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1.  The Aftermath of Sandy and Climate Change at the Forefront
Almost everyone has family in the Northeast.  Tonight we talk about what that family is going through, especially those that could hardly afford to go through anything with FUREE Director Valery Jean (Brooklyn) and Wind of the Spirit‘s Diana Mejia (Morristown, NJ).  We will check in about the conversations we should be having (climate change, etc.) with writer Rebecca Solnit and conservationist/climate change expert Captain Dan Kipnis
2. Should the Elections be postponed?
Considering that many people in the most populated region in the country can barely go to the grocery store, more people need to be asking that question.  Tune in as we talk to legal scholar and FIU law professor Ediberto Roman.
3.  Wait…there is a Zombie Apocalypse Industrial Complex?
Today is Halloween and a lot of people, especially Miami folks (whether it is appropriate or not) are fascinated with the zombie apocalypse.  What people may not know is that there is a actual industry developing to soothe the demand of people that want to prepare for a zombie apocalypse.  Tune in as we talk to friend of the show and Florida gun/supplies shop owner Vic Grechniew, Everette Deger of Hornady (makers of an actual zombie bullet), Mike May of Gerber Gear (makers of the official Zombie Survival Kit for the series, the Walking Dead) and Todd Rassa (instructor in an actual zombie apocalypse survival course).  NOTE: This segment was meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek but some of our guests also had insights into disaster preparedness in light of Hurricane Sandy.

Don’t forget Subscribe to our iTunes PODCASTS and never miss our show!BREAKING NEWS:  Florida death row inmate  with documented mental illness, John Ferguson, who believes he is the “Prince of God” is set to be executed tomorrow after his State Supreme Court Appeal was denied.  Tune into the show to check this  emerging story

1.  Should we #changethedebate?

We have sat through three presidential/vice presidential debates at this point and a few students and young people are kinda of pissed that the issues they are feeling on the ground aren’t being heard.  We will find out why they want to #changethedebate when we talk to our friends at Dream Defenders as they take a break from defending dreams and sit down to chop it up with us.
2.  No, there really is voter fraud in Florida, just not the kind you think.
The title sort of says it all.  Award winning Miami New Times journalist, Francisco Alvarado will jump on the air to talk about the fraud that does exist when voters are absent on election day.
3.  Unaffirmative Action in our schools?
A bunch of people have been flipping out about the recent news that the Florida State Board of Ed. will be setting math and reading goals for Florida students based partly on race.  We will check in with Professor Brian Peterson about what this really means and if it really is unaffirmative action for students of color.
 
4.  Ballot Amendments: the real reason to vote?
If you aren’t excited about the candidates,  you should be worried about what ballot initiatives are being put before “the people” on election day.  We will talk a little bit more with Rick Smith of SEIU Florida Public Service Worker’s Union about what to check for at the ballot box on election day.

pic: theliberaloc.com
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1.  Nonvoters: Apathetic, disenfranchised, disillusioned or…?

Elections are a few weeks away and a common claim is, “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain!”  But is that really true?  Are people that don’t vote really lazy or apathetic?  We decided to do what few shows have done, actually talk to people that won’t vote in this election to see what they have to say.  You don’t want to miss this segment.
2.  What WON’T come up during the debates tonight?
The Presidential debates are tonight.  For some that means getting your good clothes on and heading to a debate watch party.  For others it means getting your pajamas on and catching up on episodes of the Voice or Sons of Anarchy.  Because our show is right before the debates, we wanted to host our own watch party with all of our party friends.  You know-the Republican party, the Democratic party, the Tea party, the Green party.  For our watch party we have one question: What issues won’t come up tonight that probably should?  Find out what our friends have to say.

pic: MTV.com
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1.  Evelyn & Ocho Cinco:  How do we respond to violence at home when it hits the airwaves?

We
began this week’s show with one of the stories that pops up every so often, the
famous athlete being accused of domestic violence against his also famous wife.
In this case it was Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson who accused of assaulting his
wife, reality TV star Evelyn Rivera. Whenever one of these incidents happensm we
at LTAI! relive the same frustration with the media’s discussion
who provoked who and the inevitable taking of sides.
We worked to get past the “who did what” as we talked with Marica Olivo of Sisterhood of Survivors,
Quentin Walcott of CONNECT and Aparna Battarcharya of Raksha Inc. Marcia
expressed her displeasure that the primary issue, that of domestic violence,
was being lost in all of the reality TV-style drama. Quentin added
that we lose the opportunity to hold men accountable for their actions when stories get sensationalized. Aparna wondered aloud whether or
not anyone would care about this story if it didn’t involve professional sports
or reality television. She also added that “…we should respond by creating a
space for compassionate accountability to help all parties in the incident.”
2.  Romney, Miami and his “ex-drug trafficker host”:  Hit-job or appropriate stigma?

The
theme of being frustrated with the media’s manufactured outrage machine
continued as we address the fallout from Mitt Romney’s recent
visit to Palacio De Los Jugos which turns out is owned by a man who was
convicted of  drug dealing over 10 years ago. We discuss the meaning of the
incident in the context of the move toward voter suppression in Florida and in
other states with Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
Meade explained his view that this business owner should not be vilified for
his past mistakes and that the attacks from many liberals amount to nothing
more than hit pieces. He also pointed out the irony of Florida’s Attorney
General and leader of the disenfranchisement crusade in the state, Pam Bondi, sharing the stage with Romney atthe Palacio de los Jugos.    

3.  Are Miami elections a forecast of what’s to come in November?

Next
we discussed the recent primaries in Florida and were joined by the head of the
South Florida AFL-CIO, Andy Matis, who himself was out door knocking just the
day before. We discussed the results, what they may mean for the November
general election and the role of Miami billionaire Norman Braman in the
elections.
4.  V-BACs, C-sections and live births.

Finally
we were joined by the organizer of the Vaginal Birth After Cesarean National Summit (VBAC),
Tamara Taitt, to discuss the event and what could easily be described
as a cesarean birth epidemic in Miami. Taitt explained that the average rate
for cesarean births in the U.S. is around 10-15% while in Miami it exceeds 50%.
She also talked about new research that has been suggesting that going through
vaginal birth after previously having had a cesarean is not as dangerous as it
was once thought and that there may be some downsides to cesarean birth that
many mothers may not know about.

BTW…here are the tracks we listened to on the air…


pic: thehindu.com
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1.  The Wisconsin Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) terrorist attack


Last Sunday, a gunman with ties to White supremacist groups entered a Gurdwara and killed six people before being killed.  The media lit up (for like a day) with reports of the tragedy and its implications.  We even wrote about it here. We began the show by addressing the tragic shooting with activist, writer and vocalist/trumpet player of the
Brooklyn based band Red Baraat (check out his article here) who discussed the significance of the shooting
and how it relates to things like white supremacy in America. He
describes how he felt when he heard about the event and the uncomforable lessons he hopes we learn about racial hatred.  We were also joined by the author of
“Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire”, Deepa Kumar who discussed the notion that Page mistakenly believed he was attacking
Muslims and how not the point it is.  She also talks about how American foreign policy abroad and hate crimes here relate to each other.  To listen to this segment click here or press play below.

2.  An talk with the Green Party’s Jill Stein

Most people with a pulse feel frustrated by both the Democrats and the Republicans.  If it were up to Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein, most people would do something about it. Jill Stein is in Miami this weekend to speak at the
Veterans for Peace National Convention. She discusses third parties in American
Politics, the fallout from the 2000 presidential election and the things that
she believes need to be done in America. On the idea of voting for the lesser
evil in national elections she said that “voting for the lesser evil has
delivered the evil that we feared” and that “…establishment politics silences alternative voices through the use of
fear.”To listen to this segment click here or press play below.

