Sam Pillsbury and Paula Woolsey Interview — Podcast February 23, 2015

Arizona Wine Country: Vision, Passion, and a Lot of Hard Work. Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson welcome Sam Pillsbury, filmmaker and winemaker extraordinaire, owner of Pillsbury Wine Company, and Paula Woolsey, long time Arizona wine advocate, and owner of Revelation Wines, for a discussion of the developing Arizona wine industry. Believe it or not, what just a few years ago was dismissed by many as an impossible dream is now a proven reality, and the Verde Valley, like other Arizona regions, is an understandably grateful beneficiary of its success.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Civic Renewal, Entrepreneurship, Housekeeping, Interviews, Oenology, Podcasts, Small Business, Viticulture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wendy Harford and Bob Rothrock Interview — Podcast February 16, 2015

The Verde River: Why Does It Need Saving, And Why Should We Try To Save It? Democratic Perspective welcomes Wendy Harford, Executive Director, and Bob Rothrock, Board Member, of the Verde River Valley Nature Organization for a discussion of the Verde River — its beauty, its value as a natural resource, and its vulnerability to the pressures of economic development in the Prescott and Chino Valleys. As Henry David Thoreau once said, in Wildness is the preservation of the world. Wendy and Bob remind us that this is as true today as it was when Thoreau first said it, and that we all have a responsibility to live by its implications.

Posted in Agribusiness, Agricultural Policy, Environment, Environmental Issues, Environmentalism, Interviews, Podcasts, Public Lands, Sustainable Development, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Michael Austin Interview — Podcast February 9, 2015

Ancient Wisdom: Lessons in Compassion From the Book of Job. Professor Michael Austin, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, talks with Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson about his most recent book, Re-reading Job: Understanding the Ancient World’s Greatest Poem. Why are concepts such as the wages of sin irrelevant to a true understanding of guilt, redemption, and compassion? Professor Austin explains why morality and human suffering are not the opposing halves of some divine accounting identity, and why Job’s friends should not have concerned themselves so much with discovering his sins as with sharing his pain. What the Book of Job tell us is that God’s purposes are not ours, and that, as often as not, those who claim to understand those purposes have mistaken their own self-righteousness for divine revelation.

Posted in Ethics, Exegesis, Homiletics, Interviews, Morality, Podcasts, Religion, Theodicy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blowback: the Consequences of an Ignorant and Overly Aggressive Foreign Policy — Podcast February 2, 2015

They May Hate Us, But It’s Not Because of Our Freedoms: Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson discuss the failures of a U.S. foreign policy that has in recent years relied more on military bluster than common sense. Why has the War on Terror declared by President George W. Bush lasted so long, cost so much, and resulted in so much less secure a world order than existed before it began? A look behind the propaganda at the American role in geopolitical conflicts since the end of WWII, which has not only been much less innocent than we’ve been led to believe, but also much less competent than we should have had a right to expect.

Posted in Department of Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Intelligence Agencies, International Relations, International Terrorism, Middle East, Middle East Policy, Military, Military Policy, National Security, Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, Podcasts, U.S. Armed Forces | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yavapai College Update — Podcast January 26, 2015

The Yavapai College Ten Year Capital Improvement Plan a Year Later: Have the Verde Valley’s Concerns Had Any Impact? Mike Cosentino and Gary LaMaster welcome Bob Oliphant and Ruth Wicks back to discuss recent developments in the struggle over local autonomy in the Yavapai College planning process. There’s some good news — local community involvement in the work of the Verde Valley Community College Citizen Advocates, the Yavapai College Administration’s reversal of a decision to close the Sedona campus, and the formation of two new committees by the College to address local concerns. The bad news is that the 10-year plan passed by the College Governing Board is still largely in effect, the Sedona Film School is still gone, and the nursing program is still moving to the Prescott Valley. Overall, however, the prospects are much improved from last year, and the fat lady has still not sung her final number.

Posted in Education, Education Policy, Interviews, Local Politics, Podcasts, Public Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Terrorism: a Realistic Assessment — Podcast January 19. 2015

Terrorism: Making Sure That the Cure Isn’t Worse Than the Disease. Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson look at the varied definitions of terrorism, the difficulties confronting the U.S. and other Western governments in their attempts to come to grips with so-called asymmetric warfare, and the appeal of Islamic fundamentalism to young Muslims in the failed states of the Middle East and the ghettos of Western Europe. Fear-mongering, right-wing demagoguery, and profiteering by defense corporations in the West, the collapse of post-colonial dictatorships, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and sectarian proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the Middle East — there are plenty of reasons to think that terrorism as we currently define it is more a symptom than a cause of what ails us.

Posted in Democratic Governance, Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Terrorism, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, International Terrorism, Middle East Policy, Military, National Security, Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, Podcasts, Propaganda, Surveillance Programs, U.S. Armed Forces | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The Senate Select Committee’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program — Podcast January 12, 2015

Is This REALLY Who We Are? How Torture Became Enhanced Interrogation, and Moral Depravity Became Official U.S. Policy: Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson evaluate the 576 page summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s still unreleased Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program. Who authorized the program, who carried it out, what was done to whom, and for how long, and why it was kept secret from almost everybody inside and outside the U.S. Government. It makes for some pretty shocking reading, even knowing what we already knew before it was released.

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Government, Intelligence Agencies, Military Policy, National Security, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off