Welcome to Dead Reckoning Radio! We have a great show as we come back from our August Recess, just-like-congress. We’ll be overdosing on drugs! Kicking off the show with a conversation about the recent controversy over the cost and availability of EpiPens and after the break, America’s addiction to over-the-counter medication, it’s possible ties to the rise of Trump and the American church’s fault in this. We’ll be closing the show today with a new segment called “Expand Your Horizons!” where Brian brings us the malignment of baseball great, Tyrus Raymond Cobb and it’s implications in today’s age of accessible information.
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DRR Show Notes 9/13/16
Welcome to Dead Reckoning Radio. We are Live! I’m your host, Jay Friesen. With her new little baby downstairs, the fetching Hadley Heath and across this old door-turned-table table from me, the esteemed Dr. Brian G. Mattson. DR Radio is where the three of us intelligently discuss those critical cultural moments from a distinctly Christian perspective.
And we have a great show as we come back from our August Recess, just-like-congress. We’ll be overdosing on drugs! Kicking off the show with a conversation about the recent controversy over the cost and availability of epi-pens and after the break, America’s addiction to over-the-counter medication, it’s possible ties to the rise of Trump and the American church’s fault in this. We’ll be closing the show today with a new segment called “Expand Your Horizons!” where Brian brings us the malignment of baseball great, Tyrus Raymond Cobb and it’s implications in today’s age of accessible information.
As always we’ll be coming back from our two breaks with games of wit and whimsy, the classics Nerd vs. Nerd and Not The Onion News.
During those breaks, you’ll hear from the sponsor of this week’s show, Alliance Defending Freedom: defending your right to freely live out your faith. Visit the at www.adflegal.org to find out the latest in defense of religious freedom, sanctity of life and marriage- or just listen to our show and thank them for supporting us!
For those of you joining us on our livestream chat, we are so glad you’re here and really look forward to the forthcoming discussions. For those of you joining us on our 5 star-rated podcast that want to join us live, head over to www.deadreckoning.tv and subscribe to one of our channels to be notified of our record dates!
- Summer Updates - Since we’re back from our hiatus, what’s everyone been up to?
- Hillary’s Health! - Conspiracy Theorists have long peddled rumors that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in poor health, and Sunday was their lucky day! Mrs. Clinton, the Democrat nominee for President, collapsed at a 9-11 Memorial Event. Camera footage clearly showed her being literally dragged into a Secret Service SUV, losing a shoe in the process. The campaign said she was “overheated” and fainted, and even sent her out a few hours later to say she felt fine and to give a child a hug on the sidewalk. The “nothing to see here” line took an abrupt turn when, later in the day, they admitted that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia a week earlier. Hadley and Brian, quick take: what does this portend for the election?
- Kaepernick’s Kourage - San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a firestorm of controversy when he declined to stand for the National Anthem at a preseason football game, and made clear he intended to do so throughout the rest of the season. He did this in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and said he could not support a country where black men are being gunned down by police. He has since been joined by a few other players. Hadley and Brian, quick takes?
Segment One: Epi-PenPalooza!
Public Service Announcement: Evil Drug Overlords Want to Kill Your Children (and Your Grandmother, too)! Well, at least that’s the impression by one side in a recent controversy over the price of “Epi-Pens,” automatic epinephrine injectors. The devices are manufactured by the pharmaceutical giant Mylan, who increased the price of a single Epi-Pen as high as $600, even though the actual epinephrine costs just a few dollars.
Epi-Pens are used as life-saving devices for people susceptible to extreme allergic reactions. They are, in other words, a necessity by a large number of our fellow citizens. In addition, Epi-Pens expire after a year, so consumers have seen the cost of this single annual dose rise astronomically. Adding flames to the issue: the Mylan CEO is the daughter of a Congressman who voted to have Epi-Pens mandatory at public schools, and her own salary has skyrocketed in conjunction with this price increase. People are, understandably, outraged.
This episode perfectly encapsulates a long-running economic debate. Is this a clear case of capitalism running wild, with pharma companies grossly enriching themselves on the backs of needy people? Or is this a case of NOT having a free market, with cozy government relations and the lack of competition driving prices ever higher? It so happens Dead Reckoning Radio has a resident expert in health and economics policy: our very own Hadley Heath.
[Points for discussion - Not to Be Read on Air]
1) There’s a lot of confusion about how much money it takes to make, market, and distribute pharmaceuticals and how many restrictions they have in regards to cutting costs. Though Mylan didn’t create the EpiPen, it’s the holder of the patent and there are costs associated with that. We can’t expect companies to give away valued products away for free.
2) There are a lot of people who need this and many other life-saving drugs but it seems like, rather than bringing costs down and increasing accessibility, the ACA has made it more difficult for people to get these. Why? How does insurance play into pharmaceutical costs?
3) Mylan is the only company that can manufacture the EpiPen because of regulations that restrict the way epinephrine can be safely administered at home. Are regulations the problem? Also, maybe it’s a good time to tell people to PLEASE DON’T BUY A BOTTLE OF EPINEPHRINE AND A SYRINGE FOR $10 AND SELF ADMINISTER. Dang internet memes are gonna kill someone.
4) As compassionate Christians, we should care about the health of others and desire for people to have access to the medicine they need to live but that doesn’t mean we believe that businesses shouldn’t make a profit on their products or workers shouldn’t be paid for their hard work.
5) The optics were great for the Democrats on this. Kids who could die without medicine + an ACA to strengthen + a bad guy BIG PHARMA company with ties to congress = an opportunity for Clinton to look like she cares about the little people, isn’t beholden to big business or political interests, and can make things happen for the interests of others (since Mylan dropped the prices). Is that how it went down, though?
Links: Dear Epi-Pen Customers
[Sponsor] ADF - International Genocide 2:22
[Game] Nerd V. Nerd
Segment Two: We’re All On Drugs!
America is experiencing an “opioid” epidemic - prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, as well as non-prescription narcotics like heroin are on a steep upward climb. This huge addiction problem appears to hit the white working class hardest. Just this week, police in Ohio released a graphic photograph of a couple passed out on heroin in their car, with a toddler sitting in the back seat!
Hadley and Brian: this all seems interrelated with a number of other societal problems. Family breakdown, increased suicide rates, high unemployment of men, and the overall poor state of the rural white working class. Here are a few things we can discuss:
- Not to say Republican voters are all drug abusers, but does this general “malaise” among the white working class help explain the popularity of Donald Trump?
- Does the church have some culpability here, with its heavy emphasis on URBAN ministry over the past few decades?
- Is there a POLITICAL solution to these problems? Can America be “made great” again?
[Sponsor] ADF - Kindred Spirits 3:52
[Game] Not The Onion News
Segment Three: Expand Your Horizons
This season on Dead Reckoning Radio we’ve decided to quarantine the third segment of our show from being infected by… Current events. Instead, we bring you a brand-new feature called, “Expand Your Horizons.” In this segment, one of our three co-hosts will give a short presentation of something completely unrelated to Donald Trump’s latest outburst or Hillary Clinton’s latest coughing fit. Instead, we want to talk about a variety of things that interest us. It can be food. History. Literature. Sports. Entertainment. Whatever we wish.
This week, Brian brings us a story of injustice, the power of conventional wisdom, and one man’s crusade to re-write history.
[11-second YouTube Clip from Field of Dreams] “Ty Cobb wanted to play. But none of us liked the son of a bitch when he was alive, so we told him to stick it!” So says Shoeless Joe Jackson in the 1994 film, Field of Dreams, perfectly encapsulating the conventional wisdom passed down for generations. Tyrus Raymond Cobb, the “Georgia Peach,” arguably the greatest player in baseball history, the first man to be elected into the Hall of Fame, was a mean, drunken, violent, and irredeemably racist man whom “everybody” hated. That’s what any random baseball fan will tell you if asked at your local sports bar. After all, we have it from documentarian Ken Burns. In his award-winning series, Baseball, he presented Cobb as the “anti-Jackie Robinson,” the racist arch-villain of baseball history.
Except that Shoeless Joe Jackson and Ty Cobb were friends. Except that Ty Cobb supported racial integration in baseball. Except that Ty Cobb was popular. He was the first bona fide superstar in any American sport. Puzzled by these incongruities, author Charles Leerhsen sought the truth and delivered the results in his recent authoritative biography: Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty.
It is essentially a tale of an unchallenged “meme” growing in popular consciousness, the incredible laziness of subsequent journalists and historians, which together resulted in an unprecedented smearing of a man’s reputation. I would venture to say there has never been anybody more universally maligned than Tyrus Raymond Cobb.
I would love for you to be interested in the fascinating story on its own merits. If you are one of those few, get Leerhsen’s book. But not everybody loves baseball, nor do many people actually care about a long-dead baseball player. I’m interested in how it happened. Cobb worked with an unreliable pulp paperback author named Al Stump for his “autobiography.” Just after Cobb’s death, Stump published his own biography, which was a mishmash of giving every real story the worst possible interpretation, extreme stereotyping of what a white, southern gentleman must really feel about race, and a heavy dose of simple fabrication. Stump’s book became the authoritative judgment on Ty Cobb’s life. Nobody questioned it, not even Ken Burns. Nobody, that is, until Charles Leerhsen.
He dug into the historical archives as nobody had. News clippings, letters, diaries. He discovered that, lo and behold, Cobb was hardly the melodramatic arch-villain, but rather a complicated man with a complicated past (his mother shot and killed his father just before making his Major League debut), a man with a revolutionary philosophy of playing the game, a man who was well-understood and respected by his peers but misunderstood by many in the general public. The public record of the time puts the lie to Al Stump’s grotesque re-creation of the Georgia Peach.
Here is what I wonder. Could this sort of thing happen in our day and age? We marvel at the accessibility of information, the diversification of news sources, the ease of the instant Google search. Surely you could not re-write history, create an entire conventional wisdom at odds with reality, forever smear a man’s reputation, could you?
I submit that you could. The vastness of the realm of information has its own downside: there is too much of it. Too much for the average person to absorb and distill. Human beings want the easy “Meme,” a short Facebook picture with a pithy “truth” printed on it. The universal accessibility of information hasn’t made us more knowledgable or wise, it has forced us into tribes and information “bubbles.” The information revolution has become an information war, often along political lines: a fight over what conventional wisdom must be. Whomever wins that fight in the public consciousness, whomever has the better memes, whomever has the better marketing strategy, that person will write the conventional wisdom and, therefore, write history.
“Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” It can corrupt an entire society, too. Wise words from the Apostle James.
Hadley and Brian Socials
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