HOW GOODS CAN UNITE US

In their Citizens United decision, the U. S. Supreme Court determined that corporations are people too, and they have a constitutional right to political speech. Now, a new and free app, Goods Unite Us, allows consumers to hear what corporations are saying in the form of their political donations and, in turn, lets consumers respond by choosing which goods they purchase and from whom.  Corporations earn profits from everyday consumer purchases. Some of these profits are donated to politicians and/or causes you may or may not agree with.

On this program, Abigail Wuest, CEO and founder, and Amy Jo Miller, COO and founder, of Goods Unite Us, describe how this app brings more accountability and transparency to our political process. Each company gets an overall Goods Score calculated on a scale of -100 to +100. When you look up a brand or a company, Goods Unite Us will tell you about donations made by the organization and its senior employees, including the aggregate political leaning of the company, parent company, and senior employees. The scores are based on data and have no partisan preference.

If enough citizens shop using Goods Unite Us, more corporations may be incentivized to end corporate political contributions, and consumers will be empowered to make their voices heard through the purchases they make.

THE ART OF HEALING IN PATIENT CARE

Science and technology cannot replace the power of a physician learning about his or her patients, connecting with them, listening, touching, reading their eyes, showing compassion—treating the whole person and not just the disease. This is the premise of Healing the Soul by Bhupendra O. Khatri, MD. In this book, Dr. Khatri shares personal stories of patients exhibiting remarkable courage and maintaining hope and purpose in the face of terrible illness, disability and suffering. How are they able to do this? According to Dr. Khatri, through the power of the mind/body relationship—positive thinking—recognized and inspired by physician care.

As a neurologist, Dr. Khatri’s career has been devoted to treating patients with multiple sclerosis, and he has applied the latest scientific technology in his practice. On this program, Dr. Khatri shares what he feels is also critically necessary but is at risk in advances in healthcare today: the fact that the patient’s state of mind has a great deal to do with healing. Physicians need to be taught how important attitude, the physician’s and the patient’s, is to the healing process. 

Listen to a fascinating discussion on the dynamics of health care today and bringing it back to the basics: the physician/patient relationship. 

GOODWILL OF SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN PREPARES FOR THE 2020 TAX SEASON

Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin is a local, non-profit organization whose mission is to help people achieve their highest level of independence through the power of work. Goodwill SCWI employs more than 300 people in a 14-county region and provides a broad range of services. One of them is their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). This year they are preparing for the largest number of taxpayers ever wanting to take advantage of this popular free service.

On this program, Kate Buenger, Director of Mission Program Development, and Joe Byrnes, VITA Program Coordinator, describe how VITA volunteers are trained to handle the many changes in the tax law and the tax preparation options available to eligible taxpayers. Clients can schedule an appointment in advance instead of being served on a first-come, first-served basis. A new service introduced last year, Valet VITA, allows taxpayers to schedule a time to drop off tax documents and a time to pick them up after completion.

Additional volunteers are needed for the 2020 tax season. Goodwill provides the valuable tax preparation training, and volunteers can determine their own schedules based on their availability. No prior experience is necessary. Those with an interest in volunteering for the 2020 tax season or want additional information may call 608-246-3140, ext. 155, or email [email protected].

JOURNALISM IN JEOPARDY: WHY THIS THREATENS OUR DEMOCRACY, AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT

Over the past 15 years in Wisconsin, 77 newspapers have closed, and circulation is down by one million. Yet, we are increasingly inundated with group e-mails, Facebook posts, tweets, and other forms of social media containing comments and accusations that are meant to sway opinions but have not undergone the rigorous fact-checking process which is at the core of investigative journalism. Ideologically focused news and commentary create further confusion and polarization.

On this program, Andy Hall and Dee J. Hall, co-founders of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, describe the ways in which journalism is in jeopardy today and why this puts our democracy at risk. When newspapers die, they say, there is less voting, fewer candidates for office, reduced voter knowledge of congressional candidates, more wasteful government spending and corruption, more pollution, and increased political polarization.

What can we do to strengthen democracy and journalism? According to the Halls, it is imperative to assess the quality of news we receive by checking sources, seeking independent confirmation and supporting documents or data, transparent funding, unnamed sources and corrections, and partisanship. They encourage people to avoid living in a news bubble, and get involved in issues they care about.

To subscribe to the free online newsletters of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, go to WisconsinWatch.org.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: THE PATH TO PRISON REFORM

Healing the ripples of harm caused by crime is not easy, but that is the challenge the Prison Ministry Project of the United Church of Christ in Wisconsin has taken on to fix a broken criminal justice system. While politicians campaign on being “tough on crime” and accuse opponents of being “soft on crime,” Rev. Jerry Hancock, director of the Prison Ministry Project says that “smart on crime” is what we desperately need.

On this program, Rev. Hancock describes how the Prison Ministry Project uses Restorative Justice guidelines to work inside the walls of Wisconsin prisons.  Here they bring together offenders, surrogate victims, and the community to talk together openly and honestly in an effort to heal the harm caused by the crime. The programs are non-sectarian and have no explicit religious content.

Also on All About Living tomorrow is David Haskin, a founder of the Wisconsin Prison Mindfulness Initiative. Using effective mindfulness-based interventions with prisoners, prison staff, and prison volunteers, this initiative is focused on transforming individual lives as well as transforming the entire corrections system to mitigate its destructive impact on families, communities, and society as a whole. 

Both Restorative Justice programs are directed toward creating a criminal justice system that genuinely and intelligently focuses on public safety and harm reduction rather than punishment or revenge.