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Today’s show is now available for download or streaming. Just click here!
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FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS—someone is going to help me play music with whales instead of warning me that it’s against the law. According to the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act, all “harassment” of marine mammals is illegal, including my idea of playing live music to them just to see what happens. But there are still places beyond the grip of the law.
Before that, after the news at 1pm, join us to discuss genetically modified food. Seems like it was something that was really in the public eye, along with lots of outrage and uncertainty, a few years ago, but all of that has subsided a bit, here in the US, at least. It certainly didn’t go away, though, as more genetically modified crops are being grown worldwide than ever, and the highest percentage of any country is right here in the States. Yes, if you’re not sure, our food supply is flush with genetically modiefied ingredients. We’ll discuss the details, focusing on the company at the center of it all, Monsanto, with Brian Hindo. He wrote the article Monsanto: Winning the Ground War in Business Week.
Every Thursday from 1-2pm for the past few weeks, we’ve been featuring interviews with the authors of articles that we’ve come upon and found particularly interesting. If you’ve caught any of these segments, what do you think? Would you like to see this continue as a regular, weekly feature on the show? Also, comment here with suggestions for articles that you’ve read and would like for us to consider featuring!
What comes to your mind when you think of bail bonds? The nice folks who help spring you from jail when you’re waiting for trial? One of the few types of businesses that populate mostly vacant commerical blocks in poor neighborhoods throughout the city? Those ubiquitous yellow and pink Big Boyz Bail Bonds pens that are everywhere in Baltimore?
A article on the front page of the New York Times Tuesday pointed out the interesting fact that the US is one of only two countries in the world that use the bail bond system, empowering private companies to put up someone’s bail for them in exchange for a fee. The fee is generally 10% of the bail, non-refundable. Critics raise the point that, although you are innocent until proven guilty, you tend to have to pay a lot of money to a private company in order to stay out of jail, innocent or not. Bail bonds is one way among many that the United States has charted a unique course for its legal system, internationally speaking.
Adam Liptak, the author of the article, joins us for the first part of today’s show, and then we’ll continue the discussion with a panel of local guests, discussing the pros and cons of the bail bond system, and possible alternatives.
Also worth checking out is a post and comments responding to the article on the Freakonomics blog.
Every time an election roles around, people (or at least the media) start to talk a lot about the youth vote. We wonder whether young voters will finally start coming out in larger numbers than usual. Why do less young people tend to vote than the older folks? Are they just apathetic? Do they think voting won’t make a difference, or that no one represents them? What issues do these elusive young people care about? What about those who are politically active?
One of my first assignments as a youthful WYPR news freelancer was to report on the youth vote in November 2006; check it here.
At noon today, we’re bringing together a group of college students from the area to hear their opinions and observations on the upcoming elections. We’d love to hear your thoughts, as well, whatever age you might be. Call 866-661-9309, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or post a comment here.
Living in Baltimore, I can’t help but notice a lot of distinctly unhappy looking people around town. I know this is not exactly some kind of utopia, so is it reasonable to assume that people are, in general, happier elsewhere?
NPR Correspondent Eric Weiner will be joining us at 1pm today to discuss what he learned travelling the world purposefully seeking out happiness. Check out his book The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World.
PAYING KIDS TO DO WELL
Dr. Andres Alonso at noon
Paying kids to do well on tests?!?!?!?!?!?!?
My first visceral reaction was no way. This is antithetical to what we all believe, that we should instill an intrinsic love of education.
Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Schools, is going to spend a million dollars, in part to pay kids in the 11th and 12th grade who failed one of the High School Assessment tests, if they improve their scores on future tests. They will receive up to $110.00, depending on how much their scores improve. Money will also be used to pay students to tutor other students.
Some would argue, like Dan Rodricks, that middle and upper class families always bribe their kids with cash, dinner and objects of desire if they do well in school. What is wrong with the city doing it for unmotivated kids also mired in poverty?
Others argue it is a quick fix and a bribe that hides real issue of why students don’t have an intrinsic love of learning and why they lose in our schools.
Is it a bad idea? Looking forward to hearing what Dr. Alonso has to say. Looking forward to what you have to say on air and on our blog.
I was not amazed when I first heard that there was wholesale ethnic cleansing of African Americans from towns across America. I was shocked when I found out that it occurred well into the depression era of the 1930’s.
One of our guests, Marco Williams, recently made the movie Banished. It’s about the interactions of three Black families, who were descendents of the banished, and white people now living in those towns.
The issue of the day will be to find out what relevance this has on our lives now. The Germans paid reparations to the Jews who survived the camps, the US paid reparations to the Japanese Americans and the descendents of those interned in camps during World War II. Should the US do the same for those who are the descendents of those African Americans ethnically cleansed from their homes?
Is it different because these are descendents of rather than the victims themselves? Is monetary reparation the only possibility? Does this give us as a society a chance for some reconciliation? Is it just history, something for us to learn about and then let go?
What do you think? Call in or write in at one, or comment on the blog.
Check with you later.
Did your parents ever give you an incentive to perform well in school? As in, raise your grades and we’ll raise your allowance? Or, keep a certain GPA and we’ll take you on a vacation? Mine did. Freshman year of college my mom wouldn’t let me take my car to the campus first semester-and I wasn’t allowed to bring it second semester unless I got a certain GPA. I worked pretty hard to make sure I hit that GPA mark–I needed my car to escape campus every once in awhile.
We all know that lots of parents do this. But when the actual school system gets involved, we get very uncomfortable about the idea of learning having a cash/material reward system. We want education to be pure-for students to be motivated by a love of learning-to learn for learning’s sake. But do we need to do a reality check? Do we need to abandon our high ideals and take a look at what is really going on, and maybe adopt a method that stems from a harm-reduction philosophy?
That’s what we’re talking about today at noon, with Dr. Andres Alonso, live and in studio. Join us!
At noon, a topic I know some of our listeners follow very closely… while some of you might just wonder how you’re going to pay a $450 BGE bill this month, which, by the way, is slightly less than the bill that arrived at my house last week.
Something for everyone, then: Steve Larsen, Chairman of the PSC (Public Service Commission, more info on both Steve individually and the PSC as a whole here) joins us to discuss the ongoing investigation into Maryland’s 1999 energy deregulation deal, that led to a 72% rate hike for more than 1 million BGE customers last year, and could be followed by higher increases soon.
If, indeed, consumers got a bad deal, what should/can be done now? Should Maryland consider re-regulating? How about seeking monetary compensation from Constellation Energy in court? Last August, Illinois reached a one billion dollar settlement with a coalition of power suppliers over contentious rate hikes there. Read one account of it, from EnergyBiz Magazine, here. Please join us with your questions for Steve Larsen on the air at noon (866-661-9309 or email@example.com) and don’t forget to post your thoughts here, as well.
I remember in 2006 during the race for Maryland’s vacant senate seat, a hot debate being sparked on our show when a guest said, “Any black person who votes for a Democrat in this election is a patsy.” Oh, the calls that came in for the rest of the hour-people were SO angry!
While it was a comment that probably could have been worded in a much more intelligent way, what it implied was interesting. The implication was that the Democratic party was taking the African American vote for granted by not supporting the candidacy of Kweisi Mfume-and that blacks should vote for the Republican candidate, Michael Steele, an African American. Most of the callers were offended by the very suggestion that the Republican agenda had anything to offer black voters.
But according to statistics, more and more blacks are finding something about the Republican party to interest them. In 1972, fewer than 10 percent of African Americans identified themselves as conservative; today nearly 30 percent-11.2 million-do. Those are the numbers presented by Christopher Alan Bracey in his new book, Saviors or Sellouts: The Promise and Peril of Black Conservatism, from Booker T. Washington to Condoleezza Rice. He points to the social issues that African Americans tend to be conservative on-abortion and gay marriage for example-and traces the history of politicla conservatism in the Black world.
Figures like Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell–what appeal did they find in conservative politics? Why do they remain such polarizing figures? Join us today to discuss.
P.S. Go here for information on Bracey’s event in Howard County this weekend!
…Those are a few of the topics we’re planning to cover at 1pm today, focusing on the intersection of all of them. We’ll look at recent developments in Iraq’s oil industry, and how it fits into the bigger picture of the Iraq War. We’ll discuss why the presidential candidates and the media both seem to not be focusing on Iraq as much as they should be.
We’ll be talking with Ben Lando, UPI’s energy editor. Check out an extensive archive of his articles here. Ben also created The Iraq Oil Report, a website that tracks oil goings on in Iraq on a daily basis.
We’ll also be speaking with Antonia Juhasz, author of The Bush Agenda: Invading the World One Economy at a Time. She is the Tarbell Fellow at Oil Change International and Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. Here’s an archive of op-eds that she has written.
Then-Mayor Martin O’Malley at an Earth Day Planting at Gilmor Elementary in 2005
Before I came to work at WYPR, I worked at a documentary company called Soundprint. While I was there, they were working on a series of stories about urban forests that delved into the unique environmental issues that cities face. For the documentary Watershed 263, we attended an Earth Day planting ceremony at Gilmor Elementary in Baltimore. Gilmor was one of a dozen schools in Baltimore that had converted their parking lot into a garden. Things like parking lots and roads are terrible for the environment. When it rains, the rain gathers up all the oil and other pollutants that have been sitting on the pavement and then whooshes it all into a storm-water drain. That all ends up in the Chesapeake, of course, where it wreaks havoc. A garden, on the other hand, keeps that water right there, and puts it to good use. It’s a lot of fun for the kids, too, to get a day out of class to get their hands dirty and have a beautiful spot to play.
The purpose of that whole long story was to tell you that on that day, then-Mayor Martin O’Malley was at that school, and ceremoniously planted the first flower in the soil. I remember being impressed that he would find time in a busy schedule to visit a school, make a speech, plant a flower, and hang out with the kids for awhile. I left with the feeling that he cared about the environment.
The impression I was left with would please the now Governor, and those who work to craft his image. He has very purposefully cast himself as a “Green Governer“. But what does that term really mean? As the environmental crisis in the Bay and beyond seems to grow more urgent, how does the criteria for being an environmental politician change? What is the gold standard in environmentalism for a politician? What is the leading edge-and is O’Malley on it?
We’ll discuss this today with people who all care deeply and have devoted their lives to the environment. Join us, to share your thoughts on what you would like to see happen in Maryland.
Here are some pictures courtesy of one of our guests today, Gerry Winegrad. His descriptions are below:
Marc has said for years that the best way to address drug and gang related violence in Baltimore is to get ex-offenders, those wise men who have been there and come back to tell the tale, to work in outreach with troubled communities. But there has always seemed to be an institutional and government aversion towards giving money to people who have been in prison. Maybe things just had to get really, really, really bad before that changed.In 2000, Chicago implemented a program that was developed at the University of Illnois School of Public Health in Chicago. This program began in West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago. Police Beat 1115 was chosen as the first CeaseFirezone in large part because of the high number of shootings. The idea was to send ex-offenders, faith leader, and other community members into those neighborhoods to offer conflict resolution, help kids get out of gangs, and whatever else it took to save a neighborhood. In the first year of CeaseFire, shootings in beat 1115 dropped by 67%. In the past few years, CeaseFire has seen continuing success, which you can read about here.
Last year, Mayor Sheila Dixon and the Baltimore City Health Department brought Operation Safe Streets to Baltimore. It is a program based on CeaseFire, and we’re hearing that the pilot neighborhood has seen a tremendous drop in homicides and shootings. Today at one, we’ll talk with people from that community to learn more.
At noon tomorrow, Wednesday, we’re going to continue the discussion we began at noon today. We had lots of calls and emails throughout the show today, and we’ll be going through them to help plan tomorrow’s show. We’ll be checking the blog for listener’s thoughts on the economy, as well, so put up your comments here!
Here’s a couple articles to check out, if you’re looking for some further reading:
-from the NY Times magazine on Sunday, The Education of Ben Bernanke
-how one man personally made billions, literally, in one year thanks to the collapse of the housing market, in the Wall Street Journal, Trader Made Billions on Subprime
Marc is the guest blogger for the OSI-Baltimore Audacious Ideas blog. Go check it out!
As the subprime mortgage mess has gone into major meltdown mode, we’re hearing a lot about “predatory lenders” while sympathetic words are being used for the people who are losing their homes.
But at what point do we say, “Wait a second–should these people bear some responsibility for making bad financial choices? Why did they choose a loan that was not good for them? Are they guilty of living beyond their means?”
Ah, living beyond ones means. An American tradition, some would say. Advertisers and credit card companies surely want you to engage in this kind of behavior, and hey, it’s good for the economy, which is good for America, right? Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves when those $230 Cole Haan shoes at Nordstrom are calling our name.
But at what point does it become too much? If I buy the Cole Haan shoes, or use my credit card to pay for groceries or for my kids school uniform, and then I can’t make the payments and my interest rate jumps not only on the credit card I didn’t make the payment on but on ALL my credit cards–is that my fault for not being responsible with my money? Or was I lured by dishonest and seductive promises about easy credit and low APR’s into thinking that I could spend now, pay later?
And if, as in the case of the subprime debacle, the government intervenes, what message will it send to people? Will it help us become smarter spenders and borrowers, or teach us that we can engage in risky behavior and not bear the consequences?
We’re talking about issues of responsibility with debt today, and how our culture thinks about money and credit. The subprime mess has showed us how far this issue reaches. All sectors are hurt, not just those involved with the industry. Is it time for our country to radically transform the way we think about money, credit, and debt?
In November we presented a one hour version of today’s special program titled Martin and Malcolm: One Vision – Two Voices. In honor of today’s holiday honoring Dr. King we present an extended version of Martin and Malcolm: One Vision – Two Voices. Produced, in cooperation with the Maryland Humanities Council, Marc moderated a discussion between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , portrayed by actor Bill Grimmette, and Malcolm X, portrayed by actor Charles Everett Pace. The program was recorded before a live audience at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
A number of Maryland National Guardsmen will be returning this spring. Members of the National Guard face the same combat in Iraq as members of the other branches of the armed services, but have fewer resources available to them when they return home. With little or no federal government funding, states have been left to create their own reintegration programs. Minnesota National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon reintegration program is serving as a model for other states.
This hour we’ll look at the issues facing members of the National Guard as they return home.
Mexicans. That is what many Americans call any person living in America who is from south of our border. But the truth is that many of the people living in our country without permission began their journey south of Mexico-and they had to sneak into that country illegally as well. That is the subject of a new article in this month’s National Geographic. Around 400,000 people sneak into Mexico every single year, making Mexico’s southern border feel “like the place in distant water where the wave first rises and swells and gathers uncontainable propulsive force.” We’ll talk with the author of that article, Cynthia Gorney. Please also check out the photographs of Alex Webb, who traveled with Cynthia as she reported the story.
There is this cool test on the BBC website I took last week that measures whether or not your senses overlap. As in, do you connect days of the week, letters or numbers with color? Is Thursday always green to you, and is the letter F always red? What the test is really measuring is whether or not you may have a neurological phenomenon called synesthesia. Synesthesia is only beginning to be understand by scientists and the people who have it. There are several different types, the most common called Grapheme-color synesthesia, which is where an individual associates letters and numbers with color. There is also spatial-sequence synesthesia, where numbers have spatial relationships to each other and to you-for example, 18 is further away and to the left, while 9 is rather close and above. There are many other kinds and you can read about them here.
So what is life like for someone with synesthesia? Today we are going to talk with writer Alison Buckholtz, who wrote a great article for Salon.com earlier this week called The Letter E is Purple about her personal experience with the condition-and how she feels about the fact that her son may have it..
Baltimore City’s 36th police commissioner has a lot of work to do to keep the homicide rate from following last year’s trend, when it was the highest since 1999. He’s going to be in the studio today to discuss his plans, which include using community engagement, targeted enforcement, and strong partnerships. We’re taking your questions for Baltimore City Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld. Join us at Noon.
Baltimore is crazy for HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Wire. I think that many citizens of Baltimore secretly enjoy the violent and criminal reputation of the city, that they are perversely proud of it in the way that New Yorkers were of their city before Giuliani cleaned it up. We think it makes us look tough or something. The Wire is a part of that–almost our way of saying to the world, “See how messed up and tough our city is? I bet you couldn’t handle this.”
It’s also just such a great show. Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik, who you also hear weekly on WYPR’s Take on Television, will be in the studio today to discuss the show. We can also talk about the writer’s strike and what it means for the next year of entertainment. Is any end in sight?
Join us, with your questions and comments for David. What do you love or hate most about this new, final season of The Wire? What television show are you going to miss seeing as a result of the writer’s strike?
P.S. Aaron Henkin of The Signal, our weekly arts and culture show, did a great piece last week where he watched The Wire with former drug dealers and got their thoughts on how real or unreal the depiction of their lives is. Listen to it here.
One of the most interesting things I have read about the situation in Israel and Palestine is a positive observation. The observation is that for the first time in many, many years, the leader of Israel and the leader of Palestine trust each other.
The problem is, perhaps, that their own people may not trust them.
Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, is under investigation for corruption, has been blamed for the loss of the second Lebanon war, and according to some polls, only 8% of Israeli’s support his government.
Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian National Authority, is in a constant fight to keep the Palestinian populace loyal to his Fatah party as opposed to Hamas.
And President Bush, who is meant to help usher these men and their nations towards peace, is generally disliked in the Arab world and due to leave office in a years time.
Is there any hope?
Join us at Noon today to discuss. We’re going to talk with Aron Raskas, a Baltimore attorney who is national vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and a director of www.onejerusalem.org, and with Daoud Kuttab, an award-winning Palestinian columnist/journalist and currently a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, as well as William Kern, Managing Editor of WORLDMEETS.US, a website that provides articles translated into English from an array of international media.
We’re on the air right now with Andy Green from The Sun, Tom LoBianco from The Washington Times, and Erin Sullivan from City Paper… talking about the beginning of the legislative session, what to expect in the next 3 months, and, so far, the public’s perception of O’Malley. Yesterday, The Sun published a poll showing a low approval rating for O’Malley, mainly because of the tax increases approved in the special session last fall, it seems.
What are your thoughts on O’Malley and the new tax increases? How do you perceive yourself as being effected by the new tax plan? Is a 1 percent sales tax increase something to complain about? How about a 1.25% corporate tax increase?
What role did the Walters Art Museum have in discovering the earliest surviving manuscript by Archimedes, which includes some previously undiscovered writings? Join us at 1pm today to find out, as we’re joined by the authors of The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity’s Greatest Scientist.
For more info in the meantime, check out this informative blog post by Dan Harlow.
Classical pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher joins us, once again, for an hour of music and conversation. Described by his music students as the “Obi-Wan Kenobi of the piano” Fleisher was the first American to win the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Belgium in 1952.
In the mid sixtie’s Fleisher’s career was interupted by a debilitating ailment which effected his right hand. As a result Fleisher began teaching, conducting and specializing in performing piano pieces for the left hand. In 1995 Leon Fleisher returned to performing two-handed works and last year was one of five recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors celebrating lifetime achievement in the arts.
Today is the opening day of the Maryland State Legislature. In recognition of this event we present our annual remote broadcast of the Annapolis Summit recorded earlier this morning at Phillip Seafood Restaurant in Annapolis. Sponsored by Villa Julie College and the Baltimore Business Journal the first hour will feature a conversation with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch.
In the second hour Marc will speak with Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. The state’s top legislators will discuss the foremost issues facing Marylanders. These issues include development, slots, the Chesapeake Bay, the state budget and education.
We’ve got Valerie Plame on the show today. She’s going to talk about her experience being at the center of a national scandal over the leak of her identity as a covert CIA agent. Though no one has been held responsible for revealing her status, one man, Lewis Libby, has been found guilty of obstruction of justice and perjury in charges related to the investigation into who leaked her name. She’ll share her experience today and take your questions. Last fall she released a heavily redacted autobiography, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House.
Two topics today at one.
We’re going to start with Clive Thompson, a contributing writer to New York Times Magazine who wrote the cover story this weekend titled Can You Count on Voting Machines? This is scary stuff, people. In actual election situations, touch screen voting machines have crashed, lost votes, failed to properly print paper records of votes, and more. These are the machines that roughly one-third of all Americans will be using to cast their votes in the 2008 Presidential election-an election that may be determined by very slim margins. Including Maryland.
And then, we go to Kenya, where 486 people are estimated dead since the disputed Presidential election there last week. Things have quieted down since both political parties have cancelled protest rallies and agreed to mediation. But the situation is precarious and the humanitarian crisis remains with a quarter of a million people displaced. We’ll talk with Maina Kiai, Chairman of the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights, who is currently in Kenya, and with Christopher Fumonyoh, Senior Associate for Africa at the National Democratic Institute.
I’m a huge Ravens fan, so I could go on and on about all of the trivial things that only another Ravens fan would care about. I had a bad feeling after we lost the first game of the season to The Bengals. We should have won that game, right? We were right there on the goal line….
That scenario repeated itself, in more and less similar ways, many times throughout the season, and it turned out to be a trainwreck of a season. What went wrong?
Now Billick is gone, and fans seem to have divided opinions, with many not being sure whether it was a good decision to fire him, or not. The questions we can ask now, as all we can do is look forward to next season, are endless, starting with who will be head coach. And the whole coaching staff was fired, so what about the other coaches? Who will start as quarterback? Will we ever have a strong offense?
Lots of questions, and we’ll welcome your thoughts from noon to 1pm today on the air, or right here at any time.
Emily Martin, professor of anthropology and author of the book above joins us at 1pm today. She has a lot of insight to share on mania and depression, and we hope you’ll join us with questions, and to share your own experiences with these common parts of our lives, as well.
Marc loves Studs Terkel, the great historian, author, broadcaster, and so much more. So whenever he releases a new book or is anywhere near a studio and they offer us an interview, we know the answer is always yes. Recently, he released a memoir called Touch and Go. After decades of telling other people’s stories, Studs is finally telling his own. Today at one we bring you an interview with Studs that we recorded before the holidays. It may be the last time we get to speak to this 95 year old American treasure, so don’t miss it.
And then we’ll talk with Nelson Peery, an author and activist whose latest book is Black Radical: The Education of an American Revolutionary. This book examines the time in this communist’s life after he returned home from serving in World War II to the time of the Watts Riots in 1965. He challenges the notion that the Civil Rights Movement in America was led by the clergy elite. Instead, he believes that it was the experiences of black veterans of WWII that gave the movement the mass appeal that it needed to succeed. He joined us to discuss his experiences in the Communist party, the freedom movement, and more.
A great show…today at one. Don’t miss it.
We’re back, so dry your tears and join us at Noon today for Open Phones. What is on your mind? We’re interested. 1-866-661-9309 or 410-662-8780 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or leave your comment here.
Time for our annual Holiday Music week. Here is what is coming up!
Monday, December 17th
12-1 pm Lea Gilmore shares her favorite music. Want to check out some of what she played? Here is the playlist.
- Baby, It’s Cold Outside, performed by Eric Byrd and Lea Gilmore
- Santa’s Got the Blies, by Denise Lasalle
- Please Come Home for Christmas, by Charles Brown
- Santa Baby, by Eartha Kitt
- All I Want for Christmas is You, by Mariah Carey
- This Christmas, by Donny Hathaway
- Give Love on Christmas Day, by the Jackson 5
- So This is Christmas, by John Lennon
- Mary Did You Know, by Clay Aiken
- I am Not Forgotten, by Israel and New Breed
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing, by Norman Hitchens
- Silent Night, by Mahalia Jackson
- What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong
1-2 pm, Tom Hall shares from of his favorite music.
- Oh Come, All Ye Faithful
- Come Colors Rise
- Thank you, by Dave Brubeck
- Gabriel’s Message
- Yvette in English, by Joni Mitchell
- I Wish You Love
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
- Never Will I Marry
- Nine Crimes, Damien Rice
- Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel
- Hallelujah Chorus
Tuesday December 18th
12-1 pm Jon Carney is the Concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and he brought some of his favorite classical music for us. What did he play?
- Edward Elgar conducting the London Symphony- 1st movement of violin concerto featuring Yehudi Menuhin at age 16 – 1931
- Vivaldi – Largo from “Winter” of the Quattro Stagioni, Jon’s recording w/ the Royal Philharmonic – 1992
- Camille St. Saens – from his “organ” symphony (#3) – Jean Martinon and French Radio Symphony – 1975
- Michael Nyman – Prospero’s Books (miranda) – 1996
- Beethoven – slow movement from his opus 135 String Quartet – Guarneri Quartet 1987
- Bartok – Concerto for Orchestra – last movement – RPO w/ Danielle Gatti – 1997
- Bach – Chaconne for Partita #2 in D minor for solo violin – Henryk Szerying
- Fritz Kreisler – “La Gitana” for violin and piano – Jon’s own recording w/ his mother on piano – 1995
- closing music: Michael Nyman – Quartet #4 – track 14
1-2 pm Jason Willett is the co-owner of the True Vine Record store in Hampden, as well as a member of a litany of fine bands including Leprechaun Catering and Half Japanese. We asked him to bring his favorite Christmas music, and this is what we heard – not quite in the order we heard them, go figure –
- James Brown – Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto
- Culturcide – Depressed Christmas
- Frieder Butzmann – White Christmas
- Hybrid Kids – Good King Wenceslaus
- James White and the Blacks – Christmas With Satan
- The Jethros – I’m Dreaming of a Wide Christmas
- Rotary Connection – Opening & Silent Night Chant
- finally, 3 awesome song poems called Snowbows, Santa Came on a Nuclear Missile, and Santa Goes Modern
Wednesday, December 19th
12-1 pm Keith Covington is the owner of the New Haven Lounge, one of the best places around to see live jazz. He brought us the gift of great holiday jazz music; here they are in order:
- Slim & The Supreme Angels – Precious Lord
- Selah Jubilee Singers – When Was Jesus Born
- Kenny Burrel – Merry Christmas Baby
- Ramsey Lewis – Christmas Blues
- David Benoit – Christmas is Coming
- Ramsey Lewis – Merry Christmas Baby
- Chris Botti – Ave Maria
- Dianne Reeves – Carol of the Bells
- The Swan Silvertones – I’m Not Tired Yet
- Ramsey Lewis – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
- Bobby Durham – Jingle Bells
- Van Morrison – Have I Told You Lately?
- The Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama (not to be confused with the Unoriginal Five Blind Boys of Alabama, seriously they’re better) -This May Be the Last Time
1-2 pm Rock and Roll has had something to say about Christmas since the 50’s. Former disc jockeys Toby Bray and Michael Butscher came by and spun the following tunes.
- Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid
- Father Christmas – The Kinks
- Wonderful Christmas Time – Paul McCartney
- Step Into Christmas – Elton John
- Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon
- Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Chicago
- White Christmas – America
- The Christmas Song – Linda Ronstadt
- The First Noel – Air Supply
- Merry Christmas, Baby – Southern Culture on the Skids
- Merry Christmas – The Ramones
- Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
- Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
- Please Come Home for Christmas – The Eagles
- River – Joni Mitchell
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Bruce Springsteen
- Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby & David Bowie
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Shawn Colvin
- The Christmas Song – Nat “King” Cole
- Jingle Bells – Frank Sinatra
- Let It Snow – Dean Martin
- It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas – Perry Como
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town – The Jackson Five
- Christmas Isn’t Christmas (Without the One You Love) – The O’Jays
- This Christmas – Donny Hathaway
- L’il Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
Thursday, December 20th
12-1 pm Ed Polochick is a busy guy. He’s conductor of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra in Nebraska, Artistic Director of the Choral Artists of Baltimore, and Director of Choral Activities at the Peabody Conservatory. He was good enough to find time to come in and share his favorite classical and choral Christmas Music.
- The First Noel, from the album Crystal Carols by Dean Shostak
- The Holy Boy by John Ireland, from the album A Christmas Garland
- Adeste Fideles, by Liszt, performed by Walker Marshall
- Many Moods of Christmas, Suite 2, by Robert Shaw, from the album Festival of Carols
- Candlelight Carol, from the album Christmas Night: Carols of the Nativity, conducted by John Rutter
- Christmas Night, Christmas Night: Carols of the Nativity, conducted by John Rutter
- Many Moods of Christmas, Suite 3, by Robert Shaw, from the album Festival of Carols
- Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Concert Artists Symphonic Chorale
- Worthy is the Lamb That Was Slain performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Concert Artists Symphonic Chorale
1-2 pm Hopefully you’ll have some time to relax during the holidays. And if you do, maybe you’ll want to go to the movies…but what to see? Never fear, we’ve brought together a great panel of film critics to tell you what to see. We’ll talk to Violet Glaze of the Baltimore City Paper, Mike Speir from Variety, and Michael Sragrow from the Baltimore Sun.
We really hope you enjoy all of this music and special programming. Happy Holidays!
-Jessica, Justin, Marcus
I went down to southern Maryland last August and took this picture standing in the Chesapeake Bay at Calvert Cliffs, although maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Beautiful place, but the water didn’t quite look as clean as it might have.
This hour we’ll be talking about what really would need to be done to clean up the Bay. Is it realistic at all to see a cleaner Bay? Efforts have been made for decades, but results are less than hoped for so far.. What do you think?
Time for one of our annual shows. HELICON, a great band that reunites once a year to play an annual winter solstice concert, will be in the studio today from 1-2 to bring you some great music. We’ll be hearing Ken Kolodner on hammered dulcimer, hammered mbria and fiddle; Chris Norman on wooden flutes, tin whistle, small pipes and piano; and, Robin Bullock on guitar, cittern, fiddle and piano.
The guys will be playing their 22nd annual concert at Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College, on Saturday, December 15 at 3:30 pm and 8 pm. Go here for more information.
You are psyched. Don’t deny it. The hammered dulcimer is hardcore.
Join us today!
..we go on the air. Just time for a quick post today.
In the first hour, we’ll be looking at the role religion is playing in the ’08 presidential campaigns, so far, and more broadly at the role religion plays and has played in American political life. What does it say about our society that a candidate’s religious beliefs have become a central part of political campaigning? Are Democrats trying to out-biblethump the Republicans? What did you think of Romney’s speech last week? When will we elect our first openly atheist president? More at noon…
In the second hour, we’ll have what has now become an annual show commemorating Homeless Memorial Day, which is actually next Friday, December 21st. We were talking here recently and I asked if anyone else had noticed a more visible, larger homeless presence in certain parts of downtown (Guilford Ave under the JFX, St. Vincent’s Church…) We all had noticed, but didn’t know what to attribute it to, so I called Jeff Singer at Healthcare for the Homeless and got the scoop from him. He’ll be here at 1pm to discuss with us further on the air, but basically he said, yes, the homeless population is growing in Baltimore and has been for years. He attributed it to factors including homeless shelters closing, some shelters that are still open have become transitional, rather than emergency, shelters and offer less beds, the rising cost of housing, the decrease of available public housing units, and the increasing difficulty of obtaining public assistance for single adults. On top of all that, for those that do get public assistance, it hasn’t been adjusted for inflation in about five years. More at 1pm…
Here’s a picture from earlier this year of Governor O’Malley swearing Brenda Donald in as the new Secretary for Maryland’s Department of Human Resources. With her job, comes the responsibility of running the state’s foster care system.
About a month ago, we had a show looking at the foster care system, which I described at the time like this:
We’re starting off the hour with a look at Baltimore’s foster care system, which, no one would argue, is in need of some huge reforms. A class action suit was brought on behalf of 2,500 foster children in 1984. In 1988, the court entered a comprehensive consent decree requiring reforms, and nearly 20 years later we’re still waiting for those reforms. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but two decades is a long time by anyone’s standards. If you’re unfamiliar with this lawsuit, or the foster care situation here in general, a good place to start would be this article from Tuesday’s Sun.
Where are things now, another month later? Brenda Donald will be here at 1pm to let us know, and take your questions, as well.
What effect has the increased level of US troops, ‘the surge,’ had in Iraq? Statistics show decreased levels of violence, but does that constitute a success? There are still tragic amounts of daily violence, and a host of other problems, throughout Iraq. What would a “good” outcome to the war look like at this point?
Joining us today is Nancy Youssef, who just returned from Iraq where she reports for the McClatchy newspapers. Read her articles here. Also joining us is Adil Shamoo, who recently wrote an article supporting a military withdrawal from Iraq, which you can read here.
Does anyone remember this book, “Owl At Home?” I remember a lot of great books from my childhood, but this one has really stuck with me for some reason. I picked it up again a few years ago, and was struck by how emotionally evocative it was. Arnold Lobel, also the creator of the Frog and Toad books, is a genius.
What are your favorite kid’s books? We had great response from our kid’s books show a year ago, so we’re bringing back the same guests today at 1pm for another round.
Children’s Bookstore in Roland Park
Marion Nestle will be here at 1pm today, and looking at the cover of her most recent book above, you can see the some of the questions we’ll be discussing. She’s got a great blog – check it out here. And don’t forget to let us know what you think as you listen to her on the air with us today. Continue the discussion with your comments here!
In my work as producer for the Just Words series, I’ve come to believe that inner city mothers are the new stoics. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked a mother “How do you deal with all this?” and they just look at me like I am crazy to even imagine that they would take the luxury of considering NOT dealing with it all. I do not know how they do it. Being a mother is hard enough, I imagine. But to be a mother trying to raise a child with drug dealers on the corner,without much money, with the schools in terrible shape and murders on the rise?
That’s what we are going to hear about today. We’re invited three women who have been featured on the Just Words series. Lorraine Mackey lost her son, Aaron Mackey, to gang violence over a year ago. She’s doing everything she can to keep her other son safe, and is trying to pick up the pieces and figure out, what went wrong? Sheilah Cannon’s daughter was caught in gang crossfire while going to pick her little brother up from school, and had to spend months in shock trauma. Now Sheila is doing everything she can to find a place she can afford to move her children to. Nargas Hyman began to worry about her eldest son years ago when she saw him and his friends hanging out after school, with nothing to do. She created an afterschool youth program that she is still running, over a decade later, out of her mother’s basement.
What do these women go through as they struggle to keep their children safe? We’ll find out today. Join us.
To hear Nargas, Sheila, and Lorraine on JUST WORDS, go here.
Dixon at yesterday’s inauguration.. who’s the guy in the suit?
Sheila Dixon was sworn in as Mayor of Baltiomore yesteday, after being Mayor for about a year already, since the guy in the suit left this small town for a nice position in Annapolis. Can’t blame him, being Mayor is not an easy job.
Today we’ll welcome two of the people Dixon has chosen to help her run the city:
Andrew Frank – Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood and Economic Development
Salima Marriott – Deputy Mayor for Community and Human Development
What would you like to ask, or tell, the people running this city? Call us between noon and one pm today, 410-662-8780, while we’re on the air with Baltimore’s Deputy Mayors.
Last night CBS television aired the holiday favorite Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It wasn’t that long ago when there were only three main television networks. One of the highlights of tv seasons past were holiday specials hosted by Bing Crosby or Bob Hope. In addtion to Rudolph, A Charlie Brown Christmas would have to be included as one of the top holiday specials evoking special memories for young and old.
Join us at 1pm today as we discuss holiday television, and the current television season, with Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik.
The Marc Steiner Show is getting into the Christmas spirit with a doorbuster opportunity for you today…A twofer! At one o’clock we’re going to bring you two authors in one hour.
