Bordewich Interview – Podcast July 6, 2020

Examining The History Of The Ku Klux Klan. Democratic Perspective welcomes back Fergus Bordewich, historian and author of numerous books, to discuss the three stages of the KKK. He says the original Klan began from a rather inauspicious start with a gathering of ex-Confederate soldiers as a kind of lark – a club. By 1867 it had dynamically grown into a political organization spreading across all the former Confederate states and committing hideous violent acts against blacks and white, progressive Republicans. President Grant recognized the growing threat and crushed it. And, by 1872, the Klan as an organized movement was dead.

“The second Klan was inspired by Birth of a Nation in 1915,” says Bordewich. The film was praised by President Woodrow Wilson which turbocharged a new Klan that was racist, nativist, and vehemently anti-Catholic. But, by the 1940s, its membership had faded as a result of its criminal behavior.

Bordewich explains that the third Klan sprang up after WWII with tenuous roots in the previous Klan. It openly organized against the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s but was eventually penetrated by the FBI and shattered. And, though Bordewich says the Klan still exists, he notes that the real terrorist threat is from many scattered militias across the country that operate with Klan thinking under different names.

Posted in Bigotry, Civil Rights, Cultural Change, Domestic Terrorism, Immigration, Interviews, Policing, Political History, Race and Class, Racial Discrimination, Racism, Slavery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Singal Interview – Podcast June 29, 2020

For Trump, The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Appears To Be A Train. Democratic Perspective co-hosts discuss the upcoming election with historian and author Dan Singal. Singal predicts a landslide for Biden. He says that it’s showing all the signs of what political scientists call a critical election – an election in which there is a significant realignment of voting blocs. “There is incredible animus toward Trump,” says Singal. “Biden doesn’t even have to run negative ads [because] Trump is now in a terrible trap. He decided to go full force into opening up the government. Now the virus is spreading like wildfire. And the only way to control the virus is to shut it down again.”

Moreover, he notes that Trump is running out of time with the start of early voting in some states only two and a half months away.

Singal goes on to discuss his expectations for a Biden administration. “I think it will look a lot like the New Deal. There will be one new piece of legislation after another. Democrats will likely have a majority and a lot of leeway. Biden is spending 8-10 hours a day planning for the future.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Elections, Government, Interviews, National Politics, Pandemic, Political History, Presidential Elections | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Kendall Interview – Podcast June 22, 2020

The Future Of US Healthcare. Democratic Perspective welcomes Dave Kendall, Senior Fellow for Health and Fiscal Policy for the Third Way, to discuss the pandemic and universal healthcare. Kendall was author of most, if not all, of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare.

We begin by asking about the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. He says it was one of the worst responses in the world. “It could have been a lot better,” he states. “We had a plan. Trump had thrown the plan away. But we can do this. It’s not hard technology. That’s where we need to start with healthcare.”

(NOTE: WE EXPERIENCED SOME EARLY TECHNICAL ISSUES. BE PATIENT. THE DISCUSSION IS INFORMATIVE AND REWARDING.)

As for making healthcare available to all Americans, Kendall says, “I think the Democratic party is united on that everyone should have access to healthcare. The ACA has proven successful. People get that it protected them for pre-existing conditions…we have an opportunity to make the case that Democrats have taken the lead on healthcare. The Medicare for All movement has been good to expose some of the problems. Wage increases are going to healthcare right now. For a typical worker, it takes 6 weeks to pay off the deductibles. We can take the next steps. Cut the costs and cover everyone.”

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Health Care, Health Care Delivery, Health Care Policy, Health Insurance, Interviews, Medicare, National Politics, Pandemic, Political Parties, Presidential Elections, Public Health Policy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Singer Interview – Podcast June 15, 2020

The Future Of Medical Care In Sedona. The Democratic Perspective hosts welcome Neil Singer, MD to address rumors that Northern Arizona Healthcare is prepared to downgrade or close the Emergency Room in Sedona. If true, the impact on Sedona could be devastating, making Emergency Room care at least 20 minutes away. That would not only impact Sedona residents. It would impact visitors who are injured while hiking or biking. And it would impact those affected by the altitude.

Though the hospital has stated, “We’re not going to abandon Sedona,” it refuses to deny the rumors. But Singer says, “It’s clear that they are re-evaluating the Emergency Room. The hospital is spending a lot of money on new services in Sedona. They probably lost a lot of money due to Covid.”

As for the idea of a downgraded ER he says, “There’s not a downgraded Emergency Room. There’s an Immediate Care…similar to Camp Verde. They can’t give intravenous fluids, They can’t deal with complicated fractures. They don’t have radiology there 24 hours a day. It’s just a glorified doctor’s office.”

Sedona residents can address their concerns by contacting the NAH Board of Directors.

Posted in Community, Community Activism, Health Care, Health Care Delivery, Interviews, Local Politics, Public Accountability, Tourism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sommer Interview – Podcast June 8, 2020

Breaking Our Addiction To Fossil Fuels. Democratic Perspective welcomes Dr. Stefan Sommer, Director of Education, Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research at Northern Arizona University and Director of the Northern Arizona Climate Change Alliance.  Sommer begins by noting that awareness of the climate crisis is different in the US than in the rest of the world. He says that the rest of the world is aware of the seriousness of the issue. But, in the US, there’s a campaign to suppress news of climate change.

