Ambassadors, Prepping For The Worst, Corporate Taxes

Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 1215

  • Dec 3, 2019 11:00 pm
  • 1:35:50 mins

The Politics of Being America’s Professional Diplomats (0:28) Guest: Paul Richter, Former State Department Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Author of “The Ambassadors: America’s Diplomats on the Front Lines” Some of the most damaging testimony against President Trump in the impeachment inquiry has come from people who’ve made their careers working as diplomats for the US government. They’re not political appointees, so they often stay on the job even when they disagree with the President. Rarely do those differences burst into the spotlight as dramatically as they are right now. Let’s take a closer look at the politics of America’s Foreign Service. This Guy Trains People to Escape from Kidnappers and Avoid Capture (40:03) Guest: Kevin Reeve, Founder, onPoint Tactical Tracking School Unless you’re a foreign correspondent, aid worker or defense contractor, the chances that you’ll be kidnapped for ransom or forced on the run trying to evade capture are very slim. But apparently a fair number of ordinary folks fantasize about escaping a hostage situation like one of those tough characters Liam Neeson plays in movies. Kevin Reeve is their guy. He does kidnap and evasion simulations and teaches participants things like how to manipulate your captor and break free of duct tape or zip ties. Reeve has also consulted on movies and with the military. How Corporations Avoid Paying Federal Income Tax (51:12) Guest: Matthew Gardner, Senior Fellow, Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy You’ve maybe heard that some of America’s biggest corporations managed to pay nothing in federal income taxes last year. Netflix, Amazon, Chevron, Delta Airlines, Eli Lilly, General Motors, IBM, US Steel–that’s a partial list. And these companies were profitable in 2018. So the fact that they paid no income tax sounds like cheating. They’re very touchy about being called tax cheats. When the New York Times did a front-page story on FedEx’s zero taxes for 2018 a few weeks ago, the CEO of FedEx called it an “outrageous distortion” and challenged the publisher of the New York Times to a duel. Okay, not a duel. A debate about taxes. But it had a sort of Hamilton/Burr feel to it. So, what’s going on here? How do profitable companies pay no income tax on those profits? Humanitarian Forensic Scientists Identify the Dead after Disasters (1:06:21) Guest: Stephen Cordner, Professor of Forensic Pathology at Monash University, Head of the International Programmes at Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine In any humanitarian response –whether it’s for a natural disaster or a war –the focus is primarily on the survivors. Unfortunately, there are usually also the dead to attend to. Fifteen years ago, the International Committee of the Red Cross recognized the need to formalize that part of the humanitarian response and created something known as “humanitarian forensics.” Humans Drank Milk 6,000 Years Ago (1:19:52) Guest: Sophy Charlton, Researcher of Biomolecular Archaeology, University of York Theaverage American consumes more than 600 pounds of dairy products per year. But it definitely didn’t used to be that way –humans couldn’t always drink milk. Ancient adults were lactose intolerant, and it’s still a mystery why so many humans aren’t anymore.That’s why it was a big surprise when researchers from the University of York examined teeth from people who lived 6,000 years ago and discovered that they consumed dairy. (Originally aired: 10/7/19)