Category Archives: This American Life

This American Life #540: A Front

Act One and Two of this episode were the most interesting to me and involves what most people would describe as government missteps. Act One, featured in the audio clip, discusses the many failings of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, commonly known as the ATF, in their failed attempts in numerous operations around the country. Often it sounds like the ATF agents if anything created more crime because of their operations.

Act Two goes into a lot of detail about U.S. Border checkpoints that are far from the border, sometimes over 50 miles. I haven’t spent much time near the Mexican border so I have never interacted with these checkpoints but some people have to pass through them regularly and some people react in amazing ways. You can follow this link to, mentioned in the podcast, to find out more information and link to the numerous YouTube videos of these encounters.

As always, you can download the full podcast at or find it on iTunes.