The brain vs. the mind: Has Freud slipped? — with Peter Kramer (1995) | THINK TANK


Ben Wattenberg: Hello, I’m Ben Wattenberg. Was Sigmund Freud right? Is most mental illness rooted in childhood
trauma, often sexual trauma? That Freudian view has shaped much of the
modern world. Now a new school of scientists say many disorders
of the mind are really physical diseases of the brain and can often be treated with new
drugs. Joining us to sort through the conflict and
the consensus are four noted psychiatrists: Peter Kramer, associate professor of psychiatry
at Brown University and author of the bestselling book, “Listening to Prozac”; Fred Goodwin,
former director of the National Institute for Mental Health and now director of the
Center on Neuroscience, Behavior, and Society at George Washington University; Daniel Weinberger,
chief of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Clinical Brain Disorders Branch
and coauthor of “The Neurology of Schizophrenia”; and Milton Viederman, professor of clinical
psychiatry at Cornell Medical College and an attending psychiatrist at the New York
Hospital. The topic before this house: The brain versus
the mind — has Freud slipped? This week on “Think Tank.” What do you think of when you hear the word
“psychiatry”? Does it conjure up an image of a taciturn
therapist listening to the recalled childhood nightmares of his or her patient? Well, times have changed. Much of the treatment of mental illness has
gone high tech. Proponents of the so-called new biology say
that disorders like depression, schizophrenia, and manic compulsive behavior are often caused
by physical or chemical defects in the brain. The cure is not years of talk therapy, but
treatment with new drugs. For example, the drug Prozac relieves depression
by increasing the chemical serotonin in the brain. Doctors have prescribed Prozac to more than
11 million people worldwide. Defenders of traditional talk therapy praise
the new scientific advances, but stress that doctor-patient communication is still crucial. They worry that too many doctors will rush
to prescribe potent medicines without first trying to talk through their patients’ problems. Gentlemen, doctors, first question, starting
with you, Dr. Fred Goodwin. Is Freud slipping? Fred Goodwin: I think the image of Freud in
the Woody Allen sense is slipping — and appropriately so. Psychotherapy is not slipping. Actually, in a way, the evolution of drugs
has been a gift to psychotherapy because it’s taken away some of the things that psychotherapy
didn’t do so well in — schizophrenia, manic depressive illness. What you see today is psychotherapy being
used more focused, more briefly, with the medically ill and with the severely ill psychiatric
patients, but in combination, not instead of medications. Ben Wattenberg: Dr. Dan Weinberger. Daniel Weinberger: My sense is that rather
than slipping, things are changing. The field is changing. All fields of medicine are changing. We have made remarkable strides in understanding
the human body, how it functions and how it malfunctions. This has happened in psychiatry. We have a much more in-depth sense of mental
function and mental illness than we had in Freud’s time. And I think to our benefit, as a result of
these kinds of changes, the field is evolving. The question I think that we are asking as
a field is: What needs to evolve most rapidly, and where does most of the emphasis have to
be placed? Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Dr. Milton Viederman. Milton Viederman: The question really poses
a false dichotomy. That is to say, the dichotomy between psychotherapy
and biological psychiatry. Freud himself believed ultimately that mental
illness could be reduced to biological factors. Moreover, he was not at all a believer in
the idea that environmental factors uniquely influence development. He felt constitutional factors were very important. So, in essence, Freud himself was a participant
in the current evolution of psychiatry. Ben Wattenberg: All right. Dr. Kramer, Peter Kramer. Peter Kramer: I think the scope of biological
interventions has expanded so that now it is possible to do things biologically, even
for the very minor mental disorders and for nearly normal people, maybe for normal people. And that makes for very exciting psychotherapy. That is, you can sometimes allow patients
to alter their perspective through the use of medicine and integrate that alteration
into the psychotherapy. So, based on intellectual ferment alone, these
ought to be very exciting days for psychotherapy. I think insurance companies and external pressures
on the field may lead to a different outcome. Ben Wattenberg: Well, now, are you sort of
all closing ranks, as professionals like to do? I mean, you had a system of treatment where
at times people went four or five times a week for an almost infinite number of years
of psychoanalysis. And now you have, for some of those patients
at least, somebody writing out a prescription once. Now, that is not just at the edges or shades
of gray. Milton Viederman: Well, I think that the caricature
of psychoanalysis as an infinitely long process four or five times a week, without a defined
end, is really a caricature. Psychoanalysis itself has changed enormously
in recent times, both in theory and in practice. Currently, the very idea of seeing people
in psychoanalysis, what we call psychoanalysis, two or three times a week for shorter periods
of time, is becoming current, for one thing. Moreover, psychoanalysis is not in opposition
to the biological psychiatry, in that drugs often facilitate, as Peter indicated, what
happens in analysis. Daniel Weinberger: I think the bigger question
that we’re being asked is that the tradition of psychiatry was a tradition that emerged
from certain principles of psychological organization. And this field is evolving, like all fields
of medicine and treatment in most fields of medicine. At the time that psychoanalysis began, it
was a therapy that grew out of the efforts of certain people to understand the emergence
of physical symptoms in people that didn’t have physical illness, and there were no other
treatments at that time. Psychoanalysis was the best treatment on the
street in Vienna at that time for people who had paralyses that didn’t explain themselves
in physical terms. We are in a state of transition now, where
there is question being raised within the field of what are the best treatments. I think it would be ill-advised and bad practice
as a physician to treat a patient with a medical illness, such as depression might turn out
to be, primarily — we don’t categorically know that yet, but a lot of data suggests
it is. If it turns out that that’s a medical condition
that requires a medical treatment, we should counsel that patient and get to know that
patient and help fashion the patient’s after-care as positively as we can, the same way a good
internist would do with a patient with hypertension and diabetes and everything else, which studies
also show — Fred Goodwin: Actually, the paradox now is
that today, the most dramatic evidence for the efficacy of psychotherapy are in the medically
ill, you know, the enormous rates of change in recurrence of cancer with psychotherapy
and in patients who have real biological illnesses, like schizophrenia and manic depression. You can produce three- to fourfold differences,
but not with traditional long-term analysis, but with social skill training, with psycho-education
of the family. It’s psychotherapy, but it’s of a broader,
more practical, more here-and-now focus than it would have been in the past. Milton Viederman: Fred, I want to emphasize
an issue here, and then I’ll come back to that problem. And the issue has to do with specificity. The problem — one of the things that psychoanalytic
theory can contribute is an understanding, a structure for approaching the patient, a
model for thinking about that. And what I would emphasize is this: that utilizing
that model, specific treatments can be developed. Ben Wattenberg: How do you come in — Peter Kramer: Well, a couple things. One is I — just this past week, I was teaching
the residents about outcome studies. And I think that the outcome studies are terrifically
hard to do. And one thing to be said about them is maybe
they shouldn’t have been done, given the level of technology that was applied to them. But the broad summary — Ben Wattenberg: Yeah, but there’s a conflict
here. You are doctors, and you know, most doctors
or most pharmaceutical companies have to — I mean, treatment has to be certified, in the
pharmaceutical case, by the Food and Drug Administration. There’s peer review among doctors for certain
kinds of surgery, and it’s got to show that it helps. And you are saying you don’t have to show
that it helps. Peter Kramer: Well, I’m not — of course
one should show that it helps, but it is possible to do studies that are invalid. That is, it’s possible to try to apply technology
that’s not ready to a problem that needs to be answered. I mean, we — there are a lot of things we
don’t know in medicine, you know, outside the area of drugs. We don’t know whether prenatal care is really
all that helpful for — to obstetrical outcome. We think it is, but, you know, the studies
really are hard to do. Daniel Weinberger: There’s research showing
that it’s extremely valuable. Peter Kramer: Well, there’s some that show
that it is, some that show that it isn’t. Fred Goodwin: Ben said psychotherapy in general. We need to step back a minute, because we
had to review this whole thing at NIMH for the Clinton health task force. Ben Wattenberg: You were the director of the
— Fred Goodwin: Yes. Ben Wattenberg: NIMH is the National Institutes
of Mental Health. Fred Goodwin: The main government research
organization. I had to bury myself in this literature for
a year and a half in order to be able to present this. The things we found were straightforward. One is that the diagnosis of mental disorders
is as good or better than most medical disorders — that is, the ability to agree. We can agree better about diagnosing depression
than doctors can agree about a mammogram indicating cancer. The second thing is, in the five major mental
illnesses, the treatments were as effective as they are in areas like cardiovascular illness. But most of those treatments involved combinations
of medication and psychotherapy, and the evidence for the psychotherapies — and I may have
to disagree with my colleagues, but the hard evidence that we could present to the Clinton
task force were on cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy and — Ben Wattenberg: Give us just a very fast example
of — Fred Goodwin: Cognitive therapy is helping
a person restructure the way they’re thinking about themselves, finding islands of self-esteem,
letting them see in very practical ways how they have perceptions which distort their
view of reality. And it works. Behavioral therapy, for example, in my field
of depression, is having somebody find a behavior that they do that they realize makes them
feel better when they’re doing it, have them repeat that. That’s a little simple-minded, but there’s
a number of behaviors — there’s deep breathing exercises for anxiety attacks. These things work. They’re short term enough to be evaluated. And then a specific kind of interpersonal
therapy, where you teach people different ways to negotiate. This is not going back to how you felt about
your mother, although how you felt about your mother may be affecting how you’re negotiating. Peter Kramer: I’m continually shocked — Milton Viederman: But interpersonal therapy
has some relationship to the structure of analytic therapy — Fred Goodwin: Yes, I agree. Milton Viederman: — although I agree that
it’s very frustrating — Daniel Weinberger: Before you get too shocked
— Peter Kramer: Let me get shocked for a minute
because I am — Fred Goodwin: Peter, I was only talking about
the literature. I wasn’t talking about what I believe as
a clinician. And I agree with you, doctors — Peter Kramer: Well, let’s talk about what
we believe as clinicians for a moment, because I am genuinely shocked. Fred Goodwin: I agree with you. Doctors practice a lot of things — Ben Wattenberg: I love seeing psychiatrists
arguing. Peter. Peter Kramer: I think it would be frightful
if, all of a sudden, we were to throw out what to me is the most highly developed technology
in psychiatry, which is insight-oriented dynamic psychotherapy, traditional psychotherapy. Ben Wattenberg: Whoa, hold on. You must put that in American, right. Peter Kramer: Traditional psychotherapy, based
in a broad sense on Freud’s principles, I think, is still the most developed technology
within psychiatry and most useful for the minor common disorders. Ben Wattenberg: And yet you have written the
leading popular book, at least, about the use of drugs, “Listening to Prozac.” Peter Kramer: That’s right. I think that medicine has entered that same
arena where psychotherapy traditionally has been — minor disorders, problems of personality. And it’s necessary to say that we can influence
a lot of those problems biologically. Daniel Weinberger: My concern is — and I
think that how this debate gets started and what the public and the managed care companies,
which — we don’t really talk about this, but fuel this debate ultimately. It’s economics that makes this question
be asked right now. What they’re demanding of us is that we
look very critically at what works and what doesn’t work. We as a field, I don’t think should be defending
a citadel. We should not be defending psychotherapy. We should be defending our patients, their
illness, and their need for treatment, and we should be what is best by way of treatment
for them. So to answer your question — Ben Wattenberg: So the people who are less
severely ill, you can just — you don’t have to go two or three times a week for a
year, but you can just write out a prescription for Prozac or anything else. That’s fine. Daniel Weinberger: I think Peter’s book
answered the question very nicely. It illustrated something that we’ve all
experienced as practitioners, that we can see a patient who has the archival neurotic
syndrome that was the basis of many of Freud’s fundamental writings, something called obsessive
compulsive neurosis, a condition that psychoanalysis built itself around in many, many ways — Milton Viederman: In part. Daniel Weinberger: — in many, many ways
— Milton Viederman: Yes. Daniel Weinberger: — for good reason, because
it’s a condition with very rich internal mind dynamics. Many patients, despite years of psychoanalysis,
have remarkable responses to a medication such as Prozac. When you see this clinically, you can’t
not, as Peter did, I think — and it instigated him to write this book — take pause about
that, and say, “My, my, my, this makes us have to re” — and that’s not to say
— Ben Wattenberg: All right, now hold it. I want to read you an outstanding piece of
psychiatric literature. This comes from a Broadway musical, “West
Side Story,” that came out in 1957. And it’s a song that juvenile delinquents
sing to the infamous Officer Krupke. And it says: “Our mothers are all junkies. Our fathers are all drunks. Golly, Moses, naturally we’re punks. Gee, Officer Krupke, we’re very upset. We never had the love that every child ought
to get. We ain’t no delinquents. We’re misunderstood. Deep down inside of us, there is good, there
is good.” Now, this is sort of the essence of political
Freudianism. You know, it’s not my fault. Milton Viederman: Oh, no. Ben Wattenberg: Or it’s not his fault, or
it’s not anybody’s fault. Milton Viederman: No, no. Ben Wattenberg: I say political. Milton Viederman: I don’t know what that
means. Fred Goodwin: But it’s a risk. You’re right, it’s a risk that — Ben Wattenberg: Let us talk about — Milton Viederman: That’s not Freud’s view. Ben Wattenberg: Okay, well, let — it’s
my view of Freud’s view. Milton Viederman: Let’s get him off the
hook. Daniel Weinberger: If you’re saying that
environment has an effect, we know environment has an effect. And environment has an effect on the biology
of the individual, and it has an effect on the psychology of the individual. Fred Goodwin: If you have a handicap and a
wheelchair, you still have to somehow make your life work even though you have a handicap. If you have a handicap that might affect your
emotional functioning, you have a responsibility to get treatment, and you have to be a collaborator
in that treatment. Having something wrong with you does not absolve
you of human accountability. An alcoholic — we know that early-onset
alcoholism is very genetic, and people get it after their first drink often. But it still takes a courageous act of will
every day for that alcoholic not to drink, and some do and some don’t. Ben Wattenberg: But the question that we see
in the policy community all the time now and, specifically, for example, on that question
of alcoholism, is: If the alcoholism allegedly isn’t the fault of the person, does the
society owe him a living? Peter Kramer: You can make the argument that
the biological view makes society more responsible. Let’s say it’s discovered, which it more
or less has been, that putting people in terrible social circumstances affects the biology of
their brain. In that case, you might say society is more
liable than if it merely affects their psychology. It’s not clear that the Freudian view is
a liberal view. It may be that the biological view will have
liberal aspects. Daniel Weinberger: Part of where this gets
so confusing is that we have conflated, in our thinking about public and social psychiatry
and psychology, illnesses with human variations in personality and behaviors. And what Freudian psychiatry has been very
helpful at, Freudian psychology, is understanding the vagaries of a number of ways that people
react to circumstances. But it has not been helpful in understanding
the basic underpinnings of disease. And there are diseases that we call psychiatric
diseases, such as major depression, schizophrenia, panic disorder, and some of the other obvious
conditions where thinking about psychogenesis — that is, the causation of the disease
being rooted fundamentally within these constructs of psychological origin — has not proven
to be the case. But that’s a very different issue — Milton Viederman: Absolutely, Dan. We’re in agreement. Daniel Weinberger: Right. It’s a very different issue than understanding
that people come by their personalities honestly. The more we have begun to understand the complexities
of genetic information that people inherit from their ancestors, the more we’ve come
to realize that people inherit predispositions to react to their environment in certain ways. And we’re increasingly becoming — having
the wherewithal to appreciate that some people may cruise through environments for reasons
having to do with their biology that for other people, because of their biology, are devastating. Milton Viederman: It seems to me what you’re
doing is that you’re mixing frames of reference. There is a question of moral judgment and
responsibility. This is what Fred was talking about. That is separate from motivational systems
and dynamics. If you are motivated to kill someone because
you want to kill your father, should you therefore be excused from responsibility for that crime? No one would argue that the moral issues and
those values are separate issues. Fred Goodwin: Go back to your antisocial kid. They used to say that crime was due to poverty. In fact, the great majority of poor people
don’t commit crime. It’s stigmatizing the poor to make it into
poverty. In fact, if you look at what predicts it,
about 80 percent of all the youth violent crime is 7 percent of the youth — no relationship
to race, no relationship to poverty. The only environmental thing which correlates
with it is not having a father. And it happens in the middle class; it happens
in the urban areas. And that’s social behavior, which I happen
to agree with you, that we have to think carefully about what is — what are we subsidizing? Ben Wattenberg: Are we buying out-of-wedlock
birth? Daniel Weinberger: If you ask the question
about where Freud slipped, I think this gets closer to where he slipped, and I don’t
know that it was his slip, really. It was his apostles that slipped. He made the comment that — after his trip
to America, as I’m sure you know, that America would embrace his ideas like no other country
on earth. It wasn’t clear that that was a compliment
on his part. But nevertheless, probably where it slipped
was in a promise that many people heard — it may not have been offered, but many people
heard it — that all of society’s ills could be explained and perhaps mollified in
Freudian terms. That was a slip; that’s not correct. Milton Viederman: And I think that’s true. But I want to go back to something that Dan
said because I think it’ll clarify the discussion right now. Ben Wattenberg: We’re running a little out
of time. Milton Viederman: And that is the issue of
the relationship between biology and environment. That’s what’s running through our discussion. We’re all in agreement on this. We know that kids are born with temperaments. We can measure them at the beginning. They’re very different. We also know that genes don’t simply determine
behavior. Genes offer a range of possibility for interaction
with the environment. And so the ultimate product is a mixture of
the two, and the scientific problem is to tease apart the contributions of both of these
factors. And Freud would have said that. Ben Wattenberg: Peter, do you want to come
in — Peter Kramer: I think we’re a little out
ahead of ourselves in believing that we really have biological answers to either social or
individual problems, just as we were a ways ahead of ourselves in terms of psychotherapy,
and that we really have models for biological solutions more than we have evidence that
our biological models are correct. Ben Wattenberg: We have just about come to
the end of our time. Let me ask you a question we like to ask on
this program, and sort of go around the horn, starting with you, Dr. Goodwin, which is,
just in brief, what do you agree upon and disagree upon within this group or your field? Fred Goodwin: My main concern about this discussion
and argument is it may give the impression that there’s not a consensus. There is a consensus in psychiatry. And our knowledge base is as solid as any
other area of medicine. There’s lots of medicine which is an art;
some of it’s a science. Our science is increasing. I think the role of psychotherapy is changing. It is often looking at its best when it’s
combined with medication. Treating people with schizophrenia requires
medication. Depression, severe depression requires medication. But psychotherapy looks good when it’s helping
medication. Ben Wattenberg: Dan. Daniel Weinberger: Well, let me just say what
I agree with — and I don’t know whether it’s been articulated — is that psychiatry,
which is nothing new for psychiatry, experiences itself as under siege. My own sense is that what the field all agrees
on is that mental illness isn’t going away, it’s a very serious problem, patients have
very serious illnesses, and that we have much more effective treatments now for these illnesses
than we ever did. What’s on the horizon, I believe, is we
will understand, at a much more fundamental, scientific level, the biology of these disorders,
how patients are born with dispositions that are much more elaborate than just whether
they’re passive or aggressive, but very subtly defined predispositions at the level
of neurobiology that make them respond to a variety of environmental circumstances. This will give us the wherewithal to intervene
more judiciously at the biological and environmental side. Ben Wattenberg: In other words, there are
more new drugs coming along. Daniel Weinberger: Many, many more new drugs. Ben Wattenberg: All right, Dr. Viederman,
Milton Viederman. Milton Viederman: Well, I think that we have
a consensus about the essential issues because we did focus on the issue of environment versus
genetics and constitution. That is central. I want to express a concern, really. And that is that my own experience is that
the power of words is a very central feature of the role of the doctor and that the current
pressures, understandable, are now pushing us to minimize that. And the consumer complaint that they don’t
have relationships with doctors is going to accelerate in the context of our inability
to engage patients. Ben Wattenberg: Dr. Peter Kramer, last shot. Peter Kramer: I think that these are intellectually
tremendously exciting times for psychiatry. I don’t know that in 10 years or 20 years
our models of what is illness and what is health will look just the way they look now. My main concern is that, in that process,
we not lose this wonderful technology, which I think of as a technology and not just counseling,
of psychotherapy in all its variety. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Thank you, Dr. Kramer, Dr. Goodwin, Dr. Viederman,
and Dr. Weinberger. And thank you. Announcer: We at Think Tank depend on your views to make our show better. Please send your questions and comments
to New River Media, 1219 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20036. Or email us at
[email protected] To learn more about Think Tank, visit PBS online at pbs.org. And please let us know where you watch Think Tank. Ben Wattenberg: For Think Tank, I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Inc., in association with New River Media, which are solely responsible for its content.

How to Make a Country Rich


Most of what we call ‘politics’ really revolves around the question of what you need to do to make a country richer. Rather than ask this of any specific country, let’s imagine designing a country from scratch. How could you make it as rich as possible? Suppose the brief was to design ‘Richland’: an ideal wealth-creating society. What would be the chief characteristics you need to build into this society? What would a nation look like that was ideally suited to success in modern capitalism? Traditional economics guides to eight core requirements for Richland: Military security and law in order, lack of corruption and institutions, low amounts of red-tape around employment legislation and taxation, a technically, well-educated, mobile, flexible labour-force, a high-grade infrastructure and good telecommunications, fair, transparent, and competitive markets, reliably enforceable contracts, and low corporation tax (probably between ten and fifteen percent). But aside from these eight factors, there is one thing that invariably makes a critical difference to the wealth of society’s: what we might call ‘cultural factors’. To make Richland properly rich, you’d need to ensure that a number of cultural factors were firmly embedded in the national mentality. Here are some of these wealth-inducing attitudes: In Richland, at parties, the first thing people want to know is: what do you do? According to how you answer, people are either delighted to see you, or swiftly abandon you by the peanuts. In Richland, what’s on your business card is simply who you are. All the other stuff (what you were like as a child, what you think of late at night, who your parents are) don’t really matter. In Richland, friendships are usually linked to work and involve covert status rivalries. If you fall behind, your friends might drop you. You have to invest an enormous amount of effort in your career, not merely to make money, but so that you can have a functioning social identity; so that people will be nice to you. In Richland, parents place a tremendous emphasis on educational achievements. Children come away feeling not just that it’s nice to do well in exams, but they are more lovable human beings, more worthy of existence, if they triumph at school, especially in maths and science. You therefore learn early on that love comes from successful performance: the more you achieve, the kinder people will be to you. In Richland, everyone is encouraged from a young age to imagine that they might one day (perhaps by around 33) be the richest person in the country; if they work hard. Posters of rich and famous people adorn the walls of primary schools. The national anthem is called ‘I can do it!’… An ecstatic rendition of human possibility. This keeps the workforce highly motivated. Dreams of successful entrepreneurship abound. But by middle-aged, most people in Richland have by definition fail to measure up to the exalted hopes once placed in them. They keep their regrets hidden, however, and quietly prescribed tranquilizers and antidepressants. People don’t sleep very well in Richland. They’re often up at 4 am. That worries all relate to their careers. That’s because market capitalism in
Richland is very ‘efficient’. Efficiency means constant innovation and rivalry: the weaker players in any field are always driven out of business swiftly and without mercy. The stock market is ruthless about punishing underperformance (normally on a quarterly basis). In Richland, everything is geared towards the needs of the consumer: there must be low prices, that has to be excellent customer service, shops have to be open at all hours. There can be no sacrosanct high holidays or weekends. Even though most people are both consumers and producers, in Richland, they are taught to think of themselves primarily as consumers. In their minds, their multiple woes as producers are carefully disassociated from the scale of their expectations as consumers. There is ‘news’ everywhere in Richland: on websites, phones, and 24-hour channels… and it’s always catastrophic. Citizens thereby learn that the world is incredibly unsafe, and that terror, accident and cruelty await at every turn. There is utter silence about anything
positive. Every encounter with the media leaves one suspecting that the only way to protect oneself is through the accumulation of ever larger sums of money. In Richland, people don’t take many holidays. Generally they’re very self-denying and scared about what might happen if they don’t remain in the office long enough. They get up early, are suspicious of any kind of indulgence, and have sandwiches at their desks for lunch. On the other hand they’re very interested in paying a lot for what they call ‘fun’. They pay a significant premium to have a car that can go at twice the legal speed limit and flying far away on holiday many times a year. Activities that don’t cost much (like going for long walks around the local neighborhood, or writing poetry) are seen as an impressive slightly eccentric things. Though many of Richland’s psychologist speak of the benefit of parents spending time with their small
children, most children are brought up by staff from low-wage countries while their parents go to work. This lack of secure attachment does wonders for the children in turn: they grow up anxious, eager to please and desperate to attain security through work. In Richland, there are powerful currents of fashion around most things: what thickness your TV screen has, what kind of ethnicity of food you eat, what models of phone you talk on. People can get rapidly dissatisfied with their current possessions and quickly excited by new products. It feels very important to be up to date. It’s a serious blow to one’s self-esteem to feel that one is missing a trend. You can get into trouble if your phone is more than three years old. People speak highly of thinking for yourself, but sheep-like behavior is better for the shops. Every society has famous people in it, but Richland is very selective about it heroes: it doesn’t revere contemplative monks,
wise sages or philosophers. Glamour is monopolised by wealth creators, especially ones in films. Their doings are constantly reported on so that the lives of most ordinary people seem really squalid and awful by comparison. News of the famous means that people try much, much harder to work and improve their apparently miserable lot. Richland is seen as a very ‘fair’ place. If you work hard and a clever, you’ll get there. There’s no nepotism or inside a trading. The playing field is level. That’s a lovely philosophy for the winners, but more punitive for those who get left behind. They are termed ‘losers’, and a judge
personally responsible for their own shortcomings. It’s a culture that’s very hostile to the idea of luck. You’re the author of your own fate. If things go wrong, don’t blame anyone else. Has a very high suicide rate in Richland. In Richland, there’s no religion that energetically promote spiritual goods and sees kindness or wisdom a superior to wealth or power. In general, people are secular and mock the religious. But in so far as some people do believe, the God they believe in is remarkably materialistic: it’s a chap in the sky who believes in rewarding those who are good with dollops of money. Richland has very bad weather. It combines the worst of England and the Netherlands: brief, mild, unreliable summers with only around seven countless days in it and with a temperature rarely getting into the 20s. Then come long endless dark winters with gusty, icy winds and low heavy cloud. As a result, the natural world delivers a constant reminder that delight is never freely and bountifully provided by nature; good things don’t grow on trees, only unremitting human industry can provide salvation. The citizens of Richland can certainly be envied for their wealth: their shopping malls are extraordinary and their restaurants truly superlative. But they do also have to be a little pitied for some of their 4 am anxieties; for their relentless doubts about their careers and for the worry that no one can really like them outside of what they’ve managed to achieve this quarter.

Watergate and the law (1974) | ARCHIVES


Announcer: From the nation’s capital, Washington
Debates for the ’70s, a series of programs designed to bring together for an open exchange
of views and opinions, outstanding authorities on vital issues facing the world at the ’70s. The topic, Watergate and the law. How can we prevent Watergate from happening
again? Do we need new laws? Better enforcement of present laws? Is the president too powerful? Now, here is Peter Hackes. Peter: The word “Watergate” needs no elaboration. Its implications for the American legal system,
however, are not quite so clear. While everyone wants to avoid any repetition
of the affair, the changes necessary to our political, legal, and institutional arrangements
are hardly self-evident. Should law enforcement agencies, for example,
become more independent of presidents? How can government become insulated against
improper influence? Should there be new curbs on presidential
powers? Is it possible to have a truly independent
special prosecutor? How closely should government agencies be
regulated in such areas as wiretapping? Anticipating such questions, two senior members
of the Senate Select Watergate Investigation Committee, Senators Sam Ervin and Howard Baker,
asked the American Enterprise Institute to help identify the legislative implications
of the hearings held by the committee. The Watergate Committee requested the report
on what the committee calls the options or alternatives which might feasibly be open
for serious contemplation by the committee plus the advantages and disadvantages of each
option. AEI commissioned a study for this purpose
and named a panel of distinguished scholars to serve as consultants. The results of their task include a report
by the project director which has been published by AEI. The project director is Ralph K. Winter Jr.
of the Yale University Law School. Now we come to the second phase of the project,
a roundtable discussion of the issues by members of the panel who served as consultants for
the project. Taking part in this roundtable discussion
of Watergate and the law, are Prof. Harry H. Wellington of Yale University Law School. Prof. Wellington once served as a law clerk
to the late Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter and as a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution
in Washington. Ralph K. Winter Jr. is also a professor of
law at Yale and is an adjunct scholar at The American Enterprise Institute. Prof. Winter has also served as a senior fellow
at The Brookings Institution and is a consultant to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on separation
of powers. James Q. Wilson is chairman of the Department
of Government and a professor at Harvard University. He is the author of many works mostly dealing
with politics. Richard M. Scammon is Director of The Elections
Research Center of the Government Affairs Institute. Mr. Scammon served as Director of The U.S.
Bureau of the Census under presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Moderator of our discussion is Prof. Alexander
Bickel of Yale University Law School. Prof. Bickel, who preceded Prof. Wellington
as law clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter, is Chancellor Kent Professor
of law at Yale. He serves also as a consultant to the Senate
Judiciary’s Subcommittee on separation of powers. Now to moderate our discussion, Yale University
professor, Alexander Bickel. Prof. Bickel: In discussing various specific
proposals for reform and change, we will try I trust as we did at the first roundtable,
not to assume that something must necessarily be done. Reform and change are not self-evidently virtuous
aims. And Watergate, although certainly a grave
malfunction in the system, may just possibly not have turned up any fundamental defects
in it. Law-breaking has always been with us and it’s
a fair guess that it will be again. And yet it would be feckless to disregard
the fact that Watergate, at the very least, presents an opportune time for re-examination
of some of our structures and procedures and has created a favorable climate for reforms,
whether or not those reforms are necessarily related to whatever Watergate as such may
have revealed. So the first topic is the functions and powers
of the president to guard domestic security against rebellion, terrorism, and the like,
and national security against foreign enemies. The issue is really one of emergency powers
which may inhere in the president, the wiretap for example, and perhaps otherwise to impinge
on normal civil rights. Extreme claims have gone so far as to say
the president may do virtually anything short of ordering executions. Well, this side of such extreme claims, there
is an area, a debatable area, of inherent presidential powers. Now, the centerpiece of our discussion at
this roundtable, as at the first one, is the report by Ralph Winter entitled “Watergate
and the Law.” And I will, therefore, on this issue as on
other ones, call on him to lead us off. Ralph. Ralph: Thank you, Alex. I don’t know that there is a serious problem
as to presidential power where domestic security is involved. That is to say, I’m not convinced that the
criminal law, that the operation of the criminal law, is not sufficient to protect the nation
against whatever dangers there may be. And there certainly is danger in extending
presidential power in the area of domestic security because the principal way of extending
it really is to allow all kinds of surveillance and other kinds of activities like wiretapping
of people that the executive branch thinks are inclined to break the law. The president may well have extraordinary
powers whether it’s in a complete breakdown of law but certainly, just in the normal situation,
all too normal one might say, of terrorists and the like, I don’t think there’s any evidence
that any change is insisting or necessary. Where national security is concerned, a lot
of people think that presidential power is considerably greater than it is where it’s
only domestic security and by national security, I mean where there is foreign involvement. I would think, and I am prepared to defend
the position, that we ought not through legislation, attempt to restrict the president’s power
in domestic security beyond the restrictions that are now applied. I think there’s a dual danger in that. One is that any restriction is very likely
to contain ambiguous language which may, in fact, empower the president to do more than
he is presently explicitly empowered to do, rather like the problem that arises in the
War Power bill. The other is that I don’t think there has
been sufficient study, and I am not convinced, that the president doesn’t need a great deal
of flexibility where the national security matters are involved. Major governments do engage in various kinds
of activities which are unlike, which go beyond, normal law enforcement procedures. Talking about wiretapping of embassies, as
an example, without a warrant. I certainly don’t think that…another reason
that further restrictions are not necessary is I rather suspect that once we get four
years beyond Watergate, perhaps not even that far, these things are going to happen anyway
that a law that attempts to restrict the president too much will be a law that is broken. It will be a law that is not obeyed. We will get in the habit of not obeying it,
and we will find that indeed what we’re really afraid of, the abuse of this power, will begin
to happen because the law itself is too unreasonable. It seems to me that what we ought to do is
somehow impose procedures which elevate, as you’ve said, the threshold at which the executive
branch engages in these activities. We have to increase the political sanction,
in a way, for abuses of this power. And one way of doing this, I think, is to
assign explicitly, somehow, assign responsibility for ordering such acts so that we don’t have
what appears in the Watergate affair, have a situation in which subordinate members of
the executive branch who are authorizing things in the name of national security, a situation
in which subordinates may or may not have thought they had authority, a situation in
which those higher up may or may not have thought they could disavow what was happening. It seems to me you increase this threshold
at which the executive will do things when you launch sole authority for ordering such
acts in responsible officials. And the president, whether it’s wiretapping
because of foreign or military affairs, requiring a signature not only of the attorney general
but of the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, at any event, lodging responsibility
explicitly in accountable officials so we don’t encourage abuse by a great deal of confusion
as to who has authority to do what. Prof. Bickel: I might just add by way of clarification
that until 1972, am I right, the law on the subject was wide open. And the practice of wiretapping, at any rate,
breaking and entering I suppose, is quite a different matter, but wiretapping, had been
pursued in domestic security affairs since the administration of Franklyn D. Roosevelt. In 1972, the Supreme Court held that that
was unconstitutional without a warrant although Justice Powell, anyway, suggested that the
warrant procedures might be a little different than they are in a normal criminal case and
that Congress might provide for such warrant procedures. The question of whether wiretapping on a president’s
own authority without a warrant, in foreign security cases, national security cases, or
an embassy, whether that’s legitimate, whether that’s constitutional without a warrant, that’s
an open question. The court didn’t say, “No.” It didn’t say, “Yes,” and the question is
open. I take it that continues and I take it the
domestic wiretapping which the Nixon administration had engaged in as much as prior administrators,
perhaps more, perhaps less, I take it that that stopped. So there is some law on the subject and there
is an opportunity for some statutory intervention if Congress choose to do it. As things now stand, you have to get the same
kind of a warrant in a domestic security case as you would in a normal criminal case which
may be a little difficult. Ralph: Well, but to get the warrant, you would
have to show some probable cause for it, some information. The kind of statute that Justice Powell seemed
to have been talking about, I would think, is a statute which really authorizes warrants
where the particular officer of the government has the subjective belief that certain people
are inclined to violate the law. I mean it’s hard for me to see how one relaxes
the procedures without getting to that. And I think belief in information is just
too flexible. Prof. Bickel: Well, I’m not advocating that
kind of a statute. You’d still have the security of going before
a judge. So it’s a subjective impression of an executive
officer. It would have to run the gauntlet of a federal
judge of sharing it or not sharing, saying, “This is paranoia,” or “this seems real.” James Q. Wilson: There are various forms of surveillance in the area of domestic security that are not electronic in nature that involve, for
example, the infiltration of extremist groups somehow defined, of following, questioning,
developing dossiers on them. And I don’t think we should lead the discussion
on the implicit assumption that the law in this area is clear. As near as I can tell, the law in this area
is quite ambiguous if indeed it exists at all, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation
has for many years, and not simply under Mr. Nixon, felt it was its responsibility to maintain
fairly close surveillance over groups it defined as extremist in some sense. Now, if you happen to be a member of an extremist
group of the left who are opposed to this until it is pointed out to you that this surveillance
is also taking place under the Ku Klux Klan. And I suppose if you’re a member of The Ku
Klux Klan, you’re opposed to this until you realize it also takes place with the SDS. I don’t think, and I am not a lawyer, a point
which I hope to repeat many times this evening… Prof. Bickel: Got a real pride in that James Q. Wilson: Yes, it is. Thank you. That there is any law or that the law is sufficiently
clear nor am I certain, in my own mind, that we know yet how to draft an internal regulation,
much less a statute, that would place clear and feasible boundaries around this aspect
of investigative authority. And I think we have to acknowledge the ambiguity
of this area because this is one of the charges that has been leveled at this administration,
that it to an inordinate degree encouraged the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other
agencies to maintain active surveillance, the so-called [inaudible 00:14:30]. Prof. Bickel: I agree. There isn’t any law on the subject that I
know. There was a case in Chicago involving, I believe,
a friend of Frank Sinatra who was being shadowed. The FBI was just following him around. He was a mafia-type. And he went to court to get an injunction
that the FBI are following him around. James Q. Wilson: Mr. Giancana. Prof. Bickel: That’s the fellow. The thing ended very ambivalently because
it’s difficult to find, in the Constitution or anywhere, a right of privacy against being
observed, essentially, in public places which applies also to infiltration of groups, I
mean if you’re the Klan or the SDS, and you really recruit people, I don’t think the Constitution
guarantees you that the people you recruit are there in good faith. They are there because they agree with your
objective. It is, I agree, very difficult to imagine
the ground rules that would apply to this and very difficult to think of a country that
has no power to do this. Prof. Wellington: They do have some law respecting the traffic, for example, which looks inclined to a different
direction from the law having to do with wiretapping. So a very substantial amount of power to infiltrate
and to engage in entrapment. It’s very much the same Supreme Court that
they had been the same year. The Russell case was that ’72 that upheld
entrapment. Prof. Bickel: Well, up to a certain point. Prof. Wellington: Well, but a very substantial…yeah. I was wondering, though, whether… Prof. Bickel: Perhaps you better explain entrapment,
Harry. Prof. Wellington: Well, I wish I could but
entrapment is typically infiltrating and inducing in some fashion or another, someone to commit
a crime. It’s a fairly technical… Prof. Bickel: Like a narcotic sale plan. You suspect the fellow… Prof. Wellington: But it could also apply
to leftwing groups or rightwing groups. But the question I wanted to return to, I
have a great deal of sympathy with Ralph’s presentation with respect to the distinction
between domestic and foreign security matters. It makes good sense. You can write it out and you can suggest that
you should have different bodies of law with respect to one and the other. And one certainly can think of extremes, this
is clearly a domestic security problem, this is clearly a foreign security problem. Isn’t there a very real difficulty in separating
the two? Aren’t they very often intertwined in a way
that would make it quite difficult to say what was involved? Prof. Bickel: As in the Ellsberg case, for
example, where the claim was that they went after Ellsberg when they thought that he had
delivered a set of these to the Russian? James Q. Wilson: Some of the Pentagon Papers? M2: Yeah. James Q. Wilson: Or the Venceremos Brigade, a group of
domestic persons of an extreme persuasion who nonetheless made a trip to Havana when
other Americans had not made this trip. Now, is this domestic or foreign security
or is it security at all? I have a feeling, as a political scientist,
as I’m not a lawyer. Prof. Bickel: Oh, you’re not a lawyer? James Q. Wilson: No, I’m not. That… M2: We’re not political scientists, by the
way. James Q. Wilson: …that the Watergate atmosphere might
be not very useful time to engage in such legal clarification as might be necessary
in this area because it is a time in which, it seems to me, the perspective necessary
to make these judgments, may be lost because of the preoccupation with the real or alleged
involvement of the present president, present administration in furthering these activities. I happen to think the problem exists without
regard to administration and it might be useful to address the problem at a time when we can’t
abstract it from the nature of the incumbent. Prof. Wellington: Well, I think that all of
us in this room, being the calm types that we are and not overtaken by waves of hysteria,
can say a few things even though none of us is both a political scientist nor a lawyer. It does seem to me that the distinction is
shadowy and that’s a good thing and it’s a good reason for having the law on the domestic
side not loosen. Having it rather…keeping it fairly strong
because that increases the political risk to administrations that take actions in the
name of national security that may be treated as domestic cases. I would not like to see the law clarified
too much because the clarification may, in fact, reduce the risk, in a way, by going
along in one place rather than another. What I would like to see is any administration
making the judgment, “Well, we don’t wanna wind up in court over this and we will if
it’s not clearly national security.” That’s the kind of a system I would like. I mean I think the whole Watergate incident
does illustrate this that the Ellsberg burglary, in fact, was way too far over on the domestic
side. And it was the fact that it did get into court
that makes the political risk so great. Prof. Bickel: Well, not only that. It’s always nice to find a silver lining in
Watergate, to derive some benefit from it, but I think what Watergate will have done,
without the need for any law to express it, is to draw a line between, on the one hand,
infiltrating, shadowing, watching, entrapping, things that are done by government, by the
FBI, what-have-you, in public, so to speak, against activities that are themselves public
and that have committed themselves into the open, on the one hand and on the other, wiretapping,
let alone breaking and entering as in the other great case now [SP]. We know, with reasonable assurance, that even
though J. Edgar Hoover said, “No,” to the Tom Charles Houston plan, the FBI had in the
past itself engaged in some breaking and entering. I venture that the line, the bright line,
between shadowing, entrapping, infiltrating, and breaking and entering is pretty clear
now and clear to the FBI as well and clear across the board, domestic or foreign. No laws needed but it’s a very good thing
that had to happen. Prof. Wellington: But I meant to be coming
at this from the civil libertarian point of view and wondering whether perhaps the decision
of the Supreme Court requiring a warrant in domestic security perhaps ought not to be
extended to cover foreign security matters. The principal argument against it is it’s
extremely sensitive. You ought not to involve the court in it. But to the extent that you do involve the
court in shadowy areas where the two are intertwined, I wonder how much farther we’re going and
I wonder whether we might not be able to trust our judges so that we could extend that decision. Prof. Bickel: I would imagine that foreign
security though passes out at a number of situations. We all keep thinking of it as placing a tap
on the Russian embassy. And, you know, sure you can press Judge Sirica
with that but extend it a little further. It said some CIA or intelligence operation,
you know. If it’s some Ian Fleming plot or the spy who
came in from the cold and you’ve got lives in the question that you ask, you’ve got foreign
agents here, so forth. There was a case in the ’50s, the Colonel
Abel case, the Russian spy. And there’s a Supreme Court opinion, at great
length, which foreswears any need for warrants. They broke in on him and searched him without
a warrant. The court says, “Well, that’s a foreign matter. It’s a different matter.” And one does hesitate when you visualize it
that way, as a real intelligence operation rather than tapping the Russian embassy. It does become a little picky at the sight
of a judge passing on that, given the facts which is, I think, where the hesitation comes. Of course, the question is open. James Q. Wilson: Well, I know I don’t mean to suggest
that there is any kind of an easy answer, it’s a trade-off. And the question is how are we going to err? And I think I’m inclined to think that perhaps
we ought to err more towards requiring a warrant. It might be that we can, with time and experience,
have a different kind of finer kind of distinction than the gross distinction between this national
security… Prof. Wellington: Yeah, it’s certainly possible
to require them to come in on national security cases as well to disclose to the judge if
they can and if not, to hand the judge a sealed affidavit saying why they…indicating the
reasons why they can’t disclose and asking the judge to issue the warrant on their authority
which is not a wholly unaccustomed thing in the law. There is instances where judicial power is
invoked on the authority of the executive without going to trial with that. James Q. Wilson: But irrespective of how we go along
those lines, Ralph’s suggestion in his pamphlet seemed to make very good sense with respect
to requiring high-level people, that is where we are in the area where a warrant isn’t necessary,
there ought to be clear lines of authority. It ought not to just be done by the attorney
general. It certainly ought not to be done by people
in the White House who don’t have official positions except at the pleasure of the president. Peter: The question of presidential power
and its possible abuses by presidential appointees is not an easy one to solve nor is the matter
of national security when it comes to such things as wiretapping be it for domestic or
for foreign security purposes. Another matter of concern growing out of the
Watergate incident has to do with investigations of high-level government abuses. How independent can the Justice Department
be and what should be the role of an independent special prosecutor? Once again, Prof. Bickel. Prof. Bickel: The second topic that we’re
going to try deal with this evening relates more immediately to the Watergate experience
and it’s the problem of political control by the president, by an administration, which
can be exercised or can influence the Department of Justice and the administration of justice. The Department of Justice, of course, part
of the executive department. When it comes to prosecuting, for example,
close associates of the president himself as in the current instance, as happened in
the Truman administration, as happened in Teapot Dome in the 1920s, this is in this
respect not unprecedented. Obviously, questions are raised. At the very least, misgivings are legitimately
entertained about the administration, in effect, prosecuting itself. And so the questions arise, should we take
the Department of Justice, perhaps, out of the executive department? Make it independent in some fashion, not subject
to control by the president, or should we perhaps provide ways for appointing special
prosecutors? Institutionalizing them in some fashion? They also being entirely free and independent
of presidential control? Ways of doing that might include setting up
an independent prosecutor like that permanently as a permanent office or providing standby
authority for doing it. Well, these are the issues that we now address
ourselves to. And again, I’ll start with Ralph who had something
to say about it in the report. Ralph: Well, it’s always tempting in the wake
of an event like Watergate, contemplate separating the Justice Department from the political
branches for saying that the administration of justice cannot be affected by partisan
considerations. And I don’t mean to say that’s not attractive
by saying it is attractive. The problem is… Prof. Bickel: You’re not buying it? Ralph: The problem is, of course, that the
Justice Department also has very, very important policy decisions to be made. It has the allocation of resources, decisions
to be made should there be more money in LEAA, should there be more money to prosecute civil
rights cases or organized crime or should the money go into some other kind of litigation? What cases should be taken to the Supreme
Court? What the position of the government ought
to be in various constitutional questions. It’s a whole range of questions, which I think
one would normally want to be resolved by officials who are accountable to the people
through the president, one of the things presidents ought to run on. As we get down to individual pieces of litigation,
I would suppose the danger of partisan control is greater and perhaps the need for electoral
control is slightly less. I don’t mean to say it’s not there but I think
that the need for having someone who is a presidential appointee in every case before
the Justice Department is somewhat less although I strongly feel that in, as far as settlements
and consent decrees, and the like are concerned, the basic policies decided upon by the political
offices have to be enforced. It does seem to me, though, there are a few
areas, a few kinds of cases that come up in which special prosecutors and what I call
counsel, special counsels, and juries would be useful. I don’t think the case for a permanent special
prosecutor has been made. I think there is a case to provision for district
judges to appoint special prosecutors to aid in various investigations. I think where there is a conflict of interest
where high officials of the government are under investigation or where the opponents
of these high officials of government in previous elections are under investigation, then a
special counsel to a grand jury would be very useful. This seems particularly the case since Congress
seems in a mood to pass laws regulating elections, to pass laws which greatly increase the chance
of a whole range of political trials taking place in the United States in the future. I do not think this special counsel ought
to have the power to prosecute. I think that the decision to prosecute should
remain in the Department of Justice, that the indictment should be signed by the US
Attorney, and if the US Attorney declines to sign it, that the judge can make the presentment
public to the people. Again, the ultimate decision would be political,
subject to political sanctions if the Justice Department decided not to go ahead with a
strong case. But there are cases in our recent history
indeed in which district judges have tried to get the local U.S. attorneys to prosecute
civil rights demonstrators and the like, cases in which the Justice Department was clearly
ready in defying to prosecute. So I think there is a case for a reform here
although I feel the tremor of dissent to my right on the special prosecutor issue at least. Prof. Bickel: Well, to say that this is an
over-reaction to Watergate is to put it mildly and to say that it’s probably unconstitutional
is to just add icing to the cake. But I don’t wanna take up the whole time. I am opposed to the idea. I don’t know what our political scientist
friends think about it. I’ll just suggest to them, because I think
this ought to hit a nerve, that at the very least this would establish whether it’s a
permanent independent special prosecutor or some maybe 500 district judges all over the
country granted the power to appoint them at will, it establishes serious power, major
power, no joke, in irresponsible hands, in hands that are accountable to no one. And I think should if there’s any single thing
about the genius of our government and the fundamental meaning of separation of power
is really that there is no such thing. There is no power anywhere in government which
is unaccountable to anybody. The judiciary lifetime tenure, okay there
they are but otherwise, power is either legislative or executive. And that’s not because it’s elegant to divide
them that way but because those are two categories of accountability of power running from whoever
exercises it ultimately to democratic responsibility. James Q. Wilson: Except in the case of the courts. When you eliminate the judicial as a law-maker
and I would think, Alex, one would have to recognize, particularly in the last decade
of actions, that courts, quite frequently and willy-nilly, are placed in the role of
making law. And at the federal level, at least, no one
has seriously proposed that federal judges be elected for a limited term and then be
subject to re-election. Prof. Bickel: But the critique of judicial
activism always is bottomed, in the end, fundamentally, on this proposition. The trouble with judges making law rather
than deciding cases and making whatever law they make on the interstitially
for purposes of disposing of that case, the critique of it is that it’s irresponsible
power. James Q. Wilson: Let me make the case more strongly. If you look at the behavior of many federal
district court judges, you can only conclude that a significant fraction of them have decided
to appoint themselves school superintendent, zoning commissioner, health commissioner,
advocate, consumer representative, and ecological czar. Now, the suggestion is that they, in addition,
appoint themselves district attorney and chief of police. I think that the line could have been drawn
backways. This is probably a good place as any to dig
in your heels. But this does not mean I’m opposed to the
idea of the special prosecutor. I think for all reasons that Ralph Winter
has indicated, there are circumstances where we have to have a genuinely independent prosecutor. But though I have no particular proposal to
make, I’d like to ask Ralph why he did not propose, instead of district judges selecting
the prosecutor, some congressional procedure whereby given the consent of both houses perhaps
outside the normal committee structure since we do not want the committees to become not
only investigative bodies but also prosecutive bodies, that the Congress could not, under
certain circumstances as a regular matter, select special prosecutors. Or is that already so well-recognized that
no special provision is necessary? Ralph: I think they can call for the appointment
of a special prosecutor. They can pass legislation. I think that becomes too unwieldy. It involves too much political controversy
and the like surrounding the investigation. I just prefer a system in which district judges
have the power to appoint the special counsel. I would permit the Justice Department to appeal
if you want more control over the district judges and they don’t have the power to prosecute. They can run an investigation and the political
sanction will come into play when the presentment is made. Prof. Bickel: Do you know what enormous power
you’re lodging? The power of sitting there with a grand jury,
which of course the prosecutor directs, the grand jury doesn’t exist really aside from
the prosecutor. He’s got the power to subpoena anybody he
wants to, investigate anything he wants, harass, pull people in, and then issue a presentment
and accuse people in public without the possibility of their defending themselves. He’s just an enormous power. People have been hollering and crying about
the abuses of grand juries and about the great irresponsible power that they hold for years
now. And that was when the grand jury was, after
all, a tool of a district attorney or a U.S. attorney who was politically responsible to
someone. Now you would cut that loose and let any district
judge anywhere in the country appoint himself a fellow to wield that power. That seems to be an absolute enormity. Ralph: But honestly, I think grand juries
have too much power though. You ought to be talking about reforming grand
juries. I’m talking about… Prof. Bickel: No, you’re talking about giving
them more power. Ralph: No I’m not. I’m talking about giving some device to help
them operate more effectively. What I’m afraid of and the other areas we’ve
talked about, we have tried to get some kind of institutional arrangement that would impose
a heavy political sanction for those who engage in various abuses. I don’t think that sanction is very strong
when you’re in the pre-investigation stage. I think the possibility of abuse is much greater
in the pre-investigation stage than it is as you get further in developing the evidence. You know, the whole way the Watergate situation
broke does tend to indicate that, you know, the investigations can be carried on. It’s very hard to carry on an effective investigation
of high officials in the government. It’s hard for everybody in justice, it’s hard
for the prosecutors, it’s hard for the witnesses, it’s hard for everybody. Prof. Wellington: But I’m not at all sure
that the lesson of Watergate, as it will turn out, is that the ad hoc appointing of the
special prosecutor by the attorney general is not a successful device in extraordinary
cases. One of my difficulties with the proposal is
that I think it works at cross-purposes with what I think is an essential reform and that
is the real strengthening of the Justice Department in terms of having as the attorney general
and as the appointed assistant attorney general and solicitor general, men of very high quality,
of having career members of the Justice Department, lawyers in the Justice Department, a very
high status in the legal profession. Now, I think that we haven’t done enough in
that direction. I think part of the fault is in the law schools
really. It’s the notion, frequently, of a graduate
to law school is, “Maybe I should go to work for a short period of time for the government
in the U.S. attorney’s office, in the Justice Department and then get out and go into private
practice. I think we ought to pay better for career
attorneys. I think we ought to bestow on them status. I think that to have a institutionalized system
of special prosecutors must be demoralizing. I would think that an awful lot of very good
people who might otherwise find as a career the Justice Department would find it unacceptable
under those circumstances. Prof. Bickel: You know, it can be done, just
to interrupt for a minute. The Solicitor General’s office, for some decades
now, has been a career office in which people of high status in the profession served for
years on end, 10, 15 years. Why can’t that be done in other parts of the
Justice Department? That’s a great question [crosstalk 00:40:38]. Prof. Wellington: I think there are some places,
certainly Mr. Peterson is an example… Prof. Bickel: Yeah, they’re very good. Prof. Wellington: …but it doesn’t always
happen. It should be encouraged. Certainly the notion of separating the Justice
Department off and making it independent, the Ervin proposal, seems to me to be unquestionably
wrong. James Q. Wilson: Ludicrous is the word you’re searching
for. Prof. Wellington: It’s not legal jargon James Q. Wilson: I wanna descent from the proposition
that it would lower the morale… Prof. Wellington: I can but I just didn’t
wanna use it. James Q. Wilson: I wanna descent from the proposition
that it would lower the morale of professional lawyers in the Justice Department who have
this kind of provision around. I think they would like it. I think they would use it. I think it is a way for them to get out from
under the very, very tough procedure we now have of putting a…of filing a piece of paper
that’s printed in the sea and the code of federal regulation saying what a special prosecutor’s
jurisdiction is so that the special prosecutor is constantly put at odds with the Justice
Department over that jurisdiction that’s put in the position where he has to fight it. I think a professionalized staff in the Justice
Department would welcome such a proposal rather than have their morale lowered. This is not to say that I don’t want to professionalize
the staff. I mean well one thing is you’ve gotta stop
appointing campaign managers to the post of attorney general. You’ve just gotta stop that. Every administration has been…both parties
have been doing it. It is a terrible mistake. It’s an invitation to trouble because they
have too many partisan responsibilities. Prof. Bickel: We used to make them postmaster
general and you saw what happened and now we made them… James Q. Wilson: They couldn’t deliver the mail and now
we put them in the Justice Department. Prof. Bickel: That’s right, and now they deliver
justice. I want to return [crosstalk 00:42:25]. Male 2: And they can’t [crosstalk 00:42:25]. Prof. Bickel: I’d like to return to one point
that Harry touched on which I think deserves emphasis. What is it in your experience of Watergate,
corruption scandals in the Harry Truman administration, some scandals in the Eisenhower administration,
then back to Teapot Dome, what is it that persuades you that political pressures don’t
work perfectly well to solve the problem of the Justice Department sort of prosecuting
itself? Under Harry Truman, there was an episode with
a special prosecutor. He went out but prosecutions went on very
nicely. T. Lamar Caudle served his term in jail, etc.,
etc. Teapot Dome, a method for appointing a special
prosecutor, two special prosecutors, subject to Senate confirmation was worked out and
they prosecuted all you want. In this instance, with all the pressures of
Watergate, that’s the one difficulty that was met, that was met. The special prosecutor’s office has worked. James Q. Wilson: But it also seems to me, Alex, you’re
having another point here which is, again if I may speak for you, well, it seems to
me you’re saying is that the further the actions of government are removed from the electoral
control of the people, the more likely they are to ride roughshod over the rights of the
people. And the courts, at the federal level, not
at the state and local level where you do have, in many cases, elective judges, is not
necessarily a good way to do it but at least it’s different. At the federal level, the life term conferred
upon the judge with removal only under the most heinous of circumstances does inevitably
lead to a certain distance from the people. Now perhaps in the administration of justice,
this is wise but I can see your point entirely that sort of equipping each judge with an
extra duty mace, which is what you seem to be regarding the special prosecutor as, would
have consequences that Ralph wouldn’t agree with [crosstalk 00:44:26]. Prof. Wellington: No, hold on a second. Suppose the special prosecutor…wait. Suppose that the special prosecutor had been
appointed…suppose the special prosecutor had been appointed as he undoubtedly would
have been if this were on the books during the McCarthy era when Joe McCarthy was saying,
“The Truman administration is full of spies. The president isn’t prosecuting. They are his own people. Alger Hiss is Dean Acheson’s friend. This is all one circle there and he’s not
cleaning them out. So we need a special prosecutor to get in
there.” And so Otto Otepka or somebody gets appointed
special prosecutor until he finishes the case. He’d be there prosecuting red spies today
because the mood has changed, the policy of the country but he’s independent of it and
he’s going out there after spies. He’d be doing it today. James Q. Wilson: Well, in defense of Ralph… Ralph: Yeah, I wouldn’t mind if you guys let
me defend myself but go ahead, Harry. Prof. Wellington: It might be possible but
what was not undertaken here and quite appropriately not undertaken in Ralph’s [crosstalk 00:45:22]. Prof. Bickel: Any serious analysis of the
proposal? Prof. Wellington: What was not undertaken
was the drafting of the statute. Now, it might well be that some of the, if
I may say so, exaggerated consequences… James Q. Wilson: You may say so. Prof. Wellington: It might be cured were you
to put your mind to drafting the statute. I don’t mean to suggest that on balance I
think it’s a good idea but I think that it’s something to be considered and examined. Someone might sit down and try to write a
statute dealing with we might just say a word about the Constitution. Prof. Bickel: Yes, I was gonna say. I don’t wanna bore you with legal technicalities
but there are serious constitutional problems. Prof. Wellington: Well, right, and that might
be a reason for rejecting it because I share what I take it, you and Ralph and even political
scientists probably believe that there is some obligation for the legislature to consider
constitutional questions. And if on prudential issues, the balance is
not all that clear in one direction, they might stay their hand if they think it raises
a serious constitutional question. Prof. Bickel: And the serious constitutional
question, in a nutshell, is what is assumed away by Ralph, namely, whether prosecution
is an executive or judicial function. Ralph: Who is this Ralph we keep talking about? Is there such a person? Prof. Bickel: A man named Winter. He’s a sunshine soldier. James Q. Wilson: He’s alive and well somewhere. If I may now, Alex, if I may assume… Prof. Bickel: If I had been on the panel yesterday,
you would have gotten a lot of trouble. James Q. Wilson: If I may assume you away for a minute, first of all, I think there’s abundant authority to appoint a special prosecutor. And there is a provision in the Constitution
saying that Congress may empower courts to appoint various federal officers. Prof. Bickel: Secretary of state. James Q. Wilson: As you know I say in the pamphlet, they can’t do that but they can appoint officers… Prof. Bickel: Judicial officers, you’re saying
which is exactly… James Q. Wilson: …connected with the judicial function. This is connected with the judicial function… Prof. Bickel: That’s the question. That’s the issue. That’s the issue. James Q. Wilson: He has only investigative power. He does not have the power to prosecute nor
do I… Prof. Bickel: The investigative power is not
a judicial power. James Q. Wilson: …nor do I see, Alex, why it is this
particular power cannot be surrounded by safeguards like a requirement of finding of probable
cause, or other things like that. You know I… Prof. Bickel: Shifting around. James Q. Wilson: …I think it’s ridiculous to say they
were going to be 500 special prosecutors. Every district judge is gonna have his own
special prosecutors when we… Prof. Bickel: No, they are gonna be more than
500 because the number of district judges is rising. James Q. Wilson: I think probably Alex is right about
that one. Prof. Bickel: There are gonna be many more,
but you see how you beg the question. Sure, if this is a judicial…if investigation… Ralph: I wish I had a chance to beg the question. Prof. Bickel: You wrote the book. If we are true that investigation and prosecution
is a judicial function, then I agree. The Constitution does say, “Congress may empower
the courts to make appointments.” I would read that as limited by judicial or
neo-judicial functions although some cases have mistakenly gone further and that would
be fine. But the gut issue is whether prosecution and
investigation is a judicial function. You argued beautifully in arguing against
an independent Department of Justice, that investigation and prosecution are executive
functions. I think that’s true and I think that’s constitutionally
true and I think, therefore, there would be the most serious constitutional problem… Ralph: Where does the SEC or the LRB get its
power to investigate? They are independent. They are not controlled by the executive branch. I mean your argument is against all the administrative
agencies. Wipe them out. Prof. Bickel: No, no. Ralph: Not that’s that such a bad argument. Prof. Bickel: Well, that’s the scenic route
of last night. The place of the administrative agency in
the constitutional scheme, while somewhat dubious to begin with, is not what you would
propose for these special prosecutors. These are fellows appointed by the president,
they are confirmed by the Senate, they exercise quasi-judicial functions in one part of them
which makes them judges. And you can appoint judges and call them SEC
commissioners or you can appoint judges and call them judges. Ralph: The SEC has a lot to do about prosecuting
people. Prof. Bickel: They exercise, on the other
hand, some prosecutorial functions. In some administrative agencies, that’s separated
out. And strong arguments have been made that it
ought to be separated out in all of them and it’s a mistake to meld them. And they exercise, in other portions, what
are viewed as legislative functions as filling in details by, delegation from Congress, of
legislation and administering the legislation. Now, people had a lot of trouble with that
when it was first set up a hundred years ago. And one might wanna rethink that. It’s too late to rethink that but it’s certainly
no argument, no pandal for you to leap from the SEC to the different and aggravated constitutional
monstrosity of prosecutors appointed by Judge Harold Cox and Gerhard Gesell. Ralph: It seems to me that the SEC having
the power, as you describe it, to act as a judge, to act as a prosecutor, to act as a
legislator, that that power is a far greater offense against your view of the Constitution
and the kinds of very limited proposal…maybe they don’t even have the power to prosecute,
the special counsel I’m talking about. And I ought to say, Alex, that as you well
know and have not revealed to the audience thereby violating the Security and Exchange
Act of 1935, the state practice, there’s a long historical background of special [crosstalk
00:51:12] grand jury, you know. Prof. Bickel: States do all kinds of things. They mix all kinds of powers. I don’t think the law of Connecticut binds
the U.S. Constitution but at the very least, there’s a serious constitutional problem. It ought to give Congress pause and it ought
at least to give them sufficient pause to consider the equally serious policy and prudential
questions that have been raised by everybody else against your isolated position. Ralph: That merely shows who is the true reformer
on the Yale law faculty. James Q. Wilson: If I have time, Mr. Chairman, could
I emphasize one aspect of the consideration of the Justice Department that I think perhaps
not my fellow panelists but many people have misunderstood and that is that in thinking
about the Justice Department, we often see areas of success where in fact there are weaknesses
or failure and areas of failure where in fact there are strengths. I think it’s much easier for the layman to
draw erroneous conclusions about Watergate with respect to the Justice Department than
other areas because it’s a complex organization with, to be charitable, rather obscure functions
in the layman’s mind. For example, many people think that the system
of United States attorneys is a good idea because one of them indicted Mr. Mitchell
and Mr. Stans and Mr. Vesco. I happen to think that that’s not a revelation
of the strength of the system but an accidental feature of a system that is on the whole rather
bad. We do not have a, as Mr. Wellington said perhaps
not referring to this group, a serious professional development of trained lawyers in capacities
as U.S. attorneys and assistant U.S. attorneys. What we have is a group of men who work for
United States senators. They don’t work for the president, they don’t
work for the attorney general. Others may conclude that the Justice Department
mismanages the antitrust division because antitrust prosecution is a perpetual motion
machine or something you can wind up and put on a track and it goes around automatically. The most important economic and political
judgments have to be made about what is the kind of case you want to prosecute. It seems to me that the intervention of the
president and the attorney general in the ITT case is entirely correct in a legal sense. That is to say they have every right to raise
serious political and economic questions, especially economic questions as to whether
breaking up ITT makes any sense or not. But whether they do it out of proper or improper
motives is an important question. But in much of the popular discussion, you
hear the impression that what we need is an automatic justice department, a little Lionel
train that goes around in a track and that it prosecutes every conspiracy to restrain
trade, and it prosecutes every organized crime racketeer, and arrests every heroine dealer. And that is not at all the way the system
can work or should work. And it really is that as much as anything
that leads me to believe that not only the notion of an independent Justice Department
is wrong but the notion that the Justice Department as now organized and managed, to refer back
to Mr. Wellington’s point, is one of the strengths of the system as we’ve now seen it. And all we need to do is insulate it from
political intervention. Prof. Bickel: Well, I think Harry was saying
that we need to raise its professional standards. What has been the matter with political managers
coming in, with the sole exception of Robert Kennedy in that respect, coming into the headship
of the Justice Department is that they haven’t brought in good people. They’ve brought in at the sub-cabinet level,
with exceptions, politicians and not professionals, certainly not people with standing in the
profession. And that’s bad and has no…is not to say
that the Justice Department ought to be outside of political control. Of course, it has to be. In fact, it’s one of the difficulties with
Ralph’s proposal because even the kind of case that he would give to a special prosecutor
raises issues of the same sort which are political issues, for example, the Agnew case. That would be… James Q. Wilson: One thing I can do short of speaking
and get attention… I will draw the line. Prof. Bickel: Well, the Agnew case would be
a typical special prosecutor case, wouldn’t it be? James Q. Wilson: Yes. Prof. Bickel: And yet a political judgment
had to be made. I think a correct one was made in the end
but one can’t think that it could have been made without political responsibility, namely,
to take a plea bargain from him to allow him to resign. These are things that can’t conceivably be
done and oughtn’t to be done by anybody who has no connection to political responsibility,
who’s not answerable to anybody, who is in turn answerable to the people. It’s just inconceivable. I think it’s certainly true that if you let
things go as they are, you expect, in situations of this sort, an administration to prosecute
itself as the president demonstrated when he fired Cox and as he could demonstrate by
firing Jaworski if he took that political risk. There is no way to run the thing within the
executive department outside his control. But for God’s sakes, I think it’s been demonstrated
where the countervailing power is and how effective it can be. Namely, it’s in Congress. He does enough of that and he runs the risk
of impeachment. Harry Truman fired Newbold Morris but he didn’t
go so far as to try to quash the prosecution of the people who had done wrong. And if he had, he would have been impeached
or he would have had at least a Senate select committee on his back. Peter: This roundtable discussion has brought
you the views of five knowledgeable experts who hold differing opinions on the basic causes
and possible cures for the American political spectacular called Watergate. It is the aim of the American Enterprise Institute
to illuminate the issues of the day by presenting many such viewpoints in the hope that by so
doing, those in the decision-making positions will benefit from such a free exchange of
informed and enlightened opinion. This is Peter Hackes in Washington. Announcer: “Washington Debates for the ’70s” is
created and supplied to this station as a public service by the American Enterprise
Institute, Washington D.C.

Blind audition study: Truth or myth? | FACTUAL FEMINIST


The blind audition study is one of the
most celebrated social science papers of all time. It’s famous for showing that
when orchestras auditioned musicians blindly behind a screen, women’s success
rates soared. But it turns out, the study showed no such thing. What’s going on? That’s coming up
next on the Factual Feminst. During the 1970s and ’80s, the nation’s orchestras became more open and
democratic, and to ensure impartiality, several introduced blind auditions. Two
economists, Claudia Goldin of Harvard and Cecilia Rouse of Princeton, noticed that
women’s success rates increased along with the adoption of screens. Was that a
coincidence, or the result of the screens? That’s the question they tried to answer
in their 2000 paper “Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of Blind
Auditions on Female Musicians.” They collected four decades of audition
records and rosters from eight major orchestras and crunched the numbers. Now,
their paper includes multiple warnings about small sample sizes and
contradictory results — but few readers seem to have noticed. What caught
everyone’s attention were some strong claims in the final paragraph: “We find
the screen increases by 50% the probability that a woman will be
advanced from certain preliminary rounds.” According to Google, the study has
received 1,500 citations in academic articles and thousands of media mentions,
and showcased in so many diversity workshops that one recent attendee
begged never to hear about it again. Now, the study’s appeal is clear: two
prominent economists, in a top journal, wielding state-of-the-art econometrics,
captured and quantified gender bias — and they also documented a solution. Or so it
seemed. The research went uncriticized for nearly two decades. That changed recently
when a few scholars and data scientists went back and read the whole study. They found
a tangle of small, ambiguous, contradictory findings. For example, the
screen seemed to help women in preliminary audition rounds, but in the
semi-final rounds, they didn’t. And none of the findings were strong
enough to draw a broad conclusions one way or another. And the authors say as
much, albeit ambiguously throughout the paper. So where did Goldin and Rouse get their totemic conclusion that blind auditions
dramatically improved the success of women candidates?
Well, after warning that their findings were not statistically significant,
they simply declared them to be economically significant. But what does
that mean in this context? “That doesn’t mean anything at all,” says Columbia
University data scientist Andrew Gelman. In a recent commentary on the study, he
said that they’re just “fine words” that really mean that our data is “too noisy
to form any strong conclusions.” Now my guess is that the authors thought they
detected something with real-world relevance somewhere in all that
noise — but that’s a reason to call for more research, not to declare the
transformative power of screens in women’s quest for equality. Still some
may think it seems obvious that the screens contributed to equal hiring, but
it’s not. The screens may have been a reflection of changing attitudes — and it
was those attitudes, not the screens, that helped women. After all, women didn’t need
blind auditions to move ahead in law or business, medicine, or even in the
Cleveland Orchestra, which had not resorted to blind auditions, according to
the study. Now, Gelman and other critics — they don’t
deny the reality of gender bias and they don’t question the potential merits of
blind auditions as a means of achieving impartiality. But
Goldin and Rouse verified nothing about the special benefits for women, and nor
has anyone else. The subsequent research on blind
recruitment is just a morass of baseless claims or retracted statements,
contradictory findings… So how did such an equivocal study achieve iconic status?
Well, a lot of the credit goes to confused but influential fans, such as
the writer Malcom Gladwell and the Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji.
They saw the study as powerful, indisputable proof of the ubiquity of
gender bias, as well as a way to counter it. According to Gladwell, “Orchestras in
the 1980s started putting up screens in audition rooms and immediately —
immediately — orchestras started hiring women left and
right.” And here’s professor Banaji in a 2017 TEDx talk: “In the late 1970s,
American orchestras were almost entirely all male . . . Once the curtain dropped, the
case study shows that the number of women who were selected doubled — they
went up 50%.” But it didn’t show that. Truth matters. Overhyped claims create
confusion and undermine public trust, and they don’t solve problems. Sex
discrimination in the workplace is a serious matter,
but improvements require solid data, replicable research, and careful
evaluations of causation. As the scholar Alice Dreger says, “Carpe datum . . . Evidence
is an ethical issue.” If you found value in this video, please show your support by subscribing to the series, and follow me on Twitter, and listen to my podcast,
“The Femsplainers.” Thank you for watching the Factual Feminist. Wave goodbye, Izzie.

News Wrap: Nor’easter knocks out power to 400,000 in Maine, Massachusetts


JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: Britain
and the European Union reached a tentative agreement for the United Kingdom’s exit from
the bloc. They said the deal announced today would ensure
an open border between E.U. member Ireland and British Northern Ireland. In Brussels, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris
Johnson celebrated with handshakes, and urged Parliament to approve the deal. BORIS JOHNSON, British Prime Minister: I hope
very much now, speaking of elected representatives, that my fellow M.P.s in Westminster do now
come together to get Brexit done, to get this excellent deal over the line, and to deliver
Brexit without any more delay, so that we can focus on the priorities of the British
people. JUDY WOODRUFF: Parliament will convene a special
session Saturday to vote. But the deal already faces opposition, including
from within Johnson’s government. Britain is set to leave the E.U. on October
31. We will discuss all of this after the news
summary. New England — back in the U.S., New England
is cleaning up after a powerful nor’easter lashed the region overnight and today. The storm brought heavy rain and wind gusts
up to 90 miles an hour. In Roxbury, Massachusetts, storm surge washed
boats ashore. Elsewhere, trees fell on homes and cars and
downed utility lines. All told, 400,000 customers in Maine and Massachusetts
lost power. Meanwhile, a drought across the Southeastern
U.S. is worsening. More than 30 million people are affected from
Alabama to Virginia. But some relief may be on the way. Forecasters say that a tropical storm may
form tomorrow off the Gulf Coast, and move inland by the weekend. About 25,000 teachers and staff walked off
the job today in Chicago, the nation’s third largest public school district. They set up picket lines outside many of the
district’s 500 schools, demanding better pay and smaller class sizes, among other things. ANN O’BRIEN, Striking Teacher: The only way
that we get justice for our kids is by making sure that we, as teachers, who are their front
line for defense, stand up for their needs. So we will stay out as long as it takes for
us to be able to get the things that they need. JUDY WOODRUFF: The strike has canceled classes
for more than 360,000 students. The number of deaths related to vaping has
climbed again, to 33, since March. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reported the new figure today. There is still no definitive cause for the
deaths. Meanwhile, Juul Labs announced that it will
stop selling vaping pods with fruit and dessert flavors. Juul is the country’s bestselling e-cigarette
brand. On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial
average gained about 24 points to close near 27026. The Nasdaq rose 32 points and the S&P 500
added eight. And veteran Congressman Elijah Cummings of
Maryland died early today after longstanding health problems. The Baltimore Democrat was a highly regarded
figure in both political parties and had been playing a central role in the impeachment
inquiry. Amna Nawaz looks at his life and career. AMNA NAWAZ: Elijah Cummings spent a lifetime
advocating for civil rights in his native Baltimore and beyond. After 13 years in the Maryland Statehouse,
he came to Congress in 1996. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): My mission is one
that comes out of a vision that was created long, long ago. It is a mission and a vision to empower people,
to make people realize that the power is within them, that they too can do the things that
they want to do. AMNA NAWAZ: Cummings pursued that vision as
a vocal advocate for causes ranging from gun reform to immigration, and always racial justice. In 2015, he worked to restore calm when riots
erupted in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man, in police custody. And at Gray’s funeral, he gave an impassioned
eulogy. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS: I have often said that our
children are the living messages we send to a future we will never see. But now our children are sending us to a future
they will never see! There is something is wrong with that picture! AMNA NAWAZ: This year, Cummings was equally
fierce condemning the conditions in which migrant children were being detained at the
U.S.-Mexico border. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS: We are the United States
of America. We are the greatest country in the world. We are the ones that can go anywhere in the
world and save people, make sure that they have diapers, make sure that they have toothbrushes,
make sure that they’re not laying around defecating. Come on. We’re better than that. AMNA NAWAZ: As chairman of the House Oversight
Committee, Cummings also launched investigations of President Trump. The president struck back, calling Cummings
racist and branding Baltimore a rat-infested mess. Today, Mr. Trump tweeted condolences, saying
— quote — “His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible,
to replace.” In Congress, Cummings’ colleagues paid tribute,
including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): In the Congress, Elijah
was considered a North Star. He was a leader of towering character and
integrity. He lived the American dream. And he wanted it for everyone else. AMNA NAWAZ: That sentiment crossed the political
aisle to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): He counted close friends
and admirers from all across the political spectrum. AMNA NAWAZ: Cummings’ death deprives House
Democrats of a leading voice in the impeachment inquiry. But he left behind a legacy of clear-eyed
views on Congress’ duty. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS: When we’re dancing with the
angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy
intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing? AMNA NAWAZ: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Amna
Nawaz. JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Elijah Cummings
was 68 years old. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: Britain and
the European Union reach a Brexit deal, but can it survive the British Parliament?; the
United Auto Workers move to end their strike with GM — what’s on the line?; and how data
is driving artists to create new work.

Martin Luther’s Evangelical Breakthrough


Luther later in his life would look back and
say, “I came to this evangelical breakthrough.” And now the psychologist love it that he says,
“I came to the evangelical breakthrough while sitting on the toilet.” Freudians have had a ball with that. What serious historians have noted is that
actually there was no toilet where he said he was sitting and that in the idiom of that
day, “Sitting on the toilet” meant being depressed, being melancholy, being down, down
in the dumps. It’s not about a location. It’s about a spiritual state and Luther says,
“I was really depressed about the state of my soul,” not depressed in a technical,
psychological way. “I was sad. I was distressed about the state of my soul
and in that state I began to think. If God is alive, I am dead.” He said, “I came to hate God because all
I saw was a God of judgment.” He said especially the phrase “The righteousness
of God filled me with fear and hatred. How could I ever measure up to a righteous
God?” But now, his mind filled with Scripture. It suddenly all fell into place. He said, “It was like the gates of Paradise
had open to me and I realized that what God’s talking about in the Bible is not the righteousness
He demands of me but the righteousness He gives to me in Jesus Christ” and that’s
what changed Luther’s whole world. That’s what made him a Protestant and I think
that happened probably early in 1518 and turned Luther’s whole life around.

How to Define the (Customer) Relationship: Crash Course Entrepreneurship #10


Like any committed relationship, the relationship
between a business and its customers needs nurturing. And that shouldn’t come as a surprise! I mean, we’ve already mentioned customers
over 100 times in this series. We need customers to run a successful business,
and naturally they’re going to have certain expectations. So we want to make sure we deliver on those
expectations and develop those relationships as our business develops. I’m Anna Akana, and this is Crash Course
Business: Entrepreneurship. [Theme Music Plays] So the first question we have to ask ourselves
is: what kind of relationship do we want with our customers? We daydream about building our perfect partner for me it would be the body of Chris Evans with the head of Chris Evans. Or finding a BFF, so why can’t we
do the same for our customer relationships? You know, the level of commitment, kinds of
interactions we want to have, or even the medium we use to communicate. There are lots of options to consider before
making any decisions or jumping into anything. The easiest type of relationship to build
is no relationship. If a business only engages with customers
at the moment they make a purchase, or either person could be a robot and nobody would notice,
this is called a transactional relationship. A good example is a credit card machine that
takes 3% of a sale as a processing fee. The credit card company never needs to see
the shoppers, and the shoppers might not even know that 3% of what they just paid is being
sent elsewhere. In love, transactional relationships are a
no-go, but here both sides are happy. Another fairly hands-off option is a self-service
relationship. This is where the business has no direct contact
with the customer but provides all the necessary equipment for customers to help themselves. Think self-pump gas stations or self-serve
frozen yogurt shops. The customers do all the work, but they get
to customize to their heart’s content. We can kick this up a notch by providing automated
self-service. Generally, this recognizes something about
the customer and can be personalized using customer profiles. Automated services can simulate a more personal
relationship, like Goodreads suggesting books or Hulu offering movie recommendations. Love those computer algorithms learning everything
about us… Some companies like to deliver an even more
personal touch with a personal assistance relationship — one where the customer can
communicate with a real person to get help during the sales process or after the purchase
is complete. This could happen in brick-and-mortar stores,
on the phone, by email, or some other way. I hear skywriting is making a comeback. Many companies are integrating a “live chat”
feature on their websites, like Internet or mobile phone providers. Live chats provide immediate access to a company
representative without the hassle of going into a store or the horror of a live phone
conversation. The next level is a dedicated personal assistance
relationship where each client has a specific representative devoted to them. You could even say they’re…going steady. The point is to create a much deeper bond
that will last a long time. This is possible in businesses that don’t
have millions of sales and expect to be with customers for a while. For instance, local tax accountants or insurance
agents usually maintain personal relationships with their clients. Then, there’s the modern-day classic: the
loyalty program. [If you don’t have at least 3 memberships
and punch-cards in your wallet right now HOW ARE YOU SURVIVING WITHOUT ALL THE DEALS?? Switching costs — like money, time, or plain
old hassle — are a way to describe how easy or hard it is for someone to switch loyalties
to another business. So loyalty programs reward customers for their
purchases and make it a little more costly to switch brands, so they return again and
again. It’s far cheaper to retain or “lock in”
previous customers than to start from scratch with someone new. Not to mention, happy customers also talk
about how happy they are with a new product. Kinda like those couples who just got together and they’re like SUPER obsessed with each other. Gym memberships are notorious for this. Maybe they give you a discount if you get
a friend to join, but to cancel you have to go all the way into their office and fill
out 1 or 2 or 15 forms. Or on a simpler level, maybe your favorite
lunch spot has a loyalty card and the feeling of getting closer to 12 punches and a free
sandwich makes you want to keep coming back. At the most involved end of the spectrum is
the long-term relationship. These are built with customers over time through
regular interactions and possibly with an emotional connection. This type of customer is like the die-hard
Patagonia fans who support the company over many years. They’re not just in it for the snazzy vests,
they believe in things like Patagonia’s environmental mission and the quality of the
clothing. But also the snazzy vests. Might as well put a ring on these folks. But sometimes a business isn’t necessarily
the expert providing everything to its customers, it’s a conduit for greatness. In a co-creation relationship, companies don’t
rely on a lot of in-house innovation and instead work directly with customers to develop products,
which relies on some great chemistry! You almost never see videos created by YouTube
employees — creators like us are making almost all of the content. And finally, a business can also rely on customers’
expertise by creating communities online or in real life. In these spaces, customers can interact and
exchange user knowledge, which can end up strengthening their bond with the business
that brought everyone together! Not to mention, it’s an opportunity to stay
up-to-date on what people who care about your product are saying. If people are complaining about a glitch or
sharing innovative uses in these communities, that’s awesome feedback! So after we know the options, we want to decide
which customer relationships will work for our business. Only one thing to do: spin the wheel of relationships
and let fate decide! Well… no… Sort of. All of the decisions we’ve made so far about
our business — from choosing a legal structure to getting customer feedback — have involved
asking key questions and listening to trusted advice. So figuring out what relationships we want
to nurture is no different! And just like you might have multifaceted
relationships with a parent, a friend, a partner, and the coffee barista that works at your
local shop on Thursday mornings, customer relationships aren’t mutually exclusive. So go ahead and pick more than one for your
business! There’s also no ideal mix, and we’re not
here to tell you exactly what you’ll need to do as an entrepreneur. What works for one business in one region
might not work somewhere else. Let’s compare two businesses: The Running
Company, an Australian brick and mortar shoe store with several locations, and Salesforce,
a massive tech company that sells cloud-based software to other businesses to help them
manage their customer relationships. Both want to cultivate a long-term relationship
with customers. The Running Company needs repeat customers
to compete with the big department stores. And Salesforce needs to convince customers
to continue using their software and pay for subscriptions and updates. The Running Company has personal assistants
to make sure customers have a great experience in the store and want to return. Salesforce has account managers who provide
dedicated personal assistance to each client, by being available to help with whatever problems
come up, along with online demos for immediate troubleshooting. Both businesses also want to lock-in customers
with loyalty programming. The Running Company offers exclusive online
products for those who join and other member-only running-related content. Salesforce’s customers are other businesses,
and when a business adopts an entire platform, it can be very expensive and time-consuming
to shift to a different platform. So switching costs are already high, and their
loyalty programs look a bit different. They might take business representatives out
when they come to town, or provide a discount if you pay for your subscription annually
instead of monthly. These days a lot of businesses are trying
to build communities centered on their brands as part of their customer experience. Each Running Company location offers a free
weekly running club open to all speeds, as well as events throughout the year. Salesforce has started putting on their annual
Dreamforce — a massive tech conference in San Francisco, California meant to bring together
over 200,000 users and enthusiasts. So even though these two example businesses
couldn’t be more different in the products and services they offer, they actually have
the same basic types of relationships. Presumably, they decided on those relationships
by carefully considering what they were capable of and what would appeal to their customers. Let’s do this ourselves in the Thought Bubble. Ashlyn wants to start a traveling bike repair
service. She’s outfitted her own bike with a special
cart that holds all her tools and unfolds to be her repair station. When people need her, they tweet their location,
she confirms the appointment, and away she zips! Basically, Ashlyn’s value proposition is
providing fast and efficient bike repair that comes to the customer. It’s simple, mobile, tech-savvy, and appeals
to a target market of athletic, busy, techno-literate cyclists aged 25-to-45. For the first few months, her natural personal
assistance relationship is keeping a lot of cyclists happy and she thinks she’s building
some great long-term relationships. From chatting with her customers while she
works, Ashlyn learns that many are looking for new trails to try and fellow bikers to
ride with. She decides to build community by leading
free evening rides around town and hosting DIY clinics on how to do basic bike maintenance. And she designs helmet stickers with her sporty
logo. It’s going great! Well… sort of. Turns out what customers actually wanted wasn’t
a long-term relationship, but to be empowered to fix their own bikes. So her clinics are packed, but she’s not
getting any tweets. Not even a half-hearted chirp. To keep pedaling forward, Ashlyn needs to
let her customer relationships evolve. She decides that for a smaller fee, she’ll
show up and anyone who’s taken her class can use her tools — like her air pump or
special bike wrenches — to do basic maintenance. So she’s cultivating a self-service relationship
with her customers. And now that she’s got them hooked, she
could start charging a small fee for her classes or evening group rides with a loyalty program
where the 5th one is free. Thanks, Thought Bubble! There’s no right answer, but engaging in
some human-centered thinking about what would work — or is working! — for our customers
can help us make sure we’re on the right track. Basically, our value proposition should never
be far when we’re trying to build a business. The bottom line is: begin as you mean to go
on. Plan how you’ll interact with your customers
and get ready to react to feedback if you find the relationship has evolved. Next time, we’ll discuss all the ways you
can let your customers know how amazing you are, from social media to snail mail. Thanks for watching Crash Course Business,
which is sponsored by Google. And thank you to Thought Cafe for the beautiful
graphics. If you want to help keep Crash Course free
for everybody, forever, you can join our community on Patreon. And if you want to learn more about different
social groups and relationships from a broader perspective, check out this Crash Course Sociology
video:

Why I changed my mind about nuclear power | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxBerlin


Translator: Morgane Quilfen
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven Like a lot of kids born in the early 70s, I had the good fortune
to be raised by hippies. One of my childhood heroes
was Stewart Brand. Stewart is not only
one of the originary hippies, he’s also one of the first
modern environmentalists of the 1960s and 70s. As a young boy, one of my favorite memories
is playing cooperative games that Stewart designed
as an antidote to the Vietnam War. I’m from a long line
of Christian pacifists known as Mennonites, and every August, we would go as kids to remember the US government’s
atomic bombing of Japan by lighting candles and sending them on boats
onto Bittersweet Park. As I graduated from high school,
throughout college, I brought many delegations
to Central America to bring diplomacy, seek peace and also to support
local farmer cooperatives in Guatemala, Central America
and Nicaragua. And over time, as I’ve traveled
all around the world, been through many small communities
on all the different continents, I’ve come to appreciate
that the young people I interview, they don’t want to be stuck
in the village, they don’t want to spend their whole lives
chopping wood and hauling wood, they want to go to the city
for opportunity – most of them do – for education, for work. And what I’ve realized is that that process of urbanization,
of moving to the city, is actually very positive for nature. It allows the natural
environment to come back. It allows for the Central African
mountain gorillas, for example, an important endangered species, to have the habitat that they need
to survive and thrive. And of course, in that process,
you’ve got to go vertical. So even places like Hong Kong, you see, can spare their natural
environment around the city, but it requires a huge amount
of energy to go up. And so the big challenge of our time is, how do you get plentiful
reliable electricity and energy without destroying the climate? I started out as an anti-nuclear activist, and I quickly got involved
in advocating for renewable energy. So at the early part of this century, I helped to start a labor union
and environmentalist alliance called the Apollo Alliance, and we pushed for a big investment
in clean energy: solar, wind, electric cars, and the investment idea
was picked up by President Obama. And during his time in office,
he invested about 150 billion dollars to make solar and wind and electric cars
much cheaper than they were. And that was having a lot of success, but we were starting
to notice some challenges, some of them you’re familiar with: solar and wind generate electricity
about 10 to 30% of the time, so we’re dependent on the weather
for solar and wind. There were other problems
we were noticing. Sometimes, these sources of electricity
generate too much power, and you hear a lot of hype
about batteries, but we actually don’t have
sufficient storage, even in California,
where we have a lot of investment, a lot of Silicon Valley types putting money into battery
storage technology. We were trying to figure out,
how do you manage all those renewables? And while we were struggling
with this problem, around 2005, Stewart Brand came out and he said
we should rethink nuclear power. And this was like a shock to the system. I mean, for me and for all of my friends, Stewart was one of the first
big advocates of solar energy anywhere. In the late 60s and early 70s,
he advised the governor of California, but he said, “Look, we’ve been trying
to do solar for a long time” – and at the time – less than 0.5% of our electricity,
globally, comes from solar, about 2% from wind and the majority
comes from nuclear and hydro. And he said, “Look,
despite what you might think, according to the intergovernmental
panel on climate change, nuclear actually produces four times
less carbon emissions than solar does.” In fact, that’s why they recommended
in their most recent report that achieving deep cuts in emissions
is going to require more intensive use of renewables, nuclear,
and carbon capture and storage. Let’s take a closer look at Germany. Germany gets the majority
of its electricity, and of course, all of its transportation fuels,
from fossil fuels. So just the electrical sector, last year Germany got 40%
of its electricity from coal, it got 12% from natural gas, 13% from nuclear, 12% from wind
and about 6% from solar. So to go from 18% wind and solar to 100%,
you actually have to go beyond that. If you’re replacing
all of the transportation sector with electric cars, you’re looking at something
more like 150%. Germany’s done a lot
to invest in renewables and to innovate solar and wind,
but that’s still a pretty steep climb. That’s even before you get
to the question of storage. So well, let’s take a look
at what happened last year. Last year, Germany installed
4% more solar panels, but it generated 3% less
electricity from solar. Even in meetings with energy experts, I’ll ask people if they can
make a guess as to why that is, and you’d be shocked at how
many energy experts have no idea. It just wasn’t very sunny
last year in Germany. (Laughter) Well, that probably meant, though,
then, that it was windier, right? Because if it’s not as sunny,
maybe there’s some more wind, and those two things can
balance each other out. In truth, Germany installed
11% more wind turbines in 2016, but it got 2% less electricity from wind. Same story, just not very windy last year. So you might think, “We just have to do
a lot more solar and wind so that in years where
there’s not a lot of sunlight and wind, that there’s more electricity
from those energy sources.” So Germany’s plan is to increase by 50% the amount of electricity
it gets from solar. That would take you from 40 gigawatts
to about 60 gigawatts in 2030. But if you have a year like 2016, that means that
you’ll still only be getting around 9% of your total
electricity from solar, and this is in, really, the biggest
solar country in the world. Germany is really the powerhouse
of renewable electricity. So the obvious response is,
“We’ll just put it all in batteries.” We hear so much about batteries, you would think that we just have
a huge amount of storage. Our staff took a look
at the numbers in California, and what we discovered is that we have
23 minutes of electricity storage for California’s grid. But to get that 23 minutes requires using every battery
in every car and truck in the state, which as you can imagine, is not super practical
if you’re trying to get somewhere. And Germany might be
a little bit different, but not very different from that. Most people are aware that to make this transition
towards renewables, Germany has been spending
a lot more on electricity, and you can see electricity prices
in Germany rose about 50% over the last 10 years. Today, German electricity
is about 2 times more expensive than electricity is in France. You might think, “Look it’s a small price to pay
for dealing with climate change,” and I would agree with that. Spending a little bit
more money on energy, especially for those of us
in the rich world, is a decent thing to do to avert some of the catastrophic
possibilities of global warming. But the interesting thing is that when you look and when you
compare France and Germany in terms of their electricity,
France gets 93% of their electricity from clean energy sources,
mostly hydro and nuclear; Germany gets just 46%, like about half. And here’s the real shocking thing: German carbon emissions
have actually been going up since 2009. They have increased
over the last two years, and they may increase this year as well. And German carbon emissions
have declined since the 1990s, but most of that is just due to the fact
that after reunification, Germany just took offline all of those inefficient coal plants
in East Germany. Most of that reduction
is just due to that. And let’s take a look at last year. One of the things that really quickly
can reduce emissions is switching from coal to natural gas because natural gas is about
half of the carbon intensity of coal, and that would have resulted in a pretty significant reduction
in German carbon emissions last year, except for the fact that Germany
took offline nuclear, and when it did that, it meant that the emissions
actually ended up going up again. Now, there’s some questions
about what about the future? So if we just do more solar and wind,
won’t it kind of all work itself out? One of the biggest challenges to this
has come from somebody here in Germany who is not a pro-nuclear person at all, he is an energy analyst
and economist named Leon Hirth, and what he finds is that
that problem I described earlier, where sometimes you have too much wind at certain parts of the day
or of the year, or too much solar
and it’s not clear what to do with it, that that reduces the economic value
of wind and solar. So wind, actually, the value of it reduces 40% once it gets
to be 30% of your electricity, and solar, it’s even more dramatic, it actually declines by half
when it gets to just 15%. So one of the things you hear, though, is that we can do
a solar roof really fast. Solar is fast, you just put it up in one day
and you’ve installed the thing; whereas it takes 10 years or 5 years,
depending on where you are, to build a nuclear plant. And so it makes sense you’d think, if we do solar-wind,
you can just go a lot faster. But this was actually studied in an important article
for the journal Science last year. One of the authors was James Hansen,
the famous climate scientist, and what they found is that,
even when you combine solar and wind, you just get a lot less clean electricity
than when you do nuclear. And that goes for Germany
as well as the United States. So what they did is
they just compared the ten years of the most deployment
of those two technologies, solar-wind versus nuclear. And it’s a pretty stark comparison. I can imagine what you’re thinking
because it’s what I was sort of thinking, I was like, “Well this sounds like
I now have to really reconsider my attitudes around nuclear power,
but then what about Chernobyl? What about Fukushima?
What about all the nuclear waste?” Those are really
reasonable questions to ask. And in fact, when I was
trying to ask them, there were other people
that were starting to change their mind. One of the ones
who I was most impressed by and was very influential is a British newspaper columnist
named George Monbiot. George Monbiot wrote a column,
shortly after Fukushima, where he went through
the scientific research on radiation, and what he wrote was: “The anti-nuclear movement
to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts
of radiation on human health.” I write some pretty
harsh things sometimes, but this was a pretty strong call and he was talking
to a number of scientists that actually have studied
the big accidents. One of them is Jerry Thomas,
from Imperial College in London. Jerry started something
called the Chernobyl tissue bank out of her concern for the accident – totally independent professor
of pathology at Imperial College – and I asked her, I said, “I’d like to present this,
but I’m a not radiation scientist, so can I just steal your slides? I’ll put your picture on them
if you let me do that.” The first thing she points out, she says most ionizing radiation, that’s the radiation
that is potentially harmful that comes from a nuclear accident,
most of it is natural. And I was like,
“Well, that sounds alright. You know, I like natural foods,
natural radiation sounds good. The hot springs, you know.” And she said, “No, actually
natural ionizing radiation is just as harmful, potentially,
as artificial radiation.” So that’s kind of the first thing. The striking thing about it is that the total amount
of ionizing radiation we’re exposed to, from not just Chernobyl and Fukushima but also all of the atomic bomb testing
in the 60s and 70s, totals just 0.3% of our exposures. Most of the radiation we’re exposed to
is just from the earth, or from the atmosphere,
or from the buildings around us. Let’s look at the big one.
This is Chernobyl. This is the event that really
scared me about nuclear and led me to be an anti-nuclear activist. The United Nations has done
these very large comprehensive studies. They have hundreds of scientists
around the world that do this research, so the possibility of somebody
fudging the data or maybe trying to cover something up
is pretty low in that environment, just because there’s so many
different credible scientists at different universities
around the world doing the research. So this is really – I think
it was a pivotal moment for me. Chernobyl is the worst
nuclear accident we’ve ever had, and I think some people say
it’s the worst we could ever have. I don’t need to make
a statement that strong, but they literally had a nuclear reactor
without a containment dome, and it was on fire, it was just
raining radiation around everybody. It was really a terrible accident. And when they start counting bodies, what they come up with is 28 deaths
from acute radiation syndrome, 15 deaths over the last 25 years
from thyroid cancer, which as horrible as it sounds, it’s actually the best cancer to get
because hardly anybody dies from it. It’s really treatable,
you can take thyroxine, which is a synthetic
substitute, get a surgery. In fact, most of the people that died were people that were
in remote rural areas, that couldn’t get the medical
treatment they needed. And if you take the 16,000 people
that got thyroid cancer from Chernobyl, they estimate 160 of them
will die from thyroid cancer, and it’s not like they’re dying right now,
they’ll die of it in old age, and that’s not to say that it’s okay, but it is to put it
in some kind of context. There’s no scientific evidence
of thyroid cancer outside of those three main countries:
Belarus, Ukraine, Russia. No effect on fertility,
malformations, infant mortality, no conclusion or no data
for adverse pregnancy outcomes, no evidence for any genetic effects. And I think this last one
is the most striking thing: there’s no evidence
of any increase in cancer, including in the cohort of people who put the fire out
and cleaned up afterwards. And I saw some surprised by this finding, and so I put the link
to the website on there. Don’t take my word for it, I think you should go read it because just reading
about Chernobyl, for me, was a big part of changing my mind
about nuclear power. What about Fukushima? This was the second worst
nuclear disaster in history. There was a much smaller
release of radiation than Chernobyl, and so what we find is that there’s no deaths
from radiation exposure from Fukushima, which is kind of amazing. 1,500 people died
being pulled out of nursing homes, being pulled out of hospitals. It was insane, it was a panic. The Japanese government
should not have done that, it violated every standard
of how you deal with a disaster like that. You’re supposed to shelter in place. In fact, by pulling people
out of their homes and moving them around outside
during that accident, they actually exposed them
to more radiation. Of course you have
to put that in comparison to the other things that were going on, like 15 to 20 thousands people
dying instantly from drowning, pinned under many
different technologies, by the way, getting killed by that tsunami. Unlikely be any increase
in thyroid cancer, and the big problem, of course,
is just the stress and the fear that you’ve been contaminated when the evidence suggests
that that’s not the case at all. They did an interesting study. They brought a bunch of school kids
from Paris to Fukushima, and they wore dosimeters – that’s what we call
the old Geiger counters now. And what they find is that, those kids, when they go through
the security systems, the radiation would spike. When they’d get on
the airplane to fly to Tokyo, the radiation would spike. They’d go to the French Embassy,
the radiation would spike. Iwaki didn’t get – Iwaki is a city – it didn’t get the plume,
the radioactive plume. Tomioka did, and it’s still a tiny blip compared to just going through
the security system. So let’s look at some of the basics
to put this in context. If you live in a big city
like London or Berlin or New York, you’re gonna increase
your mortality risk by 2.8%, just from air pollution alone. If you live with someone
who smokes cigarettes, 1.7%. But if you were somebody
that cleaned up Chernobyl, got exposed to 250 millisieverts
of radiation, 1%. 100 millisieverts, 0.4%. It’s just because there just
wasn’t as much radiation as people think. The atomic bomb testing
in the sixties exposed people to just – there’s so many different
measurements for radiation. You can just see a lot more
radiation exposure during the a-bomb test
than either Chernobyl or Fukushima. I think the key thing here is, I’m from the state of Colorado
in the United States, we have an annual exposure, just because there’s
so much granite around us, about 9 millisieverts a year. That’s what you’d get
if you’re the 6 million people that live around Chernobyl today. And yet, of course, nobody knows this. Here’s this really basic science, it is right there on the website. But when you go into a survey,
in most countries – this one was done in Russia – only 8% of the population surveyed accurately predicts
the death toll from Chernobyl, and 0% predicted accurately
the death toll from Fukushima. Meanwhile, sitting right before us is 7 million deaths a year
from air pollution, and the evidence
on particulate matter causing harm has only gotten stronger over the years. So that’s why every major
medical journal that looks at this – this is from the British
Medical Journal Lancet – finds that nuclear power is already
the safest way to make electricity. And it leads to this really
uncomfortable conclusion, one that the climate scientist
James Hansen came to recently, which is that nuclear power
has actually saved 1.8 million lives. It’s not something
that you hear very much about. So what about the waste? This is the waste
from a nuclear plant in the US. The thing about the nuclear waste is it’s the only waste
from electricity production that is safely contained anywhere. All of the other waste
goes into the environment, from coal, gas. And then here’s sort of a equally
uncomfortable conclusion: solar panels, there’s no plan
to recycle solar panels outside of the EU. Meaning that all of us in California –
it’s just gonna join the waste stream. We calculated how much toxic waste – because the panels contain heavy metals,
and lead, and chromium, and cadmium – how much toxic waste from solar is there? To get a sense of it, look at
how much more materials are required for each different energy source, and when you calculate
all the panels that it’ll require to produce the same amount
of electricity as nuclear, solar actually produces
300 times more waste than nuclear, very little of it contained, and all of it containing
toxic heavy metals. What about the weapons? If I thought there was any chance more nuclear power would
increase the chance of nuclear war, I’d be against it. I’ve always been a pacifist. I still am. Diplomacy is almost always
the right solution. People say, “What about North Korea?”
Korea proves the point. In order to get nuclear power right now,
it’s been this way for 50 years, you have to agree
not to get a weapon, that’s the deal. South Korea wanted nuclear power,
they agreed not to get a weapon, they don’t have a weapon. North Korea wanted nuclear power,
I think they should have gotten it, we didn’t let them have it
for a variety of reasons, they got a bomb. They now are testing missiles
that can hit Japan. Soon they’ll be able to hit California. So if nuclear energy
led to nuclear bombs, there’s no evidence for it,
not only in Korea but nowhere. So, where does that leave us? I think it leaves us
with some uncomfortable ideas. If Germany hadn’t closed
its nuclear plants, its emissions would be
43% lower than it is today. And I think if you care
about climate change, that’s at least something
that you have to wrestle with, especially in light
of some of these facts about the harms and benefits
of different energy sources. And I’ll end with a quote
from somebody else who changed his mind, and somebody else who was
a huge childhood hero for me, and that is Sting. “If you’re going to tackle global warming, nuclear is the only way
you can create massive amounts of power.” Thank you very much.
I appreciate you all listening. (Applause)

Political engagement online takes work, too. Here’s why.


So when we think about the digital activism
gap and how I found that groups with more resources, groups with more organizational
infrastructure, and also conservatives were more likely to use the internet than their
left, more horizontal, poor and working class counterparts, it’s important to think about
why that is and how that could possibly change, and what we can really learn from that. And one key element of my findings is that
online engagement takes work. So some of us may feel like we are tethered
to our computers all day, and that we wish we could just kind of check out digitally,
or do a digital detox. But on the– at the same time, there is this
sense that a viral tweet just happens. That a movement online just emerges without
work. And because I found that groups that not only
had more financial resources, but also groups like these Tea Party folks who are middle
class, not working class, middle class, generally, or maybe a lot of people with master’s degrees,
et cetera, or even higher, had a lot of time. A lot were retired, right? And so that partially helps explain why their
online engagement was so high. But also helps explain that if people are
interested in really building a political movement that has a strong online component,
that it takes expertise. It takes understanding the latest Facebook
algorithm or how Twitter is also now engaging with more algorithmic feeds that people see
the same for Instagram, and other social media sites. That if we really want to present a political
issue that’s important to us, we really need to understand how people are actually going
to see it. Because it isn’t the case simply if we build
it, they will come. That online engagement, just like organizing
offline, takes a tremendous amount of work. And also, it’s not just a question of how
to make the Facebook algorithm work for you. It’s also a question of what types of people
do we want to hear our messages? And if we just rely on who tends to have time
and resources to be online, we may be missing out on folks who are a little more marginalized,
who aren’t maybe on the platform that we’re on. And that if we want our message, whatever
that may be, to get out to a wide audience, we really have to understand these dynamics.