Here And There with Dave Marash

The medical missionary Marcus Whitman is the martyr hero of one of the great legends of the American Northwest. Unfortunately the story behind the legend, a cross-country trip to the White House to save Oregon from a British takeover was almost entirely untrue.  Author Blaine Harden's new book, Murder at the Mission: A Frontier Killing, Its legacy of lies and The Taking of the American West replaces the legend -- made up by Dr. Whitman's life-long rival and enemy -- with the facts.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_061021_Harden.mp3
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Bill Gates got a lot of credit and a lot more money for his pioneering work making Microsoft computer tools.  He also got slapped down for anti-trust violations for trying too successfully to dominate the digital marketplace. Tim Schwab has reported in The Nation that Gates' money and ambition may be making him dangerously dominant in global health policies. One casualty, the integrity of The Lancet, once one of the world's most respected medical journals. Gates' bucks have banged that reputation hard.

Direct download: HereAndThere_060821_Schwab.mp3
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The State of California prides itself for setting the pace on environmental reforms, and among its most ambitious programs is its cap and trade market in credits for preserving forests to reduce carbon emissions from the atmosphere.  But Lisa Song of Pro Publica reports, California's clean air program may have some baked-in flaws. For example, she says, some forests will actually absorb far less carbon than they are  being given credits for.

Direct download: HereAndThere_060721_Song.mp3
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The resumption of the global arms race is scary enough
without the addition of a new global resource race. The prizes are Lithium, Cobalt and Nickel, valued because they are key elements in the batteries needed to power the transition to electric vehicles. Mining each of 'em creates a mess. Ivan Penn of the NY Times on why it ain't easy, going green.

Direct download: HereAndThere_060321_Penn.mp3
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 Economist Matthias Doepke of Northwestern University was one of the first to warn, the coronavirus pandemic would have a disproportionate  impact on women.  His latest study confirms in detail what he'd predicted.  Because of the kinds of jobs filled mostly by women and their extra responsibilities for child care, Covid19's disruption of women's lives has been deeper and will last longer than men's. Doepke says this is the first big economic downturn in history worthy of the name "she-cession."

Direct download: HereAndThere_060121_Doepke.mp3
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Over the past few weeks, the biggest iceberg yet calved off the coast of Antarctica and splashed into the ocean.  Also, a death knell was sounded for a huge sheet of ice still attached to Greenland.  This could put a literal damper on the boom in beachfront real estate in Australia and the USA. You can't cut any ice in New Mexico, but our ever-heating and drying climate creates related problems. Laura Paskus of of NM Public TV's Our Land and the online news site Capital and Main tells the climate story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_053121_Paskus.mp3
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First a Florida municipal waterworks, the the Washington DC Police Department, then the enormous Colonial Pipeline, all victims of malicious hacking and in the last-named case, multi-million dollar ransomware scheme. A lot of this is coming from Russia and China, but where is it headed? Nicole Perlroth cyberwar reporter for the New York Times has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_052721_Perlroth.mp3
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An uneasy peace is holding in Libya, but progress towards a more enduring civil society is halting.  Libyan journalist Mustafa Fetouri says the biggest stumbling block is the presence of 25,000 or more armed foreign fighters in the country.  Turkey says, its forces -- mostly Syrian mercenaries -- were invited in by the Libyan government and so they -- alone-- should be allowed to stay. None of the other troop suppliers -- like Russia, Egypt and the UAE, are buying that. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_052521_Fetouri.mp3
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One lie is bad enough, but a consistent policy of lying is even worse,  especially when its purpose is to protect individual and institutional irresponsibility. Investigative reporter Thomas Brennan of The War Horse documents how the US Marine Corps, and all the American military services routinely lie about the misdeeds of its officers.

Direct download: HereAndThere_052421_Brennan.mp3
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 The farming industry goes from green to green, green fields to greenback dollars for their produce. But what about the people in between, the ones working the fields for very few dollars? And what if their lives are caught between a home in Mexico and a daily crossing to the job in Arizona? They benefit from a special visa program, but the farming industry benefits a lot more. Esther Honig reported in The Nation on The Story of Your Salad. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_052021_Honig.mp3
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 Try to hold the New York City Police Department -- the fabled NYPD -- to account and you're in for a lot of resistance.  Investigative reporter Topher Sanders of Pro Publica says both the Department's Inspector General and the Civilian Complaint Review Board file reports about it, but the chokehold --- allegedly banned since 1993 -- still shows up on both officers' and bystanders' videos. One former NYPD top cop dismisses his critics as people who've never done my job telling me how to do it.  

Direct download: ht051821SandersPOD.mp3
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As so many of Afghanistan's brightest and best people  head for the exits, as the US and its allies remove their troops and reduce their commitments to a country under threat,  Afghan journalist Ilias Alami of Kabul Insider sees the exodus and says he gets it, but he's sticking around, even though at least a dozen of his colleagues have fled in just the last month. Hear why Alami still believes in Afghanistan and its growing audience for news.

Direct download: HT051721AlamiPOD.mp3
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What does it mean when one side of a negotiation is spreading happy talk and the other isn't saying anything.  That's been the early pattern in the negotiations between Iran and the US over restoration or improvement of the nuclear arms agreement Donald Trump tore up. Iranian diplomats have been leaking hints of progress. Iran scholar Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft will help us figure out what's really going on.

Direct download: HT051321ParsiPOD.mp3
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Of life, it is said, the Lord giveth and taketh away.  The same is true of the New Mexico legislature when it comes to transparency.  Marjorie Childress of NM in Depth on how accountability for capital outlay allocations was reformed and how some other public expenditures somehow stayed secret -- from you and me. Capital outlay reform took 5 years, cutting a new loophole took about a week.  Childress reports, they're both NM law now. 

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Direct download: HereAndThere_051021_Kennedy.mp3
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Washington and Kabul are both awash in the first 4 stages of Grief over the death of the US plan to make Afghanistan into a modern democracy.  Loud shouts of denial and anger, insistent demands for more bargaining for a better outcome are heard in both capitol cities, and depression is sinking in.  But Rajan Menon of The City College of New York says it's time to move to acceptance of the Afghan reality, which may not include total victory for the Taliban. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_050621_Menon.mp3
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Covering the war in Bosnia, I found American diplomats ready to rat out the local Mafias behind Serb aggression.  They were much less forthcoming about the Mafiosi fighting on the Bosniak and Croatian sides and how criminal connections among all 3 groups kept the war profitably going. Harvard scholar Danilo Mandic's new book Gangsters and Other Statesmen says this wasn't just a Balkan phenomenon. Mobsters can start and stop wars everywhere from Mali to Georgia and from Libya to Kosovo.

Direct download: HereAndThere_050421_Mandic.mp3
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Who were those men and women who staged an insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6?  And what should be done to and for them to better secure America's future?  An experienced, but now reformed neo-Nazi shared with Ryan Brown, senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation his answers to those and related questions, including why veterans of the US military were over-represented in the Trump-inspired mob. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_050321_Brown.mp3
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Dr. Eugene Lipov is one of the world's great experts on PTSI and his Stellate Ganglion Block treatment has had remarkable success in alleviating symptoms of post-traumatic stress.  Some of those symptoms are similar to the effects of CTE, suspected in the mass murder recently committed in South Carolina by a retired pro football player. Why might such a connection matter? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_042921_Lipov.mp3
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When Coca-Cola denounced the recently-passed Georgia law on voting, it said it was doing so because the law made it harder, not easier to vote.  But Joan Walsh of The Nation says what Georgia did was worse than that.  It effectively made it much harder for people of color to vote.  Call it out for racism, Coke.  The legislature also gave itself the power to intervene against any vote outcome it doesn't like. No wonder so many are boycotting the state. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_042721_Walsh.mp3
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"Qualified immunity" has been used to protect public officials, including law enforcement agents from being held legally accountable for their on-the-job actions. Damaso Reyes of the NY Amsterdam News on how this judge-created doctrine turns the law it is based on, on its head. Who qualifies for immunity and how has been reinterpreted to take away the citizen's right to sue officials.  The state of NM has just done away with it.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_042621_Reyes.mp3
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When the self-titled "Field Marshal" Khalifa Haftar planned his final attack on Tripoli to take control of Libya he got big help from Egypt, the UAE and Russia ... and the UN says, an arms offer he didn't refuse from the American mercenary master Erik Prince, who denies everything. The difference between the weapons promised and what was delivered enraged Gen. Haftar and forced Prince's colleagues to flee for their lives. David Isenberg, expert scholar on private militias has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_042221_Isenberg.mp3
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Federal judges do die and retire, but usually not before a lifetime on the bench, so what does President Donald Trump's legacy of 245 appointed judges mean for progress in America? Elie Mystal, Justice Correspondent for The Nation, says the only way mitigate the Trump effect on the Federal Courts is to pack 'em ...from the District Courts to the Supreme.  And he says, the Democrats better act fast before GOP gerrymandering re-shapes the 2022 Election.

Direct download: HereAndThere_042021_Mystal.mp3
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The US has fewer limits on guns than any "modern state."  The results are high rates of gun crime and death in America and even worse violence in Mexico where thousands of US-sourced guns wind up being used by criminals and cartels.  Ioan Grillo has reported on crime in Mexico for two decades. His new book Blood Guns Money tells how criminals in Baltimore and Dallas, Sinaloa and Quintana Roo get their American guns.

Direct download: HereAndThere_041921_Grillo.mp3
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The puppet government of Hong Kong and the puppet masters in Beijing have targeted elder statesmen and women of the pro-democracy movement for prison, but Mary Hui, Hong Kong-based reporter for quartz.com says, the next group up for punishment are younger, but even more committed to the island city's political independence. A well-known TV and online journalist named Gwyneth Ho is a particularly powerful martyr in that 20-30-something generation.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_041521_Hui.mp3
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America's slowest campers on the racist right aren't afraid of being eaten by a bear, but being replaced by people of color.  Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino on our national outburst of hate crimes.  A recent study shows where, geographically the insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol on January 6 came from, and suggests where, ideologically, they're coming from.

Direct download: HereAndThere_041321_Levin.mp3
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Iran is pressuring Iraq to ask American troops to leave the country. Kenneth Pollack, middle east expert at the American Enterprise Institute says it's all part of the greater re-negotiation of the JCPOA, the multi-national agreement limiting Iran's ability to produce nuclear weapons. And he adds, the pressure play isn't going to work, but Pollack says, if the US and Iran are willing to re-commit to the old -- admittedly imperfect --  agreement, the world might be a safer place. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_041221_Pollack.mp3
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The hit movie I Care a Lot focuses on a fictional lawyer who abuses her clients when she  becomes their legal guardian. The details are reminiscent of what syndicated columnist Diane Dimond found in New Mexico in 2016.  She talked about it on HERE & THERE back then.  But Dillon Bergen of Searchlight NM says some of the very same abuses are still very much with us here in the Land of Enchantment. Reforms put on legal paper seem not to have reached the ground, or the people in guardianship care. 

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Nostalgic for a Cold War?  You might want to join Mauricio Claver-Carone, Donald Trump’s legacy as head of the Inter-American Development Bank.  He wants to turn the Bank into a weapon against China.  Latin-American members like Argentina, Brazil and Chile, who’ve made China their top trading partner may not be ready to sign on.  But they never wanted Claver-Carone in the first place. AP Latin America correspondent Joshua Goodman has the story

Direct download: HT040521pod.mp3
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Back in the 1950s America’s big cities all had big-time organized crime gangs.  In Pennsylvania, that mean the big mob towns were Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  But they had their small-town subsidiaries, like the one author Russell Shorto’s grandfather helped run in Johnstown. His book Smalltime is both a mob investigation and a family memoir…and a heckuva read. Part of what Russell and his father uncovered was his Dad’s longstanding lie about why he didn’t follow his father into the Mafia family. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_040121_Shorto.mp3
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BP says it is stopping exploration for extractable oil and gas in favor of developing alternative sources of energy like wind and solar. And GM, Volvo and other car-makers say, they’re going to switch from gasoline to electric-powered engines.  What does this mean for the energy industry and the Land of Enchantment. Janie Chermak energy economist at the University of New Mexico has some ideas. Some good news, NM is as rich in wind and power as it is in oil, gas and coal.  Does this mean a bright future?

Direct download: HereAndThere_033021_Chermak.mp3
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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s hopes for a new law legalizing recreational use of cannabis failed again in the 60-day session of the State Legislature.  But passage was so close, the Governor has declared a “do over,” a Special Session. Andy Lyman of NM Political Report on why what some thought was a slam dunk got ree-jected, and why it might get ree-vived.

Direct download: HereAndThere_032921_Lyman.mp3
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The movie Hotel Rwanda made a hero of Paul Rusesabagina, and there were plenty of witnesses who confirmed its story.  So why is Rusesabagina on trial as an accused murderer and terrorist in Rwanda? And why does he say the real criminal is Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame? Joshua Hammer covered the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and briefly stayed in Rusesabagina’s hotel.  He’s also been covering the trial. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_032521_Hammer.mp3
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Alderman Ben Lewis was an up and comer in Chicago politics.  The first Black Democratic Committeeman — the real office of power — ever on the city’s West Side. More than 50 years after the fact, the murder that ended his career is still unsolved.  Investigative reporter Mick Dumke of ProPublica Illinois says that in itself should tell you something not so good about Windy City law enforcement… and politics.

Direct download: HereAndThere_032321_Dumke.mp3
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Tomorrow in Israel it will be Election Day, but if it feel like Groundhog Day to Israeli voters, it’s because this is the 4th time they’ve gone to the polls in less than 2 years.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is in perhaps his toughest fight yet to hold onto power.  Covid-19’s presence and Donald Trump’s absence may work against him. But the profusion of his rivals may help. AP’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief Josef Federman has the story

Direct download: HereAndThere_032221_Federman.mp3
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It’s probably fair to say, all parties want to find a way for a nuclear weapons control agreement with Iran to succeed.  But, typically, neither the US nor Iran wants to seem too anxious for diplomacy to work.  Joseph Cirincione of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft on how to get talks on a new JCOA started and how to bring them to a successful conclusion. This diplomatic dance needs both music and choreography.

Direct download: HereAndThere_031821_Cirincione.mp3
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When it comes to domestic politics, President Joe Biden has surprised some people by becoming an agent of progressive change.  When it comes to foreign policy, especially policies affecting the Middle East, Dalia Dassa Kaye of the Wilson Center and the RAND Corporation says, necessary changes have been noticeably absent. The murderous Saudi Crown Prince has gone unpunished, and nuclear weapons negotiations with Iran haven’t gotten re-started. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_031621_Kaye.mp3
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It’s being called a “storm of the Century,” but actually the Big Freeze that hit Texas the day before Valentine’s Day was just a bit bigger than two winter storms that hit Texas in the last decade.  So why were power providers so unprepared, leaving the Lone Star State all alone in the cold and dark? A blame game currently underway – it started with Gov. Greg Abbott falsely blaming “green energy” -- , may not be the answer. Jeremy Schwartz of The Texas Tribune and Pro Publica tackles the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_031521_Schwartz.mp3
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There have been a lot of books about the war in Iraq and its aftermath, but few of them are told from the Iraqi point of view. Margaret Coker’s new book, The Spymaster of Baghdad tells the story of a hero of the Iraqi intelligence service and how he built his very effective anti-ISIS unit, the Falcons. Hard on the publication of the book, the hero Abu Ali al-Basri was suddenly demoted. His great success against Sunni terrorist targets like the Islamic State may have been used against him by his new boss, and former intelligence service rival Prime Minister Mohammed al-Kadhimi.

Direct download: HereAndThere_031121_Coker.mp3
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How did a career con-man, serial misogynist, and fake business success get to be President of the United States?  And why are Donald Trump’s totally refuted lies still poisoning politics?  One answer is the new era of online manipulation that sold racism and greed to America and the disaster of Brexit to the dis-uniting Kingdom? Who’s benefiting from this info-scam and how are they making it work for them? Katie Joseff of the University of Texas has been tracking this.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_030921_Joseff.mp3
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Dark money refers to political contributions given anonymously, usually through non-profit political committees.  Gray money is money whose anonymous source is kept doubly secret through the use of pass-through structures that keep voters from seeing the connections between the protected giver and his or her beneficiary politician. Bryan Metzger of NM in Depth has been digging into hidden private contributions affecting NM political issues. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_030821_Metzger.mp3
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Transparency is one of the essential elements of democracy.  Governments most open to examination and most willing to let investigative results reach their citizens offer the highest levels of political freedom.  So why has the United States fallen to 25th place on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index? TI’s Scott Greytak explains the pandemic has put all nations to the transparency test, and the misdirected money in America’s Covid-19 recovery program shows how we’re failing. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_030421_Greytak.mp3
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The essence of investigative journalism is to right personal wrongs and call out institutional failures. It’s a hard job to pull off, made even harder when the wrongs and failures have happened to you. Kenneth R. Rosen’s new book Troubled tackles abuses visited on him and dozens of other sources by institutions marketing the formula of “tough love” to straighten out troubled teens. From “adventures” in the wilderness to lockdowns in what are in everything but name, juvenile prisons.

Direct download: HereAndThere_030221_Rosen.mp3
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One of the first acts of the Biden Administration was the revival of an Obama-era policy abandoned by former President Donald Trump – no more contracts for private companies managing Federal prisons. Katherine Hawkins of the Project on Government Oversight says the new-old policy will take years to have an effect.  And what about ICE detention centers heavily criticized for their treatment of wannabe immigrants? Hawkins reports they are not covered and will remain largely privately-run.

Direct download: HereAndThere_030121_Hawkins.mp3
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It is America’s blessing and its curse – we haven’t known real war on our soil since 1865. Rajan Menon, professor of international relations at the City College of New York says the resulting ignorance of war’s horrors that makes it easy for US Presidents to conduct them beyond our borders.  When the US military gave up drafting soldiers, it made war-making even easier by limiting the bloody burden to mostly people from communities of poverty and color.

Direct download: HereAndThere_022521_Menon.mp3
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If you think Donald Trump is an idiot, Vladimir Putin probably agrees with you, only he, like several former top US intelligence officials would call him “a useful idiot.”  Useful for the Russians that is. Craig Unger’s new book American Kompromat, traces Trump’s ties to KGB influence back more than 40 years to his first marriage and then, a strange purchase for his then-newest hotel. He needed 1000 TV sets…so why buy 200 from a dealer who supplied consumer goods to Russian diplomats and spies? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_022321_Unger.mp3
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Remember Clinton campaign boss James Carville’s famous exclamation – “it’s the economy, stupid.” Well, when it comes to brain damage from playing football, the analogous revelation would be – “it’s the practices that can make you stupid,” especially those first practices before the game-playing season even begins. Ken Belson of the NY Times on making that medical observation into a player-protective imperative for colleges and high schools.  The pros and their player unions have already taken action. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_022221_Belson.mp3
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The first priority of the new Biden Administration has been to change American policies to combat the coronavirus pandemic.  A second priority has been to shift America’s foreign policies, most dramatically in the Middle East.  Re-negotiating nuclear weapons restraints on Iran, disconnecting from Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen are just 2 examples.  Elizabeth Hagedorn of Al-Monitor is covering those stories and how President Biden is redefining US policies in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Israel.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021821_Hagedorn.mp3
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One of the glories of American democracy is the variety of voices one can choose from for information about current events. Even as ownership of radio and television and online sources consolidated into an oligarchy of hyper-rich corporate entities, there were all those newspapers, locally-owned, and locally-run and independent of one another.  That’s changing. And here’s the really bad news … the new owners are hedge funds with no background in journalism, interested primarily in growing their own profits. Rick Edmonds of the Poynter Institute tells that story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021621_Edmonds.mp3
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Defying logic and honesty, Republicans in statehouses around the country are proposing fixes for the American electoral system which is not broken.  Matt Vasilogambros of Stateline.org on how many GOP legislators are embarked of a voter suppression campaign aimed at many of the folks in actually voted them into office last November. One idea on the docket in several legislatures would require photo ID to apply for and use mail-in ballots.  Huh?  How’s that supposed to work? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_021521_Vasilogambros.mp3
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The dissident politician Aleksey Navalny had become such an aggravation to Russian President Vladimir Putin that evidence suggests he had his security services try to kill him.  But Navalny not only survived his poisoning, but he escaped Russia, only to return as an even more popular symbol of political discontent with the Putin regime. Protests against Navalny’s re-imprisonment are the largest Russian political demonstrations in decades. Andrew Kramer, Moscow correspondent for the New York Times has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021121_Kramer.mp3
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 Ethanol was offered as one of the world’s first “green” products, a gasoline additive meant to make the environment cleaner and climate change slower.  In the small town of Mead, Nebraska, investigative reporter Carey Gillam found for The Guardian, waste products from the ethanol manufacturing process were making the town smell bad and feel even worse.  But the worst news is how little laws and regulations and people to enforce them have done to remedy the stinky and potentially dangerous situation. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020921_Gillam.mp3
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When editor-publisher Steve Kettmann produced his quick-turnaround volume Now What? Essays on Life After Trump, he and our guest, contributor Michael Powell of the New York Times knew the transition to a Biden Administration might be bumpy…but who knew how difficult the months between November and January 20 would be.  Now What? indeed. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020821_Powell.mp3
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So much of the American Southwest depends on the waters of the Colorado River Basin.  For 100 years calculations apportioning those waters to the 7 states covered by the Colorado Basin Compact have been based on a gross overestimation.  Now climate change is reducing the flow still further even as Ben Ryder Howe reported in the NY Times, big-money bidders are trying to buy up water rights.  Who will win a fight between rural farmers and suburban developers? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020421_Howe.mp3
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The Trump-fired assault on the US Capitol January 6 – was it a fiasco or a triumph for the far-right?  And what remedies would one of America’s pioneer scholars of terrorism suggest to combat the rise of racist, nativist, armed groups.  Brian Michael Jenkins of the RAND Corporation on how America fought foreign enemies like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.  Are there lessons applicable to domestic terrorism? And how the fight redefine our concepts of privacy and freedom of speech?

Direct download: HereAndThere_020221_Jenkins.mp3
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Even as figures tracking the toll from Covid-19 grow in size and accuracy, they reveal striking racial and social disparities.  Nina Martin led a Pro Publica team to examine, death by death, who was falling victim to the pandemic. They found dramatic excesses in death of young African-American men. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020121_Martin.mp3
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In Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, American military forces are on the move – out of those countries – leaving  lot of unfinished business behind. Probably the country worst-hit by the Trump Administration’s hasty retreats is Afghanistan, from which the Washington Post correspondent Pamela Constable has just returned. In the capitol city, Kabul, there are fears of a return to tyrannical, intolerant governance by the Taliban and anger at what is seen as the betrayal by their nation’s American allies.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012821_Constable.mp3
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The mob that sacked the US Capitol on January 6 represented a broad slice of America.  But Carl Segerstrom of High Country News says a lot of the impetus for the assault on the Federal Government coms from rural West and a movement called The Sagebrush Rebellion. Now many of its leaders may be called to account. But will prosecuting the ringleaders of the mob attack bring their movement under control…or just fan the flames of a rural, White Supremist opposition. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_012621_Segerstrom.mp3
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The point’s been made many times: we all live in one world, one political, one economic, one human, one natural world, and anything that affects a part of the world, eventually affects much if not all of it. Right now, the world is at a turning point for climate and energy, and New Mexico, a leading oil and gas and potentially a leading wind and solar power state is right at the crossroads.  Jerry Redfern has reported on environmental issue around the world, and now his home state—The Land of Enchantment. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_012521_Redfern.mp3
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It took more than 60 years for the heroism of Chaplain Fr. Emil Kapaun to be recognized with a Congressional Medal of Honor.  People who shared the hardships of a North Korean prison camp are among those now campaigning for Fr. Kapaun’s canonization.  NY Times reporter Joe Drape’s excellent new book is The Saint Makers. Reporting and writing it changed Drape’s life, which is a key part of the story, fulfilling Fr. Kapaun’s goal of “sincere prayer.” 

Direct download: HereAndThere_012121_Drape.mp3
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Brian Levin has worked as a criminologist and civil rights attorney.  Now he’s a Professor at California State University at San Bernardino specializing in analysis of hate crime, terrorism and the law. We talk about the backstory behind the mob attack on Congress and strategies for future civility.  Where the rioters come from and how they can be brought back to “normal.” 

Direct download: HereAndThere_011921_Levin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Frank Huyler has for 25 years worked in emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico Medical Center, and his new book, White Hot Light is a gripping and poetic account of the realities of that difficult service.  We talk about how the ER and the rest of the hospital have been changed by the Covid-19 pandemic and how medical customs have changed over the decades since his first, acclaimed book The Blood of Strangers

Direct download: HereAndThere_011821_Huyler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

When it comes to American’s foreign relations there is much that president Donald Trump has torn down that President Joe Biden wants to rebuild.  High on that agenda is the agreement restraining Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  Trump pulled America out of the deal, and now Iran is escalating both the amount and quality of the nuclear materials in its stockpile. Emile Nakhleh is a former CIA analyst and Director of the Global and National Security Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_011421_Nakhleh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:23pm MDT

Among the arts, few have been so dominated by men and a mannish culture than jazz.  But that hasn’t stopped 3-time Grammy Award-winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington.  2 things have helped her, some generous male musician-supporters like the great trumpeter Clark Terry and family values, including the pre-emptive advantage of having parents and grandparents who were well-known and respected in the Boston jazz community. A successful jazz career and how Terri Lyne Carrington built it…

Direct download: HereAndThere_011221_Carrington.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

When American diplomats in Cuba started reporting strange noises and subsequent health effects, two questions immediately arose – what’s going on who’s responsible.  Then the same pattern repeated in the American consulate in Guangzhou in southern China. Ana Swanson of the New York Times says we may be getting closer to answers to both questions.  The chief suspect is Russia, an idea the Trump Administration has conspicuously rejected. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_011121_Swanson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

After six years of monitoring and mentoring by the US Department of Justice to cure a sick culture of too aggressive and too frequent uses of force, the Albuquerque Police Department remains unreformed.  Federal Monitor James Ginger says 6 years have left the APD and the Federal monitors “in more trouble here right now today than I’ve ever seen.” Elise Kaplan has been covering the story for the Albuquerque Journal. What to do? There are a lot of proposals, some of which seem to hinder other solutions.

Direct download: HereAndThere_010621_Kaplan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Society as a whole is having a hard enough time adjusting to the new reality – women are entitled to all the legal protections and civil and social courtesies extended to men.  Recognizing and acting on this concept has been even harder for military organizations like the US Marines to deal with. Thomas Brennan of The War Horse tells us the sad story of one female Marine that illustrates the problem.  The mostly-male Marine brass say they’re on the case, but progress remains slow and unsteady. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_010521_Brennan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 It’s being called the greatest feat of espionage in the still-short and still-developing history of cyber warfare – the penetration by hackers of at least 40 government agencies and think tanks and non-government organizations and as many as 18,000 corporate digital networks. Eric Tucker has been covering the story for the Associated Press and fills us in on what the hack has revealed. One longtime CIA expert says it signals “an age of perpetual cyberconflict.”  That’s going to be expensive. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_010421_Tucker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

When President Franklin Roosevelt created his New Deal coalition to dig America out of the Great Depression in the 1930s, he united union workers and small businesspeople and farmers. Stacy Mitchell said in The Nation, Joe Biden needs to cure rural and small town America of its fear of progressive policies if he’s to save America from the ruin of the 21st century post-pandemic economic crisis. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_123020_Mitchell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

For Attorney General William Barr it seemed a perfect bookend to his Federal career and a resuscitation of a reputation his service to Donald Trump has tarnished.  Barr oversaw the first indictments for terrorism in the downing of Pan Am 103. 32 year after the bombing he announces a third indictment, but award-winning Libyan journalist Mustafa Fetouri has his doubts.  For one thing, the new suspect was on the CIA’s watchlist months before the Pan Am terrorism…but his name never appeared in the trial of the first two suspects, only one of whom was convicted. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_122920_Fetouri.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 The biggest drug bust in US-Mexico history blows up: the accused the former Mexican Defense Minister is released and charges are dropped, even though no US prosecutor has said he doesn’t believe Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos helped a drug cartel get drugs to the United States.  Mary Beth Sheridan has reported the story deeply in an investigative series for the Washington Post, called Losing Control…she’s talking about the Government of Mexico. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_122820_Sheridan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Continuing our pre-holiday week survey of 2020 books we liked, Evan Osnos of the New Yorker has written a primer on the President-elect called Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now. It helped in writing the book that Osnos had already interviewed Biden many times over the years. What’s changed, or has Biden remained pretty much the same?

Direct download: HereAndThere_122120_Osnos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

If sometimes, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, it’s a lot harder to see when some trees in a forest start to migrate somewhere else.  Zach St. George’s recent book we liked: The Journeys of Trees: A Story About Forests, People and the Future looks at how climate change is affecting our forests and what mother nature and a lot of interested humans are doing to save them. Some are planting seeds in new areas, others are introducing “counterpests” in old forest zones.

Direct download: HereAndThere_120920_StGeorge.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

We want our college football and basketball, just as we all want essential services like groceries and hospitals to stay open through the Covid-19 pandemic.  But Craig Garthwaite of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University says all those demands put unfair burdens on unpaid athletes and poorly-paid workers of color to serve a richer, Whiter clientele.  For college athletes, at least, Garthwaite says, change does seem to be on the way.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_120820_Garthwaite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

When a small town hospital shuts its doors, a lot of things change, from the healthcare options of local residents to the economy and real estate values in the town. Sarah Jane Tribble of Kaiser Health News on the many changes wrought in Ft Scott, KS, by the closing of Mercy Hospital.  Not all of them were for the worse. But, It’s a troubling trend across much of rural America and the Covid19 pandemic has made everything about it more dangerous. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_120720_Tribble.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. You’ve seen the moive and remember the close-ups.  But how did the real Butch Cassidy fit into the reality of the American West at the end of the 19th Century? Charles Leerhsen’s book Butch Cassidy: the True Story of an American Outlaw answers the question. Which means not just who was Butch and what was it like out west in 1890, but what was the law and what did it mean to be outside it? As we head to gifting season, this is the first of a series of 2020 books we like. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_120220_Leehrsen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

In the Presidential Election of 2016, or so the story goes, psy-war encouragement to potential Trump voters, delivered through social media, influenced, if it didn’t tip, the results. Jeremy Merrill of Pro Publica kept close watch on Facebook to figure out – as precisely as possible – who was being targeted with what disinformation in the year before Election Day 2020. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_120120_Merrill.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Dineh Benally let everyone in the Navajo Nation know he was growing industrial hemp and maybe wink-wink, some pot, on his farm near Shiprock. But when his farming spread from 30 to over 400 acres and fences went up that hid what was going on, things took a darker turn. Ed Williams broke the story in Searchlight NM … and then watched it grow.

Direct download: HereAndThere_113020_Williams.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 I call ‘em para-militias,  because no Constitutional Scholar would call them “well-regulated.”  They’ve been bringing guns to anti-mask rallies and State Capitols, but fortunately they and their guns heeded President Trump’s advice to “Stand Down” on Election Day  But for how long will they “Stand By?” Frank Smyth, author of The NRA: An Un-Authorized History on the militias and their roots in the NRA, especially the alarmist myth, from any regulation of guns will go straight to the Holocaust, Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot.

Direct download: HereAndThere_112520_Smyth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart … the oligarchs of the gig economy bet $200 million selling Californians on Prop 22, keeping their employees from getting the benefits most employees get.  Call ‘em contract workers and tell ‘em to take less for the work.  Californians bought the deal and Uber and Lyft stock went up by $20 billion. Greg Bensinger of the New York Times Editorial Board on how voters awarded other people’s labor negotiation to management. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_112420_Bensinger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

He tried to warn us.  He tried to warn his fellow-pollsters. John Zogby said the Biden-Trump vote would be a lot closer than  people predicted.  What made him so sure and what did his professional colleagues and competitors miss?  Did their collations tilt too much towards Democrats? Did voters lie to the poll-takers? And what about the demise of the telephone land line? The Presidential election what happened beyond the numbers?  

Direct download: HereAndThere_112320_Zogby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

They once was lost, but then they were found.  Several ceremonial shields, sacred to the Native Americans of Acoma Pueblo were stolen in the 1970s, but a few years ago, one of them re-appeared, up for sale at a Paris gallery.  Elena Saavedra Buckley of High Country News tells us how the shield and its people were reunited.  It wasn’t quick nor was it easy, but eventually the shield made it back to Acoma’s Enchanted Mesa.

Direct download: HereAndThere_111820_Buckley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

So far, the Trump White House has commissioned $10 Billion worth of contracts to build walls along our southern border with Mexico.  $9 Billion of the contracts have gone to just 4 politically-connected construction companies.  A good deal for them, but Jeremy Schwartz, investigative reporter for the Texas Tribune and Pro Publica says, not such a bargain for taxpayers.  Every time the President declares an emergency, environmental standards go away and wall-building costs go up.

Direct download: HereAndThere_111720_Schwartz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

At the Pentagon, it is clear, lame-duck President Donald Trump is in full Apprentice “You’re fired” mode, having removed Defense Secretary Mark Esper and several top national security specialists. Could the same fate await FBI Director Christopher Wray.  CNN analyst Josh Campbell, author the book Crossfire Hurricane: Inside Donald Trump's War on the FBI says he hopes notMorale at the top Federal law enforcement agency, Campbell says, is already near rock-bottom. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_111620_Campbell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The sub-Saharan country of Mali is in trouble.  Once home to one of the history of Africa’s greatest empires, Today Mali is beset by Islamist terrorists, long-standing tribal conflicts, and a corrupt government recently overthrown in a military coup. Amb. Vicki Huddleston served in Mali more than a decade ago, but she still personally knows many of today’s significant players.  She’ll suggest why Mali matters and what the US can do to help it.

Direct download: HereAndThere_111120_Huddleston.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

A man convicted of a street killing in Brooklyn protests his innocence…and after 20 years is finally granted a re-hearing of his case.  Then the Judge starts to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease Joe Sexton of Pro Publica with a tragic human story that shows a serious systemic flaw in our criminal justice system. Who’s to say, and how to prove a sitting judge is cognitively impaired…and then ..what can be done about it?

Direct download: HereAndThere_111020_Sexton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Along with the intended benefits of oil and gas harvested by ordinary drilling and even more so by fracking, there are even larger amounts of what are called waters of production.  They are toxic, and often they spill into New Mexico fields, gullies and ground water.  Kendra Chamberlain of the NM Political Report on the latest efforts by the State and the industry to deal with poisoned waters from the oil and gas industry. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_110920_chamberlain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Remember the ‘Seeds from China scare?”  Thousands of packets of unidentified seedling objects sent from China to homes across America.  Don’t plant them! Was the government’s advice – widely ignored by hundreds of home gardeners.  So far, so what?  Nothing bad has happened from the seeds, planted for dumped. But what if this was just a test? Jason Koebler, of VICE Media’s Motherboard has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_110420_Koebler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Pope Francis made news when a documentary showed him endorsing legal civil unions for same-sex couples.  But the statement had been censored and buried by the Vatican for a year.  John Thavis, author of The Vatican Diaries was a working journalist covering the Vatican for decades.  He’ll explain the meaning of the Pope’s statement and its delayed release. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_110320_Thavis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Caitlin Dickerson is fast becoming a reporting star at the New York Times.  3 of her recent reports have covered the unnecessary, uninformed surgeries performed on detained women at an ICE detention center, condition for refugees waiting in Mexico for their asylum cases to be heard…and the more than 500 migrant children still separated from their parents.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_110220_Dickerson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:13pm MDT

 Most of the national polls show Democrat Joe Biden running well ahead of President Donald Trump, but, as we learned election day after election day, the national vote may not matter, if state votes turn the electoral college against the people’s choice.  Pollster John Zogby warns Biden fans, the national vote may be closer than they think and several key swing states are still up for grabs. As are more than enough Senate races to cloud the outcome. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_102820_Zogby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

President Trump commissioned a series of investigations or re-investigations of his political rivals, clearly hoping they would produce an October surprise to boost his chances of re-election.  National Security correspondent Shane Harris of the Washington Post says the surprise is – no surprises, all the investigations turned up nothing.  One more crack at the Clintons…nothing there … a fresh look at a standard practice – “unmasking” – nope.  No crimes, no violations and for a desperate President, no help. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_102720_Harris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Even before members of the Kentucky Grand Jury were allowed to speak out, it was clear that Attorney General Daniel Cameron had been trying to steer the jurors away from indicting the officers who killed Breonna Taylor in a botched Louisville police raid. Radley Balko of the Washington Post says this sad story is not unique to or for the city.  An academic study found 3 years ago, several of the flaws in the raid are standard operating procedure for the Louisville PD.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_102620_Balko.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Hunger has always been a persistent problem in the impoverished State of New Mexico, but as with so many things, hunger has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially hunger among NM’s children.  Elizabeth Miller of NM in Depth has been reporting on the hunger problem and how public school systems and volunteer organizations have been trying to solve it.  She says, raising past limits on who can get free food, how much and where and how they can get it may point towards future directions for America’s social safety net. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_102120_Miller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 The civil war in Libya has become a proxy war, dominated by weapons and support from outside the country.  Award-winning Libyan journalist Mustafa Fetouri of Middle East Monitor wonder how adding a third governing force to the 2 already stalemated will make things any better. He explains why Russia, Turkey, Egypt, the UAE and Qatar have all become active kibitzers in this murderous conflict.

Direct download: HereAndThere_102020_Fetouri.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Many have judged the schools supervised by the Bureau of Indian Education to be the worst in America.  Alden Woods has reported for the Arizona Republic and Pro Publica that coping with the coronavirus pandemic has made the worst schools even worse and the BIE is to blame.  Native kids with no classrooms, no computers and damn little homework or teaching to make up for these failures add up, says one expert, to “a terrible tragedy.” 

Direct download: HereAndThere_101920_Woods.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Back in March and April, Italy was both the first- and worst-hit country in Europe by the novel coronavirus pandemic.  Prime Minister Conti admitted, he’d been too slow off the mark, and that government mistakes had cost lives. But, then he implemented a tough lockdown.  It worked from May until halfway through the vacation and tourism month of August.  CBS News Rome Correspondent Christopher Livesay on how Italians are dealing with a second wave. One answer – much better than the Spanish, French, Dutch and British.

Direct download: HereAndThere_101420_Livesay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

President Trump has simultaneously talked down the power of Covid-19 while trying to push up the release date for a vaccine against the coronavirus. This dissonance has turned many Americans against taking a vaccine once one is developed. Peter Pitts of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest says for a vaccine to sharply reduce infections of Covid-19, 60% or more of Americans must take it. Anything less, he says, could mean big trouble.

Direct download: HereAndThere_101320_Pitts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

So far, Federal judges have stopped the Trump Administration’s attempts to act against the apps TikTok and WeChat, which the President calls “national security threats” from China. Joseph Yi Zheng LIan, Asia analyst for the NY Times, says – in these cases – the President is right.  Lian says the fact that the more you use the apps, the more you could be revealing about yourself to Chinese intelligence.  Think Cambridge Analytica with Chinese characteristics.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_101220_Lian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT