Here And There with Dave Marash

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
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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. 

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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
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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
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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. 

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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." 

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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
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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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