Harriet Washington on Ebola, Carl Conetta on ‘Isolationism’ and US Public

This week on CounterSpin: As the Ebola fear-mongering seems to be letting up a little, one thing that hasn’t changed is media inattention to the xenopobia that has gone hand in hand with the panic, and any real exploration of issues of inequality and how they play out in treatment of the deadly disease. We’ll talk to medical ethicist and award-winning author Harriet Washington about Ebola.

syria-protestAlso this week: Polls show pretty clearly that the public isn’t enthusiastic about getting involved in more wars. To many elites, this is dangerous isolationism and a retreat from America’s rightful position as a superpower. Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives has taken a deep look at public opinion, and we talked with him about the problems with elite rhetoric about isolationism.


–”The Politics of the Ebola Serum – Harriet Washington on the Ebola Outbreak” (The Real News, 10/3/14)

–”Something in the Air: ‘Isolationism,’ Defense Spending, and the US Public Mood,” by Carl Conetta (Project on Defense Alternatives, 10/14)

Download MP3 (right click)

Wednesday MidDay Medley

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spinning Records With Merritt
+ Jamie Searle of My Brothers & Sisters

Mark welcomes Marion Merritt, of Records With Merritt, who joins us as Guest Producer and Guest Co-Host, to share information from her musically-encyclopedic-brain. Marion will spin tracks from: Chicago Underground Duo, Taylor McFerrin, Reverend Cleatus & The Soul Saviours, Brigitte Fontaine, Brigitte Bardot, Alberto Pacheco, Erkin Koray, luluc, Casey & The Pressure Group, Castanets, Aislers Set, Vashti Bunyun, Peter LeMarc, M. Hederos & M. Hellberg, The 2 Bears, Daphni, The Muffs, Moondog, Jabula, Malomba Jazz Makers and who knows what else.

After 18 years as Manager of the Music Department at Barnes & Noble on The Plaza, Marion Merritt, left to pursue a dream and this year she became the owner of Records With Merritt, 1614 Westport Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64111. More info at: www.recordswithmerritt.com

At 11:15, we’ll talk with Jamie Searle about MY BROTHERS & SISTERS PRESENTS: THE SOUNDS OF TIM BURTON, Friday, October 31, at 9:00 pm, at Czar, 1531 Grand Blvd, KCMO. The band will play musical selections from composer Danny Elfman from the films: Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Tales From The Crypt, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The band will also perform two additional sets of their own until midnight for everybody to dance! There will be a costume contest with the music of Danny Elfman synced to video. Ticket information: http://ticketf.ly/1x8gDJ7

Show #549

Immigration, Refugees, and Other Immigration Issues

Craig Lubow and a panel of guests continue their discussion from August 5th on immigration. Topics include the legislative status of immigration reform, issues relating to the refugee crisis of the children from Hondures, and immigration issues that impact the LGBT community. The guests will include Layla Razavi, Angela Ferguson, Angie Williams, and others.

ARTSPEAK RADIO presents, Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead

Join Maria Vasquez Boyd for a very special tribute to Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead with Jenny Mendez, Teresa Magel, and Sarah Hyde Schmiedeler.

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico and takes place November 1 and November 2, in connection with All Saint’s Day and All Souls’ Day.Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Jenny Mendez
Latino Cultural Arts Director for the Mattie Rhodes Center for over fourteen years, Jenny is currently in charge of all arts programming for the agency.

Next event at Mattie Rhodes Art Center & Gallery-
Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead
October 3 – November 15
Closing reception and illuminated Calaca Parade: Friday, November 7, from 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Mattie Rhodes Art Center 915 & 919 W. 17th St. KCMO

Teresa Magel
Artist/painter, Teresa Magel, recently co-curated a group art show,
“Sugar Skulls” A Tribute to Dia de los Muertos at the Hilliard Gallery.
Featured artists; Vanessa Chase, Maria Vasquez Boyd, Suze Ford, Brad DeLuc, Angelica Sandoval, Chris Frye, Zachary M. Laman, Vania Soto, Karen Swenholt, Amber Yoshida, & Teresa Magel.

