A Public Affair

Monday

John Quinlan

John Quinlan

Tuesday

Carousel Bayrd

Carousel Bayrd

Wednesday

Karma Chavez and Tim Hansel

Karma Chavez & Tim Hansel

Thursday

Allen Ruff

Allen Ruff

Friday

Esty Dinur

Esty Dinur

A Public Affair is WORT‘s daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

Join the conversation!

Listeners may call in and ask questions of the guests. Callers are asked to pose a question relevant to the subject at hand and refrain from calling more than once per week. You can join us on social media as well!

For booking questions

Please contact Molly Stentz at (608) 256-2001 or newsflash@wort-fm.org.

LISTEN TO RECENT EPISODES

‘Islam’ Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today

10/31/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Amitabh On Wednesday October 31st, John Quinlan subbing for Tonya Brito interviewed Amitabh Pal about his recent book, “‘Islam’ Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today.” Amitabh Pal is the editor of The Progressive magazine and co-editor of The Progressive Media Project. As part of his work with The Progressive, he has had the opportunity to speak with many brilliant minds including Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, and Joseph Stiglitz. His work has been used in school and college textbooks and he has appeared on the BBC, C-SPAN and on several radio stations. Pal holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in political science, specializing in international relations and comparative relations, from North Carolina State University. Pal will be featured at this year’s Wisconsin Book Festival (November 7-11). He will be speaking at the series “Being Muslim: Living and Learning,” on Wednesday November 7th in the Promenade Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts.  ”‘Islam’ Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today provides a rebuttal to general misperceptions about the religion by documenting its rich tradition of nonviolence. To that end, the book examines the sources of Islam—the Qur’an, the main religious text of Islam, and the Hadith, the deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. It contests the prevalent notion that Islam is built on violence in part by illuminating the role of the tolerant, mystical tradition of Sufism in Islam, while at the same time examining the misunderstood place of jihad in the religion. The book is not, however, a historical or theological treatise. Rather, it focuses on the tradition of nonviolence in modern Muslim societies. By spotlighting recent peaceful protest movements in Muslim communities, the book underscores the truly global and multicultural nature of the Islamic tradition of nonviolence. The findings here will be invaluable for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, revealing an alternative tradition both can embrace.” Read more about the book:  http://www.amazon.com/Islam-Means-Peace-Understanding-Nonviolence/dp/0313382905 Learn more about the Wisconsin Book Festival: http://www.wisconsinbookfestival.org/presenting-authors?author_id=1677 Listen to the entire show:

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“Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age”

10/30/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Digital Dead End On Tuesday October 30th, host Cynthia Lin spoke with Virginia Eubanks in the Studio about her new book, “Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age.” Virginia Eubanks was at the Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative on Tuesday, October 30th at 6 pm to promote the paperback release of her book, Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age, which comes out on October 19th. Digital Dead End exposes the realities of the high-tech global economy for women and families in the United States. “The idea that technology will pave the road to prosperity has been promoted through both boom and bust. Today we are told that universal broadband access, high-tech jobs, and cutting-edge science will pull us out of our current economic downturn and move us toward social and economic equality. In Digital Dead End, Virginia Eubanks argues that to believe this is to engage in a kind of magical thinking: a technological utopia will come about simply because we want it to. This vision of the miraculous power of high-tech development is driven by flawed assumptions about race, class, and gender. The realities of the information age are more complicated, particularly for poor and working-class women and families. For them, information technology can be both a tool of liberation and a means of oppression. But despite the inequities of the high-tech global economy, optimism and innovation flourished when Eubanks worked with a community of resourceful women living at her local YWCA. Eubanks describes a new approach to creating a broadly inclusive and empowering “technology for people,” popular technology, which entails shifting the focus from teaching technical skill to nurturing critical technological citizenship, building resources for learning, and fostering social movement.” – MIT Press Read more about “Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age:” http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Dead-End-Fighting-Information/dp/026201498X Listen to the entire program:

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The University of Wisconsin Human Resources Strategic Plan

10/29/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Bascom On Monday October 29th, host John Quinlan provided an alternate perspective to the University of Wisconsin Human Resources Strategic Plan. Having already aired programs addressing the concerns and critiques of different groups regarding the HR restructuring, John decided to go to the source and interview Bob LaVigna, Director of Human Resources at the UW-Madison, to better understand the reasons behind the changes being made. John also spoke with Mark Walters and Harry Webne-Behrman from the UW HR Department. The University of Wisconsin Interim Chancellor David Ward stated of the plan: The HR Design project represents an unprecedented effort involving OHR, campus governance groups, labor organizations and other university stakeholders to redefine the university’s approach to human resources. We recognize the project’s strong commitment to participation and dialogue as central to creating an HR system tailored to our values, culture and organization… Eleven groups of employees—representing governance groups, labor organizations, administration, classified staff, HR practitioners and other stakeholders—came together in spring semester 2012 to analyze the full range of human resources practices on our campus and to make recommendations for improvement. Their commitment and hard work, supported by the project’s Collaboration, Change Management, Communication and Data Analysis teams, formed the core of this plan. We thank them for their effort, positive spirit and courage in tackling complex and sometimes controversial topics. We also thank the thousands of people from all segments of our campus community who participated in the process and shared their perspectives. The opportunities and initiatives presented in the plan are ambitious and will require changes to our policies, processes, technology and, in some cases, our culture. Many details remain to be clarified, but this document provides a trajectory for improvement. We look forward to ongoing engagement with campus on these important topics. Although many at the University are optimistic about the new HR restructuring, many have significant concerns. During this hour of A Public Affair, callers were able to ask the head of the HR Department himself about the benefits and drawbacks of the changes being made. To view the new plan: http://hrdesign.wisc.edu/content/uploads/2012/11/HRD-Plan-Revised-11-19-2012-.pdf Listen to the entire program:

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The Wars of Watergate

10/26/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Kutler_Stanley_port11_8188 On Friday October 26th, host Esty Dinur interviewed author and historian Stanley Kutler about the reprinting of his book, “The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Nixon.” Kutler will be featured at this year’s Wisconsin Book Festival (November 7-11). He will be speaking at the series “American History In Brief and In-Depth” at 7:30 PM on Wednesday November 7th at the Overture Center for the Arts. Stanley Kutler is the E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is the editor of The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century American History, the historical advisor for the Emmy-winning television documentary Watergate, and the founding editor of Reviews in American History. Leonard Bushkoff of the Christian Science Monitor stated about this seminal work: “It is balance, breadth of vision, documentary research, historical context, and insight that Kutler provides—lucidly, gracefully, and far better than anyone before him. . . . This book should be regarded as the definitive reply to Nixon’s attempts at rehabilitation. . . . [It] is about ethics, ends and means, and the dangers of an imperial presidency. . . . The republic owes Kutler a reward. It need not be elaborate: Americans need only to read him—and take his book seriously.” Read more about “The Wars of Watergate:” http://books.wwnorton.com/books/978-0-393-30827-3/ Read more about the Wisconsin Book Festival: http://www.wisconsinbookfestival.org/bookcovers         Listen to the entire program:

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The Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding Americans’ Right to Vote

10/25/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

politics-of-voter-sup-198x300 On Thursday October 25th, Norm Stockwell subbing for Allen Ruff interviewed Tova Andrea Wang about her recent book, “The Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding Americans’ Right to Vote.” Wang is a renowned expert on election reform and political participation in the United States and around the world. She is a Fellow at The Century Foundation and a consultant to numerous organizations which promote democracy such as the National Democratic Institute and The Carter Center. “The Politics of Voter Suppression arrives in time to assess actual practices at the polls this fall and to reengage with debates about voter suppression tactics such as requiring specific forms of identification. Tova Andrea Wang examines the history of how U.S. election reforms have been manipulated for partisan advantage and establishes a new framework for analyzing current laws and policies. The tactics that have been employed to suppress voting in recent elections are not novel, she finds, but rather build upon the strategies used by a variety of actors going back nearly a century and a half. This continuity, along with the shift to a Republican domination of voter suppression efforts for the past fifty years, should inform what we think about reform policy today. Wang argues that activities that suppress voting are almost always illegitimate, while reforms that increase participation are nearly always legitimate. In short, use and abuse of election laws and policies to suppress votes has obvious detrimental impacts on democracy itself. Such activities are also harmful because of their direct impacts on actual election outcomes. Wang regards as beneficial any legal effort to increase the number of Americans involved in the electoral system. This includes efforts that are focused on improving voter turnout among certain populations typically regarded as supporting one party, as long as the methods and means for boosting participation are open to all. Wang identifies and describes a number of specific legitimate and positive reforms that will increase voter turnout.” -The Century Foundation Read more about Tova Wang and The Century Foundation: http://tcf.org/about/fellows/tova-andrea-wang Listen to the entire interview:

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City and County Budgets

10/24/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Brenda On Wednesday October 24th, host Brenda Konkel interviewed Alder Marsha A. Rummel and Sharon Corrigan, District 26 Supervisor and Personnel and Finance Committee Chair. Brenda and the guests discussed the City and County Budgets. This was Brenda’s last show as a permanent host of A Public Affair.       Read more about Alder Marsha A. Rummel: http://www.cityofmadison.com/council/district/?district=6 Read more about Sharon Corrigan, District 26 Supervisor: http://www.countyofdane.com/board/supervisor.aspx?district=26 Read more about the city of Madison Budget: http://www.cityofmadison.com/budgetProcess/about.cfm         Listen to the entire show:

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“Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are”

