Election 2016: The End Game — Podcast October 17, 2016

22 Days To Go: Have We Reached Peak Ugly Yet? Democratic Perspective regulars Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson, are joined by Susan Turnbull, former Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and former Chair of the DNC Women’s Caucus, for a discussion of the candidates, the issues, the polls, and the furor leading up to the final three weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. We may never have seen a campaign quite like this one before, but even a brief review of American political history suggests that it’s not entirely out of character for an American electorate as deeply divided as ours is in this election year. The real question is this: will it really be over when it’s over? Unfortunately, given the passions already in play, we see little reason to believe it will be.

Posted in Conspiracy Theories, Corruption, Democratic Governance, Domestic Policy, Ethics, Foreign Policy, Government, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, LIberals and Conservatives, Misogyny, Morality, National Politics, Podcasts, Political Gaffes, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Polling, Presidential Elections, Propaganda, Racism, Scandal Mongering, Social Psychology, Trade Policy, War On Drugs, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marty Landa Interview — Podcast October 10, 2016

Think Globally, Act Locally: Climate Change and Stewardship In an Age of Indifference. Democratic Perspective welcomes Marty Landa, co-organizer of Inspiration of Sedona,  to discuss the response of his group to the need for ordinary citizens to address the critical issue of anthropogenic climate change. Inspiration of Sedona is currently engaged in an effort to raise public awareness of the threat of global warning by local free showings of James Cameron’s award-winning documentary series Years of Living Dangerously. Once we know the facts, and discount the propaganda of fossil fuel industry representatives and their lobbyists and apologists, it’s clear that we all have a responsibility to prevent this looming catastrophe from overtaking us, whether our elected representatives are willing to help us or not.

Posted in Climate Change, Democratic Governance, Disinformation, Energy Policy, Environmental Issues, Global Warming, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, National Politics, Podcasts, Political Polarization, Public Policy, Regulatory Agencies, Renewable Energy, Special Interest Legislation, Sustainable Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Artificial Intelligence: A Closer Look — Podcast October 3, 2016

We Have Some Decisions To Make: The Politics of Artificial Intelligence Deployments. Democratic Perspective’s Gary LaMaster and Bill Timberman discuss the unexpectedly early and widespread deployment of artificial intelligence applications, and their disruptive effect on familiar social and economic arrangements. A case can be made that in and of themselves, such deployments are value-neutral. Whether their ultimate effect on us turns out to be positive or negative will depend in large part on a level of political decision-making which at present our legislators in Washington, and in state capitols, seem incapable of managing.

Posted in Business.Cultural Change, Capitalism, Cultural Change, Digital Revolution, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, Government, Industrial Policy, Intelligence Agencies, Jobs and Employment, Mass Incarceration, National Politics, Offshoring, Podcasts, Policing, Political Polarization, Social Contract, Social Psychology, Surveillance Programs, Unemployment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ruben Gallego Interview — Podcast September 26, 2016

Yes, There Are S0me Good People in Congress. Ruben Gallego, from Arizona’s District 7, Is One Of Them. Democratic Perspective talks to  Ruben Gallego, Harvard graduate, combat marine, and Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona’s CD 7, about the upcoming Presidential debate, his view of the issues facing Arizona and the nation, and his own campaign for re-election. This is one of the strangest election years in living memory. Rep. Gallego reminds us that voting is still the best way to make sure that the craziness stops at the Capitol and White House steps.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Bigotry, Campaign Finance, Democratic Governance, Domestic Policy, Education Policy, Energy Policy, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Immigration, Income Inequality, Infrastructure Investment, International Terrorism, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, Justice System, National Politics, Podcasts, Presidential Elections, Public Lands, Racial Discrimination, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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 , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bob Oliphant Interview — Podcast September 12, 2016

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 , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nikki Bagley Interview — Podcast September 5, 2016

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

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.

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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