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On Friday, November 16, host Jonathan Zarov speaks with Doug Bradley, author of DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle. Though this fictional work is not about the actual battlefield, it is based on Doug’s experiences in Vietnam, and deals with “the battle for the human soul.” Doug explains the acronym DEROS -Date Eligible for Return from Over Seas, something that was constantly in the minds of the men who were serving overseas, waiting to return home safely. The book provides a lengthy introduction that provides readers unfamiliar with the Vietnam War a background of the various aspects of the war, including the draft and lottery. Doug explains how he himself was drafted, and did not face many other options other than jail or moving to Canada, and ended up joining the military. He worked in an army information office. They speak about war journalism, and the significance and role the journalists played during the war. Doug says, “people forget about the extraordinary journalism that came out of that era. Every good journalist from that era….was pretty much in Vietnam or covered the Vietnam War.” Doug explains that he returned from Vietnam unharmed, and felt a great amount of guilt about those that did not return, or who returned with injuries. To deal with this, he worked to help other Vietnam vets, and decided that it would help to write about it. Inspired by Hemingway’s In Our Time, Doug’s book is a series of connected short stories that deal with the war experience. Doug also reads an excerpt from his book. Visit Doug Bradely’s official website. Listen to the full interview here:read article »
On Thursday November 15, host Tony Castaneda speaks with medicinal marijuana activist and spokesperson and chair of Is My Medicine Legal Yet (IMMLY), Mr. Gary Stork. He says that the election results from last week, regarding legalization of marijuana in states of Colorado and Washington, was a ‘huge victory’ for marijuana activists. Colorado now allows people to grow a total of 6 cannabis plants, in addition to possessing a legal ounce of marijuana; Washington also allows an ounce of marijuana. “We’re finally starting to see the Marijuana prohibition crumble after 75 years” comments Gary. Gary qualifies the difference between the medicinal use of marijuana and a law allowing general use: those with specific health conditions are exempt from the law prohibiting the use of marijuana, and are allowed to possess and even grow small amounts of it. Under a full legalization law, anyone over the age of 21 can access marijuana without needing a medical reason. They speak about initiatives across the nation, among various states, to begin legalizing the use of marijuana. He speaks specifically about Wisconsin as well, “We did a poll back in 2002, and we found that over 82% of people wanted the state legislature to pass the medical marijuana law. At that time we thought the lawmakers would see this poll and they would do it, but unfortunately they have different priorities…but eventually, marijuana legalization advocacy is going to affect [the legislators]…it’s affecting them right now. It might be a longer road here, but things are beginning to change very fast.” Gary explains that at the Wisconsin state-level, the second offense of any amount of cannabis is considered a felony. Gary explains the benefits of legalizing cannabis, that it would even improve the economy of Wisconsin. He has even referred to marijuana legalization as the “mother of all job creators.” He also explains the various uses the hemp plant can be put towards, including being a source of food, paper, building material, and even fuel. “It used to be a great crop for Wisconsin farmers, it helped us win WWII.” Hemp foods, Gary says, is an industry by itself. Is My Medicine Legal Yet is working with Representative Chris Taylor’s office who will now be handling the medical marijuana issue. Gary and activists from Madison NORML will also be working on revisions on the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. He also hopes to have the latest version of the medical marijuana bill in Wisconsin ….read article »
On Wednesday Nov 14, our host Jan Miyasaki spoke with Mary R. Morgan, author of Beginning with the End: A Memoir of Twin Loss and Healing. Mary is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in dealing with twin-less twins. Mary has her own personal experience in dealing with the loss of her twin brother. A member of the Rockefeller family – her father, Nelson A. Rockefeller, was the governor of New York – Mary led a sheltered and privileged life until she was 23, when her twin brother disappeared off the coast of New Guinea in 1961. Mary explains that she repressed her grieving, and went into a state of denial for a very long time, until she was finally able to begin her healing process. She began specifically working with twinless twins when she worked with a group of twins who had lost their twins during the Sept 11, 2001 attack of the World Trade Center. During group therapy with them, she observed the “atmosphere of twin-ship” in the room, and saw that the group had come together by this common bond. Listening to them share their stories, and being able to share her own with the group, Mary decided to begin writing a book about twin loss, which the group had asked her to do. “I had found through my own long healing journey, and through my work with them, that you can deal with deep personal loss. That there is a natural healing process that belongs to each one of us, but we have to partner with that process in order to move along that journey’s path.” Mary explains that the time spent in the womb plays an important role for what happens in one’s life later. In fraternal and identical twins, the pair grows in the womb and develops in relationship. Sonograms show that twins are reaching out to each other, in an attempt at contact, as early as 14 weeks. Says Mary “the developmental task of finding our own identity, which we each have to do, is more challenging for twins.” After being born, though they are ‘separated’ from the mother and no longer in the womb, the twins, psychologically, do not separate from each other. As a result, the strong bong that exists between both identical and fraternal twins makes for an especially difficult situation if one of the twins experiences the loss of the other. Beginning with the End is divided into four sections: Search, Denial, Healing, and Moving Forward. ….read article »
On Wednesday November 14, our host Jan Miyasaki interviewed Joshua Kors, investigative reporter for The Nation, covering military and veteran’s issues. He is the winner of the National Magazine Award, for his series on how military doctors purposely misdiagnose soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan with personality disorders in order to deny them medical care and disability pay. Military doctors are diagnosing soldiers with a “phony preexisting condition” called “personality disorder” explains Joshua. The condition is used to explain deafness, blindness, missing limbs, and by claiming this preexisting condition, the military is able to deny the soldiers “a lifetime of disability and medical benefits. And they’re been doing this to tens of thousands of soldiers, at a savings of over 17.2 billion dollars in disability and medical benefits.” Joshua explains that aside from being denied these benefits, the soldiers who have been discharged with personality disorder must give back a portion of their signing bonus, “so that right now, thousands of wounded soldiers leaving Afghanistan are finding out on their final day of uniform, that they actually owe the army several thousand dollars. And that has been a devastating blow for soldiers who are coming back, struggling to find work as it is, now find themselves in debt.” Sgt. Chuck Luther, who was discharged with personality disorder, now organizes an effort, Disposable Warriors, which helps other soldiers who have been wrongfully discharged by helping them get their benefits fixed. In honor of Veteran’s Day, Joshua has a new post on his blog with the Huffington Post, Six Ways to Honor Our Veterans. Joshua has also created a list of organizations that offer free assistance to veterans, including medical and psychological care. He explains that the number one way to honor Veterans is to distribute this list of resources to as many people as possible. Among his other suggestions, Joshua recommends Reporter David Wood’s Pulitzer-winning series on wounded warriors and James Dao’s coverage of suffering soldiers for the New York Times. He also recommends several movies that cover the topic of modern war and its aftermath on soldiers, including When I Came Home, Poster Girl, Restrepo, and Happy New Year. Visit Joshua’s website. Read Joshua’s 3-part series on the personality disorder scandal. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Tuesday November 13, our host Aaron Perry speaks with students from West High School’s Black Student Union. The Black Student Union was established in 2004, and provides a community for students that hold them accountable to grades, community services, and mentoring. There are mentors who come in to offer tutoring services to the students, and the students in turn do mentoring in elementary and middle schools. Sean Gray, who has been with the School District for ten years, is a coordinator of student engagement at West High School, and also head varsity assistant for the Basketball team and the defensive line and running back coach for the varsity football team. Layla, a senior, has been a member of BSU for four years. She heard about BSU from her sister and cousins, who explained “this is something that actually their lives, and how they looked at life in general.” She explains how being in BSU has changed her attitudes and priorities towards academic studies. Darrel, a junior, explains that prior to joining BSU, he was doing badly in school, “but once I got into the group…it created a very strong structure for my life, and created a big base to go forward and be successful.” They speak about the Soul Food Luncheon, held during Black History Month, an event the entire high school looks forward to. Apart from food, they have spoken word, music, readings about historical black people, and an opportunity for the school to come together. Another member, Jennifer, who is a junior, explains that they will be taking a trip to Florida later this year, where the will visit several universities. In the past, they have visited historically black colleges, “I would personally like to go because it’s giving me an opportunity as a darker skinned person to actually get the privileges that the majority might get. It shows me what I am capable to do. If you don’t show people that they can go to these HBCU or Ivy League colleges, well then they have nothing to shoot for. If you give them the opportunity and show them something, then they can strive for the best.” Sean explains the importance of giving the students an opportunity to see and tour the historical black colleges, “if some of our kids leave and go to these historical black colleges, most of them will come home…if they leave and they get that experience come home, then we have better leaders and communities ….read article »
On Tuesday Nov 13, our host Aaron Perry spoke with Gar Smith, author of Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth. Gar, an environmental activist and writer, has been an outspoken critic of nuclear energy since before writing the book. Listing the difficulty and risk involved with operating old reactors, and citing the incidence of nuclear reactor leaks as some of the dangers posed to humans and the environment, Gar stresses the importance of decommissioning the old reactors. He also explains that the climate change that is now a reality on our planet today is a factor that we must take into account now, because when many of these reactors were designed, the climate issues were not present, “we’re getting storm waves, surges, floods, hurricanes, massive wildfires…that were unprecedented by the people who designed these plants. The NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission]has also realized that the danger from earthquakes is triple what they believed it would be for the majority of the US plants.” Says Gar, The Scientific American had predicted, in 2000, the flooding of Manhattan due to storm surges in 2090; however, the reality is that it already happened, in 2012. “So we’re well ahead of the predicted scale of damage that we’re now having to face.” Gar explains that Hurricane Sandy actually knocked down three reactors, and the grave risk it poses to us. Gar says that there have been nearly 50 major nuclear disasters across the world, including Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and more. He says that the government and the agencies work together to both deny and cover up. “When the radiation level in schoolyards became too extreme [in Japan], the government’s response was to simply increase the permissible level of radiation exposure. When the Fukushima cloud passed over the US, Washington did the same thing; they changed the permissible amount of radiation.” Greenpeace discovered that radiation monitors that had been set up in Japan had actually been placed in areas that had been decontaminated, so it showed a lower level or radiation than there really was in the area itself. Russian engineer and Chernobyl survivor Natalia Mironova was reported as warning, “When there is a nuclear accident, run, run as fast as you can. Don’t believe the government; the government will lie to you.” Gar cites the different threats and dangers that we face from nuclear plants and their. He points to ….read article »
On Monday, November 12, our host Linda Jameson spoke with Madison poet and co-producer Norma Gay Prewett (Gay Davidson-Zielske) about her poetry and the process of writing poetry. She speaks about internal rhyming, the nuances of elements used in poetry, and the interaction of feeling with rhyming to produce poetry. Norma explains that when beginning with a poem, one must first start with emotions. “[Internal rhyming] is a muting effect in that you may place a word that has a general sound in close enough proximity so that your ear will remember it. Mood and tone is very influenced by word choice, by the gut feeling it can cause in you to choose the wrong word. So the best poems go for both, and they will work it so that they have both without distorting the meaning or the feeling.” Norma reads on-air several of her poems. Listen to the full interview here:read article »
On Friday Nov 9, in this special Wisconsin Book Festival edition, Jonathan Zarov speaks with Natalie and Dean Bakapoulos. The brother and sister team will be presenting, “Well, At Least We Can Write about It Someday” as part of the festival at A Room of One’s Own bookstore this Saturday from 6:30 – 7:45. Natalie, who teaches at the University of Michigan, is the author of The Green Shore, and Dean, who teaches at Grinnell College, is the author of My American Unhappiness. Their talk will be about the shared memories of their childhoods, the dynamics between them as authors. They explain that because both of their focuses are fiction, even though they would be drawing from the same stories and experiences, the way it would be expressed in their stories would take on very different forms. They will each read a short portion of their respective books, and will then move into a conversation session. Dean will also read from new material that has not been released as yet. Well, At Least We Can Write About It Someday Sat Nov 10, 6:30 – 7:45 A Room of One’s Own Bookstore Learn more about Natalie’s book at The Green Shore Facebook page Visit Dean Bakopoulos’ website Follow Dean on Twitter @deanbakapoulos and Facebook. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Friday Nov 9, as part of the special Wisconsin Book Festival edition, our host Jonathan Zarov speaks with Helen Boyd, author of She’s Not the Man I Married, Cameron Whitley, co-editor of Trans-Kin: A Guide for Family &Friends of Transgender People, and Miriam Hall, who has contributed an essay in Trans-Kin. They speak about trans issues in society- Cameron explains, “I do see that there’s going to be progression…we see a lot of other significant others, family members, friends and allies trying to come to terms with what it means to be in a relationship with a transgender person, and how they negotiate their identities. When we transition, we also have to remember that the people around us are also transitioning in a lot of different ways.” Helen Boyd speaks of the partner relationship, explaining that earlier there was no support network or guide available for partners of transgender people, but that recently, as more transgender people come out, there is greater awareness and support for the partner in the relationship as well. Helen says that she sees herself, and writes, as an emissary for Trans issues, “People felt more free to ask me questions that they wouldn’t necessarily want to ask my partner.” They discuss the role literature plays in helping the public relate and understand these issues better. Miriam explains what she tells her students, “find what’s really your experience, write from a deeply emotionally true place, and people will really relate. They won’t necessarily relate to the details in your life, but they’ll relate to the emotional resonance.” Today Helen and Miriam will be conducting a workshop, “Trans Kin: High School Friday Session” for high school students. The public is also free to attend. Fri, Nov 9 – 10:10 AM and 12:35 PM. Wisconsin Studio/ Overture Center Learn more at Trans-Kin.com Read more about this and other events on Jonathan Zarov’s Friday BuzzBin blog. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
In this special Wisconsin Book Festival edition of the Friday Nov 9, 8 O’Clock Buzz, Jonathan Zarov speaks with Davy and Peter Rothbart, of Found Magazine. Davy Rothbart is the author of My Heart is an Idiot, and, together with brother Peter Rothbart, he will be sharing stories from the essays and Lost Magazine at the festival. Davy and Peter are celebrating the tenth anniversary of Found Magazine, “Found magazine…is a collection of notes, letters, anything that people have found. Whether they’re love notes, a list, a journal entry, post it notes…we put it together into Found magazine…each note is a fragment of a story, and it’s up to you to fill in the blanks…” The condition of the notes also play a huge role in the story of the note, they explain. They also share some of their favorite pieces from the magazine on-air. My Heart is an Idiot is a collection of essays that chronicle 16 different true-life stories from Davy’s own life, including the mishaps of various relationships, people met on the road, and more. Davy will share some of his favorite finds from the magazine and read a few stories from his book at the Overture Center tonight at 9 PM. Peter will perform songs based on the stories they have found, and Jonathan Zarov will be introducing them at the event. Davy mentions one of the stories, “How I got these boots” that he will share at the event, which involves him picking up a seventy year old hitchhiker while on his way to the Grand Canyon. The life-long dream of the stranger, who had hitchhiked his way all the way from Boston, was to see the Grand Canyon. Comments Davy, “When I engage with strangers, I’m always rewarded.” My Heart is an Idiot: Found Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Tour Friday Nov9 @ 9PM Capitol Theater, Overture Center Visit Wisconsin Book Festival for full details on all events. Learn more about Found Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Tour. Read more about this and other events on Jonathan Zarov’s Friday BuzzBin blog. Listen to the interview here:read article »