First, we’re talking with Jonathon Scott Fuqua. When you were a teenager, did you ever have a book that just so perfectly captured your life or your feelings that you read it over and over again? I did. It was Girl, by Blake Nelson and I can’t say it so much captured my life as it was the life I wished I had. I also loved Unfinished Portrait of Jessica by Richard Peck. Both of these books are about girls turning into women and how thorny that process can be. Jonathon Scott Fuqua writes books like this. They are books that come as a relief to the people reading them; finally, someone understands! His latest book is called Gone and Back Againand is the story of Caley, a teenager whose dad has a personality disorder and whose brother is handicapped. His parents are divorced and he’s been moved all around the country, eventually ending up in Florida, which is where the novel begins. It’s a story that draws upon the author’s own struggles with depression.
And then we talk with Zakes Mda. He’s a writer from South Africa whose work is really about our interactions with history and memory and how we manage those things in the middle of present life. His latest book is Cion, and is about Toloki, the hero from a previous novel, moving to Ohio with his family and learning about his ancestors, runaway slaves.
Join us today at one, for all that!
Recently Google announced its plans to spend tens of millions on research, development and related investments in renewable energy. Google believes it can produce electricity at scale cost less than coal. It also believes it can do this in years, not decades.
With Google taking the lead, what does this say about the future of energy development? Will Google’s initiative spur the government, and other businesses, to step up their efforts to find alternative, renewable and sustainable energy sources? Tune in and let us know what you think.
When someone broke into Sean Taylor’s home in the middle of the night and killed him earlier this week, was it a case of some trouble from Sean’s past catching up with him, or a random crime? We don’t know, yet, but if I had to guess, I would guess that he was targeted, given the past, public incidences of violence in his life. And not everyday violence, but things like an assault charge for threatening people with a gun, and being on the receiving end of a hail of bullets in his SUV.
There’s lots of other incidents around the NFL, and sportsworld in general, of players who’ve been dragged down by connections to their sometimes turbulent past. Look at Michael Vick, Darrent Williams (Bronco’s player killed in a drive-by last New Years Day,) or the jail time Jamal Lewis served while playing for The Ravens, and, of course, Ray Lewis, who was charged, along with 2 of his friends, with a double murder. Lewis accepted a plea bargain, pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice, and his friends were acquitted.
The thing is, this isn’t particular to proffesional athletes by any means. Michael Wilbon said it better than I could in his column earlier this week. Here’s an excerpt:
The issue of separating yourself from a harmful environment is a recurring theme in the life of black men. It has nothing to do with football, or Sean Taylor or even sports. To frame it as a sports issue is as insulting as it is naive. Most of us, perhaps even the great majority of us who grew up in big urban communities, have to make a decision at some point to hang out or get out.
The kid who becomes a pharmaceutical rep has the same call to make as the lawyer or delivery guy or accountant or sportswriter or football player: Cut off anybody who might do harm, even those who have been friends from the sandbox, or go along to get along.
Mainstream folks — and, yes, this is a code word for white folks — see high-profile athletes dealing with this dilemma and think it’s specific to them, while black folks know it’s everyday stuff for everybody, for kids with aspirations of all kinds — even for a middle-class kid with a police-chief father, such as Taylor — from South Central to Southeast to the South Side. Some do, some don’t. Some will, some won’t. Some can, some cannot. Often it’s gut-wrenching. Usually, it’s necessary. For some, it takes a little bit too long.
That’s a lot to think about.. join us at 1pm today, and leave your thoughts here, as well.
Also, check out the Sports Illustrated article that helped get us thinking about all of these things today. It’s called “The Road to Bad Newz” and written by one of today’s guests, Farrell Evans, and George Dohrmann.
“Prostitution is hilarious!”
I’m always shocked when I hear about some stupid group on a college campus having a Pimp’s and Ho’s party, or a “Ghetto” themed party where you are encouraged to bring 40’s in brown paper bags and “wear your favorite gang colors!” I mean, do these people really not get it? Are they really unaware that someone is going to be offended by this? Where is the motivation, anyway? Why do people want to emulate ghetto stereotypes and celebrate the worst of human behavior?
These are the questions that Cora Daniels asks in her most recent book, Ghetto Nation: A Journey into the Land of Bling and the Home of the Shameless. Why do people like Paris Hilton appropriate ghetto attitudes and style? How can corporate America defend it’s practices of making so much money off harmful ghetto stereotypes? Do we really live in a world where Pimp and Ho” for children costumes are available? Yes. We sure do.
Let’s discuss…at Noon…
In 2004, Joel Hafvenstein went to Afghanistan as part of an aid program to help Afghan opium farmers find alternative ways to make money. Predictably, the program ran into resistance from the area’s drug trafficking warlords, and responded with ambushes. Within just a few months, nine of his colleagues were dead.
He’s our guest today to talk about his time in Afghanistan, which is chronicled in the new book Opium Season: A Year on the Afghan Frontier. It’s a really exciting account of his time there, and a quite educational story about the complexities of Afghan society and the larger issue of the problems present in U.S. attempts to bring aid to foreign countries.
So join us, to hear this fascinating story….
A socialist and a capitalist walk into a bar….
The beginning of a joke, right? Not today. Today we have a socialist (A. Robert Kaufman) and a capitalist (Okay, well not specifically a capitalist, but a business writer, so he writes about capitalism and for the most part we’re all capitalists, after all….anyway it’s Jay Hancock from the Baltimore Sun) and they are coming in together to talk about how they both came to this conclusion: the War on Drugs has failed and must be ended.
Jay Hancock revealed this belief in a column on November 7th. Kaufman has been advocating this for years. They’re going to talk about how they came to this conclusion from very different places.
Join us, to share your thoughts on the War on Drugs.
*click here to listen to this show (might take a minute to load)
Ever wonder where the electricity in your home comes from? Go to this website, type in your zipcode, and within seconds you can see the power plants on your grid. They’ll also tell you if they use any coal taken from mountaintop removal mines, and show you where those mines are.
We have some pictures to go along with the show, because this is something you have to see to fully grasp, courtesy of photographer Antrim Caskey. She took the picture above, and you can click here for more of her pictures from West Virginia.
Many of the guests who’ll be on this program will also be at The Charles Theater tonight (Tuesday) for a screening of Black Diamonds at 7pm. The documentary, directed by Catherine Pancake, "charts the escalating drama in Appalachian states surrounding the increase in massive mountaintop removal coal mines that supply cheap coal to the US and Europe. The film documents one of the most radical, environmental grassroots movements in the US today as impoverished local citizens fight to end the destruction of their mountain vistas, communities, and culture." It’s a fundraiser for Coal River Mountain Watch, and there’s more info here.
Here’s the rundown on the guests:
Seems like this week’s Middle East peace conference in Annapolis has come back from the dead. Everyone was saying that the conference had become irrelevant–that no one was coming, it would only be one day, and it wouldn’t make a dent in the enormous amount of work and negotiation that needs to occur between Palestine and Israel.
But things seem to be looking up. As President Bush emphasizes his desire to make peace in the Middle East part of his legacy, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and other nations of the Arab League have agreed to attend.
So looks like we’re going to have a bona fide conference. Today at Noon we’re going to discuss what issues are going to be at the top of the heap. What are the likely sticking points? What is a reasonable set of things we can hope to see accomplished?
We’ll talk with our friend Ali Zaghab, a Palestinian-born local businessman who has joined us many times in the past to discuss these issues, and Dr. Elli Lieberman, a retired Israeli Army major, a PhD in Middle East studies, and a local businessman. We’re also going to here an essay on peace and interfaith understanding and love from John Oliver Smith.
So join us. What do you want to see accomplished? Do you feel optimistic?
Today we present a special program titled Martin and Malcolm: One Vision – Two Voices. Produced, in cooperation with the Maryland Humanities Council, Marc moderated a discussion between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , portrayed by actor Bill Grimmette, and Malcolm X, portrayed by actor Charles Everett Pace. The program was recorded before a live audience at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Today, local author, Goucher professor, and friend Madison Smartt Bell is joining us to discuss his new book Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore. The book is what it sounds like; the author takes us on a walk through Baltimore, pointing out the important cultural, historical, and social points of interest along the way. He visits typical Baltimore tourist spots like the Inner Harbor and Fells Point, but also goes to places off the tourist track, like the vibrant Greenmount Avenue and Greenmount Cemetery.
Producer Justin went out with him last week and captured the sounds of some of these spots…we’ll be playing those on the air today while we talk with Madison. So join us with your comments, questions, and stories of your favorite parts of the city!
First, a disclosure. Having become vegetarian and then learned to cook, in that order, I’ve never cooked a turkey. Still, Thanksgiving is 3 days away, and at 1pm today we’ll be talking about cooking all sorts of things, including turkey, I’m sure. What are your favorite holiday recipes and family traditions, when it comes to eating? Share them here and on the air today, and have a great holiday!
The special session of the Maryland General Assembly came to a close early this morning at 2:30am. State legislators passed tax increases spending reductions to resolve Maryland’s looming $1.7 billion deficit. Marc and his guests, Fraser Smith, WYPR senior news analyst and Sunday Sun columnist, Andy Green, Statehouse reporter for the Sun and Tom LoBianco, Annapolis reporter for the Washington Times will discuss the recent session, what it accomplished and what it means for state residents.
Well, I hope if any of you aren’t members, you will become one after today, because we’re gonna be running up the phone bill here at WYPR!
First–we’re going to go to Iraq, to talk with Nancy Youssef of the McClatchy papers. She’s going to share her first-hand perspective of the political and security situation in that country.
Then, we’re traveling to Pakistan. We’re going to talk to Shahan Mufti of the Christian Science Monitor, who is reporting from Pakistan. We’ll also talk to Washington College professor Tahir Shad, a Pakistani who is currently in Argentina. And we’ll talk with Kamran Asdar Ali, a Pakistani and professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas.
What do you want to know about the situation in Iraq and Pakistan? Bring them to the show!
Currently on stage at Center Stage The play Hearts deals with the experiences of a Jewish – American soldier during WWII and how those experiences shape the rest of his life. These experiences are played out by a quartet of friends who meet for a weekly card game of hearts. Taking part in a discussion about the play are playwright Willy Holzman, his father Donald, on whom the play is based, director Tim Vasen and actor Jordan Charney who portrays Holzman in the play.
It’s not the usual group of workers you’d expect to go on strike, not the auto workers, or municipal workers in some far off part of South America or Europe. Members of the Writers Guild of America, tv and film writers, walked out over a new contract dispute. They want to update their residuals payments to reflect the increasingly popularity of tv shows being streamed online, often free of charge to the viewer.
Interesting, the intersection of technology, media, labor……
So, will the next season of your favorite show be on as expected? How much longer will the strike last? Will our tv’s be sitting in the basement next to our old vcr’s soon, as we watch everything on our computers? Joining us to answer all of your questions will be Baltimore Sun tv critic David Zurawick, at 1pm.
Baltimore’s premier practictioner of the art of the human beatbox, Shodekeh, will be here at 1:30pm today. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, check out www.beatboxing.com for some background on beatboxing. Shodekeh has a page on there here that will tell you more about him. And check out his myspace page, as well, for some live videos, including one performing with KRS-1, and a piece on Shodekeh done by WYPR’s own Aaron Henkin for The Signal.
Can I let you in on a little secret? I am loving the housing slump. It is my favorite thing in the world. I hope it just keeps falling and falling. I, of course, am a prospective buyer. But you, the owner, are cursing me for celebrating the loss you are experiencing in your net worth!
The differences in our attitudes explains in part why it is so hard to come to a consensus about the economy and how it is doing. In my eyes, the economy was flying so high that someone like me, young and without much money, couldn’t really get my foot in the door and buy stocks or a house. It was not an economy that was friendly to beginners. I felt priced out of that economy. But to someone whose foot was in the door already, the economy was perfect-great-never been better!
We’re going to talk today with people who have different ideas about what the economy we have today means. Does the housing slump portend a recession-or is the market just correcting itself? Are oil prices rising higher and higher because of actual supply and demand issues, or is it market manipulation? Why does the Federal Reserve seem so optimistic? And what role do hedge funds play in alll this?
Join us…with your comments and questions…or offers to sell me your house at a reduced price!
Snoop is possibly the most terrifying character on The Wire. She looks like she’s about 12 years old, she’s completely androgynous, she’s got the strangest, almost alien-sounding voice, and she kills people in a completely matter of fact way like it’s nothing.
Felicia Pearson drew on her own experiences, which she documents in her new memoir, Grace After Midnight, to create the character she plays. Just how much of her own experiences? Well, she grew up with a foster family in East Baltimore, got involved in the drug game, and wound up in prison for murder. Her book is full of some real-life terrifying stories, like the first time she visited her real mom’s house after being put into foster care. Her mom screamed at her, maybe 8 years old, to take off all of her clothes and then locked her in a closet. She cried until she passed out, and woke up to find out that her mom had taken her clothes and sold them for crack.
I’ll leave the rest of the stories for her to tell today. She’ll be here for an hour at 1pm.. do not miss..
What would you do if you realized your brother was the Unabomber? Not a question most people have had to answer, but you can find out what it was like from someone who has at 12:30pm today. After we check in on the goings on in Annapolis, as the special session heads toward a close as early as the end of the week, we’ll be joined by David Kaczynski.
After the Unabomber’s Manifesto was published in the NY Times and Washington Post, David recognized his brother’s writing style and was faced with an agonizing decision, which would change the course of his life completely. Join us to find out what happened, and about the work that David is currently doing as executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty.
What does it mean to go to war? How does a society decide to go to war? Is there such thing as a good war? How about a necessary war? What is the cost of war to those who fight it, and those who survive it? Is an end to war a realistic thing to hope for?
What have we learned from struggles to wage war, and struggles to wage peace, in the past? What can we learn from today’s conflicts?
We’ll be reflecting on these questions, and maybe a few others, with veterans of war and veterans of the peace movement, and at least one person who is both of those things.
As has been the case the first three days of the week, we have a show with many different parts to it. Any thoughts on that – have you noticed? do you like it? – are welcome.
We’re starting off the hour with a look at Baltimore’s foster care system, which, no one would argue, is in need of some huge reforms. A class action suit was brought on behalf of 2,500 foster children in 1984. In 1988, the court entered a comprehensive consent decree requiring reforms, and nearly 20 years later we’re still waiting for those reforms. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but two decades is a long time by anyone’s standards. If you’re unfamiliar with this lawsuit, or the foster care situation here in general, a good place to start would be this article from Tuesday’s Sun.
Then we’ll hear from House Speaker Mike Busch, live from Annapolis, for an update on the special session. Following that, we’ll leave some time for our listeners’ thoughts on the special session, so get your thoughts and questions ready by 1pm.
Lastly, we’ll be joined by Elbridge James. He’s the director of the Maryland Black Family Alliance, a new group of black politicians, ministers, and activists seeking to promote “fairness, justice, and equality for all families” aka legalization of same-sex marriage.
Disaster capitalism. What an interesting phrase. It’s the topic of Naomi Klein’s new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. What is disaster capitalism? It’s things like Blackwater, or the privatization of New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina, or Haliburton and the rebuilding of Iraq. It is the world in which private companies profit from disasters, natural or man-made.
Is this an example of the triumph of the global free market? Or evidence that some of the events of the past decades have been engineered to profit certain corporations?
Join us as we speak with Naomi Klein….and watch a short video inspired by the book.
And then, we take a look at the special session in Annapolis. Is deal making and compromise occuring? Will slots pass? Will corporations and those with high incomes be paying more in taxes? We’ll talk with WYPR’s Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith and Kevin Dayhoff, columnist for The Tentacle.
Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady opened on Broadway in 1956 to critical raves and, at the time, went on to become one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history. The show also made a star of Julie Andrews. The current touring production of My Fair Lady is playing at the Hippodrome. This production is direct from London’s West End and with top flight talent on stage and behind the scenes. The reviews and word of mouth on the production say it raises the bar for all other touring productions.
Thirty years ago, male students were in the majority on college campuses. Today women are outnumbering men at colleges and universities. While the number of women is increasing; educators are asking where have the boys gone? There’s been a significant drop in the number of men applying and attending college which is baffling educators.
A couple weeks back, I was reading this article in The Sun, “Towson scraps gender effort,” and came upon a statistic that really surprised me. Apparently, 42% of US college students are male, 58% female. I had no idea there was such a big gender gap. We’re going to be looking at the reasons behind that in the first part of today’s show.
The education theme will continue as we debate possible education funding cuts in the proposed state budget, and also host a teachers’ roundtable to continue the conversations from earlier in the show from a teacher’s perspective, as well as look at other issues that are important to teachers. A new contract, maybe?
This picture was taken in a refugee camp in Kenya in 2003, where Sudanese refugees wound up after fleeing first their own country, and then refugee camps where they had settled in Ethiopia. For more on their story, see this article.
It’s written by Charles London, who’ll be joining us from 1-2pm today. Charles left Baltimore, where he grew up, to work for Refugees International. His experiences led him to write a book called One Day the Soldiers Came, in which he tells the stories of children displaced by war who he met over the past few years.
He was in Burma during the recent unrest there. He recorded his observations in a piece for the NY Times magazines; that piece is here.
One more thing to check out.. Charles was interviewed on All Things Considered recently; that interview is here.
The Maryland legislature is in the midst of a special session called by Governor Martin O’Malley. The major issue facing this special session is the state budget. While Maryland is reported to be the richest state in the union, it faces a budge deficit. To remedy the situation the governor is putting forth a plan that calls for generating more revenue.
However generating more revenue might come at a cost to existing programs. If that’s the case, to repair the fiscal health of the state, where should funds be reduced? What programs, if any should be cut? Today, in our ongoing look at the special session, we’ll look at the state budget from three perspectives.
…to hear two more interesting conversations that, like yesterday’s show, if you missed the first time, you won’t want to miss again. A couple of months ago we had a show about the digital divide, with a focus on how it plays out in Baltimore’s economy. We’ll be airing that for a second time at noon today. See the original blog post, and comments, here.
