Zimring, Frank — When Police Kill

This program is devoted to some of the reasons why police in the United States kill and who the dead are.

Of the 1,100 killings by police in the United States in the year 2015, 85% were a result of a fatal shooting; 95% of those victims were male.  The death rates for African Americans and Native Americans are twice their share of the population.

Our guest in this first of a two part series on why police kill, is Franklin E. Zimring a law professor at the Boalt Hall Law School at the University of California at Berkeley.  He is also the author of “When Police Kill.”

Zimring’s conclusions, based on evidence garnered from the empirical research revealed in his book show: 1) “Police use of lethal force is a very serious national problem in the United States”; 2) “Killings by police are a much larger problem in the United States than in any other developed nation, in large part because of widespread ownership and use of handguns which increase the vulnerability of police to life-threatening assault;” and 3) “Police killings are a very specific problem that can be effectively controlled without major changes in the performance or the effectiveness of police.”  This third point is the topic of part two in this series.

And, for the sake of full disclosure, Frank Zimring and I have been friends since our early years in elementary school.

Frank Zimring and I visited by phone from his office at Boalt Hall Law School in Berkeley, California on November 17, 2017.   We began our conversation when I asked him to discuss policing as a governmental function.  

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Leinin, George — A Mortician’s Philosophy

Radio Curious discusses the funeral industry in the United States with the owner of a mortuary in a rural northern California town. As professionals describe their work and philosophy, George Leinen, owner of Empire Mortuary in Ukiah, California since 2000, joins us in this edition of Radio Curious to share his thoughts and experiences. We discuss funeral industry trade associations, business practices in some sectors of the industry, and how our guest’s philosophy evolved.

In this program, recorded in the studios of Radio Curious on September 21, 2013 we began our visit when I asked George Leinen to describe embalming, what it is, and why it’s done.

The book George Leinen recommends is “The American Way of Death,” by Jessica Mitford.

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President Jimmy Carter – Life After the Presidency

The Virtues of Aging

Considering the alternatives, growing older is really not all that bad. The frame of mind that we develop and carry with us as we age controls much of how we feel and behave. James Earl Carter Jr., more often known as Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the US, is the author of a book called, “The Virtues of Aging.” President Carter’s book covers issues from Social Security and medical expenses to the importance of staying active and involved. I spoke with President Jimmy Carter by phone, in the fall of 1998, and I asked him what prompted him to write the book.

President Jimmy Carter recommends “The Age Wave: How the Most Important Trend of Our Time Can Change Your Future,” by Ken Dychtwald.

Originally Broadcast: December 4, 1998

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Marshall, Dr. Joseph — Police Policies and Black Lives Matter

Police misconduct and accountability is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious. Out guest is Dr. Joseph Marshall, a member of the San Francisco Police Commission where he leads the Commissions efforts to reform policing policies at the San Francisco Police Department. In addition Dr. Marshall is the executive director of Alive & Free,  a non-profit organization that teaches inner city youth violence prevention and offers higher education scholarships.  He is the host of Street Soldiers Radio aired every Sunday evening live from 8 to 10 pm on KMEL FM 106.1 in San Francisco, California.

I spoke with Dr. Joseph Marshall on August 15, 2016 from his office in San Francisco, California and began our conversation when I asked him about Black Lives Matter.

The book Dr. Joseph Marshall recommends is “The Autobiography of Malcom X.”

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Allman, Tom — Guns in Rural California Part Two

Guns: Who has them, how are they obtained and what are they used for, is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

In this, the second of a two part series on guns we visit with Sheriff Tom Allman, of Mendocino County, in rural northern California.  Tom Allman has worked in law enforcement for 38 years and has been sheriff for the last 10 years. He is outspoken yet respectful about marijuana cultivation and equally so about guns, when asked.  Sheriff Allman is, among many other things, the person who issues a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Mendocino County. 

We visited at the studio of Radio Curious on August 8, 2016.  In part one, we began our conversation when I asked Sheriff Allman to describe the gun he was carrying on his belt.  In this, part two, we began our conversation with Tom Allman’s statement that law enforcement is trained to stop people, not to kill.

The book Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman recommends is “Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration—Lessons from The Second City” by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton.

 Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Allman, Tom — Guns in Rural California Part One

Guns: Who has them, how are they obtained and what are they used for, is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

In this, the first of a two part series on guns we visit with Sheriff Tom Allman, of Mendocino County, in rural northern California.  Tom Allman has worked in law enforcement for 38 years and has been sheriff for the last 10 years. He is outspoken yet respectful about marijuana cultivation and equally so about guns, when asked.  Sheriff Allman is, among many other things, the person who issues a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Mendocino County.  We visited at the studio of Radio Curious on August 8, 2016.  In this, part one, we began our conversation when I asked Sheriff Allman to describe the gun he was carrying on his belt.  In part two we began with Tom Allman’s statement that law enforcement is trained to stop people, not to kill.

The book Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman recommends is “Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration—Lessons from The Second City” by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton.

 Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Miles, Dr. Steven — A Blind Eye to Torture

The silence of doctors, nurses and medics in cases of torture and physical abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Dr. Steven Miles, the author of “Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and the War On Terror,” a book based, in part, on eyewitness accounts of actual victims of prison abuse and more than thirty-five thousand pages of documents, autopsy reports and medical records.  His work explores the information provided by physicians and psychologists to determine how much and what kind of mistreatment could be delivered to prisoners during interrogation. Dr. Miles is a professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and its Center for Bioethics.  He is a recognized expert in medical ethics, human rights and international health care.

This interview with Dr. Steven Miles was recorded in mid-July 2006 from his office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We begin when I asked him about his motivation to write a book about the treatment of people who are disarmed and imprisoned.

The book Dr. Steven Miles recommend is “Bury The Chains: Profits and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves,” by Adam Hochchild.

This interview with Dr. Steven H. Miles was recorded in mid July 2006.

 Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Farr, Sam — Special Edition: Sit-In at the House of Representatives


Welcome to this special edition of Radio Curious with Congressman Sam Farr.   We spoke with Congressman Farr while he and approximately 150 other Democratic members of Congress were participating in an unprecedented sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives.  The issue is gun control.  These members of Congress are demanding that the Republican leadership of the House allow the a vote on gun control.

Our visited by phone with Congressman Farr occurred at midnight on June 23, 2016, while he participated in the Sit-In on the floor of the House of Representatives.  The Republican leadership of the House had turned off all the microphones as well as the live television feed from C-Span.  The background noise you hear is from the activity and speeches going on while we visited.  I asked Congressman Farr to describe the scene, the issue and what may occur as a result of this novel political action.

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Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner: Survival Is Indigenous

The consequences of the control of reproduction and the reproduction of daily life that began about the time of the creation of the moveable type printing press, in approximately the year 1440 is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, the Founding Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, New York and member of the Adjunct Faculty at Syracuse University, in Syracuse, New York.   Sally Roesch Wagner was one of the first two women to receive a doctorate for work in women’s studies, with a Ph.D. awarded to her in 1978 from the history of consciousness program by the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Wagner, a Radio Curious veteran guest is the author of “Survival Is Indigenous,” a book that describes the consequences of the societal control shortly after the development of the printing press, fomented by western religions, which she argues exists to the present time.

Sally Roesch Wagner and I visited in the Radio Curious studios on January 6, 2016, to discuss “Survival Is Indigenous,”  and began our conversation when I asked her what is indigenous about survival.

The books Dr. Wagner recommends are “Braiding Sweetgrass:  Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants,” by Robin Will Kimmerer; and “My Life on The Road,” by Gloria Stienem.

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Martin, Buzzy — Teaching Guitar in San Quentin Prison

Buzzy Martin began teaching music to at risk kids in Juvenille Hall. He then taught guitar in San Quentin Prison for three and a half years, where he gained a unique “insiders” perspective about prison life, prisoners, and the guards. His book, “Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man,” chronicles his experiences teaching prison inmates, including rapists, child molesters and murderers how to play the guitar. Martin shares his experiences with incarcerated youth, to teach them that prison is not a “badge of honor,” and he reveals how music can be a universal language to open the hearts of people who may think they don’t have one.

Buzzy Martin’s memoir will be made into a movie. Visit his website for more information. 

The interview with Buzzy Martin was recorded on October 11th, 2010.

The book he recommends is, “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book,” by don Miguel Ruiz.

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