Here And There with Dave Marash

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 MDT

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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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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