dig a deeper hole. not just for their party. forget that completely. but for this nation. whether they're going to create a new group of victims beyond federal employees that include every member, every family, every business in america. that is what's at stake. madam president, i'm not exaggerating. i think this may be the single-most irresponsible thing i've seen in the time that i've served in washington. to let this happen is not good
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for this nation. it's not fair to the people of this nation. and then to watch what happens on monday, the majority leader said the markets are closed on monday. i'm told the bond market is closed but the stock market is open. the stock market is where your mutual funds live, where the stocks that you own for your savings and retirement live and where your savings live. and this irresponsible action, sadly, is likely to create a decline in value of your hard-earned savings. it c '-- if can bit can be avoided. what would it take? six republicans. the democrats are ready to move forward. we need six moderate republicans to step forward. and if we do, we'll move forward. we'll pass whatever bill it is to extend the debt ceiling. we're asking six republicans to give us a chance to vote. if they say "no" at 12:00 noon
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today, the consequences could be awful for this great nation. i yield the floor. mr. leahy leahy: madam presiden? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: madam president, i hope the country listens to what the senior senator from illinois said. the ramifications of this, this is not a political exercise, this is not a bumper sticker thing. this is hitting every -- every single family, every single person in america. doesn't make any difference whether there's democrats, republicans, independents. it's going to hurt and hurt badly, whether you're saving money for your child to go to college, for your retirement, you're paying bills for an illness -- all of you are going to be impacted. so i think that the distinguished senior senator. madam president, you know, this 12th day that we're paralyzed by this unnecessary shutdown, there are real things that are coming about because of it.
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i'll give you another example. i've given several examples on the floor about how vermonters are suffering due to this tea party shutdown. but i think the distinguished presiding officer probably has similar examples in her commonwealth of massachusetts. or others here. earlier this year i worked with senator crapo, republican. we built the support we needed to reauthorize the violence against women act, vawa. and the senate and the house passed the legislation that senator crapo and i write and we did it with strong bipartisan votes. the president signed it. we put our differences aside, and we are philosophically very different, but we put those differences aside to help the people we serve, whether it's in idaho, vermont, massachusetts or anywhere else. but, now we have october which marks domestic violence
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awareness month i so many of the lifesaving programs we put in there are getting caught in the shutdown. so today as many are being held hostage by the tea party shutdown, we're seeing the toll of this brinksmanship. in franklin county, a northwestern county in our state, advocates were hopeful when they learned the new grant would allow one staff person to help victims of lgbt domestic assault in that rural region. of course, this hope has given way to frustration because the funds promised on october 1 did not come through. in berry city, joins our capital city of montpelier, berry is where my father was born, has a population of 9,200. police force has furloughed two
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half-time detectives who were providing 24/7 coverage for special responses to domestic violence cases. and they were also providing critical training to their colleagues on how to answer these challenging calls. madam president, i have experience as a prosecutor in vermont and i saw how terrible these domestic violence cases can be. and they occur in every state. and i would bet that every single state can give an example on what this shutdown has meant the same as berry, vermont. there's a long list of programs funded with the vawa grants that continue to provide services to victims, incur the related costs based on the hope they might be reimbursed once funding is restored, while the tea party says "maybe" the check will be in the mail. they have no choice, because despite what the tea party might think, the close the spigot on
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funding, it doesn't mean the victims go away. victims are victims are victims. and i still have nightmares of some of the scenes i saw at 3:00 in the morning when i was a prosecutor. they're still occurring. we can at least cut way back on them and help people, americans, and also say, what's going to happen to victims and their children when the money for w.i.c. and the tanf programs run dry? we know many domestic violence survivors have to rely on these supports when they leave their abusers. in the past, they had to stick with their abusers because they had to feed the children. now at least they've got a lifeline out there. and if you combine that with the impending cuts to the supplemental nutrition assistance programs the tea party wants, i wonder whether this is going to cause these victims and their children to stay in the homes of the abusers
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just so the children can be fed. this is america. this is america. none of these tea party members -- they're all getting paid. they get paid today. they get their expenses, they get their staff, they can fly back and forth, they can go on television and all that. they're not facing this abuse. they're not facing the question, how do they feed their children. chris lukens, the director of voices against violence in st. albans, vermont, says the uncertainty is the hardest part, both for her agency and the victims it serves. at the end of the last week, the first of the tea party shutdown, she said, "we're fielding a lot of calls from survivors who don't know how they're going to make ends meet. people just don't know what the impact will be." so you get abused first by whoever the abuser is and now you're going to get abused by this tea party shutdown. so let's end the uncertainty, let's end the shutdown, let's fulfill our promises to the
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people we're here to represent. the continuing resolution passed by the senate, a resolution which, after all, was asked for by the house of representatives and was a compromise with them, could end this stalemate. you know, the leadership in the house of representatives should have the courage to bring it to a vote, the courage not necessarily for their own political needs but the courage for the needs of america. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. warner: madam president, i first of all want to thank my colleague, the senator from vermont, for his comments and his relentless voice about folks whose concerns are not often heard in the halls of this institution and thank him for his work and the fact of who continues to be hurt by this
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absurd government shutdown. i really think we're almost in kind of the era of the theater of the absurd at this point. we've had a government shutdown for 11-plus days. four days, five days from a default. and what i keep wondering, is we hear about some of the least fortunate who are being hurt, the remarkable thing is, well, is how much of our economy is being hurt all across the board. i got called two mites ago -- i got called two nights ago by a chairman of a company from northern virginia, 5,500 employees. this company had been built by this first-generation american. he's extraordinarily proud of what he's done for his company, for his employees. his company serves our government, so-called government contractor. a lot of these companies not only in virginia, maryland,
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across this region, across this country. when the shutdown started, 30% of his 5,500 employees were said, they're not essential. so the company has been trying to make ends meet, keeping these folks furloughed but not firing them. trying to pay them a little something during this period. the remarkable thing is the 70% of the employees that were deemed essential, they're not getting paid either, even though the government says they're going to pay them because the folks who process the checks are furloughed. now, anybody that operates a business on a cash-flow basis knows that when the money runs out, even if you've got a potential i.o.u., if you can't go to the bank and borrow money, you shut down. this company, 25 years in the building, the c.e.o., this chairman says this goes on a week, two weeks more, his life's
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work and, he said more importantly than his life's work, the 5,500 people who depend upon this company's existence may very well disappear. that's just part of the government shutdown. today we're going to vote on an issue that i never thought in -- in my time in public sector or private sector that we would be seriously considering and that is the default of the united states of america. i've spent longer in the private-sector side than i have in the public-sector side but i never thought i would see a headline, what i saw this week in "the financial times," an international financial newspaper where the headline was "america pay your bills." america, the largest economy in the world, the country that has been granted because of our
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exemplary behavior for decades, the status of the reserve currency. what does reserve currency mean? it means that every american business does a little bit better than every other business around the world because the dollar is the currency that everybody else goes to when times are tough. there are countries, not all of them friendly to us, saying maybe the dollar shouldn't be the reserve currency anymore. if we lose that status, it doesn't come back overnight. it's not where we can say oops, the tea party crowd can say oops, maybe we made a mistake. we want to roll that back. once it's gone, it could be literally decades to get it back. somebody might say what makes you think that? if you look since the beginning of the 21st century, i saw one of the tv news networks validated this yesterday,
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there's only been one country, one industrial country in the world that's defaulted since the year 2000. argentina. america's not argentina. but argentina back in december of 2001 defaulted. prior to that time, argentina per capita income was the richest country in south america. way ahead of chile, brazil, other nations in that region. once argentina defaulted, the value of its currency fell by 75%, inflation hit over 100% a year, every argentine family lost over half of their network. today, 12 years after argentina defaulted, it falls way below on an average income basis most of the countries of south america. america is not argentina. it may not be that catastrophic. but why would anyone take the chance? why would anyone decide in this
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uncharted area to potentially threaten default? that is like playing russian roulette with one bullet and only two chambers. no responsible nation would do that. so we've heard from some on the other side, well, here's what we ought to do. maybe we'll kind of default. we'll pay our bonds and we'll pay social security, pay our military. and then everything else, that will be put on hold. that, to me, shows a remarkable fundamental lack of understanding of how government or economics works. no government has ever tried that. but let's, for the sake of argument, suppose that somehow that -- quote, unquote -- prioritization scheme might stave off america defaulting for a week or two. here's the other half of the
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story, thoerbgs that -- story, though, that they don't acknowledge. even if america pays its debt on that list of prioritization, it does not appear medicaid, transportation, law enforcement. do you know where a lot of those dollars go? those dollars don't stay spent at the federal level. they're spent at your state government level. they're spent at your local government level. i had the great honor of being governor of virginia before i came to the senate. we worked really hard to keep a triple-a bond rating. in the commonwealth of virginia, the state of maryland -- i see my colleague from maryland, i see my colleague from louisiana -- every one of these states, at least a third of their state budgets are dollars that pass from the federal government down to the state level. we could see within a week or maybe even less every state government, every local government in america either have a budget crisis or default.
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we could have the story of what's happened in detroit happen across every community in america not because of mistakes made at the local level or the state level, but because of the irresponsibility of a group of folks up here who don't understand the economics that you don't mess with the full faith and credit of america. what other cost are we playing with here? well, many of the folks who have been most adamant about keeping the government shut, which, by the way, will cost the taxpayers more. it will not save us a dime. federal employees will be paid, but starting and stopping all these government contracts will hurt the economy, decrease tax revenues and actually cost taxpayers more. but what may be even more jeopardizing than those actions would be with this kind of irresponsible testing of the markets or brinkmanship, you can
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see interest rates rise. for every one point of increased interest payment on our debt, that accounts for $110 billion of additional federal government payments every year. one percent interest on the debt increase over a ten-year bays, that's an -- ten-year basis that's an extra $1 trillion government spending that has a priority of any other aspect of federal government spending. you talk about a tax hike, it gets america nothing. from a group that says we don't want to increase taxes at any cost, well, playing with the debt ceiling, 1% interest, $110 billion tax hike on every american family, every american business. and again you can't say a few days later oops, and the market would then tick back down our interest rates. so, madam president, i know other colleagueser here and they
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want to speak as well. i and my business life, time as governor, time as senator have never seen an action that it's nearly as irresponsible as the actions taken by this -- and i don't think this is a majority of the colleagues on the other side, but a small cohort of ideologues who are willing to do whatever, including burn down the house, to try to achieve their goals. we're going to have a chance here in the senate in about 20 minutes to decide whether we will take off the threat of america defaulting. the asian markets open within 40 hours. the world is going to see whether america is going to maintain its position as reserve currency, world's largest economy, most stable financial basis. i hope that we'll take a step today to at least remove the
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threat of default. we encourage our friends on the 0 house side to do that as well as we open this government. then, yes, let's go ahead and get our fiscal house in order. putting america's fiscal reputation, put the kind of companies who are in jeopardy with the shutdown is not the kind of governs that -- governance that america needs at this point. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: let me thank my colleague from virginia for his outstanding words. he knows this from a political perspective, business perspective and economic perspective and has been such a strong and vital voice about america paying its bills. i would like to add a couple of things here. we have a group of people in the house and the senate -- not a majority on the other but some -- whom we call debt ceiling deniers. they deny that letting the debt ceiling lapse, going into default could be cataclysmic for
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america. they're wrong. every person who has studied this knows it's wrong. and the debt ceiling debt ceiling deniers fall in two camps. some say that, well, we can pay certain debts and not other debts, and that would be all right. well, let them choose. pick social security over veterans. pick payments to mothers, pregnant mothers versus payments for food safety. can't do it. and then they say, well, maybe we should just pay treasuries that come due and say not pay social security. well, let me tell you, as somebody who's consulted experts on the market, the overwhelming view is that if we don't pay any of our bills, for the first time in u.s. history that the markets could very well freeze up,
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tighten and create huge damage to our country. the second group of debt ceiling deniers say we can just -- you know, we don't know the date. we don't. the markets are mystical. but once they come to their almost magical conclusion that the u.s. is going to default, we are in trouble. that could be the 17th. it could be a day or two before, the 15th or 16th, importuning us to action as soon as possible. it could be a little bit later. but we don't know when it is. and what a risk. madam president, we are like a blindfolded man walking towards the edge of a cliff. and if we keep walking, we will fall off. we can debate whether we fall off in five yards, 50 yards or 500 yards. but we will fall off, and we don't know what that line is.
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why risk it? and one final point. this could be as bad or worse than the 2008 recession. it's the same basic principle. a very important security -- in that case mortgage securities, in this case treasuries -- loses tremendous value. the markets freeze, loans can't be made, interest rates rise, and all the ensuing economic damage. auto sales will go down and thousands of auto workers will be laid off. home sales will go down and construction workers will be laid off. that's what happened in 2008. and it could well happen again, and be worse because this will be worldwide. u.s. treasuries are probably the most widely held denomination of assets on financial institution
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books, and deeper. more institutions have more of them than have mortgage securities. so we are playing with fire. and i would make a plea to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. i know we all have political agendas. i would very much like to see the immigration bill pass. we all have agendas that are very important to us. please do not hold debt ceiling, paying our debts, hostage to any other condition. pass a debt ceiling unconditionally and then we can go back to our business, debate these issues, and see where the political chips fall. but please, please for the sake of this country, for the sake of the men and women who labored before us and never let us default, do not play with fire. pass a clean debt ceiling and let's move on and debate the other issues that so much deserve debate. i yield the floor.
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ms. landrieu: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: thank you, madam president. i came to the floor today to add my voice to the voices that have spoken on, since 11:00 our time about the importance of opening this government and sending a strong signal that the united states congress will not default on its debt, that we will pay our bills. we will honor the commitments that we've made not only to bondholders outside of our country, but to our own constituents who hold treasury bonds in their pension funds and their 401(k)s, that use it to balance their investments in their businesses, because they know that they can count on those notes to be paid. and until just a few days ago it seemed like that would happen.
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and recently in the last 48 hours there is a real question as to if a small group of republicans in the house understand how high this cliff is and how close we are to it. this problem is completely manufactured by a group of people that came here, elected to office to do this exact thing: shut the government down at any expense. as the senator from virginia just said, burn the whole house down with children inside. they came here with that expressed purpose. and they are wrong, and they are pushing this country to a terrible place. now, leader reid has explained it. senator schumer from new york has explained it. mark warner, the senior senator from virginia, who is one of the, literally one of the finest governors we've had in the last
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50 years in america -- and i say that respectfully and honestly. we all know what a great governor he was. and he's now joined by another great governor from virginia, governor kaine. these men are senators but they also understand our governors are at risk, every governor, republican and democratic governor and all the state governments and thousands of villages and cities. yesterday we received a letter signed by the governors association, democratic and republican governors, saying open the government. do not let the government default. why? because in our system of government, which is the best in the world -- it's not perfect but it is the best in the world ever created by men and women. frail human beings. we make a loft mistakes. we -- we make a hot of mistakes. we made so many mistakes in the creation of our country but we are really trying to create a
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model of democracy. best the earth has ever known. and there's a group of people in the house that decided that for some reason they don't like the democracy. i don't know what they want to go back to but it's taken us 230-plus years to get here. i don't think anybody wants to go back to a place where the world had no democracy. there were elections. people won those elections. president obama won his election. he did not carry my state. but he won his election fair and square. and he campaigned on providing middle-class families for the first time in america a way to purchase health insurance. not a single-payer system, not a government system, to purchase health insurance so they would not be one accident away from financial ruin. shame on president obama. shame on him for suggesting something so cad ral. that moms and dads to go could sleep at night knowing if an
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accident happened the next day, they would not have to choose bankruptcy and choose between a child that was disfigured or a child that goes to college. shame on president obama. how dare he suggest such a bill. now, they don't like the bill. they can change the bill. we did not wake up one morning and declare this the law. the people of the united states declared this through us as their representatives. and they don't like it, they'll have a chance because i'm up for reelection right now, they will be able to choose and do that. but that is the way you do it. you don't threaten to shut down the government. now, i'm going to run for reelection. i'm standing on this elec elects a supporter of the affordable care act, not because it's a perfect law but because it is much better -- much better -- for all the people that i represent than what we had before. the wealthy people, the middle-class people and the poor
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people. we argued and fought in public, in meetings for 40 years about how to do this. this wasn't a last-minute, behind-the-scenes deal that nobody read. have their lost their minds? we debated this for 40 years through every kind of president you could think of, conservative, liberal, different kinds of congresses. and i know we have to vote in 10 minutes and i know other people want to speak but i would just take a few more minutes to finish this up. contrary to popular expwhreef what fox news says -- belief and what fox news says, penal read,d the bill. for 40 years, people read the bill. all we had to do was look in the faces of kids dying of cancer. all we had to do was people coming into our offices every day saying i can't find insurance, i've worked for g.e. my whole life, i'd like to create a job but i can't leave because my wife has cancer. i don't need to read a bill. i listen to my constituents.
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that's what this is about. then when they decided they couldn't get -- yo you know, they're going to shut down the government because they can repeal this law, now they're deciding well, that didn't work so well and that's not making a loft sense to people so now -- lot of sense to people so now we're going to negotiate with people and we don't know what but we have to get something out of this. how dare them? how dare this group of radicals, led by the senator from texas, how dare them take the greatest democracy on earth hostage! who gives them that right? do they think they're divined by god? they are not. none of us here. and god could run this world perfectly but he doesn't run t. he's in heaven.-- perfectly but he doesn't run it. he's in heaven. and until then, we have to be as imperfect as we are, try to figure out his will through the democratic process. but they've decided that's not good enough.
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well, i don't know anything on earth that's better. maybe they can figure it out in the next 48 hours. but people have been thinking about that for six or seven or -- 6,000 or 7,000 or 8,000 years or longer. i don't think 48 hours is going to help them. so anyway, we're here today and what i would like to say is that i agree with everything that my senate colleagues have said. i would urge our colleagues to vote to open the government, to not hold the united states government and the world and all the kids in the world -- all the adults in the world, all the businesses in the world -- hostage over their antics. and more practically in louisiana, let me say that i've got 400,000 people that need us to fix flood insurance. they are really hurting. i have 200,000 people that live in homa that have waited for a levee around their city for 25 years and were told by the corps
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yes, we'll build it, then they didn't. twice. i will get on that. i'm going to turn this over to my friend from california, and we have a little different view on this, senator boxer and i, but people in louisiana like to drill for oil. we'd like to get our permits to do this. but because this ideological groip has shut down the -- group has shut down the government, there are no permits being issued to keep our country strong. i could go o. so let me just -- i could go on. so let me just say, we could reason together. we could find many things to negotiate on. i am open to many negotiations as are many democrats. but to threaten the corps of this democracy fought so long and hard for decades over brave men and women, is really beyond it ithe pale. and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i want to thank my colleague from louisiana. i just -- i'm so appreciative to her, because she is just telling
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it like it is. she's sincere. she cares about her state. and let me reassure her, she and i, we don't agree in terms of the parameters of oil drilling in keystone and other things and we -- that has nothing to do with our friendship. but you're absolutely right, senator landrieu, you deserve to have those permits run through the process. it's ridiculous. just as the road builders are waiting to have the e.p.a. finish up the environmental studies so they can get moving on these roads. this government shutdown is brutal. and the reason that i'm rising just very briefly, because i know i want to leave time for my friend from oregon to say a few words, i'm rising today because i want to be so crystal clear to the people who might be watching us today on this unusual saturday session, we are in the midst of a republican government
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shutdown. i'm going to say that again. we are in the midst of a republican government shutdownmenshutdown -- republicn of the government of the united states of america. the united states senate passed a clean bill to reopen the government. it's sitting over there at speaker boehner's house and he is blocking all ability to open up this government. that's number one. and now we are getting frighteningly close to a default. and we're getting very close to the point where america won't be able to pay its bills. and the cost that have to our nation, to our people, to our reputation, to our economy,to our taxpayers cannot be overstated. disaster. and we have a chance now to pass a clean debt ceiling bill which means we will not default and i hope my colleagues will vote for
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it. they're filibustering it. we need 60 votes. and i would hope somebody will come to their senses over there because the results of not doing it would be disastrous. and i think senator warner has spoken very clearly about what this means from the perspective as both a former governor and a businessman. i ask unanimous consent to place in the record a newspaper article entitled "business, labor and nonprofits demand that the shutdown end immediately." the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: and i'm just going to read a little bit of it and leave the remainder for my friend from oregon. the most prominent names in business, labor and nonprofit world on friday" -- that's yesterday -- "demanded that washington immediately end the government shutdown. in a joint letter sent to the president and lawmakers, leaders of the u.s. chamber of commerce, the afl-cio, and the united way
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worldwide said the shutdown shouldn't continue another day. 'as leaders of business, labor and the nonprofit sector, we are writing to urge you to end the federal government shutdown immediately. while we may disagree on priorities for federal policies -- and we even have implicating views about many issues -- we are in complete agreement that the current shutdown is harmful and the risk of default is potentially catastrophic for our fragile economy." and it goes on. i want to say to my republican friends, wake up. this isn't a letter from one democratic group or even a liberal group for a centrist group. this is a letter from america, from the business leaders and the workers and the nonprofit leaders. you are so out of step, it's frightening. vote with us for a clean debt
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ceiling so we will not default and we don't send a terrible message to the markets. and open this government now. take up the senate bill over there, speaker boehner. put it up for a vote. let's open this government and give it back to the american people because they deserve it. they don't disefb t deserve to d this way. they don't deserve to be hurt. thank you. and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from oregonment mr. merkley: the words fiscal responsibility have echoed in this chamber time after time and they have been put forward in defense a series of stra strates this year that can only be described as incredibly irresponsible. let's turn the clock back six months when we try to convene addition tried to convene a budget conference committee with the house and it was blocked. the budget conference committee was budget was not blocked with the argument fiscal
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responsibility. and yet there was a blockade of putting together a budget so we could have a smart plan to go forward and a foundation for the appropriation bills. and then colleagues across the aisle blocked the appropriations process. they argued it was fiscally responsibly to do. so but that meant keeping programs that were not working and continuing them rather than replacing them with better plans. so that, too, was irresponsible. and then we had folks, well, it will be fiscally irresponsible if we shut down the government. but this is costing america. this is decreasing revenue. this is increasing expenses. and it is creation th increasine deficit. therefore, we have imposed by this group that argues in the name of fiscal responsibility, we have a tax across america, the government shutdown tax imposed on families across the land. and if that was not enough, not enough to block the budget
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process, not enough to block the appropriations process, not enough to shut down the government, now we have a group that wants to go even further. they have their grand default strategy. they want the united states to default and they argue that this will do us well fiscally. and they couldn't be more wrong. in the banking committee, we had a series of experts come in and we asked the question -- what will happen, what will happen if we default? -- and just simple examples were given. for example, the interest rate will go up on mortgages. a 1% increase on the mortgage means for a family buying a $200,000 house about $120 more per month. that is the shutdown and the default tax that colleagues are imposing on families across america. and it doesn't stop there. everything based on interest rates goes up. everything based on income from economic activity goes down. expenses of safety net programs go up. in other words, the deficit goes
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up and the debt goes up. so let's stop this irresponsibility of blocking the budget process, blocking the appropriations process, shutting down the government and imposing a default tax on families across this land. it is not only incredibly wrongheaded, it is doing great damage to families in every county, in every state across the united states of america. let's at this moment in this vote we are about to have end this attack on the american families, let's end this irresponsibility. thank you, madam president.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the motion to proceed to s. 1569, a bill to ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the united states government until december 31, 2014. signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum has been waived. the question is: is it the sense of the senate that debate on the motion to proceed to s. 1569, a bill to ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the united states government until december 31, 2014, and for other purposes, shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory
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under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote: vote:
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mr. reid: i would like to change my vote to "no." it was recorded "yes". mr. baucus: mr. president, the senate is not in order. mr. reid: mr. president, was i originally recorded as "yes"? the presiding officer: the majority leader.
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yes. mr. reid: the record should reflect i've changed that to "no." the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 53. the nays are 45. three-fifths of the senate duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i enter a motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the motion to proceed to s. 1569. the presiding officer: the motion is entered. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senators be permitted now during our morning hour of business for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: pardon me? i've just been told by my able assistant here that we're still on the motion to proceed.
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so we're not in morning business. mr. president, just a quick announcement. democrats will caucus in the mansfield room forth with. right now. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following the remarks of senators landrieu and johanns, i would ask -- i will say the senate will stand in recess subject to the call of the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: mr. president, i know the members of the senate are going to be retiring to caucuses to try to figure out how we're going to move forward, and i'm confident with the good work of the people in this chamber we'll find a way. mrs. boxer: the senate is not in order. i cannot hear my colleague. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. ms. landrieu: mr. president, senator johanns and i have been
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working along with many of our colleagues to try to come to some resolution about funding a city in the united states, the district of columbia, that is not an agency of the federal government, that happens to be the city that the seat of government sits in. and while i'm not going to call for a consent now, i just wanted to ask senator johanns to just express if he could just a few views about this as we try to work our way forward for some time maybe later this afternoon. mr. johanns: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mr. johanns: i appreciate the good working relationship with senator landrieu. we've been talking back and forth. we exchanged phone calls through the evening, never quite did connect, but we have been talking here today. it is our desire to find a solution to this issue. we understand what the district of columbia is asking for is the simple ability to use its funding. we're talking and working, and
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i'm optimistic that we're going to find a solution to this. i would also say, mr. president, as a former mayor, i can only understand the sleepless nights the mayor is going through. and so both of us want to try to solve that, and i think the senate does. so what i'd like to do is continue our conversations over the next hour or so. they have been fruitful, and i think we're working our way toward a solution. and i appreciate the opportunity to work with senator landrieu. ms. landrieu: i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands in recess subject to the stands in recess subject to the
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specialt interest help in washington like the fat cat get. we're in the same boat no matter the color we are.
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that's the real problem. we're the only television networking devoted to non-fiction books. we're marking 15 years of booktv on c-span2. here is some programs watch this weekend on booktv. all weekend long we're love from the 2013 southern festival of books in nashville. some of the authors featured are katy butler on end-of-life care. also james swanson on the jfk assassination. visit booktv.org for a complete schedule. also this weekend a look at the late alexander's book. "a colossal wreck." at 8:00 p.m. sunday.
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visit booktv.org for this weekend's television schedule. now back to booktv. we will join our live coverage of the 2013 southern book festival of books in nashville, tennessee. we will come to author katy butler. she's already speaking. she's the author of the book " "knocking on heaven's door." it's a horrible situation. again, if we embrace hospice drn even inventing a new profession called decision coaches. they are not doctors but they are employed by hospital. you can get social work help to come to terms with difficult information you don't want to hear, you know. yeah. >> hi. >> my mom is a hospice nurse, and she has been able to guide her father through his death by
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turning down overly extensive care, and now her mother is in heart failure and is helping her through that same process. and i'm a writer and a health and wellness writer and personal trainer and have written a memoir slash health and wellness book. i'm curious to know how much is personal experience and how much is journalistic. what some of the key messages from the journalism came out through the end? >> thank you. it was a very challenging book to write. and i'm going talk as a writer for a minute or two. there were two things that made it challenging. i wouldn't -- i would say maybe half and half or 60% personal story and 40% investigative reporting. they're not the dominant note of the book.
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as a writer, there were a lot of very interesting writing challenges here. because number one was if you look, you know, you like to kind to have some kind of turning point some kind of upward message. you can't get people to read a book that is unrelieve disspare. if you just trace my father's trajectory, it's kind of like you had a great life. he had a full life then a stroke then a pacemaker, got worse, got worse, and finally died. that alone is not a trajectory anyone is going read a book -- a full book; right? and so i had to also really tease out a different narrative thread which was my mother and i had a lot of redemption and a lot of love and heel -- healing with my parents as a result of being with them and agreeing to go with them through this. my mother and i got closer, my
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mother and i got more and more sophisticated and skeptical about medicine as usual. finally, my mother completely rebelled. at that point, it becomes a kind of rebellion story or a fight against the monsters story like george and the dragon. so, there was, in fact a great dream of triumph and healing and empowerment in the family story even though both my parents die in the course of the book. so of it very important to construct hop, surprise, redemption. all of these things happened for us, including, which i only realized as i wrote the book. at the point when our families were in the deepest despair and totally run out of ideas and beyond our own resources, it's like an angel would show through the outside. and in the first case, it was a care giver who had was five years sober, she had severe
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mental illness that prevented her from working more than a few hours a week. i mean, managed mental illness. and we were -- my mother was terrified of hiring her. she was a friend of one of my brother's. she was five years clean and sober. she was an absolute god send. she was a rock for us. and she had a wisdom and a kindness that we desperately needed. so that was also something that i actually -- part of the plot of the book i only realized in the cor of writing it. i look back at what i read had and thought o- my god. these people showed up and saved us. so that was -- that's that plot part, and the other question you -- i think i've really talked about the journalistic -- there's a chapter i found absolutely fascinating i wrote about the invention of the pacemaker, the first pacemaker that went inside somebody's body
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was put together in a kiwi shoe can. they put in and put the components in and filled it up with million -- medical apox sincerity and ran the wires to his heart. staffs young guy. a guy in the 40s in sweden and he really -- this thing literally saved his life. he kept going until he was in the 80s. i loved researching that chapter and writing about this rise then how it really transformed and deformed our experience of death. all of these inventions that were so well intentioned then in the sense so misused later on. so there's a lot about that. then there's a heavy chapter about l medical device industry and how profitable it is. it's like a 20% profit margin, year in and year out, and one of the big reasons for the whole shut down of the government is that industry was being
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subjected to it 2.5% tax. it was one of the big reasons that small group of republicans shut the government down to roll the tax back. these businesses have enormous lobbies. they're not in the business of setting health care policy for their country. they are in the business of maximizing and extending markets. which is what they're supposed to do. they're businesses. but we don't have counter balances -- counterbalancing lobbies that speak for the interest of patients. we need them. >> we have time for one more question. >> just in reference to the necessity for families to get together and be honest.
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my father who is the single most educate person i have ever personally known was in a state of dementia had a physical problem. they thought it was a heart problem. he had been treated for years and it turned out to be a gull bladder problem, which is not uncommon. so the doctors told us you -- anybody in the family that wants to come, come. and the discussion and they came in from all over the country. we had a discussion as to whether or not to insert the pacemaker. then we called the doctor in and
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came to the conclusion that we would not do so. he said, okay. this was on a saturday and he was in a hurry to get out for the weekend. and he failed to sign the papers. they inserted a pacemaker and he lived a life of misery and died in the hospital about four weeks later. >> yeah. >> so make sure whatever decision is made that it's followed. same thing with my mother. she was going to live to be 100. that was her goal, but the last seven years a slow acting dementia happened, but we were able -- my sisters wanted to keep her alive at all costs, and i just
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absolutely ran the risk of not being their favorite brother even though i was their only brother -- [laughter] by telling them that she -- that that wasn't going happen. and my sister lives in maryland -- came down north carolina to be with my mother. and i went in after about six months and you may know the name of the book, it's something like: "this day has 46-hours -- ". >> yes. the "36-hour day." >> i wouldn't recommend -- i would recommend that to anybody. i went in one afternoon after work, and i looked at my sister and that six months that she was there, she looked at me like she aged three, four, five years, and i said to her -- i was paying her --
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i insisted on that paying her the exact same thing that an outside care giver would give. because she needed an income. i said you are going back to maryland in less than a week. i said, if i have to continue paying you, you're going to go to maryland. and she still is alive -- , by the way, my sister in maryland. but she would not have been. i'm convinced, had we not -- had i not -- i was very unpopular with my sisters for awhile, but they love me now. so -- [laughter] >> thank you. that's a beautiful, beautiful story to end on. i -- let see. i have, like, two minutes? yeah. i want to tell you a very brief story. i -- you know, we were all like a smarty pants family; right? highly educate an i had to
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research a whole book to feel actually okay about the kinds of things that my mother, you know, my mother's decision our decisions regarding my dad. but this is not something only for -- onlily educate people can figure out. my sweet heart's name is bryan. he grew up in queens in a duplex. on the other side of the duplex from him were his cousins, and that included his cousin george who is an auto mechanic on long island who only has high school education. and his most beloved person in the family. when the aunt was 92, she was at a farm-family party, she was eating something you love in the south, which is red velvet cake. she a massive fainting spell. they were afraid she was dying, and they took her to the
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hospital and the doctor came out and said to george, who happens to be six 6'4", well over 250 pounds and said to him, we want to keep her overnight. we want to run numerous tests. we're thinking about a pacemaker. george just stood up -- which i'm sure he's done many times before -- other people too. he stood up and leaned over the doctor and said; ain't freaking gonna happen. [laughter] she was halfway through eating a red velvet cake. she wants to go home and finish the cake. that's what we're going to do. [laughter] and so he took her home, he had several interchanges like this with people in medicine who wanted to do something fairly invasive on a very old lady. he actually had experiences where the doctor would say we think you should do this. he would say absolutely not. and they say are you denying
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medical care? then when george said it's not going to happen. they would kind of look around and lean over make sure no one else was listening and say i think you're making a right choice. if it was my mother you're doing the right thing. it's a strange medical system. aunt dot lived to be 97 and died in her own bed. her son was a devout catholic. he liked to live in a world of black and white and all of this gray. when she was in the nursing home, he signed orders that said don't transport. don't take to the hospital. don't put a tube in. and it was not easy. but she had a peaceful death in her own bed in the nursing home where she lived at the end of her life. very much beloved and visited. so it's a very helpful story for me, because to me that red velvet cake symbolizes all of the quality of life issues. if you're getting to the point
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where you're depriving them of the equivalent of red velvet cake. it give it serious thought. thank you for being here. [applause] [applause] thank you if being here and your wonderful story. we'll be walking over to the signing area by the legislative plaza by the war memorial auditorium. thank you. [inaudible conversations] it was a katy butler author of knocking on heaven's door. we're going to take a short break. after that we'll be back with more live coverage from the southern festival of books. [inaudible conversations] they a fact you know book and a narrative non-fiction narrative about the two men who discovered oxygen, and in the
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process invented chemistry -- created the field of chemistry as we know it during the european enlightenment. i'm going fool you a little bit. you thought i was going to basically talk about scientific stuff. what i'm really going talk about is scientific myth and dreams and also the development and unleashing of a dangerous idea. i like dangerous ideas. i have gone a few of the sessions here and people have talked about dangerous ideas. we live in an era when people get upset about ideas and that was really the impetus for me writing this book. today we take the presence of oxygen, quite for granted. we tbreet in and breathe it out. and swim through it like fish. we don't think about it. before the discovery in 1774, this simply wasn't the case. oxygen's discovery opened up the physical sciences in ways that were never before imagined.
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but it was also the end of a way of looking at the world that was hundreds of years old and that had been as old as ancient greeks. as the first element to be identified as an element, oxygen and the discovery put an tend the comfortable assumption that automatic of matter was some mix of the four basic elements: earth, air, fire, and water. this is more unsettlings -- this is more unsettling for the people of the 1700s than may now seem. once one element was discovered, it didn't take long relatively in the course of human history to discover the other 117 that we have today. there's 118 that are known. oxygen's discovery created the sign of chemistry as we know it today with the endless manipulation of the physical environment for both good and bad. it recap biology in a chemical
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way since the processes of life such as res pry ration and energy intake could be described in chemical term not just vitalistic or spiritual terms. and the study of the elements lead to the atopic theory -- the study of the by -- bizarre behavior and atomic bomb. oxygen's discovery also made people question all the old asummitses -- assumptions as great scientific systems have such as person cussness. if air was not air as we thought we knew it, invisible but inviolate all of one piece, what was it? if it was composed of unknown and mysterious gases, which we could not see and if -- did not know. what about the other comfortable asummitses about the way things worked?
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this was actually part and parcel of the basic philosophic thrust of the 17us that no idea was safe, and whether they have to do with the old physical truth about matter or whether they have to do with the assumption of the status quo of the church. this weekend booktv is live from the 25th annual southern festival of book in southern tennessee. we'll be back with a few minutes with more. 105-day odyssey of the eight westerner and 16 afghans who were targeted specifically by bin laden and the -- the leader of the taliban and still is the leader. he certainly was back then. he said we want these people because they knew in advance that 9/11 was going to happen. because their capture was in
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august 5 of 2001. and 9/11 happened six weeks later. so the hope was that if had these western hostages in captivity then maybe we could avoid being bombed by the americans and their ally. we all know actually what happened. but their story got -- i guess you could say once 9/11 happened, then their story was fell off the radar. because it consumed our attention as it should have. and so they were basically forgotten and the press stopped reporting about them and, you know, they were just everybody was had left all the westerners had left afghanistan. and they were alone. they were the only westerners they were aware of in afghanistan after 9/11.
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because all embassies, all envoy, all red cross, all diplomat were forced to leave. they were felt abandoned. and rightfully so. and through -- as it's told in this book and the movie, you'll see that, you know, through the course of events they were able to eventually escape and then were captured again by some war lords who were holding them for ransom. then they got gps phone through a member of the taliban who had been helping them secretly at the risk of his own life got a gps phone to them. they were able to contact this delta forces or the army and eventually rescued. ..
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. [inaudible conversations] >> hello, everyone. my name is chuck beard, i'm the sole proprietor and sole staff member at nashville's all local bookstore in east nashville. i'm truly honored and excited to introduce our next featured
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writer. she is a member of the authentic little independent bookstore and club. this woman, alongside her trustee husband jack, decided to change theirs and countless others' lives when they opened their own version of what a bookstore in a small town looks like. they moved to big stone gap, virginia, bought a house, then made that house into a bookstore called tales of the lonesome pine used books. a few years gone since that fateful decision, today haven't looked back since. ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome and round of applause to the author of the little bookstore at big stone gap, the one and only wendy welch. [applause] >> thank you, chuck. little bookstore owners have to stick together, particularly in this economy.
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well, as i'm getting started, i just want to know how many of you have actually read the book and how many have just heard something about it? okay, that will guide a little bit of what we're talking about today. well, the little bookstore of big stone gap -- and thank you for bringing a copy with you. good. the little bookstore at big stone gap started about six and a half, seven years ago now, and it started because my husband and i fled a job that was soul destroying, and we wound up kind of heartbroken and broke in a very small town in southwest virginia where i was going to take a simple job and do it for a year, and we were going to just hang out and regroup and rent something and get our feet back under us and restore our faith in humanity and move on to something else. i had just gotten a ph.d. in one of the most useless degrees possible, and the economy was tanking. it was 2006. everything was taking a nose dive. and in the course of looking for that little apartment that was going to be very cheap, we came
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across this huge five bedroom edwardian,1903. and the only reason we went into it was because the person who was showing us around happened to pick it up that day, and she wanted to, she just wanted to see what was in it. and she knew that we had live inside an old house in england. she said you guys don't mind if we just stop and take a look at this, i've got to list this property tomorrow, and i won't have a chance to see it. so she stopped, and my husband and i go back and forth on whether she set us up or not, because when we walked away from that house, all i could think the whole time i was walking through this edwardian, this huge old house with the squeaky wood floors, all i could think was what a beautiful bookstore this would make. my husband and i were kind of folkies, and we did a lot of weekend road trips to run off to
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festivals, and when you're driving home from those at 8:00 at night on a sunday, you've got to find something to talk about. and we would always talk about how someday we were going to run a used bookstore. it would be fun to run a used bookstore. so the whole time we're walking through this edwardian, i'm thinking this is the perfect bookstore location. except for the fact that it's in a town of 5,000 people. other than that, it's just really quite nice. and we walked through the house and thanked her, it was a nice thing. we went on and looked at a couple more apartments, and she said why don't you all go and have lunch, and i'll pick you up this afternoon. so my husband and i went to one of two restaurants in big stone gap -- it's a small town -- and we sat there over the chip basket, it was a mexican restaurant, and kind of didn't look at each other. i swore, i swore to myself the word bookstore was not going to come out of my mouth. it was the wrong time. the economy was tanking, e-books
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were hoving into view on the surrounding, you know, on the horizon, and i didn't have a marketable job skill at this point. i was, like, this overeducated woman who could do anything but couldn't prove it to anyone. and we're looking at this little, tiny town where yuppie hippies might not be entirely welcome, you know? we might be democrats. this might not go well. and i'm thinking this isn't going to work. so i'm not saying a word. and my husband looks at me, and he said, boy, that house would make a great bookstore. [laughter] okay. you know, this changed the whole timbre of the conversation. i said, yeah, it would, were you thinking of that? he said, no, no, it's too silly to think of a bookstore right now, absolutely no point. i said, yeah, you're right, we couldn't possibly, we'd starve to death. it'd be awful. yeah, it would. he looked at me and said someday we'll start a bookstore.
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yeah, we will. he looked at me again and said what if someday's today? and i swear to you that the wait staff must have thought we were crazy because the only thing i did, the only thing i could think to do, i just reached across the table and kissed him on the mouth. and that's why we started a bookstore. it was a dumb thing to do. it was a really dumb thing to do. we did not know what we were doing. we had no clue. we had no market plan, we had no money. we had walked away from a very difficult situation, owning a house outright. so yord to buy the edwardian, we were going to have to get a mortgage which frightened me. we'd always been in the fortunate position of owning the house. but having walked away from this difficult position, i said, you know, if we're going to do this, we're going to have to get a mortgage and tuck down and get in there and make it work. well, one of the fastest ways to insure a success is to be desperate. we were, we were just absolutely terrified that we were going to
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sink. and we didn't have anything to sink into. so we threw ourselves into getting this house prepared for being a bookstore. and one of the things we were determined would happen was that we would welcome the community. and, of course, the community would welcome us because we were selling books. who doesn't love books? everybody loves books. it's really cool to have a bookseller in your family, in your community. and we figured we'd throw open our doors, and the community would stream through. well, there's this stuff called advertising, and we didn't know how to do it. and even if we had, we didn't have any money. so we were sitting in this house trying to figure out how to tell people that we were going to open as a bookstore, and we had a whole lot of wooden book schells up -- book shelves up lining the room that my husband had built, and we didn't have any books on them, and we didn't have a plan for telling people how we were going to get started, and we didn't have any
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more money. this is called a problem. we need a slight solution here. we began to look at our own book collection. how many of you are by lo files? i was -- bib low files? i was kind of betting. how many of you have, oh, 3,000 books right now? that's what we did. we tallied about 3,000 books we owned personally. 2,000 of them went into the bookstore. and we sat and made deals. we sat upstairs unpacking our boxes box by box, book by book negotiations. you get to keep this one if i get to keep this one. you get to keep positively fourth street if i get to keep croceing with finger punishments. [laughter] two weeks later i was in the laundry hamper, and he found a book he had hidden so it would not go through this process. so we threw our books into the pile, and we looked around for a way to advertise without any money. well, the only thing we had was our home printer and a really good car.
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the other thing that was problematic for us is big stone gap is in between markets. there's king's port and then there's roanoke, and we're in the middle. and there aren't any big cities around us. so we're not anybody's market. we had a couple of local issues of the paper that come out a couple times a week, but that's it. if there's a tornado, we get the warning 20 minutes afterwards because we're not on the stream. so there was no way to advertise. well, we had found a local church in the community, and we had met a woman there named terry who ran the local chiropractor's office, and she home schooled, and she really wanted a bookstore for her kids. she was really excited we were in town. she said, tell you what, when you open, i will get free books from you, and in return, you can use your photocopier for free for anything you want. she had a color photocopier. so we quickly sealed this deal, and we went and made hundreds of
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photocopies and drove around leaving them at local businesses, hi, there's a bookstore starting. i went to yard sales, hi, i see you like books. and everybody said pretty much the same thing, a bookstore? you're nuts. yeah, we probably are. this is where it started to get interesting. how many of you are from a small town? okay. you probably recognize what i'm going to describe. we live in a small town in the coal fields of ap appalachia, ad there's this funny little drum beat that runs through these small towns. it's kind of on the one hand we belong to ourselves and we're powerful in and of ourselves, and in the other we don't like incomers because they might change the way we are, but they might also, they might also be people who push the boundaries of what we went to explore about ourselves. so what happened was we had people from outside who were
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e-mailing us and saying you're not going to find enough people who can read in these small towns that are going to want to frequent your bookstore. and we said, yeah, yeah, yeah, thank you very much. that's not the case. but inside the town we had people saying one of two things is going to happen. either you're going to open the bookstore and it's going to be successful and you're going to go straight up the road to roanoke where successful people go because no one is here unless they get stuck here. no one wants to be here. or you're going to fail, and you're going to stay here, and you're going to be nothing because you're here. now, if you had a daughter who had that attitude in life, wouldn't you just take her to get her colors done and buy her a new dress and talk to her about the way she was thinking about herself? these are small towns. these are sort of the trouble that small towns are having within themselves. and when we saw this kind of repeat mentality, because we had come from a small town in scotland, and my husband often refers to anything north of
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edinborough as being the rest of scotland. it's just too small. and there's a saying that runs through scotland, too poor, too wee, too stupid. and that came up over and over again as we explored how we were going to run this bookstore. people kept telling us not that we couldn't run a bookstore, but that we couldn't run a bookstore in a small town in the coal fields of appalachia because there wouldn't be enough business, because we weren't local enough, or there wouldn't be enough business because we were too local, and people would think we were stupid. that is not a recipe for success. it's not a recipe for success over the long haul as a sustainable community, and one of the things i do now as a college professor over and over again is i tell my students, don't buy into that. it's not true. you are wonderful, intelligent, smart people with the ability to change the world in your hands, and you are our best export. it's not coal that we export in
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appalachia, it's 18-24-year-olds with brains and vision, and we need you back. so if you're listening to me, i know c-span booktv is maybe not the 18-24-year-old demographic -- [laughter] but let me tell you, come home. come home and build a business, because we need you. that is the wave of the future for us and for all of america, the small businesses that we need. that's one of the reasons we're proud of what happened with little bookstore. we opened, and about three years after we opened we were stabilizing. a lot of things went wrong in those three years. but when we stabilized, i sort of sat down and said to myself, okay, what was that? and there's a wonderful quote by flannery o'connor, i always mess it up. this is a paraphrase, but it basically says don't ask me what i think until i've written it down, because i can tell you when i read it. and that's pretty much what happened here. i sort of sat down and wrote the story of what happened with little bookstore, and when i was telling it to a friend of mine,
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she said, that's funny. you should write that down and send it somewhere. well, sooner or later i found someone to send it to who thought it was both funny and charming, and the little bookstore was published. so what happened after that got really interesting. these three covers here, the one on my left shoulder is from korea and then the american one, and the far one is from portugal. when they came out in those countries, we started getting e-mails from booksellers in those countries, and they started saying some of the same things that we had found when we started our bookstore or as we were fighting the big a and some of the other things that bookstores fight these days, any small, independent store fights these days. and we began to find that we had joined and helped stabilize a community sort of like what chuck was talking about. his bookstore in east nashville, our bookstore in southwest virginia. independent bookstores all over the country, all over the world, we are community anchors.
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the big bookstores like asheville or the tattered cover in denver, those bookstores are economic anchors. they get down into the sidewalk and the roots of their community, and they pull other stores around them, you know? there are chocolate stores next to asheville's, there are coffee shops, craft stores, bead stores and dog stores, all of them surrounding where these book lovers are going to congregate. same in tattered cover, same in nashville, same in memphis. but in some of the smaller towns, little bookstores are also community anchors. we're less economic because we don't have the power to pull other people behind us. it's not like you build a walmart, and the next thing you do is build an applebee's, but we opened our bookstore six years ago. this past tuesday we opened a café in the second story of our bookstore. the economic stability we bring to our region, we're very proud
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of. but more proud are we of the community of people that have been built around the bookstore. we began to get people visiting the bookstore when the book came out. it came out last october. it did better than we expected it to do, and people who were reading it and were within a day's drive or two days' drive began to call us and say can we come and visit? whole book clubs would do that. so currently we have 12 book clubs that have visited the bookstore and nine we have gone to visit for more than a day trip and a bunch of other book clubs that have read it as well. the woman standing at the door, i don't think that can be me, because she's too skinny. anyway, that's one of the groups that came to visit the bookstore. over the course of running it, we began to develop a kind of a sense that when the book came out, a bunch of people came to us, and they were kind of shifting their feet and looking
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down, and they were kind of grinning, and they said, you know, we're really proud of you, we're really glad you're still here. this was six years after we opened the bookstore. we're really crowd of you because when you came, we gave you six months. yeah, you guys were the you're nuts people, weren't you? yeah, they were. what's funny about these two quotes is these are actually six years apart. the community said when we came it's not going to work, you're not going to stick the. six years on when the book came out online, there was one of my favorite reviews ever of this book -- i don't really read reviews. my husband reads them, but like many authors, no thanks, you know? if you want to talk to me, that's fine, but i'm not going to read the reviews. a woman was on, i think, good reads, and she gave the book a fair review, but she said i work for a bookseller, and i'm here to tell you, this book is fiction. this is not how you run a bookstore. yeah, baby, i know. [laughter] we got that. we know this is not how you run it. but six years on we're finding
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that it is how you work your way into a community. it is how you uphold a community. and that's what i want to talk to you about now. some of the things we do at our bookstore are sort of obvious, you know? every tuesday night there's a needle work night. we plot the revolution. that's owen, the staff cat that's on my lap there. he's sitting on what we call a spay and neuter afghan. my friends and i -- [laughter] >> yeah. if you don't spay and neuter your cat you get row afro after row of cats. but the cat that's sitting there, owen, the reason he got his name is because my editor, nicole, and i early on when we began to work together and she'd looked at the whole manuscript of the book, she said, you know, i really, really like this list of books that you've got that you love. some of them are unusual.
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but this list of books that you hate, i had put a top ten and bottom ten list in the book. she said i really can't publish someone who doesn't like john irving's "a prayer for owen meanny." i am sorry that this lowers me in your estimation, i know it will. see, she's crossing her arms in the front row here. i don't like that book, okay? i'm really sorry, but i don't. there, now i've said it. so nicole said, no, we're not publishing anybody who doesn't like that. there was kind of a lot of joking back and forth, and the next foster cat that came through actually was very ill, and he needed to be nursed, so i named him owen meanny. and i told nicole that owen meanny was now gracing the shelves of the bookstore. and she accepted that. she went ahead and published the book. we hold a lot of community eventeds in or near the bookstore, and one of the things we do twice a year is a murder mystery because there is nothing
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that will clear the air in a divided community like a good murder. how many of you had school issues in your small town? yeah? we had some issues where the county schools were going to consolidate, and they were going the pull town schools together and locate them out between two communities or, even worse, move one community school into the other community school. and, of course, this was largely about sports teams. people got upset. and be it got so heated people were unfriending each other on facebook, it was that bad. [laughter] so we held a murder mystery, and we murdered the superintendent of schools. and it was amazing how people cheered up after that. [laughter] you know? it just takes one good murder to clear the air. so we hold murders twice a career, and they're always themed on something that's going on in town, and people get out what's bugging them. they're like steam valves for the community. and every year we hold a dance
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in march and a celtic festival in september. the first year we held the dance in march, our bookstore was so empty, we started with 3500 books and the shelves just lining around the edge of the bookstore, that big edwardian mansion, we were actually able to hold the dance in the bookstore because it was just that crowded. that doesn't work anymore. yeah. that's the bookstore. you can see owen's checking out a box. he's always working. he's always working with us. so the bookstore is -- i like to say that we work on keeping it alphabetized. my husband likes to say that we are a treasure-trove where you make incredible discoveries every day, and that's because we're so disorganized. i told you about opening the second story café. that's actually their signature dish, the french toast with sea salt caramel sauce on top, and it's a famous seller. that's kelly in the corner there. i think one of the neatest
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things we've ever been able to do as a bookstore in our community is provide a need to the community because we had a beloved restaurant called the mutual. it was in a pharmacy, and a chain pharmacy bought the local pharmacy out and closed the restaurant. i mean, they weren't evil, they just needed to do it for their own balance and their own planning. but it wasn't a good move for the community. now, the man who runs that chain for the region lives in our community, and he's a nice man and a good member of the community. but we lost our restaurant because of this business decision. so jack and i cast about for someone who wanted to run a restaurant. we did not want to run one, but we wanted someone to do it. and we found kelly, and we offered her rent-free the upstairs use of our store if she would run a café, and we would make a profit share agreement once she reached a certain
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revenue rate. and she jumped at it. they've been open for a week. theyed sold out this morning. -- they sold out this morning. they opened for brother or sister at 8:-- business at 8:30 and they ran out of food at 9 a.m. it comes back to the need for small businesses to be the heartbeat of their community. that's what we do in big stone gap. we are not just trying to make our own money. we're trying to keep our community circulating in and for and of itself. how many of you were aware of the shop sitters story that went out last year? this was actually pretty funny. when jack and i realized that the book was going to be published, we had gone on a tour in 2011 so that i could finish one of the chapters of the book. we had gone out to five states and back up through the next five states, and we had visited small bookstores in little towns
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across america as far out as we could get. we never got to kansas before we had to turn around because we only had two weeks. we went to 42 towns. guess how many of them had thriving downtowns? 42 small towns. guess how many of them had thriving downtown areas? more than three. eighteen. eighteen of them had thriving downtowns, and the others you could practically see the tumble weeds driving through. but they all had walmarts and pharmacies on the edge of town, nice bright places that stayed open until 9 p.m. what they didn't have was a downtown section. so we wrote a lot about this in little bookstore of big stone gap, but what we realized as october was rolling around and the release date was coming and we were going back to those bookstores on an author tour, we realized we didn't have anyone to run our bookstore while we were gone. it's a very small operation, it's just the two of us, and it
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makes its ends meet with the two staff. so we put out just kind of thinking maybe someone would be interested in this. i contacted a friend of mine called the goodwill librarian who's on facebook, and i said would you mind to put out this little blurb that we're looking for someone who would like to live in the shop? we now live in the basement below it because we put the caée above it, but we said would you ask if there's someone who just wants to come and run the bookstore for two months, and they can live completely off our dime? they don't have to buy anything, they don't have to pay represent, they eat in the café, i mean, they eat in the café across the street or out of our fridge, whatever they want they can buy out of our cash box, but we won't pay them a salary. and do you think there's someone who's thinking someday they might want to run a week store or some -- bookstore or some college kid who's in between jobs, and my friend said i'll find out. so being the great marketer that
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i am, when i put that out, i actually failed to mention that it was because i had written a book and was going on a book tour that i wanted this person to do this. so we got all these really interesting e-mails from all sorts of people who were sort of interested in this deal. but it overnight went from four people to about 360 people who were tweeting and facebooking and reposting this status. and by the end of the day, there were a thousand people who had reposted this thing. unfortunately, what was happening was most of the people who like goodwill librarian are employed librarians, so we were kind of poaching in someone else's territory. they were all going i can get a leave of absence, and i'm thinking, oh, great, now i've done it. this is like a pastor who goes to someone else's congregation. but the goodwill librarian actually suggested we get in touch with robert gray who writes the column for shelf
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awareness, and he said -- we asked him if he would mind putting in a small ad saying we were looking for a shop sitter. he said, i'll do you one better, i get 750 words and send me some pictures, so we sent some cute pictures of owen climbing the shelves, and we tried to be charming and cute and hoped someone would want to do this. we had 186 applications, and the applications included places like sweden. my husband still regrets there were two women who applied from sweden, and they sent pictures of themselves in their bikinis, and my husband still regrets that we went on the book tour and didn't hire these women. it went everywhere. it went on npr, it went through the l.a. times, it went through a lot of big papers. and what i found was, okay, this was fun. this was nice publicity for the book because the second time we remembered to put the book in there, but it was also, it also reinforced at least two, maybe three things. one, we only did it because we
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thought it might be b a good idea. there was nothing cynical about it. it was just a way of making it work. and it went viral. for no other reason than that we just asked nicely, and a bunch of people responded nicely. we did not have people who were cynical about this at all. they were really genuine people. secondly, most of them were from big cities and, of course, we got a few applications that said, you know, idyllic country living, and i are work on -- i will work on my novel and this kind of thing. but for the most part, what we found were people who were kind of longing to get into what they recognized as a small community and kind of be jump-started as a member of it. there was this really poignant wish to be part of a team and a community, and you could see it in the applications that they sent us. and third, the bookstore is not dead. no way is the bookstore dead.
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if we had 186 people who actually asked to do this for no pay, just for room and board for two months, and we had a couple of thousand people retweeting and resending this over and over again, reports of the bookstore's death are greatly exaggerated, thank you very much. there's actually an article i'm going to show you in a minute from the christian science monitor said 2012 was the year of the bookstore. it goes pack to what i was saying -- back to what i was saying when we put this story out in the first place. when you do what's in front of you because you think it's important and because you think it's a good idea, nobody can take that away from you. and the consequences of your decision are bigger than just for you. nobody's going to beat amazon, right? but we don't have to. all we have to do is fly below the radar and do what we're doing. people want to come to our bookstore because it's fun. they want to pet the cats, they want to eat the french toast, they want to hear jack's accent, they want to tell us a story.
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they come not because we're convenient, not because we're easy, but because we're fun. and because they value us being there. we now employ people in our community. we employ kelly. we have a part-time person who works for us. we are slowly but surely creeping up. now we employ four people in the community, thank you, but in big stone gap that's about .1% of the population. so let's not curse the darkness, right? those of us who are bibliophiles, those of us who love bookstores and small towns, let's not curse the darkness. let's tush on the lights -- turn on the lights, keep the lights burning in our independent bookstores and greenhouses and hardwares across america because that's what keeps a community going. that's what keeps your young people there. so we were really proud of that story going viral. and, of course, i need to introduce you to a few people at the bookstore. that's beulah there in front of the planter. beulah is the shop greeter. of course, you've met owen
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meanny, he's the staff intern, and he does the actual brunt work. if we ever have a promotion, he has to do that. and then you see val kitty down there at the bottom, and val kitty is exceedingly proud of the fact that in the large print edition it is her picture that features on the cover. so she would like you to know that. sheshe is the chief financial officer of the bookstore. this is just one of a typical day at the bookstore. we were just having a few friends over for dipper, and someone snapped this -- for dinner, and someone snapped this photo. i told you a little while ago that when we, when the bookstore was -- little bookstore was published in korea and in portugal, people began to e-mail us from bookstores over there. well, it's kind of a joke, but i'm big in korea. [laughter] i'm big in korea. because publisher e-mailed and said you need to give us access
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to your photos right away, because we have a chance to put you in the national newspaper, like the big -- "the new york times" equivalent or "the wall street journal", and we need to do it right now. we've only got about four hours. so i said, sure, and i immediately made by translator an administrator. well, this is the picture she picked. so this picture went across korea, and i started to get a whole bunch of blog readers from korea and also a couple of friend requests on facebook. and when i translated the friend request, it said things like crazy people like you, which i hope means i like you, you crazy people. i don't know if it had actually cut off the crazy people like you should be put away, i don't know. [laughter] translator's not reliable. but we're really, really proud of the fact that the little bookstore has created two kinds of a community. we settled into that area, you know, heartbroken and financially broke people just trying to make something happen. and everything we've done has been, for the most part, because we were trying to make something
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happen. sometimes it happened well, sometimes it didn't happen at all. but we had no idea when we published the book that this second community would form of booksellers with heart, you know? independent booksellers who wanted to talk to each other, who wanted to solve their problems together. we tapped into, quite accidentally, in portugal there is a community of booksellers that actually gets together once a year and goes on a retreat. there are about 60 of them. and there's a bookstore on the east coast -- well, i'm not sure if it's in the east coast, but they had a seaside resort there, and the booksellers have an awards ceremony and a brainstorming session where they continue to work out how they're going to stay alive for the next year. not just stay alive, but thrive and be members of their community. we had no idea any of that was out there until this book sort of landed and began to make its own friends and bring those friends back to us. so it's not, oh, we're so glad that we got this going. we didn't. we didn't know it was there
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until we hit it accidentally with the book, and we're just so proud to be a part of that community and so proud to be a part of bringing that community together. so i think one of the reasons we're proud of bringing that community together is this quote, which i love. i think a lot of you have probably seen the quote which circulates on facebook all the time. it says when you buy from a local merchant, you're not just hoping a ceo get a second vacation home, you're paying for a little girl's dance lessons, sending a kid to college, helping someone plan their retirement. all those things are true. when you buy from your local community, that money stays in your community, and that money does good things for your community. and we're really, really happy that we're part of that movement. this is the article i was telling you about from the christian science monitor that 2012 was the year of the bookstore. i was one of several independent bookstore owners who was
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interviewed for it. and again, you can say that america's going to turn into a corporation instead of independent people, but there's always going to be people out there who just do what's in front of them because it's the right thing to do, not because they think they're going to get great financial rewards for it. trust us, we eat a lot of peanut butter, don't we, jack? a lot of mac and cheese. but we're okay with that because there's rich and then there's having a lot of money, and we know the difference when we're booksellers. i'd love to hear from you. these are the ways you can get in touch with me. on the blog, actually, on the blog today you will see chuck featured about this. we're on facebook both as tales of the lonesome pine and the second story café, and then our sales. fairly often jack gets introduced as mr. welch, and he takes it well. but we decided when we got
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married that he would keep his last name. [laughter] there's also a video on youtube of some of the craziness that we do from day to day-to-day, and we'd be more than happy to talk to you about that. the last thing i want to do is tell you the story of the day i found out little bookstore was going to get published. my husband and i having sent the manuscript off to my agent which was a long and heavy slog, believe me, that was in april of 2011. we decided that we had been in business for five years, we were still standing, we had eaten a lot of peanut butter, but we were still there. and in celebration of having finished writing the manuscript that we didn't know if it was going to get published or not -- and let me just take a pause here, how many of you like to write? let me give you just one piece of advice. everything you do as a writer, celebrate it. you never know what's going to happen next, and it doesn't matter. when you do the thing that you wanted to do, celebrate it.
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if something else happens, celebrate that, too, but we threw a party the day i finished writing the book before with i knew whether i had an editor or not. we had a bunch of friends over. when i got my agent, we threw a party. we like parties. when we sent the book off to the agent for her to shop it around, it was july 3rd, and she said if we don't get this down before july 4th, publishing closes down in august or it's not going to happen until september. we're going to have to look again. so i sent it to her on july 3rd, and then my husband and i jumped onto expedia and looked for half price vacation deals. we were going to celebrate the fact that i finished this manuscript, and we're going to celebrate the fact that we've been in business for five years as a bookseller. don't care what happens tomorrow, we're just going to celebrate. so we found this really cheap hotel and flight deal in chicago where we'd really never been. and we wound up -- i don't know if any of you know chicago, but it was the palmer house hotel
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which is a beautiful place, just gorgeous. and we didn't know anything about it, and we landed, you know, two hicks with their suitcase and a paper bag. and we looked up the palmer house has a fresco of the night sky painted on it with all the constellations. and we looked up at that and kind of went -- so we spent a week hanging out in this hotel, and on the last day we were there when i got up in the morning, my phone had a message on it. and it was from my agent, pamela, who was also on vacation. and she had told me you won't hear from me for the whole week you're gone. don't worry about it, we'll talk when i get back. she was in france. but the message was from pamela, and it said call the office. and i thought, oh, i'm in trouble. so i picked it up, and i called, and her assistant was there, and she said, wendy, there are three publishers bidding on your book. i said, is that good? she said, yeah, honey, that's
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good. so she explained what was going to happen. one of them dropped out because they weren't quite ready, but the other two moved forward, and they set up phone calls for me that afternoon on which one i wanted to work with. basically, i needed to interview the editors and see who met my needs. [laughter] okay. so i hang up the phone, and i'm just sitting there dazed, and jack who has been dragged from sleep a little earlier than he wanted to be said what was that? i said, we sold the book. that was the last thing michelle said to me. she said it doesn't matter which one you choose, you've sold this book today. we screamed and we whooped and we hollered, and we ran down the stairs, and this is one of those really expensive hotels where they charge you extra for breathing, so we were always going around the corner to the little café and having our breakfast. so we went downstairs to have our breakfast, and jack went in to get the bagels and the coffee, and i sat down, and there was the, i think it was
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"the chicago tribune", and it was open to a story that said remaining 400 borders to close their doors. i read that, and he came out, and, you know, i had been like crying with euphoria when he went into the shop, and when he came out i was sitting there all gray and dismal. he said what? he looked at it, and he looked at me, i said there's a borders that we passed about three blocks from the hotel. so we basically left our breakfast untouched and raced over there. and they were unplugging the computers from the walls, and they were taking the stuff down from the second story and piling it on big tables to sell it and closing off the upstairs. and i rooked at one of the guys -- i looked at one of the guys carrying the computer and what i really wanted to know was do you mind if i take a photo of this? because i just wanted to remember that moment. it was horrible. and i just, i wanted that photo as a bookseller. and he -- but when he turned his
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face to me, when i said can i ask you a question, he was crying. and i said i just want you to know i'm a bookseller, too s and i'm so sorry. i didn't try anymore empathy. there's pain you can't touch. and we bought a couple of books, and we walked out. when we got home, we hung the bag in the bookstore, it's still happening with a note below it that says in memoriam. so that was how i sold my book. that was the day i sold my book. and, you know, i'm proud of my book, and i'm happy it's done so well, and i'm just delighted that our bookstore is still thriving, but i'm always mindful that there's a lot of us working together to make sure that the world holds itself together and that in the future we have communities that we're proud of where our children are safe and our work is our pride and where we spend our money is because we believe in those people. and that's what i'm proud of
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about publishing "the little bookstore at big stone gap." so i would be more than happy to take a couple of questions. we've got about ten minutes for that. >> if you want to go back to the microphone -- [inaudible] i'll go ahead and start it off. your book is great, and your story's wonderful -- >> thank you. >> and as you mentioned with the town of 5,000 people, i'm sure more than 3,000 of them read the book and then told the other two with about it, so what did they think about the characters even though you changed the names? >> there was actually a big joke going around town. not all the names are changed. so the joke was if your name's been changed, there's a reason, and you're in trouble. [laughter] for the most part, the town really likes it. for those of you who haven't read the book, there's a very funny story in it about the local kiwanis club. and you know how small towns things happen every day that no one ever expects to be called to account for. right. so sometimes local towns just get in little power plays and
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things go silly and things go sideways, and six months later no one can remember what it's about. well, in this particular power play got written up in the book. and we have numbers -- i'm not going to tell you because you need to read the book or ask someone in town about it, but we hung -- my husband got rejected from kiwanis club membership. now, you have to be bad to get rejected from kiwanis club membership. [laughter] and when we got rejected, we hung the rejection letter in the bookstore. it was; you know, we were supposed to be embarrassed, and we were actually kind of like this is so silly. so we hung the letter up. and people started coming to see the letter and telling us stories of when they had been done by a power play and what had happened and why they felt the way they did about it. well, when the book got published, those poor kiwanians just got it in the neck, right? it's not really their fault. you make a thousand decisions every day that you think aren't going to have any consequence, and all of a sudden one of them goes viral, and oops!
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we really enjoyed the number of people who have come and told us their stories about small towns, and in our small town there are a lot of people who just recognize that's the way the cookie crumbles, you know? we always have worked this way, we probably always will work this way. small towns are their own unique sense of community and governance, and that's fine with us. we like being a part of it. so for the most part, everybody likes it. there's a couple of kiwanians who still don't sit with us at christmas dinner. >> understandably. >> yeah. >> anybody else a question? i don't want to butt in. >> we need you to go to that mic back there. i'm very sorry, but your hair looks great. [laughter] >> okay. it's a catwalk. go ahead. work it. >> number one or a, do they still have the trail of lonesome pine in the summertime? >> yes, they do. >> the big part of that question, does that increase your business? are you getting anything from
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that? >> um, i think it's a two-way street. now because the book has been a little more popular than we expected, starting -- the book came out in october, and by halloween we had had three or four people who had come down to stay the night with us. the drama doesn't run in the winter. i think some of those people came back in the spring because we gave them the flyer. barbara polly lives up the street from us, and the drama's down the street. also we always advertise every year in the program. >> right. >> so it's a two-way. >> okay. since i'm here, are they ever going to do anything about the highway between big stone gap and lynch, kentucky? [laughter] to make it a little easier to get to you? >> no. [laughter] i'm very sorry, but, no, they're not. [laughter] if you have a question, go back to the mic back there. follow tina, she's on her way. >> i just want to know what's in the pipeline, what's the next book and what's it going to be
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about? >> there's a book being proposed right now, st. martin, i think it's called options. they get first refusal, and the proposal's actually with them right now. we're going up to new york november 4th-7th to hang out and chat and see. so i think st. martins is probably going to, we're going to continue to work together. but the book is tentatively titled "little is the new big," or "why little is the new big." and it's about what we've been talking about with community shops and the explosive growth of farmers' markets, the explosive growth of independent bookstores and people looking to reclaim their own lives and, you know, no harm to them, the people who work in walmart are nice people, but to stay out of walmart, to stay out of the ways in which walmart and other very, very large businesses do business that the costs are hidden. the short-term cheapness is paying a long-term, is taking a long-term price out of us and out of our children's futures.
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be so i'm working on a book about that. >> well, my husband was born in a ham let in southwest virginia -- >> which one? >> darwin, virginia, which we found recently had more or less disappeared from the map. but when he was six months also, his parents moved to puff frees borrow -- murfreesboro which was like moving to new york city. he had not been back until two years ago we went up there, and what i was just wondering is do you attract sight seers, customers, book lovers from the area? are most of them fairly close by? and i would think that your book would certainly have done something in just making curiosity seekers, maybe tourists in the area? >> yeah. >> pay a visit? but it's a beautiful, such a beautiful area. but it's, you know, it's appalachia. >> yeah. it is beautiful. we're surrounded by that mountain bowl, and it is a cool
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place to visit. yeah, there are, there are people who have come to see us because of the book. the farthest away has been oregon, which we found kind of interesting. what we usually find is i don't know how many of you ever looked big stone gap up on a map, you have to to work pretty hard to get there. you're going to be an hour off any major highway. so what happens is people who are planning a trip for some reason deviate, and they add an extra day, or they road trip to the side. so it's not that the lady from oregon said, oh, i must see this bookstore. it was that she knew she was going to be in cincinnati, and she saw that cincinnati was about five hours' drive from us, so she added a day and came down to see us. i like to say i had somebody from oregon come and visit, but what actually happened was she added a day to her trip. of course, big stone gap has been home to some big writers, there's john fox jr.'s trail of the lonesome pine that's already been mentioned. so we have a history of literary
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tourism, if you will. and i'm, i'm kind of happy to have joined that. i know that people came when we held the celtic festival, they came to the bookstore, and they filled up the local hotels, and that was good for the economy and good for the town. we're happy about that. >> any other questions? um, i guess we've got time for one more. i wanted to go ahead and say one quote that stuck in my held because i've talked to several people before this session and several of them talked about wanting to or dreaming about opening a bookstore down the line, and you had added a quote by robert specter, page 160 if you get the book out. if you're opening a bookstore because you love reading books, then become a night watchman because you'll be able to read more books that way. [laughter] but i wanted, aside from reading your book and the list that you made clefly within it as well -- cleverly within it, what advice would you give people about
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chasing that dream to run a bookstore? >> to run a bookstore? >> uh-huh. >> okay. this is going to sound funny. don't pay rent. seriously. don't pay rent. we made it because we bought the house we lived in, and it pays us to live in it. and when we successed ourself out of living above it, we moved into the basement of it. my husband jack can build anything out of two nails and a 2x4. and i think i knit us a toilet at one point. [laughter] so we live in a scrapped-together but pleasant basement. and run the café out of the second story and the bookstore out of the first, and that's the reason we were able to offer kelly that arrangement where we didn't charge her rent. we wanted the community to have this café. and, you know, we're not stupid. we don't want to pay for having a café. but we had a very gentle profit-sharing agreement for that. so the first advice is don't pay rent. the second advice is don't open a bookstore if you just love books and you don't love people. you will kill someone, and you
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will go to jail for it. [laughter] third advice, don't open a bookstore if you're afraid of spiders if you're flying solo, because every box of books that comes into you will have a spider in it. you need a partner who is not afraid of spiders. and if you've got a partner who can kill spiders, if you're not paying rent and you like people, you're going to be fine. you have to be smart. you have to start small, slow, gentle. you don't start within 30 miles of another bookstore, there's no point. but it's amazing where bricks and mortar store, where bricks and mortar stores are in america. it's not your grandma's bookstore anymore. or it is your grandma's bookstore, but it's in a different place. they're in the basements of churches, they're in the back rooms of people's houses, they're in sheds out by the highway. and they're thriving. and some of them are absolutely beautiful. if you ever go to square books or square one books in oxford,
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mississippi, that store is magnificent. it's beautiful. but then you can also go to the book barn just outside louisville, and it's not magnificent, but, boy, got a heartbeat that you can hear 40 miles away. it's this lovely place. that's my advice. don't open a bookstore if you don't like people. and i think that's probably all that we have time for. i'm going to be over at the plaza ostensibly signing books, but my observation has been that usually there are two very, very large name authors signing books and everyone else is sitting there trying hard not to look embarrassed, so i would love it if you just came over and talked to me. i'll be crocheting items, and we'll look forward to seeing you there. thank you all for coming. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> you've been listening to wendy welch talk about her memoir, "the little bookstore of big stone gap." while we wait for the next event, here are some clips from booktv's past cover average of the southern festival -- coverage of the southern festival of books. >> robert cheatham, what is the southern festival of books? >> we call it a celebration of the written word. we've been doing it for 11 years, and it's an event where we have authors and writers doing panels and readings, and we have exhibit to haves and just a big situation. >> how is the festival different treason festivals previous years? >> it's raining. [laughter] that's basically the difference. >> and what kind of an impact
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does the rain have upon the festival? >> well, we've had small rains before. we've never had this much rain. usually what happens is people just go to the sessions. i don't know about today because it started early, so they might not come down, but we're trying to create a community of readers. >> which authors have, in your opinion, made especially valuable or unique contributions to southern literature and writingsome. >> boy. [laughter] we've got 200 authors, and i would hate to risk naming any. the names that are known as southern writers as re hold in price, bobby ann mason and i'm sure i'm leaving some out, but those are the biggest names probably in southern letters. >> approximately how many people have attended the festival in the past, and how many do you expect this year? >> e don't really know how many precisely come because there's no admission fee for anything like that. we've done some estimates in the past, and it's been about 30,000 for three days. it's very slow today because of
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the rain, so we'll see. >> the sessions we've been taping for booktv have been taking place inside of the state capitol building in the senate chamber. does that add a special dimension to this event? >> yeah. it's very nice that we're able to use this. this is the oldest state capitol in continuous use, i've been told, and it gives a weight to the sessions, i think, that is nice. >> has the state capitol building been used for all of the festivals in the past? >> we've used it from the start. >> the tennessee festival, the southern festival of weeks is respond -- of books is sponsored by the humanities council. what is the relationship between the council and the tennessee center for the book? >> we're really is the same thing. we host the tennessee center for the book which we started doing about three years ago, so it's really the same body. it's the same, same people. >> and where does the tennessee humanities council derive its funding from? >> we get most of our funding from the national endowment for the humanities, but we get a lot
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of funding from private donors and corporations and foundations. >> what are the programs the council's involved in during the course of the year? >> we have a grant program which we've been doing for 25 years that funds educational programs in literature, philosophy, religious studies, history. we also do mother read which is a family literacy program, and we have a summer writing camp for young kids. >> how did you originally get involved in the tennessee humanities council? >> i went to graduate school and came home and got the job. [laughter] >> i noticed yesterday a lot of young people attending the events and participating during the question and answer sessions. are you happy to see so many young people? >> we're really pleased to see young people. we have a magnet school and, basically, they take the whole day out and come over here and make assignments, and that's who you were seeing, probably, taking notes probably. >> and ideally, what would you like young people to take away from the festival? >> i hope they'll take away the sense that reading is fun and
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educational and something you should do throughout your life. it's not something you just do for school, it gives you a great deal of pleasure throughout your life. >> robert cheatham, thank you very much for speaking with us. >> we'll be back with more live coverage of the 25th annual southern festival of books in nashville, tennessee, in just a few minutes. but first, here's another clip from booktv's past coverage of the festival as we look back at our first 15 years on the air. [inaudible conversations] >> well, a number of reasons to look at that 1960 election. first of all, you have two fascinating political characters. if you think about it, john kennedy and richard nixon were two of the most brilliant political minds america produced in the 1960s. richard nixon was on the national ticket five times and won four out of the five times, and last i checked, that's a pretty good batting average. it's one of the best batting averages of anybody who's run for the american presidency.
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and, of course, john kennedy becoming the first and only roman catholic president in america's history is a very interesting story in and of himself. secondly, it was an extraordinarily close election. kennedy won the election by just a tick or two over 100,000 votes out of the tens of millions that were cast, so it was extraordinarily close. it was also, i argue, really the first modern campaign when you think about pollsters, you think about use of media, you think of mass buying of advertising, and when you think about religion as a political force, you add all of those together, and many things which we take for granted in our presidential races today in ways began in that 1960 election. so i think it's the beginning of modern political presidential campaigns. ..
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the 1960s is where they began a taste for playing at a large and high political level. [inaudible conversations] 's been now more like coverage from the 25th annual southern festival of books. next doctors victoria sweet author of "god's hotel". she talks about her experiences working at san francisco's laguna honda hospital.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> i see and we will get started. my name is arlene tuchman and i'm a historian of medicine at manville university. i want to thank amenities tennessee and the robert penn warren center and the communities of vanderbilt for sponsoring this talk today and in fact for sponsoring a series of sessions taking place the rest of today and tomorrow entitled taking our polls promises and pitfalls of modern medicine and we have some pamphlets appear if you are interested in any of the other talks in the series. please feel free to come and take one. i am delighted to introduce. their victoria sweet who is an associate clinical professor of medicine at the university of california san francisco and a prize-winning
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historian with a ph.d. in history. she practiced medicine for 20 years at laguna honda hospital in san francisco a chronic care hospital founded in 1867 for the care of the city's destitute and ill. that is where she began writing her recent book "god's hotel" a doctor, a hospital and a pilgrimage to the heart of medicine. it won the pen award for nonfiction and this is the book she will be telling us about today. i can't agree enough with a line from a review in "the new york times" that claimed it's compulsively readable chapters go down like sips of cool water and its hard-core subversion cheers like a shot of gin. i love this book so much that i assigned it last year to the
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class of 60 undergraduates almost all of whom plan to to go into health care. were inspired by doc or sweets criticism of the modern form of health care delivery with its pursuit of efficiency and they were cheered by her efficacy when she called it slow medicine that kind of medicine that is personal and face-to-face and that gives doctors and their patients enough time to talk and to think. what is most provocative about. there sweet's assertion that not only is medicine far more humane, it's not only filled with far more dignity for those that are vulnerable but he coasted is better in determining the right diagnosis and the right treatment it is also far more efficient. i give you dr. suite. [applause]
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>> i have got to pay attention to this. how's that? is this the one? thank you very much for that by the way and actually she covered all the main points and we can really just stop right there. i will say that was one of my favorite reviews because i love jim. the water is pretty good but the gym part is really nice. so what i would like to do, arlene suggested and i thought it was a good idea to spend 30 minutes talking about the book. everybody can hear me okay? talking about the book and i will condense it for you and give me the main points and give you a general feeling. i will read a page or so at the end of the 30 minutes to get a sense of the writing and then i will throw it open for any questions or comments. i have organized it -- first when i'm going to do is talk a little bit about myself. that is the doctor part and the
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unusual hospital where he practiced medicine as you heard for 20 years in san francisco. that's the hospital part and last i will tell you a little about the pilgrimage i took across europe as well obviously is the pilgrimage that is in fact the book. so first let me say that i never thought of myself as a natural. her, and natural-born doctor and by that i mean growing up i never watched doctor shows on television. i never volunteered at hospitals i didn't want to hear about or see sick bodies and my family told -- when i told my family i was going to medical school they were absolutely shocked. what happened was i discovered the writings of karl jong and i loved them. i'd love to the meaning and the depth he brought to his life. and i particularly liked the way he set up his life as a psychiatrist living on a bake, a
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lake in zürich and seeing well-paying articulate patients in the morning and is illuminating manuscripts in studying alchemy in the afternoons. i decided that was what i wanted to be when i grew up and that is why went to medical school. but it turned out i like to medical school a lot more than i thought i would especially those last two years when you first get to see patients. i loved the history for you talk to patients and you listen to what they say and what they don't say. the thought there was a lot of psychology to that. i loved the physical examination and part because i thought it was amazing that just by touching and examining a patient i could often figure out what the diagnosis was. and then the work up, the figuring out what labs to get and what x-rays and putting it together with the differential diagnosis and a plan.
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but i still carried on and i started my psychiatric residency. which it turned out was in the only locked ward in the whole county. and it's patients were not the well-paying and articulate patients. they were severely psychotic. i found that they responded much better to the antipsychotic medicine then they did to the talks that i tried. after i got my medical license i just left the residency and i went out and i practice medicine in a community clinic for several years. that was a wonderful place to practice because community clinic's end up seeing everybody. particularly immigrants so every time there was a war or a rumor of war we would give a waive of immigrants coming to the clinic with their different diseases and their different cultures and their different ways of looking at things.
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i saw everything. i saw the parasites. i saw three cases of leprosy. i saw very unusual cancers. you know it was a very fascinating place and it also got me thinking about different ways people have it looking at disease. i found after practicing medicine for several years i was more and more impressed with modernist. by its logical scientific way of writing a diagnosis. but it was also more impressed by what modern medicine left out naturally anything that wasn't logical and i began looking at alternative medicines. i looked at homeopathy and natural but they and chinese medicine both of which i particularly found fascinating systems. i thought her a while about learning chinese are learning sanskrit so i could understand the systems from the inside but
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finally i realized even if i did i still wouldn't really be able to understand. they were just too different from the culture. it was that this discouraging moment that i ran into a book, another book actually that surprised and intrigued me and that was hildegard's medicine. hildegard was a 12th century woman. she was also a mistake, for a composer, a theologian and as it turned out a medical practitioner and she had written a book about her medicine. and it wasn't the eye of newt toe of frog medicine i expected. it was a real medicine with real patients and real diseases that i could recognize but it was based on a completely different model of body from our
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mechanical model. i didn't really quite understand what she was trying to get at. it was more like chinese medicine. i decided at that moment i was going to go back to school and get a ph.d. in premodern medicine, the history of medicine and use hildegard's medicine as my source. i didn't want to stop practicing medicine so i looked around for a part-time job and the only place that would offer me a part-time job at the time was laguna honda hospital in san francisco so i went over for my interview. when i saw it for the first time i was absolutely shocked because it looked like a medieval 12th century monastery. he was high on a hill. it had cream walls and a red tiled roof and turrets and the bell tower. i went for my interview in the medical director took me around. the place was enormous.
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it was on 62 acres of land in the middle of the city. it had almost 1200 patients who were taken care of on those old-fashioned open wards like nightingale wards. it had a live-in priest. it had a resident none -- nunn and it had a chapel which looked like a church really as she showed it to me. it had stained glass windows and solid wooden pews and very politically incorrect stations of the cross along the walls. we would walk around and then we went off to see the gardens. there were extensive gardens and the medical director showed me the aviary, the greenhouse and even the barnyard. they were there so that patients could pot plants, watched chickens hatch from eggs and even sea animals.
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then we walked back to her office and she offered me the job. i didn't know. i wasn't sure. laguna honda was like no hospital i have ever seen or even imagined but it was the only place that offered me a part-time job so i told her i would come for two months and ended up staying for more than 20 years. it turned out to be a wonderful place to practice medicine. originally i had been to the san francisco owns house and this is not what it look like when i got there. it looked like a medieval monastery but this was the original house built in the late 1860s as arlene said. the owns house is how we use to take care of the sick and poor before there was help and lo and behold we did have a system. some of you probably remember. it was a simple system. there would be a free county hospital for the acutely ill and then there would be a alms house
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for everybody else of the chronically ill, people who needed rehab, people had no place to go. anybody they didn't know what to do with was sent to the alms house in laguna honda was the san francisco alms house and in fact it's how i got the title for the book because in french the alms house is called the hotel do. gods hotel and it is in latin god's houses and god's homes. that is where i got the name for the book. what happened with the alms house is they would take care of the bottom 1%, really the bottom one tenth of 1% so everybody who fell through the holes in the safety net net and what i found was my patients, there was -- they have nothing in common with each other except they were all too standard deviations to the mean. they were the tallest in the
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shortest and fastest in the thinnest and the oldest in the youngest and the nicest in the meanest. they had almost every disease in the world. if something was -- i would seek to her three cases so if fascinatifascinati ng place to practice medicine. it took me a while to realize though how much i was learning about real medicine and when i first started thinking about talking about the book i asked myself how would i summarize if i had one sentence and i decided that if i had to summarize it in one sentence it would need that medicine is personal. not personalized. whatever that means. medicine is personal and what i learned that laguna honda is when it's personal it works. and what i mean by works is that
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a patient is happy, could the doctor is happy calm cut you have the right diagnosis, the right treatment and all for the least amount of money. now this jelled for me the day that i met my good friend dr. curtis and he was coming back from outside the hospital. we met in a big old hallway and he was always in a hurry and i asked him where he was going. he said he was going back to see a patient who had been at laguna honda for months, ready for discharge. every time a doctor curtis love is patient rounds there he was still zipping around in his wheelchair still going to therapy. so finally i asked him why he was still there since he could walk. no shoes dock. they need special shoes and they ordered them from medicaid and they are waiting for medicaid to prevent. how long have they been waiting? three months.
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dr. curtis thought about that for a little bit and then he said to him what size shoe do you wear? he said size nine. dr. curtis told me he thought about all the things he had to do and all the charts he would have to fill out in the forms you would have to write and then he just got in his car and went over to walmart and bought a pair of size nine running shoes for $16.99 and now he was coming back to put them on the patient himself and write the order of discharge. as i watched him hurry off, i realized he reminded me of an africa some i always loved but have never understood. the secret in the care of the patient is caring for the patient. now i always thought that meant caring about a patient. loving the patient or at least liking them that when i watched dr. curtis rush off to put shoes
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on a patient that he barely knew i thought there must be more to it than that. so i looked it up and i found it in a talk by dr. francis peabody graduating medical class of harvard in 1927. it turned out that what dr. peabody really said and really meant actually was not that the secret of the caring patient was caring about a patient but for. >> we are going to leave our book booktv programming at this point as the u.s. u.s. senate is about to gaveled back in to session to continue work today in an effort to learn the fiscal stalemate. the now e to the u.s. senate. bloc -- voted against that. well, as a result, since you need 60 votes to bring a bill to the floor, the vote was 53-45.
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so there should be no mistake in anyone's mind, this was a very clear vote simply to move to a bill fully debatable, amendable even. but the republicans would not even vote to even go to that bill today. quite frankly, i must admit that when i was driving in to the senate, i was thinking about this and i thought, well, what we'll do is we'll get on the bill. obviously they'll vote for cloture to -- to -- to proceed to the bill. then we'll get on the bill and i was sort of wondering to mike, well, i wonder how long we'd have to be on the bill, i wonder what kind of amendments would be offered and then would we have to file cloture on that bill also. i was quite surprised to see every republican vote against even going to the bill. i -- it -- it begs credulity.
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i'm incredulous at this. especially, here are the markets going to be opening in asia later tomorrow and on sunday and how are they going to read this? i think if we had voted to at least move to the bill and debate it, it would have stabilized the markets somewhat because they'd say, well, at least they're willing to talk about t. now they can look and say, well, the republicans simply are not going to discuss this. shocking. shocking. that that would have transpired today at this last minute. no one gave up anything in the bill. it's simply to move to the bill. and the republicans said no. well, mr. president, we've been closed now for two weeks. i've come to the floor several times, i know as others have, to talk about this irresponsible and dangerous episode in our nation's history. now i understand that different
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groups are coming together trying to float some kind of an idea. well, i hope something comes of it. i truly hope that cooler heads will prevail and that we'll reach some agreement that will allow the government to open -- reopen, allow the debt ceiling to be extended with no strings attached for at least a year or more, at least get us through the next elections of to 14 201d then we ought to go to negotiations. our budget committee, we passed a budget here, the house passed its budget. they should go and meet and try to work it out in conference. our appropriations committees, we've passed our bills. the house, well, they haven't passed all of them. then we can go to -- go to work and work these things out in the, what, next six weeks, up to december the 1st, something like that. so i hope that works. i hope we get that kind of a compromise. but i -- i do not want to see
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some kind of a -- a compromise which says to one side or the other, you've got to do this or you've got to do that. it should be open. our budget committee, under the able guidance and direction of senator murray of washington, the budget committee -- i'm not a member of that budget committee -- but they ought to be able to go to conference without any strings attached, some artificial level put in there. they ought to take what we passed as a budget, just as the house did. but, mr. president, what's happening now -- and it's getting worse every day -- another week, another two weeks, it's just unfathomable how many more people are going to be hu hurt. now, a lot of americans may think sequestration wasn't a big deal or closing the government wasn't. i -- i saw a piece in the paper where some tea party people were meeting and -- and what came
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through is that while they weren't being directly hit or hurt by the government shutdown. and one respondent was quoted in the paper as saying, "we need to go back to the late 1800's," the way this country ran then, where everybody grew their own vegetables. well, i would say to that pers person, if you want to grow your own vegetables, you can grow your own vegetables. you want to live someplace without electricity and air conditioning and no health care and never go to the doc doctor, you're free to do that. but why should you make the rest of the country go back to the 1800's? hm? and that's rather what a handful of people are trying to do. they can't do it legislatively. they can't do it through the courts. they can't do it politically. they can't win the elections on that basis so they're trying to do it by holding a gun at our heads, keeping the government closed, threatening to default on the full faith and credit of the united states of the but i
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just wanted to say in the few minutes i have remaining what a -- another yearlong sequester would mean in terms -- in human terms. and this is things that come under the jurisdiction of my appropriations committee, which i have been privileged to chair or be ranking member of since 1989. and we've never had these kinds of problems before, republicans or democrats. when republicans ran it or democrats -- and i've been back on forth on this for -- many times in terms of republicans chairing it, democrats, republicans, democrats. we've never had these kind of problems. but if we go one more year, that means 100 -- under sequester, 177,000 fewer children will get head start services. 177,000. 1.3 million fewer students will get title 1 education assistance. now, what's title 1? that goes to the poorest kids, the poorest families, the poorest areas. 1.3 million low-income kids won't be helped.
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no, our kids will be fine, kids of middle-class, upper-class, senators, congressmen. oh, man, they've got money. i'm talking about poor kids. 1.3 million. 760,000 fewer house holes will receive -- households will receive heating or cooling assistance under the liheap program. and mostly that's elderly poor people. 9,000 fewer special education staff will be in the classroom. in other words, under "idea," we provide money for special education teachers and support staff for special education students. 9,000 will be cut. 9,000. $291 million will -- less will be there for child care subsidies for working families, for people that need child care subsidies. they're low income but they're going to work every day but they need some child care help.
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$291 million cut away from that. how many will then not allow them to go to work or what will they do with those children? will they put them in substandard child care facilities? one thing that -- that is mind-boggling, we have a program in medicare that goes after fraud, waste and abuse. we know from the past that for every dollars that we put into that, we actually recover $7.90. i don't mean some phony kind of number. i mean, we actually bring back $7.90 for every dollar we put into t. well, because of the -- into into it. well, because of the cut under sequester, that means in the next year, there will be $2.7 billion that we will not recover. and by reducing the number of people in fraud, waste and abuse section, that means that it just opens the door to fraud.
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people say, well, they're not there, they're not checking, fraud. now, people say, well, we're going to give them flexibility. under sequester, there is no flexibility. that's got to be cut. and another yearlong continuing resolution under sequester means $2 billion less for the national institutes of health, which means 1,300 fewer research grants. 1,300 fewer. so, again, i just would say that, people say, well, we'll get flexibility. my colleagues on the other side say well, we'll have sequester but we'll leave flexibility to the departments. well, let's see. let's see how that goes. so the administration for children and families, what would they do? would they preserve head start slots by cutting child care subsidies? at n.i.h., would you preserve cancer research by cutting alzheimer's research? these are terrible choices.
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flexibility does not answer the questions. it's not the answer. well, i would say one thing, when they talk flexibility, i know what's on their mind -- it's military spending. military spending. now, everybody likes to talk about the sequester and the level o of sequester. but do you know what the house did? the sequester says it's 50/50. 50% cut from defense, 50% from non-defense discretionary. what the house did under the ryan budget, they left defense whole and took it out of things like head start and -- and "idea," the special education, and programs like that. they took it all out of there but they left defense whole. that's not what was in sequester at all. so, again in just -- just in my area of health and human services, education, labor, center for disease control and prevention, n.i.h., that next
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year we would cut about $34 billion out of that. $34 billion. now, people say, well, i don't know what that means. well, as i said, i just told you what it meant. how many more kids will not be in head start, how many more families will not get child care subsidies, how many more research grants will not be funded by the n.i.h. expm we will not have -- and we will not have our centers for disease control and prevention epidemiologists, our teams out there watching for outbreaks of flu virus, foodborne illnesses, et cetera. so again, it's a disaster. a disaster. if we continue with the yearlong sequester and a continuing resolution. that's why we need a short-term one so our committees can go to work, perhaps cooler heads will prevail and we can get a -- a better budget for next year before the end of the year. to me that's the way to proceed, mr. president, and with that, i yield the floor.
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mr. casey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: thank you, mr. president. i want to commend the words of our chairman, the senior senator from -- from iowa about his warnings about the impact of sequestration, the across-the-board indiscriminate cuts. we're grateful for that because we need to be thinking about what happens down the road when we have a budget agreement. mr. president, i want to start today with a -- just a brief comment on what happened earlier at about noontime when we had a vote which was a procedural vote which i was hoping would go in a different direction but it didn't, to be able to move forward on the -- on the question of how we're going to avoid default. i don't think it's the last word
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on this issue for the next few days but i was hoping that tha that -- that the republicans would at least allow a debate of how we can avoid default. but so far that hasn't -- so far that hasn't happened but we're confident that in the next couple days we'll resolve this. but i do think it's important that we lay a foundation for why we need to avoid default. because we've talked a lot about the consequences and the impact of a government shutdown. and that remains what might be called a clear and present danger to the middle class and to our economy. and at the same time we have to talk about the consequences of default because we're only days away from the deadline. maybe the best way to start is not with numbers but with part of a letter i received from a constituent this week. the letter was dated october 8. my assumption is that most of what's contained in this letter
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are fears about and the impacts from the shutdown only. the sentiments expressed in this letter will only grow in significance and severity as we get closer to the deadline and closer to default. and i'm reading just in pertinent part. this particular constituent from northeastern pennsylvania about an hour from where i live, but in the same basic region talked about her own circumstances and that of her husband. and then she continued on. she said, and i'm quoting, "besides our personal injuries due to the budget impasse, my elderly parents live with the worry of when and if they will receive their social security checks. at 85 and 83, they should not have this uncertainty. these should be their golden years. it breaks my heart to hear my mother say she can't sleep and has a stomach ache from the worry about where our country is
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headed. middle- and low-income families cannot afford another economic downturn. we are just barely recovering from the last one." that's what she said about her parents. now, again, it's my assumption that the worry and the anxiety expressed in that paragraph is solely attributed to the -- attributable, i should say, to the government shutdown. those worries and anxiety, and frankly, real pain, and there's physical pain expressed in that paragraph about her mother, that will only grow the closer we get to default because we know the consequences of default are almost unimaginable, about the worst economic hit we could take as a country. so that's why we have to take every step necessary to avoid it. but i think that the words of a constituent from pennsylvania speak in this case for the
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nation. why should people have a worry, even if that worry is unfounded, we know that social security checks are going out now thankfully, but they're slowed down stphapbl if there is a -- subsubstantially if there is a default. with a shutdown if you reach the age of 65 it will take awhile for the checks you're entitled to because the process of validating your eligibility is held up. why should there be that uncertainty? why should any mother or father or grandmother or grandfather have an anxiety and a worry that leads them to have a stomach ache, in the case of what's the testimony in this letter, or they can't sleep because of a political agenda by one part of one political party in one house
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of congress? so that's where things are with people's feelings and their anxieties. and we've got to be able to respond to that. the default question itself is of great significance now. maybe ten days ago it wasn't, but now -- and i'm afraid we're into a period now where just the talk of default, just getting close to default is going to have an adverse impact on our economy, which happened in 2011. and that's irrefutable. all the data, all the facts show that getting close to default has an adverse impact on the economy. by one estimate, a recent estimate, almost a $20 billion hit to the economy if you measure it over ten years. and there are all kinds of other consequences that i won't dwell on right now. but two statements made by secretary of the treasury jack lew in the finance committee in
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his opening statement in the finance committee on thursday morning, two that i think we should be reminded of. secretary lew said, and i'm quoting -- and this is in reference to the question of what if you go over the line on default and you have to decide which bills you pay, which is the wrong way to go. but he posited these two questions: "how can the united states choose whether to send social security checks to seniors or pay the benefits to our veterans?" that's question one. question two: "how can the united states choose whether to provide children with food assistance or meet our obligations to medicare providers?" so they are the kind of questions that we're all going to have to answer if we allow, what some people apparently want us to do, to go over the line for the first time in american history? to say it's fiscal madness doesn't begin to describe it.
