February 14, 2019: Hour 2
Support for here. And now comes from legalzoom for those wanting to start a business or secure their family's future from wills and trusts to LLC's and trademarks legalzoom is committed to helping people. Get started legalzoom dot com slash now. From NPR WB. You are I'm Robin young. I'm Jeremy Hobson it's here. And now and the news today in the business world is that Amazon is pulling the plug on New York City, the online retail giant had promised to build a new headquarters with twenty five thousand new jobs in queens in exchange for billions in tax breaks. But local opposition was too much, Robin Farzad is following this story. He's host public radio's full disclosure. Hi, robin. Hi, jeremy. So Amazon said in a statement today that it was clear local politicians would not work with the company to build the relationships required to get this headquarters off the ground. What happened exactly we'll step back for a second? And think about Jeff Bezos is awful two thousand nineteen to begin with. Here's the wealthiest man in the world in the midst of the most expensive divorce in history. And the National Enquirer trying to blackmail him. So then leftists and New York City community. Organizers are railing against what bettas thought was the gift of a lifetime. So of course, you want to dump someone on Valentine's Day, you say leftists you're talking about politicians on the left in New York City who didn't want this headquarters in queens. Yeah. I mean, Amazon is such a lightning rod. It's a tech mega-player valued at something like eight hundred billion dollars. That's still vying for regional tax breaks and other critics say it's not diverse enough in its hiring the benefits had pays out of the share of taxes. It pays you think about New York's decrepit subway system, so Amazon embezzles are naturally targets for activists like AO, see and Bernie Sanders, and they've been outspoken about this. But people like the democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo was absolutely in favor of this headquarters being put in queens. Of course. I mean, you see swabs of queens are still endure election their old semi industrial applications. Brownfields you can bring a world class company like this. And and suddenly say that we are on par with Seattle is h q two and it would be a huge trophy. If you're running for president or something down the line. But I think he underestimated the vast blowback especially from from people in the progressive now just to remind everybody as if the the whole search for a second headquarters didn't give get enough attention. Amazon had asked all cities across the country to submit their bids and say, we want Amazon to come in with the second headquarters, they ended up picking to New York and just outside of Washington DC. Crystal city Virginia that was big news for those places. Now that they are saying they're not gonna put a second headquarters split in New York City. What happens? Yeah. The company is saying it's going to go ahead and supplement hiring at it's many other hubs to kind of cushion the blow of this. This bombshell announcement today northern Virginia you said crystal city, it's going to be huge beneficiary, and you can be sure that all sorts of runners up everyone from Miami. And smaller cities in the sun belt are calling up Seattle today to try to get in on more of that. But what they're saying is that they're not gonna do another another one it's going to be Washington or just outside of Washington. And then they'll be up Nashville. Right. But if you take the, you know, the notional amount that would have been done in New York over several years. Maybe you can make a case like is let me take five thousand at a time here, maybe you can kind of spread the love and sprinkle the wealth. Is it possible that they're going to see the same kind of opposition locally in Virginia that they saw in New York City, and that they won't end putting second headquarters they're not nearly as much opposition down here. In virginia. There's fear over the infrastructure hit. You know, how a region already infamous for its traffic bottlenecks and shortage of affordable starter homes is going Zorg this gift, but I think most other places are desperate for this kind of thing. They're not in a position like New York to be able to have Google and Yahoo and apple and other places in Wall Street as backups just briefly, Robin, the story driving the markets today is not this Amazon news. It's the fact that retail sales fell one. Point two percent in December biggest drop since September of two thousand nine what's going on there? I mean, it's it's unbelievable to think that you have an economy like this, which is near full employment and the stock market doing well, but we are coming off of a period that saw triple hit of headwinds partial government shutdown the stock market's pullback in December then a stretch of poor weather. So if you're a category like retail, that's desperate for good news. You don't have any sort of margin of safety Farzad, host of public radio's full disclosure. Thank you. My pleasure. Take care. Well in Washington today. Lawmakers are expected to pass a Bill that would give President Trump one point four billion dollars for new fencing along the US Mexico border, but journalists working along the border of finding themselves subject to increase scrutiny by customs agents. Reporter max Rivlin Nadler has the story Arianna Dressler is a photo journalist based in San Diego. She began covering asylum seekers in Tijuana last spring, she crosses the border several times a week and starting in December. Over every time she crossed back into the US. She was pulled into secondary. That's where agents take people aside for further questioning sometimes for hours agents asked her about events taking place in Tijuana and the people working with asylum seekers. That's not my job getting anything and doing their homework for them other journalists stopped at the border have said that agents have shown them photo lineups of individuals asking them to help identify activists and other organizers that the agents described as instigating asylum-seekers this type of behavior is alarming says, Alexandra Eller Beck. She's with the committee to protect your analysts, her organization issued an urgent report last November about increasing incidents of CB P agents searching journalists electronic devices and questioning them about their reporting and their sources they've heard of at least a dozen journalists who have been questioned by CB p while crossing the border the ability for journalists to project. Jewish is the ability for them to protect information. They they gather in the course of the reporting the ability for them to be seen as independent along forcement, not sort of another intelligence arm of the government is so central to what journalism is in addition to journalists volunteers working with asylum seekers and lawyers who advise them on their rights are also becoming increasingly wary of CB p searches one attorney working with asylum seekers in Tijuana told NPR that last month agents went through sensitive legal documents, she was carrying. She asked to remain anonymous as her organization continues to work in Tijuana Maria, shabas, an immigration lawyer based in San Diego, she's concerned about what's going on at the border attorney client privilege is huge. And if they have the right to go through our phones to our, laptops. If I take a case file with me, and they wanna make a copy of everything that's definitely breaking attorney client privilege at the same time that screening. Of journalists and lawyers have ramped up several have been barred from entering the country by Mexican authorities. Because of new alerts placed on their passports. Mexican officials have told them the alerts come from US authorities. Nicole Ramos is a US citizen and a lawyer with the organization alo throw lotto based in Tijuana. She had her expedited border crossing card confiscated by US. Authorities last month and has since stayed in Mexico, and it's not coincidental that these were issued in conjunction with the rollout of MVP MPP is the migrant protection protocols a brand new policy that aims to keep asylum seekers in Mexico as their claim is processed the department of homeland security has stressed that asylum seekers would still have access to lawyers but hasn't specifically spelled out. How CB p declined repeated requests for comment about specific cases where journalists and lawyers have been. Barred from entering Mexico. Meanwhile, congress is growing interested Senator Ron Wyden. Office says the Senator has reached out to sea be p with questions about their scrutiny of reporters and activists at the border for here. And now, I'm max riven Adler in San Diego and a quick check in now on a horrific story the FBI has released sixteen of convicted serial killers. Samuel little drawings of some of the ninety women. He now claims to have murdered little is already serving consecutive life sentences for three murders in the nineteen eighties in Los Angeles. He's been working with investigators and drawing other women. He claims to have killed decades ago, including in Georgia, Josh sharp is with the Atlanta Journal constitution. Josh how's this reverberating there? Well, the response in Atlanta, so far seems to be a bit muted. And that is because at this point. No one knows apparently even Sam little doesn't know who who these women he killed what? Worst gives me and also the killings were in in the early eighties. So quite a very long time ago. So that's why these sketches hopefully can jog someone's memory to someone who who may have died years ago. Well, little claimed seven murders in Georgia have any of those been connected to other murders. Authorities have confirmed that the they believe they've matched two of those one in Dade County Georgia, which is extreme northwest Georgia near the Tennessee border and one in the make an area which is middle Georgia, which is not far from the tiny town where Sam from understand they're working to confirm three in Atlanta and two into Vanna. Correct. Well, so far, we know authorities have matched thirty four of his confessions. Two killings. He claims to have committed. But again, this is doesn't mean that. He definitely did it if he did he would be, you know, perhaps the worst serial killer in America. And now the. Officials are asking for help. And they're saying that in many cases, these pictures, maybe of women whose deaths were overlooked because they might have been prostitutes drug addicts. And would not have been thought that they were murdered. It might have been thought the overdosed. While the authorities say that some of the women that he killed were perhaps involved in drugs or prostitution, all of them don't seem to fit those criteria necessarily. There was an eighteen year old girl named for Dona Smith whose parents said she simply went out for ice cream one day and never returned. This was in July nineteen Ninety-two and her remains were found about a month later in someone's backyard. But. For all this time until Sam Sam little started, making confessions recently, the case was cold officials are hoping someone will identify. Some of these women were posted it here now dot org. Josh sharp with the Atlanta Journal constitution. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Republicans in Washington are spending a lot of time these days attacking a plan by congresswoman Alexandria, Akhazia Cortez to raise taxes on the super-rich here. She is explaining the idea to CBS's, sixty minutes. Once you get to the Tipi tops on your ten million dollar as sometimes you see tax rates as high as sixty or seventy percents that seventy percent tax rate came up again last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a conference filled with rich people panelists including the billionaire founder of Dell technologies Michael Dell and MIT economics. Professor Eric Brin Josephson were asked about the seventy percent proposal. Michael Dell do you support this? I just want to say I'm thrilled that there. Well, look, I mean, you know, my wife, and I set up a foundation about twenty years ago, and we would have contributed quite a bit more than the seventy percent tax rate on my income on my annual income, and I feel much more comfortable with our ability as a private foundation to allocate those funds than I do giving them to the government. All right. I'm not supportive of that. Well, and and I don't think it would help the growth of the US economy. That's interesting. And can you say a little bit more about why why you don't think it would name a country where that's worked ever? United States briefly in the eighties. No, no for from about the nineteen thirties through about the nineteen sixties the tax rate averaged about seventy percent at times it was up as high as ninety five percent. And those are actually pretty good years that debate continued and we'll post a video at here now dot org, but we're going to have a debate of our own right now with two communists, who have different points of view. Chris Edwards is director of tax policy. Studies at the Cato Institute a libertarian think tank in Washington, Chris welcome thanks for having me and Marshall Steinbach is also with us research director and fellow at the Roosevelt institute of progressive think tank. Welcome to you Marshall, great to be here. So what about this idea? Obviously there is disagreement about this. But Marshall is Eric brindell sin right there that the US had much higher tax rates and was able to have very good growth yet. He absolutely is. I think that extreme. Was quite revealing about the court issues at play when it comes to progressive tax policy for one thing the billionaire said, well, we can allocate the money better in my private foundation, which I have total control over an I get to decide who benefits and who doesn't from the dispensation of my fortune, or we can give it to the government where democracy and the mechanisms of a communal distribution are at play. So I think the core issue with progressive tax policies would we want making decisions in our economy, billionaires or democracy. Chris what do you think? Well, I think that I would agree with what Michael delta exchange, the you know, that he can't allocate capital better. I think most very high earners in America. They don't have inherited wealth. They're very productive people there entrepreneurs in their venture capitalism. The brain surgeons and other very smart people these people innovate and start companies and the create whole new industries. So I think people like, you know, from Sam Walton all the way through. Steve Jobs, and many others benefit the rest of us enormously. We cannot go back to those high tax rates. We had in the mid twentieth century. Globalization has vastly changed the world economy. So the United States is not the only country that cut its top income tax rate. The average rate across industrial countries fell from sixty eight percent in one thousand nine hundred eighty two just forty three percent today across all of Europe and Canada and Australia. Everyone slashed their top tax rates because capital flows. Started going over borders, and you couldn't contain wealthy people