The Politics of Courage

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices.


The Presidential Elections are less than a week away! Campaigning has been going strong and early voting has begun. 
The question on almost everyone’s mind is… will our next President of the United States be President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
But those aren’t the candidates on everyone’s mind.  There are so many more choices and options of who can be our next President.  These are the Third Party Candidates.
Third Parties, or Alternative Parties, have had a long and crucial history in the United States.  The Free Soil Party pushed for the abolition of slavery in the 1800s.  The Prohibition Party fought for women to have the right to vote.  The Socialist Party fought against child labor being used in US factories.
This is the Politics of Courage.  Without people with the strong conviction and strong courage to take a stand against the mainstream beliefs, change and progress may never come.
The Politics of Courage are still important today.  Alternative parties such as the Justice Party or the Libertarian Party, or the Constitution Party are all fighting for a spot in the political process.  They are not allowed into the mainstream political discussion, and so many mainstream media outlets ignore them completely.
This week on A Community of Voices, I am honored to speak with Dr. Jill Stein, the 2012 Presidential Candidate for the Green Party.  What is the role of third parties in US elections? Is there a media black-out against these candidates? And why is it so important to have courage in the voting booth?
All of these questions and more will be answered, this week on A Community of Voices!
Until next time radio-land,
Vinny
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Bad Apple: Labor, US Consumers, and Chinese Workers

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices!

The labor movement in the United States brought some remarkable, and necessary, safeguards and protections.  Minimum wage, child labor laws, safe and healthy conditions.

But not every country around the world has these.  Not every country has the stringent protections, or the drive to make sure that they are enforce.

Entering the stage: China.

We have all heard the critiques on China: China is stealing our jobs; China is the ruining our economy;  China is potentially the biggest threat to national security….. All this because corporations are the world are moving their factories to China.  But these corporations aren’t doing so because they like China more than the United States. These corporations are moving because they can more easily, and in some cases with the Chinese government’s implicit consent, exploit their workforce.

There is always a fight over how China is affecting the United States and its residents, but what about how the argument of how the United States and its residents are affecting Chinese workers?

My guest this week is Li Qiang, the Executive Director of China Labor Watch.

Rebuilding the Divide: The Wealth Gap

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices!

Wealth is defined as your income, plus any assets that you own, minus any debt you owe.  Often times, wealth is passed down from generation to generation.  For many of the wealthy, opportunities in life just seem to appear and people are able to reap the benefits.

So why isn’t everyone wealthy? Why doesn’t everyone make it to that top 1%?

Some say it’s because the poor are lazy and don’t work hard enough.  Other says that differences in individuals’ wealth is simply a result of our economic system and is fair.  But some say that this divide runs deeper.  Some say that because of system injustices and systemic discrimination, this divide exists.

The Wealth Gap.

On today’s show, I speak with Brian Miller, the Executive Director of United for a Fair Economy.  Why is it that African-American families in the United States own 95% less wealth than white families? Why is it that the poor cannot move up the ladder of opportunity and reach the next level in wealth? And do US political leaders understand what the wealth gap truly means?

All of this and more will be answer this week on A Community of Voices!

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Catholic Social Teaching with Sister Simone Campbell

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices radio show!

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about the 1960s is progress.  The Civl Rights Movement.  Anti-war protests. A push for equality in almost all areas of life.  But what about religion?

From 1962 to 1965, the Roman Catholic Church went through a number of changes.  Throughout the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church began to move away from its traditional, orthodox views, towards a more progressive stance in regards to social justice.  As the world changed, the Church was forced to follow suit.

Following this shift, a group of Catholic Nuns in the United States decided that they needed to make a change as well.  They formed a network, designed to lobby the government and sway the political process towards a more just and equal world.  And, Network Lobby was born.

It is 40 years later, but the principles of social, economic and political equality, as well as Catholic Social Teachings, still remain at the core of the organization. This was clearly seen in the summer of 2012, when a group of Nuns, many from Network Lobby, got on a nation-wide bus tour, to protest and educate the public on the Ryan Budget.

This week on A Community of Voices, I speak with Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, the Executive Director of Network Lobby.

What is Catholic Social Teaching? Why do these Nuns take offense to the Ryan Budget? And should they even be taken seriously with the child sexual abuses that have plagued the Church?

Tune in this week and get all of this answered and more!

Turn On, Listen In, and Speak Out!

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

GMOs and You

Hello and welcome back to  A Community of Voices!

Food is essential for life; it truly binds everyone on earth.  No matter who you are or where you live, you need food to survive.  As humans, we know which foods can sustain us and what what foods to stay away from.  We have perfected agriculture, bringing it to the level of a science.

But there is always room for improvement.  To some, this comes in the form of mechanizing the system. To others, it means growing food in a sustainable manner.  And to even others, more specifically corporate agribusiness, this means changing the genetic make-up of the food we eat.

Genetically modified organisms or GMOs.

These corporations can ever-so-slightly tweak the DNA of a specific plant, making it resistant to disease, or allowing it to grow faster and hardier, or to survive under harsh environmental conditions.  Some swear by the practice, saying that it can potentially end world hunger.

But what is GMO? How dies it affect the human body? Why is agribusiness so interested in changing to composition of our food and why are there Millions Against Monsanto?

My guest today is Alexis Baden-Mayer, the Political Director of the Organic Consumers Association.

Turn On, Listen In, Speak Out.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny