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.


The National Political Scene

08/22/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

RothschildMatt On Wednesday August 22nd, John Quinlan subbing for Mike Moon interviewed Matt Rothschild about the national political scene, including the Ryan story and the upcoming conventions. They also discussed what Rothschild calls “The Third-Party Dilemma.” Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine and 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 many other newspapers. Rothschild, writing about the upcoming presidential elections, stated: “The problem, though, is not so much with the accuracy of the critiques of the Democrats as with the efficacy of the third-party strategy at the Presidential level.” To what extend should progressives who are dissatisfied with Obama choose to vote for a candidate who more closely reflects their views when not voting for Obama could put a conservative in the White House?   To read recent articles by Matt Rothschild: http://www.progressive.org/third-party-dilemma To listen to the entire interview:  

read article »

Caravan for Peace and Critical Resistance

08/21/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

mexican flag On Tuesday August 21st, Karma Chavez subbing for Cynthia Lin interviewed poet, essayist, novelist, and journalist in Mexico Javier Sicilia about drug policy and the Caravan for Peace. Karma also spoke with Treva Ellison of the Oakland-based group Critical Resistance. Critical Resistance seeks “to build an international movement to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.” “A Trans-border Caravan for Peace and Justice with the Poet and Peace Leader Javier Sicilia More than 60,000 people have been killed in drug violence in Mexico in the last few years. 10,000 people have been disappeared and over 160,000 displaced. Global Exchange and Mexico’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) led by Javier Sicilia have made “End the Drug War- No More Violence” campaign a priority in 2012. Starting in August, a high profile caravan will cross the US starting in San Diego/Los Angeles, heading east along the US-Mexico border and then up to Chicago, New York and DC. Sicilia’s son, Juan Francisco was murdered along with six friends on a fateful night in March of 2011. He has since become an inspirational voice for peace, justice and reform– drawing huge crowds throughout Mexico. He comes north this summer with a call for change in the bi-national policies that have inflamed a six-year Drug War, super-empowered organized crime, corrupted Mexico’s vulnerable democracy, claimed lives and devastated human rights on both sides of the border. 2012 offers a uniquely fertile moment to internationalize the struggle for peace in Mexico. Latin American elite opinion is shifting rapidly on the question of ending drug prohibition. This call for reform has not yet echoed in the United States. The Caravan represents an unprecedented effort by Mexican civil society to impact U.S. thinking and policy.” -Caravan for Peace To read more about Caravan for Peace: http://www.caravanforpeace.org/caravan/?page_id=753 To read more about Critical Resistance: http://criticalresistance.org/ To listen to the entire interview:      

read article »

Occupy Madison

08/20/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Occupy Madison On Monday August 20th, Brenda Konkel spoke with members of Madison’s Occupy movement about the past and future of the downtrodden in Wisconsin and the Nation. She spoke with Bruce Wallbaum, Trina Clemente, Luca Clemente and Dan Callahan. “Something is very wrong with the system in which we live. Programs designed to feed and educate children are having their budgets slashed, families are being thrown out of their homes and the jobs of hard-working people are cut due to no real fault of their own while the wealthiest 1% are bailed out, make record profits and our people are being sent overseas to fight and die for the protection of this system. We find it unacceptable that the top 1% who caused the hardships we all face flourishes while the 99% suffers in the economic crisis created by the 1%. We are Wisconsin, we are the 99% and these are our demands: 1. A fair and just economic system that benefits all humanity not solely the 1%, including but not limited to substantial tax increases on the 1% to fully fund the needs of the 99% such as job creation, education and social services. 2. End the wars and redirect military spending to social programs. 3. Real democracy that allows the voices of the 99% to heard and acted upon. 4. An end to the assault of the top 1% on workers’ rights and repeal of all anti-union laws. 5. The end of institutionalized racism, sexism, homophobia and attacks on immigrants. 6. Protection of the environment, a sustainable economy and an end to reckless pollution in order to preserve the planet for future generations.” To read more about Occupy Madison: http://occupy-madison.org/?page_id=594 To listen to the entire interview:  

read article »

The Rights of Immigrants and Minorities

08/17/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Arizona Es Nuestra On Friday August 17th, Karma Chavez subbing for Esty Dinur spoke with Isabel Garcia, the Pima County Arizona Legal Defender and also co-president of the Tucson-based Coalicion de Derechos Humanos. She has been a fierce fighter for the rights of immigrants and people of color, as well as against border militarization. She has sparred on national TV with Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. In light of recent events in Wisconsin, which are intimately connected with the xenophobia, nativism and racism that Arizona has experienced more harshly than anyone, looking more in-depth at the struggles and marginalization of minorities along the boarder is an extremely important issue.                             “Coalición de Derechos Humanos (“The Human Rights Coalition”) is a grassroots organization which promotes respect for human/civil rights and fights the militarization of the Southern Border region, discrimination, and human rights abuses by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials affecting U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike. Our goals include: •Strengthening the capacity of the border & urban communities to exercise their rights and participate in public policy decisions. •Increasing public awareness of the magnitude of human rights abuses, deaths and assaults at the border resulting from U.S. policy. •Seeking changes in government policies that result in human suffering because of the militarization of the U.S. border region.” -Coalición de Derechos Humanos To learn more about Coalición de Derechos Humanos: http://www.derechoshumanosaz.net/  

read article »

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

08/16/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

freedompalestine On Thursday August 16th, Allen Ruff talked with Ali Hasan Abunimah about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Ali Hasan Abunimah is a Palestinian American journalist and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, a non-profit independent online publication.     “The Electronic Intifada is an independent online news publication and educational resource focusing on Palestine, its people, politics, culture and place in the world. Founded in 2001, The Electronic Intifada has won awards and earned widespread recognition for publishing original, high-quality news and analysis, and first-person accounts and reviews. The Electronic Intifada’s writers and reporters include Palestinians and others living inside Palestine and everywhere else that news about Palestine and Palestinians is made.” -The Electronic Intifada     To check out the Electronic Intifada: http://electronicintifada.net/ To listen to the show in its entirety:

read article »

The New Religious Intolerance

08/15/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

The New Religious Intolerance On Wednesday August 15th, Anjuli Brekke subbing today for Tonya Brito discussed the resurgence of religious intolerance in the United States and Europe and the fear which incites it. She talked with Martha Nussbaum, professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago.   In her latest book “The New Religious Intolerance, Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age,” Nussbaum writes: “Today, at least, we know what good political principles look like in the area of religious respect and human equality. In the United States and in a much more uneven way in Europe, such principles are even recognized in law and guide public life. They remain fragile, however, in times of fear. Like railroad tracks they guide the train well until some disaster causes it to go off the tracks. And today we see all too many cases in which panic is causing derailment (244).” The implications of the fear Nussbaum discusses are apparent in the post 9/11 resurgence of right-wing extremist groups and the targeting of Muslim-Americans and religious minorities as exemplified by the recent massacre at a Sikh temple here in Wisconsin. Anjuli and Professor Nussbaum discussed the importance of understanding this fear in order to critically examine one’s own prejudices and inconsistencies.     To read more about “The New Religious Intolerance, Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age” click below: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674065901 Listen to the entire interview here:

read article »

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:

read article »

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:

read article »


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/

read article »

“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/

read article »
Page 44 of 49« First...102030...4243444546...Last »
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