9/27 2007 Fall TV Season

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This week the networks are heralding the premieres of their new fall series. Listeners of a certain age might recall a time when there were only three networks and you anxiously awaited the new fall tv season.

With cable stations and premium channels like HBO creating their own series, ABC, NBC and CBS no longer gain the lion’s share of the telelvision viewing audience. Joining Marc this hour, for what is always a popular show, is Sun television critic David Zurawik; who also hosts WYPR’s Media Matters Take on Television. He’ll discuss the new fall series and have the latest information on returning favorites. Stay tuned.

                                                                                                                                   -Marcus

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9/27 Tavis Smiley

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Marc’s guest this hour is Tavis Smiley who hosts signature national talk shows on both public television and radio. A former aide to the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, Smiley made history in 2002 when he became the first African-American to host his own show on National Public Radio.

Recognized by Time and Newsweek as one of America’s most promising leaders, Tavis Smiley is in Baltimore to host an All-American Presidential Forum for PBS, tonight at Morgan State University. Tonight’s forum will allow Republican Presidential candidates to address issues of concern for people of color. Tonight’s debate, however, has not been without controversy. The leading contenders for the Republican nomination will not be in attendanc citing scheduling conflicts.

After declining an invitation to debate on Univision, earlier this month, critics view this as evidence of the Republican party’s lack of concern for minority issues. We’ll talk about this issue and others with public radio and television host Tavis Smiley.

                                                                                                                                  -Marcus

9/26 Ambition

Ambition is defined as an eager or strong desire to achieve something. However, it’s a quality we applaud or abhor in people. Depending on your age, gender or socio-economic status, ambition can be a good or bad thing.

According to one of our guests this hour, ambition is the inner drive that pushes someone to achieve and is essential to leadership. As history has shown us too much ambition can bring harm to others; not enough can result in a lonely existence and people not reaching their potential.

                                                                                                                                    -Marcus

9/26 State Revenue and Taxes

If you’ve watched the local news or read the papers in the past week you’ve, no doubt, seen Governor O’Malley at kitchen tables to discuss his plan to restructure state income tax. Last week the governor climbed to a rooftop to discuss his vow to close corporate loopholes which have allowed large companies to avoid paying millions in local and state taxes.

While Maryland is one of the wealthiest states, it’s facing a looming fiscal crisis. Will making businesses pay more in taxes help the state’s revenue? Marc and his guests will debate the issue of whether businesses pay their fair share of taxes.

                                                                                                                                     -Marcus 

09/25/07 Cynthia Enloe

Today for the second half of the one o’clock hour we’ll talk with Cynthia Enloe.

 

She is in town today to give the 1st annual Korenman lecture at UMBC, today at 4:30 pm. Go here for more information!

I don’t know how one gets to become known as “an international feminist treasure,” but I imagine it involves being pretty smart and interesting.  She is the author of Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics, Maneuvers, The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives, and, The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire

She writes and teaches about the interplay of women’s politics in the international arena. One example she focuses on is the implications for women that exist in the War in Iraq. What does it mean for feminism? What does it mean for the welfare of women in the Middle East?

Join us!

-Jessica

09/25/07 Banned Books

 

I’ll be honest. I originally decided to do a segment on Banned Books Week because I was fishing around for a last minute show idea. I thought, “Oh, this will be interesting. We can talk about all the great classics that were once banned!”

Basically, I equated the practice of banning books with history. As in, that doesn’t happen anymore.

Oh boy, was I wrong.

Do you know the federal government is banning some books in prisons? Or that books about gay penguins are being challenged in libraries across the country? I remember a series of books I loved when I was a preteen. It was a series about a girl named Alice and her two best friends by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. I loved this series. The main character was wondering all the same things I was, feeling all the same things I did, was perplexed by everything I was perplexed by. It felt like having a friend. It made me feel less alone, and safe. I was looking at the list of the 10 most challenged books of 2006, and the Alice series is STILL on it! The books started being written in the 80’s!

Now on the other hand, I was in a bookstore last week and I went into the young adult section and I have to admit, I was pretty horrified. Some of the titles and covers were shockingly grownup and seemed to encourage girls to subscribe to a mindset where pretty, popular, sexy, and sophisticated is all that matters. I grabbed one of the books from the Gossip Girl series and leafed through it. Scotch, sex, smoking. All of these things were discussed casually or actually occurred in the first 10 pages of this book. I certainly don’t think I would want my (nonexistent) daughter reading this book.

But I guess I feel like that is a choice I as a parent should make. Not the government. What do you think? Did you realize we lived in a world where Toni Morrison still has two books on the most challenged list?

-Jessica

09/25/07 Gay Marriage

While there are always vociferous and vicious attacks against any gay rights legislation from some fundamentalist religious quarters, I think most Americans and most Marylanders are perplexed and don’t know what we should do.  Many, if not most, heterosexuals in our nation grew up in Christian, Muslim or Jewish homes where marriage was between a man and woman.  Where homosexuality was over there somewhere…someone who was a little “light in the loafers”…some form of aberration, or a way of avoiding the draft.

I think many just have difficulty thinking about sex between two men or two women together.  The idea of same sex marriage is just too foreign for most people.
Do you think that is true?  Now, maybe we should just take religion out of civil ceremonies for marriage.  I mean if Valerie and I were to marry at City Hall, it would not be called a civil union, but being married through a civil ceremony.  So, the idea of civil unions, I think, is just a strategy to make same sex marriage more palatable for the rest of us.

What do you think it would do to the fabric of society if gays and lesbians were allowed to be married in civil ceremonies?  You can’t force a religion to perform marriages that they deem inappropriate, that violates their tenants. Many churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples will not perform marriages between people of different faiths; others may not even perform marriages that cross racial or ethnic lines or when someone is divorced. It is their right.

If our state and nation allowed same sex marriage, no one could force a religious group to marry them or sanction them.  Of course, there are a minority of religious institutions that would marry gays and lesbians.  That is their right, also.

Gays and lesbians are our neighbors, our co-workers, our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, best friends, acquaintances and cousins.  They have children of their own, or through surrogates and adoption.  They serve in the military and in all branches of public services.  They defend us in court, serve our dinner, perform surgeries on our bodies, build our homes and are part of every facet of life.

Is their right to marry not a human right? A civil right? What would happen to us as a nation if they had the right to a civil marriage with all its protections?  What has happened in Quebec, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Holland, Spain and South Africa where same sex couples are allowed to marry?

What are your thoughts?

Join us at Noon today, and here.

-Marc