Hilliard Gallery 1820 McGee KCMO

Sarah Hyde Schmiedeler
Francis Family Foundation Educator, Family Programs & Events.

Experience the altar installation-honoring writer Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez created by artist and chair of the Kansas City Art Institute Printmaking Department, Miguel Angel Rivera with local artists from Mattie Rhodes Center and students from KCAI. Kirkwood Hall is transformed by layers of light and projected images from the artist’s research trip into the heart of Day of the Dead traditions in Oaxaca, Mexico. On view through November 9.

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak St. KCMO

Sacred Steel Brothers and a Jazz Master, 10/29/2014

This episode of American Routes was first broadcast in February 2013. Yusef Lateef passed away on December 23, 2013

Sacred steel guitarist Robert Randolph has gathered together the leading players of the genre for a recent recording, paying tribute to the past, and covering tunes outside the cannon. We’ll speak with him and one of his fellow Slide Brothers, Calvin Cooke. Then a conversation with jazz adventurist Yusef Lateef about his musical mentors and inspirations.

Inalienable: Belonging to the Earth Community | JOANNA MACY Inalienable: Belonging to the Earth Community JOANNA MACY

Deep Ecology extends an inalienable right to life to all beings. Yet as the naturalist Aldo Leopold observed, “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” Either harden your shell, or be a doctor. Joanna Macy decided to be an Earth doctor. A systems theorist, author and lifelong activist, she describes how healing the world and healing your heart and soul go hand in hand.

Full House

Tonight on Under The Radar on 90.1 FM KKFI 10pm to midnight Phil Wolf will be in with his band David Hasselhoff On Acid then Jorge Arana Trio along followed by Cartograpter then Existem

Ebola, Mountaintop Removal, Cuba

Private Profit Trumps Public Health in Research for Ebola Vaccine

MP3 Interview with Leigh Phillips, science writer and European Affairs reporter, conducted by Scott Harris

ebolaAs the death toll from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa tops 4,500 including 236 health workers, the World Health Organization admitted that it failed to organize an effective response to the deadly virus. The international agency blamed factors ranging from internal politics to poor communication between infectious disease experts and officials at its U.N. headquarters. The WHO has projected that by Dec. 1, the number of new Ebola cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone would be 5,000 to 10,000 per week, making the 2014 outbreak of the disease the largest in world history.

In the U.S., President Barack Obama appointed a White House czar to organize the nation’s Ebola preparedness, as the spread of the disease has thus far been limited two nurses that treated Thomas Duncan who died of the virus in a Dallas hospital on Oct. 8. In advance of the U.S. mid-term elections on Nov. 4, a number of U.S. politicians have called for a ban on travel to and from the three West African nations where the Ebola outbreak is centered, this despite warnings from public health experts who warn that such restrictions would hamper efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

One important question about the international response to Ebola has largely been unaddressed: Why is it that the world doesn’t yet have an Ebola vaccine, despite the fact that this virus has been known to science since its emergence in South Sudan in 1976? Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Leigh Phillips, a widely published science writer, who examined this question in his article titled, “The Political Economy of Ebola,” where he discusses the incompatibility between public health and private profit.

Read Leigh Phillips’ article at “The Political Economy of Ebola,” Jacobin, Aug. 13, 2014.

Related Links:

  • “Ebolanomics,” New York, Aug. 25, 2014
  • “Ebola: between public health and private profit,” Open Democracy, Aug. 11, 2014
  • “UN Health Agency Admits Mistakes, While US Ramps Up Ebola Response,” Common Dreams, Oct. 17, 2014
  • “2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa,” CDC, Oct. 20, 2014
  • “Could Ebola rank among the deadliest communicable diseases?” CBC, Oct. 20, 2014
  • “Ebola death toll rises to 4,546 in hardest-hit countries: WHO,” Reuters, Oct. 17, 2014

    New Study Links Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Dust to Lung Cancer

    MP3 Interview with Vernon Haltom, director of Coal River Mountain Watch, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

    mtrThere’s lots of news from southern Appalachia on the fight against mountaintop removal coal mining. On Oct. 1, federal judge Amy Jackson Berman upheld the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency – the EPA – to withdraw a previously issued mountaintop removal mining permit for Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 mine, because the company’s operations violated the Clean Water Act.

