Legalizing Marijuana in Arizona: The Pros and Cons of Ballot Proposition 205 — Podcast September 19, 2016

First Do No Harm: How Will the De-Criminalization and Regulation of Marijuana Affect Arizona’s Public Health and Safety? Democratic Perspective hosts a debate on the merits of Arizona’s Proposition 205, and whether or not its proposed decriminalization of marijuana sale and use — within certain legally defined parameters — is in the public interest. Will Proposition 205 contribute to an increase of marijuana use, and a heightened threat to the health of our children and adolescents, or will it end the practice of arbitrarily turning otherwise law-abiding recreational drug users into felons, attack organized crime’s sources of illegal income and influence, and provide additional tax revenue to the state, much as alcohol and tobacco tax revenues have traditionally done? Participating in our debate are:

Democratic Perspective Moderators: Chuck and Steve Williamson

Speaking for Yes on Proposition 205: Adam Kinsey, Campaign Manager for Yes on 205: Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, and Mikel Weisser, Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives from Arizona CD 4, and Arizona State Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Speaking for No on Proposition 205: Ed Gogek, MD — Psychiatrist, Substance Abuse Counselor, and author of Marijuana Debunked: A handbook for parents, pundits and politicians who want to know the case against legalization.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Criminal Justice Reform, Drug Trafficking, Health Care, Interviews, Judicial System, Justice System, Law Enforcement, Mass Incarceration, Podcasts, Policing, Public Health Policy, Taxation, War On Drugs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bob Oliphant Interview — Podcast September 12, 2016

Yavapai College 2016 Update: Have the Last Two Years of Local Political Advocacy improved Community College Access for the East County? Democratic Perspective welcomes back Robert Oliphant, ex-Board Member of Yavapai College for Yavapai County District 3, to discuss his new book, Wake Up Verde Valley, You’ve Just Been Ripped Off, available at local public libraries, and soon to be published (in a couple of weeks) as a free e-text on his public advocacy Web site, Eye On Yavapai College.

Since we last talked to Bob, there’s been some encouraging  support for the Verde Valley’s concerns on the Yavapai College Governing Board, but proposals for addressing the inequities in funding and course development for the Verde Valley campuses in Clarkdale and Sedona are still being voted down, while the College’s empire building in Prescott and Prescott Valley continues with at best token gestures toward the desperate need of Verde Valley residents for accessible technical and vocational education. If we, as residents of the Verde Valley, want our educational needs to be effectively addressed, we’ll have to keep the pressure on.

Posted in Education, Education Policy, Interviews, Local Politics, Podcasts, Public Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nikki Bagley Interview — Podcast September 5, 2016

Down the Stretch in LD 6: Nikki Bagley Is Doing Just Fine, Thank You. Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson, talk to Nikki Bagley, Director of the Yavapai College Viticulture and Enology Program and former mayor of Jerome, about the crucial issues facing Arizona voters in this election, the progress of her campaign for the Arizona State Senate in Legislative District 6, and the negative effects on our elections of a perfect storm of ideological extremism, low voter turnout, and out-of-state dark money. If we want a state legislature which actually does the job we expect its members to do, we need to reform the process which elects them.

Posted in Agricultural Policy, Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Bureau of Land Management, Campaign Finance, Climate Change, Democratic Governance, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Policy, Education, Education Policy, Elections, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, Podcasts, Political Action Committees, Political Contributions, Political Polarization, Public Lands, Regulatory Agencies, Small Business, Tax and Investment Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Justice Department Is Phasing Out Its Use of Private Prisons: Will the States Follow Suit? — Podcast August 29, 2016

Has the Justice Department Just Struck the First Significant Blow In the Battle Against Rent-Seeking In Our Correctional Systems? Democratic Perspective hosts Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson review the Justice Department’s announcement that some federal contracts with private prison corporations are being phased out. This may be a small step, but it appears to be a significant one. A number of states are already reviewing their private prison contracts, and the new federal precedent may make it easier for state legislators to end, or at least curtail, private prison contracts in their states. Democratic Perspective certainly hopes that this will be the case, as Arizona in particular has suffered far too long from the profiteering, corruption, violence, and human rights abuses that have plagued private prisons everywhere.

Posted in Arizona Law Enforcement, Arizona Politics, Corrections Policy, Corruption, Criminal Justice Reform, Justice System, Law Enforcement, National Politics, Penology, Podcasts, Private Prisons, Privatization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nancy McCulla Interview — Podcast August 22, 2016

And Now For Something Completely Different: Democratic Perspective takes a break from the craziness of our current election cycle to talk to one of our favorite non-politicians. Nancy McCulla, chef and owner of the Café Daily Fare Restaurant and Simply Delicious Full-Service Catering, has been serving up incredibly good food to the people of Northern Arizona for over 30 years. We aren’t in the restaurant guide business, but if we were, we would definitely award Café Daily Fare a full four stars.