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secretary lew also said something else which we should contemplate today. he said -- and i'm quoting -- "it is irresponsible and reckless to insist that we spaoefrpbs -- experience a forced default to learn how bad it is." we heard talk in this body and in the other body about what may be we can survive if we go over the line. maybe it's okay. maybe we can prioritize payments. and i think we should be reminded of those words. to quote, as some are insisting, apparently to" insist that we experience a forced default to learn how bad it is." it makes no sense, and fortunately there's a consensus against it. but we still have work to do to prevent it from happening. i'll read a couple of lines from a letter i received from a friend of mine who has spent a
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lot more years in the financial markets and has spent a lot of years trying to get both parties in washington to come together on a fiscal agreement. but i'll just read some lines from this memo that he sent me. he was talking about the, what happens with default. you default on your mortgage, if you default in your personal life, you have a credit problem. he said -- and i'm quoting -- "from the standpoint of our credit worthiness, a default is a default. once you have defaulted, you are a" -- and i'll leave the word out that he put in there because it may not be appropriate for this chamber, so i'll leave that blank. i think people can figure out what word can fit here. "you are a -- blank -- and everyone can figure they are the next party not to be paid. as in the lehman bankruptcy, the
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unintended consequences that spiral out of control is enormous. in short, toying with default is not akin to playing with fire but is more like handling financial weapons of mass destruction. it is a violation of the trust we place in our elected leaders to safeguard the welfare of our economy." i'm sorry, the welfare of our country, unquote. so that's what this person that i know has a lot of experience in the markets, how he describes what can happen in the event of default. mr. president, i'll conclude with just some quick references to the impact of default as described by economists, as described by experts in the field of measuring the impact of default, folks who know a lot about what would happen. and i'll just read them as quickly as i can because we know some of these already but we
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have to remind ourselves. increasing borrowing costs. many have talked and written about that. damaging economic growth. higher interest rates, higher debt payments, slow economic growth. one expert was talking about the lehman bankruptcy and describing the lehman bankruptcy and putting that in the con tegs of a default -- context of a default and making the case that a default has a much bigger impact than even the lehman bankruptcy had. in 2008 the lehman bankruptcy -- quote -- "was an event that triggered the financial crisis that caused the stock market to lose half, half its value over just five months. half its value over five months and helped to trigger the worst recession since the great depression." that was just the lehman bankruptcy. just imagine in the context of
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default how much worse it could be. retirement savings. according to newer data an equivalent hit could cost, comparing it to what happened in 2011, an equivalent hit could cost the average person in his or her 350's who's -- in his or her 50's, who has been saving for 20 or 30 years as much as $11,000. after the 2011 shutdown mortgage spreads jumped by 70 basis points which would have added $100 a month to the cost of the typical mortgage. so we have data from 2011 that measures the adverse impact on mortgages just by getting close to default. not defaulting, not in the event of default itself. disrupted payments. delayed or disrupted payments would prevent 57.5 million americans from receiving social security benefits in a timely manner and interfere with payments to 3.4 million
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veterans. i'll just read two more. the moody's chief economist, mark zandi, who has testified in front of the senate many times, parenthetically as it relates to the shutdown just testified yesterday that -- over in the house, because the joint committee committee is a joint committee, he testified that just as it relates to the shutdown that we -- that he predicts that in this quarter we're in, the fourth quarter, we will have lost a half a point of growth. so instead of the g.d.p. growth in the fourth quarter being 2.5%, as mark zandi would have predicted or projected absent shutdown, with shutdown you go from 2.5% growth to 2% growth. that's just shutdown in one quarter. just imagine -- just imagine the impact on growth if we defaulted. here's what mark zandi says.
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i'm not quoting him -- i am quoting him directly here. this is default. "it would be devastating to the economy." he goes on to say confidence will evaporate. consumer confidence will sharply decline. businesses will stop hiring. consumers will stop spending. the stock market will fall significantly in value. borrowing costs for businesses and housing will sharply rise. he goes on from there. unquote. you don't have to be an economist to know the impact of default. all you have to do is read what economists are saying across the board. these are people that disagree on a lot of things. they might disagree on a budget item. they might disagree on econometric modeling. they might disagree on tax cuts. they might disagree on a democrat versus republican approach to the economy. they might have fundamental
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disagreements on everything. but on this, they're speaking with one voice. don't default, they're telling us. don't even get close to defaulting. don't even talk about or debate defaulting. just prevent it from happening. and that is the overwhelming consensus. let me conclude with one reference here. when i got to the senate, one of the leading republican voices on the budget, because he happened to be the ranking member on the budget committee, was judd gregg from new hampshire. had been a governor for new hampshire and then served in the senate for many years. he has said recently that -- talking about what would happen in the event of default, he said, and i'm quoting, -- i'm not quoting yet. i'm sore rhode island brinkmanship -- sorry. brinks man sh*p is the equivalent of playing russian
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roulette. it's the ultimate no-win strategy. a default would lead to some level of chaos in the debt markets which would lead to a significant contraction in economic activity, which would lead to job losses, which would lead to higher spending by the federal government and lower tax revenues which would lead to more debt. unquote. so says the former ranking member of the budget committee, the former republican senator from new hampshire. so the idea that some think that for some reason we could go into default or even get close to it doesn't make a lot of sense. mr. president, i'll conclude with this thought. that letter i started with from my constituent in pennsylvania who speaks for the country, i believe, when she was talking about her parents, her 82- and
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83-year-old parents, about the uncertainty that they have, about the worry and the anxiety that's literally causing, in the case of her mother, according to this letter, physical pain. but even if it didn't rise to that level, just the idea that a government shutdown, and now coupled with the potential of default, just that that is causing that kind of an anxiety is really disturbing. and i think an insult to so many americans. so we've got to come together and open the government at long last to make sure we pay our bills and not even get close to defaulting. and then we can have lots of negotiations and discussions for weeks or months about long-term issues, short-term issues, whatever. but in the meantime, we've got to make sure we pay our bills and open the federal government. mr. president, i would yield the floor.
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i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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ms. landrieu: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading of the roll. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: thank you. mr. president, as we exited the chamber to go to our democratic caucus -- and i'm certain that
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the republican colleagues and friends were talking among themselves as well, trying to find a way forward -- a reporter stopped me and said, "what do you think the senate's going to do, senator landrieu?" i said, well, i don't know the specifics. i'm most certainly hopeful and remain cautiously optimistic that the senate will step up to the job at hand and to fulfill the promisor the hopes of our founders that created the senate to operate in times just like these. where there seems to nobody way forward to find a way forward. where the political winds have gotten so bitter and cold for us to be able to come together, the 100 of us, to find a way forward to help keep our economy whole and operating and -- and functioning well, not just for our nation but for the world, which is important, to help
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support and bolster the recovery that is underway, to set aside, you know, the bitterness and the rancor and try to find a way forward. so i am very encouraged, despite the fact that the vote was, you know, very divisive. all republicans on one side, all domes thdemocrats on the other. i am confident, because i know the members of this body well and have been here long enough to know that there are many people of goodwill on both sides of the aisle that can try to find a way forward. and i know that the president of the united states is open to negotiation. now, maybe we can find resolution within the parties, but that's not what's important. what's important is finding a resolution in the senate of the united states for all of the people of the united states. we do not represent narrow districts with narrow ideologi
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ideologies. we represent states, big ones, like california, medium-sized ones like louisiana, and small ones like delaware. but inside of delaware, inside of louisiana, and inside of california, there are people of all different political persuasions. and as senators, when we run for office, we have to listen and take all of that in and then try to make the best decisions we can. and it's an honor to serve in the senate. even though it's tough, it's hard, it's very difficult at times. and i've been proud here to serve here for now 18 years and be among many groups that have found compromise, that have found the middle ground, that have tried to work to understand where the other side is coming from and move our country forward. i haven't always -- it has not always, you know, been perfect and -- and none of us are perfect here, but i'm proud that i've at least been one to say, count on me to try to see what
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we can do to resolve the situation. so i want to say that today for my constituents. that's what they want me to do. that's what they sent me here for 18 years ago and i know they want me to continue to do. now, i do feel strongly on their behalf that the government should open and the 21,000 of them that have been wrongly laid off by actions by minority, the government needs to open. the debt most certainly needs to be honored of the united states, so this economic recovery can continue. but there are plenty of things that we can negotiate. the debt of the country is too high. we do need to have some earned benefit and potential, you know, entitlement reform, not necessarily counting out benefits for people that count on them, for the government to do their part, to meet people halfway, but there are always efficiencies that can be created if we work together. so i see that the leader so the
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floor but i just wanted before the senate closed to come and say on behalf of the constituents that i represent, i am very hopeful that we can find a way forward. i think that senator reid has been providing extraordinary leadership and hopefully we can find a way forward and i will just brieflily in 30 seconds mention -- briefly in 30 seconds that there have been some very good conversations going on about the funding of the city of washington. not a part of the federal government. that has not been resolved yet. but republicans and democrats and the white house are working together to find a way for the district of columbia, the city of washington, with its own mayor and city council, its own budget, its own local funds does not have to be caught up in a very tough circumstance that is of -- is not of their making and they are not part of the federal government. neither is new york, chicago, new orleans, baltimore. we are separate cities, and they should be treated that way. we haven't found a way yet but
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we're work on it. i see the leader on the floor and i would yield -- yield the floor. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, i appreciate the kind words of the senator from louisiana. but i want the record spread with the work that she's done that i have seen in our years together in the senate. no one has been more of an advocate for a state than the senior senator from louisiana. what she's done after that terrible tornado hit -- hurricane, i'm sorry, hit that area was -- is now legendary. the ability that she had to change what had been standard, procedures and law in this country for decades. we changed that. for a lot of reasons. one is her advocacy. we did it because of her. in fact, this democratic -- the
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democrats in the senate voted for things in the -- that they never voted for before because of the good senator from louisiana. and it wasn't done to help on a temporary basis but long term for the state of louisiana. i hope they understand what a difference one person can make because she's made a difference, and she's changed things forever in louisiana already. i'm sure the best is yet to come. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, as most know now -- we did a press event and everybody knows, i guess -- but i'm going to say it again, i had a meeting with senators mcconnell, alexander and schumer this morning to work on the issues before us. the conversations are preliminary but they're talking
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and i -- we're talking and i hope everyone understands how positive this is. it's the first discussions we've had here, period, for -- during the whole pendency of this artificially driven government shutdown and not raising the debt ceiling when we should. so i'm confident that senator mcconnell understands that defaulting our debt would risk millions of jobs in the united states. not thousands, not hundreds of thousands but millions. would halt social security checks, medicare payments and even paychecks for our men and women in uniform. senators who are democrat, we agree with senator obama and we share a simple goal -- we ought to reopen the government and pay our bills. so we can move forward with a good-faith negotiation on a long-term budget to protect jobs, the middle class and the american economy. that is our goal.
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mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the energy committee be discharged from further consideration of s. 812. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 812, a bill to authorize the secretary of the interior to take actions to implement the agreement between the united states of america and the united mexican states current transboundry hydrocarbon reservoirs in the gulf of mexico. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid reid: mr. president, ik consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i'm told that h.j. res. 76 is now at the desk and due for activity. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time. the clerk: h.j. resolution 76, making continuing appropriations for the national nuclear security administration for
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fiscal year 2014 and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, i object -- i would first ask for a second reading and then object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bill rb read for a second time on the next legislative day. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, sunday, october 13. and that following the prayer and the pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. that following any leader remarks, the senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.
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segregation and discrimination and didn't like it. as my mother and father and grandparents find segregation, why racial discrimination?
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they said that is the way it is. don't get in trouble. don't get in the way. but in 1955 when i was in tenth grade, fifteen years old, i heard of rosa parks. i heard the voice of martin luther king jr.. and the words of dr. king inspired me to find a way to get in no way. in 1956 my brothers and sisters and cousins, we went to the public library in a little town of troy, alabama trying to get library cards, to check some books out and foretold by a library and that the library was for whites only and not for coloreds. on july 5th, 1998, at went back to the public library for books signing of my book and hundreds of black and white citizens showed up and gave me a library
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card. [applause] walking with the wind is a book of faith, hope and courage. not just my story, it is the story of hundreds of thousands and cal was men and women, black and white, who put their bodies on the line during a difficult peer go in the history of our country, to end segregation and racial discrimination. >> no need to register , just post your thoughts on our booktv chat room, booktv.org/bookclub. we will post book club related items to encourage conversation including links to interviews with the author, book review and videos from our archives. our live coverage from the southern festival of books continues with dr. james swanson. his latest book is a history of
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the kennedy assassination for young adults. >> hi am here to welcome you to this session of the southern festival of books where this evening session, as you know our writer for this session is james swanson, the edgar award winning author of the new york times best-seller manhunt, the 1284 lincoln's killer as well as chasing lincoln's killers, the best-selling adaptation of manhood for young adults. he had a number of government and big tech posts in washington d.c. including the u.s. department of justice. is two recent books called end of days, the assassination of john f. kennedy and the presentation this afternoon which is the president has been shot, the assassination of john f. kennedy.
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mr. swanson? [applause] >> thank you very much. to give you fair warning the book that has been published in case you want to leave, this is a children's book. and at the festival. my adult book, an end of days is coming out in a couple weeks. i don't see many kids here so i thought i would give you a advance notice that i'm talking about this children's book today. whenever i hear authors talk i don't like to see them read from their books or read from a script. if they are going to do that i could just read the book anyway so why go to the event? saltus will talk about how i did this book and how i'd do my books and why do these. i am interested to know the back story. everything i have done as a writer for, something i heard about as a child. even the kennedy assassination. i got into writing because of
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abraham lincoln. i was born on lincoln's birthday of february 12th in chicago, ill. lincoln country and i realized some of the southern states like kentucky claimed a lincoln affiliation but as far as we are concerned in illinois we are the land of lincoln and we are the lincoln states so we forget the others. from an early age i was exposed to lincoln things, objects, comic books, trinkets from the lincoln home in springfield, as a boy i would go visit the lincoln deathbed at the chicago historical society. at the turn of the century, a millionaire purchase the entire contents of the lincoln death room in the peterson house in washington d.c. flew into chicago and the room was recreated. i remember as a boy going in that room and pushing a button and a voice of a man would come out and there was a story of what happened to abraham lincoln on april 14th, 1865, and i
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remember when i was 6 or 7 years old, pushing that button to listen to that story of what happened to president lincoln. a few years later when i was 10 my grandmother gave me what you might think would be an odd gift for a little boy, not a baseball bat or ball, she gave me a framed an engraving of the derringer pistol used to kill abraham lincoln and framed with that in graving was part of a clipping from the chicago tribune from the morning of april 15th, 1865, the morning the president died and i remember reading that story and that the headlines and in those days there was no big broad horizontal headline across the newspaper page, the headlines were all on the left-hand column and there were a series of them from top to bottom. i remember reading those headlines president shot, john wilkes booth the actors the assassin. ..
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i must have read this story hundreds of times as a boy wanting to know what happened on the night of april 14, 1965. years later when i was working on my book manhunt a great find i was able to acquire from my collection and original set of 100 issues from the "chicago tribune" from the spring and summer of 1865 that covered not only the end of the war the assassination the manhunt the
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trial of the conspirators so years later after i was exposed to that as a boy i actually had in my hands and entire original issue of the "chicago tribune" april 15, 1865 and is one of my treasured possessions. i was exposed to other stories attaboy too. my grandmother worked for chicago newspapers. the very tail end of that era. the sun-times, the sun-times and those reporters hung out at bars. they dress like cops. they acted like a man pretended to be them. it's just just an arab wild storytelling and i remember once when i was six my grandmother told me this. she loved to tell me while terrifying stories preachy said jamie did you know that during the 1893 world's fair and madman doctor murdered 100 girls and dissolve their bodies and asset? i was six years old when she told that to me. [laughter]
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years later when my agent said what you want to do next i said when i was a boy my grandmother told me about the story of a madman doctor who dissolved his patience in acid and i said i want to do that. he said do you know who eric larson is? he is in the middle of writing that very book so i did manhunt instead of writing about the mad dr. homes. my grandfather who is a chicago policeman from the 1930s the al capone gangster area -- era through the 1960s the anti-vietnam war protests in civil rights movement era. he came home said and almost a stage whisper and i wondered if he wanted me to hear this. he said don't let jamie read the newspapers. they lived with us and of course what i do the moment i was alone? i grabbed a copy of the sun-times to read the newspaper. how many of you remember the name richard speck?
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almost all of you. a madman murdered a number of student nurses in chicago and i read all about it because my grandfather said don't let him read the newspaper. since that day i have read seven newspapers a day and four on weekends. i'm addicted to newspapers and i'm sure's because of my grandmother and grandfather exposing me to these when i was a boy. my father went to a high school in chicago and the teacher used to point at the desk -- he would tell me this. in that desk sat herbert hans hout one of the eight nazi saboteurs who landed on american shores by u-boats in 1942. of course he was executed and i told my agent i want to write about the nazi spies who came to america. my father told me about when i was a boy. this was after 9/11 and my agent said i have great news. there is no eric larson writing
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a book about the nazi saboteurs. their three authors writing the same book about the nazi saboteurs so you can't do that. my childhood was filled with the storytelling from my parents and my grandparents. and there is nothing i have ever written that doesn't come out with something i was exposed to as a child. because of my lincoln interest i became a fanatical collector looks objects memorabilia and artifacts related to abraham lincoln and the civil war and i almost view myself as a full-time curator of curiosities who happens to know about what those curiosities inspired me to think about. over the years i have collected things like a lock of lincoln's haircut from his head by secretary of war stanton in the peterson house after lincoln died that morning april 15 and that lock of hair is framed with flowers that had formed
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lincoln's coffin at the white house funeral on april 19. i have a fragment of the dress worn by actress laura keene stained with the president's blood. you might remember she dropped to her knees and cradled lincoln's head in her lap. i've spend a lifetime pursuing these objects which are touchstones to me that get me interested when i write about it. the same is true with the assassination of john kennedy. november 221963. do you remember? i see that many of you are old enough to remember. if you're over 55 or 56 years old you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing and how you felt when you heard that news. it was 50 years ago next month. it seems like yesterday. i remember. i was four years old and i don't remember anything about the assassination itself. i remember nothing about
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november 22 or saturday november november 20 3rd. but i had to neighbors across the street and i remember them to this day. they were seven and about 10 and they tolerated the 4-year-old who wanted to play with them. their father who was very conservative did not want them to watch television. they didn't have one. he wanted them to go to harvard. one of them did. one of them slammed it and went to my college the university of chicago. but my mother said to me on the morning of sunday november 24, get dressed. get out of your pajamas and get dressed. the girls are coming over. why? they are coming over to watch television. i thought television? where the girls allowed to watch television? my mother said the president has died. we are going to watch the carriage take his coffin from
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the white house to the u.s. capital where there will be a memorial service in honor of the president. i remember that conversation with my mother as though it happened last week it made such a vivid impression on me. i realized that is why i have written these two books "the president has been shot!" and -- for kids and adults. after i did manhunt i thought about doing books for young people because my boys would tell me they don't find a lot of good history books and we talk so much about these stories. they said dad wouldn't you write books for kids? at that time they were seven and nine and they gave me good tips about how to get into this. my 9-year-old said readers want blood. and the 7-year-old said and nights. [laughter] and there was a lot of doubt in my lincoln books. i can assure you of that. i love speaking to kids audiences. one of the first times i did was
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add a school attended by my knees in the alumni. it was a writing class and the students have prepared writing samples to show me and i would comment on them and discuss how to write or what to do. after that day the children all wrote letters thanking me for coming to the school. i remember getting a letter from one girl who i identified as one is the smartest kids in the class in her letter said dear mr. swanson thank you so much for visiting our class. i dare say you seems to enjoy yourself quite a bit. this was from a child. [laughter] and then she said i felt i they gained insights into your personalities. [laughter] by staring into your right eye as he spoke. and i asked my knees about this. i said what's with this girl? she said she's just weird don't worry about it. she is not a witch or anything. don't worry about it. but since then what i speak to
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an audience of young adults i'm almost attempt -- to tempted to put a patch over my right eye so no child can look at my right eye and figure out who i am. a few years later after that november day when i was a 4-year-old toy i was going through my mother's closet -- she called it her more. she was a painter and a lot of her source materials were in this closet. it was a tall twice my height sliding door closet with a number of shelves crammed with photographs newspaper clippings magazines and souvenirs and she would use these things in her paintings. i remember one day in that closet i discovered her memorabilia from the assassination of president kennedy. the life magazines the look, the saturday evening post in the old brown newspaper that are brittle
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and you have to turn the pages so carefully. i didn't fully understand what it was all about. i didn't know who president kennedy was. i was eight years old. i didn't know what had happened but i knew from my mother's tears when she looked at these things with me that something terrible happened and i learned more as i looked through these documents in these old newspaper stories. i'm sure it's because of what happened when i was four and what i found at my mother's closet so many years ago is the reason i have written these books. so a little bit about them. there is so much one could say about november 22, 1963. it's especially a challenge to talk about it and write about it for young people. children and adults who don't remember anything about it. those of us who do, it seems like yesterday but it was a challenge to write about something for people who have never experienced that, who
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didn't know who john kennedy was. children are taught about john kennedy and elementary school and high school today. very few kids are taught about the cold war of the vietnam war. history stops in a lot of schools with the civil war and they might move forward to the civil rights movement and modern history. i was dealing with kids who don't know much about the subject and i really had to figure out what to tell them. so i really tried to tell the story the way i experienced it as a child. through vivid imagery historical photographs maps drawings and through vivid chronological descriptions of what happened. to make it come alive for kids who knew nothing about it. and so the tough thing was the story is so gigantic, what do you do? i began the way i tried to do in my other books as though i am writing a novel but pretend you
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don't know the outcome. it's kind of like writing about the titanic. everyone knows the ship sank and everybody died but i tried to persuade the reader that it didn't have to happen that way. i think i tried to do that in all my writing. it's tough being an historian writing about things that everyone knows. you all know that president kennedy was assassinated. you know that john wilkes-booth killed abraham lincoln so how could my other books of apprise you with any information? i discovered that readers seem to like getting involved in the telling of the tale. tell a story as it happened as though people don't know the ending. week by week's, powered by our, day by day sometimes minute by minute and in some cases on elm street from the school book depository second by second and don't tell readers anything that a person living at the time
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wouldn't have known before it happened. on the manhunt for john wilkes-booth i don't want you to know on day to two what's going to happen on day 10. in the story of the kennedy assassination when i tell you about lee harvey oswald seven months before he murdered president kennedy attempting to assassinate the united states army general with the rifle i don't want you to know that he is going to plan an attack on president kennedy later. that's one way tried to tell the story. another way is through reports of what happened through the eyes who saw it then. there was an incredible newspaper and television and radio coverage they came out of the kennedy assassination. it's almost as though shakespeare was providing the lines to these journalists. if you look at the arrival of the kennedys in dallas. who doesn't remember that? you should listen to the
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reporter saying there is mrs. kennedy now stepping offutt air force one, her bright pink suit close in the sun. a the deep red roses contrasts beautifully with the pink suit. it's almost as though they know but they don't know. the reporters talk about the secret service protection. we spent many days talking to circuit -- secret servicemen. this is split-second time operation. nothing is left to chance. that is what they said at the airport. nothing is left to chance. then the reporters even said security precautions extends down to this date the president will eat it is lunch at the dallas trade market. the secret service would randomly select a state from the 2000 stakes being selected so no one could poison president kennedy unless they poisoned all 2000 people at the lunch. but they didn't mention that the president would drive past 20,000 open windows on the way
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to the trade lunch. they didn't mention that none of the buildings had been searched. they didn't mention that fbi agents had forgotten to mention that a strange man named lee harvey oswald was being interviewed by them regularly because of this curiosity of the soviet union. nobody confronted the president and said we absolutely refuse to get off the back of your car and not stand behind you. he didn't like them on that car. president kennedy was not well protected just like abraham lincoln. it wasn't raining. kennedy wanted the top off the car. he often traveled in the car when it was a convertible. agents would try to stand up but that a hind him and by the way if two agents are standing on the back of that car oswalt wouldn't have much of an angle of rifle fire at the president. he didn't want that. he wanted to show himself to the
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people. i have found photographs that would shock you to see how close people were allowed to get to the car in that motorcade. motorcade. and he would could have jumped on him or thrown a knife. people got so close someone could've lunged forward or stabbed him or jack in the front seat. that is how close people were allowed to get to the president in that day. nothing would have happened that day if it was raining at the top is on the card. if the agent stood on the back of the car. if a friend of oswald's wife hadn't by chance found him a job at the texas school depository depository -- book depository. if oswalt succeeded in murdering general walker in texas seven months earlier maybe that would have satisfied his taste for blood. if his wife had hidden the rifle from him so he couldn't find it that morning. he took it to the office. so many things could've happened in different way.
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president kennedy himself believed that ultimately nothing could protect him in the end from an assassin. he said something very airy just a few hours before he was shot. he was still in fort worth. he had gotten up in the morning, went outside and spoke to a crowd in the rain. by the way that crowd was right up against him. there were open windows all around in front of the hotel taxes in fort worth. then he went inside and spoke at a breakfast to supporters. then he was in his room with jackie suite 850 and the hotel taxes and ease of reading the newspaper. he sees the dallas mooring paper and there's a full-page ad that says welcome mr. president. at first blush it looks like a friendly greeting. it was a vicious ad that asked a series of impertinent questions. essentially why are you a communist? it was just filled with her less
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things. he said jackie did you look at this? we are heading into not country today. then he policinski said you know last night would have been a hell of a night to assassinate a president. the crowd was jostling us and it was dark. anyone could have pulled a pistol out of a briefcase and shot me. then he caused in said, what would stop a man and in a tall building with a rifle from shooting me? there was nothing he could do about it. you couldn't stop it. later that day i'll were slater air force one was flying from dallas to washington and jackie kennedy was sitting next to the coffin for the whole flight back she was joined by dave powers kenny o'donnell and other top aides.
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o'donnell said what were we talking about today's? why did we talk about at? what made us all discuss the assassination of the president this morning just a few hours before it happened? again i say it's a shakespearean story. one thing i try to do in the children's book and the adult talk is bring you back to the day it happened before you knew it would happen. we have been so distracted by a number of contradictory conspiracy theories involving grassy knoll's, cubans either pro-castro, anti-castro come koreshan's naval intelligence the fbi the secret service the doctors at bethesda naval hard hard -- naval hospital where the president had been autopsied. officer j.d. tip of the brave who was viciously murdered i
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oswald. right after the assassination oswald shot him four times. by the fourth shot he walked up to the helpless policeman on the sidewalk and a pistol at his head and he said ford dam cop. some theorists have named officer tipped it as a in the conspiracy to kill the president. other theories say there were two oswalt. there was a double oswalt but the oswald who moved to russia was not the same oswalt they came back from russia. it's funny his mother and his brother and the other people never said that is not oswald. these conspiracy theories have so seized our imagination and therefore whether i think -- say whether i think they are true or false or what they mean or why we want to believe them because conspiracy theories have done this. they have detached us from the
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emotional truth of november 22, 1963. it was real. it's not some theory. a wife lost her husband murdered in her arms. two children lost a father. the nation lost a president. other men were shot that day. other children were left without their fathers. america suffered its most tragic and emotionally traumatic day since the assassination of abraham lincoln 98 years before. and so i really tried to get that across in these books of what it did to the nation, well did it to to the kennedys haughwout was reported how those four days of constant radio in newspro scat -- broadcast multiple editions of of of the news magazines how that unify the nation. it was the first unifying experience through the mass media that brought the american people together to experience
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the same thing at the same time. i think even the dropping of the atomic bomb our victories in world war i and world war ii, no this things compared to the emotional defense of the assassination of president kennedy on the american people. so i really wrote the book -- both books for three audiences. one for all of those of us who do remember. then for younger generations of adults who only know what they have seen in movies, who have only heard the conspiracy talk who have never really read a book of what happened moment i moment and then of course for the children who don't know the story at all. one thing i advise kids is that conspiracy theories have been part of american history for over 300 years. we use them to explain terrible things. why terrible things have
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happened in our nation. conspiracy theories do have one thing in common. they deny the role that luck, chance accident or happenstance have had in human history for thousands of years. and so neither one of those books is a rebuttal or support of any conspiracy theory. i want to tell you what happened and take you through this day by day. i do advise that the kids that just as the conspiracy theorists are skeptical of what happened in dallas texas so should they be equally skeptical of any one or more of these theories. i won't take time to get into the theories one by one because that's really the point of my book. one point of the book is to tell the story around dallas.
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jackie kennedy became as interesting to me as the president or oswald. and i really chaw them out of their characters counting down the hours to november 22. i show you who oswald was, what he was doing, where he was in his life. i show you john and jackie kennedy and their story and what was happening to them before they went to dallas. it's so fascinating to me that on the last half of his life john kennedy had dinner alone with jackie. they were going to a political event and of course the president can never eat a proper meal in an event with thousands of people. they are in their hotel room and he is dressed. he was the bit of a fashion plate. john kennedy usually changed clothes two times a day, clothing ties and shirts. that's the way reason he always looks great in his photographs.
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he had a personal man who traveled with him to take care of his clothing and outfitted him throughout the day. jackie of course always looked great. she is in her black velvet dress he is innocent and they have dinner alone in a hotel room in texas. as that is happening lee harvey oswald is with his wife not far away in texas, not such a happy occasion. most of you know that they weren't living together then. oswald was living in a rooming house in dallas and his wife was -- we oswald would visit on weekends. oswald came one day earlier that week on thursday november 21. they were bickering and he promises to buy her a washing machine which is not a small thing when you have two infant children at home and you were doing laundry by hand. marina later said i was too hard on him. maybe i shouldn't have been.
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one image strikes me at the kennedys are up in the morning and their hotel. the trip has been great. one thing that is often forgotten is what a great trip this was before dallas. the crowds loved kennedy. huge receptions. he was really enjoying this. when he landed in dallas he said look at that crowd. he would over to the fence to the people who were cheering and waiting for him. dallas was really the tale and of what would have been a great trip to texas. so he is with his wife in the hotel room. oswald is at mrs. payne's house. he gets up and takes almost all the money he has in the world, $170 in cash and he leaves it on the top of the dresser. he keeps about 15 bucks which coincidently is approximately the price of a bus ticket to mexico.
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he then removes his wedding ring and places it in a china cup that his wife brought back from the soviet union. he then leaves the house, walks to a neighbor a man who lives in that house works at the book depository. he has been giving oswald writes back and forth each weekend. that morning, the day before on november the 21st oswald says to him can you give me a ride tonight? sure, but why? you always go on friday. i want to pick up some curtain rods for mrs. payne. okay. he didn't tell the man in the boarding house room had curtains and already had blinds. the next morning after he leaves the money and the wedding ring the sister of the co-worker sees him come to the house. he is carrying a package wrapped in brown paper about that long and about that tall.
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the woman looks out the window and sees him with the package, sees him put it in the backseat. oswald's co-worker gets in the car. okay lets go. he backs out and he says what's that package? oswald says zero cohost of the curtain rods i told you about. he picked them up that morning. the man walked 75 feet ahead of oswald her into the backdoor of the depository. the co-worker said he always walks next to me that this day he rushed ahead. he said he held the package sideways one park tucked under his hand at the other part tucked under his arm and held it close to his body. i won't go on with all the details but that's the kind of detail that i tried to search for the book to make the story alive. i'll give you one more quick example about that about oswald
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and jackie kennedy. it's often said by those who dispute the warren commission and we know of a lot more today about the assassination and the warren commission. some theorists even dispute that any shots were fired from the depository. some say not a shot was fired. he was shot from a grassy knoll or shop behind the book depository. here's a little fact. when i mention this to kids because i've been going around the country speaking to audiences of young adults and they ask me these questions because they have seen the movies and they have heard the talk. i
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and let the reader know what those people said. certainly that puts to rest any question of whether three shots were fired from the sixth floor window. oh god away about 10 witnesses saw the barrel pointing out the window. i high school boy saw the rifle tracking the president's car. so again that puts to rest any question that there wasn't a
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rifle in that window aiming out. most of the people when they heard the shot turned around and looked up at the texas school. that in miniatures when i tried to do in this book. tried to cover exactly what happened in detail. again it's not a book to refute conspiracy theories. i don't get into it very much. i began by telling you what i think happened that day and giving you as much eyewitness testimony and facts to support it. it's really impossible to refute a lot of conspiracy theories point by point. how can i prove to you that khrushchev didn't order the death of kennedy? how could i prove to you that oswald didn't do it? the way to begin is to show the facts that are known. what did happen that day? jackie. there was always the myth that she was trying to escape the car and climb out of the car.
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it's actually not true. she saw part of her husband's school in the backseat of this this -- car. she never climbed out and if you look at the photos carefully she is kneeling and reaching out to take something. later at the hospital she was in such a state of shock that she went to the doctor and handed him part of her husband school and brains. in her state of shock she was thinking somehow they'd might need them to fix them or help them. when a car pulled up to the house she wouldn't let go of the president. they had been about a 60 minute ride siren to 80 miles an hour. after the third shot the secret service agent ran to the car leaps on and cover jackie pushed her back in and put his body on top of the president and jackie. i tell the readers what happened in that car. what she said what clintonville
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said what she saw and what he saw. a car pulls up to the brooklyn hospital. the reporters russia to the car because no one has taken a present out of the car. reporters are standing 2 feet from jackie kennedy and the president. she is holding in her lap and covering up his head with her arms like this. agents tried to take the present out of her and she said no. he is dead. agent he'll encourages her let us take him. why? he is dead. you know it. he then realizes she doesn't want to see the president that way so that is why he removes his suit coat and drapes it over the president's head and takes him inside. jackie tries to enter the emergency room and burling hearst tries to stop her. she pushes the nurse and the nurse pushes her and then jackie says it's my right and i want to
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be with him when he dies. a navy admiral says let her in. jackie enters the room and stands there. again what i'm trying to do is not to persuade readers about the conspiracy theories. i'm trying to take you into the hotel room the morning before it happens to hear what he says about assassination. i want to take into the car in and emergency room and then explain what jackie did after that. she decided that her husband should have the greatest funeral since that of abraham lincoln. there is very much patterned after that. the decoration of the white house the procession up the avenue, the ceremonies at at the capital and the funeral at arlington cemetery.
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later she said when she looked in the mirror she said i shouldn't have wiped the blood from my face or my hair.
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i should've left it on for everyone to see. she did though and then she posed for the photograph. she devoted the next couple of years of her life to the memory and legacy of john kennedy. one of my favorite stories involves what she did one week after the assassination. we all know the story of camelot and the myth of the golden age of president kennedy. did you all know that jackie kennedy created that myth one week later it? she was in hyannis parred. the hurricane was coming and she calls the journalists ted white who wrote the making of a president in 1960. jackie calls and says there's something i want to tell you and only you and "life" magazine can tell it to the american people. we are old enough to remember life. when i speak to young audiences they are shocked to know that
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once upon a time there were picture magazines that tens of millions of americans would get every weekend that is where they would get their news. when i tell kids there were three network tv stations for editions of the newspaper a day these news magazines with pictures they picked a primitive time. so he comes over. jackie tells everyone i want to be with him alone. and she says i have called you here because i didn't want people to forget jack kennedy and that's impossible. what did she mean? she said people are always trying to write summaries of his administration what he did right and what he did wrong and what was good and what was bad. that was not the real man that i knew. and then for the next three and a half hour she went out of his stream of consciousness telling him about the car combat the blood and what happened and how she moved her wedding ring and
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placed it in her husband's hand. and then she gets to the point she wanted to make to him. she says you know before we go to bed we would often play records on the stereo. we often played this musical, this broadway musical camelot. king arthur and his courts mythical time of knights and their ladies. some of the songs from camelot have phrases like brief shining moment for once there was a place known as camelot. jackie said there will never be another camelot again. she says that three or four times to hawaii. that is what she wants him to write. she by the way used to be a journalist and she was a great writer. i have read some of the things that jackie is written including some of her private letters to the secretary of defense mcnamara. her prize essay the price of
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paris to become a junior editor of "vogue" magazine she wrote as a college student she was a terrific observer. he goes up to -- they are holding the presses while he types the story of her house right after she had spoken. he comes down and she takes it from his hand, could she reads it and she starts editing the story. white later said i've violated all journalistic ethics by letting her do that. i became hurt tool so she edits the story. he dictates the story to new york from a wall telephone hanging on her kitchen wall. the editors in new york are telling her what's this camelot stuff? get rid of some of it. she is standing right next to white and she looks at him and says no. then the editors in new york say wait a minute is she standing right next to you?
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is she listening to you right now? and white without saying it, that was what was happening. the story runs in the december 6 , 1963 issue of "life" magazine. the last two pages of that issue a tribute to john kennedy and it's filled with the whole camelot story. white later says there were no galahad. he was embarrassed about what it done but then in his memoirs he believed in the myth of camelot again. he said when i left her house that night and got back on the main road i was on familiar ground once again. i did not realize that i and the american people had passed through an invisible membrane of time. that nothing would be the same again. and so it's very important to me and telling the story of the death of president kennedy the
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story of jacqueline kennedy during and after the assassination to talk about the myths and the legends and memories we all have about president kennedy. was camelot in myth or because tens of millions of people believe it does that make it true and make it real? jackie did other things to remember him. she wanted to go home to georgetown. she wanted her old huspeth. the night of the assassination secretary mcnamara offered to buy it for her. she said no. she said that would be morbid and how could i go back there with all the memories? averell harriman and important diplomat that served in many -- he wanted to live a normal life again like they did before the presidency. the people wouldn't let her do it.
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that was the beginning of the strange national obsession with jacqueline kennedy. people stood in front of her house to spy on her. they would take photographs when she came out with children. they would never leave her alone. she didn't like crowds in the first place. she was a little afraid of them so she was terrified to see these strangers waiting to a qasr all times of the day and night. mcnamara had sent an oil president of the painting as a gift to her. i discovered this when i went through some unpublished correspondence and mcnamara's files which i publish for the first time in this book and other things also from that collection. she wrote i cannot have that painting here. it brings too many things to the surface. the only photograph of jack that i even keep in the house he has his back partly turned to the viewer. and then she told mcnamara
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it's heartbreaking because just last night john kennedy junior walked up to the painting and kissed her goodnight and said goodnight daddy. she said he had been eating candy so i apologize if you plan you get the painting back there will be sugary imprints on the face where he kissed his father. so these are the stories to me, these human stories that are as much history as the story of oswald which i tell in great detail who was -- who he was and why think you did it and things we do and don't know about it that nothing was more important to me than to tell these human stories about what it was like to live in america then. with the president went through what jackie kennedy went through with the families went through what america went through. i think it's the saddest story that i have ever written about. it is as or more sad than the story of the assassination of abraham lincoln.
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there's also inspiration inspiration at the end too. about a year after the assassination after jackie gave her televised tribute to the people, not really televised. it was just a two or three minute statement trade she was sitting in attorney general robert kennedy's office in a club chair and there was a fire in the fireplace. she had received 800,000 letters and they will all be answered. they will be in the kennedy library one day. one thing i did discover and i put in the book is jackie scathing letter where she wants to take back all the president stuff from harvard and the library and send it to ireland or washington. there was a big risk between her and the kennedy library and she said i should take it all back. jack and bobby would be laughing in heaven if i did this to the harvard corporation. but during her thanks to the american people she just stops
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and out of nowhere she just says all his bright bright light gone from the world. a year later in a magazine she talked about his legacy. she said i remember him as he told me when he was a little boy , sick so much of the time. he was ill. john kennedy almost died at several points in his life not just during world war ii when his ship had sunk. he was often import health. jackie says i think of them as this little lloyd in bed sick rating -- reading about great heroes and its inspired him to be something. she said i hope other children will do what he wanted to do and read these books and these great american stories. and then she said at the end my husband believed that any man could make a difference and that
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every man should try. and so certainly that is i think ultimately the message of john kennedy's life and what which is why i tell in obsessive detail what happened in dallas. i don't want to end with that terry the book goes on with his legacy. john kennedy was a great president who loved america who believed in american exceptionalism and american greatness. he loved the american story and he could communicate that in an enthusiastic way. probably his greatest trade was he could inspire or motivate others to do things to serve their country. and so i certainly hope just as with my books about the lincoln assassination and john wilkes-booth by the time young adults and audiences get to these books you will realize that heroes are not john wilkes-booth racist murderer who killed one of the best american presidents ever and one of the greatest americans of all time.
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the heroes are not the cypher man lee harvey oswald. the heroes of my books and these two books are certainly john kennedy jacqueline kennedy and the story they wrote from the brief time from january 20, 1961 until november 22, 1963. so with that i thank you and you can ask some questions if you like. [applause] there is a microphone in the back of the room. please go to that microphone.
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just tip it towards you. >> can you hear me? >> yes, i can hear you fine. >> the security surrounding kennedy of course gets a lot of attention with conspiracy theories. was that unusual for the time or was it typical of dallas? a few days later obviously security is surrounding oswald was poor enough to let ruby near him. i'm just wondering at what point did they start learning about security? >> it took a long time. no lessons were learned after the murder of abraham lincoln and public figures including president kennedy were not properly protected even into the 1960s. one time he was traveling in a motorcade and someone tossed a bouquet of flowers in his car. what if it was a hand grenade or a stick of dynamite? recordings conspiracies those secret service agents and i've met a number of them, they loved
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him. it's inconceivable that any of them would have participated in any conspiracy to murder the president. some theorists defamed them but it's not true. unfortunately security was not then what it is like today. then the president had one limousine. today the president has three two decoys and the one he is really an all identical. you would never find a president in an open car convertible or walking about in public. it was a different time. i can explain why it was that way because people have tried to kill harry truman in an armed attack at the warehouse when the white house was being renovated. porter weekend nationalist terrorist opened fire in the 1950s and shot five congressman. the bullet holes are still in the furniture of the u.s. house of representatives. franklin roosevelt was almost assassinated when he was president he was president-elect with the mayor of chicago took
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bullets and roosevelt survive. we have had enough examples that security was not good but it was just a different time. kennedy didn't have any were security than was typical for american leaders of the late 1950s or early 1960s. it was unfortunate because so many things -- if a few things had gone differently that day he would have survived that day. >> a couple of questions. one which ties in with a security issue. there were stories and i can't remember at what point in time but about the secret service having been out the night before in some of the clubs similar to the one that jack ruby brand getting drunk so they really weren't prepared on the 22nd and maybe you could comment on that. >> i have heard those stories and they had been mentioned as early as 1963. what were the agents doing? were they out carousing? all i know is this.
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no carousing prevented two agents from standing on the back of the president's limousine which would have blocked a oswald's main angle. the president didn't want them there so anything they might have done the night before did not interfere with having them stand on the back of the car. >> to tie in with that i was a little older than you were at the time and i remember vividly a couple of weeks before hearing about the adlai stevenson incident and i think the fears that they had for the president having the dallas dallas newspaper ad and so forth i think the mentality at that time was that there be an incident similar to the adlai stevenson incident. >> yes. what you are referring to is when two-term presidential candidate kennedy's ambassador to the united states adlai stevenson went to dallas and he was harassed and heckled by a crowd. a woman allegedly hit him in the head with a protest sign.
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kennedy was warned dallas is against you. it's a city of hate. the conservatives of the right-wing are after you. chief justice oral warrant blamed conservatives in his intemperate remarks at the u.s. capital at the memorial for president kennedy. jackie kennedy didn't lame the city of hate. she didn't blame dallas. she didn't blame the conservatives. she didn't lame the right wing. in fact the night of the assassination when she was at bethesda naval hospital awaiting the autopsy and the embalming of the president she said to her mother, i can't believe it was just a silly little communist. he didn't even have the satisfaction of dying for civil rights. but you are right. for years people blamed dallas as the city of hate. the political divisiveness that somehow killed kennedy. >> if i could ask one final
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question because it ties in with the lincoln books as well. i remember one of the first things after the four days had passed was hearing as a schoolchild the similarities between the kennedy assassination and lincoln. it goes on and on and i'm just wondering if all those things were in fact true or what you discovered about that and also he thought about writing a book. everybody in this room that is about this age has a very distinct memory as you set up what happened and maybe putting those stories together for a book on the letters to jackie kennedy? >> the summaries i will talk to you about the fleet. how many letters are in their names and where were they killed there were trivial connection so i didn't pursue them. i'm doing two books. i'm doing a children's book on martin luther king and thinking of doing a jackie kennedy both. i am definitely doing a book on
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dr. king and i might do a book on jackie kennedy. anyone else? thank you very much. [applause] ..
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>> what impressed me most about lincoln and still impresses me is lincoln's accessibility, the fact that he would see common people. and common people were able to get in to see him and he would take time to listen to them. those that he could help he almost always did. and those he did help generally were grateful for the rest of their lives and always surprise they had indeed been able to speak to the president. in this account written by a woman by the name of hannah slater jacobs. this one is entitled the story of a little girl. this account was written by hannah s. leader jacobs who when she met president lincoln was a young girl. after learning her father's job with the government was being unfairly threaten she told her father to go see president
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clinton. when her father refused she decided with courage born of despair in quotation marks to see him herself. she had a little trouble getting in to see him but finally was able to go in to see the president and this is the account she rides. mr. lincoln was sitting in an armchair in the farthest corner of the room. seeing my timidity rose and beckoning said come this way, come this way. his voice was so kind and gentle that all my fright left me immediately. he came to meet me and taking me by the hand welcome to me most cordially. did you wish to see me, he inquired, yes, mr. president, my father is in trouble and i have come to tell you about it. does your father know you have come? oh no, mr. president. he would not allow me to come at the known anything about it. i wanted him to come himself but he said he would too burden for him to travel unc would come.
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i stayed awake all last night thinking about his trouble and decided i would come myself so before he was up by slipped out of the house without his knowledge was a kindly smile lighted president lincoln's face and he said come is and tell me all about it. his sympathy made me feel ladies and i told him the story in detail. when i was telling him about my father's being wounded in the battle of fredericksburg in defense of the invitation of his leg and other sufferings he interrupted me. your father was wounded at fredericksburg, he said? yes, mr. president, i entered. he threw back his head on a chair and as he cracked his hand before demand closed his eyes a look of agony passed over his face. with a groan he said what a terrible slaughter that was. those dreadful days. shall i ever forget them? no, never, never. recovering himself he said gone, my child, go on. i went on and told him about our leaving our old home, father's
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appointment in the indignities he suffered of his anxiety concerning the welfare of his big family and only the day before the division commander had threatened his removal. when i was through, the president said my child, every day i am obliged to listen to many stores such as yours. how much to know what you told me is true? i don't know, mr. president, unless you're willing to take my word for it. that is just what i'm going to do the said as he patted me on the shoulder. i will thoroughly investigate this a fair and taking a notebook from his pocket a memorandum of what i had told him, closing the book he said now, my job, go home and so your child not to worry any more about this. i will look into the matter myself and see to it personally that no further injustice is done him. he can rest assured he will be retained in his present position or have a better one. it will come out all right, i can promise you. grasping his hand in both of my all i could say is thank you so much, mr. president. that is all right, mr. child.
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and rising he bade me goodbye with all the graciousness he would have shown a notable women and conducted me out. i never saw the president or smoked again. within two years he was dead and our heart grieved as if he had been one of our own but down through the years i had this memorial the big hearted sympathetic man burdened by affairs of state, be set by hundreds of people as he sat patiently listening to the story of a little girl. this account also gives a hint of the president's agony over the war which comes up several times in the book. one time is the story told by george bit who as a boy saw him give a famous address at gettysburg. i won't read the whole account because of time but at the end he and his brothers carry over to the house of judge wills who is a friend of his father where lincoln is being entertained.
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and he writes we entered the home by way of the kitchen. the judge and the president had just driven to the front door and were having trouble to explain to a crowd that there would be no reception before evening. when we ventured into the front all the judge had closed the door and was asking lincoln whether he can to lunge zen or an hour later. the president said he was not hungry and wanted to arrest. as he was about to go upstairs we stepped out of the corner. the judge immediately recognized as and smiled. how did you fellows get in here, he inquired? i think i know what you want. i'm sure the president will shake hands with you. >> he is also a guy that recognizes a good piece of work and has good enough to use it in the title of his book. i admire that as well but this is scott mcclanahan's first novel. >> we are back with more live coverage from the national public library where some of the events for the seventh festival of books are being held.
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up next on other scott mcclanahan. he has written a book about growing up in west virginia title "crapalachia: a biography of place". >> coming of age book is set in contemporary appalachia and doesn't romanticize the place. it give slices of experience in the life of somebody coming up in the contemporary reality which includes -- includes a lot of family members and people he obviously has a lot of affection for and recalling a lot of humorous episodes and it is also about growing up in the day-to-day realities in contemporary appalachia, local impoverishment, powerlessness in the local community, living in the wake of outsiders's
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exploitation of many parts of the southern mountains. is a different emphasis and in places has been understood to be controversial by some people but i found a lot of it very good spirited and humorous and accepting of the details and the people he writes about in the book. let me introduce and he will be reading for us some and we will have some questions and so forth but the author of "crapalachia: a biography of place," here is scott mcclanahan. [applause] >> i apologize for the voice. my daughter started nursery school month ago and i have been sick ever since. hopefully it will last. i want to read about 20 minutes and then open up to questions and get out of here so i will
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show you what i do. first, from childhood, came to our house, brushed the crumbs away, through the chickens of the porch, make the fire, make the bread, and all the other children suffer things that are done, they sit around a table and have the most fun listening to the which is sales the danny tells about and they will get you too if you don't watch out. little boy never said his prayers, spend the night upstairs, his mom heard him holler and is that heard him ball and when he turned his covers down he was in there at all but said in a room cubbyhole and pressed and accepting jimmy fluid anywhere i guess but all they ever found was little pants and roundabout and getting too you don't watch out and once there was a liberal she made fun of everyone and of her blood and skin, the company in the old folks were there, she mocked him that shocked him and said she didn't care. when she went running high she went running high and the gold
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monsters standing by her side. and she knew what she was about and the goblin will get you too a few don't watch out. little orphan annie says when the breezes blue with whip like sputters in windows who. better mind your pants and your teachers song and the year, better cherish them and love you, draw the orphans to you, help the poor and anyone in cluster, alabama or they will get you too if you don't watch out. da da da da. a man who eats meat wants to get his teeth into something. man who does not eat meat wants to get his teeth into something too. any of these thoughts interest you but for a moment then you are lost. doc the does the job -- evelyn
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adams swerving a short, then the debate brings us back for circulation back to house, castle, bliss you, james joyce and samuel beckett, a year zero, maybe. when i was in fourth grade a little girl in my class got killed. a few weeks before the school dance i wanted to ask her to dance but was too shy. showed up the school monday morning and randy dugan told me about it. did you hear about ginnie sugar, she got killed in a car crash yesterday. tractor-trailer hit her mom. they're both that. into believing matters because he was always making up stuff like this can going on about how that lives in england even though this was something his mother told him because his dad left him for another woman and never came back but he kept going on about it. my mom saw the moon last night, she is dead. ice it and it will not really knowing what was going on wondering whether it was true or not but it was true.
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a couple minutes later fourth grade teacher mrs. morgan sat down on her desk and put her head hands. you are supposed to be working on spelling words like mother, everybody stopped and watched her. she sat for a second and started to cry. i listened to her cry and thought we are not going to have to do any work today. another girl started crying too. miss morgan walked over and asked if she needed to go to the better man she nodded her head yes. mrs. morgan touch amy's shoulder and asked to go to the better with endeavour and told my friend mack, didn't even know his that well. i was jealous because i wished i could be freed too. she was able to compose herself and i know this is a horrible accident, there will be a funeral tomorrow and i hope we can all go, you need your parents if you wish to go. bible also be calling each of your parents tonight. she said was too much for everyone to stay behind and be shown the movie, somebody raised
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their hand and said what movie? mrs. morgan said she didn't know, she thought maybe a superman movie. i was thinking maybe superman at the funeral. next day at school it seemed everybody else at the funeral, got on the bus all dressed up in a nice shirt and tie, church dress and church shoes, watching from the windows, got on the school bus, only a couple of us didn't go that day, me and deborah's group, kevin manley, the kid with pants, he wanted to do too but since he lifted his pants teachers made up excuse that he couldn't go, was the leftist endeavour their class and superman iv in the vcr and there was a part of me saying this is great, two days we haven't had to do any work. go to a funeral and superman and after watching half an hour of superman 4 i realize something important, superman iv was horrible. you could see the wires holding christopher reeve in the air, and the special needs girl
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started crying. they will turn of the movie, quit crying, superman iv wasn't getting better and started smelling something. sniffed my nose a couple times and then, you prove your pants, didn't you. superman iv, he said no i did, yes you did, no i did, yes you did, i smell it. he raised his hand to do what he always did, speech impediment voice, i will tilt tell the teacher and you. the teacher came over, picking on me. and smelled the tuna and turned off of vcr and put kim to the bathroom, didn't watch the end of the movie. an hour later the school bus pulled back in front of lawful and they were all dressed up and nice dresses for some reason and still didn't look happy. even tried to tell my best friend how superman iv was normal and i should be happy, it was horrible. i didn't say anything, just looked at me all discuss it for the rest of the day i sat on my desk thinking how superman iv was for less than the thinking of jenny sugar and asking her to the dance and thought about how
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i've practiced my mom's old records the tennessee waltz alone in my room, thought about how i was too nehr this tool as current couple weeks earlier my mom took a picture of her and she didn't even smile, school carnival, she was embarrassed because she just started wearing braces. the next couple weeks was like the rest of the kids forgot about jenny sugar, like they would want to stay behind what superman, like never even happened, wasn't even a week later and they were asking again and, playing touch football, recess, strange the jenny was gone, what was the funeral like, people crying, they act like they did know what i was talking about and one day in across the word as k e l e t o n, skeleton. i stopped doing them, looked around, other kids were spelling skeleton like there was nothing wrong with and. went to the battered as two teachers talking about jenny's debt and said i think the kids are holding out well, just so horrible what happened and the
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other teacher whispered like she didn't want anyone to hear she whispered word, decapitated. i kept thinking about it. i knew what this word lament. i thought of jenny sugar without a head, thought about jenny sugar's skeleton and the lead and so much, couldn't even get in my mom's car. weavers of those of visit my grandmother in virginia but getting even more scared, worried about how was baptized and how i was going to seller i didn't want to go anywhere. didn't want to get in the car and get killed by a tractor-trailer and lose my head. this went on for weeks. we were supposed to leave and said in a car and told her i don't want to go. my mom was mad. we were supposed to be leaving. white in title this a couple weeks ago. then it dawned on her that i was afraid something was going to happen to us. i said in a car and cried why did jenne have to get killed? my mom shrugged and said i don't know why. i ask where is jenny now? i don't know, i really don't. she was telling the truth.
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i was shaking out. i asked if anything that would happen to us. my mom thought for a second and said i won't led anything bad happen to you. i was feeling better and then she said it again as we pull away, don't worry about that. there's nothing bad ever going to happen to us so pretend i am your mother, pretend i whispering these words to you, don't worry about it now. there's nothing bad ever going to happen to us. please believe me. i am a liar and then later that night i dreamed i was in a room in the future and c-span cameras were there and win let me move. i did it anyway. was i dancing or anything?
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you love me. pretend we all love one another. pretend we will be like this together always. pretend we will never die. from childhood's hour i have not been as others were, i have not seen as of this sock, i could not bring a feeling from the common spring, from the same source i have not taken. my sri could not awaken, my heart in joy for the soul and all that love have left alone. from my childhood from the dawn, this story life has been drawn. and the mystery, the strange mystery. from the top and the red cliffs and mountains and the sun and the ground in its crescent light of gold when all of heaven was blue. only a demon in my view but in the dream i didn't stop the reading with that.
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ended this. i can't abide those covers which conceal your fundamental charms. those fabulous shoulders, the be which and between your legs, you, my audience, nothing but underwear, delicious they'll forbidding entry, cloth of a reverential cult, charming, repeatedly ripped away, first in morning, then at noon, and again at night. i needed to see a psychiatrist. that is what sarah said the night after we talked. i knew i needed to see a psychiatrist and needed her to hear a few things. listened to me tell her i don't want to get on any medicines because people in the twelfth century heard voices they were called saints. today they call you crazy. i don't have to talk to anyone who wears turquoise jewelry. i didn't want to talk to another thought about turquoise jewelry.
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of the cage to associate with someone who wore a turquoise jewelry. however people went paula about organic power and the healing power of crystals. can someone said it would be someone who didn't want to get me high or they did. next morning when i went to work, to get my panic attack, a couple books are funny or wisdom or the true path to wisdom written by people from a book they never went to the bathroom before. this is of spiritual they looked. she gave me this book entitled the anxiety and phobias workable complete with worksheets. who would take the time to complete work she's they felt they were getting ready to have a panic attack. next that of the book to the corner, started feeling anxious, picked it back up and flipping through pages looking for shoulders, couldn't find anything with a chapter heading like that. and keith ahead through the door and through a newspaper and was reading a book in title the anxiety and phobias work book.
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my phone rang. i picked up, my co-worker laughed. had the name of someone for me to talk to, called of the number and set up an appointment, and over there everything is going to get better. when i got there it was different and vital difference sitting in the weight room or the office of the child welfare centers surrounded by balls the kind of policies young 2020 television investigations and where did he tell? can you show me on our little ball here? i waited a few moments of the woman's voice said come on in. i went in and fill the tightness in my shoulders, there is mood music in the background and waterfall going trickle and she was wearing you guessed it, turquoise jewelry. i sat down and told her my stories, about the street i grew up on playing football and what was wrong and asked me how i felt about killing someone about my diversion a vital peer, to the deep breath and told her i feel fine. next time i went to see her she
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did something strange, had been do role-playing exercise, the in the top of my shoulder and asked to visualize my pain as the ball, imagine it is a ball sitting on your shoulder. i did. cheadle me she wanted me to take the ball in my hand and pretend i was holding the ball in my hands. yes would you want to do with your pain? i held the ball and said melodramatically like on was on a tv show wants to shake it. i want to shape into a sword. imagine that ridiculous i sounded. imagine how ridiculous i sounded telling this to a complete stranger. i was a jackass. i told her how uncomfortable, came around large groups of people even people in the house and told me obviously your house has been penetrated, being penetrated all over again. after that when i was raising hell i would say i have to penetrate. do you understand? my house is being penetrated, give me a break. even when i was having a bad day, having heard tell me shut up, not saying anything, being quiet, talking in girlfriend's
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voice, has your house been penetrated? i shake my head yes and looked all people. ever i was done saying that, listening to a waterfall, went down her watch and tell she was bored but she didn't want to listen to sad stories and i didn't blame her and she wanted me to spend a day in isolation, a whole day and see how i felt and the day of isolation is exactly what she needs. i really think the day of isolation would work well for you. next week even though i didn't want to lie to get old they off from work, and went to western junior for my day of isolation and everything would be fine. and try to do a couple things. got in the car, use the bathroom at the gas station, and got there and full of the new river, parked the car and at the russian water.
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and i am 35. and tried to generate thoughts, sounds, shapes. drink mountain dew and it will be better. i closed my eyes and thought about trying to recycle and always told me shot of. what kind of woman doesn't like love poems. watching the river and raptors is here and looked at the watch and try to forget about it. it is not what we thought, looked down at the river some more and 9:47, and at the car and i decided it is short cds. and they went through all of them and only two cds and felt like two are three hours had passed. was 10:15. i waited a long time. only 10:20. it was 10:22. i shook my head, one of my
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doing? and the world is full of pain. that is the way it is. we bring the pain from the darkness and call it wisdom. and driving all the way up the mountain, my house there, my wife of two years and a couple friends i had. and chicken wings, dvd player and going to see folks and football game saturday watching nascar sunday and read when i can't sleep, and watching war on television, films and rivers rising, watching rivers rising and what is happening around world and the end of the world and my life and i was isolated. but here's a flourish.
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c-span provided that. i lost a woman in a story last year. sometimes you lose things. there are other things you find. other things listening with a secret heart so i will recites a little bit this have been, recite a love poem and if you believe, you look like a believing budget will travel across the country to california, but first we need a song that she loves, she loves the halles. ♪ >> here we go. do you ready? like heaven's home listening for a fair world. and pin that single dress she wears so the busy's eyes can be lost and lace yourself to this harmonious chime. and golf with those shoes and safely tread bolland temple, license my roving hands and let
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them go, between and below. my new found reading lamp. how blessed i am in discovering you. my mind of precious stones, modules, fear to set your skin will be, to feel the whole story. please tell me you remember more than books. please tell me you remember kindness and july. in this anoth . in this anotheroy . in this another. in this another poem for secret heart. excellent and sad. make the matter straight and pillow around and no yellow sunshine interrupt the ground and then this.
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>> it is okay. it is all right. and come peer and 40 years from now. and i will tell you this, and will tell you you have been visited by ghosts. this room is a time machine. lots of time. beautiful young faces and the volume mines and beautiful young faces and beautiful young hearts. i will take questions and answers now.
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hopefully not that long. i don't know how to answer. [applause] >> given them a half-hour if you don't have questions. yes, sir? thank you. >> the issue in the red. having to request. >> got microphone. >> don't know if they can hear you or not. >> no pressure. we don't feel the half hour. i am sure they have some trent lott footage. go-ahead. >> the second piece you read, where is it from? >> from hill william.
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i didn't really follow directions. it was supposed to be about "crapalachia" but neither of those pieces are from "crapalachia" but "crapalachia" is a good book. you should buy one. i will sign it for you. >> thank you for the dance. >> thank you. it comes out at the end, the beginning of november, november 5th is the new release, the new york tyrant books. if you are in new york at the end of the month i will be kgb on october 30th at 7:00 for the book release party. there is free booze too. anyone have questions? >> i am interested in the fractured place from which you come in terms of where you live and how your peers and colleagues respond to your greetings and perspective about life? >> i teach at a local community college, a lot of students
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transferring from nursing. they have a book club there. they read the book in the book club. my parents always read my stuff but it has been about it. i have tried to keep it as providence as you can appearing live on television. at least attempted to do that. i don't think that really answers your question. i don't know what else -- >> the risk of spoiling the end of the book. i like how you went into detail about what was true and where you skimp with it. i wondered if that was pressure from publishers or if it was a way of saying it was emotionally true? >> more fiction than the book. i just told you it was truth, you believe the appendix would
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true, i change the appendix too. that was a horrible thing you say you do when you write nonfiction but nonfiction is just something you can put an extra dollar on the book because people don't buy novels any more. that is pretty much it. robert caro is a great novelist, a great artist more so than a great scholar. he is organizing facts in a particular fashion. anyone else? >> do you think in terms of fiction versus nonfiction or do you just kind of write what you want to right? >> i get the question that i don't really struggled with, i don't worry about it. like your clothes. your clothes are fiction, aren't they? they were made, you put the on, as they are part of you, aren't they? i appeared with my clothes in front of you right now and this
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building is a fiction because you knock your head against the wall and see how it feels, is there, it is a real. that is how i always felt. i always try to be entertaining. i know that is a crazy thing in the world of writing. i just try to be entertaining. that is a high calling. i am not being flip about that. other questions? >> talk about "crapalachia". >> a lot of times -- my mom doesn't like it. that is true in the back of the book. it is a lot like the area. farmers know about fertilizer. you don't have anything in this world without fertilizer. you don't have anything in this world without the crack of existence and on the surface -- i don't want to talk about the
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air. i hate people who talk about the air. my appalachia is a house in a little town. these guys earlier, they are not even really towns in these places. is a collection of homes you pass through on a road. it is a house with a kid and a father -- that is my appalachia. not some idea or top removal argument or power to the people but power to the people. and the congressional funding comes up, there is someone going on to anarchy. they are no longer laughing. anyone else? thank you guys for coming. we are cut short peer. i apologize -- we have ramon's like to set. sometimes it is better to have
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40 minutes of this then another hour of people telling where they were for the jfk assassination. thank you for coming. i appreciate it. [applause] >> you want to talk further with scott, i want to remind you that the drill is i am to deliver him to the signing colonnade and if you're interested in getting a copy of the book and don't have it yet get one from the blue and white tent and come to get it signed and he will be up there for i think the hour from 4:00 to 5:00. >> get my pay. >> thanks very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. [inaudible conversations]
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>> that was scott mcclanahan talking about his book "crapalachia". we will conclude saturday coverage of the 20 fifth annual southern festival of books with mac griswold after this short break. booktv, 15 years on c-span2. here is a clip from past coverage of this event. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> i would like to begin by sharing with you two the use of white southerners who found themselves living and working in the midwest. they are quite different as you will see. the first one was published in harper's magazine in 1958 when albert wrote the following. these farmers, miners and mechanics from the mountains and meadows of the mid south with their feet and the wives and numerous children are in a sense of prototype of what this superior american should be, white protestants of early american anglo-saxon stock. on the streets of chicago they seem to be the american dream gone berserk. this may be the reason their neighbors often find them more obnoxious than the negro's or the earlier foreign immigrants whose obvious differences from the american stereotype made from easy to despise. that is the first view.
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here is the second, from a migrant who i interviewed in tennessee but who moved his family to northern indiana. he says that is how come so many southern people in indiana and michigan, we didn't have it. we had to go somewhere and find work. there is a man in lawrence county, tenn. the raises wild bees and i asked him once how far will be go to get food? he said they are just like a man, they will go the distance it takes to get it. if they have food close to their hive that is where they will get it. a man with ambition will go until he finds food and that is how come with me in south bend because i was hunting something to raise my family on. i found a job and i worked at it until i come home. do we was one of millions of
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white americans from the south who moved to the midwest in the twenty-first century in one of the largest -- in the united states. in the 20th century industrialization across the country was uneven with areas of labor shortage and labour surplus. the results of this inconsistency was people everywhere began filling the shortages by packing their bags and moving generally but not always to urban industrial areas because cities often have high labor shortages. generally the united states had one of the higher labor shortages in the world which is one reason why millions of immigrants came to this country, especially around the turn of the century when industrialization was in full swing. but world war i court this flow of international people industrialists were left looking for people already inside this country or people who could get
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inside rather easily and secretly to staff their assembly lines, waged on their restaurant customers, clean their houses or even pick their crops. to whom did they call? they called on hundreds of thousands of african-americans in the south because the necessity of keeping the economy humming removed a racist barriers that had prevented them from industrial employment in the first place. historians refer to their migration as the great migration. another group called -- just across the border in mexico and our understanding of this migration flow is increasing with every new study. even a few canadians answered the call but largest group to flock northward into the midwest and west word to california has been white southerners, people
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just like do we stalls. ten million white people who had been born in the south had fled the region compared to 3.4 million blacks. if one counts children born to these white migrants the numerical impact would eventually be about twenty million people, immigration from europe. in my book southern migrants, no. exiles i tell the story of others like him. with a basic understanding of the economic forces that simultaneously pushed southerners out and pulled them northward one could move on to the migration process itself. southerners like all americans from the earliest days of u.s. history were always moving. they were moving westward, northward and southwesterly but the interest he did today is 20th century movement and world war i is the beginning of what i
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call the great white migration. previous decades of poverty, agriculture, pushed many white southerners to lead the region, it was no. wartime industry that suddenly was the pool. >> we will be back with more live coverage of the 20 fifth annual southern festival of books in nashville, tenn. in just a few minutes. here is another clip from booktv past coverage of the festival as we look back at our first fifteen years on the air. [inaudible conversations] >> people who write about slavery are accused of being divisive, opening old wounds, as if we were not already divided. as though our wounds were not already open. however, weary we have become of slavery's vestiges, however eager we may be to put it all behind us we must remember that
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it will be more than another century before we will have been slavery freedom for as long as we had it. anyone who writes about slavery does so at his or her own peril, for it was an institution of such corot's of this and the mention that it has left its mark on almost every aspect of american society, north and south. when i began to study slavery decade ago i was afraid this growing obsession of mine would either drive me crazy or at least lead me into some literary backwater from which i might never emerge. the first book i tried to write about it was almost incoherent with rage, i had to abandon it and find a story that might extricate me from its pool. the result was dark midnight when i arrived. the redemptive saw got of jubilee singers who took the anthems of their bondage and use them to teach the world about the culture of black america and the aged ability of former
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slaves. why then would i turn next to the four pillow massacre? by no means the most decisive but one of the most divisive battles of the civil war? to begin with for reasons i should no doubt take up with a therapist my instincts keep leading me back to nineteenth century massacres. i have written two books on the great -- 1857 articles on little big horn and the zulu mayhem and i have just emerged from four years of writing and researching river run red, a documentary account of the fort, massacre in the american civil war. my fascination with massacres stems from an irreligious fear of death but then i also love a good mystery. and there is nothing in history more mysterious and perplexing than massacres in part because in no case, not little big horn or the alamo or fort pillow will everyone reason anyone agree on exactly what happened.
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in any case, as regularly as locusts return again and again to the battlefield, the scene of the crime, in this case the battered bluffs of fort pillow a union outpost on the tennessee banks of the mississippi some 40 miles north of memphis, on april 12, 1864, the, the third anniversary of the commencement of the civil war, confederate cavalry and the audacious command of nathan bedford forced overran and outnumbered union garrison compose in equal portions of white tennessee unionists and escaped slaves turned our tolerance. of the result of this collision of southerners was the most notorious atrocity of the civil war it odum measure of its infamy to the machinations of northern radicals who dilatation sleep broadcast be lured details of hundreds of soldiers slaughtered after they surrendered, wounded men murdered in hospital tents, captains burned and buried
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alive, black man went along with rebels triumphant line of march, the south in turn responded to this mixture of fact and fantasy much as it had to the pre-war brickbats of the abolitionists by hunkering down, denying everything and accusing the victims of barbarity. wading through waters consecrated by northern methodology, bloodied by forced cavalry and muddied by his defenders has not been easy and my count is unlikely to please anybody. a few come off particularly well. black troops prove to be neither easy cyphers nor the icons of either side's propaganda. they could not have been guilty of the outrage against local civilians forced and accused them of committing as part of his defense. they had next to no horses, under strict orders from their disciplinarian commander to remain not just at fort pillow but within their own works less today in sense local whites or collide with their white comrades. they fought bravely but i
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discovered some of the more iconic episodes touted by the north of black trooper saving his regiment and scholars by tucking it under his shirt, the wounds of his dead commanders, widow ceremoniously returning the blood stain, as it is men were apparently invented or staged and far from inspiring thousands more blacks to join the army the fort the low massacre and the union's official refusal to retaliate slowed western black recruitment to a trickle. >> booktv live throughout the day at this year at southern festival of books in nashville, tenn. taking a look back at our archives from the festival over the years. booktv marking the fifteenth year on the air will continue to take a look back at the archives and bring you more live coverage from the 2013 seventh festival of books at the national public library, one of this year's venues, back here in just a few minutes.
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>> the importance of confidence in being a united states senator, being a woman and how important it is to foster that in future women leaders or business owners. >> absolutely and i encourage young women to be involved and step up frankly. and i always say to graduating classes i could never imagine i would have been running for united states and it when i was in your position either but we have opened the possibility of doing that because it is critical to have those examples and governing institutions and all places in our society they are important to have women's voices reflected in women in our population and the second part of it is they bring a different experience and that is important
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to have that voice at the table and so i encourage them to think about it as a possibility in the future and when those choices presented self, even for me as much as i was passionate about politics, fought running for public office, always going to come to washington. always have to go against the grain. whatever you do in life is what it is and that is what i always did. i went against the grain and felt strongly the things that i believed in so that voice is important to fight for and may change policy. there was a direct correlation. i love the fact that even today, the women's health initiative spawned by the disclosure the n i h was excluding women in clinical study files. to this day, the women's criminals the trial, for women, still revealing itself and life-saving discoveries for women. that is so important for cause
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and effect having women participate in the political process, in what evolves from it. title ix for example, in fact, i was talking the other day with donna brazil as of matter-of-fact. she was a beneficiary, i love the fact that you get young women who are so active, no second thought about it, active in sports because they make sure they retreated to those ports for women retreated equally. >> so fascinating how late so many whites and responsibilities and respect came and protections came during your -- many of them doing your four decades of service and you were really fair at a formative period, women younger than you may take for granted that you were a witness to the changes and it is really
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worth -- women especially should read about -- about the fights you had to wage on behalf of women. i love also and anecdotes about margaret of maine who gave a speech called the declaration of conscience address did mccarthy but not naming senator joe mccarthy in june of 1950 a new quota financing and political consultant named bernard broke the 7 men made the declaration of conscience he would have been the next president of the united states. the mentioned in the book when you are talking about hillary rodham clinton who is an old friend, an extraordinary role model you have known for years because you served as governors together and do they sit next to each other? >> the states came into the union. >> and ordered -- and it was so
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serendipitous, you are old friends and colleagues and you said the united states is ready for a woman president so i have to ask you, she is obviously the great hope of the democratic party, the great hope of many women, of whether or not you want her to run, whether or not you would support her and you have enduring respect for her service as secretary of state. barring what ever is wrapping her up in any current benghazi excitement on capitol hill when you look at the future and think this country is ready, would you as a republican sit it out? >> that is down the road, to speculate about all that. but i think if hillary wanted to run, she should run. there was an example of how a woman can run for public office
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and so that is, she broke down that barrier single-handedly. it is highly talented and capable and smart. if she chooses to do that i think many women will embrace her candidacy. but i think the country is prepared to have a woman president and i think by virtue of the fact that what she was able to accomplish at that point in time in her own candidacy has dispelled any notion that a woman could not be prepared even though she didn't win the primary, different reasons, differences within the party in the primary, but by virtue of her candidacy and how she conducts herself i think she has basically eradicate any fears about how a woman would handle herself. >> many delightful anecdotes i keep mentioning in the book and
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little nuggets for congress women like myself to enjoy but one of my favorites is you divulge how frequently and regularly women senators get together and how they nurture each other and mentor each other which i felt was impressive and female justices, something i have never known before which i thought was quite wonderful and what an honor also and i thought that was really another reasons ford of delve in here to learn not only about the way things used to be but how much women look out for each other in positions of power and it is really bipartisan the way you talk about hillary clinton and your friendship that formed years ago before she was in the senate, just a unique connection. that is very interesting. so you have -- you want to tell
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them there is no way out and even if it is not near-term there is a path to unity and productive future for the congress, diminished polarization in the future if some steps are taken in time and you list them in the book. you have recommendations for five day work week, an annual budget, biennial budgeting, restoring the process of getting to a budget, bipartisan leadership committee which is so interesting, they have to leave congress and get out of their own partisan leadership, worrying about reelecting everybody, no budget no pay, which means if they are derelict in their duties won't collect their own paycheck. filibuster reform. a more open amendment process, no more secret holds on legislation and return, this is
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so critical, to regular order, you can't throw up an emergency supercommittee, sequester a bill that the last minute. everything would have to go back. and abolish leadership pacs which made me chuckle because you were one of five senators without a leadership pac. i want to know about primaries, i am a big believer of that myself and commissions in state legislatures providing redistricting. he was important for americans to read your book especially the chapter on all of these political -- the fix is in on the system and if they don't know about redistricting and don't know about how few districts wing each election cycle and 79% of us should not even get in the car and vote because it is already decided. this is really, i think you have all the right ideas and if you can share what is in your book.
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you have a great anecdotes, congressman rick bowlen, 32 years later, and 30 hours a week. where do you get the establishment, the incumbents, the crusty old system that might seem new but is so set in, where do you get them to throw away those leadership? >> was a release that everybody had to stand down on both sides of the aisle. that is the key. any changes in campaign finance reform have to be a level playing field on both sides and that is what we had to orchestrate in mccain feingold. my provision was struck down in the supreme court and citizens united. but the evenhandedness. both sides had to do it. one less level of financing.
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think about it. in the house of representatives, probably the majority and leadership pacs, not running for leadership but another avenue to give money to candidates at much higher levels. the point being not only raising money for their own campaigns but also have to raise this money for their leadership pacs because it is expected. that you are going to raise so much money and -- >> you want to be a powerbroker and you are expected to deliver -- >> it takes so much time. another huge distraction. it reminded me of the honorary issue years ago when members of congress would be paid with speeches so the schedule would revolve around the days in which you could give speeches mondays and fridays but ultimately came to the conclusion that we should
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ban these and it had an impact because the thing you had people back in town. that is what we are supposed to do. one less level of raising money. because that is a huge, time consuming effort not to mention a distraction. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> here are some clips from ltv's past coverage of the southern festival of books. we conclude live coverage with mac griswold, author of "the manor: 3 centuries at a slave plantation on long island".
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] .. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> it's my pleasure to welcome mac griswold to nashville. mac was a trained cultural landscape is and is authored washington gardens in mt. vernon and the golden age of american gardens. she has written for the new york times and "the wall street journal." in 1984 she first visited sylvester manor on long island and began to learn about this history including the history of northern slavery. she researched the family papers at new york university. then with the help of the guggenheim fellowship she
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traveled to barbados and ghana. her own background also tells the story. while her mother has roots in the north for father's family were slaveholders for six generations throughout the south. we look forward to hearing her story. [applause] >> you said it would be brief and that is for sure what you are. thank you very much. it's a pleasure to be here and bring a story of northern slavery which very often gets forgotten to the south. i will start if i can operate this -- can everybody hear me but it's a story about a house and how it's a cradle of an amazing american history that dates back to early as colonial times. here we have a scene of pastoral beauty with sheep grazing and a lovely old house and of course
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the dog guarding the sheep and telling them where to go. but wells is -- what else is there about this place? juliet.halfpence johnson the daughter of freed slaves of sylvester manor. she was the housekeeper. i found out a lot about her. often through four generations of sylvester descendents. she was the housekeeper there and she was described by the local memory keeper of the island ebb in case who just died he remembers her. he remembered her when he was a kid. he said she was fierce and feared. she is buried in the slave graveyard at sylvester manor. she was buried there in 1907. it's the 50th anniversary year of the march on washington and just as the nation has seen
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voting restrictions passed in texas that make it close to impossible for the poor and people of color to cast their ballots this seems an time to talk about slavery in the north and to point out that the american system of slavery penetrated every region of our nation in the first two years not just the south. my book about the history of sylvester manor in new york has taken three continents as john explained across for centuries and is taken me more than 10 years of research to write this forgotten story which is still in plain sight. as of landscape historian i found the sobering journey finally brought me back to the manor into its lance shaped very early on by many hands often those of africans and african-americans. surprise.
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the house is still the same color today as in 1885. behind the house -- i don't think i'm going to be able to do the pointer thing from here. can you all see the water behind the house? oh god. okay. this is the only place north of the mason-dixon line that still has its original water landing and still has 243 acres of land, still has the ancient house and it still has the papers which i found in the house in the secret cache that you will see pictures of in a minute. the guy who inherited it because it's owned by the same family that settled in 1651 and the guy who inherited it is luckily for the manor -- was a founding member of pixar studios so he was able --
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because he didn't want to live there. he wants to live in hollywood. he has given the 243 acres of land to the nonprofit established here is an educational farm that is being used for educational programs. young farmers live in the house. the land has been followed for 100 years and is being farmed organically and they are selling all the produce at a stand. in a sense evan osby has saved history by giving it a way and i see it in a sense of both reparations and i'm sure we will talk about that at some point, reparations and renewal. i came to this house by water in an inlet and got stuck in the mud and i guess you could say i have been there ever since. so where are we exactly? you could say that shelter island was somewhere between
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levittown long island the big development and the hamptons, that famous playground of the rich and famous. can you make out long island up there? where is that poynter? long island is the place to which all those arrows are going. let's just put it that way. long island roughly speaking. so what brought me there? why did i think i could do something about this? the foxworth that i saw on my first visit led me to explore the history. as a landscape historian i'm used to reading the most minute and then obvious clues about what landscapes mean and when i crawled under one of those bushes and realized that the stems conquer really the trunks
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of the boxwood were 10 inches across. i said these are really old. so on i went on this walk where he trespassed and left out. i walked around and i said anybody whom? nobody was home. it was simply wonderful. i saw that path. it goes 200 years straight back into history. that is what the boxwood to look like a century before i came there but the gate post -- this is again one of those tiny clues that you would look at, whether it was something you smell or something you see your something you touch ruidoso not the same gate posts are the one one -- that are there now leading to the garden. so eventually since there are no mailboxes i found my way to the owners by asking if the local grocery store who owned that place back their behind the big
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ugly white cement case and it was the sylvester's. nathaniel sylvester's signature signature -- he is one of the four english sugar and merchants, two of them ex-patriots. not religious ex-patriots economic expatriates. it did not belong to a guild which would take half of their profits and govern what they could sell. so they bought this 8000-acre island to supply their barbadian plantations conquered their own and others actually on barbados would solve meet and with staples such as bread and livestock to drive the mills and barrel staves that were cut from their red and white oak forests of shelter island. the west indies trade is what really drove what we have come to call the atlantic world.
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which included both the north atlantic and the south atlantic. and you can find something out about a person like nathaniel sylvester if you read what he wrote. he didn't write much so he was the youngest of the four partners. he became the resident proprietor. by 1680 at the time of his death there were 24 enslaved africans and african-americans. they used to call people who were born on this side of the atlantic creoles, not meaning by color. just meaning you were born here. so what did i think of this man? he was a hard-driving man with a nose for business and for canning real estate purchases. we can tell from his will this phrase you see up here that he
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was used to absolute authority. and i guess that can inform us how he behaves towards people in bondage. he wanted to create a kingdom on this island and he wrote should any part of the land be sold by any of his children it shall be as if he had never been born. it tells you quite a lot about this man. so in the first two decades between 1651 and the 16 70's buildings were built and demolished and reconfigured and revamped. it was a frenzy of construction more or less like something in this old house. some of the carpenters ironworkers and masons were enslaved africans coming north through the caribbean trade. by 1885 it looked like this and imposing house that only a merchant with a hand in the west indies trade and the slave labor force could afford.
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it was demolished in the 1730s and replaced by the nathaniel's grandson with a house you have already seen a picture of. so eventually i met andy fisk who was the tenth generation of the family but the 14 proprietor because thank god these people were litigious. the best way to do do family researchers to discover that everybody had a court case against everybody else because you find out and i'm sure you have discovered that too, e.u. find out fantastic things that nobody really wanted you to know but they have to because they were on the record. he was a descendent that i met and i knocked on the door. he said come in. this was after i had written to him about five times. and his wife. andy and i stood in this beautiful room where there are only two coats of paint since
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the panels were set into the walls in 1740. it just sent chills up my spine. it sounds like charleston where everybody got so poor but this was long island. that's the whole story and you have to read about it in my book. and he took me down this dark hall and he took past family portraits dim behind his peeling wallpaper lay the fireproof vault where the old trunks lay all around on the floor. can you see those? because i cant from here. i can see them beautifully on the screen but i just want to make sure you all can see them too. the ceiling was only 7 feet tall and the walls just pressed in around on us. 160-watt lightbulb there and i thought nobody has looked at this stuff. once outside and opened up the
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documents began to reveal their secrets. so it wasn't until later in that copy of the 1680 will that lists the names and families of the people that nathaniel silvester held in bondage that i was able to understand the scale of this place which was the largest slaveholding plantation in the north in 1680. 24 people by far exceeds the normal pattern of northern bondage. i guess i would like to point out reading from the top joke where all and hanna. i paid a lot of attention to the names. he could be either -- that's not his african name but he is probably one of the very sophisticated atlantic world creoles who spoke five or six languages and neither came through brazil, portuguese are you came through a french colony , shock. as you slide down the list you
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see this kid. what is very unusual here is that she must have been named after the older in the next line. can you all see this pretty well? and that is a rare privilege isn't it john, to be able to have not your honors name your children but to name your children yourself after an honored person, perhaps even your grandmother. the people on this list that i find most interesting are the two with african names tamara men and oyou. my bet is that oyou or oyou issue was sometimes called came from the kingdom of oyou in west africa and someone said to her when she was shipped it off from
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the west indies or when she arrived in the west indies after the middle passage, what is your name? she said i am oyou, her name. one of those children as you see a obium one of the four children learn to read, ran away, he came back and was caught three he tried to get his freedom. he came back and taught his son to read. so he became jupiter hammond became the first published african-american poet in this nation. so the silvester plantation holds six families who were as much founding families in this nation as any other family that you can think of.
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so andy and i traveled on. that was my introduction, was the idea that there were slaves in this house but i didn't really have it until after this tour. in the landscape parlor where i signed the guestbook and turned to admire the mantle and that fantastic paper on the walls i also saw a fine door with two holes cut in the panel above. walking towards the door i asked the question. where does that door lead and andy said to the slave staircase. well this was before the african burial ground excavations in discovery in new york city and so at that time i felt as though i were one of the few people in the north to know that slavery had existed in the north on long island and in this particular house.
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it was a powerful social structure that lasted for more than 200 years. it just -- wasn't just to clear the land and then a race. it was obliterated from memory because it didn't suit the north's version of the civil war. although the fight for african-american freedom began in new england the story of race relations in this region was put aside and essentially it became the skeleton in the attic. this is the staircase on the left on the other side of that entrance. i feel like a certain politician with my bottle of water. nobody goes up that staircase anymore. its use of the china cupboard.
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its steps are very steep and i couldn't help but notice when i went up the front staircase. which has four-inch risers and you just float up like an angel. thank you john. oh my kind i like too. i couldn't help but make the comparison between the lives of african-americans whose toil to climb up the steep steps like this and for white people who climbed up the steps with a four-inch risers with all the other things that they had to help them education money and intact families. so we got to the attic and that is where enslaved people lived and you will see more pictures of this later. then andy took me outside and we were going to go on a tour of the grounds. meantime i was absorbing the
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atacama's staircases and the acknowledged presence of slavery which to me was very interesting because andy understood that his family have had been slaveholders for hundreds of years. he felt no explicit shame. it was just part of his history like everything else that happened, the wars in the pestilence, the divorces, the legal battles, the loss of children. part of it was the story of slavery. he kept it but just never talked much about his so on we went. i want to tell you sort of where we did go. here is the inlet. this is where i got stuck in the mud. there is where i landed. everybody has landed on this property.
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black, white, native american. it's the ideal landing point. here's the house. here is the garden. that's where the path runs across. that is the old foxwoods so we headed out from a house on this winding road. lots of ponds. that is why the region was such a good place. freshwater ponds, watered the livestock and would have themselves. we came to the monument after we had been through some of the woods. i think it's this cough drop is what's doing it for me. thank you. what a shock. here is the quaker graveyard where the silvester's as the earliest quaker protectors of new england are commemorated. henry dire at the quaker lawyer came here for shelter in 1659.
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george fox founder of the quakers came here in 1673. they were very prominent quakers mary dire came to shelter island to spend six months there, the last six months of her life. she preached to the indians and to the assembled africans and then she said i'm going to go back to boston. burn a candle for the lord which is exactly what she did. she went to the landing on that inlet, got into a boat and crossed the bay and crossed long island sound and the providence where her family was. she didn't want them to know what she was doing. went to boston and was hanged on boston colony because she had dared to come back to boston. she was a martyr to her faith.
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when her body hung in the air from the gallows tree a little wind blew through her skirt. somebody said scoffing lee she hangs like a flag. somebody else said, a quaker probably said yes, she hangs like a flag for men to do justice by. that's exactly what happened. the throttle hold of church and state union was broken soon after mary dire's death. she was the only woman to be hanged for a very long time in boston. so there was a way to achieving freedom but not yet. not yet for all the other people of color on shelter island. so what about this anomaly? it seems that conflict for the silvester's to owned and traded
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slaves and then quakers but the explanation is that in 1647 when foxx was struck by the inner light he and everyone else had no compunction about holding slaves or trading slaves and that lasted for a century until 1758 when the philadelphia -- was the first to abolish slavery among its members. anybody who held slaves or traded in slaves in 1758 in the philadelphia meeting was banished from meeting. so it took 100 years for even the quakers who believed in the sanctity of an individual to overcome the strictures of slavery. so we were standing at the monument and it did cross my mind that both andy and his 19th century forebears for
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horsford's who put up this monument were actually more horrified by the physical treatment of quakers and other dissidents than by any cruelties of their family slaves. no records of punishment exist exist -- of slaves exists in the papers but all you have to do is to look at the ferocious colonial legislature models out of the west indies that was passed at the end of the 17th century. it tells us what was permitted and encouraged within the law to do to a person who is considered considered -- on we went andy and i leading the quakers to the ponds in the oaks of the forest there with an occasional glimpse of the house through the trees. by the time andy's house was built in the 1730s long islanders owned more human chattel than any other group of colonists in the north. in outlying areas such as shelter island up to half the work horse was enslaved. eventually we came to the southwest corner of the slave
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burial ground. the burial ground of the people of the manner. since 1651. leave because graveyards were segregated africans graveyards became free spaces repositories of african religious and cultural traditions. the slaves used fuel lights to renew traditional ceremony surrounding death and to remember the chain of ancestors that connected them to their homelands. for the slaves death freed their spirits to return to africa. this is presently under archaeological investigation by the university of massachusetts boston. i will show you a map later that shows you how much archaeology has been done there over eight years to reveal the presence of all the people who lived at the manner, black, white and native american alike. the other place that silvester
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manor's africans in their dissent since -- descendents controlled was a garden. they both mentioned it garden. when the first of esters began to report africans probably through the west indies both masters and slaves would would e known such plots on barbados. while traces and records of many such gardens exist in the south besides this one even the mention in the north -- we know they existed but we don't find them anymore. there were fewer to start with it's true. after final emancipation in a dork july for, 1827 and when freed african-americans left or the cities the ground was used for other purposes in most cases but here at the manner at least up until 1859 when samuel gardner one of the descendents of this long line of proprietors noted planting -- i love these notes. this is an account book.
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it's very matter-of-fact. it's not colorful. planted six rows of corn in the garden. so then the exciting story began of how to find that place. in my book. only archaeology will reveal the story. so as i spent time in the family papers my shelter island world quickly expanded. the four partners were what i would call early laval caplis. they have good credit in the netherlands. the transactions were very sophisticated mechanisms for credit in amsterdam particularly. and their connections around the atlantic world included salt european manufactured goods staples such as the livestock and the lead in the different grains that i mentioned earlier and sugar and molasses shipped to europe and new england. the lowest lying here shows you
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the trip in 1646 that nathaniel made to the west coast of africa. this shows a typical loading scene of africans from el nina. it's quite a well-known illustration. one of the captains -- captive africans was an extraordinary recorder. he is leaning over the tunnel as if he or she was about to jump out and they preferred drowning to being shipped away from their family and their homeland. and this person was holding a hand to his or her cheek as if in sorrow. i find this such an
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extraordinary moving detail. the rest of the big image shows you the ships and shows you the castles but bardot took the chance to show you the human tragedy. ..
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i also saw these fishing canoes and it struck me that these, which are famed throughout the west coast of average as being the best sailing boats, the most beautifully crafted and by far the best fishing vessels in west africa until you come to modern times. wouldn't the first africans on shelter island recognize such a canoe when the local priest came ashore to recognize a tree or indians were slave throughout the continent, two press minorities were national allies. how many shelter island africans tried to gain their freedom by paddling away from the island in indian canoes is not known. the record is solvent but i often wonder. i was lucky enough to have contacts close to the ivory coast border ranch near the
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river where the slaves crossed on their way to the coast. local field superintendent of an american university prehistoric did close to the mountains behind him welcome to me. rural life, am not going to pretend in any way resembles what african life was like in the seventeenth centuries when the others were forced to leave but for me as a landscape historian has a piece of country life, the smell of the earth and the clouds of red dust, the yen's, dinner together in the shade -- something has happened here. there we go. and those are called gotten a gust, those low eggplants in the cool of the evening ended a shade of the 3. i wanted to give a sense of the personal, as like it was from
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minute to minute, resourceful, steady people from all parts of africa somehow managed to remake the same cultural atmosphere in america. in the north that meant rarely since slaves spend their lives by dan tonight together with their captors. they slept together in the same house in at attica that you saw in the loss of barns or storage buildings but this is a long detour away from my parents object, the house of sylvester manner but a vital part of the story that i tell, returning to the manner of a fall of the threads of slavery, emancipation, racism and prejudice as it was woven, and then forgotten through 360 years on this one site since their daughters first set foot on this
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island in 1653. archaeology. field archaeology requires squads of people and was of money and a historical archeologist who dug at jamestown and on cape cod at a christian indian site with absolutely no stranger to the colonial seventeenth century. he can with a preliminary team in summer of 1998 after i started my research. field work continued for eight years. to everyone's surprise over 8,000 acres spread in all directions all activities, all exchanges between people and cultures took place close to the lending where we discussed, here. sell here is the house, there is the garden. here in the midst in gory detail shows you how animals were
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killed and send to the west indies, and the shovel test pits that tell you all the other places we look for stuff but didn't find it. what we are looking at in the next slide will be right here. it was -- archaeologists love fresh heaps and waste better than absolutely anything in the world. after the excavated number of summer is the came up with a bright idea of excavating and the hundred pound block, and that is the middle, the garbage later in here. i expressed and express everything people have, that they toss or have lost so lots of very good things came at all of that. that is the field superintendent saying how the hell are we going
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to get this out of here? 800 pounds. had brought a special box to carry this block intact up to the lab at the university of massachusetts boston. steve digs, would under the voiceless conversation that had taken place on shelter island between europeans, indians and africans, struggles over power and the use of space revealed by artifacts in this a multi layered evidence rose in buildings. nothing is ever lost is the archaeologist mantra but the house was the best source of information, shielded her secrets very slowly and almost miss this one. on the center at border at sylvester manner, montauk bullet, isaac farrow ventured at the age of 5, quote, of his own
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free will of stated indenture phrase lived here and scratched the lions of ships, many of them obsessively in the dormer. here is isaac's sailboat and i said to myself when i saw it, i said sail away, a high-tech, sail away, but he could not. thank you all very much for coming to listen to me. i hope you ask me some questions, thank you. [applause] >> you can ask me questions. is that all right? >> thank you very much. we thoroughly enjoyed that presentation. are there any questions and if so we ask that you go to the
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mic. >> what information exists of the families and their ancestors and their families that extended all those centuries that you have described? >> is this working? is this turned on? >> it is. >> okay. sylvesters, the white family, there is reams of information for the black families, there is nothing past 1907 when julia was placed in the graveyard because of what i said about the exodus of africans, africans were still coming in in the nineteenth century direct from africa but
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because of the exodus of africans and african-americans from shelter island because nobody would seldom any land there is no cohesive history generation to generation. we know of one person who ended up in sag harbor who was related to julie's father but not to her mother, a slave. i am hoping we are going to be able to follow that frail from 1867, shortly after the civil war ended and see where we can get. my focus was really on the founding of this place and how slavery developed. thanks for your question. >> how are you doing? >> thank you. >> i enjoyed your presentation, thank you for that. i am originally from the west indies, a very small island and i have been to barbados a few
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times. interesting, given the history, keeping through history into the slave era of the world's. there were probably certain things that were heavy on your chest or you would just excited about or rested with you and followed you throughout your research. what was the most jarring revelation you had in your exploration of the matter? what was something that stood out to you and more or less? to dig more into it and what led you to wanting to -- >> to write the book? >> to tell the story.
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>> two things i would say. first of all it is absolutely incredible to me that nobody north of the mason-dixon line reno's that northern slavery existed. people, even after the african burial ground exhibit shin and the two and submissions at new york historical society that anatomized slavery in new york, people whenever i talk about it up north they always say slavery in the north? that was something that really kept me going. the other interesting thing comes out of the archeology, i had long wanted to see if there were any remains in that slave ceremony, they had recently excavated not with shovel and
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peck but geophysical testing. and at least 60 to 70 people are buried there and as many as 200. so the cemetery and the idea of the people buried there, the garden which drew me, could we find the garden, the african garden comment and this complete whitewashing of slavery in the north were the things that impelled me forward. and opening the barbados telephone book and finding hundreds of black sylvesters. people who probably took their names from the hundreds of enslaved people who weren't there in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries until 1838 in barbados just as john's people, the
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washingtons lived, they took their names in freedom from the name of the family who lived there, similarly with the sylvesters. if we do dna, good idea, on barbados, let's do that. thank you. any others? i think you have a question. go up to the mic. go up to the mic behind you. do both. give. >> i am having a hard time coming to terms with the quaker beliefs and slave holding. >> need too. >> we understood in the south what was going on. i guess we did but in the north, the quakers, i grew up in the north. the quakers were a whole
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different belief system and to own slaves and to maybe propagate, i have a hard time with that. >> one of the biggest slave traders in barbados was a quaker. because the quakers evolve it is very difficult to go back to that first century of quaker belief, because to us it seems it is a kind of exceptionalism that the quakers believed that every man has a flame rising above his head or head that is the ford and there's one quaker who preached to the slave owners coming and if you in slave, if you will not in slave the indians then why will you a
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slight -- in slave the africans? they stayed stonefaced. culture has a lot to do with it. the evolution of culture over a hundred years until seventeen 58 is a slow and interesting process. does that answer your question? >> in their own minds, visiting them for six months. and every man should be 40. the quakers, two thirds -- what happened to them? >> is c-span cadging what this lady is saying? it is important what you just said. how can it be that someone like
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mary dyer, who was served by had at and the hannah and the 13 li who were there not the gee have died to make a religion for the but did not see there was something else to be freed? and american history we are full of paradoxes like that that twist and turn and it is our job to understand and and not the knots as much as we can. to this day. you got to go up there. >> those who were enslaved may
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have been struggling with economics and it was for -- many think the worth of the slave was determined that the auction, the slave for $30. that is how they were categorized but really, the true wealth i guess, the true worth of a slave was not necessarily