Ploog, Chaikin, Ferreira Interview – Podcast May 16, 2022

An Egregious Invasion Of Privacy. Steve Williamson and Kathy Kinsella welcome Holli Ploog, Peggy Chaikin, Ellen Ferreira to discuss the looming U.S. Supreme Court decision on abortion and the weekend’s women’s marches in protest of Justic Alito’s leaked majority opinion.

The group discusses the far-reaching implications of the decision if the opinion holds. They agree that, since Alito based his opinion on 16th century law and dismisses a woman’s right to privacy regarding reproductive decisions, it could have a domino effect on a host of other privacy-related issues such as same-sex marriage.

They also lay out a number of ways for people to get involved and impact politics with Kinsella noting that things change rapidly in today’s political environment. The key is for people to come together.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Civil Society, Community Activism, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Constitutional Issues, Domestic Extremism, Elections, Ethics, Government, Health Care, Health Care Delivery, Health Care Policy, Human Rights, Interviews, Justice System, Legal Issues, LGBT Issues, Marriage Equality, National Politics, Political Polarization, Public Health Policy, Religion, Supreme Court, Women's Issues, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

May 20, 2022 Fundraiser

Come Celebrate 11 Years Of Insightful Interviews And Programs. Democratic Perspective is a volunteer effort to counter rightwing propaganda and to provide listeners with expert opinion and information.

Given the growing threat to our democracy, that effort has never been more important. But it takes money. We rely entirely on donations to fund our radio show, podcasts, and website. That’s why we’ll be holding a fundraising gathering in the beautiful courtyard of Sedona’s El Portal Hotel on Friday, May 20 from 5-7 pm. As part of the gathering, we’ll also celebrate the lives of our dearly departed colleagues, Dick Searle and Klaus von Stutterheim.

So come have a glass of wine, enjoy some appetizers, meet others who care about the truth, and share your ideas for future shows. There will be no cover charge. All donations very much appreciated.

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Podcast May 9, 2022

Keeping Perspective: Looking To The Past And To The Future. As Democratic Perspective celebrates 11 years of programming, Steve Williamson and Gary LaMaster, two of the show’s founders, offer a retrospective of the past 11 years.

Steve explains how the series came about and who was originally involved. He notes that the show first aired with Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick as our guest in April of 2011. Since then, we have conducted interviews with a great variety of experts such as economist Dean Baker, as well as a host of professors and authors such as Noam Chomsky, Michael Austin and Nancy MacLean. There has been an array of political candidates and elected officials like Senator Mark Kelly, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Congressman Tom O’Halleran, in addition to activists, lobbyists, and local community officials.

And even though our group of contributors and sponsors has changed over the years as some drifted away and others passed on, the goal of Democratic Perspective is, and always will be, to get at the truth.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Civil Society, Community, Community Activism, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Criminal Justice Reform, Cultural Change, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Disinformation, Economic Policy, Elections, Ethics, Founding Fathers, Funding, Government, Interviews, Journalism, Local Politics, Medicare, National Politics, Pandemic, Political Candidacy, Political Clubs, Political Contributions, Political Polarization, Privatization, Social Security | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Casteen Interview – Podcast May 2, 2022

Issues Over Ideology. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Jeanne Casteen, teacher, school board member, and director of the Secular Coalition of Arizona. She is running for the LD2 Senate seat in the Arizona legislature with hopes of reducing the level of crazy at the state capitol.

As Casteen says, “I’ve been going down to the capitol and testifying as an educator for well over a decade now. And the level of decorum at this point is essentially nonexistent. It’s really kind of a very fringe climate there.”

The reason is that Republicans have controlled the legislature and the governor’s office for more than a decade. Despite narrow majorities in each house (31-29 in the House and 16-14 in the Senate), Republicans have essentially ignored both Democrats and the general public. The GOP majority controls what bills can be heard and often passes ideologically extreme bills without debate.

That could change by flipping just one seat in each of the houses, which will force legislators from both parties to negotiate and vote on issues that benefit all Arizonans. That’s why we encourage listeners to help Democratic candidates like Casteen in all of the state’s competitive districts.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Democratic Governance, Disinformation, Domestic Extremism, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Elections, Government, Interviews, Political Candidacy, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Poverty, Public Accountability, Public Education, Public Policy, Scandal Mongering, Social Services, Tax and Investment Policy, Tax Law, Tax Revenues, Taxation, Voting, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indicavitch Interview – Podcast April 25, 2022

The Arizona GOP’s Long-Running Plan To Privatize Education. Karen McClelland and Steve Williamson welcome Nicky Indicavitch, Statewide Outreach Director of Save Our Schools Arizona and a self-described angry mother, to discuss why Arizona ranks dead last in per pupil funding.

“I have kids in Arizona public schools, so it’s personal for me,” says Indicavitch. She explains Save Our Schools began in 2017 after the Arizona State Legislature voted for a major expansion of vouchers for private schools. “We recognized early on in those days that that bill was going to be extremely dangerous for our public schools here in Arizona. So, we referred it. We gathered signatures to send it to the ballot in the ‘No on 305’ campaign and we won that initiative. We stopped the voucher expansion.” But, knowing that the Republican-controlled legislature was not done with its attack on public education, the Save Our Schools group stayed together.

Indicavitch describes the group’s mission is to protect our schools noting, “It’s hard to track what these lawmakers are doing. They’re not open about the process of passing bills. They’re not transparent about the deals being made. We’ve seen a number of budgets pass in the middle of the night down at the capitol with no citizen input on those. And so, one of the things we’ve worked really hard at is making sure parents and teachers that are concerned about these issues have a place to go and a resource to better understand the impact of these.”

She goes on to say that this lack of transparency is completely by design – meant to make sure taxpayers don’t know what’s going on.

Posted in Arizona Budget, Arizona Politics, Class Conflict, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Government, Interviews, Privatization, Public Accountability, Public Education, Tax and Investment Policy, Tax Revenues, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bacevich Interview – Podcast April 18, 2022

Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine. The History And Unseen Consequences. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Andrew Bacevich to the show. Bacevich is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University as well as co-founder and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He argues that to understand the invasion of Ukraine, you must consider the historical context in which the U.S. exploited Russia economically following the collapse of the Soviet Union. And, despite telling Russia that we would not expand NATO eastward, successive American administrations did it anyway. He believes that led to bitterness and a sense of betrayal.

Now Ukraine, as an innocent party, is suffering the consequences.

In addition, the Russian people are suffering under the most horrific sanctions imposed on any nation in memory, he says. When asked how we end those sanctions and deal with Russia once the war ends, Bacevich explains, “The primary question is who’s going to be in charge. If it’s Putin, then it’s going to become ten times more difficult to figure out a way to bring Russia in from the cold. If it’s not Putin, if it’s somebody who we can deal with, then I think that makes the problem orders of magnitude easier.”

“To me, the biggest concern is that this war is going to lead to a new Cold War centered on a frankly exaggerated Russian threat and therefore distract our attention from concerns that ought to be…that are more important. And I’m in the camp that says the climate crisis probably ranks as number one,” says Bacevich. “We increasingly hear warnings issued by authoritative sources that say that the planet…that nations of the world are not meeting their targets in order to limit the rise in temperatures and suggesting dire consequences that are now just 20, 30 to 40 years into the future. I think that danger is much more serious than any danger posed by Vladimir Putin.”

Posted in Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Climate Change, Democratic Governance, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Genocide, Global Warming, Government, Human Rights, International Relations, Interviews, Mass Media, National Security, National Sovereignty | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baker, Segner Interview – Podcast April 11, 2022

No, Inflation Isn’t The Biggest Story Of The Biden Economy. Steve and Karen welcome Dean Baker, one of the nation’s leading economists, and friend of the show Steve Segner to discuss the economy and inflation. When asked whether inflation is permanent or transitory, Baker says though it has lasted longer than expected, in his mind it’s still very much transitory. He says that re-opening from the pandemic has created increased demand and big backlogs in supply throughout a number of sectors. That pushed up prices, not just in the U.S., but in Germany, France and the U.K.

“Is there evidence that it’s coming to an end? To my view, there’s a lot,” says Baker. “…we’ve seen big increases in inventory at both the retail and wholesale level. On average [the stores] are pretty well stocked right now. That should put downward pressure on prices.” He also notes that indices show the cost of shipping is trending downwards and used car prices have been falling sharply in the last couple of months.

As for fuel prices, Baker says that the price of oil is a world price. It’s not something that the U.S. can impact alone. He goes on to mention that blaming inflation on Biden is like blaming a governor for people being homeless following a hurricane. Biden is not responsible for the once-in-a-century pandemic. He can only try to deal with its aftermath.

Baker explains that the media has played a really big role in the issue, saying they have been incredibly negative when talking about the economy under Biden. “I’ve been struck that whenever they talk about economic issues, it’s always about inflation. We got the jobs report just last Friday and all the stories were, ‘Oh, good jobs report. But what about inflation?’ We had a really extraordinary jobs report – the unemployment rate down to 3.6 percent…it barely got mentioned. They turned over and immediately began talking about inflation.” Baker adds that part of the public’s confusion about the economy is partly the result of lies told by Republicans.

Baker points to a recent poll, saying, “I saw one poll where they asked…whether we created more jobs than we lost last year or we lost more jobs than we created. And a clear majority thought we lost more jobs than we created. Well, guess what? 2021 was the best year for job growth ever!”  

Posted in Disinformation, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, Economic Stimulus, Energy Policy, Fiscal Policy, Government, Growth, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, Mass Media, National Politics, Pandemic | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Baker, Segner Interview – Podcast April 11, 2022

Post Interview – Podcast April 4, 2022

A Modern-Day Form Of Slavery. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome international human rights attorney Dianne Post to discuss the abuses and disproportionate cost of for-profit private prisons.

Post was first on our show in 2013 to discuss the same issue. She says a lot has happened since then. But, sadly, not enough. “On the national level Obama made an executive order to stop using for-profit prisons for federal prisoners. But then we had a change of administrations. And that order went in the toilet. Now Biden has made a similar order to stop using for-profit prisons for federal prisoners. But what he did was to start using them for INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] detentions.

Post is now pursuing a lawsuit involving six plaintiffs against private prisons claiming they’re a violation of the 13th Amendment because for-profit prisons represent the ownership of people – trading people as a commodity in the market for money. “That’s called slavery,” she explains.

Thirty states now have private prisons. Yet, according to Post, private prisons have added to our problem of mass incarceration, because they have motivated states to incarcerate more people and give longer sentences.

For those who would like to learn more, Post recommends the following organizations: Abolish Private Prisons, Arizona Justice Alliance, and Just Communities.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Constitutional Issues, Corporate Welfare, Corporations, Corrections Policy, Corruption, Criminal Justice Reform, Ethics, Government, Human Rights, Immigration, Interviews, Mass Incarceration, Morality, National Politics, Penology, Private Prisons, Privatization, Public Accountability, Public Policy, Public Private Collaboration, Refugees, Slavery | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Post Interview – Podcast April 4, 2022

McClelland, Hermen, Isom Interview – Podcast March 28, 2022

Critical Race Theory As A Political Weapon. Our guest host, Holli Ploog, welcomes Heather Hermen, Heather Isom, and our own Karen McClelland to discuss their views of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and public education in general.

To begin, let’s be clear that CRT is NOT taught in public high schools or elementary schools and never has been. Yet, thanks to certain media and individuals, it has become an overwrought issue for public schools across the country. Sedona is no exception.

Hermen explains that she was a school board member when the issue first came up and was contacted by a few people in the community who were asking about it. She says, “I responded to them and one of them was very challenging to me. And then I found out that they didn’t even live in our area.”

When asked her opinion of what all the fuss is about, Isom who teaches social studies and history says, “Well I just don’t see that there is the fuss at the high school level and teaching Critical Race Theory. It’s very complex and, as a master’s student, you were introduced to concepts like this where you’re looking at social conditions through a lens, if you will. We are teaching in high school, certain social circumstances and outcomes…statistics. But we’re not looking at things through a racial-oriented lens of who’s responsible and who is subject to it. In my classes specifically, topics come up that are discussion-based topics of poverty. We look at statistics, which can point to different racial groups. There’s no blame involved. We discuss events throughout history that are racially oriented and that certainly evokes feelings and new perspectives. But it’s not being taught from a lens of how did race factor in here.”

McClelland, who is a current member of the Sedona-Oak Creek Governing Board, adds that the idea is to help understand the past. Not to assign blame. She further explains that parents can opt their children out of any subject matter. And all three guests note that parents have access to the subject matter and materials, which are posted electronically.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Bigotry, Civil Society, Community, Conspiracy Theories, Cultural Diversity, Disinformation, Domestic Extremism, Education, Education Policy, Food Insecurity, Income Inequality, Interviews, Local Politics, National Politics, Political Lies, Privatization, Public Education, Race and Class, Racism, Regulation, Scandal Mongering | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on McClelland, Hermen, Isom Interview – Podcast March 28, 2022

Ruby, Fogel, Ransom, Sinclair Interview – Podcast March 21, 2022

Bridging The Political Divide In Arizona. Co-hosts Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome to the show three well-qualified Democratic candidates for the Arizona State Legislature along with their campaign manager, Jay Ruby. The candidates include Mike Fogel, a school board member and retired teacher, who is running for Senate, Cathy Ransom, a single mom and small business owner, who is running for a House seat, and Neil Sinclair, a solar system designer and electric transportation executive, who is also running for a House seat.

Calling themselves the Clean Slate for Democracy, the three candidates point out that by flipping just one Republican seat in the House and one in the Senate would force the two political parties to negotiate with one another for the benefit of all Arizonans. Not just the ideological whims of the Republican Party and its partisan interest groups.

To discover more about the candidates’ views on various issues and to learn how you can help improve Arizona, visit their website at The Clean Slate for Democracy Campaign.

Posted in Arizona Budget, Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Climate Change, Community, Constitutional Issues, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Domestic Extremism, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Elections, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Environmental Issues, Environmentalism, Ethics, Food Insecurity, Funding, Global Warming, Government, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, LIberals and Conservatives, Political Candidacy, Political Contributions, Political Parties, Public Education, Renewable Energy, Small Business, Voter Suppression, Voting, Water Policy, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ruby, Fogel, Ransom, Sinclair Interview – Podcast March 21, 2022