anymore countries realize it's in the Rhone self interest to have moderate tax rates at the top end. And allow wealthy people to do what they do best which is invest in the domestic economy. What about that Marshall the idea that that competitively the US can't keep the rates that high? If if other countries, aren't yeah, I think we have seen indeed lots of countries cut tax rates on the top. And that's exactly why inequality has gone up so much. So we have experienced cutting tax rates the big question in the economy right now is why or corporate profits so high while corporate investment is so low despite the fact that we just had a gigantic corporate tax cut the economic prediction behind enacting a policy like that is that it's supposed to induce. The so-called productive people in the economy to invest and expand and the rest of us benefit thereby. And we know it didn't work this time. It hasn't worked anytime for the last forty years, and that's had disastrous consequences for everybody else. Okay. This conversation could go on forever. But I do want to get to another part of this. Which is what Alex Andrea Qazi Cortez's trying to tackle here, which is income inequality in this country. And we know that according to the national bureau of economic research, the top point one percent of people own almost as much wealth as the bottom ninety percent of people. Chris what about that? How do you tackle income inequality? Without putting more tax on the rich. What one thing I would say about that is that I it's true. There is a lot of income inequality, but the US is very dynamic. So the IRS put their data every year on the four hundred richest people in the country with the highest incomes, and they track these people over time three quarters of the people in in the IRS top four hundred every year change. So it's the US economy is very dynamic. This is not inherited wealth. We're talking about it's dynamic because of all the entrepreneurship because of all the new industries being created the second thing, I would say is there is income inequality created by government. So for example, crony capitalism on the federal government spends twenty five billion a year on farm subsidies. Those farm subsidies, go to wealthy landowners. I would eliminate policies like that that benefit the wealthy. And then at the bottom end the government does stuff that raises costs on low income folks, it raises the cost of gasoline with ethanol mandates raises the cost of clothing and shoes with import tariffs. So I would I would try to get government out of the way when it itself is exacerbating, inequality Marshall. I think the fundamental debate that we're having here is a question about whether there exists a moral hierarchy of wealth. I think there's a tradition within the field of economics and in general public debate. That the reason why good wealthy people are wealthy is because the government did not intervene. Instead it allowed their brilliant ideas to take flight and incurred the income and wealth that they merited in the free market. I mean, it makes sense in kind of economic theory. But it just so happens that theory has nothing to do with reality. I just want to ask each of you to tell me what you think is we heard that number seventy percent in Alexandria, causing Cortez's plan for the tax rate on people over ten million dollars. What do you think Marshall first of all that the top tax rate should be on on those people? Yeah. Seventies. Not nearly high enough men ten million is much too high of a threshold for it to kick in. So which I think I well as Brin Yeltsin said in that in that debate we used to have a tax. Rate of ninety one percent in this country on the top incomes. I think that kicked in at a threshold that would nowadays be in the neighborhood of, you know, mid six figures type of income and that was when this country's economy grew the fastest. And I think we now know that the economy did much better back when the top marginal tax rate was ninety one percent. Okay. And Chris what are your thoughts on what the top rate should be on the wealthiest Americans? Well, it should be it should be much lower should be as low as we can get it. It's not reality. We're not going to go back up to seventy percent tax rate. What would happen? If we tried to raise a rate that high is he getting massive tax avoidance innovation. Also, even if you if you tried to do that the federal government hardly raise any money. I mean, European governments are bigger than the US government. But how do they finance it? The only way you can finances. It is it by having a mass tax on the middle class in Europe. It is called a value added tax. It's twenty percent on average on everything people by a clothing, food, and automobiles etc. Or all taxed. At that twenty percent in Europe. So if folks like Alexandria ks Ortez and Elizabeth Warren one at bigger government. Ultimately, it's going to be a mass tax on the middle class the funds that okay? So we've heard what each of you have to say, I wonder though, when each of you hear that and hear what the other side says. You almost couldn't be further apart from each other. And I guess that tells us a little bit about this country right now, there are a lot of people who would agree with each one of you know, I I think that's right there is there is a large sort of partisan an ideological division in the country. And I don't know what to do with it. I think we do have to look at the experience of other countries that we have to adopt the best practices we see abroad. And from my point of view is pretty clear that the best practice around the world. These days is to go to lower flatter tax systems, if the government wants to raise more money, and I'm not in favor of that. But the you know, they would have to go to some broad sales tax or value added tax. You're not gonna get any more money at of hiking taxes on high income folks, nor would you want to because I do think that would damage the economy entrepreneurs would leave United States, there'd be less investment. And that would hurt everybody and not just high income folks Marshall, I actually think it's not correct that. At progressive tax policy is a polarizing issue. I think it actually offers way bringing this country together. Some new polling data released from data for progress shows that Alexandria, Causey Cortez's proposal and Elizabeth Warren proposal, actually, get the vast majority of support and even a plurality of support among Republicans. So I think there is a lot of political polarization in this country. If we want to end it the best way to do that would be to enact a confiscatory progressive tax regime. Okay. We'll leave it there. Chris Edwards who is director of tax policy. Studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington and Marshall Steinbach who is a research director and fellow at the Roosevelt institute. That's progressive thing. Take thanks to both of you for joining us. Thank you very much. Thanks for having me. Here. And now is supported by legalzoom who want you to know that if you wanna make twenty nineteen year you finally start a business or secure your family's future. Legalzoom can help with their network of independent attorneys. Licensed in all fifty states legalzoom can help you navigate your legal needs from wills and trusts to LLC's trademarks contract, reviews and more. And the best part is legalzoom is not a law firm. So they don't charge by the hour. More at legalzoom dot com slash now. Colorado governor Jared police's congratulating Denver teachers for ending a three day strike saying. The Denver's kids are the biggest winners in a tentative deal that was reached overnight the teacher's union and the Denver school district agreed to pay raises of up to eleven percent next year with Bilton cost of living increases some teachers return to their jobs today. The strike in Denver was part of a wave of teacher activism that began last year when teachers in Arizona, Oklahoma and West Virginia walked off their jobs. Joining us now is Jenny Brian Deane education reporter for Colorado public radio Jenny you're up all night covering this agreement in Denver is it fair to say both sides compromised. Yes, it is fair to sable sides compromise, though, I do think the district moved quite a bit considerably towards the Union's proposal. But yes, the they compromised in the sense that the union really wanted much higher base salary. Denver has one of the lowest competitive. Wages. I should say in the nation. And they got that on the other hand the district was very intense upon maintaining incentives for a set of schools that are very high poverty in have really struggled academically. They believe those incentives allow teachers help teachers stay there help retain teachers the union disagrees with that philosophy. But in the end, they agreed to keep those incentives will teacher said that the current merit compensation system which was once hailed as a national model and embraced by the teacher's union has been broken for years. Explain that why did they think that? Yeah. There were about ten to twelve incentives to start. I mean, everything from being in a high poverty school being in a herd to fill position like math. But what happened is eventually those incentives changed over time. And I'll give you an example. Let's say a neighbor you're getting you're in a title one school and you're getting. Title one incentive that means a high poverty incentive. But then your neighborhood gentrify is. And they're slightly more affluent students there, you would lose that incentive. Other other examples like that teachers found that those incentives were fluctuating, they were unreliable and unpredictable. I talked to about forty teachers one day and not one of them could tell me how much money they were making. So it was very confusing and broken in the district even agreed that that was the case and that helped in the negotiations. We'll is the underlying issue here in Denver that this is a city that is growing very fast that it is getting more expensive. And that the teacher contract is just hasn't kept up with what's happening on the ground in Denver. That's exactly right. It was almost the perfect storm accomplishments of issues housing prices here have just absolutely skyrocketed and were also in a state that is pretty much near the bottom. And it's it we're in a little bit of an unusual situation. Colorado's the only state where the legislature cannot raise taxes and every time a ballot measure to raise money for public education has gone before voters. It's. Turned down. So currently Denver has lost. Or I should say. The state has withheld nearly three quarters of a billion dollars from Denver public schools. It's a very complicated issue. But that's feeding into all of the chronic underfunding that you see in many cities. But yes, you're right. The housing prices certainly added to this the strike, but is Jenny Brian dean education reporter with Colorado public radio. Thanks so much Jenny. Thank you. And you're listening to here now. On Valentine's Day, many of us reach for poetry. Maybe it's Mary Oliver who he lost this year. What a loss. Maybe it's roomy or maybe it Sarah k an award-winning poet and contributed to poetry are ex a column where readers writing with emotional conundrums and three resident poets sort of write a prescription for the perfect poem to carry them through. It's published every week by the Paris review will link you it here now dot org as we convene a special radio edition of poetry are ex with pharmacist. I mean, poet, Sarah. K hi, Sarah. Hi, you know, most I'm reading through and most of the things that you respond to our problems. But we are going to ask you for, you know, the the love that maybe isn't as problematic, but what is the goal here. It's not to fix the problem. Right. No. I have a phrase that I say a lot which is I don't think poetry will save us. And yet and yet, and I think it's the and yet part we hope but in the meantime, if it doesn't save us. It's all it offers bomb living with the problem in a more loving way. Let's start. Here's a letter from someone very much in love, but with complicated feelings, they write dear poets. That's how they addressed the column I'm in love and away of never experienced before. I've always kept a safe distance from my relationships. But now I feel vulnerable for the first time, and they go on to say is there a poem out there for this feeling because I'm emotionally dependent on him. And it makes me anxious and a little scared would you say well for this particular person, I said, I'm delighted to share with you a poem by one of my favorite poets Natalie Diaz, and the poem is called when the beloved asks what would you do if you Boca up, and I was shark. That's the name of the palm. And there's this one section in particular that I love in which she says, I wouldn't fight not kick flailed not carry on like one driven mad by the black neoprene, wet suit of death. Not like sad mouth despair. I'd albacore nor blubbery Pinna peds were slug my ferocious streamlined lovers. Titanium white knows that bulls eye of cartilage. No, I wouldn't prolong it. Instead, I'd place my head onto that dark altar of jaws prostrated pilgrim at Melville's glittering gates climb into that mysterious window starred with teeth the one lit room in the charnel house. I know the words go for it. Yeah. Go for it. You know, this is not you know, roses are red violets are blue not not even close. No, what about somebody feeling alone? Here's another letter writer. Dear poets, I'm feeling quite lonely this week. I'm wondering if you knew of a poem that both acknowledged that sadness, but isn't consumed by it. I'm feeling very swallowed up in my loneliness, and I need a nice poetry life preserver. So for this person a lot of people right in about loneliness. But I really liked that this person specifically requested a poem that acknowledges sadness without being consumed by it. And so I recommend it. A poem by Jose Olivarez from his new book said is an illegal and the poem is called not love is a season. And the poem starts. Not love is a season. I drank fire a dozen blankets. Couldn't keep me from shivering winter is an unavoidable fact, unless you're from Kelley, and I don't trust people who don't know the freeze of loneliness the dead branches abandoned by the bird's still chasing summer. My is all telling me, I'll meet someone else. Like, I want to meet someone else my wound deep, but mine already time working to ease. My grip on my hurt. I know misery thaws. Not love is a season it'll pass. Yeah. I think that you know, there's a lot of different metaphors you could use for heartbreak, you know, a whole you're trying to climb out of a hole is difficult to escape and can seem impossible. But a season must arrive and Jose says winter is an unavoidable fact, and it also must pass that is what seasons do. And so if your loneliness is here, it also means it will not be here forever. And it's okay to acknowledge it and even maybe to relish in in a little bit. But but I'm hoping that this person allows room for fine with online, and again, these are people with predicaments on this day. And I sometimes think they outnumber those who just kind of glide through it. So let's keep going with somebody who wants to rekindle an old fling didn't work. She writes after long separation I spontaneously invited an ex fleeing to join me on a trip. It didn't go. Well, he was disinterested. He was born. Bush skipping ahead in her letter. She says it was more like babysitting. A sullen teen I had some long lingering feelings and hopes about us as a pair over it. Now, I'm not heartbroken, but I still feel like a morning the end of a long fantasy. Now, do you have a poem for this? Yeah. So everyone signs their letter with a pen name anonymously. And so this person signed their letter. Sincerely, wrong, girl. And I really wanted her to know that I didn't think she was the wrong girl. It was that. She's the right girl, but with the wrong guy, and I said actually more specifically, you're the right girl who has fallen for the age old trick of falling for the fantasy guy. But winding up with the actual guy who as it turns out, you might not actually like that much all in caps. Yeah. And so there's this poem by Mariel recognizer called waiting for us, and the whole poem is amazing. But the beginning of the poem is he said he would be back and we drink wine together. He said that everything would be better than before. He said we were on the edge of a new relation. He said he loved me that going into me he said he was going into the world and the sky he said all the buckles were very firm. He said, the wax was the best wax acres. Yeah. And I I love this. Poem because first of all it suggests that women have been falling for the myth of men in lieu of the real man in front of us since well mythical times, and it's easy to get swept up in the stories. We tell ourselves about people, especially when they're far away and the end of the poem goes, I remember the girls laughing. I remember they said he only wanted to get away from me. I remember my mother saying inventors poets a trashy lot. I remember she told me those who try out inventions are worse. I remember. She added women who loves such are the worst of all I have been waiting all day or perhaps longer. I would have liked to try those wings myself. It would have been better than this. And we remember echoes the son of data Louis, the mythological figures data Lewis made wings out of wax and feathers for himself in his son. And he told his son don't fly too close to the sun. But it Chris did. Of course the wings melted. And I have loved that. He said, the wax was the best heck's. But no he flew too close to the sun. So Sarah Kay. Let's not leave with that image of, you know, wings, melting and acres plummeting from the sky and disappointing yet, another young woman. Can you have some poems for us that are just straight ahead? You know, we're in love and at least for this day problem free. Yeah. I have a poem called here. And now that goes here. Now, I have only these hands this mouth the skin as wide as a shoreline this beehive between my ears, this buzz buzz. You are the best thing I never planned. This is the widest I can stretch my arms without dropping things. This is the first time. I don't care if I drop things this is what dropping things feels like this is what happens when the flowers wake up one morning and decide to smell human it. Confuses us makes us reach backwards into places. That are sharp feel around for things. We've dropped I have forgotten. What I was looking for. It doesn't seem important. You brought me flowers you made the bed. This is the widest. I can stretch my arms. This is all I have right now. Here. Well listeners if you steal it for this evening. Please credit Sarah, k surrogacy, the award-winning poet and contributor to poetry are ex the column in which readers right in with their emotional problem and resident poets prescribe a poem link up at here now dot org. If you want to do it, but meantime, Sarah Kay. Thank you so much. Thank you. Again. Poetry Rx published weekly by the award winning literary quarterly the Paris review. Check it out well at here now dot org listened to another of Sarah as love poems. Love letter from the toothbrush to the bicycle tire. You're welcome. It is great. And let us know your Valentine's Day poem picks help someone else out. Sometime between now and April. First Russia will disconnect itself from the global internet for a few hours, the country said it plans to sign off as part of an exercise to gauge how well it could withstand a cyber attack that originates outside Russia. Critics also say it's another step toward creating a surveillance state. Ben Brock Johnson covers tech for here now. Hi, ben. Hi, jeremy. So what does this mean that they would disconnect Russia from the internet? Okay. So the bad news is I'm not a network systems administrator, Jeremy, and I'm not sur timbers Lee who invented the internet. So I don't know the technical parts of this. I couldn't do it for you. If you wanted me to. But basically the way this works is a lot of the information we access as we go about our day isn't a direct line that exists inside our own country. Right. We might access information that's for the user actually in Germany or in Canada or somewhere and Russia's the same way when he user goes to get information online that information may. Cannot be stored in Russia. So the idea here is to make sure that it is all stored in Russia or that their systems are hard enough for accessing the internet that users can access information online, should there be a disruption like this. And why do they say that they're doing this? So this is part of a law that has been drafted. They're called the digital economy national program and Russia says that this is about making sure an effort to isolate the country by cutting it off from the internet won't actually cut it off from the internet it essentially a defense against some kind of potential outside attack. But there are two reasons for this happening, Jeremy as you might, you know, assume it is about internal control as much as it is protection from an external attack protection from external attack. But Russia has been as we know the one that often launches the cyber attack. But they're worried here that the roles would reverse and they would be attacked. Yeah. And you know, I guess in fairness one could say, you know. You know sanctions and other efforts of influence on the global stage often involves the internet. So you could imagine this scenario playing out. I think these types of situations often see state actors fighting fire with fire, you might remember this called militias computer, worm Stuxnet, which almost a decade ago. Now crippled nuclear facilities in Iran. It's believed that that was a cyber weapon developed at least in part by the US. So it there is kind of a back and forth that happens here. And it also makes you think though that Russia could be getting closer to the China model. And if you go to China right now, and you try to open up Google, you try to open up Facebook. You can't do it. They've got control over the internet. There is that part of this to that Russia is able to say we're the ones in control of whether the internet is on or off and what you can look at. And what you can't. I think that's definitely right? And that's what we're seeing here effectively is Russia trying to trying to recreate that in inside Russia. So I actually reached out to a journalist and author working in Moscow. His name is Andre sold the dove, and he wrote a book called the red web. And he says is this is definitely a concern. He gave this recent example. So the Republic of Ingushetia, which is part of the Russian federation last October thousands of people were actually protesting there. They were protesting a border deal between Russia and Chechnya and mobile internet in this area. Which was a tool for protesters was cut at the request of secret services reportedly. So yes, this is surely about Russia trying to develop systems of control over communication inside the country. Does the US have the ability to do something like this to shut the internet down for a period of time? So this is a good question while we are developing more aggressive tools of attack all the time. I think and I, you know, think have been for some time along with tools of hardening our own systems just against other. Kinds of disruptions boasted both in terms of the non-consumer internet's of power plants and other infrastructure that could be vulnerable. Figuring out ways of cutting off those really mission critical parts of our infrastructure from internet disruptions that might happen. I think the US continues to be a place where the ideal is to not create these kinds of digital borders. Right. The worldwide web as we know it is supposed to be worldwide in every everybody is supposed to be connected to each other. And I think US tech companies as well as the the US government, depending on you know, certain circumstances that you're talking about isn't really trying to figure out a way to like flip a switch and disconnect the US from the internet elsewhere in the world. Well, that's kind of nice to hear we can hope we know for sure that has been Brock Johnson who covers tech for here. Now. Ben, thank you. Thank you. What we're tracking the torrential rain. That's falling across much of California today, you can blame it on. The atmospheric river that's funneling moisture from the tropics near Hawaii across the Pacific, flooding, mudslides and debris flows or hitting northern California. Hard early this morning. A woman was rescued from her house after a mudslide ripped the home off its foundation in sausalito southern Marin fire captain Doug Peterson described the rescue on the local NBC affiliate. Surprisingly, we could see we could see a hand through some of the debris. So we knew where she was she was screaming for help. So we were fortunate in that we could find a right away Peres that burned in recent wildfires are particularly vulnerable to flooding. We're going to be keeping a close eye on this story, Robin. I was just in southern California recently, these houses are not built for this kind of rain. They were all leaking saw her hand. Yeah. Good that they got her here. Now is a productive NPR in WB or an association with the BBC World Service. I'm Jeremy Hobson it's here now.