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BC Radio Live: The Schwaggin’ Wagon, Redblueamerica, Author Aram Roston, and Singer Rosey

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BC Radio Live is the flagship program of the BC Magazine station on BlogTalkRadio. It's hosted by Phillip Winn, Eric Olsen, and Lisa McKay and airs weekly on Wednesday evenings at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Shows are archived and available for streaming or download after the live broadcast. Our guests on April 23 were Marjorie Kase, political bloggers Ben and Joel of Redblueamerica.com, author Aram Roston, and singer/songwriter Rosey.

We've all been to conferences and come back with a suitcase full of t-shirts, toys, and other goodies that usually end up cluttering our offices or our living spaces. Marjorie Kase, CEO of Blogger Reps and Sociable Agency, has come up with a great idea to turn one person's conference swag into another person's useful stuff, and she stopped by BC Radio this week to share. The Schwaggin' Wagon's mission is to take all that swag and donate it to charity. The Schwaggin' Wagon made its debut this week at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, collecting lots of stuff that will be donated or recycled. In addition to its primary mission, the tricked-out Schwaggin' Wagon will also provide safe transportation to event after-parties. Stop by the Schwaggin' Wagon's website to learn more about this innovative idea.

Political blogs can be an echo chamber much of the time. Regardless of whether you lean right, left, or center, you likely have your favorite blogs that represent a point of view with which you agree. Joel Mathis (the liberal guy) and Ben Boychuk (the conservative guy) decided that the world would be a better place if people had a place to go where they could read all points of view and have — wait for it — civil disagreements. While the notion might seem strangely out of place in today's arena of discourse, Joel and Ben have provided just such an oasis in Redblueamerica.com. Ben and Joel stopped by BC Radio to chat about this novel concept and express their idea that people really are ready to find common ground and listen to each other. The two, who are ideologically at opposite poles, set a good example by staking out their positions in a flame-free atmosphere. They told us how bloggers can sign up and participate, and explained how they derive the topics of conversation for the site and find a spectrum of opinions on virtually all of them. If political arguments that don't devolve into food fights are your cup of tea, check out Redblueamerica.

In keeping with the political theme, our next guest was investigative reporter/author Aram Roston, who joined us to talk about his book, The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, and Obsessions of Ahmed Chalabi. He talked about Chalabi's amazing resiliency and his influence in Iraq/US relations. In a far-ranging conversation, Roston talks about Chalabi's charisma, his intelligence, his relationships to the CIA and to the neocons, and muses on the past relationship between Chalabi and John McCain and its possible implications in a theoretical McCain presidency. Would US involvement in Iraq have happened without Chalabi? Listen to the archive to see what Roston has to say on that score.

Shifting gears, we closed out the show with a visit from jazz singer Rosey, who's new album Luckiest Girl was released earlier this month. The New York native credits her family with instilling her with a love of jazz and blues, and her sultry, earthy delivery is perfectly suited to her interpretation of these genres. After working in the music industry in various capacities, she moved to San Francisco and then started performing, releasing her first album, Dirty Child, in 2002. Her song "Love" is on the soundtrack of Bridget Jones's Diary, and helped her to gain media exposure and critical notice. Rosey talked with BC about her musical influences and how important it is for her to put her own spin on the more traditional forms. In addition to her songwriting and recording career, she scores films and does commercial work. Learn more about Rosey's life and music at her website.

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About Lisa McKay

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    This is great; thanks, Lisa!

    It was cool to have the RedBlueAmerica.com guys hang out for Aram Roston. Ben (Red) supplied a couple of questions about Chalabi in the chatroom.