updated 6/30/2005 9:15:05 AM ET 2005-06-30T13:15:05

Guest: Wesley Horton, Jay Severin, Rachel Maddow


TUCKER CARLSON, HOST (voice-over):  A high court low blow for homeowners.  What other surprises are in store? 

Like father, like son.  A shocking arrest sparks new questions about the mystery in Aruba. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This is just one piece of the puzzle.

CARLSON:  Should the milk and meat industry be allowed to send in the clones? 

The growing debate over the power of Scientology. 

Plus, a wild night at the local watering hole, one gate-crasher's frantic tale.  

CARLSON:  Yes, I've got a problem with authority.  I'll admit that, in a cheery way.  Not everyone likes the bow tie, I'll be honest.  But I like the bow tie.  I respect people who believe something, even if I don't agree with them.  It's my opinion, wrong as it may be.


CARLSON:  Welcome to a special Thursday night edition of THE SITUATION.  I'm Tucker Carlson. 

A lot to get to tonight, including an update on the shocking arrest in Aruba.  Plus, I'll challenge the lawyer that won the right for the government to kick you out of your own house. 

Joining me to break it all down, New England talk radio show host Jay Severin and, from the Air America Radio Network, Rachel Maddow. 




CARLSON:  First situation is a genuinely big deal.  By a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court today ruled the government can take your house away and give it to someone else, whether you like it or not. 

The precedent-setting case involved residents of New London, Connecticut, who will be forced to take compensation and leave their homes so that a new business complex can be built.  The majority, dominated by the court's liberal wing, ruled that the confiscations will benefit the city, and so they're constitutional. 

I mean, to say this is setting a bad precedent is probably the understatement of the week.  The idea that your house can be taken away by someone who thinks he can make more money on the same property is terrifying.  And the justification is just purely pragmatic in the ugliest way.  Almost seem to be broken—or eggs need to be broken to make the omelet. 

I'm struck more than anything by the fact it was the liberal wing of the Supreme Court that did this. 

SEVERIN:  I'm not, because it was revenue generating, but more about which in due course. 

This is one other most scary decisions by the United States Supreme Courts in a century.  Want to talk about an E.D. problem?  This is an E.D.  problem, eminent domain problem.  The Supreme Court abdicated its responsibility to protect average citizens from onerous local laws.  The confiscation of your home, of your property is only for a highway or a hospital or some compelling state interest, not confiscation, so that someone can build a pizza parlor that generates more taxes on your home.

CARLSON:  That's right. 

SEVERIN:  And this is—I think it befits the liberal wing of the court, simply because it was done on the basis of, the stores will generate more money for government to spend than your home will. 

MADDOW:  You can take a partisan angle on it, but there is another side to it, too, which is...


CARLSON:  Well, it's not partisan.  It's ideological.

MADDOW:  Well, to say this is a liberal problem—I mean, another way to look at this—and, yes, it was the liberal justices on the court who decided this.  But what they said was, eminent domain can't just be the public good and defined as public action. 

Sometimes, private action also has public goods.  And, therefore, we all need to get out of the way for private development that has good for the community.  I mean, it's not necessarily a left-right split.  On this case, the one, I think, silver lining here is that states can take action to protect homeowners if they want to.  And I think states will. 


CARLSON:  I think what makes it a liberal issue, in effect—and a lot of liberals I know are appalled by this—but, in the case of the court, is that it's a victory over the group over the individual.  The court is essentially saying, these people can get bent in favor of the greater good. 


CARLSON:  And that's a scary precedent. 


SEVERIN:  Traditionally, of course, the court—it's never easy, never easy call.  But the court has said, for the compelling reasons of the state, your fellow citizens, we're going to do this.  Now it's the award of property rights, yours, to another individual private citizen.

MADDOW:  Right. 

SEVERIN:  Who says, I can make more money on your home than you can. 

CARLSON:  That's right.  And if you think—if you think that is going to make people mad, next up, Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, took a shot at liberals last night at a Republican fund-raiser in New York City.  Here's what he said about the left's reaction to 9/11. 


KARL ROVE, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BUSH:  Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.  Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding to our attackers. 


CARLSON:  Well, in news of the inevitable, the Democrats senators from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut demanded a retraction and an apology.  As of this moment, the administration's response, loosely interpreted, no dice. 

You know, I don't think should you generally about left and right in general.  I know some pretty bellicose liberals.  On the other hand, it's true that the left and right did respond differently immediately to 9/11.  I spent the afternoon reading editorials written right after 9/11, for instance, in “The New York Times.”

Three days after 9/11, “The New York Times” ran an editorial unsigned, its official editorial, blaming the United States for the fact Afghanistan was in a state of disarray.  The next day, Tony Lewis (ph) wrote a column saying that, you know, we shouldn't bomb Afghanistan because we might hurt civilians.  It's just true that the right was out for blood more than the left after 9/11. 

MADDOW:  I think that's disgusting.  I think the idea that the left or liberals or...


CARLSON:  I don't care if it's disgusting.  It's true. 

MADDOW:  No, listen.  I think that liberals and Democrats and the left didn't want to go after anybody after 9/11, that we weren't mad?

CARLSON:  I'm not saying that.  I'm not saying that at all.

MADDOW:  But that's what—that's what Karl Rove is saying.  And your saying, by the fact that were concerned about how American interests contributed to what may be wrong in Afghanistan, understanding that somehow blames America?


CARLSON:  No, what I'm saying is, the right was far more bellicose after 9/11 than the left.  I think that's empirically true. 

MADDOW:  I totally disagree.  I totally disagree.  And I think...

CARLSON:  On what grounds?

MADDOW:  I disagree on the grounds that we all lived through it.  And I think that the Bush administration and the right has been trying to take credit for the unity and the anger that we all felt as a nation after 9/11. 

CARLSON:  Yes, that's true. 

MADDOW:  And they're trying to exploit it for partisan grounds.  And it's disgusting. 

CARLSON:  That's true, too.  But it doesn't change the truth of what I said originally, I don't think. 


MADDOW:  I think that—I think that you're—I think that you're looking back at it with hindsight that puts it in a partisan lens that is inappropriate.

SEVERIN:  Truth is the core here.  Like, in libel law, truth is an absolute defense.  Karl Rove said something which is, A, appropriate in a political context, but, B, it's demonstrably true.  I mean, why is this even a headline?  The left isn't as hard on national defense and not as aggressive...

MADDOW:  That's not what he said.  He said, after 9/11, liberals didn't want to go to war. 

SEVERIN:  Well, by and large, that's true.


MADDOW:  After 9/11, we wanted to give therapy to the attackers? 

SEVERIN:  It's demonstrably true.


MADDOW:  Do you think that I wanted to give therapy to the hijackers after 9/11?

SEVERIN:  I don't think that you—I don't think that you necessarily represent all liberals.  But, as a group, liberals were soft on terror and conservatives were hard on terror.


MADDOW:  That's absolutely, totally wrong. 

SEVERIN:  It's demonstrably true.

MADDOW:  It's liberal soft on terror.  On what grounds?


MADDOW:  Because we didn't sign for your war?

SEVERIN:  And, P.S., by the way, P.S., by the way, in the media, Dean can say he hates Republicans and never worked in a day in their life.

CARLSON:  All right. 

SEVERIN:  They're white Christians.  Durbin can say American soldiers are Nazis.  No outrage.  All of a sudden now that Rove says liberals are soft on terror, which is true, and they're...


MADDOW:  To say that only the right responded appropriately to 9/11 insults every American. 

CARLSON:  Well, that's a different claim. 



CARLSON:  And I don't think that's what he's making.  But I think the odds are 100 percent we're going to come back to this story. 

MADDOW:  We better. 


CARLSON:  There's a new twist tonight in the Natalee Holloway case in Aruba.  Authorities there have arrested the father of Joran Van Der Sloot, the Dutch teen who now admits he was alone with Natalee on the night she went missing.

Paul Van Der Sloot, an attorney training to be a judge in Aruba, was arrested on suspicion that he was involved in the disappearance.  Van Der Sloot's wife insists her husband was arrested because of pressure from the U.S. government and the news media to produce results.

So, somehow it's—I mean, I know people like to blame America and blame the American news media around the world.  It's hard to see how this is the fault of the American news media that he was arrested.  I have to say, it does kind of shake your faith, if one had any in the first place, in the Aruban justice system, though. 

MADDOW:  Well, but they have made the arrest.  Regardless of why they made the arrest, I think this is a really interesting development. 


MADDOW:  And it's turning out to be a criminal case and a horrible tragedy.  I'm interested to see what evidence they're able to get from him.  He's being interrogated right now, right? 

SEVERIN:  I kind of feel like we've been asked to be the speculators on the Michael Jackson verdict or something.  You know, I wasn't in the courtroom, haven't seen the evidence.

You want a suspicion?  I suspect that the father was helping the son after the fact.  But helping your son in these circumstances is not helping your son.  It's being accessory to murder, maybe, after the fact.  That and the disaster of tourism.  It could be an economic disaster for Aruba if they don't crack the case and say, it's safe for affluent American kids to come down here and party. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Well, to arrest five people and not charge them and hold them I don't think says a lot about the condition of justice in Aruba. 

SEVERIN:  Of Aruban justice?

CARLSON:  No, it doesn't.

MADDOW:  Well, we don't know much about it, though. 


CARLSON:  No, we don't.

Next, I love Americans.  Some of my best friends are Americans. 

However, it's clearer and clearer that the rest of the world has a different feeling about Americans.  A new survey by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center shows that China is more popular than the U.S. in 11 of the 16 countries studied.  Among those who prefer the Chinese are England, Germany, Spain, Holland and, it goes without saying, France. 


CARLSON:  The idea—you know, I defended France last night.

MADDOW:  Representing France.



CARLSON:  Look, the—this is the same Chinese government that killed tens of millions of its own people just a couple of decades ago.  They're more popular than us.  What does this tell you? 

A couple of things.  One, this has been going on for a long time.  We've been very unpopular in Western Europe for decades, going back to the '80s, when this was first measured, as far as I know.  And, second, maybe we should just stop trying.


CARLSON:  I mean, honestly, if they're going to hate us no matter what we do, our job should be to do good, rather than be popular. 

MADDOW:  Well, I think that this is a little bit chilling in a practical sense, because what this means is that even our closest allies around the world, any leader of even our closest allies is going to have to think twice before going to his country, before going to the people in his country and saying, I want to do something to help out the United States. 

I want to do something in concert with the United States, which leaves us very few options for doing things other than by ourselves. 

CARLSON:  Well, it didn't stop Tony Blair, though.


MADDOW:  But that's a very expensive future, if we can't count on allies to do this.  Would Tony Blair go back and do it the same way again? 


MADDOW:  I don't think he would. 

SEVERIN:  Oh, this is good news/bad news deal.  The bad news is that the European countries are not going to ask us to the senior prom.  The good news is that, presumably now, illegal aliens will try swarm into China to enjoy la dolce vita.  It takes some of the pressure off us.  If they're so great, go news.   


CARLSON:  I suspect that's not going to happen. 


MADDOW:  If the only way we can do things in the future is through war or through bribery, that's a very expensive future for the United States.   

SEVERIN:  But we're good.  We're so good at both.

MADDOW:  It helps us to have friends.  And we don't have friends. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  But they've hated us for a long time for reasons that have nothing do with our present government or any government.  They just hate us. 

MADDOW:  Well, I think this is a departure, slightly.

CARLSON:  Well, still to come on THE SITUATION, a Southern columnist is fired up about Tom Cruise and his Scientologist friends.  We'll tell you why later in the show. 

Also, we'll talk with the lawyer who went before the Supreme Court and won your local government the right to take your house away—an unbelievable situation and the man at the center of it coming up in mere moments.


CARLSON:  Up next, how in the world did the Supreme Court rule in favor of giving local government the power to seize your house without your permission?  I'll ask Wesley Horton, the victorious lawyer in the case, next. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

As we mentioned, the Supreme Court ruled today local governments may seize people's homes and businesses, even against their will, for private economic development. 

Joining me now is Wesley Horton.  He is the attorney who won the eminent domain case representing the city of New London, Connecticut, before the Supreme Court.

Mr. Horton, thanks a lot for joining us. 


CARLSON:  The message here seems to be, this could happen to anyone. 

Why should I feel secure in my house? 

HORTON:  Well, of course, theoretically, it can happen to anyone, because anybody's property could be taken for a road, for example, or for a courthouse. 

CARLSON:  Right.  But this changes it—as I understand, changes the precedent to suggest that a private company could eye my house and say, you know, that would be—that's a great spot for a 7/Eleven or a Best Buy and try and take it away. 

HORTON:  Well, first of all, as far as the 7/11 hypothetical, the United States Supreme Court didn't go that far.  What they said is, this was a well-planned, comprehensive economic development plan for a whole area and wasn't just targeting one piece of property. 

CARLSON:  OK, a 7/Eleven and a hotel and a casino, say.  But some private developer could take my house away.  Why shouldn't I be terrified?

HORTON:  Well, would you rather have the city be the developer?  I mean, that clearly is proper.

It seems to me, if there's a public purpose being involved in what is being done, it doesn't make any difference if it's a private developer that is doing it for the public development, because you know here, the public defender—the public is still going to own the property.  It's being leased to a private developer for 99 years.

But the point is that the developer will be subject to all the terms of the economic development plan.  And if the developer goes ahead and builds all these properties and doesn't comply with the plan, the developer is going to be in big trouble. 

CARLSON:  Well, that—I—I think Justice O'Connor hinted at something like that in her opinion, where she said, there's no guarantee that the private enterprise built on this land will succeed, whereas, if it was taken for a road or a bridge, I mean, the public benefit of those is pretty obvious. 

But what if this fails? 

HORTON:  Well, I mean, anything can not succeed. 

Your idea of a road, I don't agree with that at all.  There's supposed to be a ring road around Hartford right now.  And if you look at a map, you won't see a ring road.  There was all sorts of properties that was condemned for that ring road.  And then they decided not to build it. 

CARLSON:  Well, that's hardly an argument for eminent domain. 

But isn't this—I mean, look, the bottom line here, this is ripe—this situation, it seems to me, is ripe for abuse by rich developers preying on the poor, the weak and the unpolitically connected.  Why shouldn't people who are powerless fear that their land is going to be taken? 

HORTON:  Well, you could make that argument about anything that—any condemnation issue. 

The point is that you look at each plan as it comes about.  And there isn't any allegation of that in this case.  In fact, the developer that is being considered is from out of state.  There's—and it's the city that has come up with a plan, not some developer.

CARLSON:  But I think this strikes some people as—I mean, most people, I believe, as unfair.  These people didn't do anything wrong, these homeowners.  There was no suggestion that they weren't keeping up their houses.  They weren't blighted.  They were just going about their lives and, boom, from out of nowhere, someone else decided he had a better idea for their land.  Doesn't that seem unfair to you? 

HORTON:  You know, Mr. Berman (ph) said the same thing in 1954.  He was the one in the District of Columbia who owned a nonblighted department store in a blighted area.

And they took his property, as well as all the blighted properties.  And he said, well, my property isn't blighted.  Why take mine?  And the Supreme Court said, because we need to redevelop the whole area.  It's the same thing.  People that are complaining are complaining about precedent that has been around for a long, long time. 

CARLSON:  Well, I think Mr. Berman had a pretty good point, don't you?  Don't you see the fundamental unfairness of it, if you're—being punished for something you didn't do? 

HORTON:  Well, but you're being punished, in your words, if you're talking about taking it for a road. 

The question is whether there is a difference between a road and other things that are just as much in a public interest.  If a city is dying, as the state of Connecticut has said that New London is an economically-depressed city, it seems to me that it's certainly in the public interest to do something about an economically-depressed city to bring it back and put it on the map. 

CARLSON:  And that may be right.  I guess, Mr. Horton, what I'm looking for is an acknowledgement that real people, individuals, are being hurt in this. 


CARLSON:  What would you stay them?  To Wilhelmina Dery, for instance, whose family has been in their house, as you know, since 1901.  She was born there.  This must be crushing to her.  How would explain this for her?

HORTON:  I understand.

I don't deny that this is terrible for the individual plaintiffs.  It's terrible for any individual plaintiffs who have to take their—have their property taken for the public good.  That's the same argument you'd make if you were taking it for a road or anything else. 

CARLSON:  But can you give me the three sentences you would say to her to make her feel better about this? 

HORTON:  Yes.  I would say, it's too that bad your property hasn't been taken.  All I can say to you, ma'am, is, it's being taken for the public interest and New London, as a whole, will be better for it. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Well, I hope that makes her feel better. 

Wesley Horton, congratulations on your victory, anyway. 

HORTON:  Thank you very much.

CARLSON:  Even if I disagree with the outcome.  Thanks a lot.


CARLSON:  Ahead on THE SITUATION, an op-ed writer in paradise encourages commercial advertising in elementary school classrooms.  Why don't we just imprint slogans on the foreheads of teachers?  We'll dissect the opinion next.

Also, Hillary Clinton is in favor of a law banning desecration of the flag, but against a constitutional amendment that would do the exact same thing.  How does that work?

A burning situation in just a minute.


CARLSON:  Time now for “Op-ed Op-ed.” 

We've read almost every editorial page in this country.  We've chosen three of our personal favorites, to which Jay, Rachel and I will offer our responses in 20-second portions. 


MADDOW:  Yes. 


CARLSON:  David Harsanyi of “The Denver Post” says the ACLU has a double standard when it comes to protecting people's rights—quote—

“I'm sure they were mortified when an AFA coach hung a banner that read, 'I

am a member of Team Jesus Christ.'  Problem is, if that banner had read, I

am a member of Team Bin Laden,' the ACLU would have a lawyer shielding his

First Amendment rights before you could say, 'Who would Jesus bomb?'”

This is totally, 100 percent true.  I support the theoretical aims of the ACLU.  I think of myself as a civil libertarian strongly.  But the problem with the ACLU is, they never take deeply unfashionable cases.  They never take—they don't.  They never take cases that would make the editorial board of “The New Yorker” cringe.  You never see them defending pro-lifers.  You never see them defending evangelicals, because, deep down, they have a political agenda, instead of principles.

MADDOW:  So, they defended the Nazis in Skokie because “The New York Times” wanted them to, because liberals wanted them to? 

CARLSON:  Well, I guess there would be two points.  One, that was almost 30 years ago.  Or that was, I believe, 30 years ago. 

And second, it's actually more defensible in their world to defend the Nazis than it is to defend pro-lifers. 

MADDOW:  I think that you're misreading the history of the ACLU. 

I think the ACLU has been a purist on the issue of...


CARLSON:  Yes, it has.  It has been.


MADDOW:  ... on first Amendment rights and on the Bill of Rights. 

But I think that, in this case, I just think that the situation at the Air Force has been mischaracterized.  We're talking about the rest of that banner said this is team Jesus for the football team.  The commandant of the cadets had them do a chant that was, Jesus rocks, Jesus rocks.  The ACLU's interest in this case should be about protecting non-Christian kids.  They need to leave non-Christian kids alone at the Air Force Academy.  And this is religious persecution.  It's not about religious freedom.


CARLSON:  Using the word Jesus is persecution?

MADDOW:  No.  Making kids yell Jesus rocks when you don't believe in Jesus, that's... 

CARLSON:  You don't have to yell if you don't want to.

MADDOW:  You're a cadet and you don't have to yell when your commandant tells you to yell?

CARLSON:  Yes.  That's true.

MADDOW:  Really?

CARLSON:  Yes.  Absolutely right.

MADDOW:  At the Air Force Academy, you can say, Commandant, this makes me uncomfortable? 

SEVERIN:  I'm with the host.  The ACLU is great in theory.  But this is not a good time for the ACLU.  Pity the poor ACLU.


MADDOW:  This is not a good time for the Constitution. 


SEVERIN:  They keep encountering people who believe in God these days and who insist on expressing themselves.  So, it's not a very good time to defend the things the ACLU generally defends. 

MADDOW:  What about if you believe in a God other than Jesus?


CARLSON:  They should defend your right to believe in Jesus. 

MADDOW:  Who cares? 



MADDOW:  Who cares? 

CARLSON:  And “The Dallas Morning News.”  We're moving on.

MADDOW:  Incredible.  Incredible.

CARLSON:  “The Dallas Morning News.”

Mark Davis says Scientologist have some nerve calling psychiatry a fraud—I'm quoting—“In a nation of religious and intellectual freedom, people can believe what they wish.  But when a group maligns an entire profession and the millions who have benefited from it, it's time to call them out as purveyors of junk science and character assassination.”

Mark Davis taking on Scientology.  Mark Davis, brave or reckless man? 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  This is a courage test.  Anyone here willing to take on Scientology? 


CARLSON:  I'm not sure I'm willing to. 


CARLSON:  But I will say this.  Of all the things one could say about Scientology, their attacks on psychiatry, that is like the one good thing they do.  That's the one thing I agree with that Scientology does. 

MADDOW:  Well, I do think that when Tom Cruise came out and attacked Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants for postpartum depression, everyone went, woo-hoo, wacko meter.  I mean, attacking Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants is a little bit weird. 

But I think the most important thing about Scientology is how effective their intimidation campaign has been.  It's the one thing I've ever been warned about not talking about in my entire career. 

CARLSON:  It's a good warning. 

SEVERIN:  Well, one is an expensive con, a scam based on one man's theories almost entirely that sometimes makes people feel better, a little bit better about themselves.  And the other one is Scientology. 


SEVERIN:  So, I agree with you. 

I think they probably should watch, you know, who their enemies are.  One person's religion is another person's hokum.  And it seems to me, if that's what they want to believe in, swell.  Leave me alone.  Believe as you wish. 

CARLSON:  All right.  So, you've attacked Scientology. 


Good luck, Rachel.  Good luck, Rachel. 

“The Honolulu Advertiser” thinks there's a place for ads in schools—quote—“Promotional inspirational messages that are consistent with the school's overall mission and do not intrude into classroom activities might have a place.  After all, students are subjected to a barrage of advertising day and night,” which is totally true, which is why you send them to school, so they can get away from the barrage of advertising day and night. 

The idea that you would let advertisers in to manipulate the brains of captive kids in schools, it's—no. 

MADDOW:  I have to agree.  I think the captive part of this is important.  We have mandatory education in this country for kids of a certain age. 

And I think we have to take that seriously.  And I think we should have a hot minute in school, where they're not getting ads and they're focusing on math.  I really think that we need to take respect, take with respect the fact that there are a captive audience and try to insulate them a little bit from this unending effort to build their brand loyalty. 

SEVERIN:  I apologize deeply for making it unanimous. 

MADDOW:  Uh-oh.

SEVERIN:  But the reason you go to school when you're a kid is because you're impressionable.  Any on-campus, in-school advertising is by definition propaganda. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

SEVERIN:  It seems to me, it debases the academy, which is why I'm nearly certain we're going to see a lot more of it, because it makes money.  And that's what is going to... 


CARLSON:  Yes.  I mean, well, I think all advertising everywhere is propaganda, almost by definition.  It doesn't mean it's bad. 

SEVERIN:  But when you're—but when you're old enough to make those decisions, it's very different than if you're a kid in school. 

MADDOW:  Should there be no kid-targeted advertising on TV? 

SEVERIN:  No, I think that's different, because then the parents have domain on whether the kids can watch television or not. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Yes, because—but the law requires you to go to school. 

MADDOW:  Right.  Exactly. 

CARLSON:  And so you can't get out of it. 


MADDOW:  And your parents aren't there with you, unless you have had a really bad day. 



CARLSON:  Exactly. 

Still to come, you will not believe how PETA treats dogs.  It's a story of cruel and unusual hypocrisy in the great state of North Carolina. 

The grisly, depressing details when THE SITUATION rolls on. 


CARLSON:  It's time once again to meet “The Outsider,” a man from outside the world of cable news who, for the edification of all of us, has agreed to become our permanent devil's advocate. 

Joining us now, ESPN radio show host and the man with the world's thinnest beard is Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST:  You know, you know you got something when I'm coming on the show and I'm waiting to come on.  I've got an opinion about everything that's on the show.  I want to talk about this, I want to talk about this...

CARLSON:  I want to hear your opinion with this.  It's going to take a lot to defend this.  We'll see if you can. 

Wednesday was the first day of summer and the fifth annual National ASL Day.  ASK in this case is an acronym for Asking Saves Kids.  Today is an antigun awareness event on which parents are encouraged to find out if their children's playmates' parents keep guns in their homes. 

Now, the idea behind this is that there's this epidemic of accidental shootings of children.  And it turns out—we checked today with the CDC - - and there is, in fact, not an epidemic of any such thing.  Accidental shootings rank very low, not even in the top five, of the reasons kids die accidentally.  Probably less than 100 a year die from this.  This isn't about saving kids.  It's about disarming their parents. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, I mean, should we wait for it to be an accident?  Must it be an epidemic before we address it?  I mean, really, all they're saying here is, find out.  Ask your kids if where they're playing there is a gun. 

Tucker, you have kids.  Do you want your kids playing in a house with a gun?  Shouldn't you at least know whether there's a gun in that house? 

CARLSON:  It goes without saying that we want to keep kids from hurting themselves or being hurt with guns.  That's why there are rules, I think, in almost every state that require gun owners with kids to lock up their guns, and they do. 

This is cultural prejudice going on here.  People who don't like guns believe people who own guns are too stupid to keep them out of the hands of kids.  And there's no evidence of that.  Moreover, it's nobody's business if you have a gun at home.  If someone came and asked me, “Do you have a gun at home?”  I'd say, “Buzz off, pal.  It's none of your business.”

KELLERMAN:  OK, but they might say, “Then I don't want my children playing in your home.”  Look, the Second Amendment is ambiguous.  It's ambiguous.  We all know it's ambiguous.  But let's say first...

CARLSON:  There's nothing ambiguous about it. 

KELLERMAN:  Oh, come on.


KELLERMAN:  “The right to bear”...


KELLERMAN:  I'll give you the Second Amendment.  Let's say the Second Amendment actually says, “Everyone gets to have a gun.  It's nobody's business.”   Do you know who supports this kind of thing?  The NRA.  The NRA supports information about guns.  They want kids to know about safety with guns.  You think the NRA would be against kids going telling their parents there's a gun in the house?

CARLSON:  And I'm a parent.  And I do, too.  But what I'm against are busy-bodies and tattle-tales.  This encourages people to run around asking their neighbors personal questions, tattling on them if they own firearms, as if it's anyone's business.  It's nobody's business.

KELLERMAN:  Well, wait a minute.  If it's a legal firearm, who are you going to tattle to?  Yourself?  You mean, really, you're trying—the parents are trying to find out information.  And if it's an illegal firearm, then don't you want them to tattle?  You want illegal guns around?

CARLSON:  No, I don't want American citizens to tattle on each other to the government or anyone else.  I'm against tattle-tales. 

KELLERMAN:  In all instances? 

CARLSON:  Yes, yes, I am. 


CARLSON:  Tokyo's Yasukuni shrine is a tribute to fallen Japanese soldiers, including several who were convicted as war criminals after the Second World War.  The Japanese prime minister made a pilgrimage there this week.  It infuriated many of Japan's neighbors, including South Korea, whose president described the shrine as, quote, “justifying Japan's brutal colonial past.”  Of course, Japan occupied Korea for many years in the most brutal possible way.

The problem I have with this is, Max, it's another attempt by Japan to whitewash its own history.  On the Web site of the shrine it says—this is how it describes Pearl Harbor, for example—quote, “To maintain the independence and peace of the nation, and for the prosperity of all Asia, Japan was forced into conflict.” 

That's their justification for the murderous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.  It's an outrage.  History matters.  They're distorting history.  They shouldn't be allowed to.

KELLERMAN:  OK, now you're forcing me to defend the attack on Pearl Harbor?

CARLSON:  Yes!  Yes!


KELLERMAN:  This is great.  Well, you know what?  It is not unreasonable to say that economic pressure on Japan that went unaddressed eventually led to attack on Pearl Harbor, but wait a second. 

CARLSON:  I'm going to let you out of this line of argument. 

KELLERMAN:  Hold on.  Hold on one second.  Nations that became industrialized first have the most brutal pasts.  Japan, the British empire, I mean, wherever the industrial revolution hit first, they tended to oppress their neighbors and had a very brutal past. 

CARLSON:  Hold on, hold on.

KELLERMAN:  Now, there are British shrines all over the place. 

Where's the uproar? 

CARLSON:  There is no comparison between the behavior in the British empire and that of the Japanese empire.  The British never a Bataan death march.  They never conducted medical experiments on prisoners.  They never had mass rapes anywhere. 

And the Japanese did.  And the point is that these things happen again unless they're acknowledged and repented of.  And they haven't...


KELLERMAN:  OK, OK, let me try this. 


KELLERMAN:  Of the tens of thousands of Japanese soldiers who died at this particular site, there were only 14 class-A war criminals.  And so the other tens of thousands were just soldiers carrying out orders. 

I mean, there's no defense!  What do you want me to do here, Tucker? 

You boxed me in. 

CARLSON:  I want to you give up, Max. 

KELLERMAN:  I give up. 

CARLSON:  You did a valiant job.

KELLERMAN:  I tried my best. 


CARLSON:  Are you religious guy, Max? 

KELLERMAN:  I am not. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Well, the doctors in whom you put your faith are much more likely than not to put their faith in god, I'll have you know.  A survey in the July 2005 Journal of General Internal Medicine found that 76 percent of doctors believe in God, 59 percent believe in some sort of after-life, and 55 percent say their religious beliefs influence the way they practice medicine. 

I am so glad that doctors believe in God.  A great majority believe in God, because it reminds them they're not God.  And I want my doctor to know he's not God. 

KELLERMAN:  Does it mean?  That's so ambiguous.


CARLSON:  I'll tell you what it means.  The root of wisdom is understanding and acknowledging what you don't know.  And when you believe in God, you're forced to acknowledge there's a lot you don't know and a lot of powers you don't have.  And that makes you wiser and in a better position.  I'm glad...


KELLERMAN:  Actually, I think it's just the opposite.  Religious dogma tells you exactly what's worth knowing, according to the people who believe in the religious dogma.  Science says there are questions open to be answered.  Let's try to figure out the answer.  I see it exactly the opposite. 

Also, if you wanted to do—you know, you're talking about medical doctors here. 


KELLERMAN:  Not just all scientists, medical doctors, so like podiatrists.


KELLERMAN:   Now, do you think, as a group, who is more religious, Noble-prize winning physicists or podiatrists?  In other words, there's an inverse relationship between levels of education and I.Q. and belief in God. 

CARLSON:  Oh, oh, oh, that is—no.  That is ridiculous.

KELLERMAN:  It is not. 

CARLSON:  That is absolutely ridiculous.  The point I'm making is that doctors, particularly the ones who heal patients personally, should believe in God, because it gives them a belief in the intrinsic worth of a person.  They don't begin to see people as a car mechanic sees cars, as, you know, valuable but replaceable.  It's important for them...


KELLERMAN:  So empathy can't be the root of morality?  You can't just

·         you can't know that, “Hey, I don't want this person to die because I myself wouldn't want to die”? 

CARLSON:  No.  No. 

KELLERMAN:  You need a book that tells you “Thou shalt not kill” to know it's wrong to kill. 

CARLSON:  Because it's too abstract.  If you think God is watching you, you behave better.  And I want my doctor to behave well. 

You behaved great, Max.  You're a great debater. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, thank you very much, Tucker.  Thanks for having me.

CARLSON:  See you tomorrow. 

Coming up on THE SITUATION, obviously I read “Playboy” for the articles.  But would you be offended if your child was caught flipping through some nudie pictures in a local library?  A titillating debate, next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back to THE SITUATION.  Sitting in for Dick Van Patton, I'm Tucker Carlson. 

Still some great stories up for debate.  So let's get right to it. 

With me again, Jay Severin and Rachel Maddow. 

First situation, Capitol Hill fired up over a flag-burning constitutional amendment that banned the desecration of the flag.  It passed 258-130 in the House yesterday. 

But it may be a very different story in the Senate.  New York Senator Hillary Clinton said, quote, “I support federal legislation that would outlaw flag desecration much like the laws that currently prohibit the burning of crosses.  But I don't believe a constitutional amendment is the answer.” 

Huh?  So you're for banning it at the federal level, but not for an amendment?  It's hard to see—I mean, I'm sure there is a distinction.  It's not a grand distinction. 

Second, I would like to hear the argument of people who are against banning flag-burning but for keeping in place the laws in 14 states that ban cross-burning?

SEVERIN:  I think that Hillary Rodham Clinton is right on this one. 

Does anyone have a barf bag?  Just like uttering those words makes me ill.

MADDOW:  It's OK, Jay.

CARLSON:  Why do you think she's right? 

SEVERIN:  Well, because...

CARLSON:  Why should there be a federal law but no constitutional amendment.

SEVERIN:  She's inconsistent on the matter of the federal law versus the constitutional amendment.  There ought not be any law against burning the flag. 

CARLSON:  What about burning crosses?

SEVERIN:  No, I think it's freedom of expression, and you just have to tolerate it.  It's First Amendment.  I'm absolutist on that.

But interestingly, just as a footnote, it is politically hazardous for her, having made these ads for 20 years.  I've already written the ad in my mind, you know, when she's up for her next election, whatever that might be, you know, “Hillary Clinton won't protect the American flag.”  I see a hippie burning a flag.  I see Arlington National Cemetery.  I see Hillary Clinton in the background in grainy black and white.  It's politically hazardous for her, but she's right. 

MADDOW:  But I think the American people aren't necessarily to be underestimated that way.  I mean, I do think that people respect the Constitution more than they respect the flag.  I do think that Americans can see through this.  I don't have faith that this will absolutely sweep the country and that it'll pass the Senate. 


SEVERIN:  Oh, it's a free vote. 

CARLSON:  Are you against laws that ban cross-burning, too? 

MADDOW:  No, interesting.  I'm two minds about it, I have to say, because what's interesting about it is that hate crimes laws and cross-burning laws, which have some legal similarities, have both been found constitutional.  Flag-burning laws have been found unconstitutional. 

So the approach right now is to then change the Constitution.  I'm not interested in changing the Constitution to restrict freedom of speech. 

CARLSON:  It's hard to see how you could be for two but not for the third.

MADDOW:  But I want the courts to be able to make the decision.  I don't want it decided at a constitutional level. 

CARLSON:  Next up, a sticky situation at the Pentagon.  It's no secret the military's under pressure to find recruits.  Now privacy advocates are outraged by the Defense Department's latest plan, a database of all U.S.  students 16- to 18-years-old.  Included in the database, student's birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity, and what subjects they're studying. 

This is not—I mean, look, a selective service, for which I registered.  I'm not very old.  You know, this has been around in some form for a long time, that you kind of are known by the Pentagon.  I still think Safeway knows more about you, really, if you have got a preferred shopper's card, than the Pentagon will ever know. 

And second, the good news here, for people who are creeped out by this is, I'm sure they'll lose the information anyway.  Their Apple IIs will crash, and they won't keep track of it.


SEVERIN:  I'm creeped out by it, too.  Look, in the absence of a compelling, active, present national security need, the Pentagon has some 'splainin' to do. 


SEVERIN:  This is snooping.  It is creepy.  And it seems to me, again, politically, it's kind of a nightmare for Republicans, because even though they're not connected, to most people on the street, this becomes the Patriot Act run amok, you know, government snooping, bad for Republicans politically. 

MADDOW:  I also think that it's interesting to know that there are laws that prohibit the government from keeping big databases proactively on American citizens.  We have laws against that, which is why they had to give it to contractor. 

I'm sure they would have given it to a contractor anyway, but that was part of the legal reason for doing that.  I think that's creepy.  And also, the idea that they have got a list of every 16-year-old in the country, what their interested in school, what their GPA is, what their e-mail address is...

CARLSON:  And what their ethnicity is.


CARLSON:  You talk about nobody's business, what ethnicity you are.

MADDOW:  But they're going to use that information to contact your kid to persuade them to go fight the war in Iraq.  I think that's going to rub most Americans wrong.

CARLSON:  I think the people who came up with classifying people by ethnicity (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on the right ought to apologize. 

MADDOW:  I don't think that's the centerpiece of... 


CARLSON:  It is in my view.  I think it's a terrible category. 

But here's a bad situation for man's best friend.  Two North Carolina counties are refusing to send any more shelter animals to PETA.  That's right.  That's after they learned the animal rights group actually euthanized thousands of cats and dogs instead of trying to find them homes.

They found this out after two PETA workers were arrested for dumping dead animals in a shopping center's garbage bins.  PETA says it wanted to save the animals from dying an agonizing death, so instead they killed them themselves and dumped them in a shopping bin outside Piggy Wiggly. 

This is like the greatest irony story, most depressing irony story, of the year.  This is like head of Mothers against Drunk Driving pulled over for DUI, you know?  It's over-the-top, and yet it doesn't surprise me, because those of us who love animals still look at PETA and say these people—it was never about, really, animals for them.  It's just about extremism, I think. 

SEVERIN:  Well, that's true of a lot of the environmental movement, although I regard myself as an environmentalist, conservationist, and of course, as you say, an animal lover. 

The hypocrisy here is absolutely breathtaking on the part of this group, because it really is a front for a political agenda.  However, there could be an upside here.  I'm of two minds, as Rachel said.  And on this one, I wonder if we could possibly get the PETA people, if they're out of work, to administer our capital punishment program. 

CARLSON:  They'll be good at it. 


CARLSON:  Wind up at a dumpster outside San Diego. 

MADDOW:  There are “no-kill shelters” in the world.  And people who advertise themselves as no-kill shelters should not be killing animals.  It is an hypocrisy on the part of PETA.

But you know, if there was as much sound and fury about the mistreatment of animals by PETA as there was by Kentucky Fried Chicken, too -- I mean, that's also a situation where the cruelty is the problem.  And you know, the polity in America is littered with the road kill of hypocritical organizations and individuals. 

CARLSON:  I do think cruelty to dogs is different from cruelty to chickens though, don't you? 


CARLSON:  Oh.  You can't pet a chicken.  You wouldn't want to. 

MADDOW:  You know what?  I had pet a chicken when I was in seventh grade, so that might be part of the problem. 

SEVERIN:  As a dog owner, I have to be on the record saying, yes, you're right.

CARLSON:  Well, there's a steamy situation in, of all places, the Oak Lawn, Illinois, public library.  You wouldn't have guessed it.  A resident there asked the library to ban “Playboy,” saying the magazine could incite child molesters.  “Playboy” is kept in a secure area in the library's second floor, far from the children's section of the library.  Officials said they won't remove the magazine based on one man's objection. 

This is touching.  This is like from another age.  This is a guy who has heard of the Internet, right? 


CARLSON:  Within, you know, five key strokes, you can find something so much more offensive than “Playboy” for free and he doesn't even know it yet. 

MADDOW:  Right.  I don't want a country where adults are protected 100 percent from things that might be harmful to children.  I mean, there's an age restriction.  You can't, as a kid, go get “Playboy” in this place.  But adults can get it.  I don't want a country that regulates satellite radio.  I don't want a country that regulates the Internet.  I don't want a country that keeps “Playboy” out of the library. 

SEVERIN:  Is “Debbie Does Dallas” in the video section?  I mean, the library, the public library, is no place for—I'm a big fan of “Playboy's” products.  Don't get me wrong. 

CARLSON:  I believe you. 

SEVERIN:  The public library is absolutely no place for it. 

MADDOW:  Really?  What if there's something useful there? 

SEVERIN:  Absolutely not.

MADDOW:  You would cut out the pictures and allow the articles to be there? 

SEVERIN:  I believe there's a great deal of use for it, but...

CARLSON:  That's taking up space that commentary Republicans, “The Weekly Standard,” could be filling. 

SEVERIN:  Exactly. 

MADDOW:  Now that's pornographic. 


CARLSON:  And a developing situation in the supermarket aisle.  Watch out for the attack of the clones.  The FDA is expected to approve products from cloned animals pretty soon.  Scientists said that first pork and beef derived from clones could reach the market next year, though they point out that clones would be used for breeding, not eating.  The meat would come from the clones' descendants. 

SEVERIN:  Not sure. 

CARLSON:  I don't know.  I mean, this is the kind of thing that's going to drive a certain segment of the population, those that write me letters, actually, completely bonkers.  It doesn't bother me.  I don't know.  If there is one thing the government does pretty well, it's regulate food safety.  How do you think the food in this country is safe? 

SEVERIN:  Hello, “Andromeda Strain.”  Icky.  Hello, diseases, that we can't comprehend and can't treat.  Of course, there is one real positive out of this.  If you have—if you run across a spectacularly good cheeseburger, if you save a tiny little piece of it...


CARLSON:  You can have another. 

MADDOW:  You can make another.


MADDOW:  And  then you can make another, and then you can make another. 



MADDOW:  I mean, the thing that gives me pause here is that the animals that are cloned have more birth defects and more health problems when their young than animals that aren't cloned.  There is a difference between cloned animals and not cloned animals. 

So I want them to be labeled.  I want people who do freak out about this to have a choice.  I don't want them to say, “We're not going to label the meat because that will unnecessarily scare people.”  They should be overt about it.

CARLSON:  Just like a little symbol, like a two-headed cow on the package. 

MADDOW:  That would be perfect, actually. 

CARLSON:  Jay, Rachel, thank you both. 

MADDOW:  Thanks, Tucker

CARLSON:  I appreciate it.

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, if you think a deer getting into a swimming pool is strange—and it is—wait until you see how it got out.  You won't believe your eyes when we hit the “Cutting Room Floor,” next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time now to sweep up the “Cutting Room Floor.”  Our producer Willie Geist has arrived with all those stories we couldn't pack into the show. 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Tucker, first order of business.  I know you're a hoops junkie.  Game 7 of the NBA Finals going on right now.  The Spurs and Pistons, locked in a tight one, a defensive struggle.  I know that's just your brand of ball.  We'll let you know how that turns out.

CARLSON:  Thanks.  Thanks for the update, Willie. 

GEIST:  And number two, we had promised Dwayne Dog Chapman tonight.  We will have him on the show tomorrow night, the guy who wants to go after bin Laden, the bounty hunter, so...

CARLSON:  I think it was more than a half-promise, as I remember. 

GEIST:  Well, it might have been three-quarters.  But you are going to need this for the last story in the show. 

CARLSON:  Ooh, candy. 

GEIST:  That's all you need to know.  The rest is yours. 

CARLSON:  That isn't normal.  Thank you, Willie. 

Well, you have come to expect gratuitous surveillance video here at the SITUATION.  We're now delving into gratuitous home video.  Check out this deer, caught on tape, as it takes a dip in a suburban Detroit swimming pool. 

The deer struggles to get out of the pool at first, but eventually finds its way up the steps.  But the best part comes when it thrusts its way past animal control workers and through the fence.  Look at that.

GEIST:  That is a heck of an effort by that animal, fighting for the extra yard.  You know, the thing I like about this story, it starts off—you think it's going to be tragic story about a deer drowning, but it ends up a story about the triumph of the animal spirit.  Good stuff there, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  We would never put a tragic animal video on our show. 

GEIST:  Absolutely not. 

CARLSON:  That's our promise to you, the viewer. 

GEIST:  You have our word.

CARLSON:  No tragic animal video.

Well, don't tell Edmond Knowles of Flomaton, Alabama, that pennies should be taken out of circulation. 

GEIST:  Never. 

CARLSON:  Knowles has been collecting pennies since 1966.  Yesterday, he decided to cash them in, all 1.2 million of them.  The 62-year-old began collecting pennies for retirement.  He kept them in barrels in his garage.  Knowles now says he wants to start a dime collection. 

GEIST:  You know, Tucker, this is a great story for everyone but the bank teller who drew this assignment.  Anytime you see the guy rolling in with the 50-gallon drums full of pennies, you've got to put out the “Next Window Please” sign. 

CARLSON:  How much was that?

GEIST:  Twelve grand, 1.2 million pennies. 

CARLSON:  That's right.  Oh, I guess I could have done the math.  Good point.

GEIST:  Yes, you would think. 

CARLSON:  Good point. 

GEIST:  But I don't know, 12 grand over 40 years?  I'm not sure it was worth it. 

CARLSON:  No, if you'd invested in Cisco Systems, you would have done better. 

GEIST:  The dime collection would be good, though. 

CARLSON:  Most entertaining newspaper in the known universe has handed us yet another gift.  The “New York Post” reports today that the NYPD is getting a new member, sort of.  Officer John Lowe (ph) shocked his Queens precinct when he announced he's undergoing a sex change.  From here on out, he'll be known as Officer June Lowe.  Lowe says his colleagues are taking the news well.  They're due to call him J-Lowe. 

GEIST:  That is a handsome woman there, Tucker, isn't it?  You know, this has got to be the greatest undercover job of all time.  You thought Donnie Brasco infiltrating the mob was good?  Johnny Lowe is taking it to the next level. 

CARLSON:  Perfect for stakeouts, from here on out. 

GEIST:  And it's too good that it happened in Queens. 

CARLSON:  You know, you're—I'm not going to rise to that bait, Willie.  But thanks for offering it, anyway. 

Well, if you thought the filet of fish was gross, what until you hear about whale burgers.  A Japanese fast food restaurant is trying to help the country get rid of its excess whale meat by serving up fried blubber as a burger.  The whale burger is said to have a taste and texture somewhere between beef and fish, whatever that means.

GEIST:  Am I the only one who's a little concerned that Japan's bio-waste managing policy is to feed it back to their people?  What, do you get a hazmat suit with every Happy Meal?  It's disgusting. 

CARLSON:  Well, the good news is, it doesn't taste like chicken. 

GEIST:  That's true.  The one thing that does not taste like chicken. 

A little fatty, though. 

CARLSON:  And now for tonight's greatest story ever told.  A Kentucky woman is suing a Lexington radio station that she says scammed her out of the 100 grand she was promised for winning a call-in contest.  When Norreasha Gill called up the station to collect her 100 grand, she was handed this, 100 Grand Bar. 

GEIST:  Oh. 

CARLSON:  Oops. 

The station said it never promised $100,000, and offered her five grand and the chocolate instead.  Ms. Gill had been so excited about winning, she said she promised her kids a new car and a new home. 

GEIST:  Oh, Norreasha, Norreasha.  I hope you've got Alan Dershowitz working on this one, because this is going to be tough. 

CARLSON:  I believe it's Norreasha.

GEIST:  Oh, excuse me, Norreasha.  The temporary gullibility defense?  Does that work?  I wouldn't call attention to this with a lawsuit.  Just let it go. 

CARLSON:  You know, 100 Grand Bar is not a bad prize in the end.  I think it's better than Mounds, not quite as good as Almond Joy, but it's a solid candy bar.  And I don't think she should look a free candy bar in the mouth.

GEIST:  I agree with that.  But is it better than $100,000?  That's the question.

CARLSON:  No, it's not.

Willie Geist, thanks for the stories.  See you tomorrow. 

That's THE SITUATION.  I'm Tucker Carlson.  Thanks for watching.  Karl Rove enters “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY,” next.



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