Here And There with Dave Marash

Turkey’s present is bad enough, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exploiting a State of Emergency and the new powers granted him by a recent and highly questionable referendum to make more political arrests and foreclose more platforms for public communication.  But Pinar Tremblay, columnist at Al Monitor says Turkey’s future may be defined for a plan to build more than 100 new prisons.  Meanwhile Erdogan’s tattered army has been cut out of the main fight to defeat the Islamic State and 2 of his biggest economic backers are squabbling. 

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After a commando raid in Yemen which cost the American military one of its most expensive airplanes and, much worse, the life of Navy Seal “Ryan’ Owens, the White House called it a success.  But award-winning reporter Iona Craig sneaked into that dangerous country and trekked 1000 miles to see the target village and talk with survivors of a raid that killed more than 2 dozen civilians.  A success is not what she calls it.  As for the war itself, no one is winning, but Yemen’s civilians, killed by the thousands by American-supported Saudi and Emerati bombing, are now facing famine. 

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MST

Whether or not the House-passed repeal, replace and ruin of Obamacare bill ever gets through the Senate, American health care will remain the world’s most expensive, and nowhere near the world’s best.  Journalist Elizabeth Rosenthal, herself an experienced physician, has written a new best-selling book, An American Sickness, which not only details the many failings of our healthcare system, but has lots of suggestions on how you can get your best value from it. 

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Dan Habib was an award winning newspaper photographer.  Then his second son Samuel was born with cerebral palsy and Dan became his son’s advocate, and a maker of stunning video documentaries about children with special needs and how public school systems deal with them.

The first was called Including Samuel.  The second, Who Cares About Kelsey, tells the story of a teenager with ADHD and one school’s attempt to get her through graduation.

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Our guest today is writer and journalist Frank Deford.  Our subject, the NFL, football, and violence.  The National Football League is the 1% of professional athletics, the richest sport, with some of the richest and most admired performers, its televised games are the highest-priced, most widely popular athletic commodity in America.  But it has a violence problem, 2 of them at least: violence turned inward player on player, which a recent study suggested will leave 1/3 of its players with some form of irreversible brain damage.  And then, there’s the NFL’s problem of violence turned outward, assaults and batteries, most consistently violence within the family, victimizing wives, girl-friends, even children.  No one has written or spoken out more sharply on these issues than Frank Deford.

How to describe Frank Deford.  First of all, he is a writer of clean, elegant and decisive prose, and of fiction that mixes both penetrating empathy for character and often daring moral judgment with prose that has the richness and beauty of poetry.

Frank Deford has written 17, or is it 18 books, 2 screenplays and several libraries of magazine articles, television and radio scripts.  6 times his colleagues have named him U.S. Sportswriter of The Year. and of course, he’s in the sports journalists’ Hall of Fame. And beyond the press box, For sixteen years, Deford served as national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and he remains chairman emeritus.

And to top it off, Deford is a real mensch

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MST

A cult is defined as an isolated or at last separated community with a charismatic leader.  America is full of them, some good, some bad.  Pulitzer Prize-winning AP investigative reporter Mitch Weiss reveals how one religious congregation, The North Carolina-based Word of Faith fellowship was turned into an abusive cult, ruled by an erratic tyrant and run like a totalitarian prison camp.  There had ben whistleblowers in the past, but they were defeated by local prosecutors turned cult enablers.  

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Finally an eye-witness to conditions inside Trump-era detention facilities used for unaccompanied minor immigrants.  Dr Fernando Stein, President of the American Academy of Pediatricians has seen the kids, their bunks, their holding areas.  His report will shock you.  Put more than a dozen kids in a single area, he says, you expect a lot of noise.  At the El Paso holding center there was dead silence, kids staring dead-eyed from their bunks.

Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MST

President Donald Trump wants to build a wall on the US-Mexico border to keep out “bad dudes” and worse narcotic drugs.  Albuquerque Journal investigative reporter Mike Gallagher has done a 6-part series on the international market for illegal drugs called The Cartels Next Door and says a wall won’t even slow down the cross-border traffic in cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and the fentanyls.  Almost all of them, he says, are smuggled through legal Ports of Entry, the gateways through the wall.  

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First, Sallyport, a major US military contractor in Iraq hired two investigators to check out operations there.  The investigators found evidence of security violations, alcohol smuggling, theft of U.S. government equipment and sex trafficking, which, investigative reporter Desmond Butler of the Associated Press says, got them fired and their report buried.  But not for long.  The investigators told Butler what they’d found and what had happened to them and their report, and then things got really ugly. 

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The first round of France’s Presidential elections saw an almost perfect 4-way split in the votes.  But in the second round, the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron defeated second-place finisher, the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen by a 3-2 margin.  What are the implications for France’s future.  Former 60 Minutes producer Barry Lando, a longtime resident of Paris has some interesting ideas. Can a post-ideological President, backed by a gender-balanced, politically varied Cabinet bring some competence to French governance?

Direct download: HT052417LandoPOD.mp3
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