3.  Veterans for Peace speak on War in Latin America

When most people talk about the fight to end war and military violence, they forget to mention that Veterans are often at the forefront of that fight.  This week, Veterans For Peace is in Miami to talk about the “Lessons from Latin America” and the Caribbean.  Join us as we talk to friend of the show, Camilo Mejia and we hear from Father Roy Bourgeois as they talk about the School of the Americas, the War on Drugs in Latin America and more. Father Roy tell us about his experience as a veteran and how
the Vietnam War was a major turning point in his life and how he viewed the
military. He also talked about the School of the Americas, a military training
school in Fort Benning, Georgia that has been described as a “school for
assassins” and it’s role in conflicts throughout Latin America. Mejia also
explained that Veterans for Peace formed in response to the aggression of the
Reagan administration toward Latin America in the 80’s. He also explained that
the theme, “Liberating the Americas: Lessons from Latin America and the
Caribbean,” was a way to connect all of the dots of American wars and
militarism.
To listen click here or press play below.

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Pic: Rawstory.com
By Subhash Kateel
Over the holidays, I was tempted a thousand times to write about Ron Paul’s recent problems.  Since writers throughout the political spectrum decided to inform me of the letters they “found” from twenty years ago proving he is a racist, xenophobe, and homophobe, I wanted to respond.  Some of the articles calling out his “isms” have actually been really helpful (like this one).  But others have really questionable timing.  Apparently, I am not the only one that thinks so.  In some ways, Glenn Greenwald wrote the article I would want to read on the topic.  But the Iowa Caucuses, with the enshrining of Mitt “corporations are people because I am one” Romney as the front runner and the emergence of this dude as a serious contender, reminded me that I have a few more things to say.
To be clear, I am by no means a Ron Paul supporter.  Honestly, the only way I could ever vote for the guy is if he were running against Cobra Commander or Megatron.  But as a person that called the immigrant rights movement home for over 12 years, I don’t find anything about his alleged xenophobia surprising or newsworthy.  Ron Paul has long been an opponent of birthright citizenship, the concept that birth on US soil automatically makes someone a US citizen (what some people call the Fourteenth Amendment).  As a basic rule, I assume that most people who don’t like birth right citizenship decided this around the time US born children of immigrants started looking more brown, being less Protestant, and began putting hot sauce in their ketchup.  As I watched  the 2009 movie Bruno, where Ron Paul freaked out and ran around the room calling Sasha Cohen’s character  “a queer”after he came on to him, I assumed he meant it negatively and not because he really liked the organization, Queers for Economic Justice.  Considering that I sort of guessed him to not like immigrants and gay folks a lot, I kind of inferred that during the 90’s, when those racist newsletters in his name came out,  he wasn’t reading James Baldwin and listening to X-Clan.
If you aren’t particularly startled by Ron Paul’s “isms” but appreciate learning more about them,  you still have to wonder why the “news” about those “isms” is surfacing now.  Some friends tell me that a few on the lefter side of the universe were taken aback by the large numbers of Ron Paulists who joined the Occupy movement  (a pretty open secret).  What some saw as a new politic and possibility, others saw as an infiltration, while Occupy’s enemies saw an opening for divide and conquer.  Others point to the mainstream Democrats, who really love to see Ron Paul do good at the polls, until he says things that make them look really bad.   In September,  Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz seemed thrilled that Ron Paul was joining the pack of candidates that are “bear hugging the Tea Party” (more on her later).  As Greenwald points out in his article, Ron Paul has taken a much stronger stand on things like the wars on drugs, “terrorism” and civil liberties than most Democrats (who are suppose to be good on that stuff).  And then there are the Republicans, who are on a quest to find a real elephant in the room (read: not Romney) to face Obama.  As long as Ron Paul is at the top of the polls, he skews the curve away from “bomb them all”, “jail them all”, and “show me the money” candidates that are unlikely to change the status quo, let alone “end the fed.”
I understand why people are concerned about Ron Paul’s bad ideas, I really do.  I would be worried too if I didn’t think that kid from Napolean Dynamite had a better chance of being President than him.  But I find Republican politicos’ concern, the same ones that tolerate Santorum saying that he opposes giving government money to “Black people” and then pretends he means “blah” people, to be questionable.  (Sidenote:  I am not sure who “blah” people are, but are they the ones taking our jobs?)
I can also understand why people find the outrage of mainstream Democrats to be really disingenuous.  I could mention how “pro-immigrant” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently doubled down in support of quintessential evil 1%-er Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the countries’ largest and likely nastiest private prison company,  against immigrant activists,  local residents, Tea Party commentators,  professional athletes, “anti-immigrant” politicians, and damn near everyone else who opposed the building of the largest immigrant detention center in the country in her district.  I could mention how ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), Obama’s largest (and clearly not-racist because their boss is Black) law enforcement agency, deported a young Dallas-born African American girl who spoke no Spanish to Colombia.  I could also mention how the first fake Black President, Bill Clinton, was so not-racist that the Black prison population damn near doubled under his watch via the War on Drugs around the same time some of Paul’s newsletters came out.  I could even mention how the Democrats tolerated a former Ku Klux Klansmen as one of their elder statesmen, who repudiated his past affiliations but never his voting record (opposing the same Civil Rights Act as Paul).
But I find it more important to mention the times Ron Paul hasn’t been so bad, and has actually been helpful. A few really stick out in my mind.  For one, during the Park 51 aka the “a few blocks from Ground Zero Mosque” controversy.   Despite being a highly respected figure amongst much of the Tea Party, he bucked other Tea Party politicians (including his own son) to condemn the controversy and call it for what it was, an insincere way to create fake reasons to support future conflicts.  In fact he probably had the most on point critique of any major politician, even Mayor Bloomberg (who took time away from pushing working people out of New York and selling the city to his rich friends to give these stirring words).  The second was during the whole debt ceiling dumbness, where he actually proposed a thing or two that not so dumb economists like Dean Baker and Marshall Auerback thought weren’t such bad ideas.  The third is when he steadfastly refused to endorse John McCain, precisely because of his virtual call for unending war.
None of Ron Paul’s attributes should excuse the really bad things he says or supports.  And we should fight those bad ideas as hard as we can. But his bad ideas aren’t much different than the ideas of a Mitt Romney or a Rick Santorum.  On the other hand, as long as he polls well, the Republicans and the rest of the political establishment are forced to contend with his good ideas until we all get a bad Republican nominee.  As far as Ron Paul supporters go, I do get really annoyed when even conversations about what pizza to get are answered by, “the only solution is to vote for Ron Paul!”  But for every Ron Paul supporter who thinks the former physician can heal every social ill, I find others that are really open to a bunch of ideas on making the world a better place and are glad they found new spaces to explore those ideas.  In the end, Ron Paul’s staying power is a symptom of a political climate in which some people are so hungry for solutions to the mess we are in, they will support any ideas or people that seem to have integrity.  That means that it is up to us to produce the real people with integrity to create real solutions to the problems we are facing.
Don’t forget to tune into our show, every Wednesday at 7pm EST.  If you want to check out the last one, just click here.

by Subhash Kateel, 1/2 of Let’s Talk About It! Radio. (Tune in Wednesday’s 7pm EST at 880thebiz.com or 880 am in Miami.)

Let’s Talk About It! is a weekly Miami based radio show that tries to talk about real issues that affect the lives of real people. This past Wednesday, the focus of our radio show (check it here) was: Does It Matter Who Won the Election? But in my hardest of hearts, I wanted the topic of the show to be: Do the Democrats Suck? And Should We Keep Voting For Them?

On the show, we talked with Gihan Perera from Florida New Majority, Tobias Packer from Equality Florida , Bradley Gerber from the Miami Young Republicans, Rosa Clemente from the Green Party about this idiotic term that I just added to the list of some of the dumbest things I have ever heard in my life: the enthusiasm gap. You see, some folks have actually decided to blame voters for the Democrats not winning because they where not “enthused” with their candidates. They wondered out loud why the same folks that came out for the 2008 election (read: Black folks, Brown folks, young folks, Queer folks, first time voters) didn’t come out this time.

If the 2008 elections taught us anything, it is that people who believe in who they are voting for, will try by any means necessary to get to the polls to vote for that person.

On election day in 2008, I was a volunteer outside one of the polling stations in Liberty City, Miami. Liberty City is a great community that had the misfortune of having a Grand Theft Auto video game made in its image so it is now considered the “hood” of all “hoods” in Miami. My volunteer job was to explain to first time voters what a ballot looked like and how to fill it out. The stuff I saw that day is sketched in my mind forever. I saw city workers, teachers, formerly incarcerated folks, guys that hung out on the corners and one woman that seemed clearly strung out determined to cast their vote. One young kid in the neighborhood, not affiliated with any campaign, took several trips from his neighborhood in a pick-up truck, taking people to and from the polls, including homeless folks. For the first-time voters in the bunch, you saw this glow in their eyes as they finished casting their ballots, as if their voice and vote finally counted.

So why didn’t that happen this time around? Ok, maybe it was because Obama wasn’t running. But it was also because most democrats that were running just sucked. And I am done making excuses for them. They sucked at articulating a vision that anyone cared about, they sucked at talking to the base of folks that stepped up and got them elected in 2008. They sucked at paying attention to anyone but the Tea Party. And during a recession (and I will keep saying this) in which people are literally killing themselves and losing their livelihoods, they sucked at feeling the pain of people. And where they sucked at feeling the pain, republicans succeeded in harnessing the anger.

There are two main issues in the country today that define people’s pain: the economic crisis and the housing crisis. We are currently witnessing one of the largest losses of working folk’s wealth ever in this country. And the Democrat’s response to it underscores just how bad most Democrats suck and how little most of them deserved to stay in office. To the point where even the ones that don’t suck got confused for the ones that do and were subsequently booted out.

Democrats spent their entire tenure in power complaining that they didn’t have enough of a majority to do what they wanted to do, while the Republicans via the Tea Party spent their entire time in the minority harnessing the anger of the majority of Americans. Yet despite supposedly not having enough of a majority to tackle the housing crisis in a way that eased the pain of homeowners and renters that where losing roofs over their heads, Democrats seemed to muster enough of a majority to easily pass a republican sponsored bill to make it easier to kick more Americans out of their homes.

Wait…WTF?

Yep the folks that failed at bipartisanship and failed at pushing a real agenda to save homes or jobs succeeded in passing a bill that would have forced courts to accept electronic notarizations across statelines for homeowners fighting their foreclosures…In other words, the bill would have made foreclosures easier.

The bill wasn’t like the PATRIOT ACT either, where idiotic politicians just saw how big the bill was, decided not to read it and just trust the title of the bill and then pass it. No, the bill was two pages long. In fact, the only reason the housing bill didn’t become law is because the President vetoed it.

So tell me Democrats, why should I ever vote for you again? Because you are the lesser of two evils? I’m sorry, the lesser of two evils is still evil. And please, don’t blame the Tea Party for your support of the bailout, not doing much for homeowners, and passing up a real chance to help people that are looking for work. Wait, whats that? I should vote for you because you decided you are going to move to the “center” now (another of those stupid words on my stupid list)? You IDIOTS, no. No matter how hard you try, spinelessly moving to the middle is NOT a substitute for feeling people’s pain, working with them to solve our problems, or proving that you are willing to re-up and fight.

Democrats, even though not all of you suck, until more of you stop sucking, I am done talking to you about how you can stop sucking. Instead, I would like to talk to the people that feel abandoned by you about what they can do to make sure this country doesn’t suffer from you sucking.

If you came out to vote in 2008, expecting change, then as Gandhi said, you have to be that change. How? I’ll give you four simple ways:

1) Join an organization that fights for something you want to fight for
2) If you work, dedicate 1 lunchbreak a month to talk with your co-workers about the problems we face in the country. End each conversation with just one idea that you can do collectively to work towards fixing that problem.
3) If you don’t work, do the same with your church groups, dominos table, the folks you play ball with or whoever.
4) Find out who your elected officials are and call them whenever you think they suck and tell them what to do to not suck. Politicians will never stop sucking if we don’t put pressure on them

I’m a leave you with the same song I heard alot during Obama’s inauguration, Sam Cooke’s “Change Is Gonna Come” .  Don’t forget to tune in this Wednesday at 7pm on 880thebiz.com.

Let’s Talk About It!