tv PBS News Hour PBS October 5, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: senate democrats come up with an approach of their own to pay for president obama's jobs plan: a tax on millionaires. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight, we get the latest on the proposal and the reaction of republicans from todd zwillich of wnyc and public radio international. >> woodruff: then, paul solman reports on the anti-wall street protests, building up steam today as thousands march in new york. >> brown: we look at a supreme court case asking if religious schools have to abide by federal workplace discrimination laws with marcia coyle of the "national law journal." >> woodruff: from liberia, kira
kay examines the struggle to provide mental health care in a country ravaged by years of civil war. >> despite the dangers a traumatized population presents in a still fragile country, liberia has only one psychiatrist and a single mental hospital with a total of 80 beds. >> brown: gwen ifill talks with google's executive chairman, eric schmidt about growing pressure on the internet giant from federal regulators and the tech marketplace. >> washington is the government and therefore they can screw us up, and that's the simple starting point and historically the tech industry has largely ignored washington. >> woodruff: and we close with a profile of poet philip shultz and his new memoir on overcoming the challenges of dyslexia. that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> i mean, where would we be without small businesses? >> we need small businesses.
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>> brown: democratic leaders in the senate proposed a millionaires' tax today to pay for president obama's jobs bill. it would amount to an extra 5% on incomes over $1 million. the democrats said it would cover the bill's entire cost-- some $450 billion over ten years. the new tax would replace the president's proposal to limit tax deductions for charity and mortgage interest, along with other measures which did not appear to have sufficient support to ensure passage. on the senate floor today, majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell sparred over the proposed change. >> we may have different ideas on how to pay for it, but we know the present legislation is a smart, effective way to spur job creation. democrats have listened to the american people and they have been very, very clear. the american people believe it's time for the millionaires and billionares to pay their fare share to help this country thrive.
>> the president's own party is the only obstacle to having a vote on his so-called jobs bill, and now i understand our democratic friends want to jettison entire parts altogether not to make it more effective at growing jobs, not to grow bipartisan support, no, they want to overhaul the bill to sharpen its political edge. >> brown: todd zwillich is covering the back and forth on capitol hill for "the takeaway" from public radio international and wnyc and joins us now. welcome back. >> good to be with you. is. >> brown: so on the substance it's pretty straightforward, right? >> it is. a 5% surcharge on millionaires. the president will say millionaires and billionaires and it's pretty simple to understand. this is the tax increase on the richest among us to do what democrats and the president called "shared sacrifice." the economy's in trouble, people have to get back to work, the president is going around the country saying "pass this bill to get people back to work on construction projects "and this is how they want to pay for it: tax the rich. >> brown: but one interesting
aspect here is this is the senate democrats saying that te president's original notion was not going to work. >> they didn't have the votes for it. forget about republicans for now they didn't have the majority, probably, of democrats for the president's original proposal. there were some things in there that you have to get a little bit parochial about. one of the tax increases.... >> brown: it's the nature of it, right? >> it is. and in a political season everybody wants to help the president and the party but look at one of the tax increases that was that bill. increase taxes on big oil. royalties and oil revenue. well, there's a democratic senator from louisiana, from the oil patch, that's senator mary landrieu. there's a democrat from alaska. they weren't interested in voting for a tax increase on big oil even if this bill never becomes law. as a political proposition it doesn't make sense to do your best to support the president even though you probably want to when it's going to get you in trouble back home. >> brown: so there's that aspect of politics and the other aspect is just the calculation by the senate democrats that this plays
to some sense of what the public will support. >> yeah. and it really allows... you saw the minority leader mitch mcconnell on the floor criticizing this effort saying all democrats are trying to do is sharpen this as a political tool. he's got a point. the... this notion of a millionaire's tax has gotten a majority of democrats before, it got 53 votes on a similar vote back in december. but it polls very high. where? it polls above 70% with independents, the very people that both sides are going after but in particular the president is going after with this plan. it polls a little bit lower with republicans but 57% of republicans in a wa "washington post"/abc poll say they favor raising taxs on the rich in order to help get the country out of economic doldrums. what this allows the president to do if you look at this as a political document, it allows them to go around the country when you look at the president's jobs plan, it has more money for the teachers and firefighters to keep their jobs so they don't get laid off.
so that you can build interchanges and construction projects, things like that. this allows the president to make a very clear statement which technically would be true. if republicans vote against this they're protecting tax considerations for the richest among us and they... and they won't protect the jobs of teachers and firefighters. >> pelley: well, is there any indication they might be able to pull in any republicans for this? >> democrats on the record say of course they would love as much republican support as they can get. privately they say they expect none whatsoever. this is a tax increase, republicans ideologically are against tax increases and in 2012 republicans are not amenable to helping out the president. >> brown: and on the house side, eric cantor continues to say that this will not come whole to us. it will not pass, maybe piecemeal. >> he was very clear this package as a whole package is dead. he said those words. he was asked if it was dead, he said yes. you're wright, the majority
leader has said we can go down a menu and pick pieces of this, things we agree on. the interesting thing about picking parts of this, tax cuts, regulatory relief, things that republicans and the house and the white house say they agree on. the question is, are think of those pieces of the bill they can agree on, are they job creators? right now will it help create jobs now? most of the economists say no because those things don't create demand and that's part of the problem in washington right now. as a political document the majority leader says well, we can get a win on the board. we can show america we can agree on something. will that something create jobs? maybe not. >> brown: as you're watching this unfold, is anybody talking to the other side now or is this all about positioning what my particular side-- one side or the other-- has to put forward? >> right now it's mostly about positioning and when you see a parent zahn proposal like millionaires tax designed to give the president and democrat it is sharp tool mitch mcconnell
was talking about against republicans. they may talk in the in each future about the menu they can agree on. the white house has said we don't want pieces of this to come back from congress but if that happens we'll look at it, we might support little pieces. >> brown: very briefly, any sense of when things will get going? >> a lot of this may happen in the supercommittee that has to record out language november 23. so battles over october into november but we're looking at senate votes on this new bill as early as next week. >> brown:ed to zwillich, thanks a lot. >> my pleasure. >> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": the wall street protests; a church and state case at the supreme court; mental health trauma in liberia; google's executive chairman eric schmidt and a poet copes with dyslexia. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: stock markets in the u.s. and europe recouped more of their recent losses today. they rallied on news that policy makers are working on plans to support ailing european banks. on wall street, the dow jones
industrial average gained 131 points to close just short of 10,940. the nasdaq rose more than 55 points to close at 2,460. protests raged in greece again in the latest outcry against deeper austerity measures. at least 16,000 civil servants staged a 24-hour strike in athens, and denounced plans for new salary and pension cuts. the rally was largely peaceful, but a few dozen youths threw stones at riot police, who fired back with tear gas. in the presidential campaign, texas governor rick perry reported raising $17 million since he joined the republican field seven weeks ago. perry was the frontrunner for a time, but dropped back in recent polls. another republican candidate texas congressman ron paul announced he raised $8 million in the year's third quarter. u.s. defense secretary leon panetta warned today that america no longer can provide
the lion's share of military might for nato in places like afghanistan and libya. he told alliance ministers in brussels that looming defense cuts will limit what u.s. forces can do. he said that means other nato nations must invest more in their own military capabilities. >> i am convinced that we do not have to choose between fiscal security and national security. but achieving that goal will test the very future of leadership throughout nato. >> holman: panetta pointed to supply shortages in libya and lack of training in afghanistan as examples of the u.s. having to fill nato gaps. in afghanistan, security officials reported they've broken up a plot to assassinate president hamid karzai. they said six people have been arrested, including one of karzai's bodyguards. the afghan intelligence service said the suspects had links to the haqqani terror network
blamed for a series of major attacks. separately, nato forces said an air raid in khost province killed a senior haqqani commander on tuesday. efforts to modernize the u.s. air traffic control system have run into major delays and cost overruns. the transportation department's inspector general delivered that message to a house hearing today. he said software problems are holding up the transition to a system based on satellite technology. it may not be completed until 2014, more than three years behind schedule. the nobel prize in chemistry was awarded today to israeli scientist dan shechtman for a discovery that once earned him ridicule. in 1982, shechtman identified a new chemical structure dubbed "quasi-crystals" which researchers long had believed could not exist. shechtman, now 70, recalled today he was kicked off his u.s. research team at the time, but eventually, his findings were acclaimed. >> the main lesson that i have
learned over time is that a good scientist is a humble and listening scientist and not one that is sure 100% in what he read in the textbooks. and this is a lesson also to students. be open. >> holman: quasi-crystals now are being studied for use in making materials that convert heat into electricity. an original leader of the civil rights movement reverend fred shuttlesworth died today at a hospital in birmingham, alabama. the baptist minister led the struggle against segregation in birmingham in the 1950s and early '60s. he worked closely with dr. martin luther king, survived bombings and beatings and endured repeated arrests. reverend fred shuttlesworth was 89 years old. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy.
>> woodruff: at the u.s. supreme court today, the justices heard arguments over nothing less than the founding principle of the separation of church and state. at the heart of today's case is whether or not the americans with disabilities act applies to the hiring and firing of ministerial employees at religious institutions. joining us now to walk through the arguments, marcia coyle of the "national law journal." welcome back. >> salahi, judy. >> woodruff: interesting case, marcia. so tell us about the facts and the arguments. >> okay. for about 40 years our federal courts have recognized an exception to the nation's job bias laws, an exception for lawsuits involving ministers and priests. that's where we get the name "the ministerial exception." and that exception is rooted in the religion clauses in the first amendment, and basically it's designed to keep government from being entangled in the business of religious institutions. cheryl parish was a lay teacher hired by a lutheran church school in michigan back in 1999. she taught primarily secular
subjects but she also taught a religion class and sometimes led the class in prayer. she got sick around 2004 and took a leaf of absence from the school, eventually was diagnosed with narcolepsy. >> woodruff: where you fall asleep. >> right. wanted to return to her job after about six months. doctors certified she could. when she approached the school, the school said they had concerns about her returning and they had decide... the church had decided that she should resign. she did not want to resign. she showed up for work when she said she would. the school said they didn't have a job for her and she threatened at that point to bring a discrimination charge on the basis of the americans with disabilities act. shortly after that the school informed her she had been fired for insubordination. she went to the equal employment
opportunity commission and claimed she was being retaliated against for filing... for threatening to file a discrimination charge. the e.e.o.c. took it to court. the church claimed she wasn't being retaliated against, she was insubordinate because she violated a tenet of the church's religion that disputes should be handled internally, not going to court. >> woodruff: so what's the question before the justices and how did they question the sflaurz >> well, the case got to the court because the church lost in the federal appellate court which said that the ministerial exception that the church wanted to apply here didn't apply. that she was not a minister. >> woodruff: meaning the church would not have to abide by the rules of the equal employment? >> exactly. so the supreme court today heard arguments on what is the ministerial exception? who is a minister and should it apply to cheryl parrish? >> woodruff: and in the
questioning, what sense did you get from the justices? were they genuinely trying to get more information? you were saying earlier it was interesting to watch them. >> they were very engaged in this argument and you capable away feeling they were very frustrated as well. they're wrestling with two sort of competing interests here. they want to keep government from getting entangled in religious institutions and yet they also want to see that workers for religious institutions who had discrimination claim cans get into court. so most of the arguments and questions focused on the definition of who is a minister, the church's attorney claimed, well, basically if you've been ordained or commissioned you are a minister but also if you teach a religious class, even if it's just one class in the term you are also a minister. and this provoked a lot of hypotheticals from the justices. >> woodruff: so how comfortable did you get the sense they would
be digging into the tenets of a church to decide what's what? who's a minister and who isn't? >> not really comfortable at all. but, again, there's this tension that they want people to be able to at least get a foot into court to say when the exceptions raised by their religious employer... that i'm not a minister and justice alito, for example, said "well, i just don't see how you don't then get into the religious business of the church. what is a central tenet, for example, of the lutheran faith that you can only resolve disputes internally? doesn't that involve bringing in experts to testify and just breyer said he didn't see how you got out of this thicket, either. >> woodruff: so marcia is the principle of separation of church and state fully at stake here in what they decide. >> well, it's at stake in terms of our jobs bias laws, depending
on how the court looks at this exception and how broadly or narrowly it writes a decision it could have an impact even beyond our job bias laws. it could have an impact on religious institution's liability for other harms involving their workers. >> woodruff: you wering me earlier that depends to a great extent on how narrowly or how bradley the justices choose to look at this. >> exactly. and i have to say, judy, it was not clear after the argument what they were going to do other than that they did not seem happy with the church's definition of minister and they didn't seem happy with the government's dhaefs it had an overriding compelling interest in allowing people to bring to the government examples of illegal conduct such as discrimination. >> woodruff: you mean you couldn't read the justices' minds? >> (laughs) i wish i could! >> woodruff: marcia coyle, the "national law journal."
thank you. >> my pleasure, judy. >> brown: the protests against wall street gained new momentum today with union members and students joining in. a crowd that appeared to number several thousand jammed the rally site foley square. they put up web video showing signs and chants, as speakers condemned corporate greed and influence. organizers also called for college students nationwide to walk out of classes, as part of the protest. the "newshour's" economics correspondent, paul solman, went to the protesters base camp tuesday and filed this report on their budding movement and their concerns. >> reporter: a block away from freedom tower, literally rising from the ashes of ground zero, down the street from the new york federal reserve bank: zucotti park. home to the occupy wall street encampment. we visited to see how its activist denizens were preparing for today's big rally, though we showed up before many of them were up and about.
