News & Information

ACLU v. NSA, Exercise Myths, Income Inequality and Health

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Mar 17, 2015 9:00 pm
  • 1:43:04

ACLU Suing NSA Over Internet Tracking (1:04) Guest: Patrick Toomey, ACLU Staff Attorney  Internet Surveillance and the NSA are Top of Mind Today. Thanks to the classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden we know that the National Security Agency is watching our online movements. You and I may not be targets of the surveillance, but that doesn’t mean our emails and searches and internet posts aren’t being scooped into the net that NSA officials mine for leads on terrorism or espionage.  The net is simply too broad, according to a new lawsuit filed against the NSA by the ACLU, on behalf of a diverse of educational, media, human rights and legal organizations.  “An email may travel outside the country before it arrives to a friend inside the United States,” says Toomey.  “What the NSA has not shown is it cannot do its job effectively and appropriately,” says Toomey.  Exercise Myths (19:20) Guest: Amy Huebeschmann, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and researcher with the Center for Women’s Health Research  Nobody will be surprised to hear me say that research shows exercise is good for us. It helps with physical and mental fitness. It can prolong life. But that’s a tough message to hear when you face physical limitations that make it hard – even seemingly impossible – to exercise.  Dr. Huebschmann says that exercise “doesn’t have to be for a very long period of time to be beneficial.”  “The first thing is to make sure if you have pain when being active to talk to your doctor but the majority of people even with moderately severe arthritis should not preclude you or keep you from being active,” says Huebschmann.  “You’re never too old to be physically active,” assures Huebschmann.  Apple Seed (38:52) Guest: Sam Payne, Host of The Apple Seed  We listen to a story from Brian “Fox” Ellis called “In the Realm of the Seal King.”  Income Inequality and Health (52:00) Guest: Jessica Allia Williams, post-doctorate fellow at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health  “Income Inequality” - or the gap between the rich and the poor in America – has been expanding in the last 30 years. Today, just 5 percent of wage earners account for nearly a quarter of total income. Cash compensation for CEOs is 90 times that of rank-and-file employees. The debate over income inequality raging from local city halls to the chambers of Congress generally focuses on “fairness” and “morality” and “social justice.”   What about plain old “health?” Is it possible that America is less-healthy because this gap between the rich and the poor is so wide?  Higher income inequality can result in stress with social comparisons, according to Williams.  Williams says it is important to inform “…people of these connections between work and health that they might not be aware of.”  Cockroach Personality (1:14:40) Guest: Isaac Planas Sitja, behavioral ecologist at the Free University of Brussels  This next story might just make you think twice before stomping on a cockroach you catch scurrying across the floor.  “The most important thing is, no matter the complication of the group, they always finish in a shelter,” says Sitja.  Islam in Africa (1:23:42) Guest: Souleymane Bachir Diagne, professor of philosophy and French at Columbia University  Numerous guests on our show of late have established that Islam is not a monolithic religion. Extremist such as the group calling itself the “Islamic State” espouse what they consider a more orthodox practice of the religion dating back centuries to nomadic Arab tribes. Now, the group in West Africa known as Boko Haram is pledging allegiance to the Islamic State – not surprising given Boko Haram’s brutal tactics and stated opposition to Western influences.  What is surprising, to many, is that Islam is different in Africa. When you move south beyond Libya, Egypt and Tunisia to what’s known as sub-Saharan Africa – which includes Nigeria, Sudan, Chad and Senegal - the dominant form of Islam is a tolerant, open-minded branch known as Sufism. Senegal native Souleyman Bachir Diagne recently visited BYU to talk about the nature of Islam in Africa and how an extreme group like Boko Haram is gaining traction in a place where Muslims are generally more moderate in their views.  “The emphasis of Sufism in general is the idea that there is one common driving force in the world, which is the love of God,” says Diagne.