Independent Music: Punk, Community, and the FEST FL

A Community of Voices

Radio for the People, Powered by the People

Music is always evolving.  Trends and genres come and go as consumers tastes change. There will always be the next big thing from the big commercial record producers… but what if you want something more? What if you want to listen to something different, something that doesn’t fall prey to corporatized music?

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A straightforward solution is independent music.  Based on the Do It Yourself approach, independent musicians are only restrained to make the music that they enjoy and the music that their audience wants to hear. No big time record label, no commercial producers, just music as it is supposed to be.

My guest today is Tony Weinbender. Tony works for indendepent record label No Idea Records, and is the organizer of the annual independent, underground punk festival in Gainesville, Florida, The Fest.

The Struggle for Food Justice

A Community of Voices

Radio for the People, Powered by the People

How much do we know about the food we eat? Yes, we most likely know its name, some nutritional facts, and maybe generally where it comes from. But what about the specifics… What hands have touched our food? Who benefited, or on the same token, who suffered as a result of the planting, and harvesting, and production of our food? More than that, what governmental policies, domestically and abroad, have really impacted the food we eat?

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We live in a world that is quickly becoming more and more dominated by corporations and socially inept governmental policies.  It is vitally important that we, as consumers, truly take the time to understand the food we eat, our food system, and what the struggle is for food justice.

I would live to welcome back to A Community of Voices today, Bev Bell.  Bev is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and the Coordinator of the non-profit, Other Worlds.  She is also the author of the book, Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agricultural Systems in the Americas. 

What About Haiti?

A Community of Voices

Radio for the People, Powered by the People

A few minutes before 5pm on January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake rocked the small, island country of Haiti.  Over the next few weeks, upwards of 50 more aftershocks raged through the already immense amounts of devastation. Almost 400,000 buildings, homes, businesses, governmental offices, were destroyed and the estimated death toll ranges from nearly 50,000 to 400,000 people.

The 60 second quake, wreaked complete havoc over the country.

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But the question remains, did it have to happen this way? Earthquakes are not rare occurrences, but what is unique about this one, is the amount of damage, death and destruction that occurred.  More than that, 3 years on, many parts of the Haiti still remain in shambles. Over 300,000 people still remain in tent cities, while $13 billion of international aid has been pumped into the country.

How could all of this have happened?  Where has all of the money gone and why has this struggle begun to fall from the public eye.  The question remains, what about Haiti?

My guest today is Bev Bell.  Bev is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and the founder of the non-profit, Other World’s.  She has been a community organizer in Haiti and is the author of the book Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti’s Divide.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness

From A Community of Voices, Radio for the People, Powered by the People

Some people smoke it, some eat it in foods and some people use it for tea.  Cannabis, or marijuana, pot, or even reefer, is often a contentious subject.  There are strong feelings on both sides of the issues, some saying that the mind-altering drug is harmful, addictive, and needed to remain out of reach from the public.  Marijuana activists and reformers state that the drug is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, and needs to be legalized for use by responsible adults.

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But regardless of your stance on the issue, marijuana reform is at the forefront of political thought and the debate will continue to rage on.  With that being said, it is important to understand some of the implications marijuana laws have on a users health, on an individual, and on society as a whole.

My guest today is Allen St. Pierre.  Allen is the Executive Director of NORML, a non-profit lobbying organization working to legalize marijuana in the United States.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Church and State

Welcome back to A Community of Voices – Radio for the People, Powered by the People!


Throughout world history, there has always been an intimate connection between politics and religion.  Think about the power the Roman Catholic Church was able to weild throughout the Middle Ages and the Renissance.  Or the King of England creating his own church, the Church of England, in order to ensure his religious beliefs did not intefere with his personal life or political power.  And all of this leads us to the United States.

Unlike many countries in the world, the United States does not recognize an official religion.  Under the premise of the first amendment of the Constitution, everyone has the right to practic whatever religion they choose or to practice no religion at all.This separation between organized religion and state power is known as the separation of church and state.  While many people agree with the separation of church and state in theory, it is an oft misunderstood and hotly debated topic.
My guest today is Rev. Barry Lynn.  Rev. Lynn is an ordained minister within the United Church of Christ and is the executive director of Americans United for Separation of the Church and State.  

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny