Michael Austin Interview — Podcast July 21, 2014


The U.S. Constitution: Holy Writ, Or a Framework for Democratic Governance? Professor Michael Austin, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, returns to Democratic Perspective to continue his earlier discussions with Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson on the origins of the U.S. Constitution in the political turmoil of our post-revolutionary period, the compromises which made it possible, and its influence as a framework and set of procedural rules on the subsequent evolution of our institutions of government.

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Founding Fathers, Government, Interviews, Legal Issues, National Politics, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Immigration: Political Gridlock and the Latest Crisis At the Border — Podcast July 14, 2014


The Golden Door: Is It Now Closed for Good? Democratic Perspective co-hosts Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson discuss the latest immigration crisis: 90,000 unaccompanied children detained at the U.S./Mexico border, with many more apparently to come. Are they refugees with rights to due process under international law, or illegal immigrants who can be immediately deported? What effect will this new development have on the debate over comprehensive immigration reform? We’ve come a long way in any case from what a previous generation of Americans caused to be inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

 “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The question for us is how and why we came to be where we are now, and where we go from here.

Posted in Child Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Housekeeping, Immigration, Law Enforcement, National Politics, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding the Veterans Affairs Scandal — Podcast July 7, 2014


The Veteran’s Affairs Scandal: Bad Management or a Shortage of Resources? Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson look at the recent scandal involving long wait times for appointments at VA health care facilities. The Department of Veterans Affairs is a large bureaucracy, with one of the largest budgets of any federal agency. It also has a long history, and the recent scandal in its health care system is by no means the first it has endured. Is the VA providing adequate health care to our veterans, and if not, what should be done to address the problem?

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Care, Health Care Delivery, Health Insurance, Medicare, Military, National Politics, Podcasts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

JC Álvarez Interview — Podcast June 30, 2014


Closing the Sedona Film School: Snatching Failure from the Jaws of Success? Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Gary LaMaster welcome Dr. JC Álvarez to a discussion of Yavapai College’s recent decision to close the Sedona Film School. Dr. Álvarez, an experienced filmmaker and media consultant with years of experience, and a graduate herself of the Film School when it was still the Zaki Gordon Institute, talks about the history of the school, the awards won by its students, and its remarkable record of success at preparing graduates for successful careers in the film industry. She wonders why, given this history of effectiveness, Yavapai College has decided to terminate the current program at the Sedona campus, and close the school. Frankly, so does Democratic Perspective.

Posted in Education, Education Policy, Interviews, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Case for Reparations — Podcast June 23, 2014


Has the Bill for Slavery Finally Come Due? Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Case for Reparations: Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson consider Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent article The Case for Reparations in The Atlantic magazine. After two hundred fifty years of slavery, ninety years of Jim Crow, sixty years of separate but equal, and thirty-five years of racist housing policy, as Mr. Coates puts it, should African-American descendants of African slaves be entitled to compensation from the rest of America’s citizens? Listen to our discussion of the concept of justice at the heart of the call for reparations, the historical precedents being relied upon  by its supporters, and the political implications of the reparations movement.

Posted in Bigotry, Civil Rights, Income Inequality, Podcasts, Public Policy, Racial Discrimination, Racism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yavapai College Update — Podcast June 16, 2014


The Grass Roots Response to Yavapai College’s 10-Year Plan: Are We Making Any Progress? Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, and Gary LaMaster are joined by Bob Oliphant and Ruth Wicks, representatives of the Verde Valley Community College Citizen Advocates, for a discussion of recent responses by the Yavapai College administration to the continuing controversy in the Verde Valley surrounding its 10-year capital improvements plan.

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Poverty By Design: The Role of Public Policy in Income Inequality — Podcast June 9, 2014


Eradicating Poverty in America: Didn’t We Used To Be Better At It? Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, and Gary LaMaster look at the astonishing figures on the growth of poverty in the U.S., the public policy decisions which lie behind those figures, and the terrible consequences already visible in both urban and rural areas of the country. What happens to us — all of us – when the comfort of the few consistently outweighs the needs of the many in the councils of government?

Posted in Arizona Economy, Class Conflict, Democratic Governance, Economic Policy, Food Insecurity, Health Care, Hunger, Immigration, Income Inequality, Jobs and Employment, Podcasts, Poverty, Public Policy, Unemployment, Welfare | Tagged , , | Comments Off