Miles, Dr. Steven — A Blind Eye to Torture

The silence of doctors, nurses and medics in cases of torture and physical abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Dr. Steven Miles, the author of “Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and the War On Terror,” a book based, in part, on eyewitness accounts of actual victims of prison abuse and more than thirty-five thousand pages of documents, autopsy reports and medical records.  His work explores the information provided by physicians and psychologists to determine how much and what kind of mistreatment could be delivered to prisoners during interrogation. Dr. Miles is a professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and its Center for Bioethics.  He is a recognized expert in medical ethics, human rights and international health care.

This interview with Dr. Steven Miles was recorded in mid-July 2006 from his office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We begin when I asked him about his motivation to write a book about the treatment of people who are disarmed and imprisoned.

The book Dr. Steven Miles recommend is “Bury The Chains: Profits and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves,” by Adam Hochchild.

This interview with Dr. Steven H. Miles was recorded in mid July 2006.

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Cohen, Dr. Gene — The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain

 Do people over a certain age necessarily loose mental acuity? According to Dr. Gene Cohen, the answer is “no.”  Dr. Cohen, a psychiatrist and gerontologist has determined that certain genes are activated by experience as we age, allowing our personalities to grow and change. The brain has reserves of strength and agility that compensate for the effects of aging on its other parts.

 Dr. Cohen has found that the information processing in the 60 to 80 year old brain achieves it’s greatest density and reach. He explains these and other developing concepts in brain research in his book, “The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain.” I spoke with Dr. Cohen in March 2006 from his office on Aging, Health & Humanities, in Washington D.C., where he is the Director. We began our conversation with his description of the importance of the role of creativity on the mind.

 The book Dr. Gene Cohen recommends is “Tuesdays with Morrie: A Young Man, An Old Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson,” by Mitch Albom. 

 This program was originally broadcast on April 18, 2006.

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The Work of Death Midwives

Death is of the subject of this program. We all will experience it, hopefully without pain and with loved ones and friends near.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Robin Cottrell and Margy Henderson, of Ukiah, California, who describe their work as death midwives. This is part of their efforts with the Death Cafe, an international group whose aim is to increase awareness of death and to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.

As death midwives, Robin and Margy of sing quiet A Capella to people in the end stages of life. When these two women visited the studios of Radio Curious on June 26, 2016, we began with a song.

The books Margy Henderson recommends are The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have, by Mark Napo, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery. The book Robin Cottrell recommends is West With the Night, by Beryl Markham.

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Clancy, Susan Ph.D. — Sexual Abuse of Children and the Catholic Church

 This conversation discusses the myth of when and how trauma from child sexual abuse occurs. Our guest, Susan A. Clancy, Ph.D., and author of “The Trauma Myth:  The Truth About the Sexual Abuse of Children – and Its Aftermath” discusses how childhood sexual abuse abuse is perceived by the victim; the effects of denial, minimization and blame; and how this issue within the Catholic Church is not being resolved.

 Dr. Susan A. Clancy is the Research Director of the Center for Women’s Advancement, Development and Leadership at the Central American Institute for Business Administration in Nicaragua.  This interview with Susan A. Clancy was recorded on April 12, 2010, from her home in Managua, Nicaragua.

 The books Dr. Susan A. Clancy recommends are “Happiness: A History” by Darrin M. McMahon and “In The Woods,” by Tana French.

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Dr. Martha Richmond : Lead In the Blood – Dangers And How To Protect

Approximately 500,000 children in the United States between the ages of one and five suffer from lead poisoning as a result of lead in their blood above the level for which public health action is recommended.

No safe blood lead level in children has been identified and lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.   This results in short and long term adverse consequences in the exposed children and to society in general.

The level of lead in the blood of children is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest is Dr. Martha E. Richmond, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of Environmental Science, at Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Richmond’s work has centered on lead poisoning in children and involves assessment of environmental regulation to effectively protect public health, including the effectiveness of regulations for air pollutants, and protection of children against lead toxicity.
When Dr. Richmond visited with me by phone from her home near Boston, Massachusetts, on October 19, 2014, she began with a description of the issues surrounding lead poisoning.
The book Dr. Martha Richmond recommends is    Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children, by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner.

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Dr. Alondra Nelson – Healthcare & The Black Panther Party

The exodus of approximately six million black people from the American South between 1915 and 1970 had a significant role in setting the stage of the civil rights movement of the early 1960s. Many of the children of those who left the south participated in desegregation efforts which included the Freedom Rides and lunch counter sit-ins. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 which attempted to resolve employment discrimination and define voting rights, only changed the law. Many young blacks however did not see changes in their everyday life.

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was born out of this disillusionment. Although infiltrated and feared by the F.B.I., the Black Panther Party pioneered social and community programs, including free medical clinics, free meals, and educational programs.

Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Alondra Nelson, Columbia University, Dean of Social Science and professor of sociology.  She’s also the author of “Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination.”

We visited by phone from her Office in New York City, on February 13, 2012 and began our conversation when I asked her to describe the Black Panther Party.

The book she recommends is “Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems,” by Elizabeth Alexander.

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Sanders, Bernie — Vintage Bernie Sanders: 1991

Presidential Candidate, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders was a guest on Radio Curious in 1991, early in his first term in Congress. Over the course of his 25 years as an Independent member of the House of Representatives and the Senate he has consistently advocated for economic reform and social justice.  

When Bernie Sanders and I visited in 1991, we discussed what he would do if he were President. This interview, recorded by phone from his office in Washington, D.C., in 1991, began when I asked him to describe his experience in government.   

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Cantu, Dr. Robert — Concussions: The Impact of Sports On Kids’ Brains

Concussion injuries to our children is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious as we visit with Dr. Robert Cantu, the author of “Concussions and Our Kids”.  Dr. Cantu’s medical career centers on neurosurgery and sports medicine and is dedicated to addressing the concussion crisis through research, treatment, education and prevention.

Dr. Cantu writes that the genetic inheritance of a child begins to control his or her athletic skills at about age 14.  This is similar to the evolutionary influence that compels young teenagers to set a mark and establish status and belonging within their band or tribe, often through athletic prowess.  In the evolutionary history of our species this was necessary for basic survival.  Now in the 21st century, many of our children do the same thing, many times with strong family support, yet at the same time, subjecting themselves to radical injury.  Dr. Cantu and I spoke by phone from his office near Boston, Massachusetts, on September 24, 2012.  I began by asking him to comment on his analysis.

The book Dr. Robert Cantu recommends, which was also made into a movie is “Head Games,” by Chris Nowinski.

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Vertosick, Dr. Frank — Evolutionary Intelligence

In this program we visit concepts of evolution and intelligence, some of which were raised after our series on near term human extinction.

What is intelligence?  What kind of intelligence do non human creatures have?  What are the different levels of intelligence that can be found in single cells, or invertebrates, up to human beings? 

Neurosurgeon Dr. Frank Vertosick, author of “The Genius Within: Discovering the Intelligence of Every Living Thing,” discusses these and other questions about learning among all species.   He talks about the learning that occurs through evolution or alteration of the genetic structure and about the learning, of the way we commonly think of it, by studying or by experience. 

When Dr. Frank Vertosick and I visited by phone from his office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in early October 2002, we began when I asked him to describe the different levels of intelligence and the development of intelligence in invertebrates.

The book Dr. Frank Vertosick recommends is “Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What it Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life,” by Albert-Lasio Barabasi.

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Baker, Carolyn Ph.D. — Hospice and Near Term Human Extinction

This is third conversation in our series on near term human extinction, the most disturbing group of interviews in the twenty-five year history of Radio Curious.  In this program, faced with a grim future of the human species on earth, we consider the role of hospice for all of us and for our planet.

Our guest is Carolyn Baker, Ph.D., co author with Dr. Guy McPherson of “Extinction Dialogues:  How to Live With Death in Mind.” She is also the author of “Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating the Relationships We Need to Thrive.” As an author and psychotherapist, Carolyn Baker discusses the importance of emotional and spiritual preparedness for the cataclysmic changes that abrupt climate change will bring.

“Extinction Dialogues” presents credible scientific evidence that global warming is pushing our planet to a swift apocalyptic end, more rapidly that we comprehend.  Dr. Guy McPherson discusses the scientific evidence that suggests a looming extinction of the human species in part one and part two of this series.  In the second half of ”Extinction Dialogues,” Carolyn Baker encourages and recommends a hospice approach, which we present to you as part three in this series.

When Carolyn Baker and I spoke on September 20, 2015 from her home in Boulder, Colorado, we discussed ways to practice hospice as the earth’s temperature increases to a point at which humans cannot endure. We began our conversation when I asked her how hospice treatment can be applied to the dying planet.

The book Carolyn Baker recommends is “Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul,” by Stephen Jenkinson.  

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.