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!

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


Year-in-Review Special

12/27/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

RothschildMatt On Thursday December 17th, host Allen Ruff spoke with Matt Rothschild, editor of the Progressive Magazine, about the major events of 2012. Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine, which is one of the leading voices for peace and social justice in this country. 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. And he does a two-minute daily radio commentary, entitled “Progressive Point of View,” which is also syndicated around the country. 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/ Listen to the entire interview:

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Christmas Vinyl with Mom and Dad

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

Christmas Vinyl On this Christmas edition of A Public Affair, Stacy Harbaugh (subbing for Cynthia Lin) played some Christmas vinyl with her mother and father and discussed holiday traditions.

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Solstice and Spirituality

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

Jojopah On Friday December 21st, Esty Dinur spoke with JoJoPah Maria Nsoroma, a human services professional and healer, about solstice and spirituality. Nsoroma has said about herself, “I am an accomplished human and organizational development specialist. I am also a shamanic healer and teacher of spirituality and higher consciousness learning. As a consultant, I focus my gifts and talents on the evolution of human consciousness, in particularly among human service professionals. I’m also dedicated to the evolution of interpersonal landscapes within families, communities, and organizations. For about 20 years I was fortunate to work extensively with economically and socially challenged children, youth, families, communities, and organizations, through a wide variety of job situations. I have worked on the frontlines of grass roots efforts as well as administered national program interventions. During the past 15 years, I have been blessed to be able to fully embrace my spiritual calling and to learn how to integrate my spiritual beliefs and practices into all facets of my life and my work. My purpose in life is to continuously learn how to keep myself full of faith and wholeness, and to share that wisdom with others.” Follow Nsoroma’s blog: http://nsoromahome.blogspot.com/ Listen to the entire interview:

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Gun Control in America

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

gun-control On Thursday December 20th, host Allen Ruff spoke with Journalist/blogster Mark Ames, author of “From ‘Operation Wetback’ To Newtown: Tracing The Hick Fascism Of The NRA.” Ames wrote in his piece, ” …Until now, I have largely avoided getting dragged down into the gun control debate, in part because gun proliferation doesn’t explain why “going postal” first exploded into the culture in the late 1980s, and has worked its way into the American DNA ever since. Gun control or lack thereof doesn’t explain why these kinds of rampage shootings only appeared in the late Reagan era and spread ever since then. And there must have been my own personal prejudices too — I grew up with guns, and despite a couple of bad episodes involving guns and a drunken violent stepfather, I have a reflexive contempt for people who haven’t gone shooting and tell you that gun control laws are the answer. Well, guess what? Their knee-jerk solution is more right than mine….” Read “From ‘Operation Wetback’ To Newtown: Tracing The Hick Fascism Of The NRA:” https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/newtown   Listen to the entire interview:

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“Undocumented vs. Illegal: A Distinction without a Difference”

12/19/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

YasminNair Host Karma Chavez interviewed commentator Yasmin Nair about her piece, “Undocumented vs. Illegal: A Distinction without a Difference.” Yasmin Nair is an academic, activist and commentator who lives in Chicago. She has contributed to various anthologies, including “Arab Studies Quarterly”, “Captive Genders: trans-embodiment and the prison-industrial complex”, and “Windy City Queer: LGBTQ dispatches from the third coast”. She argues that “In representing only the good immigrants, undocumented activists are literally and metaphorically the dream activists of neoliberalism, emphasizing individualized narratives about freedom over systemic critique.” She wrote in the piece, “Given the toxic recent history of the term “illegal alien” and its association with an extreme right-wing perspective on immigration, it is only natural that liberal and progressive activists should want a change in terminology. Yet, this desired change is meaningless. To use “undocumented” instead of “illegal” is to evoke a distinction without a difference. The use of “undocumented” presumes that the only problem facing those who bear the name is a collective lack of documents, that the granting of papers by the State is all that is required to bestow safety and legality upon millions who are here without said papers, and that the biggest problem with the immigration crisis is the terminology we use to describe those who are neither citizens nor temporary residents. In all of this, there is no critique of the larger systemic problems with immigration.” Read Nair’s entire piece: http://www.yasminnair.net/content/undocumented-vs-illegal-distinction-without-difference Listen to the entire interview:

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YWCA Restorative Justice Program

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

ywca-logo-300x168 On Tuesday December 18th, host Cynthia Lin interviewed a panel of guests regarding the YWCA’s Restorative Justice Program. She spoke with Restorative Justice Program Manager Ananda Mirilli, Eugenia Highland and Danielle Bailey. According to Madison’s YWCA website, “Restorative justice is a theory or set of beliefs that informs how communities can resolve problems that have caused harm or damaged relationships. Restorative justice prioritizes accountability and community healing over punishment, shifting the focus from what rules were broken and what punishment is deserved to what harm was done and what needs to be done to repair the harm.” The YWCA employs restorative justice “as a strategy to address the School-to-Prison Pipeline. The School-to-Prison Pipeline is a process by which students are removed from the school for disciplinary infractions. These students are often put on a path to the criminal justice system. The racial disparities in school discipline directly correlate with the racial disparities in the criminal justice system. We use restorative justice to provide alternative discipline models in schools to keep students in school and out of the justice system.” Read more about the YWCA’s Restorative Justice Program: http://www.ywcamadison.org/site/c.cuIWLiO0JqI8E/b.7968327/k.F427/Restorative_Justice.htm Listen to the whole interview:

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Domo Geshe Rinpoche on Buddhist Philosophy

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

Rinpoche On Friday December 14th, host Esty Dinur interviewed Domo Geshe Rinpoche about Buddhist Philosophy. She is a Tibetan Buddhism teacher and founder and spiritual guider at White Conch Dharma Center. According to the White Conch Dharma Center website, “Domo Geshe Rinpoche is a reincarnate Lama of the Geluk tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Domo Geshe Rinpoche lineage includes Je Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and the great Geshe Jampa Chombe. As a reincarnate, Rinpoche has accomplished extensive training and retreats in the traditional manner. Rinpoche’s current incarnation has been teaching in the United States for a number of years, held numerous retreats and given other spiritual training from the Geluk and tantric lineage.” Read more about Domo Geshe Rinpoche: http://www.white-conch.org/Domo-Geshe-Rinpoche.html Listen to the entire interview:

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UW-Madison’s “Human Resources Design” (HR Design)

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

Bucky Badger logo On Thursday December 13th, host Allen Ruff took a look at the University of Wisconsin Human Resources restructuring. He spoke with Lenora Hanson and Eleni Schirmer, members of the Teaching Assistant’s Association at UW-Madison and David Ahrens, a retired UW researcher and member of the Wisconsin University Union. 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 also have serious reservations as to how the changes will impact the University community. Ahrens, Hanson and Schirmer discussed these important issues regarding the future of UW-Madison. Read more about the plan: http://host.madison.com/news/local/education/university/university-of-wisconsin-madison-unveils-plan-for-sweeping-overhaul-of/article_c988ade0-044b-11e2-87cf-0019bb2963f4.html Listen to the entire show:

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Shopping for Good

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

shopping-for-good On Wednesday December 12th, host Tonya Brito interviewed author Dara O’Rourke about his recent book, “Shopping for Good.” Dara O’Rourke is Associate Professor of Environmental and Labor Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He us also the Chairman of GoodGuide, Inc., a database for safe, healthy, green, and ethical products based on scientific ratings. He is author of “Community-Driven Regulation: Balancing Development and the Environment in Vietnam” (MIT Press) and coauthor of “Can We Put an End to Sweatshops?” “‘Buy local,’ ‘buy green,’ ‘buy organic,’ ‘fair trade’–how effective has the ethical consumption movement been in changing market behavior? Can consumers create fair and sustainable supply chains by shopping selectively? Dara O’Rourke, the activist-scholar who first broke the news about Nike’s sweatshops in the 1990s, considers the promise of ethical consumption–the idea that individuals, voting with their wallets, can promote better labor conditions and environmental outcomes globally. Governments have proven unable to hold companies responsible for labor and environmental practices. Consumers who say they want to support ethical companies often lack the knowledge and resources to do so consistently. But with the right tools, they may be able to succeed where governments have failed. Responding to O’Rourke’s argument, eight experts–Juliet Schor, Richard Locke, Scott Nova, Lisa Ann Richey, Margaret Levi, Andrew Szasz, Scott Hartley, and Auret van Herdeen–consider the connections between personal concerns and consumer activism, challenge the value of entrusting regulation to consumer efforts, and draw attention to difficulties posed by global supply chains.” -The MIT Press (September 21, 2012) Read more about “Shopping for Good:” http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/shopping-good-0 Read more about Dara O’Rourke: http://www.daraorourke.com/ Listen to the entire interview:

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Unrest in Michigan

12/11/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Planned_Parenthood During this edition of A Public Affair, on Tuesday December 11th, we turned our attention to Michigan and the ongoing unrest in the state. During the first half of the hour, host Cynthia Lin interviewed Liz Rodriguez, communications chair of the Graduate Employees Organization at UMich, who helped organize resistance to the anti-union “Right to Work” Bill. For the second half of the hour, Cynthia spoke to Meghan Hodge Groen, Director of Government Relations and Political Fundraising at Planned Parenthood, about the attacks on women’s rights that are going on in Michigan at the same time. According to the Chicago Tribune, “LANSING, Mich. — Michigan enacted a ban on mandatory union membership on Tuesday, dealing a stunning blow to organized labor in the state that is home to U.S. automakers and the symbol of industrial labor in the United States. As more than 12,000 unionized workers and supporters protested at the Capitol in Lansing, the Republican-led state House of Representatives gave final approval to a pair of “right-to-work” bills covering public- and private-sector unions.” Read the entire Tribune article: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-12-11/news/chi-right-to-work-michigan-20121211_1_public-and-private-sector-unions-union-contracts-governor-signs-bills The “right-to-work bills were not the only legislation which brought protests to the Capitol in Lansing. Planned Parenthood Advocates also fought against House Bill 5711. According to the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan website, “Extremist legislators have launched the most dangerous and sweeping attacks on women’s health in our state’s history. If passed, these bills would have a devastating impact on women’s reproductive health and access to abortion services in the state. As this year’s legislative session comes to a close anti-women’s health lawmakers are trying to push through dangerous, onerous and outrageous policy initiatives which include efforts to: Regulate women’s health centers out of existence. (HB 5711) Limit abortion access for women in rural areas. (HB 5711) Prevent private insurance companies from covering any abortion services. (SBs 612, 613, 614) Allow providers to deny any health care service they deem objectionable. (SB 975)”   Read more about the Planned Parenthood resistance to HB 5711: http://miplannedparenthood.org/page/war-women-michigan 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