A Public Affair


John Quinlan

John Quinlan


Carousel Bayrd

Carousel Bayrd


Karma Chavez and Tim Hansel

Karma Chavez & Tim Hansel


Allen Ruff

Allen Ruff


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.


Information About Election Day and Take Back the Land-Madison

08/14/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Homeless On Tuesday August 14, Cynthia Lin discussed important voter information with Gail Bliss from the League of Women Voters. Today is election day and voters across the state will head to the polls to decide candidates in races for the state Assembly, Congress and the state Senate. On the second half of the show, Cynthia talked with Alix Shabazz and Nathaniel Abrams from Take Back the Land- Madison . The organization started as a group of homeless individuals who had fallen through the cracks of the shelter system and formed a community who decided to fight for the ideal that housing is a human right for everyone. The principles and objectives of the group are as follows: “The Take Back the Land Movement is rooted in the following principles: Housing is a human right; Local community control over land and housing; Leadership by impacted communities, particularly low income women of color; Positive Action (direct action) oriented campaigns. The overarching objective of the Take Back the Land Movement correlate significantly with our principles:       Fundamentally transform land relationships; Elevate housing to the level of a human right; Community control over land and housing; Empower impacted communities, particularly low income communities of color.” Read more about the League of Women Voters: http://www.lwvwi.org/ Read more about Take Back the Land- Madison: http://tblmadison.wordpress.com/ Listen to the entire program:

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White Power Music and Hate Crimes

08/13/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Turn it Down On Monday August 13th, JoAnne Thrax subbing for Norm Stockwell talked with Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Aaron Flanagan of the Center for New Community. They discussed their “Turn it Down” campaign against white power music in the wake of the Massacre at a Sikh temple here in Wisconsin. The shooter, Wade Michael Page, was a member of the white power music scene. “Turn It Down is youth, bands, parents, teachers, and friends in the record industry speaking out, standing up, and turning down the sounds of hate. Thousands of young people and hundreds of bands, record labels, distributors, pressing facilities, and booking agents have joined to work against the spread of hatred. White power music has become the most significant recruiting tool for organized bigots across the globe. It has succeeded in infiltrating numerous youth subcultures, transforming healthy youth rebellion into hardcore white supremacy. The Turn It Down Campaign seeks not to demonize youth culture, but to create a culture that is immune to the hatred and violence that white power music represents by teaming with young people, parents and teachers, and the record industry.” -Turn It Down To read more about Turn it Down: http://turnitdown.newcomm.org/ Listen to the entire program:

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08/10/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

On Friday August 10th, Esty Dinur interviewed author and Harper’s contributing editor Garret Keizer about his new book “Privacy.” They discussed the challenges of maintaining personal privacy in an age of ever increasing and invasive technology. “Body scans at the airport, candid pics on Facebook, a Twitter account for your stray thoughts, and a surveillance camera on every street corner — today we have an audience for all of the extraordinary and banal events of our lives. The threshold between privacy and exposure becomes more permeable by the minute. But what happens to our private selves when we cannot escape scrutiny, and to our public personas when they pass from our control? In this wide-ranging, penetrating addition to the Big Ideas//Small Books series, and in his own unmistakable voice, Garret Keizer considers the moral dimensions of privacy in relation to issues of social justice, economic inequality, and the increasing commoditization of the global marketplace. Though acutely aware of the digital threat to privacy rights, Keizer refuses to see privacy in purely technological terms or as an essentially legalistic value. Instead, he locates privacy in the human capacity for resistance and in the sustainable society ‘with liberty and justice for all.’” -Picador Publishers To learn more about Garret Keizer: http://garretkeizer.com/

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“Capitalism Hits the Fan”

08/9/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

On Thursday August 9, Allen Ruff spoke with Marxist economist Richard Wolff, the author of “Capitalism Hits the Fan” whom some of you may have recently seen on Charlie Rose’s PBS program alongside David Harvey. They discussed the current economic crisis and related matters. “Capitalism Hits the Fan chronicles one economist’s growing alarm and insights as he watched, from 2005 onwards, the economic crisis build, burst, and then dominate world events. The argument here differs sharply from most other explanations offered by politicians, media commentators, and other academics. Step by step, Professor Wolff shows that deep economic structures—the relationship of wages to profits, of workers to boards of directors, and of debts to income—account for the crisis. The great change in the US economy since the 1970s, as employers stopped the historic rise in US workers’ real wages, set in motion the events that eventually broke the world economy. The crisis resulted from the post-1970s profit explosion, the debt-driven finance-industry expansion, and the sequential stock market and real estate booms and busts. Bailout interventions by the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury have thrown too little money too late at a problem that requires more than money to solve. As this book shows, we must now ask basic questions about capitalism as a system that has now convulsed the world economy into two great depressions in 75 years (and countless lesser crises, recession, and cycles in between). The book’s essays engage the long-overdue public discussion about basic structural changes and systemic alternatives needed not only to fix today’s broken economy but to prevent future crises.” -Haymarket Books To read more about Richard Wolff: http://rdwolff.com/

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Madison’s Sikh Community Responds to Sikh Temple Massacre

08/8/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

On Wednesday August 8th, Members of greater Madison’s Sikh community joined guest host John Quinlan on “A Public Affair.” The panel discussed the Sikh religion and culture and the nature of Sikh-American’s experiences here, both in the US and in the Madison area. They also responded to the Sikh temple massacre near Milwaukee and the subsequent vigil at the Sikh Temple in Middleton. To learn more about the Vigil in Middleton: http://host.madison.com/news/local/sikhs-community-gather-for-prayer-vigil-in-middleton/article_3918b29a-e10b-11e1-8f7d-0019bb2963f4.html?comment_form=true The panel consisted of: Back row starting from left: Channi Sekhon, Navdeep Bamrah, Randee Talwar, Ivraj Seerha,Arjun Dhillon, Harpreet Gill and John Quinlan Front Row from left: Simran Seerha, Jagpreet Sekhon, Simran Sandhu, Balvir Sandhu and Jaskiran Sandhu.

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Model Minority Myth

08/7/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

On Tuesday August 7th, Cynthia Lin interviewed Nicholas Hartlep, a critical race theory scholar from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. Hartlep discussed a critique he wrote regarding Rosalind S. Chou and Joe R. Feagin’s book The Myth of the Model Minority. Hartlep writes, “The book is a searing and scathing indictment of how “racial framing” impacts the lives of Asian Americans and how it leaves them vulnerable in myriad ways. The book invokes a mental map, an image of how Asian Americans truly feel and experience the world. This book helps us all to move forward; if we understand the role that “racial framing” plays in perpetuating the model minority stereotype—which serves to marginalize the experiences of Asian Americans—and the maintenance of white privilege, then surely disruption of racial framing is an appropriate way to dismantle the racism that Asian Americans face. This book, through its focus on racial framing, helps readers to better understand the duality of the model minority stereotype—successful opposed to unsuccessful—and how it causes pain and social misery for Asian Americans.” Lin and Hartlep discussed in depth the implications of the model minority myth and what it means for Asians and Asian Americans in the USA. To read Nicholas Hartlep’s critique of The Myth of the Model Minority: http://education.missouristate.edu/assets/ele/Modelminorityfinal.pdf

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AVID/TOPS and Youth Governance Program of Dane County

08/6/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

On Monday August 6th, WORT summer Intern Jalika Ceesay got the chance to sit behind the microphone and interview her teachers and supervisors involved with the AVID/TOPS program at East High School and the Dane County Youth Governance Program. She had the opportunity to interview her coordinators as well as share her own experiences in these valuable programs. She spoke with Langston Evans , AVID/TOPS Student Coordinator, her AVID/TOPS math teacher at East High School Steven K Somerson and Karissa Propson, Youth Governance Program of Dane County Facilitator. “The AVID/TOPS program is a collaborative effort among a variety of dedicated members of the community. In addition to the TOPS Staff, the AVID Coordinators, and the AVID Elective Teachers, each Madison high school has an AVID/TOPS site team. The site team is made up of teachers, administrators, counselors, that school’s TOPS Student Coordinator, and other school faculty. This group works together to thoroughly develop and support the program at their site, ensure students have access to a rigorous curriculum, and analyze methods to improve student achievement.” -AVID/TOPS “The purpose of the Dane County Youth Governance Program is to offer greater opportunities for youth leadership, development, and empowerment in Dane County through direct participation in county government decision-making; to provide real-life learning opportunities for youth in the functioning of local government; and to bring a direct youth voice to community issues and concerns while fostering the development of confident, capable, and independent leaders for the next generation.” -Youth Governance Program Dane County To learn more about the AVID/TOPS program: http://www.avidtops.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69&Itemid=84 To learn more about the Youth Governance Program of Dane County: http://fyi.uwex.edu/youthgovernanceprogram/

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The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era

08/3/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

On Friday August 3rd, Esty Dinur talked with Shawn F. Peters about his recent book “The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era.” “On May 17th, 1968, a group of Catholic antiwar activists burst into a draft board in suburban Baltimore, stole hundreds of Selective Service records (which they called “death certificates”), and burned the documents in a fire fueled by homemade napalm. The bold actions of the ”Catonsville Nine” quickly became international news and captured headlines throughout the summer and fall of 1968 when the activists, defended by radical attorney William Kunstler, were tried in federal court. In The Catonsville Nine, Shawn Francis Peters, a Catonsville native, offers the first comprehensive account of this key event in the history of 1960′s protest. While thousands of supporters thronged the streets outside the courthouse, the Catonsville Nine–whose ranks included activist priests Philip and Daniel Berrigan–delivered passionate indictments of the war in Vietnam and the brutality of American foreign policy. The proceedings reached a stirring climax, as the nine activists led the entire courtroom (the judge and federal prosecutors included) in the Lord’s Prayer. Peters gives readers vivid, blow-by-blow accounts of the draft raid, the trial, and the ensuing manhunt for the Berrigans, George Mische, and Mary Moylan, who went underground rather than report to prison. He also examines the impact of Daniel Berrigan’s play, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, and the larger influence of this remarkable act of civil disobedience. More than 40 years after they stormed the draft board, the Catonsville Nine are still invoked by both secular and religious opponents of militarism. Based on a wealth of sources, including archival documents, the activists’ previously unreleased FBI files, and a variety of eyewitness accounts, The Catonsville Nine tells a story as relevant and instructive today as it was in 1968.” -Oxford University Press To read more about Shawn F. Peters: http://humanist.madisonwi.us/bio080713_.htm

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Interview with Professor Dick Krooth

08/2/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

On Thursday August 2nd, Allen Ruff interviewed Dick Krooth, a visiting Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz in sociology and environmental science. With his co-authors he received the 1994 Outstanding Book Award for Human Rights in North America from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America. Listings of his bibliographical background are found in: Who’s Who in America, West, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American Education, Outstanding Writers of the 20th Century, Intellectuals of the 20th Century, Outstanding People of the 20th Century, Dictionary of International Biography, Contemporary Authors, and the Gustavus Myers Center.

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Oil Spill in Adams County

07/31/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

On Tuesday July 31st, JoAnne Thrax (subbing for Cynthia Lin) interviewed Beth Wallace, Community Outreach Regional Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) about the recent oil spill in Adams County, WI. ‘A federal agency issued Tuesday a corrective action order against Enbridge Energy that prohibits the Houston-based company from operating the 470-mile pipeline until it submits a restart plan and it is approved. The order, from the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, came after the pipeline ruptured Friday in rural Adams County and spilled 1,200 barrels of oil into a farm field. “Pipelines operate safely across the country every single day. That’s why accidents, like the one in Wisconsin, are absolutely unacceptable,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.” -Wisconsin State Journal To read the entire article: http://host.madison.com/news/local/environment/feds-block-pipeline-re-opening-after-wisconsin-oil-spill/article_cb5fbcf6-db3a-11e1-a1e9-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz22PbO97r7

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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.

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