To read the all essays prepared for this series, visit: http://beliefascommunity.blogspot.com/.
Democracy, I would repeat, is the noblest form of government we have yet evolved, and we may as well begin to ask ourselves whether we are ready to suffer, even perish for it, rather than readying ourselves to live in the lower existence of a monumental banana republic with a government always eager to cater to mega-corporations as they do their best to appropriate our thwarted dreams with their elephantiastical conceits. ~ Norman Mailer
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since 1 January 2009
Community Bridge won two first place awards at the 2010 Kansas Association of Broadcasters collegian competition for public affairs programming and for documentaries.
First place for public affairs programming was awarded to An Interview with Marci Penner, in which we explored the wonders of Kansas. Penner is the Executive Director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation. We discuss the mission of the foundation, how it works to help small communities thrive, and the quest for perfect pie.MP3 File
Our first place documentary, Voices from the National Equality March, captures the essence of participating in Equality Across America's march in Washington on October 11, 2009. In order of appearance we hear: Cleve Jones; Courage Camp participants; voices from 15th and I Streets; Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC; Reverend Troy Perry; Robin McGehee and Kip Williams; David Mixner, Corrine Mina; Tobias Packer; Aiyi’nah Ford; Mario Nguyen, Lady Gaga, Billy Myer and Dave Koz; Maxin Thorne; Julian Bond; Kate Clinton; Urvashi Vaid; and conclude with the voices of the DC Gay Men’s Chorus. C-Span has recorded all the speakers at the rally. Visit: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/video.php?progid=213759 to watch.MP3 File
In 2008 the Kansas Association of Broadcasters awarded Community Bridge it's First Place Award for public affairs programming for the program entitle The Kansas Stem Cell Debate.
This episode of Community Bridge features Brad Kemp, Executive Director of Kansans for Lifesaving Cures and Dr. Mark Weiss of the K-State School of Veterinary Medicine in a discussion of the issues around stem cell research
Kansans for Lifesaving Cures' policy position is that any stem cell research, therapies or cures that are permitted by federal law should be allowed in Kansas – provided that such activities are conducted ethically and safely and do not involve human reproductive cloning.MP3 File
Community Bridge also received First Place in 2007 for public affairs programming for Evolutionary Faith. Join our guests: John Carlin, Roman Catholic theologian; Keith Miller, Assistant Professor of Geology at KSU; and, Boo Tyson, MAINstream Coalition in a discussion of evolution, faith and reason.MP3 File
A report by The Guttmacher Institute, finds that in addition to these laws, more than 120 other bills have been approved by at least one chamber of the legislature, and some interesting trends are emerging. As a whole, the proposals introduced this year are more hostile to abortion rights than in the past: 56% of the bills introduced so far this year seek to restrict abortion access, compared with 38% last year. Three topics—insurance coverage of abortion, restriction of abortion after a specific point in gestation and ultra sound requirements—are topping the agenda in several states and all three have been approved by the Kansas legislature. For the complete Guttmacher report, click here.
Joining us to talk about what has happened in the Kansas legislature is Kari Ann Rinker, State Coordinator of Kansas NOW, and Shanna Kay Crowe. Then, Amanda Marcotte, a blogger RH Reality Check, best known for her writing on feminism and politics, joins Community bridge to discuss what is happening at a national level. In 2008, Marcotte published her first book, entitled It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments. Listeners can find her blog at RH Reality Check here.MP3 File
For our second hour we take up the theme of American empire in a tribute to GRIT TV which ceased operations on May 13th. First we hear GRITtv host, Laura Flanders, interviews Chris Hedges about the death of Bin Laden and the continuing concern over terrorism, the end of empathy in the U.S., and what avenues are left for progressives to fight back. Then we hear Flanders interviewing retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich about the changes in the administration and the ongoing situation in Libya and Syria, and notes that at a time when the Arab world is undergoing deep changes, it should be a time for modesty in the US and a reconsideration of military power and the use of violence to achieve goals. We close out this hour with a clip form Law and Disorder Radio featuring the award-winning independent journalist Will Potter. Potter is the leading authority on “eco-terrorism.” He’s the author of the new book, "Green Is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege."MP3 File
Community Bridge opens this week with our third round table discussion on the state of the media in Kansas. Joining the discussion are Mike Shields, Managing Editor of the Kansas Health Institute's News Service; Justin Kendall, weekly writer for the KC Pitch, the largest of alternative weeklies in Kansas; Michael Caddell, newspaper publisher, blogger and radio talk show host; and R. J. Dickens, news director at KCTU TV in Wichita.MP3 File
Andrew Breitbart has no problem lying to his readers, especially if he can score points against progressives. Breitbart's website BigGovernment.com is famous for promoting heavily edited videos that turn truth on its head that are produced by anti-abortion rights activist Lila Rose and falsely claiming that the video proves that Planned Parenthood engages in systemic criminal activities. In 2009, Breitbart promoted heavily edited tapes that he falsely claimed showed systematic corruption at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) related to child prostitution and sex trafficking. In 2010, Breitbart posted heavily edited video of Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP function and falsely suggested that Sherrod discriminated against a white farmer in her capacity as the Agriculture Department's Georgia Director of Rural Development. This video caused her to lose her job, but Sherrod is now suing Breitbart.
Then in April, just a week after he promised to "go after the teachers and the union organizers," his website started running a series of choppy, heavily edited videos taken from labor studies courses taught at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the University of Missouri-Kansas City by this week’s guest, Judy Ancel and a colleague, Don Giljim. Ancel is the Director of UMKC's Institute for Labor Studies. Breitbart's posts promoting these videos claim, among other things, that the professors "instruct students on how fear, intimidation, and, even, industrial sabotage are important and, often, necessary tools," and that they teach their students that the US flag is "racist." But as listeners will hear, this is just another lie by a right-wing fanatic as Ancel exposes Breitbart's tactics and his dishonesty on this week’s show.MP3 File
Then we hear a clip from Truthdig Radio featuring Tim Canova, the Betty Hutton Williams Professor of International Economic Law and co-director of the Center for Global Law & Development at the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. Canova takes on the Standards and Poors treat to downgrade the US credit rating in a discussion of the economic meltdown in our casino economy. The show closes out addressing the Manhattan City Commission’s vote to repeal the new anti-discrimination ordinance. MP3 File
Community Bridge opens this week with a look at lying as normative political discourse. Political lying has always been with us, but what the GOP and some Democrats have done is akin to carpet-bombing the truth. Mother Jones Magazine turns its investigative eyes on this reality in its May/June edition entitled: You Lie! Inside the GOP’s Fact Free Nation. We hear from Rick Perlstien whose article “Fact-Free Nation from Nixon’s Dirty Tricksters to James O’Keefe’s Video Smears: How political lying became the new normal," opens the topic. Perlstien is the author of two noteworthy books: Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, and Before The Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, which won the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history. From the summer of 2003 until 2005 he covered the presidential campaigns as chief national political correspondent for the Village Voice. He has also published The Stock Ticker and the Superjumbo: How the Democrats Can Once Again Become America's Dominant Political Party, an essay with responses from commentators including Robert Reich, Elaine Kamarck, and Ruy Teixeira. In 2006 and 2007 he wrote a biweekly column for The New Republic Online. Perlstein was a senior fellow at the Campaign for America's Future, for whom he wrote the blog The Big Con.
The hour closes out with Josh McGinn, Flint Hills Human Rights Project, discussing the what’s happening with the Manhattan City Commission and the efforts by the right-wing extremists Matta and Butler to repeal the city’s recently passed Anti-discrimination Ordinance.MP3 File
In our second hour, Riley County Commissioner Karen McCulloh and aTa Bus director Anne Smith join us for a update on the future of public transportation in Manhattan. aTa has received millions in federal grants to begin a regional and fix route transportation system in Manhattan. Smith and McCulloh provide an update, but could the recent Manhattan City Commission election waste this possibility to improve the quality of life in Manhattan? We also find out what is planned for the 2011 Earth Day celebration at K-State from Students for Environmental Action president Zach Pistora.MP3 File
What’s happening to American Democracy? Why are the two political parties only interested in what the wealthy think? Why does the middle class continue to shrink? Why does it seem corporations are above the law? Well the answer lies in the growing reality that our democracy is being replaced by plutocracy. In the March/April edition of Mother Jones, Kevin Drum provides insights that every American should understand in preventing our experiment in democracy from becoming and fascist plutocracy. Joining us to discuss the Drum article as well as his own work on the topic is Andy Kroll, a journalist at Mother Jones. You can find Any's writing at Mother Jones here.
In the second half of our first hour we take up HB 2390 that intends to terminate Kan-ed - the technology backbone that provides Internet services to K-12 education, public hospitals, public libraries, and public institutes of higher education. Joining us to discuss what Kan-ed is and how it benefits Kansans are Carol Barta from the North Central Kansas Libraries System; Jennifer Findley, Senior Director of Education at the Kansas Hospital Association; and Carol Woolbright who is the director Interactive Distance Learning Network at Greenbush Regional Education Service Center in southeastern Kansas.MP3 File
A new report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, entitled, "State Mental Health Cuts: A National Crisis," reports that Kansas ranks seventh in the nation when it comes to cutting state funding for mental health programs.
Community Bridge takes up this issue in our second hour with Robbin Cole, Executive Director of Pawnee Mental Health on how Brownback's budget cuts to mental health services are hurting Kansans in need of mental health services in Manhattan and across the state.
During the second half, we are joined by Rev. Tobais Schlingensiepen, paster of First Congregational Church in Topeka, and Rev. Trudy Cretsinger, former pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Topeka, representing Kansas families served by the Kansas Neurological Institute, another service Sam Brownback has deemed too costly for the state to continued to support. State appropriations for KNI amount to $10 million. KNI serves around 160 Kansans, the majority (83%) are aged between 30 and 59; 88 percent have a profound intellectual disability; 83 percent are unable to speak and the remainder have very limited speech abilities; 68 percent are unable to walk; and, 94 percent have lived at KNI for 10 years or more. But for Sam Brownback these people do not deserve to be care for by the state.MP3 File