If you want to know what it takes to run a successful small business without compromising your art or your originality, this is the show for you. If you’ve ever spent time slaving over a hot stove, let alone run a business with a highly perishable inventory, and lots of competition crowding your profit margins, you already know that it can’t be easy to make consistently satisfying food for a public with widely varying tastes, and to do it at a price most of them can afford.  If you’ve got the chops for it, though — as Nancy clearly has — cooking for people can be a rewarding way to make a living, not to mention a source of lasting delight for your customers.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Interviews, Podcasts, Small Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nancy McCulla Interview — Podcast August 22, 2016

Big Data, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Our Discontents — Podcast August 15, 2016

Are Robots Taking Our Jobs? Yes, but That May Be the Least of Our Worries: Democratic Perspective takes a long look at accelerating developments in the related fields of robotics and automation, big data and the cloud, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence. There’s a technological tsunami overtaking our familiar social, political, and economic relationships, and hardly anyone outside Silicon Valley, least of all our legislators, has any idea how to deal with the consequences.

Posted in Digital Revolution, Podcasts, Surveillance Programs, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Big Data, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Our Discontents — Podcast August 15, 2016

The National Party Platforms: Haven’t We All Been Here Before? — Podcast August 8, 2016

The Democratic and Republican Party Platforms: Promises, Promises…. Democratic Perspective hosts Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson take a closer look at the Democratic and Republican Party platforms. 51 and 58 pages, respectively, of wonkery, neither of which, if history is any guide, is likely to be fulfilled in its entirety. Nevertheless, as statements of intent, they do tell us a lot about the very real differences between the two parties, and what they would make of our American future should things go their way in November.

Posted in Democratic Governance, Education Policy, Elections, Firearms Legislation, Food Insecurity, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Global Warming, Government, Gun Control, Health Care, Health Care Delivery, Health Insurance, Immigration, Income Inequality, Industrial Policy, International Relations, Jobs and Employment, Justice System, Labor Unions, LIberals and Conservatives, National Politics, Podcasts, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Poverty, Presidential Elections, Propaganda, Public Policy, Regulatory Agencies, Social Contract, Social Security, Taxation, U.S. Budget, Unemployment, Welfare, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The National Party Platforms: Haven’t We All Been Here Before? — Podcast August 8, 2016

The Democratic Convention: A Different America — Podcast August 1, 2016

The Democratic Party Holds Up Its Mirror To an America Which Isn’t Afraid, Isn’t Angry, and Isn’t All White or All Male: Democratic Perspective regulars Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson review the Democrats’ vision of the American future. It’s quite a different picture than the one presented last week at the Republican convention.

Posted in Cultural Change, Cultural Diversity, Democratic Governance, Demographic Trends, Domestic Policy, Elections, Foreign Policy, Government, LIberals and Conservatives, Misogyny, National Politics, Podcasts, Political History, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Presidential Elections | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Democratic Convention: A Different America — Podcast August 1, 2016

The Republican Convention: Postscriptum or Postmortem? — Podcast July 25, 2016

Peak Lunacy: Trump Takes the GOP Over the Edge. Democratic Perspective commentators Gary LaMaster, Chuck Williamson and Steve Williamson review the week Republicans succumbed to the right-wing populism they’ve been exploiting for almost 40 years. Their karma has just run over their dogma, and none of them seems to have a clue how it happened.

Posted in Bigotry, Conservative Paranoia, Conspiracy Theories, Cultural Change, Democratic Governance, Disinformation, Elections, Foreign Policy, Government, LIberals and Conservatives, Mass Media, Media Campaigns, National Security, Podcasts, Political Gaffes, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Presidential Elections, Propaganda, Racism, Unemployment | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on The Republican Convention: Postscriptum or Postmortem? — Podcast July 25, 2016

Tay Wiles Interview — Podcast July 18, 2016

The Sagebrush Insurgency: Is the Developing Alliance Between the Land Transfer and Militia Movements in the West Increasing the Threat of Violence Against Federal Agency Employees? Tay Wiles, reporter and online editor for the High Country News, joins Democratic Perspective hosts Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson for a discussion of the increasingly heated conflict between the miners, ranchers, and ideological conservatives supporting the movement to transfer Federal lands to state and local control, and the Federal agencies currently charged with administering them. The recent involvement of armed members of so-called citizens’ militia groups, as seen in the armed confrontation of Cliven Bundy and his fellow ranchers over federal grazing fees, and in the armed occupation by his sons of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, is worrying Federal law enforcement officials.

Posted in Bureau of Land Management, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Environment, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, Interviews, Law Enforcement, National Politics, Podcasts, Public Lands, U.S. Forest Service | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tay Wiles Interview — Podcast July 18, 2016