Peg Bowden Interview — Podcast March 23, 2015

The Quality of Our Mercy: Peg Bowden Speaks from Experience on the Militarization of the U.S.-Mexican Border. Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson talk to Peg Bowden about the experiences that impelled her to write her 2014 book, A Land of Hard Edges. Why do we treat impoverished refugees from Central America and Mexico as criminals? Why is it a felony to aid people in distress in the Sonoran desert which spans the border? Why are tourists who take pictures on the border detained, and their cameras confiscated by ICE in the same way that the East German Volkspolizei once did in Europe? The ugly politics of immigration, and its human costs, as seen by someone who lives in the midst of our current madness on the border.

Posted in Arizona Law Enforcement, Arizona Politics, Bigotry, Child Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Legal Issues, Podcasts, Racism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Confederate State of Arizona — Podcast March 16, 2015

The Payback for Dark Money in Arizona: More Corporate Tax Cuts, Continued Defunding of Public Education, and Yahoo! a Secessionist Republican Legislature. Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson dissect the results of the 2014 election in Arizona: a seemingly endless stream of bills from both houses of the legislature which would reduce the state’s tax base, impoverish its universities and community colleges, and assert for Arizona the right to ignore the U.S. Constitution in theory, if not in practice. This tawdry little drama, starring Doug Ducey as Jefferson Davis, and Bob Thorpe as John C. Calhoun, is apparently destined, in the absence of U.S. Supreme Court intervention, for a long run on the capitol stage in Phoenix. As someone who shall  remain forever nameless* once remarked, history does indeed repeat itself; the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

*Karl Marx in Der 18te Brumaire des Louis Napoleon, 1852

Posted in Arizona Budget, Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Budget Negotiations, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Constitutional Issues, Dark Money, Education, Education Policy, Housekeeping, Jobs and Employment, Podcasts, Political Contributions, Privatization, Public Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

David R. Frazer Interview — Podcast March 9, 2015

Ethical Meltdown: a Question of Values? Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson welcome David Frazer, respected Arizona attorney and author of Ethical Meltdown: the Need to Recover Our Vanishing Values, for a discussion about the current decay of legal and professional ethics in the United States, and the threat it poses to a society which claims to value justice, fairness, and democratic government.

Posted in Arizona Law Enforcement, Arizona Politics, Corruption, Ethics, Interviews, Justice System, Law Enforcement, Legal Issues, Morality, Podcasts, Regulatory Agencies | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Terry Goddard Interview — Podcast March 2, 2015

Dark Money: How Industrialized Lying Poisons the Well of Democracy. Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Gary LaMaster welcome Terry Goddard, former Mayor of Phoenix, Attorney General of Arizona, and twice Democratic Party candidate for Governor, to another in our series of discussions on the malign influence of wealth on American political processes and governance.

Someone once said that you can be pretty sure that a country which calls itself The Independent Democratic People’s Republic of X is neither independent, democratic, nor do its people actually have anything to do with governing it. Likewise, when you see a political ad supposedly sponsored by Citizens for Mom, Apple Pie, and the Flag, you can be pretty sure that its sponsor is a) NOT a grassroots political organization, and b) that its agenda has less to do with motherhood, family values, or patriotism than it does with a corporate economic interest that is in fact inimical to all of them.

Listen in for fascinating insights from a career politician on why and how it’s come to this, and what we, as actual citizens, can do about it.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Citizens United, Constitutional Issues, Corruption, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Elections, Government, Interviews, Media Campaigns, National Politics, Podcasts, Political Action Committees, Political Contributions, Propaganda, Special Interest Legislation, Supreme Court | Tagged | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , , | Comments Off

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 , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

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 , , , , , , | Comments Off