Race Data, Men Without Work, Execution in America
Top of Mind with Julie Rose
- May 4, 2017 11:00 pm
- 1:41:42 mins
Data on Race and Police Shootings Guest: Ben Montgomery, Reporter, Tampa Bay Times In the past three years, fatal encounters between police and unarmed black men sparked protests across the country. Were these just a handful of tragic but isolated incidents, as law enforcement officials claimed? Or were the shooting deaths of Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and Walter Scott evidence of a larger pattern of racial discrimination by police? When Tampa Bay Times investigative reporter Ben Montgomery set out to answer that question in Florida, he quickly realized it wouldn’t be easy; no one—not even the FBI—was keeping track of police shootings in the country’s third-largest state. This is also true in most states around the country. So Montgomery and a team at the Tampa Bay Times decided they would. It took more than two years, but now they’re done and he shares his findings with us. Men Without Work Guest: Nicholas Eberstadt, Political Economist, American Enterprise Institute, author of “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis” Over the last two generations, there has been a startling rise in the number of men not working, and not looking for work. It’s a problem that has been often overlooked by the government, and its causes are complicated. Some men choose not to work, and that choice is not as socially disparaged as it was in your grandparents’ day. But there are other factors at play, and the economist Nicholas Eberstadt investigates them in his book “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis.” Human Impact (originally aired July 13, 2016) Guest: Melinda Zeder, PhD, Curator Think about all the laws aimed at trying to fix the damage humans have done to the landscape – the Clean Air Act, the Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Underlying them is the notion that, in a perfect world, we could roll back the clock and restore the ecosystem to its pristine state. But, pristine is impossible – and maybe never really existed – according to a provocative research paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. An international team including archaeologists, geneticists, ecologists and anthropologists concluded in the article that humans have been leaving their mark on the planet for millennia: way before the industrial revolution or the colonization of the world’s islands and even before they invented the wheel, humans were changing their environment. And not all for the worse, either. Fluoride Chemicals in Wrappers (originally aired Feb. 14, 2017) Guest: Professor Graham Peaslee, PhD, University of Notre Dame When fast-food restaurants had to start posting calorie counts on their menus, it took some of the fun out of treating yourself to that cheeseburger, fries and shake. And now we’re finding out that the stuff those treats come wrapped in also contain chemicals that carry serious health risks. Research out of Notre Dame examined more than 400 packaging materials used to wrap everything from sandwiches to desserts. Nearly half contained fluorinated chemicals that can stay in the body long after you’ve licked your fingers. Execution in America (originally aired March 18, 2015) Guest: Austin Sarat, Professor of Law and Political Science, Amherst College, author of “Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty” After going twelve years without a single execution, the state of Arkansas recently slated eight inmates for lethal injection within a ten-day period. Although legal challenges kept four of the eight from execution, the reason behind the blitz was simple: Arkansas’s supply of a drug used in lethal injection was about to expire. The drug, a sedative, is difficult to purchase, as drug companies have protested its use for capital punishment, all of which left Arkansas in a scramble to use what they had before it went bad. A few years ago, anticipating a predicament like this one, the Utah Legislature considered allowing the firing squad as a backup plan for execution, should lethal injection become unavailable. We discuss the complicated process of execution.