10/23/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Zoloft On Tuesday October 23rd, Anjuli Brekke, subbing for Cynthia Lin, spent the hour exploring the experience of taking antidepressants, medication which has greatly altered our generation’s perception of depression and mental illness. Her guest for the hour was Katherine Sharpe, author of the book “Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are.” She has a master’s degree in literature from Cornell University and her writings have appeared in the Washington Post, The Village Voice, Scientific American Mind, and a number of other publications. “When Katherine Sharpe arrived at her college health center with an age-old complaint—a bad case of homesickness—she received a thoroughly modern response: a twenty-minute appointment and a prescription for Zoloft—a drug she would take for the next ten years. Her story isn’t remarkable except for its staggering ubiquity. When Prozac was introduced in 1987, taking psychiatric medication was a fringe phenomenon. Twenty-five years later, 10 percent of Americans over the age of six use an SSRI antidepressant. Sharpe and her peers constitute the first generation to have literally grown up taking psychiatric drugs. In Coming of Age on Zoloft, Sharpe blends deeply personal writing, thoughtful interviews, and historical context to achieve an unprecedented portrait of the antidepressant generation. She explores questions of identity that arise for people who start using consciousness-altering medication before they have formed an adult sense of self. She asks why some individuals find a diagnosis of depression comforting, while others are threatened by it. She presents, in young people’s own words, their intimate and complicated relationships with their medication. And she weighs the cultural implications of America’s biomedical approach to moods.” – Harper Collins Publishers Read more about Katherine Sharpe’s book: http://www.katherinesharpe.com/coming-of-age-on-zoloft/ Listen to the entire interview:

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“The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine”

10/23/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

miko-peled-w-mic On Monday October 22nd, John Quinlan shared a compelling and thought-provoking conversation with Miko Peled, an Israeli peace activist and author of “The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.”   Son of an Israeli war hero general who was an outspoken proponent on behalf of peace and a Palestinian state following the 1967 war, Miko was challenged in his beliefs in 1997 when his 12-year-old niece was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber. The path of exploration and reconciliation he and family members took was a surprising one, filled with fascinating insights.   More on Miko Peled’s remarkable story at his website: http://mikopeled.com/ He will be speaking at the UW-Madison on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 pm, AT&T Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street. For more information, email rafahsistercity@yahoo.com or call 608-215-9157     Listen to the entire program:

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Plastic, A Toxic Love Story

10/22/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

plastic On Friday October 19th, host Esty Dinur spoke with author Susan Freinkel about her book, “Plastic, A Toxic Love Story.” Susan Freinkel is a science writer whose work has appeared in a variety of national publications including: Discover, Reader’s Digest, Smithsonian, The New York Times, OnEarth, Health, and Real Simple. “Plastic built the modern world. Where would we be without pacemakers, polyester, computers, cellphones, sneakers or chewing gum. (Plastic in gum? Yep!) But a century into our love affair with plastic, we’re starting to realize it’s not such a healthy one. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. And yet each year we use and consume more; we’ve produced as much plastic in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth century. We’re trapped in an unhealthy dependence – a toxic relationship. Journalist Susan Freinkel shows in this engaging and eye-opening book that we have reached a crisis point. Freinkel treks through history, science and the global economy to assess the real impact of plastic in our lives. She tells her story through eight familiar plastic objects: the comb, chair, Frisbee, IV bag, disposable lighter, grocery bag, soda bottle, and credit card. Each one illuminates a different facet of our synthetic world, and together they give us a new way of thinking about a substance that has become the defining medium—and metaphor—of our age. Freinkel’s conclusion? We cannot stay on our plastic-paved path. And we don’t have to. Plastic points the way toward a new creative partnership with the material we love to hate but can’t seem to live without.” -Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Read more about Susan Freinkel’s work: http://www.susanfreinkel.com/books_Plastic.html Listen to the entire program:

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Progressive Media

10/18/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

RothschildMatt On Thursday October 18th, host Allen Ruff spoke with editor of The Progressive Magazine Matthew Rothschild about the importance of keeping progressive media alive. Rothschild has appeared on Nightline, C-SPAN, The O’Reilly Factor, and NPR, and his newspaper commentaries have run in the Chicago Tribune, the L.A. Times, the Miami Herald, and a host of other newspapers. Rothschild is the host of “Progressive Radio,” a syndicated half-hour weekly interview program. Rothschild is the author of You Have No Rights: Stories of America in an Age of Repression (New Press, 2007). He also is the editor of Democracy in Print: The Best of The Progressive, 1909-2009 (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009).   Read more about The Progressive Magazine: http://www.progressive.org/list/mattrothschild Listen to the entire program:

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A Public Affair
A Public Affair
News & Culture
Weekdays @ Noon
John Quinlan, Carousel Bayrd, Tim Hansel, Karma Chavez, Allen Ruff, & Esty Dinur
A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

rev. 52M