Sommer says that science has known about the issue since 1970 and that the current climate change we are seeing is solely the result of human activity – primarily the result of the massive burning of fossil fuels. “The challenge now is to get everybody on board,” he says. “We’ve all been addicted to these easy, cheap forms of energy and we need to break the addiction.”

Posted in Agricultural Policy, Arizona Politics, Climate Change, Cultural Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Issues, Global Warming, Interviews, Local Politics, Public Health Policy, Renewable Energy | Tagged , | Comments Off on Sommer Interview – Podcast June 8, 2020

Shaw Interview – Podcast June 1, 2020

Peace Building At Home And Around The Globe. Democratic Perspective welcomes Anne Shaw from Verde Valley chapter of Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). The group’s motto is “We seek a world free of war and threat of war. We seek a society with equity and justice for all. We seek a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled. We seek an earth restored.”

According to Shaw, two of the most pressing issues are trying to end the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and building peace in the Middle East.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Climate Change, Community Activism, Compassion, Cultural Change, Domestic Policy, Environmental Issues, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Government, Human Rights, International Relations, Interviews, Middle East Policy, Military Policy, Political Action Committees | Tagged , | Comments Off on Shaw Interview – Podcast June 1, 2020

Wealth Inequality – Podcast May 25, 2020

Growing Wealth Inequality In The Age Of Pandemic. Revisiting Capital In The Twenty-First Century by Thomas Picketty, the Democratic Perspective crew discusses the causes of increasing inequality of income, wealth and opportunity in the US. They note that, after wealth inequality diminished following the Great Depression and World War II, it soared as the result of numerous policy decisions beginning with the Reagan administration. And the pandemic has only made matters worse with large corporations and the wealthy accumulating most of the funds intended to provide relief from the pandemic.

Posted in Capital Accumulation, Capitalism, Class Conflict, De-regulation, Economic Policy, Economic Stimulus, Economic Theory, Fiscal Policy, Income Inequality, inherited Wealth, Monetary Policy, Racial Discrimination, Tax and Investment Policy, Tax Law | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Wealth Inequality – Podcast May 25, 2020

Under The Cover Of COVID – Podcast May 18, 2020

How Trump Is Changing America While We Focus on the Pandemic. Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Steve Williamson, Mike Cosentino and Klaus von Stutterheim, discuss the environmental deregulation and coverups taking place while the nation is necessarily focusing on the pandemic. For example, the administration is systematically destroying independent oversight by stonewalling Congress and removing Inspector Generals. In just the past few weeks, four IGs have been fired – those overseeing Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, National Intelligence, and State Department.

The administration has also undermined the results of the Mueller investigation by dropping charges against Michael Flynn and by opening investigations into the Obama administration. In addition, it is pushing to confirm more judges, pushing for uranium mining along the Grand Canyon, relaxing hunting rules on public lands, cutting food stamps, providing handouts to supporters, and more.

And, as if all of that isn’t enough, Trump has changed much of the leadership of federal agencies by appointing sycophants as acting directors, thereby avoiding Senate confirmation.

Posted in Congressional Oversight, Constitutional Issues, Corruption, De-regulation, Domestic Extremism, Environment, Environmental Issues, Ethics, Federal Lands, Government, Health Care, National Politics, Public Accountability, Public Health Policy, Unemployment | Tagged , | Comments Off on Under The Cover Of COVID – Podcast May 18, 2020

LaMaster Interview – Podcast May 11, 2020

Truth Over Politics. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson, Mike Cosentino and Klaus von Stutterheim welcome Gary LaMaster back to the show to discuss his latest book and the structural issues that plague the US, many of which have been exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The nation’s healthcare system, supply chains and the economy have all been compromised by decades of corporate consolidation, tax cuts, media propaganda, and partisan politics.

Evidence can be seen in the shortage of medical equipment, food being destroyed while Americans go hungry, and the stock markets’ artificial highs fueled by ill-advised tax cuts and stock buybacks that were once illegal. The question is: Will Americans have the will and determination to make necessary changes once the pandemic subsides?  

Posted in Agribusiness, Business, Capital Accumulation, Corporate Welfare, Cultural Change, Disinformation, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, Economic Stimulus, Farm Subsidies, Financial Crisis, Food Insecurity, Government, Health Care, Income Inequality, Industrial Policy, Interviews, Journalism, Mass Media, Monetary Policy, National Politics, Offshoring, Political Lies, Presidential Elections, Public Health Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on LaMaster Interview – Podcast May 11, 2020

Cole Replay – Podcast May 4, 2020

Better Understanding Islam And The Qur’an. Democratic Perspective revisits an interview with Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan and founder of Informed Comment, to discuss his book Muhammad, Prophet of Peace Amid The Clash Of Empires. Cole explains that the Qur’an has been very badly translated. “I looked at it with the eyes of an historian,” he says. “I’m reading it in the original Arabic and I’m reading it in context with the Greek and Persian and other works of that time. Context is everything.”

Cole further explains, “There is nothing distinctive in the Qur’an about war. The great French student of Islam, Maxime Rodinson told my teacher…’Any religion can be interpreted any way.’” Cole says that’s true of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and other religions.

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Relations, International Terrorism, Interviews, Islamic Republic, Middle East, Middle East Policy, Religion | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Cole Replay – Podcast May 4, 2020