The federal government once considered whistle-blowers a nuisance or worse. But over the past few years, that attitude has slowly started to change. More agencies have been reaching out for tips about fraud and abuse in and outside the government, even if digging through the stacks of complaints can present a challenge.
Think back to those movies in the 1970s — movies filled with heroic figures who risked it all to expose unsafe factories and police corruption, like New York cop Frank Serpico exposing his less-than-clean colleagues.
Zuoxiao Zuzhou is a Chinese singer whose accented, croaky voice is hardly ever in tune. But for his fans he's the voice of a generation — one of the very few voices who dare to speak out. After a collaboration, Cowboy Junkies member Michael Timmins called him "China's Leonard Cohen."
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
Coming up, that's a lot of pay stubs, the 100th anniversary of the income tax. Then a Three-Minute Fiction standout. And later, he may be faster than a speeding bullet, but can Superman outrace this controversy?
But first, tens of thousands of college students and environmental activists marched around the White House today.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Hey, Obama, we don't want no climate drama. Hey.
Well, it may not be the happiest of anniversaries, but get out the candles anyway. This month marks the 100th anniversary of the American income tax.
Joining us to talk about a century of the tax we all love to hate is Joe Thorndike. He has a pretty exotic job: tax historian. He's just written a book called "Their Fair Share: Taking the Rich in the Age of FDR." He's also the director of the Tax History Project. Joe, thanks for joining us.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 9:36 am
If you've ever played around with one of those carbon or water footprint calculators, you probably know that meat production demands a lot from the environment — a lot of oil, water and land. (Check out the infographic we did on what goes into a hamburger last year for Meat Week.)
But have you thought about your meat's phosphorus footprint? Probably not.
As the European editor of Rolling Stone, Jonathan Cott spent his time interviewing legendary musicians like Mick Jagger and Pete Townshend. But in 1968, he finally got the opportunity to meet his hero, John Lennon. Cott was nervous.
"He said, 'There's nothing to be nervous about,'" Cott recalls. "'It's going to be OK, and we're doing it together, and that's what really matters.'"
Let's make this perfectly clear at the outset: I don't work for NPR, and what I'm about to say doesn't represent NPR. I'm but a lowly freelancer they're dumb enough to publish a bunch, and what I say now I say as me, which is to say:
1. An inveterate Superman nerd, and
2. A gay dude.
DC Comics has hired Orson Scott Card to write the first two issues of a new digital-first Superman comic. I won't be reading it.