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February 26 2014

21:29
Tags: Blog Entry

February 25 2014

22:12
Tags: Blog Entry

February 21 2014

19:42

February 20 2014

20:36

February 19 2014

22:42
Tags: Blog Entry
21:58

February 17 2014

21:10
Tags: Blog Entry
14:42

February 13 2014

20:46

The On Point Interlude Music Titles You’ve Always Wanted To Know (But Were Too Afraid To Ask)

[Watch on YouTube]

If there’s one email we get almost every week from our listeners here at On Point, it’s the email that riffs on the theme of “what music did you play during the XX break of that show?!?” Sometimes we (meaning your digital producer, Nick Andersen) don’t know the answer, and the result is a sad reply that we can’t solve your problems.

We have a wide, weird variety of music to play out of into our station breaks — ~ 19 minutes past and ~ 38 minutes past the hour — and those songs draw plenty of inquiries. Sometimes, those songs are part of the show — when we do a music show, for example, or play out of a Friday Week in the News segment with songs from the Beatles’ first performance in the United States. But in the regular occasions when the music we play is oddly familiar, we realize you might have a desire to know what that song really is.

Our ever-watchful audio engineer, Jim Ross, was kind enough to provide us with a partial but common list of the songs and musical cues we turn to on a regular basis. (We’ll update this list as it changes.)

Afro Celt Sound System “Deep Channel” Ocean Colour Scene “The Riverboat Song” Ocean Colour Scene “You’ve Got It Bad” Daft Punk “Short Circuit” Boards Of Canada “Chromakey Dreamcoat” Underworld “8 Ball” Daft Punk “Aerodynamic” Afro Celt Sound System “North 2″ Badly Drawn Boy “Delta” (Little Boy Blues) Energy 52 “Café del Mar” (deadmau5 Remix) Yo La Tengo “Farewell Adventureland” FC Kahuna “Hayling” Zero 7 “Give It Away” U2 “Moment of Surrender” The Album Leaf “Red Eye” The Album Leaf “Shine” The Crystal Method “Vapor Trail” Zero 7 “In The Waiting Line”

February 12 2014

20:31

Some Romance Novels To Get You Started

There’s something to be said for the sheer size of the romance / erotic fiction genre — estimates peg the market at nearly $1.350 billion for 2013. But some of our listeners — and much of our staff, for that matter — might have a hard time making a good first dive into the romance market.

Two of our guests from our Feb. 12 hour on the big business of the romance book scene offered their suggestions on a few fun and well-written options for romance newbies. We’ve listed them here, with links and the like to get you reading.

Angela Knight’s Picks

“Master of the Night” by Angela Knight – The first of my Mageverse books in which the Knights of the Round Table are vampires sworn to protect humanity from its own self-destructive impulses.

“Dark Lover” by J.R. Ward —  The first of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, featuring vampire heroes whose dedication to each other matches their love for the women in their lives.

“Naked in Death” by J.D. Robb — This is the first book of the In Death series featuring Lt. Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke as they solve murders in a near future New York. Wonderful characterization and writing.

“Vampire Mistress” by Joey W. Hill — After a woman is raped by vampires, a vampire assassin and a vampire hunter form an unlikely alliance to help her recover and heal. Seductive and intense with overtones of dominance and male submission; not for the faint-hearted.

Wendy Crutcher’s Picks

“Now or Never” by Logan Belle – Claire is looking forward to some romance now that her son is finally off to college. As a devoted single mother she desperately needs to get her groove back and make up for lost time. But a sudden crisis has her wondering if her sex life will be over before she even goes on her first date.

“When the Marquess Met His Match” By Laura Lee Gurhke – Lady Belinda Featherstone’s job is to guide American heiresses to matrimony, and away from men like Nicholas, Marquess of Trubridge. But the charming, disreputable marquess needs a wealthy bride, and he hires Belinda to help him find one. Her task seems easy: find that scoundrel the sort of wife he so richly deserves. But Nicholas’s hot, searing kiss soon proves her task will be anything but easy.

“Dirty” by Megan Hart – I met him at the candy store. He turned and smiled at me and I was surprised enough to smile back. This was not a children’s candy store, mind you—this was the kind of place you went to buy expensive imported chocolate truffles for your boss’s wife because you felt guilty for having sex with him when you were both at a conference in Milwaukee. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

“My Fair Concubine” by Jeannie Lin – Yan Ling tries hard to be servile — it’s what’s expected of a girl of her class. Being intelligent and strong-minded, she finds it a constant battle. Proud Fei Long is unimpressed by her spirit — until he realizes she’s the answer to his problems. He has to deliver the emperor a “princess.” In two months can he train a tea girl to pass as a noblewoman?

“Aftershock” by Jill Sorenson — As an emergency paramedic, Lauren Boyer is dedicated and highly capable. Until an earthquake strikes, trapping her beneath the freeway with a group of strangers—including Iraq war veteran Garrett Wright…

“High Noon” by Nora Roberts –A woman who walks fearlessly into danger–but must draw on her courage to let love into her life.

“Count to Ten” by Karen Rose – In all his years in the Chicago Fire Department, Lieutenant Reed Solliday ahs never experienced anything like this recent outbreak of house fires – devastating, vicious and in one case, homicidal. He has another problem – his new partner, Detective Mia Mitchell. She’s brash, bossy, and taking the case in a direction he never imagined.

“Addicted” by Charlotte Stein – Kit Connor has always led a safe, cautious life. But when Kit’s friend points out that her erotic writing lacks something, she decides to attend a Sexual Healing group to improve her knowledge.

 

February 11 2014

20:54

we asked for poems; you gave us poems

When we asked you for your favorite e.e. cummings poem in the lead up to our Feb. 11 hour the much-beloved American poet, we weren’t sure if you would deliver. There’s no judgement or prejudice there: we really didn’t know if our many followers, fans and listeners would have enough impish delight to make for a meaningful bit of spontaneous poetry.

Let us say here on the record: we were very, very wrong.

Your reaction to the Facebook post on Monday evening carried over into today, and we’re glad that you all love Edward Estlin Cummings as much as our guest, author Susan Cheever (whose great new biography of the poet is on sale now, by the way). Some of your favorites are sampled here; you can many more at your local library or bookstore or on such great sites as poets.org or poetryfoundation.org.

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

any experience,your eyes have their silence:

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,

or which i cannot touch because they are too near

 

your slightest look easily will unclose me

though i have closed myself as fingers,

you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens

(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

 

or if your wish be to close me, i and

my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,

as when the heart of this flower imagines

the snow carefully everywhere descending;

 

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals

the power of your intense fragility:whose texture

compels me with the color of its countries,

rendering death and forever with each breathing

 

(i do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens;only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

 

[in Just-]

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

 

whistles          far          and wee

 

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

 

when the world is puddle-wonderful

 

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

 

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

 

it’s
spring
and

 

         the

 

                  goat-footed

 

balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

anyone lived in a pretty how town

anyone lived in a pretty how town

(with up so floating many bells down)

spring summer autumn winter

he sang his didn’t he danced his did

 

Women and men(both little and small)

cared for anyone not at all

they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same

sun moon stars rain

 

children guessed(but only a few and down they forgot as up they grew

autumn winter spring summer)

that noone loved him more by more

 

when by now and tree by leaf

she laughed his joy she cried his grief

bird by snow and stir by still

anyone’s any was all to her

 

someones married their everyones

laughed their cryings and did their dance

(sleep wake hope and then)they

said their nevers they slept their dream

 

stars rain sun moon

(and only the snow can begin to explain

how children are apt to forget to remember

with up so floating many bells down)

 

one day anyone died i guess

(and noone stooped to kiss his face)

busy folk buried them side by side

little by little and was by was

 

all by all and deep by deep

and more by more they dream their sleep

noone and anyone earth by april

wish by spirit and if by yes.

 

Women and men(both dong and ding)

summer autumn winter spring

reaped their sowing and went their came

sun moon stars rain

February 10 2014

22:00

Updates From The Sochi Winter Olympics

Our Feb. 10 hour focusing on the real story of Vladimir Putin’s Russia featured an athlete-focused update from the city of Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics are currently underway.

John Cherwa, deputy sports editor at The Los Angeles Times, gave us a broad rundown of the facilities, the opening ceremony and the opening rounds of competition in Sochi.

Tom Ashbrook: John, welcome back to On Point. Thanks for being with us.

John Cherwa: Well, I’m glad to be back.

TA: So we’re seeing all kinds of reporting here about doorknobs falling off and rings that won’t light up, but also seeing terrific vistas and some terrific winter sport. What’s your sense of how the games are going so far, John?

JC: You know, it was a difficult lead up. I mean they had a lot of problems. There’s still stuff that’s not finished. But as far as the actual competition is going, it’s great. The venues are all completed. In fact, the venues were completed before the roads around them were completed. But I think we’ve pretty much settled into the usual Olympic routine. This doesn’t seem too terribly different from any of the others.

TA: There’s still coming out of Washington the sound of warnings about terrorism. Any whisper about that inside the Olympic bubble?

JC: That is something that I completely misjudged on — at least. I hope I did. I had some trepidation going over. But I feel totally, completely safe here in the bubble. A matter of fact I was talking to my colleague from the Chicago Tribune who basically came over with the same feeling, and says he doesn’t even think about it anymore. The thing is, it’s not oppressive, I was thinking you’d be seeing non-stop military and police: nope. It’s really just like the other games.

TA: what are the athletes there telling you, saying to you about the opening ceremonies on Friday night? Millions and millions watched them around the world, many in the United States. What about the athletes: what are they thinking of the spectacle?

JC: Well, they liked it. You know, the thing is you don’t have your full contingent at an opening ceremony. For example, like the hockey team: the men’s hockey team wasn’t here, the women’s hockey team was playing the next day. But the people in the stadium really enjoyed it. Except for the fact that they were doing some things that they had to pump cold air into an already cold stadium, so it was one of the more frigid opening ceremonies. Something else they did differently was move up the athletes’ march earlier and rather than have them stand, they put ‘em in the seats. So that was a better experience for them.

TA: You’ve seen, this is, I guess ,your eighth Olympics now. Compare and contrast: opening ceremonies, mood, facilities. How does Sochi look?

JC: You know, the opening ceremony is always ‘Can you top this?’ and you know they just get more and more crazy. I could have gone without the 12-minute reenactment of ‘War and Peace.” Actually they should have done ‘Anna Karenina,’  it would have been a better story. These games are pretty much as they should be. I think that my overriding feeling is we’re at the same place that we normally are, but it’s getting there that has been the struggle. Things do not come easily in Russia getting things done do not come easily, and I think we’re all feeling a sense of that. But you know again I think it’s all business as usual.

TA: The gay rights issue and Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, as they put it: is that in the air, is it being talked about, or shunted aside at this point?

JC: I think it’s totally in the background. No one’s talked about, or very few people are talking about it. There hasn’t been any demonstration that I’m aware, of but of course we’re only on the third day of competition and there are many more chances for that. But even like tomorrow, there’s a gay ski jumper who basically was asked one question about her partner and she said, ‘Yeah, no big deal, well, you know.’ So even that hasn’t really been much of an issue.

TA: And what about the hoary issue of the medal count: how’s that looking, how the U.S. doing, Russia for that matter, what’s striking on the performance side?

JC: Well, Norway.  Norway is just killing it, but they are involved in the sports that well, we don’t really care about. Which is like cross country, the biathlon. The Dutch are doing really well in the speed skating. The U.S., you know, swept the snowboard slope style — that was Sage Kotsenburg and Jamie Anderson. And that was kind of a surprise, I don’t think we expected that to happen. We picked up a bronze in the women’s combined alpine this morning, so you know the U.S. is doing okay. They picked up a  team medal in figure skating, but probably won’t do anything in the men’s and women’s, but will probably win gold in the ice dancing in a couple days.

TA: And what’s the anticipation — I know it’s a while yet, but still — on hockey, well there’s women’s and then there’s men’s. What’s the anticipation there?

JC: Well there’s no question that it’s a two team race in women’s hockey: U.S. and Canada. U.S. won, I believe, nine-nothing against Switzerland today and that was a team that Canada beat five-nothing the other day,  so it’s gonna come down to that game. They’ll play once in pool play, and then undoubtedly will play for the gold .The men: eh, it’s a little tough. I personally think that Russia – who’s not the favorite, Canada’s the favorite — I personally think the gold medal game will be Canada and Russia, because the crowd is just going to be unbelievable for the Russians,  and that would be good game, just sort of a mishmash of NHL players.

 

February 07 2014

20:16

Our Week In The Web: Feb, 7, 2014

Bao Bao, the baby panda currently drawing raves at the Washington National Zoo. She's also an avid On Point Radio listener. (Getty)

Bao Bao, the baby panda currently drawing raves at the Washington National Zoo. She’s also an avid On Point Radio listener. (Getty)

It’s the end of the first full week in February, which means this is our first foray into what we hope will be a regular weekly feature.

While we’re aware that a great deal of our primary audience is terrestrial — folks driving in their cars, turning on their living room radios and listening along discretely at their desks (we see you out there, working people of America!) — we know that we have a lively and active digital audience as well. Our week in the web posts will hope to highlight the best of both worlds, selecting  the comments, tweets and Facebook posts that caught our eye this week, as well as letting you know which programs have been making the proverbial rounds.

It’s a work in progress, which means we want your feedback. Feel free to let us know what you’d like to see in a weekly web-based wrap-up from On Point Radio — more traffic data, more comments, more Tweets, more gifs, etc. — and keep listening in and letting us know what you think!

The Most Listened-To Shows Online (1/31 – 2/7)

1) Four Hundred Years Of American Football (Jan. 31, 14)

2) Week In The News: Southern Freeze, State Of The Union, So Long Bernanke  (Jan. 31, 2014)

3) How We’re Talking, Like, Today (Jan. 23, 2014)

4) New Music: 2014 (Jan. 3, 2014)

5) Life, Wisdom And ‘Middlemarch’ (Jan. 30, 2014)

(*Quick aside: our ‘most listened-to’ shows are not just from the week of broadcast. They could come from any week and any time, meaning the year in new music could still stay strong for a while.)

Our Favorite Quotes From This Week

“‘No place you fly to from Kennedy Airport is as decrepit as Kennedy Airport.” — Larry Summers 

“‘Whenever you talk about groups and cultures, people respond without even having read the book.” — Amy Chua

“‘I’ve never seen a man-mauled landscape quite like the oil sands of Alberta.’” — Tony Horwitz

Our Favorite Comments From This Week

“That’s because you can’t fly from Kennedy to LaGuardia.” (@EBernsteinWSJ)

“I’d rather be a tired girly man than deal with the side-effects listed on these ‘medications’” (@Jakeyboyofjoy)

“I wrote this week’s NYT OpEd. If men knew that Rx T shut off their supply and shrank their testes, they’d start to eat better.” (@johnlapuma)

“You could do a whole hour on baby boomers and their refusal to age gracefully.” (@Satur9)

“With all the good that community colleges do, why is there a stigma? In FL, they’re changing the names to “State Colleges”" (@goudsward)

“My father and brother both died in separate car accidents. This cant come soon enough. Holding this up is criminal.” (@Shwaman)

“ I see community colleges as the way of the future.” (Andy Nonimus)

“Everyone seems to disagree with Summers – so you all think the economy is doing well? Maybe in limited urban markets, but not in most of the places near me. We are slowly dying.” (Sunraya)

“See this is the problem, we can’t even have a frank discussion without accusations of racism! Have we reached a point where political correctness is more important than facts, data and achievement? We should use this data to help every person and every group.” (Jeff)

Our Favorite Bit Of Internet This Week

These Cat Gifs. (Tumblr)

Tags: Blog Entry

February 06 2014

20:47

Larry Summers Asks For Fiscal Prudence, Better Airports

Our February 6 interview with former U.S. Treasury Secretary and big all-around economic thinker of many hats Larry Summers covered a lot of ground. From his fears of a “secular stagnation” to his thoughts on New York City’s troubled J.F.K. International Airport (he finds it embarrassing).

Larry Summers in the WBUR studios. (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

Larry Summers in the WBUR studios. (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

Here are some highlights from our conversation with Summers.

 

Summers on inequality, entitlement reform, and the deficit:

Larry Summers: If we are able to increase the growth rate of this economy by two tenths of a percent, some people would say it was three tenths, but between two and three tenths of a percent for the next 75 years, that eliminates the entire deficit problem as it is now projected. And I ask you which is a better strategy, a more positive strategy, a more politically attractive strategy, a strategy that will have great other benefits? Doing all the things, tax reform, immigration reform, removal of barriers to private investment, necessary public infrastructure investment, to raise the growth rate by a quarter of a percent a year, or to launch an attack on programs that are giving people thirty thousand dollars a year, thirty five thousand dollars a year at maximum, at maximum. If you get the maximum social security benefit you possibly can get—

Tom Ashbrook: The entitlement reform question?

LS: Social security reform. The largest social security reform you can get. You pay the maximum in every year for your whole life time, it is less than 40,000 dollars a year. And so at a time of rising inequality, making the focus of our national effort to fix our economy be bearing down on social security beneficiaries, I just don’t think is the right approach.

On whether or not he takes any responsibility for the 2008 financial crisis, could the 2008 crisis happen again, did he supporting the deregulationist in Congress in the 1990s, and his thoughts on US Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair Gary Gensler:

LS: I think all of us who served in-who’s been involved one way or another in the financial sector wish that we had foreseen all the things that took place in 2008 and been able to put in place preparations and contingencies that would have dealt more satisfactorily with those problems.

TA: Were they outgrowths of mistakes made by you in the 90s?

LS: I think there is much- I think with respect it is a very complicated tale. A wide variety of regulatory proposals that would have addressed many of the serious problems: putting derivatives on exchanges, doing something about predatorily mortgages, fixing Fannie and Freddie, that I and others put forward during the 1990s were not accepted by the Congress. The Congress at that point was in the thrall of aggressive deregulationists who would only pass legislation in one direction and of one kind—

TA: Weren’t you in their corner?

LS: No I was not in their corner with respect to a variety of proposals that I put forward, particularly with regard to predatorily lending, but also with respect to other issues that were reject. Now I was not someone who was willing to oversimplify the issue into the view that all regulation is good and all reductions in regulations are bad. And so there were measure that I believe were constructive that operated to reduce regulations that weren’t functional.  And I did support those in the 1990s and I don’t believe you can make a case that the regulations whose removals or adjustments I supported were contributors to the 2008 financial crisis in any large way?

TA: The whole derivatives bubble and meltdown?

LS: There were important derivatives issues, but if you look at what was being done before the legislation and after the legislation it is not that the legislation addressed the things that were at the center of those derivatives problems. The derivatives problems, Tom, had to do with what are referred to as credit default swaps. Credit default swaps essentially were in their very infancy at the time when the Clinton Administration left office. The issues in derivivates were things that were entirely different during the time of the Clinton administration. The question is why nothing was done about credit default swamps and their various consequences over the subsequent eight years. That is an important question, but it is not one that should be addressed to those of us who served during the Clinton administration.

TA: Is that fix today? Is that risk fixed today, as we talk today are we still vulnerable to another 2008 kind of meltdown? You talk throughout here about the risk of that returning.

LS: Generals always fight the last war. And there is always a risk that while a number of those particular issues that were pointed up by the 2008 crisis have been address—are there continuing risks of financial instability? Yes. Has the last word been written, on regulation? No. Do we need to address, for example, a shadow banking system that is still very much in the shadows, as far as regulation is concern?

TA: swamps, derivatives…

LS: Absolutely. Are there continuing challenges with respect to derivatives? Yes there certainly are. But I do believe that important progress has been made and I certainly was very pleased to have, looking back, to have been very strongly supportive of the appointment of Gary Gensler at the CFCT and of the various things that he was able to accomplish that I do think make the system safer than they were before.

On the advice he would give to the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen:

TA: Janet Yellen stepping into the Fed, you’re not. What’s your one word of advice to her.

LS: Prudence.

TA: Prudence!

LS: Prudence! And I’m sure she’ll bring it.

February 05 2014

21:56

Surprise: ‘Vehicle-to-Vehicle’ Communication Is Already Here

Our Feb. 5 hour on the future of self-driving cars had a rather timely news peg this week — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on February 3 that it plans to require car makers in the future to implement technology promoting ‘vehicle-to-vehicle communication,’ or ‘V2V.’

The N.H.T.S.A. hopes to use V2V technology in the future to help prevent collisions and automatically spur breaking as cars approach each other in an accident situation.

NBC News' Tom Costello (NBC News)

NBC News’ Tom Costello (NBC News)

NBC News correspondent Tom Costello has been covering the tech side of the automobile industry for a while now, and he joined us to explain his journey to Ann Arbor, MI, where he rode along in some test V2v cars himself.

Tom Ashbrook: First, to this week’s announcement. Tom Costello is correspondent for NBC News, joins me from Washington. He covers transporation, consuemr affairs and more. Was in Ann Arbor, MI when the N.H.T.S.A. kicked off testing for so-called vehicle to vehicle communication. He’s driven cars equipped with ‘V2V’  technology. Tom Costello, welcome to On Point very nice to have you.

Tom Costello: Nice to be here.

TA:  Why is the  N.H.T.S.A. pushing on this now this week?

TC: I’ll make it easy on you just call it  N.H.T.S.A. The reason is that the Department of Transportation really believes that the technology is there already. And I must tell you that most major car manufacturers believe it too, they’ve already been working on this for many years. So let’s separate out two different issues here: vehicle-to-vehicle communication, where Car A talks to Car B, and Car C and Car D, and because they’re all talking to each other on the road, they know where each other is going and what’s happening and  therefore  they can hopefully avoid an accident if you, the driver, fail to avoid an accident. That’s separate from fully autonomous cars, so let’s separate that out. That’s V2V. What N.H.T.S.A.  is saying, is that we believe the technology is so close to being ready for prime time here, and in fact they just did this 12-month program in Ann Arbor as you mentioned with 3000 vehicles in the city, and they tested and it seemed to work very well. And they had multiple vendors, in other words they had Audi and Volkswagen and Mercedes, as well as of course Ford and some of the others. I was in a Ford car trying it out. They think that now what needs to happen is the government needs to set the general parameters for these different car manufactures to begin working on the platforms by which they will communicate out on the open road out across the country. The government is not setting up the infrastructure importantly, but what they are gonna say is ‘Okay we’re gonna transmit on this particular frequency, we’re gonna have these bandwidth parameters’, somebody needs to set the guidelines and the rules, so that everybody else can play.

TA: What’s the range of data that they anticipate cars will be communicating to one another, like what?

TC: They are literally talking about being able to transit ten pieces  of data every second. And it will be everything from your car position, via GPS, to how well you brake, how well you are braking, are you hitting ice, are you turning left are you turning right, are you speeding — all of that information constantly transmitted in a radius of about 300 yards or so, maybe more, and other cars in the vicinity picking up all that information. It all amalgamates in each other’s computers and the cars are saying ‘Okay I know that this guy is coming in from the left and I know he’s gotta brake to hit the red light, if he doesn’t hit his brakes, he’s gonna go right through that light and he’s gonna t-bone me. And in fact that’s what happened to me, I was in Ann Arbor, and I was on a test track, and a car — we knew this was gonna happen — and a car blew his red light and before I got up to my green light, I got LED warnings, my seat rumbled and  I got a slight tap on the brake telling me, ‘Hey watch out something’s coming and you might not be ready for it.’

TA: So when the information comes in communicated car to car, is it primarily to alert the driver — the human — to do something, or is the idea that the cars themselves will respond, react?

TC: I think we’re talking about both. In the most primitive forms, it would be a driver alert, and that’s frankly most of what I experienced. I got flashing LED lights, my seat would rumble, and it’s interesting, on your left side or your left cheek, it rumbles if it’s coming in from the left, your right cheek rumbles if it’s coming in from the right, you also get an audible warning. It could be a beeping, it could be a computer voice saying ‘Caution’ or ‘Alert’ or something like that. But we’ve already seen the technology in place and it was advertised on Super Bowl Sunday, of course, in which a car slams on its brake on its own because  you, the driver — in this case it was a 17 year-old boy distracted by a cute girl — didn’t realize he was about to plow into somebody. All of this technology exists already, mostly it exists in the form of sensors and radars, which may of us have on our cars already to prevent us from hitting the guy in front of us if we’re in that kind of specific mode, cruise control mode. But now this is taking it to the next level and literally communicating with each other.

TA: What’s the time table for all new cars to have this Tom?

TC: This is important, I’m glad you raised it. There was a  little bit of confusion or misreporting on this topic. What the Department of Transportation is saying is it wants to have the rule in place by the time the Obama Administration leaves office. It’s not telling you ‘You have to have the technology in place,’ it wants the rules in place. And the rule will state that car companies have to have the technology in place by X date. They haven’t given that date yet because they want to be able to work through public input, they also want to hear from the car manufacturers and get everybody on board. I suspect that we’re probably looking at five to ten years past 2016.  So somewhere in the neighborhood of 2021, 2025, somewhere in there, if the D.O.T. and N.H.T.S.A . go forward with this and there aren’t massive lawsuits, if this goes forward, I suspect we’re talking in probably five to ten to 12 years before this now becomes standard required

TA: It obviously works best if all cars have it, but they’re talking new cars, but what about retrofitting cars already on the road, might that be required or not?

TC: No I don’t think you could ever require that, and they would never attempt that. Almost all of these new advancements to safety come from new technology being put into new cars. Look at what’s happened with air bags. The drop in fatalities and traffic fatalities is remarkable and attributable mostly to better built cars, but most importantly airbags. And second from that, much better construction of roads, and you know we now got roundabouts and better on ramps and off ramps and that kind of thing. But what this marks is a big shift — rather than trying to make sure you survive a crash, they want to make sure you never have a crash, and that hopefully the technology there is that they can do that.

TA: Tom, everybody thinks about driving a little differently. What about you, you’ve experienced it in Ann Arbor, would you, do you welcome this in your next car or car somewhere down he road?

TC: Yeah, I think so. Listen, you know, I can tell you that on my car,  I’ve got the backup camera, I’ve got the sensors so I don’t hit the trash can orGod  forbid a little kid behind that I don’t see. I really welcome that. It’s only , I think, enhanced safety in my case  and I have had, you know everybody when they have a car over the course of their car they may bump the bumper a couple of times. At least I  haven’t had it happen to me once in the last two cars I’ve had, and I think it’s because I’ve got these bumpers. So I can only imagine that the safety picture will dramatically improve for me and probably for everybody else.

February 03 2014

22:04

Resources And References For Forced Marriages

Our Feb. 3 hour on the often unseen and unspoken problem of forced marriage in America featured two big advocates: Vidya Sri and Fraidy Reiss, each of whom found herself in a forced marriage situation earlier in life.

They got out of those marriages, but they recognize that not all women are necessarily able to access the tools and networks that can help them recover from a forced or coerced marriage. As part of that resource network, Sri and Reiss asked us to share some tools and pages for victims on our site.

VOICES FROM THE FRONTLINE: Addressing Forced Marriage Within The United States 

Ganga Shakti: How to Hide Your Tracks While Researching Forced Marriage Resources 

Unchained At Last: How to Get Help 

Unchained At Last: How To Volunteer 

Tags: Blog Entry

January 31 2014

21:32

Keystone XL Pipeline: The Latest Facts And Figures

The proposed Keystone XL project consists of a 875-mile long pipeline and related facilities to transport up to 830,000 barrels/day from Alberta and  The Bakken Shale Formation in Montana.

A timeline of the Keystone XL Pipeline planning process (US State Dept)

A timeline of the Keystone XL Pipeline planning process (US State Dept)

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline route (US State Dept)

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline route (US State Dept)

The Gulf Coast project route (Courtesy US State Dept)

The Gulf Coast project route  (US State Dept)

The U.S. State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Study is a technical assessment of the potential environmental impacts related to the proposed pipeline. It responds to more than 1.9 million comments received since June 2012 (from both the scoping and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement comment periods).

A typical pipeline construction sequence (US State Dept)

A typical pipeline construction sequence (US State Dept)

A cross-section of a typical horizontal directional drilling method (US State Dept)

A cross-section of a typical horizontal directional drilling method (US State Dept)

Native American tribes consulted in the creation of the final State Dept. EIS (US State Dept)

Native American tribes consulted in the creation of the final State Dept. EIS (US State Dept)

 

Representative alternatives to the Keystone XL Pipeline (US State Dept)

Representative alternatives to the Keystone XL Pipeline (US State Dept)

All images and charts via the U.S. State Department.

The next step? Comments are being excepted between 2/5/14 and 3/7/14 at http://www.regulations.gov

18:08

Classic Football Matchups From Way, Way Back

Our Jan. 31 on the long history of American football included some great clips of early football games and some  admittedly less-than-sexy early Super Bowl halftime concerts.

While planning the hour this week, one of our producers found some fantastic archival footage of old college football games, including a 1903 clip from Thomas Edison himself. As you gear up for Super Bowl XLVIII this Sunday, take a look back at the game’s past.

Princeton v. Yale, 1903

[Watch on YouTube]

Princeton v. Harvard, 1919

[Watch on YouTube]

Northwester v. Minnesota, 1930

January 30 2014

21:36

A Conservative Case For A Higher Minimum Wage

Our Jan. 28 hour on economic mobility and the current state of ‘The American Dream’ featured a fascinating closing segment on an unusual campaign for a higher minimum wage in California.

Ron Unz (AP)

Ron Unz (AP)

The advocate? Conservative millionaire Ron Unz, chairman of the Higher Wages Alliance and part of a growing number of figures on the right side of the political spectrum asking for a higher minimum wage. Unz is advocating for a state wage as high as $12 an hour in the Golden State. He was joined on our air by Mercatus Center economist Tyler Cowen, who thinks a higher minimum wage is a step in the wrong direction.

TOM ASHBROOK: President Obama will announce tonight that he is ordering the minimum wage for federal contracting to be raised from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. There’s a push on in Congress to raise the minimum wage for all Americans to $10.10 an hour. A millioniare conservative in California, Ron Unz, is pushing a state ballot measure for a $12 minimum wage in California. Unz says it’s time to stop allowing big companies to pay so little that the government has to step in with services to support the working poor. What do you think? Does a conservative argument for a higher minimum wage make sense to you?

Ron Unz joins me now from Stanford, California. He’s chairman of the Higher Wages Alliance. Ron Unz, welcome to On Point. Thanks very much for being here.

RON UNZ: Great to be here.

TA: We’ve heard you make the case, but make it for us right now: why a $12 minimum wage for California?

RU: Well The situation right now is that so many tens of millions of low-wage workers in the United States can’t get by on their own paychecks. Therefore, they receive vast numbers of dollars form the taxpayers andthe government. The total around the country is $250 billion a year in social welfare spending going to the working poor. If the working poor were paid a reasonable wage by their employer, they would no longer be eligible for many of those programs, and the taxpayers would save tens of billions of dollars a year. What we have right now is a system where many of these businesses have privatized the benefits of their workers, they get the work, and socialized the cost and shifted the expense to the rest of society and to the taxpayers, and I don’t think that makes sense.

TA: How are your fellow conservatives responding to your idea of a $12 minimum wage in California?

RU: Surprisingly open to the idea. I mean the minimum wage is an issue that really dropped off the American radar screen 10, 20, 30 years ago. It hasn’t been one of these hot-button ideological issues. The main concerns conservatives have is whether a higher minimum wage would cause massive job less. The evidence is that it wouldn’t, very few workers would lose their jobs, their in the non-tradeable service sectors. All that would happen would be that the extra costs would be passed along to the consumer. And the price rises would be very small. Wal-Mart could cover a $12 minimum wage by raising their prices one percent, one time.

TA: Onepercent, one time, at Wal-Mart and just keep it there, on out, and that would cover all this? If you had a 12 minimum wage in California what would that mean if you had a two income family — where would it put their annual earnings?

RU: It would be a life changing difference. A single worker, at $12 a hour minimum wage, would make $25,000 a year. A couple would make $50,000 a year. $50,000 a year doesn’t make you affluent, it doesn’t make you rich, but you can generally get by on something like that. And the tax-payers would save tens of billions of dollars each year nationwide if something like that were generally adopted.

TA: There’s the argument from millionaire Ron Unz. He’s former publisher for the American Conservative, he’s saying higher minimum wage for California, $12 an hour.

January 27 2014

19:35

The Realities And Requirements Of A Living Will: A Guide

Our Monday, Jan. 27 hour looked at the case of Marlise Muñoz , a 33-year-old paramedic and mother kept alive on life support against her family’s wishes  for more than two months, due to her pregnancy.  The state of Texas used a law which states that even a person with a living will which says they do not wish to kept alive in such a condition cannot be taken off life support if they are pregnant.