    Then a report from the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed elevated levels of mountaintop removal airborne toxic dust in mining communities. The report found that the dust comes from mountaintop removal operations and not from other sources. Residents living in these areas have higher rates of several serious illnesses associated with this type of dust exposure. Also, on Oct. 9, a lab technician who is certified by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, recently admitted to falsifying reports for coal companies’ water quality tests. A federal investigation is ongoing.

    Despite gathering evidence about the environmental harm and danger to human health caused by mountaintop removal mining, West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection has given out 25 new mining permits over the last two years as companies attempt to work around Clean Water Act restrictions. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Vernon Haltom, director of Coal River Mountain Watch in West Virginia, who discusses some of these recent developments which bolster the case against mountaintop removal mining.

    VERNON HALTOM: Last week, the U.S. Geological Survey released a new report – the first one from a U.S.government agency – identifying MTR dust in communities at elevated levels, and it’s the kind of dust known to cause lung and heart problems. And just yesterday, we found out there’s another new study from mostly folks at West Virginia University School of Public Health regarding MTR dust and a direct link to human lung cancer. The dots are connected so strongly. This is the first one that makes that direct connection as showing cause rather than just correlation. It’s big news; it’s kind of depressing because now we have this lab experiment that shows that yes, what we’ve been breathing does promote lung cancer, and that’s unsettling.

    BETWEEN THE LINES: Showing causation rather than just correlation is really important. But you had indications before about the health impacts of MTR, right?

    VERNON HALTOM: That’s right; we’ve had statistical evidence that even after accounting for factors like socio-economic status and things like that, the cancer rates, heart disease rates, birth defect rates and other things – mortality, depression – all those things are higher in MTR areas, and that’s after taking into account those other factors. This is the first one that actually links the MTR dust to cancer. I consider it a landmark study, and one of the scientists, Dr. Michael Hendryx, says it’s one of the most important ones so far.

    What are we going to do about it? The report calls for “prudent adoption of prevention strategies and exposure control.” So we’re thinking what kind of prevention strategies and exposure control can we do? I mean, can we live in a bubble? Do we have to evacuate? Do we all get respirators? Or, do we fight it? Do we end it? And we have a way of doing that – the ACHE Act, the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act. ACHE Act, HR 526, is the way we see would be a good and swift end to MTR and protect human health. It would place a moratorium on new or enlarged MTR sites, unless and until the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducts and publishes a thorough, definitive study showing that this does not harm our health. The way that it would work is the moratorium would go in place immediately. And then if the study shows there’s no evidence that it harms human health, then they could go about getting permits again. In the meantime, we would have that pause, and we see it as an example of the precautionary principle: you know, you don’t do something to people unless you know it’s relatively safe.

    BETWEEN THE LINES: There was another development recently that made a pretty big splash. A judge ruled that the EPA – the Environmental Protection Agency – could revoke a permit it previously granted to the Spruce Number 1 MTR site because the company was violating the Clean Water Act. I know the coal industry and a lot of politicians in Coal Country thought that was pretty outrageous.

    VERNON HALTOM: The EPA, when they see that something is violating the law, they can withdraw a permit. There’s a lot of hoopla about this particular site, and even friends of mine thought that MTR was banned, or that the EPA had ended any new MTR permits, and that’s nowhere near the case. Even at Spruce #1, there’s still a large portion of that that is still being mined as of this day. That particular case only protected a couple of streams. The latest court victory saying the EPA does have the right to retroactively veto an MTR permit, is important, it’s significant, but it’s not the end of MTR. And the EPA has shown no indication that they’re going to veto any other permits.

    Find more information on Coal River Mountain Watch in West Virginia at crmw.net.

    Related Links: