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Heat Waves, Taiwan, Michael J Fox

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
August 6, 2023 2:26 pm

Heat Waves, Taiwan, Michael J Fox

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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August 6, 2023 2:26 pm

Hosted by Jane Pauley. In our cover story, David Pogue explains the "heat dome" behind record-breaking temperatures. Also: Jane Pauley talks with actor Michael J. Fox about his Parkinson's; Robert Costa interviews GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey; Elizabeth Palmer examines the threat to Taiwan's democracy posed by nearby China; and David Martin witnesses troops training in mine-clearing exercises.

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Hey Prime members, you can listen to CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the app today. I'm Candace DeLong and on my new podcast, Killer Psyche Daily, I share a quick 10-minute rundown every weekday on the motivations and behaviors of the cold-blooded killers you read about in the news. Listen to the Amazon Music exclusive podcast, Killer Psyche Daily in the Amazon Music app.

Download the app today. Good morning, I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday Morning. As anyone who's ventured outside knows all too well, weather is the story of this summer, if not our time. Reports of extreme heat and record high temperatures are now almost routine. 2023 is on track to be the hottest year ever recorded. But it may be that one town scorches them all, Phoenix. One of our fastest growing cities can also lay claim to being one of our hottest.

David Pogue checks out its triple digit woes. More than 100 million Americans are under heat alert. 2023 has broken all kinds of records, but not the good kind. Scientists say July is set to be the Earth's hottest month in recorded history. Welcome to your future, because this is what you're facing in what is being projected to be an increasingly hot United States. The dry will get drier, the wet will get wetter, but we are all going to get hotter.

Ahead on Sunday morning, a cold hard look at this summer's freakish heat. Actor Michael J. Fox has now lived more than half his life with Parkinson's disease. This morning, I'll sit down with him as Fox looks back with laughter and tears.

He made it look easy, but not anymore. My life is set up so I can pack Parkinson's along with me if I have to. But at some point, Parkinson's going to make the call for you, isn't it? It's behind the door.

Every day you suffer, but that's the way it is. Who do I see about that? Coming up, Michael J. Fox looks back. From our David Martin, we'll have a look at newly developed American mine clearing equipment now being put to the test in Ukraine.

Elizabeth Palmer assesses the dangerous present and worrisome future of the island nation of Taiwan. Robert Costa catches up with the tough talking politician taking on former President Donald Trump, New Jersey's Chris Christie. Plus, a story from Steve Hartman and more this Sunday morning for the 6th of August, 2023.

We'll be back after this. Since his death in 2009, the world has struggled with how Michael Jackson should be remembered as the king of pop or as a monster. I'm Leon Nayfack, the host of Fiasco and the co-creator of Slow Burn. And I'm Jay Smooth, a hip-hop journalist and cultural commentator. Michael Jackson was accused of child molestation for the first time in 1993. Our new podcast, Think Twice, Michael Jackson, is the story of what came before and what came after. Throughout the podcast, we explore what makes Michael Jackson seemingly uncancellable. And we dig into the complicated feelings so many of us have when we hear Billie Jean at the grocery store. Through dozens of original interviews with people who watched the story unfold firsthand, Think Twice is an attempt to reconcile our conflicted emotions about Michael Jackson, the man with our deep-seated love of his art. Listen to Think Twice, Michael Jackson, wherever you get your podcasts.

Or you can binge the entire series ad-free on Audible or the Amazon Music app. Politicians may still debate it, but it's getting harder and harder to deny, with temperatures climbing to new heights everywhere. Something's going on out there. David Pogue takes us to Phoenix, where the heat is on. The last eight years have been the hottest years ever measured on the planet. July was the hottest month ever recorded. July 6 was the hottest day. All over the planet, the heat broke temperature records, including in Siberia, 103 degrees.

More than half the U.S. population was subject to heat warnings in July. Here in Phoenix, Arizona, the heat has broken all kinds of records, including the longest streak of consecutive days where the temperature hit 110 degrees or hotter. Really cooking today in Phoenix, 118 degrees. I think tomorrow will be even hotter. And it's not just the hot air that's dangerous, it's the surfaces.

This steering wheel, 162.5. This sidewalk is 144 Fahrenheit. That's hot enough to burn your dog's paws in 60 seconds. And this playground slide for children, 182.8 degrees. People say, oh, you live in Phoenix, it's dry heat.

And honestly, 100, 105, it's not bad. But I want to stress very strongly, nobody is acclimated to 115, 118 degrees. More troublesome is the fact that the low temperature... Melissa Guardaro is an extreme heat researcher at Arizona State University. Have there been in Phoenix hospitals a rise in admissions?

Absolutely. The most number of hospital admissions for heat stress that we've ever had. What can you tell us about the ways your life changes during a heat wave like this? So you don't work out outdoors at 11 o'clock.

You go and you hike at five or six o'clock in the morning. I actually have mittens in my car so that when the steering wheel gets really hot, I put my mittens on and that's how I drive. You know you're living in a hot place when you have to keep oven mitts in your glove compartment.

Probably not in the glove compartment because you can't touch the metal tab. So why has so much of the country been scorching for so long? Well, allow me to introduce that breakout weather term of 2023, the heat dome. It's an area of high pressure, way up high, that traps the warm air like the lid on a pot. It traps the heat, it stops rain from moving in to cool us off, and it just sits there. Unfortunately, not every area under the heat dome suffers equally.

You want to know who gets the worst of it? Cities. Cities are where heat comes to stay and comes to live.

Becca Benner is a director of climate issues at the nonprofit Nature Conservancy. Cities on average are several degrees warmer than the surrounding areas. And just because of so much pavement, it tends to absorb heat better and reflect heat better. They call it the urban heat island effect. Too much pavement, not enough trees and greenery to cool things off. The heat island effect is worst in the poorer areas of our cities, where there aren't many trees, and even the bus stops don't always offer shade.

Carlos Galvez lives in Phoenix without air conditioning, electricity, or even running water. The thermometer on his wall registers 109. Are you able to sleep in this heat? If I sleep for half an hour, then I'll lie awake for an hour after that because it's just so hot. Do you have some tricks to stay cool in here? I drink a lot of water, and twice a day I pour a bucket of water on myself, and I just try to rest in the evening. In Phoenix, you can get free transportation to the city's 90 cooling centers.

More has for me, more has this on it. But ever since he collapsed from the heat last month, Galvez is worried about leaving his house. I'm afraid I could faint again if I go out during the day, so I wait till the sun is going down to go out to get ice or water. Even for people who have air conditioning, not everyone can afford to use it. The average bill for AC in Phoenix is over $450 a month.

We have a group of people who have to make very difficult choices. Do I pay for air conditioning or do I pay for my rent? This kind of heat wave is bringing up all the chinks in the infrastructure. Last month, President Biden announced some small steps toward adapting to dangerous heat, like expanding access to drinking water, improving weather forecasts, and setting up a heat alert system. We should be protecting workers from hazardous conditions, and we will.

But Bardaro maintains that there's much more to be done. City planners should develop heat infrastructure, like cooling centers and strategic greenery, and the federal government should start taking heat as seriously as it treats other climate disasters. FEMA has never declared extreme heat as a disaster. Wait, so flooding and hurricane, all those things can be designated federal disaster areas, but not heat? Not heat.

Standing up more cooling centers, providing greater services for people. No, that is not reimbursed by the government because there has never been a FEMA extreme heat declared disaster. Which climate crisis disaster kills the most people? Extreme heat is the climate disaster that kills the most people. In fact, it kills more people than all of the other disasters combined. And we kind of have a joke here that we show a picture of before heat wave, and then we show a picture after heat wave, and it's the same picture. And that's part of the problem because people see tornadoes and houses are upended and hurricanes and trees and utility poles, and it's this invisible killer. So it sounds like heat among the various climate disasters does not get enough love from the media and the government.

It absolutely does not get enough love. Of course, heat waves aren't the only result of the warming planet. Heat also dries out vegetation, and we get fires. Heat evaporates the land, so we get droughts.

Heat evaporates the oceans, so we get hurricanes. The Nature Conservancy's Becca Benner cautions us not to think of this summer's heat as something freakish and rare. It's the new normal. It is no longer a future threat. We are living this now. So whether your basement just flooded, whether you just had to evacuate for a fire, whether it's too hot for you to go outside and enjoy yourself, that means we are now experiencing some of the impacts of climate change.

We have to reduce emissions, and we have to do it immediately and faster. The White House has just announced a new package of weaponry for Taiwan in an effort to bolster the island nation's defenses against a possible invasion from China. So what does the future hold for Taiwan?

Elizabeth Palmer has our Sunday Journal. Taiwan is a lush tropical island. Everyone agrees it produces some of the world's finest hand-picked tea and the world's most sophisticated microchips. It has deep cultural links to China. But is it part of China?

That's where things get messy. China's President Xi Jinping insists that it is. And it's threatening to impose Beijing's rule by force. China's military has held exercises around Taiwan that look a lot like rehearsals for an invasion. But millions of Taiwanese see their island as a nation already fully formed. Do you think of Taiwan as a country?

Yeah, definitely. This call-it-serious difference of opinion goes back a century to mainland China's civil war. In 1949, the communists won. Chiang Kai-shek's defeated nationalists fled across the sea to Taiwan. To this day, a memorial in the capital Taipei honors him. The man who set up a government in Taiwan to oppose communist China. 70 years on, a lively, open society has bloomed here.

At one of Taipei's night markets, friends Tess Xu and Burton Lee give me a tour of busy food stalls catering to serious eaters. So in your mind, there's no question Taiwan is already an independent country. We have already independence.

We have our military, we have our economy system, our kind of currency, our people, our policy. Michael Cole is a Taipei political analyst for the Republican Institute. For young Taiwanese, their only experience is living in a liberal democracy, a vibrant liberal democracy with a highly politicized civil society.

How liberal? Taiwan was the first country in Asia to legalize gay marriage. And consider Audrey Tang, digital minister and Asia's first transgender cabinet member.

I feel blessed that I do not face any discrimination whatsoever in Taiwan. Tang is a software engineer and a celebrity whose mission is to protect Taiwan's internet from Chinese cyber attacks or an invasion. Ensuring proper communication infrastructure, including the local resilience of the public cloud providers like Google, Microsoft and Amazon in Taiwan, that is our highest priority. Rush hour in Taipei.

A torrent of commuters head for the city center focused simply on getting to work. In spite of China's looming threat, life ticks along here. Taiwan is a cyclist's dream.

And the TSC bike club includes several expat Americans who do business in China. Benjamin Schwal. Is there going to be a war? I hope not. I don't have a crystal ball, but I don't think it's in anyone's interest to have a war. I think that prevailing heads will prevail and the tensions will subside. If so, says Peter Kurz, it's going to need some skillful diplomacy.

We need to make sure that we don't back them too deeply into a corner, that they have no choice in their minds to come out fighting. We need to think creatively about how Taiwan can position itself in a way as not to be too threatening to China. We took a short flight from Taipei to an outlying island, Kinmen, where the last round of actual fighting ended in 1979.

These defensive spikes were put here on Kinmen Island to repel Chinese landing craft. There was a hot war between China and Taiwan in living memory, and this was the front line. Sen Bao Dong, a Kinmen politician, pointed out mainland China almost close enough to swim to. A lot of people think that you're so close to China, you might as well be China. Yes, the older people think that, he says, but we've had democracy since the country was founded.

It's never been communist. Tending the garden in front of her house, Yu Feng Wan is one of those older people. Do you feel more Chinese or Taiwanese? Instantly, she replies, Chinese. She may not care that joining China means totalitarian rule, but York Wu sure does. He showed me the loft of his B&B in a lovingly restored Chinese-style house. We respect China's culture, he says, but not its government.

I love freedom and I love the opportunity to express ourselves freely. China's maneuvers this spring were an explicit threat. And so was this graphic released by the military of missiles raining down on the island.

The message? Resistance is futile. If China were to act unilaterally, there would be a response. President Biden has hinted that if China does invade, the U.S. will help. America is already selling weapons to Taiwan's military. In spite of Taiwan increasing its defense budget and enforcing mandatory conscription, the fact is neither its air force, its army or its navy is any match for China's military might. If there is a war, we are going to be destroyed.

So better to avoid it, says retired Major General Richard Hu. Taiwan should just join China, but negotiate autonomy. Beijing could just leave Taiwan alone. We could enjoy our freedom and also political system. There is nothing about modern China under Xi Jinping that suggests that's possible.

Nothing. This is a government and a party that wants complete control. Well, I think there's still a hope. It's a hope shared by the main Kuomintang political party, but not by Taiwanese young people who watched the Hong Kong movement for autonomy from China in 2019 get crushed by Beijing.

They are now praying Taiwan's democratic dream doesn't die the same way. He's a former federal prosecutor and two-term governor of New Jersey. And once again, he's a candidate for president, laser focused on a single talking point.

Robert Costa squares off with Chris Christie. Hey, man. What's your name? I'm the next president.

I hope so. Neil. Neil? We're going to work hard at it, Neil. Keep on Trump's ass. Don't you worry about it, buddy.

I will. Me and Donald Trump, how much fun will that be, huh? Get ready, baby. Chris Christie has always been ready to mix it up. He's never gotten his ass kicked by somebody from Jersey before, right? So we know how to do that. Christie is now running for president. But you probably recall he's had that personality for a long time.

You should really see me when I'm pissed. Are you stupid? A decade ago, critics called him the bully on America's boardwalk.

Then New Jersey's governor, Christie, sat down with Sunday morning's Tracy Smith. Are you a bully? No. No, I'm not a bully. But what I am is a fighter. Your rear end is going to get thrown in jail, idiot. Bully or not, Christie made that attitude and his response to Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Yeah, I'm going to lose you. His calling cards. Some Republicans loved him.

One piece at a time. Others less so, especially after he worked with President Obama, a Democrat, in the aftermath of the storm. I cannot thank the president enough. Hi Governor.

Hey there, how are you? Still enough Republicans thought this might be our guy. Thank you, I'm feeling good. And even Christie, in the wake of a commanding re-election win in 2013, started to think the presidency could be next. Do you think so at the time?

Yeah, I did. We were in really good position and I felt ready, Bob. I mean what I say and I say what I mean and that's what America needs right now. But Christie's White House dreams were eventually dashed. The infamous George Washington Bridge traffic scandal cast a shadow over his campaign. And then there was Donald Trump.

They're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people. Suddenly, Christie wasn't the loudest voice, and his 2016 bid sputtered to a stop. These days, after years in the political wilderness, 60-year-old Chris Christie is seeking a comeback. I intend to seek the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2024 and I want your support.

Thank you guys, have fun. He met him on the Seaside Heights New Jersey boardwalk. You think he can beat Trump? I'm not making any predictions.

That's smart, then you can't be wrong. A big test for Christie will come this month at the first Republican primary debate in Milwaukee. Are you ready?

Bob, I was born ready, babe. What are you going to say to Trump face to face? Depends on what he says. I can guarantee you I'm going to tell him the truth for 90 minutes because the truth matters. And I think Republican voters need to hear the truth. Do you think he actually shows up for the debate? Oh, I do. He keeps suggesting he won't.

Yeah, he loves to tease, Bob. Finish this sentence for me. If Trump doesn't show up, he is a? Coward.

Complete and total coward, a yellow streak so far down his back. But he might think he's elevating the rest of the field by showing up. He's elevating.

I've never seen Donald Trump elevate anything except for the ego factor. They won't tell you the truth about Donald Trump. But Christie's pitch that he's a truth teller who can save the party from Trump, who this past week pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges for his alleged role in trying to overturn the 2020 election, is complicated.

I gave my plan. You know what his answer was? After clashing with him in 2016. Under the Trump administration, everyone is going to get so rich, so wealthy, but I've got to worry about Social Security. Christie had an about face. I'm proud to endorse Donald Trump. Even vying for a top position in the administration. But after the 2020 election. Frankly, we did win this election. Christie broke with Trump. What did you say in your last conversation with Trump? Told him he should concede the election to Joe Biden and go to his inauguration. What did he say?

I will never, ever, ever do that. What else you got? I said, I have nothing else, Mr. President, because there is nothing else. Christie knows what critics say. Hypocrite, opportunist, flip flopper. You say you broke with Trump in 2020 when he wouldn't concede the election.

But you must have had character questions going back a long time about him. When Access Hollywood happens in 2016, why wasn't that a breaking point for you? Because elections are choices, Bob.

There's still a choice between him and Hillary Clinton. Some voters might be already asking you, you were with Trump. They may not even say you were sucking up to Trump. What do you say to them? Just what I just said to you.

In fact, it did happen in one of my early town halls up there. And I said to the guy, look, I made a mistake. It was a mistake. But I'm telling you why I did what I did at the time. What about voters who have a little skepticism about how you've been anti-Trump. With Trump, anti-Trump.

I'm a good Republican. And it was clear to me, Donald Trump was going to be the nominee. And at that time, I had a relationship with him for 15 years. And I wanted to make him the best candidate, and if he won, the best president he could be.

And I make no apologies for that. And I did the very best I could for four years. And he failed me, and he failed the country. And on election night of 2020, when he stood in the White House and said the election had been stolen, we had no evidence to prove that.

That moment was the breaking point for me. And to me, there's no turning back. Still, the question lingers over your campaign among some Republicans. Are you a flip-flopper?

No. Trump abandoned me. I'm no different today than I was when I supported him in 2016. He's the one who kept classified documents against the law that lied to his lawyers and lied to the government. I had nothing to do with any of that. He did.

On the trail, Christie is plowing ahead. You can boo all you want. Convinced he can emerge as an alternative to Trump.

Even if others aren't so sure. None of his secretaries of state would work for him again. None of his attorneys general would work for him. But do voters care about any of this? Well, they should.

Republicans? They should, but the case has to be made, Bob. No one's making the case.

No one is. Christie's case might as well be a flashing alarm. Are you saying you believe Trump wants to be a dictator? I don't think he'd have any objection to it if we were willing to give it to him.

That's serious stuff. Do you come to any different conclusion than that? Do you think he's a danger to democracy? Well, I don't think he cares. And the proof of that are his own words when he said it's okay to suspend the laws and suspend the Constitution. Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution is what the president takes an oath to do. And he said it's okay to suspend it.

These are his own words. But it's not all about Trump. Christie is also running as a more traditional Republican, including on foreign policy. And on Friday, he was in Kiev to underscore his support for Ukraine and to meet with President Zelensky.

Christie's other positions are a smorgasbord of GOP standards, though he doesn't lean into the culture war. But even as he makes inroads, he knows he's a long shot. So you bought the paper this morning. You drove here by yourself. Are you okay being an underdog?

Oh, yeah. In every good race I've ever run, I've been an underdog. But I feel like I'm an underdog on a mission. That mission for now is taking on Donald Trump, his way. I oppose him for his incompetence. I oppose him for his broken promises before we ever get to any of the criminal indictments. What's the truth on Trump? He's a completely self-centered, self-possessed, self-consumed, angry old man. And he doesn't care about anybody else other than him.

And if he were ever to become president again, I'll take him at his word. He said, I am your retribution. Well, he's not our retribution, Bob. He will be his own retribution. Why is everyone else in the field seemingly avoiding Trump, tiptoeing around him?

I think it's one of two things. They're either unwilling to do it because they have aspirations, maybe a vice presidential bid or a Trump cabinet. They were just unable to do it. If you want to be the man, Bob, you've got to beat the man. But let's say he wins the presidency again. A lot of voters might wonder, would Christie come back to Trump's inner circle? No. No. Not a chance. 100 percent no chance. 100 percent no chance. Because you've moved around a bit. 100 percent no chance, Bob.

Take it to the bank. Doc, I'm from the future. I came here in a time machine that you invented. Now I need your help to get back to the year 1985. That's Michael J. Fox in his career-defining role in the movie Back to the Future.

Who could have imagined what the future held for him? This past spring, we sat down to reminisce. Our conversation is one of our Sunday best. Do you remember the first time you were in New York City? I came to see you.

I came to see you and do that show. Promoting a new show, and I introduced a new name in Hollywood, Michael Fox. What do you do if you are children of the 60s and your oldest son makes William Buckley look like FDR?

Actor Michael Fox plays just such a son on the NBC television series Family Ties. You don't subscribe to the Wall Street Journal and realize? I don't yet.

I have to be careful on the set that I'm not holding it upside down. I have no idea. Me and my friend who came with me to New York wandered down fifth, and we were at breakfast, and it was $20. I lost my shit. I got $20.

What you remember is breakfast, and I remember meeting you. On the cusp of a very bright future. There were people at every state in the union that got protest.

What were you protesting? Good grooming? Family Ties debuted 40 years ago. Well, how do I look?

Middle-aged. After taping the first show with a live audience, did you know you were the star? I knew I had landed.

He knew he'd found something, and this was the moment he found it. The name of his character was Alex Keaton, until he takes the phone. Alex P. Keaton here. It was the sad-lib thing, and I just said, hello, this is Alex Keaton. And I just went, hello, this is Alex P. Keaton.

And it became a big part of the character. Is P funny? P is funny. P is percussive. Percussive P. Parkinson's, not funny. An incurable degenerative disease. But for years, Michael J.

Fox has been getting a laugh. Parkinson's is a gift. It's a gift that keeps on taking, but it's a gift.

Every time I see you, I can see it's taken a little bit more of something. It's been 30-plus years. There's not many of us that have had this disease for 30 years.

Half his life. Yeah, it sucks. It sucks having Parkinson's. As millions know too well. For some families, for some people, it's a nightmare. It's a living hell. We have to deal with realities that are beyond most people's understandings.

Fox is first to say he has advantages. I was set up so I can pack Parkinson's along with me if I have to. But at some point, Parkinson's going to make the call for you, isn't it?

Yeah, it's behind the door. I won't lie, it's getting harder. It's getting tougher. Every day gets tougher.

But that's the way it is. Who do I see about that? Even talking comes at a price. I can make myself still, but I won't be as animated. Show me what happens if you make yourself still.

As he showed us in 2017. But we're not talking. I can't even talk.

I have to move. More now than tremors and slurred speech, muscle rigidity, the exhausting jerks and twists. It's been falls and broken bones. We had spinal surgery.

We had a tumor in my spine. And it was benign, but it messed up my walking. And then I started to break stuff. I broke this arm, I broke this arm, I broke this elbow, I broke my face, I broke my hand. Falling on things.

Which is a big killer of a car. Falling and aspirating food and pneumonia, all these subtle ways it gets you. You don't die from Parkinson's, you die with Parkinson's. I'm not going to be 80. I'm going to be 80. He does think about mortality.

But at 62, he's far more inclined to look back and savor his past. We had to go through our den, our TV room. And I look at the back of the picture and it's just starting. And I hadn't seen it since 1987.

I hadn't seen it. As he recalls, Tracy Paul and his wife of 35 years had been waiting for him. I sat down on the sofa, like 45 minutes later Tracy goes, what are you doing?

Where are you? And I said, Back to the Future is on. I said, you're watching Back to the Future?

And I said, I'm really good in it. In the summer of 1985, Michael J. Fox was the hottest name in Hollywood. With not only a number one movie, but a number two. And a top TV show. 20 to 30 percent of TV viewing audiences was watching you.

That's not true now. I sure didn't. Walking down the hallway on the top, in every room I could hear a family text. It was massive. How'd you handle that fame? I pigged out on it. I loved it. Mike is, he's a genuinely great guy.

In recognition of his foundation work, old friend Woody Harrelson presented Fox with an honorary Oscar last year. We did some damage. We did some damage in the 80s. You say, we did some damage.

We had a good time. Is it possible you did some damage? Yeah, very possible. I mean, there's so many ways that I could have hurt myself. I could have hit my head. I could have drank too much at a certain developmental period.

Most likely, I think, is that I was exposed to some kind of chemical. What we say is that genetics loads the gun and the environment pulls the trigger. In 23 years, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has, so far, raised $1.5 billion for research, announcing a breakthrough recently, identifying a genetic biomarker for Parkinson's, which could allow earlier diagnosis and treatment.

This is, um, changes everything. I know with where we are right now, in five years, they will be able to tell if they have it, be able to tell if they're ever going to get it. We'll know how to treat it. It's great if you want to say what I'm saying, but I'd rather you don't fall over. Yeah, I'm working on it.

Yeah. The child I'll invest is one I'm with at the time. My kids are great. I love being with my family. You know what, you could put a little bit of this in there.

His family all appear in a documentary about Fox. The Story of Me, take two. His life. What did it mean to be still? I wouldn't know I was ever still. His career. Wait a minute, Doc.

Are you telling me that you built a time machine? And, of course, Parkinson's. It's called still. What does still imply, evoke? I can never be still until I couldn't be still.

And still has other meanings. Still here. Still committed.

I'll take them all. Good, stop and reset. And we see it all.

Losing his footing. All right, I'm okay. Thank you.

But not his dignity or his sense of humor. Nice to meet you, sir. Nice to meet you. You knocked me off my feet. And you come in with the punchline. You knocked me off my feet.

You knocked me off my feet. Got the laugh. I got the laugh. Yeah. Always looking for the laugh.

Jay Fox is a serious person. Funny, but wise. There had never been a time in your life that wasn't amazing. Very good life.

It's perverse to say it, but kind of a charmed life. That's the point. That's the truth. I recognize how hard this is for people. And I recognize how hard it is for me.

But I have a certain set of skills that allow me to deal with this stuff. And then I realize, with gratitude, optimism is sustainable. You find something to be grateful for, then you find something to look forward to. Then you carry on.

Write that down. With gratitude, optimism is sustainable. Steve Hartman has proof kindness can be its own reward.

If there was ever an election in this country for kindest American, the people of Galveston, Indiana, know who they'd nominate. Because I think he's out there to help everybody. That's what he's known for. He just always has been.

It's the cloth he's cut from. Just a special guy. A very special guy. So who is this great humanitarian who lifts up the people of Galveston? The same man who puts them down. Meet 89-year-old gravedigger Alan McCloskey. Alan has been at this job since 1952 and refuses to retire because he says a new gravedigger might not square the corners as precisely.

Might not care as deeply for all those loving souls. People that I went to school with and worked with. What was your hardest one? My wife's. How'd you get through that?

I figured she'd want me to do it. Alan and Barbara had three kids. But his definition of family extends well beyond blood, which may explain why a good chunk of the town gathered recently for what Alan thought was someone else's birthday party, but was really a celebration of him. At the party, he got an official Guinness World Record for longest career as a gravedigger, 70 years and counting.

But more importantly, he was recognized for the thousands of odd jobs he's done for people. It's his side hustle, but with a twist. We'd ask Alan for a bill, and he wouldn't give us a bill. Never get a bill.

I'll send you a bill. He said, I'll just catch up with you later. Later never came. You never hear anything more about it.

It was the running joke at his party. Anybody in here still waiting on him to send you a bill for work? I did ask Alan about this.

They say they can't get a bill from you. But all I got was a hearty laugh. Alan McCloskey, unassuming by profession and persona, but also a bold beacon for anyone in search of meaning. Alan has figured out what life is about.

It's not the money that makes him happy. I truly believe Alan has figured out where enough is at. He's found enough. And strange thing about finding enough.

You often end up with more than enough. The continuing war in Ukraine is now responsible for creating the largest minefield in the world. That's according to Ukraine's prime minister. The Russian mines have killed or injured untold numbers. David Martin shows us what it will take for Ukrainians to break through those minefields. This is what it takes to blast a path through a minefield. A monster of a vehicle, part tank, part bulldozer, fires a rocket attached to a cord of explosives. Detonation, in turn, detonates the mines that are in the minefield. Lieutenant Colonel Latoya Manzi's engineer battalion at Fort Carson, Colorado, is training to clear a path wide enough for a column of tanks to pass through and attack enemy lines.

Breach is probably one of the toughest things that we do. How wide a lane does it clear? It's about the width of an M1 tank. That doesn't leave a lot of margin for error for a tank going through there.

No, it does not. The same equipment and tactics these troops are using have been provided to Ukraine to breach the industrial-strength minefields laid by Russia. It's industrial in that it is deliberate and it's planned with a specific outcome in mind. The outcome is the denial of large amounts of Ukrainian land. Mike Newton works with the HALO Trust, which has already begun clearing minefields the Russians left behind when they retreated from territory they occupied earlier in the war. Areas that have been occupied for a significant amount of time have allowed Russian military engineers to lay minefields without much interference. The majority of the minefields that we're seeing consist of hundreds, if not thousands, of anti-vehicle mines. Spread that out along the entire front in eastern and southern Ukraine, and the numbers are staggering. We're talking about millions of land mines spread across over 1,000 kilometers.

Retired General Ben Hodges is former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe. It's not just like one line of mines sitting on top of the ground. It could be 200, 300 meters, 400 meters deep, and with a high density of mines. How important is breaching these minefields to the success or failure of the Ukrainian counter-offensive?

It's essential. Until you get through that, you never have a chance to really break through Russian defenses and get to your real task, which is, of course, isolation and destruction of Russian forces. Of all the battlefield tasks, how would you rate getting through a minefield? Well, getting through any minefield or obstacle built is extremely dangerous because you are so exposed. The training at Fort Carson begins with suppressive fire to make the enemy keep his head down and smoke to hide what happens next. The armored breaching vehicle rumbles to the edge of the minefield, protected by two Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

Time is a big deal, so we get in and out as fast as we can. 25-year-old Sergeant Jasmine Luna commands the vehicle, which carries a rocket attached to a 175-yard-long cord coiled like a snake and packed with explosives. It carries 100 meters worth of explosives.

You know how many pounds? It carries over 2,000 pounds. Launch the rocket. She fires the rocket and it carries the cord out over the minefield. After she detonates the cord to set off the mines, she has to drive that plow into the minefield in case she missed it. It's supposed to push out the mines, creating a path for us to get through and get the maneuvering force safely through right behind us. Soldiers push in behind her to mark the left and right boundaries of the path she has cleared. In this exercise, they opened a single lane 100 yards long.

Let's go, let's go! 100 yards. So what happens if there is a minefield that's more than 100 yards?

You shoot once and then you'll shoot again. On the front lines in Ukraine, rockets and their detonating cords are already arcing over the battlefield. But the path to victory remains blocked by Russian mines. Our commentary comes from Princeton University history professor Julian Zelizer, editor of a book on the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

Well, thank you very much. This is a very sad day for America. The new indictment of former President Donald Trump constitutes a historic turning point. This promises to be the most important criminal trial in American history. Under special counsel Jack Smith, the Department of Justice has boldly declared that accountability is essential to our democracy. Smith's damning indictment has charged Trump with four counts of attempting to overturn the 2020 election. Trump's actions threaten the peaceful transfer of power, a process that separates us from non-democratic countries.

Through a concerted effort that culminated with a violent mob storming Capitol Hill, Trump rejected the integral norm undergirding a stable democratic system, namely that losers must accept legitimate defeats. Even President Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace as a result of the Watergate scandal, understood this to be true. With this indictment, the Department of Justice has broken with the controversial precedent established by President Gerald Ford in 1974 when he pardoned Nixon for any crimes that he might have committed. The impeachment process offered the possibility of holding Nixon accountable.

Ford let the opportunity pass by. After almost a decade of Americans fighting over race, war, and Watergate, Ford concluded it was more important to heal the nation by pardoning Nixon than allowing a lengthy legal trial to proceed. Looking directly into the cameras, Ford warned Americans that if a trial took place... Ugly passions would again be aroused, and our people would again be polarized in their opinions. And the credibility of our free institutions of government would again be challenged at home and abroad. But the pardon did not heal the nation.

We grew more divided. Many furious Americans claimed that Ford had been part of a corrupt deal. When Ford traveled to North Carolina, he arrived to see placards that asked, Is Nixon above the law?

His approval ratings plummeted. More pertinent, Ford entrenched a damaging norm that became part of our nostalgia, pushing leaders away from taking legal action against elected officials who abused their power. Presidents have continued to feel imperial. Trump tested Ford's proposition more than any president since Nixon, and Biden's Department of Justice has responded that Ford was wrong. We must preserve key guardrails that prevent the abuse of presidential power. If our leaders violate sacrosanct democratic principles, they will be held accountable regardless of the political fallout. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. by completing a short survey at Wunderly.com slash survey
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-06 16:13:40 / 2023-08-06 16:31:19 / 18

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