A couple weeks ago Garrison Keillor came and spent most of the the day at WYPR during a trip to Baltimore. For a genuinely touching piece Keillor wrote about his recent visit here, check out this column on salon.com. At one, we’ll rebroadcast his appearance on The Marc Steiner Show. You can see the original blog post for that show here.
Last month MICA and the Maryland ACLU teamed up to put together a rather unusual celebration for Constitution Day, a holiday that not many people bother to celebrate in the first place. They put together an event devoted to the First Amendment, and the right of free speech. Who better to speak on this topic than the trio of John Waters, Ralph Nader, and Helen Thomas? That’s what someone thought, at least, and they were all brought together for a couple hours. It turned out great; the auditorium at MICA couldn’t even fit everyone who tried to get in. So, for those of you that missed it the first time, we’ll be playing it as a two hour special, from noon-2, on The Marc Steiner Show today. To hear the complete version, because we had to cut a little bit for time and edit a few words here and there, ironically enough, just go to www.wypr.org and download the podcast anytime in the next month.
Assuming each of these Democrat nominees wins the general election next month, there will be four newly elected City Council members in Baltimore. Today at 1pm you’ll have a chance to find out more about three of them, and the ideas they will be bringing to the City Council. Sharon Middleton is already serving on the Council, having been appointed to fill a seat left vacant last January. She’ll be here along with newbies Bill Cole and Bill Henry.
As for the fourth, Warren Branch, he’ll remain a bit of a mystery to our listeners, but not for lack of an invitation. You can read an article here in The Sun about the city public works inspector’s primary victory over incumbent Vernon Crider by a mere 51 votes. If you’re googling him, don’t confuse him with bodybuilder Branch Warren.
Some interesting stats on vacant houses and property in Baltimore:
13% of the total property in the city is abandoned
there are about 30,ooo abandoned buildings and lots in Baltimore
the city owns about 1/3 of the abandoned property
the city owns about 4,000 abandoned buildings and 6,000 abandoned lots
the city owns about 25% of vacant buildings
All of these figures are taken from here, the Housing Authority’s “A Plan to Create The Baltimore City Land Bank.” Basically, the city is planning to sell many of its vacant properties cheaply as soon as next July. The city is also planning to acquire more vacant properties, with the intention of selling them, as well.
If you’re wondering if and how you’ll be able to buy a cheap house to fix up, tune in at noon today, when the author of the Land Bank Plan and the head of Baltimore Housing, as well as housing activist Michael Sarbanes, will be here to help us figure out how this is all going to work.
And for a look at a land bank program that has already been implemented in Flint, Michigan, another town full of abandoned properties, take a listen to this story from Morning Edition today.
A special legislative session begins in Annapolis today, and while that might not be the most exciting news to everyone, it may end up having an impact on your daily life in more ways than one. The goal of the session is to work toward balancing the state budget, which means finding more revenue than the state is currently taking in. So, by the time it’s over, we could see things like an increase in different kinds of taxes, whether it be sales tax, personal income tax, or business taxes. Once again, for the millionth time, bringing slots to Maryland will be considered and debated, with the possibility of a statewide voter referendum.
This hour we’ll be focusing on the business side of the equation. Are businesses taxed fairly? What that means depends who you ask, of course, so at noon we’ll be seeking some varied opinions. Call in or write us here to let us know what you think.
An article in the Wall Street Journal last week about Wal Mart’s agressive strategies to cut their state income tax bills got us talking about some of the ideas we’ll be exploring today. Wall Street Journal doesn’t have free online archives, but thanks to walmartwatch.com the article is reprinted here in its entirety, along with other related articles.
Sister Helen Prejean is our guest today. She’s the nun whose work with death row inmates was profiled in the Academy Award winning movie Dead Man Walking. She joined Marc to talk about the death penalty, and why she believes it is not only morally wrong but replete with racial, economic, and geographic disparity as a result of a broken judicial system.
Sunday, October 28 at 8:30 pm at the Charles Theater and Tapas Teatro, the Maryland Film Festival will hold its first fundraising event. One of the highlights will be a panel discussion entitled The Rothman’s: An Insider’s Look at the Movie Business. The talk will feature Donald Rothman, founding partner of the law firm Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander, and one of the founding members of CENTERSTAGE. Also taking part are his sons John Rothman an actor.writer and producer and Tom Rothman, Co-Chair of Twentieth Century-Fox Film Entertainment.
In preparation for Sunday’s program, Marc spoke with the Rothmans and Jed Deitz, director of the Maryland Film Festival.
You heard Marc’s short interview with the Rothmans today–now hear the full version online! Just click here.
Sunday, October 28 at 8:30pm at the Charles Theater and Tappas Teatro the Maryland Film Festival will hold its first fundraising event. One of the events will be a panel discussion entitled The Rothman’s An Insiders Look at the Movie Business. The discussion will feature Donald Rothman, founding partner of Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger and Hollander. Also taking part are his sons John Rothman an actor/writer and producer and Tom Rothman, Co-Chair of Twentieth Century-Fox Film Entertainment.
You may have heard Marc interview Roger Kamenetz in the past. He’s best known for two of his books, The Jew in The Lotus and Stalking Elijah. His newest book is all about interpreting dreams in the context of spirituality. It’s called The History of Last Night’s Dream.
It’s crazy to think that we all spend about a third of our lives asleep, and who knows how much of that time dreaming, but most of us give it so little thought during the other two thirds of our lives, when we’re awake. I rarely remember my dreams past the moment I wake up, but if anyone has had any interesting experiences with dreams lately, we’d love to hear about it.
Today we’re discussing what is probably one of the uglier topics to be discussed. Rape.
Some interesting things in the news lately:
“The concept, undergirding the Battle holding, rooted in ancient laws by English common law, views the initial ‘deflowering’ of as the real harm or insult which must be redressed by compensating, in legal contemplation, the injured party – the father or husband. … [I]t was the act of penetration that was the essence of the crime of rape; after this initial infringement upon the responsible male’s interest in a woman’s sexual and reproductive functions, any further injury was considered to be less consequential.”
-from Court of Special Appeals, Opinion by J. Davis, filed February 9, 2007
I mean WOW, just WOW. Right?
Join us today. We’re going to be talking about rape in the modern world–how we deal with it socially and legally. How does our culture treat people who allege they were victimized? How do we treat alleged assailants?
Here is a link to the op-edwritten in The Baltimore Sun by Glenn Sacks, one of our guests, in which he supports the University of Maryland’s decision to deny protesters a forum to publicly name alleged rapists.
Bring your comments and questions….
Of all the people in the world who love to spout off about politics, few make a living doing it. Even fewer get paid to do it in The New York Times twice a week. This Paul Krugman must be a pretty smart guy.
He certainly has a lot to say. Click here to see his work for The NY Times, and also a link to Krugman on The Colbert Report! Click here for his own page with an extremely extensive archive of his writing. There is even an official Krugman site with tons of archives, other people’s writing about Krugman, and much more. Click here for that.
And, of course, tune in at noon today to here Paul Krugman on The Marc Steiner Show, then share your thoughts right here.
Today we are talking with one of the finest photographers working in journalism today.
Her name is Diana Walker and she is a contract photographer for Time Magazine. She’s spent over two decades covering the White House, and has photographed Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. Today she is joining us because of her new book The Bigger Picture: 30 years of Portraits. It’s an amazing book, and she is full of amazing stories of behind the scenes on the campaign trail and behind the public face of public officials.
National Geographic, which published the book, was kind enough to share with us some of the photographs in the book.
Diana Walker is our guest at 1 pm on Tuesday. Here is some of the great pictures from her amazing book The Bigger Picture: 30 Years of Portraits.
New Jersey Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick-1978
Boris Yeltsin, President Clinton-1995
Clinton-Gore campaign staffers-1996
First Lady Hilary Clinton-1997
The Gores, Democratic Convention-August 2000
These are just a few of the fantastic pictures that are available in Diana Walkers book The Bigger Picture: 30 Years of Portraits. Hope you enjoyed the interview and the photographs!
All photographs © Diana Walker 2007. No use without written permission from the publisher.
Want to meet Diana? She’ll be doing a talk and book signing at Politics & Prose in Washington D.C. on November 11th. Call 202.364.1919 for more information.
The recent awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to former Vice-President Al Gore and climatologists, conitinues to strengthen the need for worldwide awareness of global warming.
Global warming has been most noticeable in the Antarctic. Significant changes in the environment have resulted in the melting of the polar ice caps, increased water levels and the threat of extinction to animal life. Marc’s guest this hour is award-wining photographer, lecturer and environmental activist Sebastian Copeland. In his new book Antarctica: the Global Warning Copeland documents in photos and text, his personal insights about the increasingly rapid pace at which the arctic regions are melting.
In the 1930’s Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers personified the elegance and sophistication of ballroom dancing. Over time, partnered social dancing gave way to people dancing apart. However, the popularity of movies like Strictly Ballroom, Dance With Me and Shall We Dance, as well the television show Dancing With the Stars has lead to a resurgence in the popularity of ballroom dancing. Join Marc and his guests this hour as they trip the light fantastic and discuss ballroom dancing.
Thanks to Webster’s for the above definition. Impasse is the word of choice for the contract dispute between the Baltimore Teachers Union and the Baltimore City Public School System. If you are not a teacher or school administrator, you might be wondering what is such a big deal about some planning time that it is stalling the entire contract negotiation process, leaving teachers working without contracts.
I’m sure that our two guests today, BCPSS CEO Andres Alonso, and BTU President Marietta English can shed some light on the issue for you. We’d love to hear thoughts from parents, students, teachers, and school administrators about how they view this dispute, and how the impasse is effecting them. Call 410-662-8780 during the show at noon today, or leave your thoughts here on the blog!
When this book came in, I was immediately transfixed. We get a lot of books coming through everyday, and when a pretty one comes in, it’s a nice break from the policy tomes we see all the time. But this book goes so far beyond that. It is way more than pretty pictures. It’s a poetic argument in favor of reinvigorating architecture with a sense of purpose and spirit. It’s a passionate plea from an architect who is seeing our world become increasingly devoid of metaphor and grace.
This book is so visually stunning, and the conversation is bound to focus on a lot of the images of the buildings that Travis Price has designed and built. He was kind enough to let us use some of his images to create a little visual exploration for our blog readers. Just click here and enjoy!
Join us on air or here in the blog to talk about your favorite buildings, what you think about American design today, and whether or not you think our world has lost it’s way in terms of design.
And don’t forget to become or renew your membership!
If this picture triggers horrible flashbacks to your school cafeteria lunch days, I’m sorry. If this picture looks like your lunch today, I’m also sorry. If this picture is making you hungry and you’re offended by the first two sentences, I’m sorry, as well.
I never had cafeterias in my elementary schools, so I always had to bring lunch to school. So, I don’t have memories of frozen peas, carrots, corn, processed meat, cheese, white bread, boxes of milk, and whatever the hell is in the top right corner of that tray. Jello? Probably…
The contradiction between people’s desires to raise healthy kids and the food we feed kids, whether in school or at home, is one of those things you might not ever think about, but once you do, it’s hard not to wonder what on earth we’re doing. If we want kids to be healthy, why are school lunches notoriously unhealthy? Why are kids menus full of fried, greasy, fatty foods like pizza, french fries, and chicken nuggets? Why do we assume these are the types of foods that kids naturally like?
At 1pm today, we’ll talk about some different approaches to feeding kids, again, both in and out of school. For some interesting ideas, check out The Food Studies Institute, started by one of our guests today, Antonia Demas.
If you’re a parent, what have your experiences been when it comes to feeding your kids? Are you happy with the food that they’re given in school?
Marc’s guest this hour is Jayne Miller, Chief Investigative Reporter for WBAL-TV. City Paper has named her one of Baltimore’s best reporters. Jayne Miller’s work as a general assignment reporter, consumer advocate and investigative reporter has earned numerous awards and resulted in changes in legislation and public policy.
The Dalai Lama is in DC this week receiving the Congressional Gold Medal Award. Bush will become the first US President to appear publicly with the Dalai Lama, which is kind of funny in a twisted way, but not to the Chinese government.
Thomas Laird is going to be in DC for the occasion, and while he’s there, he’s making a trip up to Baltimore to join us in the studio at 1pm today. He has spent years living in Asia and written extensively about Tibet. His book The Story of Tibet is an oral history of the country as told to him by the Dalai Lama himself over the course of many visits to Dharamsala.
Funny side note: there is a small community of Tibetan Monks in East Baltimore, including one who fled Tibet with the Dalai Lama. We were hoping to have him and some of the others also join us for the show today, but they’re all in DC with His Holiness.
Need I say more?
The southeastern United States has been experiencing one of the most severe droughts in its history. Closer to home, Maryland is experiencing its own drought. Earlier this month, a drought watch was announced for 15 centrtal and eastern Maryland counties.
The far reaching consequences of the current drought will impact our environment, finances and force us to take a closer look at how we develop the state. Joining Marc to discuss the drought in Maryland are Dan Soder, hydrologist with the US Geological Survey, Dr. Tim Foresman, President of the International Center for Remote Sensing and Donald Boesch, President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
Lots of people pitch show ideas to us all of the time. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re not, but we only have so many hours in a week, and we could never get to them all even if we wanted to.
The idea for his hour’s show came to us from the Jewish Museum of Maryland, who want to promote a new exhibit they have opening on Sunday. In general, if someone is pitching an idea that is a thinly vailed promotion, I would politely decline. In this case, however, I realized this idea had some great potential for us.
The exhibit is called “Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore.” The idea of actually bringing together a group of people with deep roots in one neighborhood, so that we could explore the history of the neighborhood from a personal level, is what really appealed to me in putting this hour together. In a place like Baltimore, the combination of neighborhood histories and personal stories always makes for something interesting.
If you, or someone in your family, grew up around East Lombard Street, have memories of the area at different times, or live there today, we’d love to hear from you. As always, you can call or email while we’re on the air at 1pm today, and also leave your stories here.
We’re thinking about adding a new segment on the air in which we’ll read emails and blog posts from listeners reflecting on shows that have already aired either later in the week or the following week. So, don’t hesitate to keep writing after each show.
Today we’re going to return to a topic we’ve been covering since the story broke, and that’s the case of wounded soldiers being discharged from the Army under Chapter 5-13 “Personality Disorder.” This enables the Army to avoid paying medical and disability benefits for these soldiers. It was being applied despite the fact that these men passed the Army’s rigorous psychological entrance examinations and displayed no prior evidence of mental disorders. Joshua Kors from The Nation is the one who broke this story (the original article is here, and he’s back with an update, which you can read here. We’ll also be joined by Congressman Phil Harefrom Illinois, who has introduced legislation to stop this kind of discharge, and from Congressman Bob Filner from California, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Beverly McIver “Oh Happy Day” 2001 Oil on Canvas 60 x 55 3/4 in.
I first became aware of Beverly McIver in the November 2006 episode of Art News. The images of her paintings stopped me on my tracks. She depicted herself, a black woman, in black-face. She played off the “Mammy” stereotype. She painting herself dancing with a white man, but scratched her face out. She painted portraits of her mentally handicapped sister, whom she is the primary caregiver for.
I have ambivalent feelings about contemporary art. I walked into a museum in Paris once where a whole room was filled with a table that had potatoes dumped on it, with wires going in and out of the potatoes. At that moment, I sort of broke up with contemporary art. So much of it feels derivative and irrelevant to me. So much of it is absurd and almost obscene in how removed from any real sense of aesthetics it is. Her art escapes that. To me it has both contextual and technical beauty and worth. It is brave and actually manages to shock and unsettle without resorting to ridiculous extremes in terms of medium. So when the card announcing her October show at the C. Grimaldis Gallery came, I told Marc, “You have no choice. You are interviewing this woman!” and he intelligently agreed with me.
I’ve prepared a page with some of her work on it. Click here. I hope you like her stuff as much as I do.
When you think of a Pit Bull, do you think this:
Are Pit Bulls just destined to be more aggressive and violent? Or do they only become that way because they have bad owners? Are laws regulating Pit Bulls unfair? Or do they provide needed protection for people? Lots of people get mauled by dogs each year. I can think of three cases in Baltimore City that got press just this summer. Two of the victims were seven year old children. Today we will talk with people on different sides of this issue.
Let us know if you have a Pit Bull story, as an owner, or someone who knows a Pit Bull. Good or bad experiences, share them here.
Last week, the unseasonably warm weather, and the death of one runner, stopped the running of the Chicago Marathon. Saturday the streets of Baltimore will be filled with runners taking part in the Baltimore Marathon. Everyday from Inner Harbor to Charles Village to the suburbs you’ll find people, from experienced marathoners to recreational joggers getting in a run.
Since the start of the running craze in the ’70’s, one of the most popular fitness goals is to complete a 5K, half-marathon or marathon. But how do you get started? This hour is for novice and experienced runners. If you’re thinking of beginning a running program or improving your current program check-in with our panel of experts. We’ll hear from Jim Adams, owner of the Falls Road and Fells Point Running Stores, Dr. John Senatore Union-Memorial Podiatrist and Lee Corrigan, President of Corrigan Sports Enterprises.
Are slots coming to Maryland? The Governor hopes so, because he needs to raise some money to cover the state’s budget deficit, and the less he has to raise taxes, the happier we all are. Slots have been a politically divisive issue for years, though, and bringing them here is far from a done deal, yet.
Marc has been covering slots and gambling, discussing how, when, if, why, and where they might find a home in Maryland as long as he’s been on the air, and today the debate continues. We’re joined by Ron Wineholt from the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Aaron Meisner from Stop Slots Maryland, and James Karmel, a history professor from Harford Community College with a new book on the way called Gambling on the American Dream: Atlantic City and the Casino Era.