Muñoz did not have a written living will, but her husband, Erick had said his wife had expressed a desire to be removed from life support in such a case, but the vague qualities of the situation lead to the lengthy and controversial stand-off.

Meredith Beers (Courtesy Holland & Knight)

Meredith Beers, partner at the law firm Holland & Knight (Courtesy Holland & Knight)

In preparing for the hour, we realized we had a lot of questions on living wills (also known as advance directives). On Point’s Emily Alfin Johnson spoke with Meredeth Beers – a partner at the law firm Holland & Knight in Boston — and Dr. Paul Mueller – Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Ethics at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine — to get some answers.

Dr. Paul Mueller, Chair, Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester. (Courtesy Paul Mueller)

Dr. Paul Mueller, Chair, Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester. (Courtesy Paul Mueller)

It is of course  important to check on the rules and regulations regarding living wills in your state before you get too far along in the planing process. The rules and regulations vary from state to state, and what is sufficient to convey your wishes in court in one state may not be in another. You can find your state’s guidelines at the state Attorney General’s website, or at the National Healthcare Decisions Day site.

What is a living will?

A living will “allow a person to provide specific healthcare-related instructions and preferences and healthcare-related values and goals,” Mueller explained.

Often, a living will is part of a larger document — an advanced directive used “in the event that person loses decision-making capacity,” Mueller said. The other piece of an advanced directive (AD) is your healthcare proxy or medical power of attorney.

Living wills can come in all forms, with all different kinds of information.

“They can get into specifics with checklists and lists of illness while others are very vague,” Beers said. “Doctors in states where living wills are legal documents want them to be specific as possible. “ Both are valuable, Beers said. “But legally, if you sit someone down with a list of horrible things, it can be a very hard process for people to handle,” Beers said. “Often the more general the living will, the easier it is for someone to swallow.” 

A living will should not be confused with a DNR – or “do not resuscitate” order, which informs people that, should you collapse, you do not want anything done to bring you back. to consciousness. “DNR’s are only given to patients on the edge – terminally ill or close to death,” Beers said. “They’re not appropriate for perfectly healthy people to sign.”

Why do a living will?

Living wills allow you to guarantee that the person you want to be making your decisions is empowered to make those choices in the event that you are incapacitated.

In the absence of an AD, state law determines the hierarchy of who makes decisions for patients,” Doctor Mueller said. Often that will be defined as your next of kin. Should you be unmarried, without close family, it’s wise to define who you want in that decision making role – so that it’s not up to the hospital to have to make the decisions.

Taking the time to specify can make life easier for love ones, as Doctor Mueller explained.

“Some of the unfortunate cases that have received national press coverage have involved patients who did not have ADs, and there was lack of clarity regarding values, preferences and so on,” Mueller said.

Why does it matter what state I live in?

A living will is not considered a “legal” document (meaning it doesn’t hold up in court,) in every state. That does not mean they do not serve a valuable purpose for your family and doctors should you be unable to convey your wishes.

In some states, such as Massachusetts, you must designate someone as your healthcare proxy (or Medical Power of Attorney), Beers said..  In states like these, your healthcare proxy is responsible for voicing your decisions – not your living will.  However, “the person who has to make those decisions is in an awful place,” Beers said. “No one wants to pull the plug on a loved one.  A living will makes your wishes clear and provides comfort for those who do have to make the choice.”

Even if your state does not consider a living will a legal document, making your wishes known can keep an already difficult time from getting harder for the ones you love.

When should you get a living will?

“Any time once you’re over 18, when you can legally sign a document, it’s a good idea to have a legal will,” Beers said.

“Although it can be difficult for people to anticipate what might happen in the future, most people can determine who they trust and would like to make decisions for them,” Mueller said.

But it’s not enough to have one done and forget about it.

“The classic example is Ted Williams,” Beers said. “He signed a living will years before died, and in it he had mentioned wanting to be cremated. When he died about ten years later, his son said he had actually wanted to be frozen.  Not only is it good idea to have a living will, it’s a good idea to update it every few years, to avoid an equally confusing situation.”

What should I do with my living will? Does it need to be witnessed and notarized?

First, your physician should have a copy, Beers and Mueller stressed.It doesn’t hurt to make sure your healthcare proxy has one, or at least knows where you keep your copy, too.  It’s also a good idea to talk it through with your healthcare proxy, your doctor and your family, Mueller said.  Make sure to store your copy somewhere it is easily accessible – placing one in a safety deposit box or hidden away somewhere secret doesn’t help if you’re not around to get to it.

In states where it’s not a legal document, your living will does not need to be notarized. If it is a legal document it generally must be notarized or signed by two witnesses. Double check with your state to find out exactly what they require.

You can find more resources and information on living wills, healthcare proxies and other key documents herehere and here.

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