Bacchus Ain’t Got Nothing On Us: Another Great Verde Valley Wine Show — Podcast May 25, 2015

Wines and Winemaking: How To Do The Hard Stuff and Still Have a Good Time. Democratic Perspective talks viticulture (the science of vines) and oenology (the science of wines) with Michael Pierce, Director of Enology at the Southwest Wine Center, Tom Schumacher, President of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium,
and Paula Woolsey, Vice President of the Consortium, co-owner of the wine consulting business Cellar Door Unhinged, and all-around Arizona Wine Cheerleader.

If you’re a consumer who wants to know more about wines and how to choose them; if you’re an amateur winemaker who wants to know how to improve the quality of his vintages; if you’re a commercial producer or someone wants to make a career in wine production or marketing, and need to know more about the real world of climate and soil analysis, capital requirements, infrastructure costs, cash flow, government regulation and return on investment, these are the folks to talk to.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, Oenology, Podcasts, Small Business, Viticulture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Preserving the Verde River and Its Watershed — Podcast May 18, 2015

Whiskey Is for Drinking, Water Is for Fighting: Arizona Water Politics and Citizen Advocacy in Defense of the Verde River. Democratic Perspective welcomes Chip Norton, President of the Friends of the Verde River Greenway, and Kathy Davis, Secretary of the Verde River Basin Partnership for a discussion of local advocacy groups and their impact on the struggle to preserve the Verde River and its watershed. The pressure of commercial and residential development on our natural resources makes for complex political struggles among competing interest groups, particularly in Arizona, where the climate-driven scarcity of water and the pressures of population growth threaten the sustainability of our natural rivers and watersheds. Hear how citizen advocacy groups, and the alliances they have formed, are helping to ensure that the future viability of our natural environment is well defended.

Posted in Environment, Environmental Issues, Environmentalism, Local Politics, Public Lands, Sustainable Development, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Religion As an Excuse for Bigotry — Podcast May 11, 2015

Are State-Sponsored Religious Freedom Restoration Acts Simply a Fig Leaf for Anti-Gay Discrimination? Democratic Perspective reconsiders the Establishment Clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment, the history of religious conflicts in Europe and elsewhere in the world, and more generally, the relationship of religion and the state in theory and in practice. Fundamentalists may believe that some people are more equal than others, but history suggests that a democratic state which enacts such beliefs into law risks civil conflict, even civil war. Is this what we really want?

Posted in Anti-Gay Discrimination, Arizona Politics, Bigotry, Civil Rights, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Constitutional Issues, LGBT Community, LGBT Issues, LIberals and Conservatives, Podcasts, Racial Discrimination, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What We Do Know About Police Brutality Is Bad: What We Don’t Know May Be Worse — Podcast May 4, 2015

Police Violence: a Statistical Black Hole. Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson review the shocking lack of statistical information on the frequency of unprovoked police violence against a citizenry they’re sworn to protect and to serve. Our cellphone cameras have now given us a clear warning about what the police do when they think we aren’t watching. The questions we need to ask are simple enough: what don’t we know about police violence, and why don’t we know it? The answers, such as they are so far, are anything but reassuring.

Posted in Bigotry, Civil Rights, Government, Law Enforcement, Podcasts, Policing, Racial Discrimination, Racism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Debt Peonage as a Source of Revenue: Paying for Government by Fining the Poor — Podcast April 27, 2015

On the Backs of the Poor: The Great Recession and the Criminalization of Debt. Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson analyze the effect on the poor, especially minorities, of the disturbing recent trend toward financing hard-pressed local governments through exorbitant fines for minor offenses, and the even more disturbing trend toward jailing people who can’t pay the fines or the interest on them, then charging them fees for their own incarceration. Whose American Dream is that supposed to be? The answer may shock you.

Posted in Arizona Law Enforcement, Capitalism, Class Conflict, Constitutional Issues, Corrections Policy, Corruption, Democratic Governance, Income Inequality, Justice System, Law Enforcement, Legal Issues, Local Politics, Mass Incarceration, Minimum Wage, Penology, Podcasts, Policing, Private Prisons, Racism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Debt Peonage as a Source of Revenue: Paying for Government by Fining the Poor — Podcast April 27, 2015

Alessandra Soler Meetze Interview — Podcast April 20, 2015

The ACLU in Arizona, 2014/15: Some Good News for a Change. Democratic Perspective’s Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson discuss some recent civil liberties litigation victories with Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU for Arizona. Dreamers got their driver’s licenses, Joe Arpaio was enjoined from conducting raids for the sole purpose of rounding up undocumented immigrants, and Chuck Ryan from the Arizona Department of Corrections agreed to a federally approved settlement to improve the health care of Arizona prison inmates. Much has been accomplished, much remains to be done, and the ACLU — as ever — is on the job.

Posted in Anti-Gay Discrimination, Arizona Law Enforcement, Arizona Politics, Civil Rights, Constitutional Issues, Corrections Policy, Education Policy, Immigration, Interviews, Justice System, Law Enforcement, Penology, Podcasts, Policing, Private Prisons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Alessandra Soler Meetze Interview — Podcast April 20, 2015

U.S. Interventionism: In Search of a Coherent Foreign Policy — Podcast April 13, 2015

Does Military Intervention in Other Countries Really Advance U.S. Interests? Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson  discuss the long list of American military interventions in the affairs of other countries, and the consequences to date. The balance sheet is far from positive, yet critics of our foreign policy have yet to make much headway against an entrenched foreign policy establishment which insists in the face of consistent failure that force and the threat of force are the key to favorable outcomes in foreign affairs.

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Relations, International Terrorism, Iran, Islamic Republic, Middle East, Middle East Policy, Military Policy, Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, Podcasts, U.S. Armed Forces | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on U.S. Interventionism: In Search of a Coherent Foreign Policy — Podcast April 13, 2015