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Friends of Verde River Greenway: The Real Work of Environmental Preservation Starts Here — Podcast September 18, 2017

Think Globally, Act Locally Is More Than Just a Slogan: How Focus, Dedication, and Collaboration Are Making the Preservation of the Verde River and Its Watershed A Reality. Democratic Perspective welcomes Chip Norton, President, and Brent Bitz, Board Member, of the Friends of Verde River Greenway, and Bob Rothrock, President of Verde Valley Land Preservation, to talk about the recent consolidation of Verde River preservation organizations, and what it means for the future of preservation efforts in Arizona’s Verde River watershed.

Posted in Biodiversity, Community Activism, Environment, Environmental Issues, Environmentalism, Interviews, Podcasts, Public Lands, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matthew Goodwin Interview — Podcast September 11, 2017

The Shock Doctrine and Global Warming: Matt Goodwin on Naomi Klein’s Critique of Predatory Capitalism and Its Reaction (or Lack of Reaction) to a Genuinely Existential Threat.  Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson welcome Matt Goodwin, Professor of Philosophy at Northern Arizona University, and one of the founders of SPEX, the Sedona Philosophy Experience, back to Democratic Perspective for a discussion of the philosophical implications of Naomi Klein’s books The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything. What happens when private corporations use natural disasters as pretexts to turn the public services poor and working people depend on into commercial profit centers, or displace those same people from their ravaged communities in favor of real estate development? What happens when coal and oil companies deny the reality of global warming in order to preserve the profits from their sunk-cost investments in fossil fuel extraction and refining? The answer, of course, is nothing good — unless the people who stand to suffer from their callousness organize to defend themselves.

Posted in Capitalism, Climate Change, De-regulation, Democratic Governance, Economic Policy, Economic Theory, Energy Policy, Environmental Issues, Ethics, Global Warming, Interviews, National Politics, Philosophy, Podcasts, Privatization, Public Accountability, Regulatory Agencies, Renewable Energy, Social Services, Sustainable Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Katie Hobbs Interview — Podcast September 4, 2017

Putting an End to Incompetence in One of the State’s Highest Offices: Katie Hobbs Is Running for Arizona Secretary of State. In a wide-ranging discussion with Katie Hobbs, Arizona State Senator, and Democratic candidate for Arizona Secretary of State, Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson address the state legislature’s continuing assault on Arizona’s constitutionally mandated initiative and referendum process, its unconscionable underfunding of the state’s public education system, and other equally egregious examples of the contempt so many elected Republican officials express for their constituents. Ideological constipation, is, however, not the only problem afflicting our state government, The administrative incompetence of our current Secretary of State, Michele Reagan, is a legend on both sides of the legislative aisle. Virtually everyone agrees that it’s time for a change, and Katie Hobbs is ready, willing, and able to provide it. Go Katie!

Posted in Arizona Budget, Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Budget Negotiations, Campaign Finance, Constitutional Issues, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Initiative and Referendum, Interviews, Podcasts, Political Candidacy, Political Gaffes, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Public Education, Tax Revenues, Taxation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

David Lujan Interview — Podcast August 28, 2017

Sabotaging the Arizona Public Education System: 25 Years of Republican Ignorance, Ideological Intransigence, and Corruption. Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson interview David Lujan, former Arizona State Legislator, and former President of the Phoenix Union High School District School Board, about the chronic underfunding of Arizona’s Public Education System by Republican ideologues, who’ve somehow managed to convince themselves, if not the rest of us, that cutting taxes on their friends is the solution to every problem. Whatever outcome it is that they expect, the truth is that they’ve set fire to their own grandchildren’s future, and to the future of of every other Arizonan’s grandchildren as well. David Lujan’s new organization, The Arizona Center for Economic Progress, is dedicated to not letting them get away with it. He and his organization could use our help.

Posted in Arizona Budget, Arizona Politics, Child Protection, Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Interviews, Podcasts, Political Polarization, Privatization, Public Education, Public Policy, Tax and Investment Policy, Tax Revenues, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stephen Nuño Interview — Podcast August 21, 2017

How “I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door” Became “Build the Wall!”: A History of U.S. Attitudes Toward Immigration. Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino speaks with Northern Arizona University Professor Stephen Nuño about the history of U.S. attitudes toward immigration. Economic and political failures elsewhere, as well as the need for labor on an underdeveloped continent, have always contended against racial and cultural antipathy in determining both official policies and public attitudes toward immigration. What can an unbiased historical analysis tell us about what, if anything, distinguishes attitudes today from those on the day Emma Lazarus first published “The Colossus”?

Posted in Agricultural Policy, Arizona History, Civil Liberties, Cultural Change, Cultural Diversity, Democratic Governance, Domestic Policy, Homeland Security, Human Rights, Immigration, Industrial Policy, International Terrorism, Jobs and Employment, Justice System, Labor Shortages, National Politics, National Security, National Sovereignty, Podcasts, Political Gaffes, Public Policy, Racial Discrimination, Racism, Social Services, U.S. Court System | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toni Denis and Paul Schwartz Interview — Podcast August 14, 2017

As Large As the State of Delaware: The Yavapai County Democratic Party Has a Lot of Ground To Cover In the Age of Trump, and We’re Not Talking Just About Geography. With both our regular co-hosts back in the saddle after well-deserved vacations away from the craziness of politics in the Trump era, Democratic Perspective welcomes Toni Denis, the Chair of the Yavapai County Democratic Party, and its Marketing Chair and Verde Valley Liaison, Paul Schwartz, for a discussion of the Yavapai County Democratic Party’s plans for what’s beginning to look like a very turbulent future.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community Activism, Democratic Governance, Digital Revolution, Domestic Policy, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Elections, Health Care, Health Care Delivery, Health Care Policy, Income Inequality, Industrial Policy, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, Local Politics, Podcasts, Political Clubs, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Public Education, Public Health Policy, Public Lands, Public Policy, Underemployment, Unemployment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Toni Denis and Paul Schwartz Interview — Podcast August 14, 2017

Is There a “New” New Left Emerging? — Podcast August 7, 2017

They’re Baaack! Why Socialism Is Again a Topic of Serious Discussion Among the Young. Host Steve Williamson and Bill Timberman, Democratic Perspective’s webmaster, discuss what appears to be a growing reluctance on the part of young people to accept at face value the reassurances of a neoliberal political class which can’t seem to admit to its past failures, let alone learn anything from them.

The list of those failures is long: endless war, decreasing public investment, stagnating wages, a failing health care system, government sanctification of racists and misogynists, the blatant militarization of civil society, and last, but not least, an irresponsibly tepid federal response to the existential threat of global warming. Small wonder that many young people are again rummaging through historical leftist critiques of the established order, hoping to find in them some better way to avoid the future disasters that we all fear.

We look at why this is happening now, examine such historical precedents as exist, and ask whether or not we’re seeing early signs of a serious resurgence of left-wing political activity in the U.S. Given that the Left hasn’t any significant political influence in the U.S. since the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left of the 1960’s, this may seem unlikely, but simple extrapolation from the status quo, especially in troubled times, has never been a reliable guide to what may happen in the future.

Posted in Capitalism, Civil Rights, Class Conflict, Democratic Governance, Economic Theory, European Union, Global Warming, Human Rights, Hunger, Income Inequality, Labor Movement, Labor Unions, National Politics, Podcasts, Political History, Political Theory, Public Policy, Social Democracy, Socialism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is There a “New” New Left Emerging? — Podcast August 7, 2017

Paul Horner Interview — Podcast July 31, 2017

Less Bread And More Circuses: Clickbait Journalism, Fake News, and  Going Viral In the Age of Trump. Democratic Perspective’s favorite freelance media trickster, Paul Horner, returns to the show to give our listeners a run-down on the latest fake news brouhaha, and the mockery that virtually everyone in the media these days is making of the ancient, albeit never-entirely-honorable tradition of “objective journalism.” The revolutionary media distribution economics of the Internet, together with the end of FCC regulation, have unwittingly led us back to the scurrilous penny-dreadful broadsheets of the Eighteenth Century, and apparently no one in publishing with an axe to grind is unhappy about it. The rest of us, of course, suffer what we must.

Posted in Conservative Paranoia, Conspiracy Theories, Disinformation, Interviews, Mass Media, Media Campaigns, Podcasts, Political Polarization, Propaganda, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Paul Horner Interview — Podcast July 31, 2017