Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Tuesday, April 22nd - primary day for Democrats in Pennsylvania.
Hillary Clinton campaigned in her paternal grandfather's ancestral home of Scranton yesterday. She recalled fond childhood memories of the town and told voters "I understand you, because I'm one of you."
Currently, to seal the deal, she pledged $100-million in economic enhancement funding for the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. This is The Current.
Officials in Texas have begun the long process of sorting out the identities of more than 400 children that they took into custody last week, after a raid on a religious ranch near Eldorado. The Yearning for Zion Ranch belongs to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a breakaway Mormon sect that practices polygamy. The raid was prompted by a call made to a family violence shelter, supposedly by a 16-year-old pregnant girl who has said her 50-year-old husband had abused her.
Yesterday, state officials began running DNA tests on the children, in an effort to sort out who their parents are, how they are related to others in the community, and whether any abuse has occurred.
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has about a thousand followers in Bountiful, British Columbia. For much of her life, Debbie Palmer was one of them. She was a child bride, married to a 57-year-old man when she was 15. She ended up having three husbands, eight children and 86 step-children. She fled Bountiful with six of her children while she was pregnant in 1988. She wrote about her experience in her book Keep Sweet: Children of Polygamy, and she now lives in St. Albert, Saskatchewan.
Child Marriages - Lawyer
Cases of this size and scope are rare. But according to some, arranged marriages involving children do happen here, and they are difficult to prosecute when they do.
David Matas is a lawyer who works with Beyond Borders, a group that tries to prevent the abuse and exploitation of children. He was in Winnipeg.
Listen to Part One:
"Catastrophizing" Earth Day
It's Earth Day today, an occasion first recognized in 1970 and meant to raise awareness about our natural environment. These days, the awareness is all about the threats to that environment, and there are many - from earthquakes and hurricanes, to melting ice caps and growing deserts, to biological hazards and nuclear weapons. Last January, a group of scientists took a long, hard look at the situation and decided to move the hands on the so-called "Doomsday Clock" two minutes closer to midnight. By their estimate, we're now at five minutes to catastrophic destruction.
All of which has sparked a debate over whether environmentalism, and specifically Earth Day, have become all about raising awareness about the earth by scaring its inhabitants half-to-death.
Marq de Villiers is the author of the new book Dangerous World: Natural Disasters, Manmade Catastrophes, and the Future of Human Survival. He was in Toronto.
Listen to Part Two:
Brian Fagan - "The Great Warming"
For the most part, the debate over climate change is now about how quickly it's happening and what should be done about it. But there are still those -- eminent scientists among them -- who take issue with the idea that climate change is caused by human activity, and say a little global warming might not be such a bad thing anyway. Many of the people who make that argument point to the Medieval Warm Period, an era stretching from roughly 800 to 1,300 A.D., when the global climate warmed and European civilization blossomed.
But according to Brian Fagan, that's a very one-sided view of what happened during the Medieval Warm Period. Mr. Fagan is a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of California in Santa Barbara. His latest book is The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations, and Brian Fagan joined us from Santa Barbara.
Last Word - Ray Charles
Earlier this week, several of Ray Charles' 12 children announced that they are suing their father's former manager, Joe Adams. They accuse Adams of mismanaging Ray Charles' estate and posthumously releasing music their father would never have wanted made public. Of course, Ray Charles isn't around to settle the issue. He died back in 2004. But we'll give him the last word anyway with What Have They Done To My Song, Ma.
Album: Ray Charles: His Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
Artist: Ray Charles
Song: What Have They Done To My Song, Ma
Spine: PCD 20786
Listen to Part Three: