*Peaches Lacey hosts the last Wednesday of every month.
Follow the BUZZ on Facebook!
On Tuesday, Nov 20 host Aaron Perry speaks with economist Robert Pollin, author of Back to Full Employment. Robert, who has been an economics professor for thirty years, has been part of several policy initiatives, working with the Obama administration on the green jobs part of the stimulus program. Robert explains what the country must do in order to strive towards full employment, “[Full employment] has to be the first priority. Unfortunately now, the debate in Washington is focused around what I consider to be a second order problem, which is the fiscal deficit to government borrowing more money than it takes in tax revenues. That problem will mainly go away if we get the economy back to full employment. We have to first focus on job creation, and then when people have jobs, they have more incomes, so they pay more income tax, they spend more, and they have more sales tax. So you get your revenue up by pushing the economy towards full employment. The first place we have to start is to recognize that full employment has to be the central issue.” Aaron asks Robert to speak about a different theory posed by economists, which says that a small amount of unemployment is necessary to keep inflation in check. Robert says, “Inflation is in check. We have no inflation in the economy. If we were to get unemployment rates down to below 3%, maybe then it would be an issue. We are far, far from having that problem right now.” He also speaks about collective bargaining as a basic human right. He advocates for more collective bargaining, stronger unions, and says that this will be a key component in pushing the economy towards further employment. He also advocates for green jobs, explaining that it will be a great source of job creation, “it doesn’t mean that coal miners won’t get laid off. Coal miners will get laid off, and we need to protect their well being and their communities at the same time that we build a green economy.” “The main thing we can do as citizens is to elect our political leaders and put pressure on them to make sure this is a primary concern, and not to buy into the notion that we have to face austerity – that we have to see our public sector cut back, that we can’t afford public schools, unionized workers, a decent health care system and social security. All of those things ….read article »
On Tuesday, Nov 20 our host Aaron Perry speaks with Kim Sponem, CEO and President of Summit Credit Union, to speak about the Project Money program. Launched in 2009, the program has had 16 family participants so far. Each year, four contestants are selected to compete for $10,000, and the remaining three receive $2,500. The contestants work with coaches provided by Summit Credit Union, to increase savings and decrease their debts. They also blog about their experiences, providing personal testimony and tips for saving money and reducing debt. “We want the community and our other members to learn from their experiences as they are going all. In addition to these 16 families we have had thousands of followers of these families over the years,” Kim explains. Kim reports that this year’s participants have already increased their savings by $25,000 and decreased their debts by $33,000. Participants have praised the program, saying that they feel a much stronger control over their finances. Some participants have even said that it has helped with their family communication, since financial issues can create a large strain on families and marriages. The participants also develop strong connections with the coaches, who play an important role in helping them take charge of their finances. Kim says that the upcoming holiday season can pose a challenge for people trying to save or stay on track, “through all the higher unemployment people have experienced, I think we are seeing people be more cautious.” She recommends that everyone have an emergency fund, of at least $500, although the amount needed will vary based on each person’s needs and lifestyle. “$500 in a savings account, it has been shown, is enough for those unexpected surprises to prevent people from going to payday lenders, for example, and pay really high interest rates on those types of loans.” Kim says that the need for better money management or saving transcends specific income levels, “You can be a high earning individual or family, and at the end of the month, not have anything saved. We work with people wherever they are.” Visit summitcreditunion.com for more information. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
Madison poet Norma Gay Prewett reads her poetry on the 8 O’Clock Buzz with host Linda Jameson on Monday, November 19. She reads from her poetry series inspired from yoga, “Poems for the Poses.” She reads her poems Doing the Down Dog, The Cobra, and The Jack Knife. She also recommends a book, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. Norma has also written a series of poems inspired from this book, and reads some on air. Norma and Linda also speak about everyday life and narratives. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Friday November 16, host Jonathan Zarov speaks with Vanessa Tortolano and Alla Shapiro, creators of NessAlla. They explain the Kombucha drink, a fermented tea containing probiotics, vitamins B and C, anti-oxidants, and helpa the body to detoxify. Alla, who grew up in Russia, discovered in the U.S. that her family had been making Kombucha at home in Russia for generations. Sharing a common interest in herbs, the women came together to help the community take control of their health, holding classes and educating people about the health benefits of Kombucha. “The first couple of years we did a lot of education…a lot of talking, not as much selling. So we really made sure people know what it was, what it does for you.” They first began selling Kombucha at the Farmer’s Market in Madison, “It basically spread through word of mouth, and the awesome support of our Madison community.” They have recently expanded to a new space in Madison, a large 7000 sq ft warehouse near the Labor Temple on South Park Street. NessAlla now has stores in five states so far, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Visit nessalla.com Read more about Kombucha here. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Friday November 16, host Jonathan Zarov brings the Tech Report with Sandee Seiberlich, discussing tools to assist with Project Management. Sandee recommends that before purchasing anything, one should first evaluate the project itself, and determine what is needed from the tool, “are you going to be just using it as a planning tool? Keeping a task list? Sharing or collaborating on documents?” She also suggests considering whether the product is to be primarily run on the computer itself, or be web-based. Also, she recommends searching for a companion application for a smart phone or other devices. Sandee provides a review of Microsoft Project: she says that though it can manage resources and time, it is not meant to be a collaborative tool and that it is not Mac friendly. It is not necessarily intended for small projects either; rather, it is directed towards medium to large projects. Basecamp, Sandee says, is a relatively good tool for managing several projects. Sandee explains that she herself uses a Wiki, which she says is a good collaborative tool. “That way I can bring in my Microsoft project Gantt chart, construction drawings, pictures.” She also mentions Google Drive, “it’s a great tool, but not everyone has the same success level with it.” The following articles provide a list of recommended project management tools: Free Project Collaboration Tools That Rock (from Tech Republic) 30 Greatest Online Project Management and Collaborative Tools for Easy Communication (from Web Design) Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
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 »