*Peaches Lacey hosts the last Wednesday of every month.
Follow the BUZZ on Facebook!
Make a pledge to WORT: Your Only Sound Alternative — click here to donate now!
On Wednesday December 5, Jan Miyasaki speaks with Leah Bolger, President of the National Board of Veteran’s for Peace, about the new round of sanctions against Iran. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the sanctions against Iran last week. “This is collective punishment, and its really hurting the people of Iran, who have done nothing to warrant this reaction from us. It’s really sad that we didn’t learn anything from the damage we caused Iraq when we placed sanctions against them.” Veteran’s for Peace has issued a statement denouncing this. Leah says “we believe the combination of foreign policy of Israel and United States together are causing a whole lot of problems in the area.” She explains that the U.S. should not have withdrawn from the Helsinki talks, which Israel has also withdrawn from. “Israel has hundreds of armed war heads ready to be launched at Iran, or anywhere in the region.” Though Israel has not signed the treaty, Leah explains, “Iran signed on to it the day it was created, and they have no nuclear weapons.” Leah speaks about the impact of the sanctions against the people of Iran, how they are facing drastic inflation and a lack of access to basic food items. “They are trying to push regime change via punishing the people…we have no right as a government to inflict collective punishment against a people who have done nothing wrong.” Veterans for Peace has started a petition to President Obama and Congress to support a nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East. From the Veterans for Peace statement, “VFP once against stresses its position that the only rational and lasting solution to the current nuclear crisis in the region is the establishment of a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East.” Sign the petition and read the full Veterans For Peace statement against sanctions in Iran. Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Tuesday December 4, our host Aaron Perry speaks with Karla Spencer-George, who is hosting an event for Black History Month – the first annual Midwest Black History Expo in St. Paul, Minnesota. Karla, from Detroit, Michigan, graduated from Winston University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, with an emphasis on computer science. She worked as an engineer for twelve years until her company shut down in Minnesota: at this point, she and her husband decided start their own online business, Liberation Clothing and Gifts, which sells clothing, documentaries, and books to promote black history and culture. Karla speaks about how she decided to start the Midwest Black History Expo, “last year, around this time, we were looking for an event to be a vendor at, where we could sell our merchandise that promotes black history and culture. In Minnesota, we did not find one major event that celebrated Black History Month. We thought, we need to make this happen, and try to do it big.” Dr. Julianne Malveaux will be the keynote speaker at the event. The expo will also feature an African Americans or Black Inventions and Inventors Exhibit: the exhibit will feature inventions such as the ice cream scoop, instant potatoes, and more. There will also be a children’s room with face painting and story readings, an art competition, a fashion show and performers, a seminar room featuring talks by local professors, and a documentary showing room. Karla explains her passion for organizing this expo, “Sometimes people don’t know what the opportunities are, and it is my responsibility along with those who are doing okay to try to help others. It’s always a matter of giving back.” She also speaks about how often, many students do not receive adequate education about black history, “My first African American history class was taken at the University of Minnesota. I [was] in the course with some people from Nigeria and other places, and it seemed like they got some of these courses much earlier than we did, and it was disappointing that I was learning so much about my history at the age of 18-19 years, when I thought I would be learning this growing up, or at least in junior high or high school. It’s one of those situations where we could help close that education achievement gap if our kids knew about our rich history and accomplishments that some of our ancestors made.” Click read article »
On Tuesday December 4, host Aaron Perry speaks with Donald Gross, author of The China Fallacy: How the U.S. Can Benefit from China’s Rise and Avoid Another Cold War. Donald Gross has a background in government and politics: In 1992, he joined the White House Staff of the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration, then became a Senior Policy Adviser to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and from there became the Senior Adviser to the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. Donald speaks about his book, “I had a lot of experience dealing with the Chinese government diplomatically during my experience in government. During the Clinton Administration, especially, we were successful in improving relations with China, and bringing China into the World Trade Organization… it’s the largest growth market in the world for exports of U.S. goods and services.” Donald explains the two major fallacies about China that he deals with in the book: the inevitability of war with China, and the harm the U.S. is experiencing as a result of a growing China. “On economic grounds I strongly believe that U.S. prosperity will increase as a result of improved U.S.-China relations, it will generate hundreds of thousands more U.S. jobs… On the security side, we all have to recognize something that’s not well known, that the U.S. has an overwhelming military superiority over China in both nuclear and conventional forces.” Aside from addressing the military and economic aspect of U.S.-China relations, Donald also speaks on the humanitarian aspect, “the most effective measure an authoritarian regime can use to justify internal repression of human rights is external threat from a foreign country. When U.S. ramps up military pressure against China, the internal police use that as a justification to legitimize their repression of democratic movements, of human right advocates in China.” Learn more about Donald Gross and his book on his official website. Read related articles about this issue here. Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Monday December 3, our host Linda Jameson spoke with student activist Emmy Burns about climate change. Emmy Burns is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying environmental studies and geography. They spoke about the steps the Madison community can take to combat or respond to climate change. 350 Madison, a local action group of 350 tackling climate change, has recently established a student chapter on the UW-Madison campus: Climate Action 350 at UW-Madison. The student chapter has begun a campaign to prompt the UW Foundation to divest their investment of roughly 2 billion dollars from oil, coal, and natural gas. “350” refers to the permissible limit of carbon dioxide that can safely be in the atmosphere; specifically, the parts per million of carbon that can be present in the atmosphere at a safe level. Currently, the level is at 392. Clean Wisconsin and 350.org had recently brought climate change spokesperson Bill McKibbens to speak in Madison about the math of climate change. Explains Emmy, “That is how we can make our difference here in Madison. The companies have so much political capital because of all their money. If just the UW Foundation divests, that’s not going to put a huge dent in their profits. But if we can create a domino effect across the country, and there are already hundreds of campuses that have these divestment campaigns underway, together its going to make a difference. These fossil fuel companies make their money from people who buy stock. If we can devalue their assets, hopefully over time that will translate to less political power.” The group has been collecting petition signatures addressed towards the UW Foundation, calling for a freeze on all new investments in fossil fuels, and a complete divestment of all fossil fuel holdings within the next five years. They have collected 1,000 signatures so far. They will hold a peaceful march to deliver the signatures to the President of the UW Foundation on Monday, December 3 at 9:30 AM. The protestors will gather at Union South at 9:30 AM; they will meet to march towards the UW Foundation, where they will gather at 9:45 AM. Read more about Divestments here. Visit 350 Madison. Visit 350.org. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
In this special WORT Birthday Boost edition of the Friday 8 O’Clock Buzz on November 30, our host Jonathan Zarov speaks with Li Chiao-Ping, of Li Chiao-Ping Dance, about The Knotcracker, which will be opening tonight. The show, which is filled with puns, is a playful take on The Nutcracker, and is considered to have taken on its own tradition in Madison. “It’s about a child, boy or girl, who is trying to work his or her way through life trying to find him/herself.” There are two child and two adult leads. Li explains, “the show is not to replace [The Nutcracker]. I consider it as an alternative. It does offer a totally different entertaining take on [The Nutcracker]. It’s great to become a new classic in a way.” The show will not be playing after this year, but Li explains that they may bring it back in the future. Li also speaks about how meaning is conveyed through dance, and what message The Knotcracker expresses, “Its humor with a point… I’m interested in how it speaks to something. While we are celebrating the idea of community, diversity of tradition, and diversity in our community, we can also look at the issues of kids and bullying, the pressure to conform and have the same material goods as others…So I hope we learn to accept ourselves and our differences, and to really embrace that.” The Knotcracker provides “alternative ways of dressing, being, and moving.” The lead role is double-cast as a boy and girl, a significant move from traditional gender roles, “I look at the piece as flexible enough so as to be meaningful and get the message across through the gender lens as well.” Visit Li Chiao-Ping Dance for more information. The Knotcracker opens tonight, Friday November 30. November 30 – Dec 2 Overture Center for the Arts – Playhouse Theater Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
In this special WORT Birthday Boost edition of the Friday 8 O’Clock Buzz on November 30, our host Jonathan Zarov spoke with John Peck and Carol Bracewell of the Domestic Fair Trade Association, to speak about Fair Trade and the 16th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival. Carol Bracewell is from Community Action Latin America, and John Peck is from InfoShop and Family Farm Defenders. They trace the roots of fair trade to the 1940s and 50’s, post-WWII; it was an effort by church groups to provide economic development opportunities to countries in Europe whose economies were ravaged by the war, importing traditional European handicrafts to the United States. An important component of the Fair Trade concept is the consumer’s right to know, John explains. Carol distinguishes a Fair Trade product from a Fair Trade business, explaining that it is important to include Fair Trade into the business model itself. They also speak about the difficulty of labeling: “for example, what does ‘natural’ mean? What labels do you trust after a while? Fair Trade is mostly certified independently, so who are the certifiers?” They bring up the issue that is often encountered with Fair Trade Coffee, “do you certify fair trade coffee that has been grown on a giant plantation?” Carol says. “I want fewer degrees of separation between me and the product;” Carol explains that in the Fair Trade Festival this is possible, where one does not need to worry about the authenticity of labeling. “We can’t necessarily buy coffee, olive oil, or cocoa from the Farmer’s Market because it is not grown locally. So the next best thing is one degree of separation. When you go to the festival you are going to meet a vendor who has probably met the artist, these are folks that travel to other countries, meet people, and buy things, and that’s why our theme this year is Gifts with a Story.” The theme signifies the personal stories that come with each product, to bridge the gap between the consumer, the product, and the artist. 16th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival Saturday, December 1, 2012 9 – 4 PM, Monona Terrace Read more about Community Action on Latin America here. Read about the Madison Fair Trade Festival, including the full list of vendors and official press release here. Visit the Madison Fair Trade Festival on ….read article »
On Tuesday November 28, Jan Miyasaki speaks with Reverend Michael Livingston, director of Public Policy at the Interfaith Worker Justice based in DC. He was previously the Director of the Poverty Initiative of the National Council of Churches and as the Executive Director of the International Council of Community Churches. Jan speaks with him about a piece that he has written “Wal-Mart’s Black Friday: Who Saves, Who Pays, and Who Prays.” He speaks about the Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), an organization that brings together the labor and religion communities,”We educate people of faith about issues that affect workers in their congregations, and to advocate for public policies that don’t hurt workers, but that actually help them.” The link between labor and faith, he says, is strong, and explains the link from a religious and faith-based perspective, highlighting community ties. He speaks about the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin which organized a Black Friday action. Michael explains that the fact the coalition is interfaith-based demonstrates that these issues do not pertain to one community, but rather that they are relevant across the nation among every community. Michael talks about the protests at Wal-Mart, “Enormous amounts of money are being made on one side, by the owners and executives and investors of Wal-Mart, at the expense of the workers who make that wealth possible… If Wal-Mart were to raise the minimum wage of workers to $12/hour, so that they would be making about $25,000 a year, it would only cost the customer another $12 a year, to make these types of changes.” Visit the Interfaith Worker Justice website here. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Wednesday, November 28, our host Jan Miyasaki speaks with Cora Currier, an investigative reporter at ProPublica, about her latest piece: “Why the U.S. Won’t Allow a Dying Iranian Sociologist to Join His Family.” Iranian sociologist Dr. Rahmatollah Sedigh Sarvestani, who is suffering from terminal cancer, wishes to join his family in the U.S., but is unable to because his visa request was denied. The rejection was due to “activity relating to espionage or sabotage,” a claim to which the family is shocked. It was only in the 1970s that the doctor was involved in pro-Iranian demonstrations; since then, he has actually voiced his protest against the government. It is uncertain as to why Dr. Sarvestani’s visa has been denied at this point, since he has been allowed into the U.S. since the 1970s. Cora has been conducting research, examining Dr. Sarvestani’s activities since the 1990s. She explains, “In the 70′s he was political, and participated in pro-Khomeni/anti-Shah demonstrations. The group that he belonged to, the Muslim Students Association Persian Speaking Group, was a group that was watched closely by FBI officials and likely still is. So that’s one area that could be a red flag on his record. In the more recent years in Iran, he has turned very critical of the administration of the Iranian movement… he kept a blog that was openly critical. In Iran he was almost found too pro-Western.” Cora explains that she is searching for the red flags that could have prompted the visa rejection, but the actual reason is still a mystery. She says, “From my perspective as a journalist, this is a story that still has a lot of unanswered questions, but what seems clear about it is that there is a systemic issue here, in which we don’t know on what grounds somebody is being denied entry.” Read Cora Currier’s article at ProPublica here. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Tuesday November 27, our host Aaron Perry spoke with Kevin Monroe, from Monroe Real Training, an in-home personal fitness training business. The fitness business comes to peoples homes and offers fitness training, functional fitness equipment and nutritionist services. Kevin, previously a Marine, has a degree in Kinesiology from UW-Madison, and has taught health and physical education, managed a health club, and been a nutrition and prevention specialist, leading up to his work with Monroe Real Training. Kevin helps clients with body fitness and health, and he explains that he has even helped some of his clients lower their blood pressure medication. He says that he helps his clients by challenging them at their own fitness level. He talks about the stability ball, explaining the proper way to use it for cardio and abdominal exercises, “its quality versus quantity, making sure the back is safe.’ Kevin offers advice regarding the extra ‘holiday pounds’ acquired during the winter season, “I know this is a very busy time… If you can reserve 10 -15 minutes of a quick workout, just getting the heart rate up. 10 minute work outs are much better than 0 minute workouts. Any amount of movement matters, it all adds up.” He also recommends adding fruits and raw vegetables to the diet, and to make sure to drinks lots of water by carrying a water bottle. The typical calorie intake of the average individual is 2000 calories, Kevin explains. However, depending on lifestyle such as level of exercise, and the type of job performed, will have an effect on one’s metabolism and calorie need. Email Kevin at: email@example.com Visit the website at monroerealtraining.com Visit MonroeRealTraining on Facebook. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Tuesday November 27, host Aaron Perry speaks with Raynard Jackson, President and CEO of Raynard Jackson and Associates, one of the most “highly sought after Conservative speakers in America.” A Republican conservative political consultant, Raynard works with Republican campaigns in Washington-DC. Raynard speaks with Aaron about the Republican Party, “After this election, there has been a tectonic shift in the mood and the dynamics of Washington DC,” Raynard explains. He comments that the Republicans did not run a good campaign during this presidential election, and explains why Romney did not win the election, “Romney did not have the ability to perform a coalition of people…black, Asians, Hispanics, whites, women, to win a majority.” Aaron asks Raynard to explain what the Republican party must do now in order to recover from the election. He recommends, “Go into the Black, Hispanic, the female community, and listen… and then find a way to go back to DC to create policy based on the conservations had in those communities. Members of the republican leadership have tried to lecture me on what needs to be done in the black community.” He also addresses the issue he faces being African American and Republican. Raynard explains that blacks have actually been the most loyal voting bloc for the Republican party, historically. However, the votes began to shift to the Democratic party once they encountered the Depression, and racism after World War II. He has observed that Republicans do not place blacks in positions of power and authority, and that in order for the party to become stronger, it must begin placing blacks in positions of authority. “Republicans have got to have blacks on the staff level, where people are becoming chiefs of staff, press secretaries in the offices.” Visit the Raynard Jackson and Associates website. Follow Raynard Jackson on Twitter @Raynard1223 Listen to the entire interview here:read article »