updated 3/22/2006 11:08:03 AM ET 2006-03-22T16:08:03

Guests: Felipe Aguirre, Ronald Jackson, Kacie Winsor, Matt Farnsworth

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION”:  Thanks and welcome to THE SITUATION.  We appreciate you tuning in tonight. 

Tonight reporter turned propagandist Helen Thomas uses a White House press conference to air her political views.  And it’s not the first time.  We’ll bring you Thomas’ top five most over-the-top moments in the briefing room.

Also, bodacious school teacher Debra LaFave has charges against her dropped in Florida.  She now blames her sexual romp with a 14-year-old student on bipolar disorder.  But does she deserve at least some time behind bars?

CARLSON:  Plus a disturbing new study on crystal meth and its effect on Baby Boomers.  Why are 50-year-old Americans suddenly addicted to a drug that rots your teeth, frays your nerves and causes you to hallucinate?  A SITUATION investigation in just a few minutes. 

We start tonight in Maywood, California, a small community just south of L.A. More than a third of the population now lives in the U.S.  illegally, and that is fine with the city. 

When a local traffic division was accused of giving too many tickets to illegal aliens, the city council simply eliminated the traffic division.  The same with drunk driving checkpoints and other law enforcement practices.  As a result, some are calling Maywood a sanctuary city, a place where it’s not illegal to be illegal. 

Here to tell us what’s going on in Maywood is the city’s vice mayor, Felipe Aguirre.

Mr. Aguirre joining us from Los Angeles.  Mr. Aguirre, thanks for coming on. 

It sounds very much like your city is allowing, condoning lawlessness.  How can a city allow people to break the law?  What’s the point of having a city, if you allow that?

FELIPE AGUIRRE, VICE MAYOR OF MAYWOOD:  We’re not letting anybody break the law.  And we’re asking the police officers to arrest people that do break the law.  But there was an excessive impounding of vehicles and taking of people’s private property.  That’s what the new city council is supposed to.  And that’s why we stopped this practice that was happening in our city. 

CARLSON:  Well, according to the “Los Angeles Times”, the city of Maywood no longer conducts DUI stops, DUI road blocks?  Is that true?

AGUIRRE:  That’s not true.  The—the Maywood Police Department will conduct any type of stop for legal and lawful reason.  What was happening before in the city was that 90 cars were being stopped for night.  People were getting—taking away their vehicles. 

CARLSON:  Why were they having their vehicles taken away?

AGUIRRE:  Because people were driving without a driver’s license. 

CARLSON:  But you’re not allowed to drive without a driver’s license, are you?

AGUIRRE:  Yes.  You’re not allowed to drive without a driver’s license, but also, the city did not have to impose the punishment of keeping the car for 30 days, which was an additional punishment of people having to spend an extra amount of money to take their vehicles out. 

CARLSON:  Everybody else—everybody else in the state of California and every other state I’m aware of has to have a driver’s license to drive, and if you don’t have one, they punish you.  In a lot of places, they take your car away.  Why would Maywood be different?

AGUIRRE:  Well, you know, I think that basically, you have to know the city of the city of Maywood.  It’s a little bit different from what’s happening in other cities.  We consider this a personal taking of a person’s personal property.  And so therefore, the city council took this move so that people would not be intimidated. 

Because before, we were happy, it was driving while brown.  People were getting stopped because they looked Latino, because they spoke Spanish.  And this is the thing that we were opposed to.

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  I thought—I thought Maywood was overwhelmingly Latino. 

AGUIRRE:  Yes, it is overwhelmingly Latino.

CARLSON:  Right.  At least 80 percent. 

AGUIRRE:  That’s exactly why we wanted to—because they were targeting—you’re targeting the majority of the people that live and work in the city, honest, hard working people.  And we wanted to ensure that this did not happen any longer. 

CARLSON:  Honest, hard working people, but people who are also breaking the law by definition.  Correct?  A large percentage of the population is here illegally. 

AGUIRRE:  There’s a lot of—there’s a lot of laws that are being broken, you know, in the United States, and this has been a minor technicality.  If the law enforcement, the United States law enforcement, wants to do something with people breaking the law, consider it so and do it.  But don’t enforce that—don’t give that power to the cities.  Cities don’t have any right to enforce immigration law, and that’s why we... 

CARLSON:  Wait.  Of course they do.  Of course they do. 

AGUIRRE:  No, they don’t.

CARLSON:  Yes, they do.  Slow down.  Yes, they do.  Immigration law is federal law. 

AGUIRRE:  Federal law is federal law.  We’re not immigration agents. 

We’re not supposed to be immigration agents.

CARLSON:   If you see—sir, just to—I mean, you know, you are an elected official.  I would think you would know the law.  If you see a law being broken in the United States, whether it’s a federal law or a local law, if you’re a sworn law enforcement officer, it seems to me, you have an obligation, certainly a right to enforce it. 

But here’s my question.  You’ve clearly set up your city as a sanctuary for people who are breaking the law by being here illegally.  The rest of the state and the rest of the country are paying for that.  You say, “It’s fine to live in our city illegally”, but the state of California has to pay for medical care, for instance.    

AGUIRRE:  We’re not the only city that’s doing it.  Many other cities...

CARLSON:  Let’s talk about your city since you’re the vice mayor of the city. 

AGUIRRE:  Right.

CARLSON:  So...

AGUIRRE:  What I’m saying to you is that we took a law that was being applied unfairly, and we said we’re going to be stop this type of practice.  We’re going to roll back this type of law, and we’re going to be more friendly to the people that live and work in our city. 

CARLSON:  OK.

AGUIRRE:  We’re going to recognize the contributions of immigrants. 

Because this thing of legality has to stop.  No human being is illegal.  Human beings have the right to be where they’re at, because you know, the market... 

CARLSON:  They have a right to be wherever they want?

AGUIRRE:  They’re—you know, the markets lets the people be here. 

The economics want people to be here.  You know, if they want immigrants to come to this country.

CARLSON:  So in other words, as long as a business—hold on.  As long as a business wants something, it should be legal?  Is that what you’re saying? 

AGUIRRE:  No.

CARLSON:  As long as somebody wants to do something, it ought to be legal?  And by the way, everybody appreciates the contribution of immigrants, me included.  We’re talking illegal immigrants. 

AGUIRRE:  Let’s talk about reality, because every immigrant that came to the United States was illegal at one time or another. 

CARLSON:  That’s not true.  That’s completely untrue.

AGUIRRE:  Definitely true.

CARLSON:  This country is filled with immigrants who just got here legally, people who waited for years in African nations to get here, who played by the rules. 

AGUIRRE:  Let’s talk about that line.  That line has been broken so many times since 1976 that if people were standing in line in 1976, the line has been broken, the law has been changed.  The rules have been changed.  And immigrants are really frustrated of waiting for the law to come to them. 

CARLSON:  Of course they are.  And I understand why they are.  It’s just troubling to me to see the vice mayor of a city openly advocating people break the law. 

AGUIRRE:  No, we’re not advocating anybody breaking the law. 

CARLSON:  Of course, you are. 

AGUIRRE:  No, we’re not.  We’re not advocating anybody breaking the law, if anybody breaks the law in our city, they will be arrested.  They will be prosecuted. 

CARLSON:  That’s not true.  Your city is filled—by your own admission, your city is filled with people—many people, thousands of people, breaking the law by definition, and you’re doing nothing about it. 

AGUIRRE:  That’s the United States of America.  This is not only Maywood, this is Los Angeles Country, this is New York City, this is Florida.  This is happening in many cities cross this country.  Wake up and smell the coffee, you know.

CARLSON:  All right. 

AGUIRRE:  The people are here are working; they’re contributing.  We need to recognize this.  Let’s take this debate...

CARLSON:  It’s not them I’m attacking, Mr. Vice Mayor.  It’s you.  I don’t think it’s their fault.  I think it’s yours.

But I appreciate your coming on and explaining it to us.  Anyway, Felipe Aguirre, thank you very much. 

AGUIRRE:  You’re welcome. 

CARLSON:  Time now for our “Under the Radar segment, where every night we’ll bring you stories you may not have seen on television or read about online yet.  We hope to bring you these stories first, and we can do that because we’re live at 11.

For instance, did you know that three states, Florida, South Dakota and Indiana, now allow citizens to defend themselves with deadly force?  Just today, Indiana governor today it has been signed a bill into law that permits citizens to shoot first if they believe they’re about to be murdered or raped or assaulted.  Fifteen other states are currently considering the so-called “stand your ground” bills, including the state of Alabama.

Ronald Jackson is the executive director of People United.  That’s a liberal advocacy group based in Alabama that strongly disapproves of these laws.  Mr. Jackson joins us tonight from Birmingham.

Mr. Jackson, thanks for coming on. 

RONALD JACKSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PEOPLE UNITED:  Thank you for having us on this critically important issue.

CARLSON:  Well, thank you. 

I don’t understand what the problem is with allowing people to do what they have a moral right to do.  And that’s to protect themselves.  If I think someone is going to harm me, injure me, why should I have to wait until I’m injured to fight back?  I shouldn’t, should I?

JACKSON:  Well, for decades Alabama laws have given all of us the right of self defense.  The difference with this legislation stand your ground, shoot first so-called castle bill in Alabama is that it attempts to fix a problem where it does not exist. 

Alabama is not a retreat state in your home.  Our laws permit one to stand their ground now.  So this pernicious legislation, which would provide absolute immunity from arrest, prosecution or civil liability and damages if someone perceives that they are in danger, versus the standard common law and the statutory provisions in this state, which simply is reason and common sense and respect for law, that is mere fear is not enough to kill. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  Nobody—and I don’t think the law does either; I just read it, the bill—is claiming that fear is deadly, but the perception—the perception that you’re going to be injured is the only thing to go on.  If someone comes at me with a knife or a gun, I have at that point, only fear and the perception of threat.  But it doesn’t make it any less real. 

And why is it fair if someone is going to hurt me and I hurt them first—I act in self defense, in other words—for me to have to deal with having my life destroyed by a lawsuit filed by him or his relatives?  I mean, that’s awfully unfair, isn’t it?  Isn’t a good thing I’m protected from that by this law?

JACKSON:  If you’ve read House bill one or Senate bill 283, the fact situation that you present does not meet those bills.  It only talks about, quote, “threat.” 

A gun in your hand, a knife in your hand as a perpetrator is far different from someone such as a kid in Ohio who was killed today for walking on a lawn or in Birmingham yesterday, where a woman was shot at a child day care center because a woman was attacking her out of fear. 

CARLSON:  Well, sure—but surely, Mr. Jackson, hold on—let’s just be fair here.  Surely, the example you gave about the man in Ohio who clearly us deranged, shooting a boy for walking across a lawn, has nothing at all to do with this law.  I mean, that man acted in a way that no one would defend, that this law would not protect.  It has nothing to do with this law at all.

JACKSON:  Then you tell me the distinction between someone who hears someone walking across his or her lawn at night and then grabbing a firearm and unthinkingly shooting. 