those already awake told us they'd come from near and far. >> i'm from tampa florida. we came up via an underground network of supporters. >> i left colorado sunday evening. >> reporter: you left colorado? >> yes. that's where i live. >> reporter: so how did you get here? >> i flew. >> reporter: so you've been here from the beginning? >> yes. i came out here from oakland california. i've stayed some nights elsewhere. a lot of people have. there's been a lot of generous people offering their apartments for the night and showers for people here. >> reporter: nearly three weeks after the occupation began, a surprisingly clean, well organized, and well-stocked community has emerged with its own library of donated books, plentiful supplies of food, even blankets and ponchos from well wishers nationwide. and a housekeeping and security system that impressed even the n.y.c. police-- although, of
course, only off camera. >> the main purpose of security is making sure everyone is safe and protected. >> reporter: the goals of the protestors, however, are noticeably less well-organized. >> for me personally, child labor, international labor issues are a big thing, sweatshops. >> they should not be even talking about privatizing medicare. >> i do not want to be groped down in airports. i do not want to be scanned. i do not want to give my children bad water. i do not want to feed my children artificial flavors, artificial colors, pesticides in everything on the shelf. and it goes on and on. i do not want the corporation to really handle my life! >> behind the profit motive there is a big "g"-- greed. and this greed has become a disease across the planet that >> what i've gathered by my very careful insightful interviews with people is there is no central message.
>> reporter: and, says faux fox news correspondent chris cobb, that's okay. >> because groups like the tea party are created by central messaging. they're created by being in a board room figuring out how they can finance a political movement and make slogans that are catchy. this movement is absolutely not like that. that's why you don't have everyone on the same page. people came from all over the country to try to figure out something to do. and so their message is they want to provoke discussion about financial injustice. >> reporter: one frequent theme, though-- young people, out of work, even with college degrees but financed by debt. >> reporter: so this is your transmitter? >> yes. >> reporter: timothy grantham blogs the demonstration on facebook while also running an in-house radio station with a broadcast radius about the size of this park. >> you know, i went to school and a lot of these people went to school and now that we're out for the summer or out completely, there's no jobs. we can't pay those student loans back. and all we keep hearing from the creditors is we're lazy.
we're not doing our part. and you know, we're looking for jobs the best we can. we can't go on unemployment, we're not the unemployment-able. >> reporter: you're pre- unemployed! >> there you go, yeah! and so we call up unemployment and they just reject us. >> reporter: a theme heard more frequently, from young and old alike: the economic system is being run for the benefit of the few, at the expense of the many. david intrator, who runs his own p.r. firm, has a professional knack for getting attention. >> as americans, we're about fairness and fair play. that has helped us through these centuries. there's a sense now that things are not fair, that somehow the system is rigged. that certain people have a leg up unfairly and can win, and many, many, many people are forced to lose or not even given a chance to compete. and this is not just an
unfairness that the young people suffer from but something that all people are hurting from. >> reporter: anthony mancusi works nearby, comes by most days on his lunch hour. >> i know a lot of people who have generally been out of work two, three years, and it's hard to feed their family, make a living. all our jobs are overseas. corporations go overseas to save money because they're crying about labor. but meanwhile they're still charging us $70 for a pair of sneakers or a pair of pants or a shirt. and they're paying slave wages over in china or any other country. >> reporter: but are you less prosperous than you used to be? >> am i less prosperous that i used to be? i was more prosperous three years ago than i am the last two years. >> reporter: but perhaps the most universal theme at occupy wall street, at least on day 18, was one famously articulated a few years ago by comedian george
carlin. the american dream: you have to be asleep to believe it. granted, lots of causes here, but, we asked unemployed wine retailer robert segal. is one common theme though a sense that the american dream is over? >> bingo. i think they get to the front of the chow line and put out their plates and somebody says, "sorry sister, there's nothing here for you." or, "brother, take a hike." people are wondering what in the world's down the pike. it doesn't seem like much. >> reporter: steve flicker, now retired, spent his career on wall street. >> my generation and people just younger than me are the ones whose children aren't going to have it as good as we had dissipated this. >> reporter: not that we wanted to put words in his mouth, but we felt obliged to put the question to at least one member of the younger generation.
