Equal Time with Martha Burk

Thanksgiving will be just like any other day for millions of U.S. citizens who rely on food stamps. No turkey, just trimmings to the already meager food stamp program. House Republicans want a $40 billion dollar cut.  Senate Democrats want $4 billion. Whatever they choose, it’ll be on top of the loss these families suffered when a 2009 temporary increase ran out November 1st.

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Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

On November 19th citizens of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will vote on the first city-level 20 week abortion ban in the U.S. Called the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance,” the proposed Albuquerque law is a test case for city abortion bans nationwide. Whether the local coalition fighting the ban can prevail over out-of-state rabble rousers, the  Catholic clergy, a biased local press, and fundamentalist churches that have taken up the battle is anybody’s guess.

Direct download: EqualTime_11162013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:41pm MST

When it comes to how we treat our veterans, we do pretty well in some areas, but fall down in others. Homelessness is one of the worst. It’s way too high for both male and female vets – and this is one area where women are catching up to men.  Substance abuse and mental illness are leading causes of homelessness for male veterans.  But homelessness for our female ex-soldiers actually starts before they leave the military.  A huge factor is sexual trauma from rapes and other assaults during their service. Because they couldn’t report the crimes, or were punished when they did, many women suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and lose their jobs, family, and homes.

Direct download: EqualTime_11092013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47am MST

The 2013 Global Gender Gap Index from the World Economic Forum is out. It measures overall equality between women and men in 136 countries.  Is the USA number one?  We rank 23rd in the world, just behind Barundi in the Global Gender Gap Index.   Unlike the US,, governments in countries at the top of the list make it possible for parents to combine work and family. No one can argue that we’re not in the world’s top tier when it comes to standard of living -- it's just that women in the good ol’ U.S. of A don’t quite have the same standard as men. Maybe we can learn from those countries that are doing it right.

Direct download: EqualTime_11022013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm MST

October 26 is Make a Difference Day. With all the bad news in the world, we can create our own good news by making a difference in our communities.  Created by USA Weekend magazine and Points of Light, Make a Difference Day inspires people around the world to help others by volunteering for the cause of their choice.  Good for communities, good for those in need, and good for the planet.

Direct download: EqualTime_10262013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am MST

Every month nearly 50 women in the U.S. are murdered with a gun, most often by a husband or boyfriend.  Congress could protect women and save lives with a few fixes that wouldn't infringe on the rights of lawful gun owners.  All it takes is political will.

Direct download: EqualTime_10192013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16pm MST

October marks the International Day of the Girl Child. This year's emphasis is on education.  In poor countries worldwide as well as countries in conflict, girls are deprived of education more often than their brothers.  Thirty million elementary school-age girls are not in school.  There’s no disputing that girls born in the U.S. have won the lottery of life compared to girls in poor and war-torn countries. But despite our prosperity and universal education, we still have work to do.  

Direct download: EqualTime_10122013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm MST

The Supreme Court session starts in October, and some hot button issues are likely to be heard this term. The hottest may be corporate control of contraception. Obamacare mandates that employer health plans cover birth control without co-payments.  Corporations like Hobby Lobby and Eden Foods hate the rule so much that they’ve filed lawsuits to stop it.  They say they don’t believe in birth control, and covering it for female workers violates their religious freedom. What about a female employee's right not to be forced to conform to dictates by the boss’s faith? 

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Category:general -- posted at: 2:10pm MST

Chicken is big business in the U.S. During National Chicken Month, the industry gives us ways to celebrate -- by eating more chicken of course. But who pays, and who profits? KFC alone rakes in over $4 billion a year -- while paying workers the minimum wage. Corporate big birds like Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride have lobbied for years to get safety inspections weakened, and they're about to succeed, thanks to the Obama administration.  So here are some different ideas to mark National Chicken Month.

Direct download: EqualTime_09282013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:16pm MST

Forty seven million people in the U.S. depend on food aid, and almost half are kids. For the first time in modern history, the House has passed as farm bill without any food stamps, even though the recession has caused the rolls to swell. The House voted to cut food stamps, but keep $195 billion in subsidies for big Agriculture and farmers who don't farm.   If it's not fixed, a lot more people will go hungry. Here's a suggestion … 

Direct download: Equal_Time_09212013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:26pm MST