February 5, 2010

Pt 1: Toyota Recall - We started this segment with a clip of Jim Lentz, President of Toyota Motor Sales USA. And there's no question it's been a very bad week for him and his company. The world's largest car manufacturer has had to recall eight million vehicles. It is the target of lawsuits and government inquiries that claim some of its cars are safety hazards. Stories of stuck gas pedals, cars that accelerate on their own, and now reports of brake problems have combined to undermined confidence in Toyota.

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Pt 2: In His Bones - We started this segment with some sound of Denny Simon hurtling head-first down a chute of sheer ice ... on purpose. Denny celebrated his 67th birthday last month. The next day, he suited up, grabbed his skeleton sled and, flaunting all reason and good sense, flung himself once again down the bobsled track at the Calgary's Olympic Park. Our Dominic Girard was there to witness the event. His documentary is called, In His Bones.

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Pt 3: Narco-Corridos Culture - To the undiscerning ear, that might sound a bit like the kind of music you'd polka to at a wedding reception. But if you speak Spanish -- and know something about Mexican drug culture -- you can hear that song is really about drug trafficking. It tells the story of a man who happily lives he says off the revenue he provided off three animals ... a parakeet, a rooster and a goat - metaphorically speaking that is. In fact each of those animals represents a different drug -- cocaine, marijuana and heroin. The song is part of a musical genre known as Narco-Corrido ... popular in certain parts of Mexico and increasingly in the southern U.S.. But if Mexico's ruling party has its way, those songs soon will be banned. And people caught singing them could be behind bars.

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Today's guest host was Bob McKeown.

It's Friday, February 5th.

The Conference Board of Canada has given Canada a D for innovation

Currently ... So wouldn't that spell Dinnovation?

Now that's Dinnovative

This is Current.

Toyota Recall - Owner

We started this segment with a clip of Jim Lentz, President of Toyota Motor Sales USA. And there's no question it's been a very bad week for him and his company. The world's largest car manufacturer has had to recall eight million vehicles. It is the target of lawsuits and government inquiries that claim some of its cars are safety hazards. Stories of stuck gas pedals, cars that accelerate on their own, and now reports of brake problems have combined to undermined confidence in Toyota.

Sheila Manley had a bad experience with her Toyota. And now she says her car is a menace on the road. She was in Burlington, Ontario.

Toyota Recall - Analyst

Before all of this, Toyota had a stellar reputation when it came to the safety and reliability of its cars. For his thoughts on the damage done to that brand and where Toyota goes from here, we were joined by Phil Edmonston. He's a long-standing consumer advocate and the author of the Lemon-Aid series of books about the automotive market. He was in Panama City, Panama.

We requested an interview with Transport Minister John Baird. He wasn't available to speak to us this morning. However, his office did send us a statement. Here's part of it:

Transport Canada officials have worked since the beginning with Toyota Canada to ensure corrective action is taken and that the safety of Canadian consumers is protected.

Transport Canada receives complaints concerning all makes and models of vehicles (Toyota and other) and reviews the complaints for potential safety issues that may affect various vehicle systems. In 2009 we received 1,300 complaints alone.
It should be noted that none of the complaints received manifested themselves in a manner consistent with the Sticking Accelerator Pedal Recall that was announced by Toyota on January 21st, 2010, nor did our investigators detect any underlying trend which might have led us to believe this was a problem.

Transport Canada was not made aware of issues related to the Sticking Accelerator Pedal Recall until it was announced by Toyota.

We continue to work with and monitor Toyota's implementation of their solution.

We also requested an interview with someone from Toyota Canada. A representative said the company was not in a position to make anyone available at this point.


Listen to Part One:



In His Bones

We started this segment with some sound of Denny Simon hurtling head-first down a chute of sheer ice ... on purpose. Denny celebrated his 67th birthday last month. The next day, he suited up, grabbed his skeleton sled and, flaunting all reason and good sense, flung himself once again down the bobsled track at the Calgary's Olympic Park. Our Dominic Girard was there to witness the event. His documentary is called, In His Bones.

Have a look at Denny Simon in action posted below:




Listen to Part Two:




Narco-Corridos Culture

We started this segment with Mis Tres Animales from Los Tucanes de Tijuana.

To the undiscerning ear, that might sound a bit like the kind of music you'd polka to at a wedding reception. But if you speak Spanish -- and know something about Mexican drug culture -- you can hear that song is really about drug trafficking. It tells the story of a man who happily lives he says off the revenue he provided off three animals ... a parakeet, a rooster and a goat - metaphorically speaking that is. In fact each of those animals represents a different drug -- cocaine, marijuana and heroin. The song is part of a musical genre known as Narco-Corrido ... popular in certain parts of Mexico and increasingly in the southern U.S.. But if Mexico's ruling party has its way, those songs soon will be banned. And people caught singing them could be behind bars.

Elijah Wald has been chronicling the rise of Narco-Corrido. He's a musician and the author of many books, including Narco-Corrido: A Journey Into the Music of Drugs, Guns and Guerrillas. He was in Lisbon, Portugal.

Mexican Drug Songs - Scene

Narco-Corrido seems to resonate especially strongly among younger people in parts of Mexico where gangs have a stronghold. Freelancer Franc Contreras met up with one fan shopping for music in the city of Culiacan in Northwestern Mexico, where the Sinaloa cartel has its headquarters. We aired the conversation in translation.

As we mentioned, some Mexican politicians want to outlaw Narco-Corrido and even jail the musicians who sing the songs. Rommel Moreno Manjarrez is among them. He was the Attorney General of Baja California, the northernmost state in Mexico.

Mexican Drug Songs - Criminologist

For more on the relationship between music and crime, we're joined by Gregg Etter. He worked as a sheriff's officer for 29 years before turning to academia. Now, he's a professor of criminal justice at the University of Central Missouri. He's also the author of a recent paper called Hip Hop, Narco-Corrido, and Neo-Nazi Hate Rock: A Comparison of Alienated Criminal Cultures. He was in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Last Word - Narco Corrido

And we ended the program this week with the song that many people credit with sparking the narco-corrido trend back in the 1970s. We played Los Tigres del Norte with Contraband and Betrayal.


Listen to Part Three:

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