This bill—and what about the exemption from then, the immunity provisions under our current common law self-defense provisions.  It is an affirmative defense and not immunity. 

What about law enforcement officers working undercover drug deals?  When these drug thugs, as our district attorney in Jefferson County said, find out one of these guys may be a cop; this is going to be a license to kill with immunity. 

So when our district attorneys say that this is the worst legislation he has ever seen in 30 years, and that this is a license to kill, every common since Alabamian better take heed.  Even a simple road rage incident, as we call it now, changing lanes without a signal potentially could be perceived as a threat. 

CARLSON:  I hardly think—I hardly think that someone who murdered a man because of road rage would be protected by this law.  And I think you know that, as well.

JACKSON:  Who defines murder?  Under this bill, you couldn’t even arrest a person if you, with all the logic and reason you now possess, think it might be.  Have you read the bill?

CARLSON:  Yes, I certainly have.  And it suggests to me that criminals would be much less likely to go after people if they thought the person they were going after was capable and legally empowered to shoot them.  I mean, right?

JACKSON:  The only problem with that surmise that you’ve made is that the empirical data does prove it so.  For example... 

CARLSON:  Wait, this bill isn’t law, so there is no empirical data on this law. 

JACKSON:  Yes, there is.  There’s plenty of research that has been done by the Johns Hopkins Public Health Center.  That study there has shown that there is no empirical data, for example, how much has crime dropped in Florida since last year when they passed this law. 

CARLSON:  Since last year?

JACKSON:  This is not a deterrent. 

CARLSON:  Any social scientist who tells you he can do a meaningful study on the effect of a law in a year is—you know, has probably got a bridge to sell you.  That’s just not right. 

JACKSON:  Let’s use David Barber, who is the district attorney of Jefferson County, who not only has social science empirical data but he has the experience of prosecuting the kinds of fact situations that you talked about.  These law enforcement people are trembling in their boots. 

CARLSON:  Well, I bet they are.  Because you know what?  I’m going to tell you a secret, Mr. Jackson, I’m sure you’re aware of.  And that is a lot of law enforcement people, as you put it, don’t want the public to have guns.  They don’t.  They see it as their job to...

JACKSON:  Now, that isn’t true.

CARLSON:  That is absolutely true.  They say it is their job to carry the guns and our jobs to obey.  And you know, that’s their point of view, and they’re entitled to it, but I respectfully disagree with that. 

JACKSON:  Obviously, you don’t live in Alabama, where we have a strong concealed weapons law. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

JACKSON:  That permits are issued before they’re going north (ph).

The problem in this nation is that we have too much violence, too much gunfire.  We need less violence.

CARLSON:  Yes.  From the bad guys.  It would be nice to have it from the good guys.  That’s my view.  I can tell you don’t agree, but unfortunately we’re sadly out of time.  But I appreciate your explaining your perspective on this very much. 

JACKSON:  Well, thank you very kindly also. 

CARLSON:  Thanks.

Still to come, the war in Iraq, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Dubai ports debacle, all of these situations put President Bush on the spot.  But is manliness actually his biggest problem?  That’s the claim.

Plus, former middle school teacher Debra LaFave claims bipolar disorder made her have sex with a 14-year-old student.  That defense also kept her out of prison.  That topic is up for debate when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still ahead, we’ll question the manliness of President Bush.  Plus, should 5-year-old kids be learning about AIDS in the classroom?  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  If I didn’t believe we could succeed, we wouldn’t be there.  I wouldn’t put those kids there.  It’s—I meet with too many families who have lost a loved one to not be able to look them in the eye and say we’re doing the right thing.  And we are doing the right thing. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  That was President Bush batting away one of the many tough questions on Iraq at a White House news conference this morning.  The commander in chief said, quote, “Future presidents will decide when U.S.  troops come home.”  But on a more positive note, he said Iraq           has not plunged into a civil war, at least not yet. 

The columnist from the Washington Post suggested in print today that the president’s problem is manliness, too much of it.  He’s too macho for his own good and for our own good.  True?  Let’s ask our old pal, Rachel Maddow, from Air America Radio—Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST:  When we think manliness, we think Rachel Maddow.  I know how it goes. 

CARLSON:  That’s very good. 

MADDOW:  America is with you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  You caught me off guard, but that’s very clever.

This all stems from a book by Harvey Mansfield, a well-known government professor at Harvard, conservative.  And the new book is called “Manliness.”

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  And there’s been a kind of hostile response to this book, and a pretty smart, I’d have to say funny, column in the “Washington Post” today.  Ruth Marcus points out her position, which is Bush is already too manly, and that’s the problem.  He’s got too much manliness.

MADDOW:  yes.

CARLSON:  I actually think just the opposite.  I think Bush is a baby boomer kind of Alan Alda figure who’s always talking about his feelings and his heart and his compassion.  I don’t want to hear about your feelings any more, buddy.

Bottom line, anybody who would take seriously Karen Hughes is not a manly guy.  OK?  Bush is not too manly.

MADDOW:  I think that it is dangerous to the idea of manliness to pin it on George W. Bush. 

For me it’s like this book coming out right now, it’s kind of like you when you have a job interview, right at the end of the job interview, they’ll often say, “That’s all great, Tucker, but tell us about what your weakness are.  Tell us the one thing you don’t do great.”

And it’s this trick in the job interview.

CARLSON:  I hate that.

MADDOW:  And you’re supposed to—the wrong answer is I have no weaknesses.  The right answer is to say, “Sometimes I get so passionate about my job that I work too hard.”

CARLSON:  I care too much. 

MADDOW:  I care too much. 

CARLSON:  I don’t get enough me time, right.

MADDOW:  It’s this trick where you’re supposed to come up with a criticism that actually makes you look good.

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  And so with Bush at 34 percent approval rating, one of the most reviled presidents in U.S. history, we get this book that comes out and says the reason he’s hated, the reason he does these things that we don’t like is because he’s too much of a man.  He’s too virtuous.  He’s too strong for America. 

You know what?  He’s incompetent.  It has nothing to do with manliness.

CARLSON:  I actually think it’s a failure of manliness that is our problem.  In Iraq, an effective imperial power, say Victorian England, goes into a country and says, “Look, I’m sorry.  You can no longer throw widows on the funeral pyre, for instance, as they did in India. 

If we go into Iraq and Afghanistan and say we’re going to blow up a lot of things, but you can re-erect and Islamic state if you want, because who are we to say what, you know, your beliefs are.  If we were manly, we’d say, “I’m sorry.  You’re not allowed to be Islamic wackos anymore.  Because that’s unacceptable.”

MADDOW:  But what our position is, at this point, this is the administration.  The problem with it is that no matter what they said, they would not be able to effect that change that they wanted.  If they wanted to say you can’t have an Islamic state, what could they do about it?  They’re the gang that can’t shoot straight.  Incompetence is the problem here, and it has nothing to do with how assertive they are. 

CARLSON:  I disagree.  They can start with insisting that the constitutions of these two countries be secular.  And we haven’t.  We’ve allowed both of them to be based, essentially, on Sharia law or to say overtly nothing in the constitution can contradict Islam.  And that’s a huge mistake.

MADDOW:  Well, if you—if you look at the issue of Afghanistan, for example, we declared victory in Afghanistan, just like we declared victory in Iraq.  And then we left and moved on to other things.

Literally, these specific guys, the specific Special Ops guys who were looking for Osama bin Laden, were reassigned to go look for Saddam.  Just a job that was never finished.  Like all the other jobs that were never finished.  Like all of the putting the pedal to the medal stuff that needed to happen.  That just never happened.  They never connected.  They never executed.  That’s the problem. 

CARLSON:  So you’re making my point for me.  We need a manly president.  That’s why I’m for...

MADDOW:  We need an effective president.  I don’t care if it’s a woman.  I don’t care if it’s Hillary.  I don’t care if it’s me.  We just need somebody who can get something done.

CARLSON:  We need a manly president.  Rachel Maddow, thank you.

MADDOW:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Still to come, 5-year-olds barely know how to tie a shoelace.  Should we really be teaching them about HIV?  It is happening in New York, no matter what we think of it.  But we’ll talk about it anyway, next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH:  Helen, after that brilliant performance at the Grid Iron, I am...

HELEN THOMAS, JOURNALIST:  You’re going to be sorry. 

BUSH:  Will they let me take it back?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Long before we were born, Helen Thomas was a news reporter based at the White House, or so they claim.  And at some point, many years ago, she decided to go into the opinion business, and she’s been there every since. 

The most recent outburst came today when she barked at President Bush during a news conference, but it was only the latest.  In tonight’s top five list, we give you our favorite Helen Thomas bloviating in the briefing room moments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) 

CARLSON (voice-over):  Thomas has been hanging around the White House briefing room for more than four decades, starting with the Kennedy administration.  Whatever you think about her questionable skills as a journalist, she isn’t shy. 

THOMAS:  Where is the president on taking of innocent lives?

CARLSON:  Round one, January 6, 2003.  Thomas lands a hard blow on former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, questioning the president’s call to arms. 

THOMAS:  All innocent lives in the world?

CARLSON:  Round two, March 5, 2003.  Thomas still has Fleischer on the ropes.

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  One of the best ways to protect the homeland is to go after the threats abroad. 

THOMAS:  You have linked terrorism to Saddam Hussein in terms of 9/11.

FLEISCHER:  It’s not.

CARLSON:  Round three, February 6, 2006.  Facing a new challenger, Thomas socks it to the White House again, this time over the matter of the president’s warrantless domestic spying program. 

THOMAS:  He put his hand on the Bible twice to uphold the Constitution. 

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Helen, I think you have to ask—you have to ask, are we—he’s not—are we a nation at war?  We going to continue doing everything we can within our power to protect the American people. 

Round four, March 16, 2006.  White House press secretary Scott McClellan faces a rematch. 

MCCLELLAN:  What September 11 taught us...

THOMAS:  It says in the paper today is war.  And a preemptive war. 

MCCLELLAN:  I would like to finish responding to your question, because I think it’s important. 

CARLSON:  Round five, March 21, 2006.  Thomas confronts her toughest opponent. 

THOMAS:  Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis.  My question is why did you really want to go to war?

BUSH:  To assume I wanted to war is just flat wrong, Helen, with all due respect. 

THOMAS:  Winner this round?  No one’s throwing in the towel just yet. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  She’s every bit as charming as she looks. 

We told you about the case of Abdul Rahman, an Afghan man on trial for his life before a court in Kabul.  His crime: converting to Christianity.  Four years after the fall of Taliban, believing in any faith but Islam is still a capital offense in Afghanistan.  You can be killed for it, and Abdul Rahman may well be.

Today, reporters asked State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns about the case.  Burns’ reply was “From an American point of view people should be free to choose their own religion.” 

From an American point of view.  As if the right to believe in your own faith is merely an American cultural tick, like wearing low-rise jeans or drinking Diet Coke. 

In fact, freedom of religion is a human right, one of the human rights we’re supposedly fighting for in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Radical intolerant Islam, the kind that would murder Abdul Rahman just for being a Christian, is our blood enemy in that fight.

So while pining about freedom of religion isn’t good enough in this case, not nearly good enough.  In fact, it’s time for the U.S. government to save Abdul Rahman’s life. 

We liberated Afghanistan.  We currently occupy it.  And for the memory of the 278 American soldiers who have died there, let’s make certain that place doesn’t return to what it was. 

Well, still to come, a teacher admits to having sex with a student.  So why are the prosecutors dropping the charges against her?  Could good looks be a factor in that decision?  We’ll debate it when THE SITUATION returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, middle school teacher Debra LaFave blames bipolar for her sexual romp with a 14-year-old. 

But should teachers be paid on their students’ performance?  We’ll tell you in just a moment.  First, here’s a look at what else is going on in the world tonight.

(NEWSBREAK)

CARLSON:  Here’s a story that might get you bothered.  Do 5 year olds really need to learn about AIDS and HIV?  Well, in New York state, the answer is yes.  Officials, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, are mandating an HIV curriculum, even for kindergartners.

Here to tell us why she thinks the program, which was rolled out yesterday, is a good idea is Kacie Winsor.  She’s the director of state and local affairs for the New York AIDS Coalition.  She joins us tonight from New York. 

Kacie Winsor, thanks for coming on.

KACIE WINSOR, DIRECTOR OF STATE AND LOCAL AFFAIRS, NEW YORK AIDS

COALITION:  You’re welcome, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Kindergartners are way, way too young to understand anything about HIV.  Why—why would you want to teach them about it?

WINSOR:  Well, first, I just want to clarify.  There’s been a lot of misconception around this curriculum.  It’s actually been on the books for about 10 years, the mandates that the city has been going through with.  There’s a mandate that there’s supposed to be six lessens for grades seven through 12 and five for grades K through six.  So this is nothing new, though a lot of people are jumping on the band wagon and would like to believe so. 

CARLSON:  It’s nothing new for kindergartners?

WINSOR:  No, no.  It’s been on the books.  And it’s actually been happening.

It’s—the only change that has happened is that the Department of Education has made much more of an effort to make the information more medically accurate and more up to date and more youth friendly, which we applaud them for.  We’re very happy for that.

But hose changes are actually more for grades four and above. 

CARLSON:  I don’t think—I mean, if it’s a bad idea, it’s a bad idea now.  It was a bad idea 10 years ago when it began.  Explain to me why kindergartners, who can’t, again, possibly understand, really, anything about HIV should be taught about it. 

WINSOR:  Well, as I said to other people, actually, when they discuss HIV in the kindergarten.  It’s placed in the larger context of a health curriculum. 

And so it’s talking more about HIV as a germ.  And it’s talking more about sanitation and hygiene, you know, that it’s important to wash your hands and that—not to, you know, come into contact with other people’s blood. 

It’s not talking about, really, the ways to catch HIV.  That comes later.  But it’s our position that you need to educate early and often.  And so actually mentioning HIV at that very young age, while certainly, they don’t understand the full content of it, they’ll be familiar with the term so that in later years, it’s not such a shock as when they hear “HIV”. 

CARLSON:  HIV is hardly the biggest killer in this country or any other that I’m aware of.  Lung cancer kills far more people, for instance, than HIV.  Lung cancer is, by and large, preventable.  You don’t smoke; you don’t get it most of the time.

WINSOR:  For sure.  Of course, in New York City. 

CARLSON:  Of all the diseases out there, why is it AIDS?  I’m looking at a copy of the New York City lesson plan here for the kindergarten.  AIDS is focused on to the exclusions of any other disease that I can see. 

WINSOR:  Well, actually to the credit of the Department of Education, they’ve been successful in decreasing, you know, the prevalence of smoking. 

But to address HIV issue, actually, HIV is becoming much more prevalent among young people below the age of 25. 

CARLSON:  But so is tuberculosis. I mean...

WINSOR:  Yes, but according to the CDC standards, at least across the country, over half of all new HIV infections are happening below the age of 25 and we know that more of those infections are actually happening, more than likely, for people in high school. 

We also know on the New York City level, that at least 15,000 of our youth report having had sex by the age of 14. 

CARLSON:  OK.  So if AIDS is scary and HIV is so scary, and in my view it is, I’m looking at this lesson plan.  And there’s one lesson it seeks to teach kindergartners about HIV, and I’m reading it. 

“HIV and AIDS are hard to get.”  That’s the object of this lesson.  HIV is not easy to get, it says again.  Have the doctors—kids are supposed to play doctors—explain to patients why HIV is so hard to get. 

Why, if AIDS is so bad and so scary, is the whole point of this lesson to teach kindergartners that it’s so hard to get?  To teach them not to be afraid of it?  I don’t get this at all.

WINSOR:  Actually, the point isn’t, you know, to emphasize that HIV is scary.  The point is to provide them with this information so they can make healthy and informed decisions. 

CARLSON:  Why do they need to know—why are they being told three different times in one lesson plan that it’s hard to get?  What is the point of that?

WINSOR:  Because it’s an attempt to differentiate HIV from other diseases, like tuberculosis or airborne diseases.

CARLSON:  But those diseases aren’t mentioned in this lesson plan. 

I mean, look, if AIDS is scary enough that we need to teach kindergartners about it—and by definition, it would have to be very scary in order to bother little kids with the specter of it—why are we teaching them again and again and again that it’s so hard to get?  I mean, what is—what’s the lesson here?  What message are we trying to get across?

WINSOR:  Well, I also think it’s difficult to discus one particular lesson placed out of the context of the entire curriculum.  I mean, you can talk about one example, but you really need to look at the entire package in order to really make an informed comment on exactly what the young people are learning. 

CARLSON:  I’ve got the lessen plan right in front of me, and I think it’s accurate.  I actually got it from someone who’s related to a New York City teacher.  And she verified this is, in fact, what she has received. 

And again—and you’re not answering my question.  Maybe you don’t know the answer.  But why—why reinforce the message that it’s so hard to get?  I’m honestly confused.  What is the point of that? 

In fact, in some cases, it’s not all that hard to get.  But why are we telling our kids that?  Why are we so intent on telling them that?

WINSOR:  Well, I don’t think that there’s much—so much of a focus on that.  I mean, I know you say that it’s mentioned, you know, several times throughout.  But I would actually say, as I said before, the point is to differentiate that from other diseases and also to in some cases decrease fear around this—around this disease. 

The point of, you know, having such a focus, the (INAUDIBLE) having such a focus on HIV is because of the rates, the alarming rates of new infections. 

CARLSON:  So the rates are alarming, but we should decrease fear about them?

WINSOR:  Decrease fear.

CARLSON:  Well, that doesn’t make sense at all.

WINSOR:  Decrease stigmatization around the disease, which fear is equally linked to. 

We want to—and we’ve made much more of an effort to facilitate more communication between young people and parents and kids. 

CARLSON:  So tell kids about something they’ve never heard of before.  That is scary.  But tell them it’s not scared so they won’t be scared of something that’s scary enough we have to tell them about it.  I wish we had a longer show, because I’d love to understand that.  Unfortunately, we don’t.

WINSOR:  Yes, me too. 

CARLSON:  Kacie, thanks a lot for joining us.

WINSOR:  No problem.

CARLSON:  Kacie Winsor. 

We turn now to a man raised and educated in New York City- and it shows.  He is “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  And I remember Ms. P. Miller’s class in 1981.  We were learning about global warming, Tucker.  How’s that for the curriculum in the 1980s?

CARLSON:  Poor you, Max.  I feel sorry for you.

KELLERMAN:  They told us everything would be under water by now. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Well, I grew up in Southern California.  I thought we were all going to be dead from nuclear holocaust.  So I guess we were both unhappy childhoods in school.

Well, America’s favorite student-seducing teacher is a free woman tonight.  Prosecutors in Florida dropped charges against Debra LaFave, the former teacher accused of having sex several times with one of her 14-year-old middle school students.  The prosecutor and the boy’s family dropped the case in order to spare the boy the pain of going through a trial. 

Well, LaFave announced today she has bipolar disorder.  She offered an apology. 

DEBRA LAFAVE, FORMER TEACHER:  I am very remorseful.  And I believe that I’m going through therapy and doing everything that I can possible to better myself to better myself for the community and society. 

CARLSON:  LaFave will not be going to jail after all.  I say justice is served.  Max, I suspect, doesn’t agree.  I’ll be interested to see you defend the notion that Debra LaFave ought to go to prison for what exactly?

KELLERMAN:  Me, too.  I’d be interested in seeing me do this, too.

First of all, if I would have known that this is bipolar disorder as a kid, any hot teacher I ever had, excuse me, do you have bipolar Disorder.  It’s possible.  I think you might have it.  My dad’s a shrink.

Look, why is the prosecution dropping this case?  Because they don’t want to put—that’s the only reason she’s not going to jail.  Let’s face it.  You know, I mean, if she’s on trial and she broke the law, there’s a chance she goes to jail. 

No chance of that now; dropping the case.  Why?  Because they don’t want to put the kid through the ordeal of the trial?  Tucker, a kid who was 14 slept with his hot teacher.  An ordeal of a trial?  They’re denying him his moment in the sun.  All the details come out.

CARLSON:  I agree.  I think he is the one who may be struggling with some mental disorder. 

But look, all—all the people who commit sex crimes who are not in jail, who prey on actual children, not teenaged boys.  But I mean, you know, children.  People who destroy the lives of kids through their sex crimes.  People who greet strangers.

KELLERMAN:  Who’s not in jail?  If they’re not caught.  If they’re caught, they’re going to jail, if they’re raping kids, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Not long enough.  As I think we’ve seen, you know, in other programs on this very network, there are people who commit actual sex crimes against preteen children who don’t serve jail time or negligible jail time. 

KELLERMAN:  However, that’s not the reason.

CARLSON:  I don’t want to clog our prisons with people like Debra LaFave.

KELLERMAN:  Yes, but that’s not the reason because stings are botched in one area to botch them again.  The fact is, had they prosecuted her and had broken the law, she broke the law.  Unfortunately, that’s the law. 

If you’re 14 years old and you’re a guy and you sleep with your teacher, consensually.  Apparently, you can’t give consent at 14 as a guy.  Which is, you know, most 14-year-old boys would obviously give consent.  And it would appear this kid did.  But that’s the law.  If you don’t like it change the law.

CARLSON:  I’ve seen that consent given. 

KELLERMAN:  This is your illegal immigration immigrant—argument. 

Change the law. 

CARLSON:  It’s not all fun and games in the classrooms.  Now for some slightly less salacious news from the school arena. 

A new policy being adopted by school districts in Florida directly ties teachers’ raises and bonuses to the performances of their students on standardized tests.  Advocates say the plan awards teachers for performance rather than for tenure.  Critics say the exam does not measure how much a teacher has inspired his students. 

I’m all for rewarding teachers whose students do well on tests.  Max, first we give the money right to the teachers union.  I don’t think these tests are a perfect measure of what kids learn, obviously, but they are some measure.  And we ought to have some way of measuring whether these teachers are doing a good job, because the job they do is so vitally important. 

Why not reward teachers who can show that they are teaching their students.  That’s a good thing.

KELLERMAN:  Unfortunately, this does not take into account—there’s no formula that weighs the socioeconomic background of the kids or the neighborhood that they’re in that helps to adjust for the fact that, in poorer neighborhoods, the results will be worse and therefore, the teachers will make less money. 

Now right now...

CARLSON:  You can have a relative measures.  You could say, look the test scores for this—for your class have been here at this level.  Raise them up and you get a bonus. 

KELLERMAN:  You know what the real problem is, Tucker?  And by the way, the argument, just to finish that argument is private schools, suburbs, more pleasant, less money. 

Now you’re also going to give them more money, and you have worse teachers in worse areas where they really need good teachers.  But here’s the real point.  What is actually most correlated with test scores and academic success and success in life?  Is it the teachers’ lesson plan?  No.  It’s the interest of the parents. 

And unfortunately, in many impoverished areas, the parents are in fact, maybe partly because they’re working three jobs and don’t have the same kind of time or resources. 

CARLSON:  Or not working at all. 

KELLERMAN:  And that’s the real shame when they’re not working at all and they’re not interested in their kid’s school but tend to be less interested in their kids’ academic life.  And therefore the kids don’t do well, and the teacher is going to have very little effect on that, by and large. 

CARLSON:  And yet, teachers still have to try to have an effect on them.  Their job is to try to have an effect on that.  And when they do, they ought to be rewarded for it. 

And frankly, if there are teachers who aren’t doing a good job, and I know it’s hard to imagine, but possibly there are some, they ought to be penalized for it.  I mean, they ought to be subject to the same forces and incentives that everybody else in society is subject to. 

KELLERMAN:  Agreed.

CARLSON:  All right.

KELLERMAN:  How do you like that?

CARLSON:  Wow.  I feel a victory.  I feel you’re coming around, Max. 

We’re making some progress here.  Thank you. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Max Kellerman.

Coming up on THE SITUATION, the crystal meth epidemic has touched nearly every corner of this country.  Now it’s touching every age group, too.  The shocking trend of baby boomers hooked on meth when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER:  Coming up, the crystal meth problem takes another alarming turn.  Plus, what happens when a drunk guy enters a tiger cage?  You’ll just have to wait and see.

CARLSON:  We hope you will wait and see.  It will be worth it.  We’ll be back in just 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Crystal methamphetamine isn’t good for you at any age.  The wildly popular and wildly dangerous synthetic drug rots your teeth, causes you to lose a lot of weight and gives you hallucinations, among many other things. 

But crystal meth is especially bad for older people.  And studies show or purport to show more and more of them are using the drug.  Baby Boomers are apparently the latest group to catch onto the meth craze.

Matt Farnsworth wrote, directed and started in last year’s film, “Iowa”.  It’s a movie about the crystal meth epidemic in the Midwest.  Mr.  Farnsworth is something of an expert on the subject.  He joins us live tonight from New York.  Matt Farnsworth, thanks for coming on.

MATT FARNSWORTH, DIRECTOR/ACTOR:  Thank you for having me.               

CARLSON:  So do you buy this, that older people are getting into meth?

FARNSWORTH:  I think that’s potentially possible, I guess, yes.  It keeps you up, you know, days at a time.  If you’re a party-goer, I guess, at that age.  I don’t know.  I haven’t dealt with it a lot with that age group. 

CARLSON:  I think of meth—at least, when I was in California, thought of meth as something that was produced by biker gangs, right, by the Hell’s Angels, for long-haul truck drivers. 

FARNSWORTH:  This is true.  This is true.  But that trend has changed, you know.  You can find how to make this now on the Internet.  And there’s books that show you how.  And there’s many kids that have access now in the Midwest to chemicals to make this stuff. 

CARLSON:  What is the appeal of it?  I mean, why all of a sudden from this kind of esoteric drug mostly in California to this drug that’s just completely overtaken parts of the Middle West in, you know, 10 years.  What happened?

FARNSWORTH:  It’s easy to make.  I think that it’s also cheap.  It’s different than—it’s different than cocaine, you know.  One hit of this stuff, and you are hooked.  You know if you smoke this or you inject this drug, you will probably never quit this drug.  You will not recover. 

I think six percent of people who actually do smoke this or inject this drug do not recover. 

CARLSON:  Is it still as easy to get and easy to make as it once was?  You hear these—about laws passed in various states, making it more difficult to get over the counter cold medicine that is used to make crystal meth.  Has that had any effect at all?

FARNSWORTH:  Here’s my latest knowledge.  To my knowledge, the pills being taken off the shelves have helped.  But now they’ve figured out a new way to make the drug, and it’s now in the form of ice, which is a crystallized version that when you smoke it, it’s reusable.  So it returns to its crystallized state after it’s smoked.  And this is obviously—I think it’s a stronger form.  So they figured out how to do something else now. 

CARLSON:  So they’re not—people who make meth, meth manufacturers no reliant on cold medicine to make it?

FARNSWORTH:  Well, it’s not just manufacturers.  It’s mom and pops. 

CARLSON:  Right.

FARNSWORTH:  You know, we interviewed a girl who was burned over 60 percent of her body in a rolling methamphetamine lab.  My wife and I, Diane Foster, we interviewed this girl over a four-year period.  And she continued to use meth, even after her near-death experience. 

CARLSON:  What is it for people who have—we’ve been—as we’ve been talking, putting on the screen a display, faces of meth, pictures taken by a sheriff’s department, I believe, in Colorado, kind of before and after.  The first arrest and then some months or years later and the effects of crystal meth on people’s bodies.  Tell us, what does it do to you physically?

FARNSWORTH:  Physically, you saw that.  It rots your teeth.  It ruins your metabolism.  It destroys your lungs.  It causes sleep deprivation, which essentially causes hallucinations.  It causes you to react violently, homicidal thoughts, anxiety, restlessness.  It’s a very difficult drug to come down off of. 

CARLSON:  Are—are the effects on the brain permanent?

FARNSWORTH:  You know, I don’t know that they have enough research to know.  The drug has only been big since about ‘93.  So it’s unlike—unlike with alcohol and marijuana, we don’t really know.  We don’t have studies.  But we know that it is spreading.  And it is now in pandemic state in Ottumwa.  It’s no longer just an epidemic.  It’s apparently gone from epidemic to pandemic.  So it’s very serious.

CARLSON:  The movie is “Iowa”.  Matt Farnsworth wrote, directed and starred in it.  It opens 10 days from today on March 31.  Matt Farnsworth, thanks a lot for joining us.

FARNSWORTH:  Check out IowaTheFilm.com, too. 

CARLSON:  IowaTheFilm.com.

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, the Godfather makes an offer we can’t refuse from beyond the grave.  Why Don Corleone was still running the and why some people wish he wouldn’t.  Details live on “The Cutting Room Floor,” next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”  And you know what that means: Willie Geist is here. 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Hello, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Willie, before—I want to say to our viewers, before you send me hundreds of outraged e-mails calling me a moron for referring to “The Godfather’s” family as the Corleone family, I know it’s the Corleone family.  It’s just, you know, it’s late.  My eyes failed me.  I’m not—I am a bit of a moron, but I actually knew that. 

GEIST:  Tucker Carlson, don’t worry about that. 

Quick special treat for you, before we get into this.  Incredible video out of South Carolina.  Cat stuck in a tree for eight days.  The fire department goes up to rescue him.  Takes his own way out.  Look at that.  Eighty feet to the ground.

CARLSON:  No!

GEIST:  The good news: the cat got up, scampered away, not injured. 

The family—it hid under a car for an hour or two.

CARLSON:  For real?

GEIST:  And the kid—yes, the family got the cat back.  He’s totally fine. 

CARLSON:  That is so cool.

GEIST:  Eighty feet to the ground.

CARLSON:  That is so cool.

They say that families that pray together, stay together.  I’m not sure about what they say about the family that jumps through fiery hoops and gets run over by tractors together, but they ought to say something.

This Indian family has been performing together for generations.  The act features brothers lifting bicycles and pulling trucks with their hair.

GEIST:  Wow.

CARLSON:  Breaking rocks with their heads and, or course, being run over by a tractor. 

GEIST:  Wow.  That’s a talent.  That’s a gift. You’re born with that.  You can’t learn that.  Look at that.  The fellows appear to be performing at a barbecue in their back yard.  You’d think talent like that would draw a little bit of a bigger crowd. 

How do you discover the talent of being run over by a tractor?

CARLSON:  I don’t know. 

GEIST:  Is it born from a horrible farming accident?  And you say, “You know what?  Wait a minute.  That didn’t hurt.  Let’s take this on the road.”

CARLSON:  What does not kill me makes me into a good side show act. 

GEIST:  That’s right.

CARLSON:  “The Godfather” has made an offer videogame geeks cannot refuse.  The highly anticipated game “The Godfather” was released today for PlayStation 2 and Xbox.  It loosely follows the story line of the classic “Godfather” movies and features the real voices of Marlon Brando, James Caan and Robert Duvall.  Frances Coppola directed the film, and he says he no longer is involved with the game.

He and “Godfather” purists are not happy at all the movie has been turned into a videogame.

GEIST:  You getting this on PlayStation or Xbox?  Both. 

CARLSON:  Of course.

GEIST:  PC.  These videogames are getting so realistic you almost don’t have to live your own life any more.  Why would I lead my boring life when I could lead Marlon Brando’s life as a mob boss?  God, that’s awesome.

CARLSON:  That is such a deep and sad point, Willie.  I’m just going to move right on as if you didn’t say it.

GEIST:  I don’t even play videogames, but that looks pretty cool.

CARLSON:  It will be right out.

Well, there are plenty of things you shouldn’t do while you’re blackout drunk at the county fair.  Reaching inside the cage to pet a Bengal tiger is right at the top of that list.

GEIST:  Yes.

CARLSON:  A worker at the Putman County Fair in Florida learned that lesson the hard way.  Police say the drunk man scaled a four-foot high security fence and stuck his hand in the tiger’s cage.  Not surprisingly, the tiger bit his arm until the owner stopped the attack.

GEIST:  Easy mistake.  He thought it was the petting zoo, I think, Tucker.

Of all the things to do when you’re liquored up at the fair, going over to the big cat house is not where you want to go.  Go fire up the Ferris wheel.

CARLSON:  Not this cat house, anyway.

GEIST:  Go break into the cotton candy.  Do something.  But don’t go pet the Bengal.

CARLSON:  Don’t make lewd remarks to the fat lady or the alligator boy.

GEIST:  Right.  Go breathe on children.  Do whatever you’ve got to do. 

But stay away from the big cats.

CARLSON:  You’re a wise man, Willie Geist.

GEIST:  Thank you.  See you tomorrow.

CARLSON:  That’s it for THE SITUATION tonight.  Thank you for watching.  We’ll see you back here tomorrow.  Have a great night.

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