Here And There with Dave Marash

Communist China has had 5 significant changes of leadership since the Peoples Republic was proclaimed in 1949.  Scholar David Shambaugh's new book China's Leaders: From Mao to Now profiles Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping ... from Mao's permanent revolution to Xi's self-assignment as Emperor for Life.

Direct download: HereAndThere_092221_Shambaugh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Kim Jong Un, the tyrannical leader of North Korea has slimmed down, but was the weight loss caused by bad health?  Korea expert Bruce Bennett of the RAND Corporation sees a symptom in changes to the rules of governance that could reduce Kim's control of the country, something that, in the past, he's killed to keep. Covid has put North Korea into a mega-lockdown, meaning outsiders see even less of what's going on in that dark and endangered nation. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_092121_Bennett.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

One of the practices that sums up the corruption of America's system of justice is judge shopping, finding a judge you think will see things your way and not the way of your accusers. The Sackler family, the people behind Purdue Pharma, the company behind oxycontin and the epidemic of addiction the opioid drug set off just finished an exemplary bit of judge-shopping and, many would say, injustice. Chris McGreal of The Guardian has covered the opioid epidemic from start to, well, this.

Direct download: HereAndThere_092021_McGreal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

President Biden says withdrawal from Afghanistan ends the era of America's "forever wars." But what does that mean? Mark Thompson covers military issues for POGO, The Project on Government Oversight and asks, what will happen to the Pentagon money budgeted for an Afghan Army that no longer exists?  And what can "over the horizon" forces like drones and missiles do to contain the threat of terrorism? Answers, he says, have more to do with political will than military muscle.

Direct download: HT_091421_Pod_THOMPSON.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am MDT

Even being tossed unprepared onto a battlefield in Iraq didn't prepare Matthew Hoh for Afghanistan where his mission for the State Department was undermined by the Afghan security forces and government. The brutality of government troops was overmatched by the corruption and ineptitude of the civilians sent to work with Hoh's Provincial Reconstruction project in Zabul province. A look at what worse was to come. 

Direct download: HT091321pod.mp3
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There goes the neighborhood.  Investigative reporter Tony Davis of the Arizona Star and High Country News on how the arrival of a massive CAFO  (concentrated animal feeding operations) has dimmed the stars in the sky and devoured water from the ground and brought traffic, dust and manure aromas to rural areas in Arizona and Minnesota. Riverview LLP has brought with it jobs and money, but many neighbors says it's reduced the value of their homes and savings.

Direct download: HT_090121POD.mp3
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If America's private security contractors sometimes run out of control, security industry scholar David Isenberg says the reason is, the people who hire them at the Defense Department are happy with the arrangement.  He cites recent reports from the Government Accounting Office (the GAO) on all things the Pentagon doesn't know about its PSCs, including how many they have, where they are and what they're doing.

Direct download: HereAndThere_083121_Isenberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

America living in the shadow of fear. Spencer Ackerman's new book Reign of Terror says anxieties created by the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 and stoked by the National Security Industry have changed our country is just the ways President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about.  Endless wars beget endless security budgets.  And mass tolerance of authoritarian grifters like Donald Trump. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_083021_Ackerman.mp3
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When all the 2020 votes were in, substantially more Americans had voted for Democrats running for Congress, but still the Republican Party made important gains in seats in the House. 2 reasons why -- gerrymandering and voter suppression.  Journalist-author Dave Daley on how this contradiction could repeat itself only moreso in 2022.  When politicians game elections and then start to change the game. Not just Democrats, but democracy itself loses. 

Direct download: HT082521pod.mp3
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Two things that can follow a successful revolution: the once popular leaders can become brutal autocrats and they start to eliminate their former fellow-revolutionaries.  Both those things are happening in Nicaragua. Linda Mannheim has written in The Nation about how President turned dictator Daniel Ortega has been locking up former comrades who are now his political opponents.  She says the recent arrest of the Sandinista Revolution's most beloved women shows a dangerous red line is being crossed.

Direct download: HT082421pod.mp3
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Polls consistently show that about 80% of the American people support the Endangered Species Act, so why is the Fish and Wildlife Service weakening enforcement of its protections for animals like the red wolf and the Florida panther? Jimmy Tobias has written about these issues for The Intercept and recently in The Nation.  The threats to both animals aren't just hunters, but developers a nd right-win Republican politicians. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_082321_Tobias.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

What will it take to solve the water shortage on the Navajo reservation?  The coronavirus pandemic was a cruel reminder of the consequences when you live unable to follow the simplest survival suggestion -- wash your hands.  That takes water to do that.  Without access to clean, reliable sources of water, hundreds of Native Americans have died.  And still progress is slow. Elizabeth Miller has been covering the story for NM in depth.

Direct download: HereAndThere_081821_Miller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

A too-often neglected part of climate change is that change often involves eradication. Marina Psaros's new book The Atlas of Disappearing Places, looks at 20 places around the planet which could be lost beyond recovery because of rising temperatures and oceanic sea levels.  The endangered locales are parts of great cities like New York and Shanghai, the important grain-basket and fisheries of the Mekong Delta and low-lying islands in the Indian Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_081621_Psaros.mp3
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Today on HERE & THERE: For the Catholic Church to lose $415 million on a planned real estate development in London is a catastrophe, no doubt, but is it a crime?  Vatican prosecutors think so and they've charged, among others, one of Pope Francis' once-most-trusted Cardinals and the Vatican Bank's two top experts on financial intelligence Jason Berry of the National Catholic Reporter has been covering the issues in the Vatican's just-begun trial of the century. 

Direct download: HT081121pod.mp3
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Why do so many Americans seem to have no concept of either of the two words, "civic duty?" Amber Northern, director of research for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute says this may be a result of too many states with no, or poorly thought-out standards for teaching US History and Civics in their public schools. The Fordham Institute has been evaluating standards for teaching U S History for a couple of generations.  What's being taught in today's classrooms, their study says, is "a national crisis." 

Direct download: HT081021pod.mp3
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More than a billion dollars a year in economic activity is generated by the Great Salt Lake.  But drought and development have reduced the Lake to its lowest water levels ever recorded.  Lindsay Whitehurst, based in Salt Lake City for the Associated Press explains the causes and the consequences of unplanned shrinkage. Among species facing serious disruption are white pelicans and brine shrimp, not to mention the humans who love seeing the birds or who earn a living from harvesting the shrimp and their eggs. 

Direct download: HT080921pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

When it comes to over a dozen American institutions from Congress and the Presidency to the church and TV news, American opinion over the past 3 years, describes a sharp-edged triangle, low in 2019, significantly higher in the Plague Year 2020, then falling swiftly back to 2019 levels this year. Mohamed Younis editor-in-chief of Gallup News on what his pollsters learned this summer. We Americans love the ones we need, for as long as we need 'em. And when we think we've dodged the bullet???

Direct download: HereAndThere_080421_Younis.mp3
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 The front line is a frightening place to be, especially when the forces on your side of the line are in bloody retreat.  In Asia Hong Kong has for more than 100 years been the front line of the battle for intellectual, cultural and political freedom.  Mary Hui of quartz.com has an update on the fight for the right to print, broadcast, teach or even think freely in Hong Kong. Her report is something of a casualty count. 

Direct download: HT080321huiPOD.mp3
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Like everyplace in New Mexico, the small city of Farmington, up in the Four Corners where NM, AZ, UT and CO meet, is feeling the heat from climate change, but Hannah Grover of the NM Political Report says the region is taking a second blow, from the threat of climate change, which is forcing the closing of its employment hub -- the San Juan Generating Station. And the mines for the coal that will soon stop powering it. Can the new technology of carbon capture save the region?  Grover says there are nay-sayers. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_080221_Grover.mp3
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Say the name Jack Ruby and most people remember -- he's the guy who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald.  But most of those people have forgotten his trial for murdering the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy David Fisher has co-written with Dan Abrams Kennedy's Avenger a book about a trial in which much went wrong and the guilty verdict was overturned on appeal. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_072821_Fisher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 What are the measures of human satisfaction and discontent?  The pandemic helped the Gallup Organization expand its happiness horizon. Gallup Global Managing Partner Jon Clifton on how polling also unveiled a secret sign of sadness ... people smiled and laughed less in 2020, and their levels of perceived stress jumped dramatically. But the real headline may be that the bad year of 2020 only slightly exaggerated 10-year trends in growing unhappiness and sliding personal satisfaction.

Direct download: HereAndThere_072721_Clifton.mp3
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 In a feat of protective coloration as successful as the zebra's stripes, the mid-20th century baseball clubowner Bill Veeck portrayed himself as hardball's class clown, sending a midget to gat for the St Louis Browns and making the Chicago White Sox pioneers in Latino hiring, but Ellis Simani of Pro Publica tells us, Veeck invented a tax trick that has saved his real team -- the owners --billions. It explains how one NBA owner paid taxes on his $650 million annual income at a lower rate than a woman who sells beer at his arena.

Direct download: HereAndThere_072621_Simani.mp3
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Donald Trump criticised NATO because the US carried too much of the weight for an alliance that, he said, failed to protect Europe against Russia. Rajan Menon, Professor of International Relations at the City College of New York isn't sure Trump was right about NATO, but warns "the Quad" a new alliance against China has both those basic flaws. The allies, India, Japan and Australia add little strength to the US and aren't likely to stem Chinese aggression against Taiwan.

Direct download: HereAndThere_072221_Menon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The pending shift from petroleum-powered internal combustion engines to cleaner electric vehicles has only underscored a backlog of needs in America's power generation and distribution systems.  Ivan Penn of the NY Times has covered the competition for Federal funding between Big Power companies and their long-lines of transmission pylons and wires...and new technologies. Rooftop solar systems, small scale wind collectors and community scaled distribution nodes argue betting on them predicts a better American energy future. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_072021_Penn.mp3
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When the new coalition government took power in Israel, many observers noted their tiny 1-seat majority in Parliament and predicted it wouldn't last long.  Now, a month or so later, Associated Press Jerusalem Bureau Chief Josef Federman says, most observers think it could outlive those dire prognostications.  Why is there more confidence in Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his coalition colleagues? It may be because of how they handed a series of crises tossed their way by the Bibi Netanyahu-led opposition. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_071921_Federman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The President of Haiti has been assassinated, apparently by a professional hit team.  Jovenal Moise was under political siege before the attack, accused of using illegal and unconstitutional means to extend his time in power.  Amy Wilentz is one of America's top scholars on Haiti, she'll tell us the story in depth.

Direct download: HereAndThere_071521_Wilentz.mp3
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There's a new Delta variant of the Covid-19 coronavirus stirring trouble in Europe and the US.  Are vaccinated people safe? Do the unvaccinated compromise everyone's health or just their own?  And should people with weak immunity get a third shot of vaccine right away? Epidemiologist Justin Lessler of Johns Hopkins Medical school on what we know and what we're still learning about the pandemic.

Direct download: HereAndThere_071321_Lessler.mp3
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Even as the Taliban sweeps government forces out of provinces in northern Afghanistan, their internal discipline may be coming apart.  Could the poet Yeats have predicted the chaos to come? Pamela Constable of the Washington Post has been watching the American withdrawal and those being left behind. The Taliban's attempt to put a pretty face on its conquests can't hide the ugly world they enforce on women. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_071221_Constable.mp3
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Aztec Ruins National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the protected zone around Chaco Canyon, they're all surrounded by abandoned oil wells, more than 500 among the 3. There is important news here, none of it good. Southeastern New Mexico's oil patch, reporter J Weston Phippen of Searchlight NM in a forest of pump-jacks, some working, some dead, some big trouble. Volunteers investigate because the State hasn't got the resources.

Direct download: HereAndThere_070821_Phippen.mp3
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The last time there was a Presidential election in Iran, more than 70% of eligible voters cast ballots.  And voted the Supreme Leader's candidate down by 2 to 1. This time, that same candidate won with 62.5% support. Of course, this time, more than half of eligible voters stayed home. Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute explains the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_070621_Parsi.mp3
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One thing we know about the world after the Covid-19 pandemic has been brought under control -- it's going to be different from the one before the global coronavirus outbreak. Some of the biggest changes will be in the world's workplaces, about which Dr. Jim Harter has been asking questions and collecting answers for the Gallup Organization. Why are so many workers opting out of their jobs? How can employers bring them back... and then make them happier and more productive?

Direct download: HereAndThere_070121_Harter.mp3
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When the coronavirus pandemic made getting credible information to the American people an absolute necessity, already, an American Press Institute survey showed more than 20% of the adult population was already tuned out.  Since then, things have only gotten worse.  Longtime editor and media analyst Tom Rosenstiel helped run the API study and has some ideas on how to repair the damage to journalism's reputation and influence in our craven new world of extreme political partisanship and pick your facts news consumers.

Direct download: HereAndThere_051121_Rosenstiel.mp3
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When the coronavirus knocked on America's door back in February 2020 no one answered at the White House.  We now know President Donald Trump was informed, but stayed completely disengaged from the crisis.  In her new book, Virus, Nina Burleigh says willful ignoring, not willful ignorance cost hundreds of thousands of American lives. Burleigh's book goes misstep by misstep through the greatest medical catastrophe to hit this country in 100 years. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_062821_Burleigh.mp3
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Anthony, NM is one of the poorest towns in one of the poorest states in America. All the consequences of that were magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic and the non-responses of the state of Texas, halfway down Main Street and Mexico, whose border is just 24 miles away.  Rescue from catastrophe, Alicia Inez Guzman reported for Searchlight NM require a lot of Do It Yourself. Bringing testing and then vaccination to this remote desert community was just the beginning. Next, distributing food and assuring shelter.

Direct download: HereAndThere_062421_Guzman.mp3
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The penetrability of data collected in the digital universe has made protecting the secrecy of government security operations a lot harder. But the US Government's response, says Newsweek investigative reporter William Arkin, has been to create "the biggest secret army" in world history. Thousands of spies, fighters, analysts and clerks...all of 'em kept off the books.  Arkin says it has made holding the people and the billiions of dollars spent on them accountable almost impossible.  Kinda dangerous in a democracy to cut the people out of the awareness loop.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_062221_Arkin.mp3
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In a society where almost all our most successful people use everything from smart-ass lawyers to easily purchasable legislators to avoid paying a fair share of taxes, it should be no surprise how many cheaters abused the Paycheck Protection Program.  Still, Lydia DePillis's reporting on PPP fraud for Pro Publica should be a moral wake-up call.  How universal Donald Trump's definition of "being smart" by cheating the government has become! 

Direct download: HereAndThere_062121_DePillis.mp3
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The State of New Mexico has ambitious goals to reduce its carbon footprint by cutting back on fossil fuels for energy. What are the real-world prospects for success? Hannah Grover covers the local environment for the NM Political Report and the Farmington Daily Times including the highly-touted, but mostly un-proved reasons for a new carbon-capture plant in Northwest NM and the old question of who will pay to clean up abandoned oil and gas facilities in the 4 Corners and Permian Basin regions of the state. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_061721_Grover.mp3
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Ice-caps at both Poles are melting and one reason is methane plumes from cattle.  So does this mean the burger melt has to go away?  Andrew Freedman covers climate change and the environment for Axios.  He sees an important sea change, in the arrival of a generation of mega-entrepreneurs who want to base business decision on the survival of the planet, and not just the super-chef Daniel Humm and his menu of plant-based courses.  Hear how Microsoft promises to clean up its act. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_061521_Freedman.mp3
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2 popular misconceptions about Russia get a thorough reconsideration in Columbia University scholar Timothy Frye's new book, Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin's Russia.  One, Frye says, is that Russia is always Russia -- the same place and culture and two, that Vladimir Putin has changed everything. What's the reality? Putin is definitely the boss of a "personalist autocracy," but like Erdogan, Orban and other me-first dictators, he operates in a world of restraints and difficult choices.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061421_Frye.mp3
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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. 

Direct download: HT051121ChildressPOD.mp3
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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. 

Direct download: HT040821pod.mp3
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Direct download: HereAndThere_040521_Gillum.mp3
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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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