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.


US Relations with China

11/27/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

US-China_flags On Tuesday November 27th, host Cynthia Lin spoke with Henry Rosemont, distinguished professor emeritus at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and visiting professor of religious studies at Brown University. They discussed US approaches to relations with China. Rosemont recently said, “If President Obama bases U.S. relations with China on principles of competition and criticism, the new regime of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang will almost surely respond in kind, and the governments of both countries will become less capable of dealing with their own internal large-scale problems. “Moving to a policy based on cooperation on the other hand diplomatically, militarily and economically — both countries can contribute to solving their own and each other’s problems at the same time, as well as problems more worldwide in scope. As the major power in the relationship, the initiative for a new policy must lie with the U.S., especially with all the anti-China rhetoric that infected the recent election campaign.” Read Rosemont’s piece “Is China a Threat?”: http://www.fpif.org/reports/is_china_a_threat Listen to the entire interview:

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Solutions to Homelessness

11/26/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Homeless On Monday November 26th, Brenda Konkel subbing for John Quinlan focused on ways to alleviate homelessness in Madison. She spoke with a number of Madison officials who are searching for ways to help the homeless community including County Board Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner, Michael Basford from Housing Initiatives and Linda Ketcham from the Madison Urban Ministry(MUM). Housing Initiatives is an organization that has been searching since 1993 to meet Dane County’s ever-growing need to house homeless persons and families affected by severe mental illness. Since 1971 Madison Urban Ministry(MUM) has become an important force in Madison promoting social justice that has galvanized social change in and around Dane County. Together with the leaders of these organizations as well as the County Board Supervisor, Brenda tried to figure out how to forge ahead in finding solutions to homelessness in Madison.         Read more about MUM: http://www.emum.org/ Read more about Housing Initiatives: http://housinginit.blogspot.com/ Listen to the entire program:

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The Plight of Occupy Madison

11/23/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

OccupyMadisonII On Friday November 23rd, Esty Dinur focused on the future of Occupy Madison for the first half of the program. She interviewed Four members of Occupy Madison: Ron, Betty, Dan and Brian who discussed their recent eviction. According to their website, “Occupy Madison has gone through a number of evolutions and revolutions. We are in midst of writing an accurate update to the past few months, much from the initiative by Brenda Konkel, and much documentation can be found on her blog: http://www.forwardlookout.com. Currently the physical site is located at Token Creek Park. Donations stream in, despite the distance. Donations are being taken for the site and its residents through Occupy Wisconsin as well as drop offs to the site directly. Much gratitude for the support many of Madison’s citizens offer. Community building at its best.” For the second half of the show, Esty interviewed Jason Louise Huberty & Rebecca Kemble discussing the state of the unconstitutional Capitol crackdown & the Solidarity Sing-Along. Read more about Occupy Madison: http://occupy-madison.org/ Listen to the entire program:

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Thanksgiving Special: Occupation and Resistance of Native Peoples

11/22/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Ike On Thursday November 22nd, Allen Ruff brought listeners a Thanksgiving special with Will Williams, member of Veterans for Peace and anti-war peace activist.   Allen spoke with Williams about themes of occupation and resistance and how these concepts relate to Thanksgiving and the occupation of native lands and resistance of the native peoples.                   Listen to the entire program:

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The Milkweed

11/21/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

PeteHardin On Wednesday November 21st, Andy Heidt, subbing for Tonya Brito, spoke with Pete Hardin the Editor and Publisher of The Milkweed Magazine.     Pete Hardin started The Milkweed in June of 1979. Over more than three decades, the paper has become the standard for dairy reporting in the United States. Hardin, 62, brings his years of experience and contacts in the U.S. dairy industry to the pages of The Milkweed. Read more about The Milkweed: http://www.themilkweed.com/WhoWeAre.htm               Listen to the entire interview:

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Hip Hop and the Green Party

11/20/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

RosaClemente2 On Tuesday November 20th, host Cynthia Lin spoke with Rosa Clemente, a grassroots organizer, hip-hop activist, journalist, and entrepreneur. Clemente recently said, “The Green Party is no longer the alternative; the Green Party is the imperative.” Clemente was the 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate and supported Jill Stein in the 2012 election. According to Jill Stein’s website, “There is something taking place with the relationship between Hip Hop and the Green Party. Maybe it’s because the Green Party, much like Hip Hop, can be blamed for a mess much larger than itself with no regard for the truth. Maybe it’s because both of them have spent their whole existence fighting corporate media and corporate influence and getting shut out of the conversation. Maybe it’s because they are both stuck in a world where the “mainstream” dictates definition, and your perspective, your contribution, your base isn’t acknowledged if it isn’t validated by the very thing it seeks to challenge. Maybe it’s because they both imagine a world where education is accessible to all, there are no more evictions and no more foreclosures, where food production, resolving community challenges and culture is localized, and more money is spent on education and housing than on war and imprisonment. Or, as 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate David Cobb put it, “maybe it’s because Hip Hop and the Green Party are both revolutionary calls for such systemic social political and economic change that you just can’t get it until you get it.” Whatever the case may be, it is a relationship that keeps expanding. That expansion was given to us not just by the natural development of our economic and political situation, but also by leaders like Jared Ball and Rosa Clemente.” Cynthia interviewed Clemente about hip hop, her work with the Green Party, and the post-election future of the nation. Read more about Hip Hop and the Green Party: http://www.jillstein.org/hip_hop_and_the_green_party_jared_ball_and_rosa_clemente_were_right Listen to the entire interview:

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Stories of Peacebuilding in Gaza and the West Bank

11/19/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Palestine On Monday November 19th, host John Quinlan was joined in conversation with visitors from a peace delegation sponsored by the Interfaith Peace-Builders. The delegates just returned this past week from Gaza and and the West Bank. Permission for foreigners to obtain passage to Gaza is rare, and thus these interviews provided listeners with a vital opportunity to understand daily life in the Palestinian territories and how this existence is being affected by the current conflict. John spoke with Tsela Barr and Michele Bahl who just came back from a peace delegation to Gaza on November 12th. During the second half of the hour John spoke with Veena Brekke who recently returned from a peace delegation to the West Bank. According to their website, “Interfaith Peace-Builders believes in the power of eye-witness experience and transformation. Given the opportunity to speak directly with Israelis and Palestinians, delegates return to the United States better informed, more energized, and with a deeper understanding of the possibilities for true justice in the Middle East.” Tsela, Michele, and Veena shared with WORT listeners their fascinating experiences from both Israel and Palestine.   Read more about Interfaith Peace Builders on their website: http://www.ifpb.org/     Listen to the entire show:

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Ecology and Socialism

11/16/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Chris Williams On Friday November 16th, Anjuli Brekke subbing for Esty Dinur brought listeners a show about how our economic system is contributing to environmental degradation.       She spoke with longtime environmental activist Chris Williams, professor of physics and chemistry at Pace University and author of “Ecology and Socialism.” In his book, Williams writes, “We live in a social system predicated on endless expansion; one that sickeningly combines historic and gargantuan amounts of wealth alongside oceans of poverty and mountains of waste. It is no exaggeration to state that without swift, dramatic and profound changes to societal priorities, including a fundamental reorientation away from fossil-fuel-based energy and profit-driven capitalist economic growth, the generation growing up today will be, in all likelihood, the last to know climate stability.” During the hour Anjuli discussed this Eco-socialist movement with Professor Williams, a movement which pushes for a revolution not only within our economic and social structure, but also in the way we perceive the natural world. It urges the reader to shift away from a resource-oriented approach to one which acknowledges the intrinsic worth of nature in and of itself.           Read more about the book “Ecology and Socialism:” http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/ecology-and-socialism Read Professor Williams’s article “Frankenstorms and Climate Change: How the 1% Created a Monster:” http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12438-frankenstorms-and-climate-change-how-the-1-created-a-monster   Listen to the entire interview:

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“War Is a Crime”

11/15/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

DavidSwanson On Thursday November 15th, host Allen Ruff spoke to David Swanson lead columnist for “War Is a Crime” about peace, war and activism.   Swanson is also the author of the introduction to “The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush,” by Dennis Kucinich (2008) and contributed two chapters to Fix America, 2011. Swanson is Co-Founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, creator of ProsecuteBushCheney.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, Voters for Peace, and the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution, and chair of the Robert Jackson Steering Committee. Swanson joined the board of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy in December 2011. Read more about peace activism: http://warisacrime.org/about Listen to the entire interview:

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Voter Supression

11/14/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

billboard On Wednesday November 14th, host Tonya Brito looked at voting rights issues following the Presidential election. During the first half of the show, she spoke with Jonathan Brater from the Brennan Center for Justice. Brater works for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program focusing on voting rights and elections. According to the organization’s website, “The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Our work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism.” During the second half of the show, Tonya spoke with Stacy Harbaugh and Mike Wilder about issues of voter suppression here in Wisconsin. Stacy Harbaugh serves as the Communications Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin. Mike Wilder works as African-American Voter Engagement Table Director for the Milwaukee based group Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Read about the Brennan Center for Justice: http://www.brennancenter.org/ Read about Citizen Action of Wisconsin: http://citizenactionwi.org/ Read more about the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin: http://aclu-wi.org/stacy-harbaugh-communications-director 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.

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