you could just signal yes or no, but is it a main reason that people are here because the american dream has vanished? >> that's a really good question. not just the american dream, the world dream, and we're here because there are economic issues linked throughout the entire world. >> reporter: there were other highlights-- the celebrity sighting of the ever optimistic michael moore. >> this is only going to spread. it's 99% >> reporter: a march on behalf of the beleaguered union workers at verizon. and throughout, a festive
atmosphere that couldn't help remind some observers of the last great explosion of american activism during the age of aquarius. as for the future of occupy wall street, rob siegel at least thinks it's bright. >> 67,000 at 3:00 in the afternoon and 147 different occupation protests across the united states. that was 136 last night. and the night before it was 117 and before that... the night before it was 71. it's accelerating. >> reporter: fellow veteran economics reporter lou uchitelle isn't sure. >> whether it will this time in this country i have no idea. >> reporter: so we can't resist closing with this image and
observation: >> reporter: so we can't resist closing with this image and observation: like so much else in life, the future of this occupation, like the future occupations of so many propelling it, is, well, in limbo. >> brown: the demonstrations are still spreading to other cities. tomorrow, a large protest is being planned for washington d.c. >> woodruff: and to our conversation with one of the leading executives in the tech world. eric schmidt is the chairman of google-- a man very much in the spotlight and a prominent supporter of president obama, whose company remains on the hotseat in washington from regulators and congress google is being investigated by the federal trade commission as to whether it may be violating anti-trust law in how it ranks websites when consumers do searches. gwen ifill asked eric schmidt about all this at the newseum in
washington this afternoon as part of the atlantic and aspen ideas forum. here's part of that conversation. >> ifill: last week you were here in washington, you were testifying for a senate judiciary subcommittee. how is it being hauled before congress and basically being told that you had cooked your search results? >> well, we of course said we had not. i assure you, we have not cooked anything, was my response. i think in many ways it's been good-- at least so far. because it's made the company clear... more clearly articulate how we make our decisions and particularly publicly describe that which is a focus on consumers so i think it's overall been positive and i should say, by the way, that the government has a role here. this is their job to do and so we have to respect that. >> ifill: let's talk about the government's role. a lot of the members of congress who were grilling you last week made it clear to on some level democrats and republicans, that
google scares them. why shouldn't it? >> we make decisions based on what your testing indicates consumers want in terms of a global search engine. i do understand that google ranks information and there's winners and losers and those decisions have significant impact on people. so the word "scares" is their word not mine. on the other hand, we provide a free and important service to a lot of people and we take great pride in doing it right. >> ifill: questions about search adopt nantz, questions about copyright, questions about privacy. how do you begin to tackle those when you're now obviously the subject of a federal trade commission investigation? >> so far our answer has been that the principle wes founded the company on seem to be working. and broad, open access to information, try to be as transparent as possible, all the things we've said over and over again. on privacy we've taken a strong
position that privacy is important, that you should have as much control over privacy as possible and we also understand that an awful lot of data is being connected... collected about you. so in each of those cases my personal reaction was that this is the right thing for an antitrust committee to be doing. is they should be asking these questions. it's also important to remember there haven't been accusations about google from the europeans or the f.t.c. yet. this is the beginning of listening, if you will. so i think we should reserve judgment until we hear if there's any alleged violation of any other rules. >> ifill: there has been a discussion going on here for some time about whether tech industries get washington or washington gets the tech industry. it took microsoft a while to realize it and bill gates was hauled before a committee here maybe a dozen years ago. now google was here. the word is you resisted the idea of coming near testify. how important is washington to google or to the tech industry
and vice versa? >> well, washington is the government and therefore they can screw us up. that's the simple starting point. and historically the high tech industry has largely ignored washington and in the last ten years after microsoft's experience everybody figured out that it was important to have representatives here and so forth. most of the tech companies, including google, have tried to stay in the lobbying for ideas phase as opposedto lobbying for specific sentences in specific bills, that seem mrs. palatable. most of the tech companies agree for example most tech companies agree with the importance of broad band policies, the accelerated broadband, help america, things like accelerated tax credit and those things. these are all export businesses. >> ifill: you said business can create jobs if tech comes back. does government have a role in that? >> government has a huge contribution to the economic
situation in america. everybody understand this is. government is both an a standard seter in terms of purchasing as well as a regulator. it's very important to understand that we're stuck at the moment. we're growing at 1% to 2% in terms of economic growth. that growth is not enough to overcome the natural improvements in business productive they are occurring without additional jobs. my view is a national emergency that we need to get the growth of the company as measured by g.d.p. going faster. that's something we all participate in. the jobs are created by the private sector. the wealth is created by the private sector. we've proven as a country we can create enormous numbers of such companies of wealth and people and so forth. it's been the main stay of the post war of the united states. so we have that conversation and instead the conversation is about a lot of other things. that's the central issue. how do we get our growth trite 3% to 4% to 5%. >> pelley:. >> ifill: but when the administration says in its jobs
bill that it would like to increase taxes on the wealthiest, is that a job-destroying proposition as republicans argue? >> looking at the math, that particular component does not matter very much in my argument. i'm not going to make a political argument. that number is a relatively small number compared to the overall tax policy issues across the other 98% and so forth. that's more of a justice and political question than any set of question. >> ifill: would you like to see your taxes raised? >> in my case it's not a particularly big issue? >> ifill: because? >> because it wouldn't change my behavior. for other people it might. but my personal view of that is not very important. what is important is how do we get the productive parts of america working harder with greater exports, with more investment, in the things that will grow the economy. that's if only conversation that matters, everything else solves itself with growth. >> ifill: if there is going to
be growth it seems that it will be in social media and in google playing on that field as well, is social media... does it have the potential of completely transforming the way we communicate. >> in many ways it already has. one of the questions is what are we going to do as a society with all those 16-year-olds posts when all those people are 36? it's clear there's going to be a law which says you can't discriminate against people based on their pictures below age 18. there will be additional civil rights acts around teenagers. >> ifill: one can only hope. >> well, there's going to have to be based on my personal inspection. (laughter) so we already know it's transforming it and if you look at facebook which i think is arguably the most successful of the online sites in that regard, look at the level of activity. it's really extraordinary how much time people are spending on those. >> ifill: did you miss the boat as c.e.o. on google at the
social media... >> we were late to this. we were focused on other things. and you sit down as c.e.o. and you say why didn't we focus more on that? well, we were busy on this, this this, this. which did really well. so now we have a product called google plus which is doing extremely well which looks like a worthwhile competitor in a slightly different space with more privacy controls, for example, than facebook. >> ifill: so you can beat facebook at its own game? >> it's very hard to beat a fast-moving incumbent with exactly same game in technology because it changes so quickly. the what you have to do is you have to find a new problem and do that much better than they are and that's what we're trying to do. you can ultimately win very large. >> ifill: i'm on twitter, i try to be up on all the stuff the kids are talking about but i wonder the degree to which social media enhance what is we already believe and even searches rather than expanding the conversation. >> well, that question has been raised for the last hundred years about communications
technology. and i've learn nod-to-not have an opinion on how people choose to know their time, we just want them to spend more time on google doing it. (laughter) it's pretty simple. we won't make a decision of whether this is a good use of people's time or not. it's alarming that people text message, they don't talk on the phone anymore. and people actually forgot how to leave voice messages on phones. sort of shocking. >> ifill: they've forgotten how to check them as well. (laughter) >> that's right. so this is... this is the norm of how society moves forward. i would say overall this is extraordinarily good and i want to push back very hard on the critics of this and say look you were worried ant where your teenager is, now we know where they are. they're in their room online. it's a much safer place than other places your teenager can be. point one. >> ifill: there are those who would argue that point, but okay. >> lock the door, trust me. we at least know where they are. the second point i would make
>> reporter: this friday morning at a rural liberian health clinic feels routine: kids are getting their vaccinations; pregnant women and new mothers are here for their check ups; malaria tests are underway. but this nervous looking young woman is here for a startling reason. in a private session: >> anything really worry you? >> reporter: she tells a group of visiting clinicians that she has trouble sleeping, and feels insects crawling under her skin. >> it pinched me! >> reporter: 25-year-old nyamah grew up during liberia's civil war. she says rocket explosions shook the walls of her home; she saw dead bodies in the street. counselor larwou quaye thinks nyamah's anxiety is caused by post traumatic stress disorder. >> it didn't really start until after the war. >> after the war. >> yeah. it comes with small, small bumps. >> i think there is probably nobody in liberia who was not impacted and experienced trauma as a result of the war.
>> reporter: dr. janice cooper is a mental health specialist based in liberia. >> the research suggests that 40% of liberians actually have experienced post traumatic stress disorder, which is a very, very high rate of p.t.s.d. there's a tendency when we think about the war and we think about trauma to forget that there is post conflict trauma that continues to go on. even today there are people who regularly, regularly encounter their perpetrators. >> reporter: liberia's 14 years of civil war were a nightmare of atrocity and chaos. rape and the use of child soldiers was prevalent. very few liberians escaped being either victim or agressor. now, eight years after the violence, liberia is putting itself back together physically. the streets are full of activity. new businesses are getting up and running. but dr. cooper says the trauma permeates. >> liberians tend to be extremely edgy and angry and
sometimes it's hard to understand why, because were a very friendly, fun loving but sometimes anger will manifest itself in something as simple as you know people in the market and they are selling something and you know the difference in price and who got there first and who didn't and it explodes into something that's way out of proportion. >> reporter: despite the dangers a traumatized population presents in a still fragile country, liberia has only one psychiatrist and a single mental hospital, with a total of 80 beds. >> we are the only inpatient facility in the country, so people who are desperate come from far away. >> reporter: rodney presley, the director of the public e.s. grant hospital, says his facility receives the hardest cases. >> we have schizophrenics, we have those with anxiety. a large number of young men, who are brought here by family members, mostly for drug induced psychosis. just two weeks ago a patient was
brought in hands tied and mouth gagged. >> reporter: new arrivals are put under observation, administered what medications are available and given counseling and group sessions aimed at preparing them for a return to the outside. one former resident is bill jallah, who was institutionalized six times over several decades. >> i had a relapse due to stress. in 1990 a relapse due to a lack of medication, the wartime then. >> reporter: so the war started and all the medication went away? >> yeah there was no hospital. >> reporter: bill was like many liberians with mental illness, who remain sick due to lack of consistent treatment, and who suffer the scorn of society. >> they believe that mental illness is because of witchcraft. also they believe that because you are involved in bloodshed and so you got mentally ill. so you have to live with that stigma. >> so how have you been feeling since your last visit?
>> reporter: bill is finally on the right medicine, and receives regular care on an outpatient basis. but despite such success stories, grant hospital is still struggling. >> we are lacking adequate supply of medication on a consistent and regular basis. we are lacking mental health professionals. it would be great if we were able at this time to provide mental health services in the various communities in the country, so that people wouldn't have to travel so far. >> reporter: liberia must balance many health challenges-- infant and maternal mortality, malaria and water-born illnesses compete for limited government dollars. but in 2009, liberia added mental health care to its national policy. dr. bernice dahn is the country's chief medical officer. >> if people are not stable enough to do their work it will affect our economy, it will affect our country, it will affect homes, it will affect families. it also has security
implications: there's a large group of young people who have resorted to violence, they are in the street. >> reporter: dr. dahn says the goal isn't to build more in- patient facilities, like grant hospital, but to integrate mental health efforts into the country's 500 primary care clinics. >> if you have it at the primary level, most of the basic things that do not need hospitalization can be addressed right there. and is much more comfortable for the patient because they avoid the stigma because they are going to the health facility like any other patient that is going to the clinic for treatment. >> reporter: to implement its strategy, the liberian government has turned to the carter center created by former president jimmy carter and his wife rosalynn, a longtime mental health advocate. dr. janice cooper, a liberian who fled to the states during the war, has returned to lead the program. >> we recruited a cohort of 21 students, who were physicians, physicians assistants and nurses in clinics and hospitals, as
well as in schools of nursing, to be part of our first cohort of mental health clinicians. >> bipolar disorder is not a one-disease condition. >> they spend many weeks learning about, identifying and treating mental health disorders and all the major mental health disorders in liberia. they learn all the basic tools that you need for screenings and assessments. >> be very aware of sound-alike, look-alike drugs. >> they also learn medication management and for some of them this is really the first time that they're learning pharmakinetics and how particularly, psychotropic medications work in the body. >> reporter: one member of this first class is 34-year-old quendi appleton. >> i wanted to be a part of that, being able to bring back hope to the hopeless. seeing them you know being able to go to school, to work like any other person in the community. >> reporter: fresh from completing the program, quendi is back at the clinic where she
had already been a nurse, but now she has a mental health expertise. >> anybody, when you hear the word depression, what do you think about? >> reporter: quendi immediately puts her new training to use when a woman who came in for diabetes treatment begins to show signs of psychosis. quendi puts the patient, pauline, through a mental status examination she learned in class. >> do you know where you are presently? >> reporter: pauline thinks the current year is 1979, and that a child crying in a neighboring ward is her own daughter. quendi and her supervisor decide to get pauline's diabetes under control first, then if she still shows signs of mental illness, put her on psychotropic drugs and into counseling. >> normally what used to be done in the past, the patient would come even if they have mental illness nobody cared about that, we were only concerned about the physical ailment. so this is really a new hope for her, that we are able to discover the mental aspect and treat her, you know, the
physical and the mental. >> reporter: the goal of the carter center program is to have 150 clinicians just like quendi fanning out all over the country within five years. treating remote, rural populations remains the biggest challenge-- one organization working to cover that need is the french group medecins du monde, working alongside liberian health ministry trainees. here in a war torn part of the county, they present awareness programs. >> and this sickness, yeah, the only thing that can help the people is medicine. >> reporter: and see patients for one on one counseling sessions. such as this 13-year-old boy, who says he sees spirits. >> so, how the jinna is like? >> black. >> black? >> yeah. >> dressed in black or he's black? >> looking black. >> looking black. >> reporter: and alex, whose violent behavior was fueled by drug use that started during the war. >> he was hearing commanding voices. >> reporter: he was hearing voices. nurse edmund sokpah says alexs improvement has been dramatic.
>> he was very much psychotic. you could not see him like a human. a human, someone who has that dignity. so seeing him at present, very calm, stable, coming on regular visits, as compared to the past, he has changed. >> reporter: and then there is nyamah, the 25-year-old p.t.s.d. patient. she is also receiving medication and counseling, but the clinicians say she has yet to truly open up about her wartime experiences. as liberia works to put the trauma of its past behind it, quendi and her recently graduated carter center classmates say they will lead the way. and a new class of trainees is just getting started. >> woodruff: kira kay's story is part of our partnership with the bureau for international reporting. >> brown: finally tonight,
another in our occasional series on poets and poetry. philip schultz won acclaim and a pulitzer prize in 2008 for his collection titled, "failure." his new memoir, called "my dyslexia," details a life-long struggle he had to overcome to get there. >> my name is phillip schultz and i'm a poet and a teacher. i founded, direct, run a school called the writeers' studio. i think i was 16 when i had the thought of maybing the a writer and this is complicated, something i only now understand, because when i was young having dyslexia and not knowing it made reading such an ordeal. in fact, i couldn't. i didn't learn how to read until i was at the end of fifth grade and 11 years old and held back.
well, this poem which comes right out of writing the book the memoir on my dyslexia is really the first poem i've written that deals with the subject. hitting and getting hit... it's the experience of being bull lead. "they could say what they liked imitate the way i stutter it had morning pledge mash it had el a bet, ask how many chickens one plus three made why my brain sat in the the coroner a class of one until refused to read or write, was nailed to my tongue just as long as they understand that some with my fist would be kissed yanked off bikes by their hair their eyeballs, thumbs scrubbed, faces autographed by sidewalks that under no circumstance would they ever make me cry." i was not only held back in third grade but i was placed in a class of three, we were the
slow kids, the kids who were separate and a memory that persists i have that is a teacher coming by and saying that the principal or somebody was coming by and gave me a book and said "pretend to read it." and the humiliation of this was so enormous that if i don't think of this every time i open a book it's every other time. and i taught myself how to read by imagining a little boy who could read and who didn't make his mother ashamed of him. who didn't get held back and didn't get bull lead and laughed at. and i created a way of writing where writers event personas. is and hes and shes who can say the things they're afraid to. and i didn't know until i wrote this that my approach to writing comes out of my dyslexia.
when i found out i won the prize, the kid in the dummy class that i was in was suddenly in conflict with the this guy who had won a prize for his poetry that made him visible for a moment at least. and it was so jarring that i couldn't bring them together but winning that prize really forced me to make peace and understand it. my poems poach nearly everything my fears, scheme, conjectures and astonishments. after evidence of infidelity, scraps of inspiration, indifferent to the suffering they describe, they dislike everything i love, believe only in their own insularity. because i never really had one before, my career never used to ask for much. now disguised as letters, e-mails, phone calls, it never lets me forget it's there. a new best friend whose only
purpose is to prove its inevitability. >> brown: you can watch philip schultz read more of his poetry online on our art beat page. the poem hitting and getting hit will be published in the literary magazine "plow shares" in november. "ploughshares," in november. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: senate democrats offered their own approach to pay for president obama's jobs plan: a tax on millionaires. republicans dismissed it as an empty political gesture. several thousand people rallied in new york, as union members and students joined the protests against wall street. and stocks rallied again. this evening, former alaska governor sarah palin announced she won't run for president next year. in a public letter she said she will focus on electing republicans to other offices. online, you can find more about the anti-wall street protests and the nobel award in chemistry. kwame holman has the details. kwame? >> holman: we have a photo essay from today's demonstrations in new york on our making sense page. on our "science page," we asked
researchers what makes the discovery of the unusual quasi- crystals worthy of the nobel. and on art beat, we talk to poet donald hall about a new collection of his work called "the back chamber." all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and again, to our >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on thursday, we'll look at war and shared sacrifice ten years into the afghanistan conflict. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations.