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tv   To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe  PBS  July 17, 2010 6:30am-7:00am PST

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>> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: >> while other luxury car makers are still building their first hybrid, lexus hybrids have 5.5 billion miles. imagine where we'll go next. >> the life technology foundation is proud to support "to the contrary" on pbs. our foundation seeks to advance science education and to further society's understanding of the life sciences including the impact of genomics on the practice of medicine. >> and by: sam's club, committed to small business. and the spirit of the entrepreneur. and proud to support pbs's "to the contrary" with bonnie erbe. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation the charles a. frueauff
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and by the sanofi aventis foundation. >> this week on "to the contrary" uncle sam sues arizona to throw out the new immigration law. today's parents are more stressed and less happy being parents than those in prior generations. behind the headlines, a dad who convinced his family to live off the grid for a year. hello, i'm bonnie erbe welcome to "to the contrary" a discussion of news and social trends. up first, immigration reform takes center stage. this week the justice department
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sued the state of arizona to overturn its tough new immigration law. the law would require police to question a person's immigration status if there's a reasonable suspicion he or she is in the country illegally. that when stopping people for other possible violations. the law requires legal immigrants to carry immigration documents. republican governor jan brewer says the law responds to years of border security issues including drug trafficking, kidnapping and murders. but the federal government claims arizona's law is unconstitutional. and it harms the federal government's pursuit of terrorist, gang members and other criminal immigrants a. new poll finds more than half of americans support arizona's law but opponent says regardless of their citizenship status and is prompting other states to pass similar law.
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congresswoman norton, is the immigration so broken that only the states can fix it? >> the immigration system is very broken. but breaking it in to 50 more pieces will surely collapse it. this problem is so broken, i'm actually calling the federal government to do things. one of the few things they ought to provide the common defense and securing our nation's borders only reason states are acting because the federal government isn't. >> i don't think immigration policy is broken so much as our government is broken. fraternity is lead are ship just not working. >> i agree. as libertarian i have loathe to admit this, i think this is one of the few areas federal government should be intervening. >> what's going to happen, the presumably arizona law will be thrown out, congresswoman norton, will it be thrown out completely or just the parts of it, for example, that require legal immigrants to carry
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certain documentation which should be the province of federal law or asking their police to check person's immigration status when the stop them for something else, presumably a suspicion of a local crime. >> well, notice, bonnie, that the federal government's main account is on its own preemption authority. that only the federal government can or should enforce immigration. i agree. >> there's no room for local police in border states to do anything like refer a believed or reasonable suspicion of a criminal entrant in to the country over to the feds? >> that's where the states are -- that's what the states are going to argue. they're going to argue that this is really parallel to what the federal government is doing. the federal government is going to say, just a moment.
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not only does this affect clearly a presumptive federal a matter from which the states are excluded, it does for a reason. it affects, for example, international relations, you can't have these states deciding the posture of the united states with respect to people coming in. as a practical matter, only the federal government can do it.c the federal government, notn fraternal leadership, the congress of the united states, men and women bear responsibility for not having gotten a law that could be signed by the president through the congress. >> well, there is a role for states and local communities. what is interesting about this, the obama administration under the homeland security department has given grants to states andho local communities in the past to talk with border security. they are the folks on the ground. that's a joint effort, it's not the states acting on their own they're doing so with federalte authority. the bottom line is, we have got
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to secure our borders. it is not fair to the people ofo arizona or the people of texas and the people of california and increasingly now all 50 states, that the government is not doing that. the reason we didn't get it last time because it was way over the top trying to pile everything in, we have got to takeot incremental steps in securing our border. i don't know anybody unless we have somebody here who thinks we shouldn't do that. that is at least something that we can agree on then talk about work programs and talk about what do we do with the people that are here. but just stop what is currently coming in. >> you can argue that you're already doing that because they doubled border security within the last year. by the way, the number of people coming over the border is fewer -- >> mainly due to the economy, though, not because of enforcement. >> we don't know that, i don't know that. but we assume -- >> no, there are people who have done surveys who say that -- look, we -- >> right.
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>> and legal immigration and illegal immigration is economically driven. they're not going to come. >> i totally agree. we can't take the position that in fact securing the border will only be a good thing to do if the economy is bad. we ought to secure the economy when we had that economy that was going through the roof. >> i think securing the border doesn't actually deal with the underlying issue. the fact as you mentioned people are coming here because they have better opportunities here. we have thrown up all these barriers in entry and still people think it is worth them to go in to a black market economy. worth for them to be off the grid. it is worth them to pay traffickers to get them across the border to live outside of the law, because to them they are still -- they gain economic benefit from that. so we need to address that.be we only do that through having a proper temporary guest worker program, also through free trade. strengthening the economy of mexico so that people don't feel the need to come here, that they
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can actually make it on their own down there. >> i hear a lot of shoulds from both sides of the table. all is a political hot potato. i just want to say, hats off tof governor brewer, a lot of respect she's doing something that took a lot of strength to do. s that she believes serves her constituents. what i meant by the fraternity of leadership is. we have a new government in place now, that said they were going to do things differently. turns out it's the same as the government we had for eight years under bush.e we're not getting anything done because we've become so partisan we can't work together. i think you're seeing a lot more women run. we just had women run in the republican side and win andha we're seeing that on the democratic side, too. we need some changes. we need to bring in new faces start to do things differently because we're talking about alle these great things we can do and meanwhile, nothing is getting done. c >> i wish that would solve the immigration crisis. i think you're right. we may have to do something like pay incrementally.
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>> i think this is something that both sides may agree upon. we've been going back and forth and back and forth. republicans jumped off the ship that said, let's do it all together, which obviously makes more sense. a win-win always makes more sense. but the way this is polarized our nation is so bad that if yoo could say, here is one, two, three and you will know that one is done, you'll have an indicator there. then you can go on to two and then you can go on to three. t i'd be willing to work with the other side of the aisle on that at this point if they would be t willing to help to get it that way. we're getting no where.t >> all right. >> you're right. >> right now we have to get somewhere so we're moving from immigration to unhappy parents. >> parents who hate parenting. "new york" magazine cover story makes the claim that parents are often less happy than their
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child-free peers. it leaves parents with unrealistic expectations of what true parenthood will be like. several theories are offered to explain this change from prior generations, one is, that parents don't enjoy parenting because of the experience of raising children has fundamentally changed. and become much more stressful in today's hi-tech urbanized society. others say, expectations for perfect children are out of whack with reality. the author posits that before urbanization, children were viewed as economic assets to help their parents till the fields or run small family-owned businesses.ec as america became financially better off, childhood became a time for parents to groom, teach and stimulate their kids.ro so kids in essence went from k being as the author says, quote, staff, to being our bosses. end quote. and i really think that's the root problem of all of this.
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i was raised in the sort of the end of the era of children should be seen and not heard. and now everybody who has kids think their kid is the greatest kid whoever came along. can do all these things that other kids can't do. we have gone from treating them like chattle to treating them like trophies so parents make themselves miserable trying to raise these perfect kids. yes, or no? >> i agree. forget working on the farm, i can't get my kids to make their beds. >> see, if you -- >> let me -- >> if you raised them right you could. >> here is what's happened. one of the greatest gifts that the woman's movement of the '60s and '70s gave us was the right for women to enter the workforce. it was like giving us a car without driving lessons because now we're in a paradigm where women who work feel guilty about their choice and women who stay home feel guilty about their choice. they project their own feeling
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on to their children then try to make their kids perfect. the centerpiece for woman's advocacy at this point needs to be opening the discussion on this and finding a way for women to support each other's, whatever they decide, whether they be stay-at-home mom, value moms who work. and i've been on both sides of the that battlefield i know. me i sat with moms who stay at home and those who work thelt incredible amount of guilt. we have to find way to celebrate these choices and take the pressure off, happy parents makf happy children. this is not good for the children or for the parents. >> i take it even beyond women, saying dads and others, i think our society is so busy and there's so much you got to do to get ahead, have the perfect child, as you said to build the trophy. if it comes about -- the child becomes a project for folks in t many cases at the same time you also want to make sure that you're equipping them so they do succeed, you say it's okay if
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the kid doesn't go to harvard. i don't have children but i have three perfect nephews, who want the best. there are times, it's having them involved this practice and this lesson and this additional language class, is that really going to make them happy or make them better people? >> i don't understand how the average person parents. think for a moment the average parent it in our society. there are no parental supports. women who go out work. and it's the woman usually who is responsible for the child. somebody takes care of the children. that's now make anybody crazy. it's wonder we're not having the opposite problem. because you are being driven crazy.se >> we had that for awhile. we had latch-key kids. that's from 20 years ago. >> bear in mind much of this town, very upper middle class to me. if we want to talk about how the
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average woman, i'm talking about mary lunch bag. i'm not talking about people around this table. i'm talking about -- the article also said, by the way, that lower income mothers are doing it more like their mothers did it, which is to say that television set is the baby-sitter. and that -- >> here is the perfect child. again, it's so easy to get off in to like the women we know. for a moment, this is an important problem. because these two perfect parents with their snotty children are going to be the next rulers of the world. but in a real -- >> this is our country. this is this generation. >> our country really -- this is the biggest issue facing modern day woman. >> the biggest issue, are not the ones making perfect children.
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biggest issue are the mothers who work 9:00 to 5:00 proverbially who have nobody to take care of their children who are doing exactly what bonnie said, sit by the television set. it's all driving me crazy, go to bed, do your homework for god's sakes get out of my face. that is a much larger problem than the upper middle class problem of two perfect children. >> i don't have children, i just got engaged. >> be forewarned. >> i have grown up as a coddled child in suburb, looking at my friends getting married, starting to have kids, having come from that background i don't think we're not equipped, actually, in my opinion to deal with taking care of others because we have always been taken care of. in terms of what model we have to look back at, my mother stayed at home took care of us. i want to work, i have always been taught that the world is my oyster.o but i don't want to give that up for another person. >> this is a -- >> quite frankly, in my mid
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50s, children are no longer an option but in my 20s and 30s c that's what i thought. i thought i want to spend my life becoming the best person i can be and not helping somebody else along to do that. that's the choice that 20% of -- >> when did the me generation emerge? >> wait a second. >> i do want to say in defense of what i call child-free children, not childless, a child-free adult, i should say, but i'm not childless, i never wanted kids. i wouldn't have been a good parent, i'm glad i didn't make the mistake of becoming one. however, i do think that there are a lot of people who fall in to the category that the "new york" magazine article was talking about, should not have had them, decided because of societal pressures to do so. that's the really sad part of this.
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behind the headlines, reducing your carbon footprint. want to go green? here is the challenge. say goodbye to electricity, trade your car for a bike. buy only local foods and give up toilet paper. toilet paper? you up for it? well, we talked with one dad who convinced his family to make all these sacrifices for an entire year.into author colin beavan tells us why he did it and what he learned from his year of no impact living. a >> we started the experiment the end of 2006. basically i was really concerned about the state of the world on the one hand we were melting the planet through global warning. i was around people in new york city, my friends who were working all the hours couldn't spend time in the people that they loved. d working in jobs that they didn't really believe in. having no connection to anything larger than themselves.
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so a lot of depressed and anxious people where we were melting the planet for a way of life but weren't making us happy. what i wanted to do is experiment with our way of life see if there was maybe way to live that was better for people and better for the planet at the same time. >> so beavan convinced his journalist wife, michelle conlin, toddler daughter izabella in tow, to give up elevators, air conditioning,ab take out and other modern day conveniences that many people couldn't imagine living without especially in new york city. >> we went the whole hog. the idea was that we would have no net environmental impact. we reduced our negative impact as much as possible which meant nothing in packaging, no going anywhere, no fossil fuels, no buying anything new, only local food and on and on. then we increased our positiveit impact by volunteering to help plant trees or to take trash off the river banks, reduce negativt impact plus increase positive
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impact, equal net. >> and what did the beavan family discover? >> what we found was that, for example, spending less time in front of the tv, not emphasizing buying stuff that we replaced our consumption with social connection.ff in the end michelle said, that she felt that we had undertaken the project for our family as opposed to doing it for the planet. >> a look at the facts shows the beavan family discovery makes perfect sense, for example, the average american adult spends some 72 minutes a day behind the wheel of a car. twice as much time as the average american father spends with his kids. and the average american watches four and a half hours of tv a day, often while eating prepackaged processed food. time beavan says can go towardsp preparing fresh, homemade mealsa >> in our household michelle joked that the best thing about
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no impact was that her husband turned in to a 1950s housewifen because you know, all the things like going to the farmers market, cooking, cloth diaper changing that as michelle said, his project, it's largely felt to me. >> while it may have been time, the beavan family survived the year and made some of their no-impact practices permn't. >> for our health it's better to bike than it is to get transported around by some sort of mechanical box. we get our exercise, part of our daily routine. to get our food from local farmers who we can trust instead of from corporations who are more interested in their financial bottom line than nutritional value.s that means that we continue to try to continue to eat locally or we gave away our air conditioners because we have ten hot nights a year, we save $10,000 a year. or we buy things second hand to save money. things that make sense for us are the things that we kept.
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and a lot does. >> beavan is calling on other americans to reduce their environmental impact for the sake of their families and the planet. he started a nonprofit, no impact project. one of the organizations' programs encourages people to live a no impact week doing everything the beavan family did but for seven days. >> the 10,000 people have done it, it's really interesting because, first of all americans are questioning how they want to live between the oil spill, the economy, news about climate change, people are wondering, how should we live in a way that is good for us and good for our planet. the other thing that's interesting about it, i get allt the e-mails from people that say that they went through this program, they didn't make trash for a week but next thing they found themselves asking the big question, how do i want to spend my life. what am i alive for. and it's really interesting because we're in the time in history where the philosophical questions and practical questions are the same. because we can no longer afford
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to use resources for things that aren't in line with our life's purpose. >> well, i admire this guy, i think we all do for doing what he did. but is it really possible? i mean, we can all reduce our carbon footprint but to go totally carbon free for a year. >> he was talking about no air condition, it's been 100 degrees in d.c. the last few days, i'm if i can possibly help it. a lot of those things that they did certainly would be great if we all do it. everybody would be better off if we watch less than four hours of television and eating our fritos at the same time. that is common sense things. a lot takes time to do all of this. to be able to -- find the farmer's market. everybody doesn't live within walking distance to that. it takes time to learn how to live like this. i'm looking at some of the stuff, i don't know how to grow that. we don't have place to do that. so many things we can do, butat
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it's a whole shift. it was pretty obvious, it wasn't easy for them. >> it's happening. i'm glad people are doing some goofy things and some are not. we are greedily overoverin overindulging in what what is left of the climate. now that we know and now that in fact all kinds of things we can do are in fact being shown to us, some of it in ways that is a little extreme. most of it not so extreme. people are responding. >> this reminded me, a few years ago when sheryl crow went on tv said, i think all americans should use one square of toilet paper. what? stick to what you're good at. to me, this struck me that -- >> i do want to say that i interviewed sigourney weaver a few months back and she goes off the grid, lives in new york city but she has a weekend place upstate new york that's totally off the grid, she spends about
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half her time there. a lot of people are more than you would think, wealthy people are starting to do this. >> it struck me the first world problem. we can afford the luxury of making that choice. there are so many people in the world that don't have that choice. which just to me seems like a naval gazing exercise. yes, you can do this, but people probably in new york didn't think that they could -- this was even possible. >> quickly, amy. >> all of the above solutions. i find it fascinating redefined gender roles here. as a follow up, we were talking about the last story how men aren't happy in the current paradigm, they redefined ine their own little life who did what, that's possible. >> right. more of the traditional female compare taking in the house. she was the income earner and he was the caretaker, the gardeneri and all that sort of stuff. in terms of that, you go, beavan. that's it for this edition of "to the contrary."
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next week democratic senator amy klobuchar talks about what she's been doing to protect teen drivers.ob please join us on the web and whether your views are in agreement or "to the contrary" please join us next time. >> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: >> while other luxury car makers are still building their first hybrid, lexus hybrids have 5.5 billion miles. imagine where we'll go next. >> the life technologyer foundation is proud to support "to the contrary" on pbs.ti
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our foundation seeks to advancen science education and to further society's understanding of the life sciences including the impact of genomics on the practice of medicine. >> and by: sam's club, committed to small business. and the spirit of the entrepreneur. and proud to support pbs's "to the contrary" with bonnie erbe. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation the charles a. frueauff foundation and by the sanofi aventis foundation. for videotapes of "to the contrary", please contact federal news service at 1-888-343-1940.
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rozat k. sabich. and they're gonna charge me. don't be seen with me, man. they' your own autopsy notes? you dictate them you may stop answering questions at any timnt? any feeling that you might be a political scapegoat? is now in session, the honorable larren l. lyttle, judge, presiding.
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