Guest: John Timoney, David Heenan, Max Kellerman
CURTIS SLIWA, HOST: Thanks, Joe, and I applaud you for supporting the troops in that manner.
And thanks to all of you at home for tuning in.
Tonight we'll discuss the president's all-important strategy to win back America in 2006 with Flavia Colgan.
Plus, three elements will be crucial to Bush's success in the new year. He's got to score the trifecta, and I'll tell you about it.
Also, it used to be a job kids dreamed about. So why does it seem that nobody wants to be a police officer anymore? I'll ask Miami Police Chief John Timoney about the desperate measures being taken to recruit young men and women to the force.
Plus a 37-year-old man charged with child endangerment after cops find a drunk toddler the man was supposed to be babysitting. We'll have more on this shocking story a bit later in the show.
But we start tonight with those raging wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma that have killed four people and burned down over 200 homes. New blazes struck parts of Oklahoma earlier today, and there appears to be no end in sight. Texas Governor Rick Perry called his state a tinderbox.
Meanwhile in California, they're bracing for another storm that could cause massive flooding, power outages, and potential mudslides. For the very latest, let's go live to meteorologist Bill Karins at the NBC Weather Plus Center—Bill.
SLIWA: All right. I can just see the environmentalists saying this is Krakatoa, east of Java global warming, greenhouse gas effects. We'll be following this story, obviously, with Bill and all the meteorological reports on the storms, and obviously, the fires in Texas and Oklahoma.
But now onto a story involving Internet cookies. Not fortune cookies, Internet cookies. These cookies don't have chocolate chips or raisins in them, but they do keep track of every web site you go to in the privacy of your own home.
Late tonight, it was learned that an outside contractor has been using such technology to analyze the usage in traffic at the White House's web site. The Bush administration is denying any knowledge of using cookies, which may be prohibited by law.
We also learned that today that cookie files were used to track the web activity of those who visited the NSA site.
Here now to discus this latest controversy, and President Bush's domestic strategy in 2006, is MSNBC's political contributor, Flavia Colgan.
Our three-night love affair is coming to an end, Flavia.
FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Curtis, the traffic gods tried to keep me from winning my trifecta against you tonight, but I couldn't be stopped. I just got here.
SLIWA: Well, let's mix the ammonia and bleach right now. I say cookie, and what do you say about the Bush administration?
COLGAN: Well, I think—as we talked about last night, certainly constitutional scholars have different opinions on whether the president has, in fact, violated the Fourth Amendment with the wire tapping. And of course, this is a new revelation into potentially invasion of privacy, and potentially, like you said, a violation of the law.
But I think something else that we have to look at is the way that the Bush administration is kind of wiggling around this story as the noose tightens. First they were saying that Congress OK'd this activity. Then when Congress said no, it didn't.
Then they said, “Well, we couldn't go to the FISA court on wire tapping and other things because they move too slow.” Then people noted that wasn't the case.
Then they said, “Well, we don't have the manpower to do the paperwork.”
So I think what you're seeing at the administration, and of course, recently today, them saying they're going to stop this cookie stuff. The Bush administration saying they had no knowledge of it. I think that it's clear that the administration has been caught a little bit with their hand in the cookie jar, if you will.
And so I think that it's not playing out very well for them. And this is, you know, this is going to be fruitful (ph) for them with the Patriot Act, I think.
SLIWA: Flavia—Flavia, you're a real peach. Let me tell you something.
When you shop until you drop on the Internet, because I know that's what a lot of gals do. You know, you go into these private commercial web sites, and you're hitting cookies morning, noon, and night. And they're gathering all kinds of information about you, your personal likes, what you purchase, your background and such. Why aren't you getting all bent out of shape about those cookies instead of immediately not giving slack to the Bush administration about the cookies on the White House web site and the NSA web site?
COLGAN: Well, as you can probably tell from my tone tonight, I'm not nearly as upset, and it's getting much less coverage, this cookies thing today in the papers as the wiretapping. I'm much more concerned about them circumventing the FISA panel, which of course, has given thousands of wiretaps. And I think that they should have probable cause. That's much more disconcerting.
You know, I'm willing to give the administration the benefit of the doubt on this particular case that they may not have known. Apparently this was new software.
It's just part of a larger pattern, though, that I think is very troubling, which is, you know, avoiding the checks and balances that are very important to the system of government.
SLIWA: Understood, but Flavia...
COLGAN: But again, I'm much more concerned at the wiretapping. And I did want to note, because you shocked a lot of people last night, Curtis, when you said that our men and women in uniform don't care about the U.S. Constitution. When in fact, a couple of them wrote to me last night to remind me yet again...
SLIWA: I'm sure.
COLGAN: ... they're sworn to defend that document.
SLIWA: Flavia, I'm sure he is an al Qaeda operative with an RPG firing at our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are e-ailing you prolifically saying, “I couldn't believe what Curtis Sliwa said. We're not here defending the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment.”
COLGAN: You'd—you'd be surprised how many tremendous things our men and women in uniform can do. They can do a couple things at once. Don't you worry about that.
SLIWA: Now question. Question, yesterday we discussed the Bush trifecta of what he must score as we roll into 2006. From your Democratic, liberal, progressive, radical point of view, as you're falling over to the left, what would you suggest?
COLGAN: Well, first I don't want to say I don't have a radical point of view. And I also want to point out, you know, I'm an American before I'm a Democrat. So I really, and I think all Americans should want the president to thrive, and I certainly do. I wish that he would have an Iraq policy that, you know, made our men and women more safe.
I think that, if I were advising the president, the first thing—you've started to see him do this a little bit—that I would do, is to come out in front and try to take a little bit more responsibility and accountability for the many missteps that he's had, both domestically and in terms of foreign policy.
You see a Karl Rove strategy right now of him starting to attack the Democrats. I think that that's ill advised, both for Democrats and Republicans to do. People want leadership. People want vision. And I think they want the president to step up to the plate, make some heads roll over some of the disastrous things that have happened...
COLGAN: ... everything from NSA to Iraq and so forth, and take some responsibility.
COLGAN: The buck stops with him.
SLIWA: You couldn't be more hopelessly wrong. What the Republicans want of their president is that he flexes—now, no more Harriet Miers. No more namby-pamby rhetoric. Fight for the Patriot Act, fight for the wiretapping to continue, and fight for Samuel Alito. Make it a Texas-style death match. Gladiators in the ring.
And then also fight on this immigration issue in which the president has been doing the rope-a-dope on. We want to extend worker status to them, but then again, the Rio Grande is in our border. It's a lot of mumbo jumbo.
And secondly, the scams in Medicare and Medicaid, the millions that get ripped off that could be returned to the treasury.
I think if the president does that, he shows onions, he shows chutzpa, he shows backbone, and he brings his core back to the family of Republican conservative values.
COLGAN: But—I agree with you on immigration. He's flip-flopped all over the place, and I think that he's certainly lost some of the conservative base with very ill-advised nominees of Harriet Miers, who had no business being nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But I do disagree with you. I think that the American people did for quite some time have a tremendous amount of trust in the president and it inoculated against some very legitimate attacks in terms of his domestic and foreign policy. And now the American public is not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt anymore.
So I think it's enormously important for the president to step up. And when you have people like Mike Brown, dealing with Katrina the way he did, some of the missteps that they've had, heads have got to roll.
The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of accountability and personal responsibility. Where has been the personal accountability on the side of the president?
But I don't want to just blame him. Let me say this to all the Democrats watching. If the Democrats are going to continue to sell me the bill of goods to just criticize the president, I'm not buying it. All the Democrats that didn't get a backbone underneath their Christmas tree for Christmas, they'd better write Santa Claus and tell him to FedEx it right away. They've got to get out in front.
I disagree with Nancy Pelosi vehemently. They have to have a unified Iraq position. They should sit down with the likes of Jack Murtha and decide to have a backbone and have some leadership. And stop criticizing the president...
COLGAN: ... and say what they're going to do to take this country in the right direction. Because the president has failed us, in my personal opinion, on a lot of critical issues.
COLGAN: But the Democrats have got to take a stand.
SLIWA: At last, Flavia, you know, I need Excedrin for you sometimes.
If you were my chief of staff I'd have a muscle between both ears.
But I'll tell you this. You did have a political turn-on moment there, taking on Nancy Pelosi. Now that is a political turn-on. But on that note, our three-night love affair, it's over, Flavia.
COLGAN: OK. Thank you, Curtis.
SLIWA: Appreciate your input.
Anyway, still to come, signing bonuses, extra vacation time, and down payments on a new home. Why is our younger generation turning down these enticements? They could be police officers and have all of these amenities. Has it really gotten that bad? I'll ask a respected police chief who earned his stripes busting his shoes as a cop on the beat right after the break.
Plus, a 2-year-old child found with bloodshot eyes and reeking of alcohol. What should happen to the seven—the 37-year-old gabone (ph) who was supposed to be babysitting him? Life without parole.
THE SITUATION “Crime Blotter” when we come back.
SLIWA: Coming up, it used to be a job that kids dreamed about:
wearing the badge and carrying a gun to protect those in your neighborhood. So why has it become almost impossible to recruit new blood into the police department? Stay tuned.
SLIWA: Welcome back. I'm Curtis Sliwa, sitting in tonight for Tucker Carlson.
Remember the days when kids played cops and robbers? I know some of you wanted to be the robbers. I wanted to be the cop. And you dreamed of growing up to be a police officer? Well, times have changed. Men in blue are few and far between.
Here to talk about the low recruitment and big incentives for joining the force is Miami Police Chief John Timoney.
Welcome aboard, John.
JOHN TIMONEY, MIAMI POLICE CHIEF: Good to see you, Curtis.
SLIWA: In fact, last time I saw you, John, you were busting your shoes, earning your stripes as a New York City police officer in the Bronx.
TIMONEY: That's right.
SLIWA: I think chasing me to pinch me and to give me a wooden shampoo.
TIMONEY: There you go. The old 4-6.
SLIWA: That's right. But back then when you first took the test to be the best, generally the guys online, and the ladies who would join the force, they could trace their lineage. Their dad was a cop, their grandfather, their great-grandfather was a cop.
I notice a lot of the new jacks, the new recruits coming on, they don't really have that linkage. I think a lot of the police families have discouraged their children and grandchildren into following in their footsteps. Would I be correct in that?
TIMONEY: You're absolutely correct. You know, we used to do some surveys in the NYPD. And by the way, it held up when I was the commissioner in Philadelphia, that when you questioned the kids of the academy, 90 percent of them said they took the job because a family member or friend or somebody in their neighborhood that enticed them or convinced them to come on. And that, that part is sorely lacking now.
SLIWA: All right. Now, the second problem I noticed, more so in the inner city, is that there is this culture now that says snitches get stitches and end up in ditches. Don't cooperate with 5-0. Don't be a rat. Don't be the man, as they'll say.
And I'm sure that deters particularly some young minorities growing up in the inner city of taking that next step in civil service to become a police officer.
TIMONEY: Yes. And it does. It varies from city to city, and there needs to be, I think, a better sale on the part of the police department. But there's also an obligation, I think, in certain cities on the leadership of the minority community.
The best way to change the police department, to reform a police department, is to get the police department as much as possible to reflect and look like the population it serves. That's going to require not bashing the police department, but encouraging young men and women, particularly the minority community, to come into the police department.
If you bash it day in and day out, whether it's political leaders or the press—you know, what kid who's 19 or 20 in his right mind or her right mind is going to go onto a police department where it looks like they're being bashed night after night?
SLIWA: Well, you know, also, I noticed, police chief, years ago, police recruiters would be snatching up young recruiters from outside of Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps headquarters.
TIMONEY: Yes, yes.
SLIWA: Or Fort Hood, and would immediately be signing up men and women right out of the military.
SLIWA: Now I notice the military tries to turn them right back around and have them re-sign. So I would think that there is a potential recruiting pool that has now been limited because the military aggressively tries to re-sign its members.
TIMONEY: It's actually even worse than that. Not only are they re-signing. We used to be able to go onto the bases.
I remember when I was in Philadelphia, I actually called a base commander. “Yes,” he says, “no problem. Send the recruiters down.” And I sent two of my sergeants down and they refused to let them on base because they had to meet their commitments as regards to the number of, you know, soldiers they had to keep to send them—back then it was, you know, to either to Iraq or to Germany, wherever the base is.
And so they needed the people, and so they weren't willing to allow us to go on and give exams, if you will, on the camps themselves.
SLIWA: All right. And then finally, Police Chief Timoney, years ago, again, a young guy, young gal, could be running in the streets, have a lot of street smarts, maybe not a lot of book learning, and could qualify to become a police officer.
You all decided to go for not Robocop, but Mr. or Ms. Intellectual Cop. You have to have a college degree, some graduate school.
TIMONEY: Right. Yes.
SLIWA: You seem to have raised the standard so high that an average everyday guy or gal out on the street might not even qualify anymore.
TIMONEY: Yes. And I think—that's a good point, and I think police departments have to look at that.
What I tried to do in Philadelphia was, you know, obviously we take even an equivalency diploma for high school, but then there's an obligation on the part of the city to educate their police officers, to pay for their tuition to give them some type of an inducement to go on to get that formal education.
SLIWA: Well, you know, I want to applaud you, because I know a lot of cops who have become police commissioners, but they had no calluses on their hands. They were soft.
Here's a guy, ladies and gentlemen, earned his stripes the hard way in the roughest, toughest neighborhoods in New York and then did a great job in the administrative capacity in New York and Philly, and now he brings his talents to Miami. So I salute you, John Timoney, and hopefully we can get police recruiting back on track, because it's a great career.
TIMONEY: You're absolutely right. Curtis, good seeing you, buddy.
SLIWA: Thanks for joining us. Still ahead, a revealing new study about how men and women surf the Internet. No surprise what the guys were looking for, but what about the ladies? A battle of the sexes when we return.
SLIWA: Welcome back.
Ever wonder if testosterone drives a person to use the Internet? I think for guys it's their libido. And do men and women hop online for different reasons?
Here to answer some of those burning questions is Debra Fallows, senior research fellow for the Pew Internet Project. She recently wrote a report on gender Internet trends based on six years of Pew surveys. Debra joins us live tonight from Washington, D.C.
Thanks for joining us, Deb.
DEBRA FALLOWS, PEW INTERNET PROJECT: Thanks, Curtis. Happy to be here.
SLIWA: Now Debra, I'm going to look at the female perspective first in terms of their use of the Internet. I would say that women are far more in tuned with their bodies, far more inclined to want to find out medical solutions to problems that are affecting their body, maybe their husband's, their children's bodies. Whereas guys like me, we don't want to know. We want to be good news bears. We don't want to find out any bad news. Would I be correct about that?
FALLOWS: Well, it sounds like you've been reading the report, because yes, that is one thing that women do a whole lot more than men, is go in for all the health information, finding out about diseases, fitness, worrying about their family's health, communicating with doctors.
And when men go to look about information about health, which is much less frequent than women, they'll by and large head for health insurance figures, find out about their different health policies, and spend a lot less time on the health substance of things than women do.
SLIWA: Deborah, this may sound a little bit like I'm a Neanderthal or a misogynist, but I'm assuming that a lot of women are probing the world of romance and horoscopes, you know, immediately wanting to find out the date of birth of the men they're interested in, matching it up, seeing what their likes or dislikes might be.
I can't imagine a guy doing that. I really can't imagine a guy going to the Internet and to try to figure out the birth date of their mate and then what she likes or doesn't like based on that. Am I right or wrong?
FALLOWS: Well, you're probably right with that, but I think there's a
larger point here, which is when you think of the things that men and women
generally do in their offline life. They pretty much carry that onto their
· into their online lives, as well.
So—but I think that there are some things that women do more than look up horoscopes, and one of the most popular things that women do is e-mail. They do it a lot more than men, and they do it in a much more interesting and robust way than men.
Men are likely to hop onto e-mail, just kind of make appointments and get the facts, whereas women go there and have a lot more substance to what they're talking about. You know, they're asking about people: what did you think about this? They're talking about their worries or their concerns.
SLIWA: But you see, Debra, that would be an easy answer to a question in your survey. I'm thinking of guys, macho, maniacal guys, and it's porno, sex, and gambling, and I can't imagine them telling you or any of your questioneers, “Hey, yes, that's why I go on the Internet, because I'm kid porno, and I love lots of sex, and I love to gamble all my hard-earned money away.”
FALLOWS: So if I posed the question to you, do you visit adult web sites, what would you say?
SLIWA: Absolutely not.
FALLOWS: There you go. So you've proved your point. It's a really difficult thing to ask people questions about—about that.
And the specific statistic that you get when you do ask it is that 21 percent of men admit to visiting adult web sites, and five percent of women say the same thing. But you know, to get serious about it is very hard to do, and we know that a lot more people look at porn and visit adult web sites than will admit to it.
SLIWA: All right. And finally, based on what you've described as women's wants and desires in using the Internet, I would think guys are sort of like Sergeant Joe Friday. You know, just the facts. Give me basic information and I'm out of here. I'm cybersurfing away.
FALLOWS: Men do go online and kind of push the edges of the Internet. They look for lots more different kinds of information in larger numbers than women do. Finance, weather, sports, of course, news.
One thing that's different that's another reflection of offline life is that women will go to look for maps and directions more than men. So, you know, men are still perhaps lost out there, while women can seize that opportunity and find their way.
SLIWA: Well, I thought we had GPS for that, right? You know, the moron machine I call it in your car that says, “Hey, you moron, turn right, turn left.” What do I need the Internet for that for?
FALLOWS: Well, not everybody has it. Some people prepare ahead.
SLIWA: You got me on that one, Deborah. I'll let you go on that.
Thanks for joining us tonight.
FALLOWS: Thanks, Curtis.
SLIWA: And up next, what would you do with your true love gave to you two three liposuctions, two boob jobs, and a coupon for rhinoplasty? I'd say, “Wife, I'm not becoming a transvestite. Don't turn me into a freaky-deaky thing. We'll ask “The Outsider,” up next.
SLIWA: Welcome back. Sitting in tonight for Tucker Carlson, I'm Curtis Sliwa, better known as Beret Boy, Mr. Guardian Angel.
Well, Ernest Hemingway once said, “When people talk, listen completely.” Was he drunk? Was he sober at the time? I don't know. But most people never listen.
Joining me live in our SITUATION studio once again, a man who is the ultimate sportsmeister of generation X, “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: Quite an introduction. Thank you, Curtis.
SLIWA: Let's go to the city of Philadelphia.
SLIWA: Apparently Sony, no baloney, has decided to use guerrilla advertising, and they've used these cookie cutter graffiti pieces on the side of buildings to somehow promote their product, even though it doesn't say PlayStation or Sony at all. Good or bad, Max?
KELLERMAN: I mean, I don't see what the objection is here. Really, what's graffiti? The graffiti idea is, look, I'm taking this space—talking about guerrilla, I'm taking this space and I'm here. You know, I'm not paying for it. It's against the law.
Here the space is paid for. The artists are paid, and really, the complaint—the irony is that they're using the counter culture against itself. They're marketing to the counter culture using this counter culture technique.
The only complaint I can see is an aesthetic one. People don't like the way it looks because it looks like graffiti. But Sony is paying for it.
SLIWA: Don't throw those $5 words around like aesthetic. Let's get back to brass tacks.
KELLERMAN: That's at least a $20 word.
SLIWA: You said it's graffiti. It's art. I say it's vandalism. If you say it's art, hang it in your house. Don't put it on the sides of buildings. All you're doing is inducing others, with your posing and your fake graffiti, to go out there and steal an aerosol can of paint and go out there and vandalize buildings, particularly your company. It's almost like you're giving a license to graffiti then.
KELLERMAN: Well, except that, if they're paying for the spaces, then what you're really saying is, “I don't like the way it looks.” I mean, I don't like the way various billboards...
SLIWA: Can I ask you...
KELLERMAN: I don't get to say take it down.
SLIWA: Can I ask you what you really think if this happens in the neighborhoods where the Sony executives live? You know, out at their pool side chalets. Do you really think they would tolerate that kind of graffiti in their neighborhoods, whether it's paid for or not?
KELLERMAN: It's not graffiti. Graffiti is if it's illegally put on the side of the building. This is not graffiti because they own the space.
SLIWA: Here's Mr. Max Kellerman, Mr. Artsy-fartsy, right? The only difference you know about art, you know the difference between a Michelob and a Matisse, right? That's your formal acknowledgement of what art is.
KELLERMAN: I'm not saying if it's art or it's not art. It's an advertisement. And if it's a paid advertisement in a certain space, it can look however it wants. Unless it's something pornographic, then you know, there's no law against it.
SLIWA: All right. Round two. One of the hottest trends this holiday season is a gift that really keeps on giving, plastic surgery. Doctors say more and more people are giving nip and tucks, that's right, gift certificates as stocking stuffers for their loved ones especially in the wake of TV shows like “Extreme Makeover.” Everything from breast implants to nose jobs to face lifts at a cost of thousands of dollars.
I'm saying just look at Joan Rivers. If she has one more facelift, her face is going to snap like a rubber band.
How outrageous that parents would be giving to their children, or even to their grandchildren, gift certificates. Here. Here's for a nose job. Here's for boobs. I mean, you've got to be out of your mind. Call child welfare on these people.
KELLERMAN: Before I defend this, let me just say it's kind of hilarious what's going on, the fact that these are being given as gifts. It's—I totally agree, it's, you know, it's not tasteful. It's—I find it repulsive. And what's really ironic—irony, is that a $5 or a $20 word?
SLIWA: No, no. You're throwing nickels around like manhole covers now.
KELLERMAN: The—now I forgot what the irony is. The irony is these shows like “Extreme Makeover,” you'd think that it would dissuade people from getting plastic surgeries, right? You ever see these plastic surgeries? I don't know if it's “Extreme Makeover.” The plastic surgery shows. It's disgusting. It's—you know, you see people's faces getting taken apart.
And yet people want—look, the most important thing is how people feel about themselves, and just because something is superficial doesn't mean it's not important. People confuse the idea of superficiality and depth on the one hand with unimportant and important on the other.
SLIWA: Before you go to this draconian measure, right, of trying to
re-arrange your facial features and everything else below your Adam's
apple, why not try to find your inner child? Go to a shrink. Lay down on the couch. Try to find out why all the furniture is upstairs and re-arranged in the wrong rooms. Or start chipping away with Botox or collagen like a dope fiend? You're looking for that vein up here that you can shoot in on a regular basis.
KELLERMAN: Curtis, if a girl is 16 years old and her nose is, you know, two feet long and she has no chest, she can sit on the couch all she wants. In the end, you know why she's upset. And if she can go into a doctor's office and suddenly her nose looks normal and she has a chest and she feels good about herself, which is the most important thing, then even though I find it distasteful, good for her. That's my defense, my best defense.
SLIWA: She could have the biggest schnozola in the world. She could be flat-chested, but eventually she'll realize, “Hey, I'm going to be judged for what's up in my cerebellum and my medulla, not for what's below my navel or above it.”
KELLERMAN: On “Sesame Street” she'll be judged that way. In the real world she's not going to be judged that way.
SLIWA: Yes? Well, she'll probably be appointed the next United States Supreme Court justice, and think I'd rather assess her for what's up here than what's for down there.
KELLERMAN: Actually, if you've taken a look at the Supreme Court, you might be right about that.
SLIWA: Man, you are a sexist and a misogynist.
KELLERMAN: No, no. I mean the guys, too. I'm not just saying the women on the Supreme Court.
KELLERMAN: They're not the best looking group of people.
SLIWA: Max, high five, high five.
KELLERMAN: All right. Are you going—I thought maybe you were going to give me one of these.
SLIWA: You scored a trifecta. No left hook and right cross, that's for sure. Thanks for joining us.
KELLERMAN: Thank you, Curtis.
SLIWA: Still to come, the U.S. may have a whopping trade deficit, but we'll tell you one thing we're sadly very good at exporting. Details when THE SITUATION returns.
VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER: Still ahead, if America's biggest problem isn't terrorism, what is it? How about something called the reverse brain drain? We'll explain in a minute.
Plus, a porn star gets arrested for luring a 15-year-old boy into bed.
We'll bring you the details.
SLIWA: Sounds intriguing. THE SITUATION returns in just 60 seconds.
SLIWA: Welcome back. China may be spanking the U.S. on high-tech exports, but apparently that country is no match for the U.S. when it comes to exporting human beings, especially smart ones.
David Heenan is the author of “Flight Capital: The Alarming Exodus of America's Best and Brightest.” He joins us live tonight from Honolulu. Thanks for joining us, Dave.
DAVID HEENAN, AUTHOR: Aloha. Delighted to be here.
SLIWA: Just to start off, when we mentioned China, I want to know. Are you referring to our China, Taiwan, a.k.a., Formosa, or their China, red China?
HEENAN: Really all of the above. Every one of those countries, including Singapore, is very much active in this reverse brain drain, what I'm calling flight capital, the reverse of immigrants who came to the U.S., were successful, but then for a lot of reasons, in recent years they've decided to go right back to those same countries.
SLIWA: But what I don't understand, David, is I've that visited India. I've visited the Philippines, Brazil, and they're constantly complaining of what I call reverse osmosis. Their brightest, their most gifted intellects come to the United States, get scholarships specifically to learn here in the U.S., and then to go back and to apply their craft there.
But a lot of them get cold while they're here, and we end up with their brightest future intellects who then incorporate themselves into our society. They would give you, I think, the reverse argument.
HEENAN: Well, no. I think, you know, that was the case for many, many years. But I noticed about six years ago that many of those same people who came here and were highly successful, very, very well educated, people that came here with the idea of staying here permanently. These weren't the kids that came here to get an MBA and then run daddy's shirt company back in Bombay two years later.
These people really wanted to stay here. In recent years for a variety of reasons a lot of them have started now to make a U-turn, and that movement started to pick up dramatically after 9/11 when we really tightened up in a pretty heavy-handed way, and I think wrong-headed way, our immigration policies and created a much chillier environment for both potential overseas recruits and recent newcomers to the country.
SLIWA: All right. But part of the global economy would mean that also human resources get traded around the globe. I mean, in the oil industry we've been doing that for years. So many of our brightest, and those who have plied their craft for years would go over to the Middle East or other ports of call and literally raise families and develop whole new lifestyles different from the United States. What's wrong with that?
HEENAN: That's great. I think the good news story to the flight capital movement is that, to the extent we have a more equitable distribution of brain power right around the planet, that speaks well for the global economy. To the extent that more people, more countries can participate in globalization, that's all very much to the good. You're absolutely right.
But from a selfish standpoint, no country, including the great United States, can afford to see its best minds walk, and that's what we're starting to see today in rapid numbers. By my estimates, every day we're losing 500 to 1,000 people, many of them highly gifted scientists, engineers, doctors and the like. To borrow your terms, they're the guardian angels, Curtis, of the new economy, exactly the kind of people we want to keep our hooks into.
SLIWA: OK, but David very quickly, please. How do you solve this problem? What do you do to put the brakes on and reverse the flow?
HEENAN: You've got to do two things. One is clearly on the back end we know we're going to lose some people. That's inevitable. That's just going to happen.
We have to train our own home-grown kids in science, math, and engineering. And that's not going to be an easy task. Most of our kids today want to be like you, broadcast journalists. So they wan to major in sports management.
We need more engineers and scientists. The Irish tell me, you know, in our country, computers are cool and geeks are good. We don't feel that way about them in the U.S. We've got a reverse culture.
On the other side, we've got to hang onto the trusted immigrants that we have and be much more active, in particularly recruiting very skilled, very bright immigrants which Australia, Canada, and more recently the European Union are doing very, very aggressively.
SLIWA: Dave, thanks for joining us all the way from Honolulu tonight.
HEENAN: My pleasure. Happy new year.
SLIWA: And to you, too.
Coming up, ladies and gentlemen, Tucker Carlson goes head to head with Al “Slim Shady” Sharpton over the execution of Stanley “Tookie” Williams. Hooray. He's room temperature. It's one of the more memorable matchups of the year.
SLIWA: Welcome back. If you're a regular viewer of THE SITUATION you know this is a show that never shies away from controversy. From the execution of Tookie Williams to the latest outrageous PETA tactics, Tucker Carlson tackles it all and gives them their props. Here are some of the hot topics decided by you.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: If people truly believed Tookie Williams did not kill those four people, this would be a much bigger case even than it is. Even as supporters, and I can tell by the sound of your voice, even you suspect, yes, this guy did it. And he did it, by the way, for racial reasons, by his own admission. I killed him because he was white. That's what Tookie Williams said to one of his accomplices.
SHARPTON: Said to who?
CARLSON: He said that to a man named Tony Sims. Who, in fact...
SHARPTON: What did Tony Sims get for saying what he said?
CARLSON: He got zero. He got bupkis. He got life in prison, he did not plead. He did not say that during the trial. He refused to trial in the trial. He said that when he was arrested.
SHARPTON: I think from the beginning that, it has been very well documented by defense attorney. There's another side of this argument, either.
CARLSON: That's the side I want like to bring up, the idea that Tookie Williams is redeemed, somehow convincing young people not to join gangs. I would like one single example of one single young person whom Tookie Williams has convinced not to join a street gang.
SHARPTON: You have—you had several, including many artists like Snoop Dog and others who have said that he's influenced them to stop working against gangs and do things positive in the community. You don't need one, you have had several over the last few years.
CARLSON: Then why hasn't gang activity in Los Angeles subsided at all? Gangs are like L.A.'s always been.
SHARPTON: Well, that's like saying, why have a police department because we still have crime. Here, we have the best efforts possible. Clearly, it would take more than one person, but that does not mean he's ineffective even more than I would say we don't need LAPD because we still have crimes in L.A. That's absurd.
CARLSON: In here you have lines like this, “Since your daddy is teaching you the wrong lessons about right and wrong, you should teach him fishing is killing. Until your daddy learns it's not fun to kill, keep your doggies and kitties away from him. He's so hooked on killing defenseless animals, they could be next.”
I assume you have no children, right? You couldn't. Nobody with children would put this out, because it gives kids nightmares. Seriously, your daddy is going to kill your dog?
BRUCE FRIEDRICH, DIRECTOR, PETA ANIMAL CAMPAIGNS: We focus group the ad. Kids get it. If you watch m TV, go to the websites kids like, even Saturday morning cartoons, this is the sort of hyperbole kids like, but it makes a serious point.
CARLSON: Even in Washington, a focus group is not a moral justification. I don't care what your focus group said. How about common sense? How about you don't accuse parents of wanting to kill the family pet? I mean, that's so sick.
FRIEDRICH: Tucker, you're...
CARLSON: That's over the top. I'm totally serious, actually.
FRIEDRICH: I know you're totally serious, but you're underestimating there kids. I worked for more than six years in a homeless shelter for families. I spent a lot of time around kids. You're underestimating them.
CARLSON: I've got four kids. Don't lecture me about my kids. If someone slipped this under my door, I'd punch them out. You're very concerned about the feelings of fish, but you don't care at all about the feelings of kids or their parents.
FRIEDRICH: That's not fair.
CARLSON: It's totally fair, putting out this garbage. If you cared, you wouldn't.
FRIEDRICH: Tucker, kids like it. You're underestimating them. Kids like it. It's focused on kids age 12 and up. And it speaks to them in a language that they understand. No kids are going to be traumatized by this. Kids to a kid think that it's fantastic and they retain the information.
CARLSON: Don't send it to my house, Bruce.
FRIEDRICH: OK, Tucker, I won't.
CARLSON: I appreciate your coming on anyway.
You open up the movie with something that struck me as something not exactly honest. It's a profile of a place called H&H Hardware in a small town in Ohio, and you make the point it's been owned by this family for 40 some years, by the Hunter family. Wal-Mart came to town, and their hardware store went out of business. That's what the movie says.
Well, according to the “Cleveland Plain Dealer”, actually that store that you profiled went out of business before Wal-Mart opened its doors.
ROBERT GREENWALD, DIRECTOR, “WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE”:
CARLSON: The founder of the store is quoted as saying, “It hurts businesses, Wal-Mart does, but that's not the reason we closed. Absolutely not.” And in fact, that store was replaced by another hardware store, despite the fact that Wal-Mart was there.
GREENWALD: Yes, come on, you've been getting your talking points from those expensive spin doctors they have.
CARLSON: Hey. You slow down, Mr. Greenwald. I got that out of the “Cleveland Plain Dealer” web site. Don't accuse me of being...
GREENWALD: Did you—did you get the...
GREENWALD: Did you get the clarification that they issued the next day?
CARLSON: I'm not a tool for Wal-Mart.
GREENWALD: Did you get the clarification that they issued the next day? Did you get the statement from Mr. Hunter, the son, who runs the store?
The film very specifically says, very specifically, it's even worse, they closed before Wal-Mart came to town. He says it. He goes and he tries to get a bank loan, and the banker says to him, “No. The value of your property has gone down.”
CARLSON: I just watched—I just watched the film about an hour ago, and that is absolutely, absolutely not what it says.
Don't you wish, as much as this might be the end of Karl Rove, that this was a debate about policy or ideas? Don't you sort of feel a little bad your side is winning on essentially what is a technicality?
BILL PRESS, MSNBC ANALYST: Tucker, let me tell you something. I never—I'm a liberal, right. I don't wish will of anybody. But I can't wait to see Karl Rove frog marched out of the White House alongside of Scooter Libby.
I think what these guys tried to do is they tried to Swift Boat Joe Wilson by going after his wife, and they got caught.
SLIWA: Tucker was fired up, and that was just the tip of the iceberg in our hour-long special. Make sure you tune in Friday night at 11 p.m. Eastern for THE SITUATION '05 yearend spectacular. You don't want to miss it.
Up next, I get to blow off some steam on the John Gotti Jr. trial. He tried to kill me twice in the summer of '92. This is about my life. A new year's revelation involving crime. The Mafia when we come back.
SLIWA: Welcome back. It's time for tales of wrongdoing and justice served on THE SITUATION “Crime Blotter.”
When it comes to wrongdoing, this story is just about as wrong as you can get. A Long Island 2-year-old left in the care of a relative got drunk when the baby-sitter also happened to be drunk passed out. The toddler had a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit for adults, then was hospitalized. The baby-sitter was arrested. He should be doing triple life without parole.
In Oklahoma, a porn actress charged with having sex with a 15-year-old boy is behind bars today. Genevieve Elise Silva is accused as plying the unidentified California teenager with methamphetamines and Ecstasy and then taking him to live at her mother's house? The boy is now in drug rehab. Silva has allegedly appeared in several x-rated movies and on adult web sites. What a degenerate!
And proving blood isn't thicker than water, a bank robber was turned in by his three sons to 40 years behind bars today. He was caught when one of the sons recognized him on this bank is surveillance tape. He turned to a life of crime after losing his job and developing a crack habit.
His son said he always taught them to do the right thing. And they slammed and jammed him. And he's behind bars.
Now, there's something I need to get off of my chest. Look. We're exercising our First Amendment rights of free speech. Men and women have died for our right. And I do that here. And I want to thank Tucker Carlson for allowing me that opportunity, but I do it every day at WABC Radio in New York.
And one of my pet peeves is against the Mafia, la Cosa Nostra, the Gambino crime family led by the Gottis. And in 1992, I railed against John Gotti Sr. And I told the truth about all the bad things he had done to so many people. Well, his son decided to take revenge on me. Had me attacked with baseball bats, aerated my lower intestines and lower extremities. I was lucky to survive.
Just went through a trial process in which one juror held out and he was able to avoid 30 years without parole. I get a second try at him on February 13. I hope he goes straight to hell without an asbestos suit when he finally leaves the hole. In the meantime, that's THE SITUATION.
Thank for watching. Remember tomorrow night, Tucker is back at 11 p.m. Eastern with the situation '05 year-end spectacular. Have a great night and a happy new year!
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