Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016

Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show Number 59.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016 Guest Andrew Davis and I have a father and son discussion of some of the big takeaways from 2016 and a look ahead to 2017. This isn’t one of those big stories of the year countdowns that populate the media at the end of every year. Just some thoughts about the year from both of us. What we have seen and what we thought was significant.

Of course in the United States, the big story of the year was Election 2016. Father and son talk about the winners and losers this year and how to stay informed going into 2017. The biggest loser of 2016 was traditional broadcast and cable television news and what is generally referred to as the mainstream media. This year though, you could add broadcast talk radio to the list. The biggest offense for these outlets was the penchant for predicting the future, picking a winner and endorsing a candidate.

From the media perspective the biggest winner was social media and You Tube. According to a recent study by Pew, more people got their news from social media and You Tube than ever before. This is a tectonic shift away from broadcast radio news and news delivered over traditional sources like broadcast television and cable television. This shift has provoked efforts to control what news and links people see and hear on social media sources.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016, the biggest surprise in 2016, for traditional media and politics in 2016 was Trump’s Electoral Victory. For political elites inside the beltway and those who believed what old line traditional media told them, the emergence of Donald J. Trump in the primaries, his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate and his electoral victory was a shock. The biggest factor in politics in 2016 were the misconceptions fostered by terrible reporting and analysis.

Late in the election season the Clinton campaign and the White House introduced the idea that the Russians somehow ‘hacked’ the US election. While a convenient explanation for bereft democrats, even at this late date proof of a Russian Interference is lacking. Moreover, proof the alleged Russian intervention resulted in actually effecting the outcome of the election is even more elusive. Father and son disagree on this topic. This disagreement that carried over from the radio show to intense discussions with friends well into the evening.

With change back on the front burner in 2017 our discussion turns to how to get good information. There will be a need to evaluate the performance of the Trump administration and arguments against its initiatives. With so called fake news, opinion journalism rather than good investigative journalism, having good sources is more important that ever.

Once you have goos sources, you also need context. Good sources include source materials such as reports, think tank studies, documents, and live video. Context comes from reading history, source documents, non fiction books on various topics and your interests. Both of us caution against pop culture books which are nothing more than the same type of rehashing and alarmist coverage you see in social media, cable news and talk radio. They are designed to persuade, rather than inform. Certainly one can say think tanks have biases, which are usually fairly obvious, but reliance on source material from different parts of the spectrum and academic interests gives you the background and context to understand the biases without being manipulated.

Finally, the big issues in 2017 to watch will be the Trump Team’s transition, foreign policy issues including the South China Sea, ISIS, Europe, Russia and China, foreign trade, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s role in US foreign policy, United States Economic policy. Politically what the 115th congress does and how it does what it does will be significant stories in 2017. Supporters of the new President will be hard pressed almost from day one to defend his actions, and the opposition is treading through brand new territory. Both sides will need objective facts.

Finally, we have a little fun with the millennial obsession with smart phones and the hand wringing over ‘so many’ celebrity deaths in 2016 and thank the sponsored, supporters and listeners to the Bob Davis Podcasts throughout 2016. Happy New Year. See you in 2017.

 

Podcast 584-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-58

Podcast 584-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-58. With the Electoral Vote, Donald J. Trump is the official President Elect of the United States. He’ll be sworn in as the 45th President on Friday, January 20th, 2017. As terrible coverage of the election, post election and the events leading up to the inauguration continues, time to shift the conversation toward the challenges ahead. Podcast 584-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-58 my coverage of these challenges.

Last summer I predicted the final outcome of the 2016 election would center on the Great Lakes region of the United States. Ohio, Pennsyvania, Wisconsin, Michigan. The former industrial heartland has been plagued by bad economic and policy initiatives, excessive taxation, corruption and incompetent local governments. It’s not surprising people in these regions would have reached a point where they have had enough.

The new narrative is Donald Trump heralds a new kind of politics in America. Depending on the source, either a darker, jingoistic throwback to the 1950’s, a new kind of Populist-Conservative politics, or a new Centrism. Every politician wants to be thought of as a rail splitter, born in a log cabin. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump come from upper middle class backgrounds. Park Ridge, Illinois and the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, in New York City are hardly breeding grounds for American Populists.

While the tone of the executive branch might change under Trump the fact is moderate, establishment Republicans and moderate Democrats are still in control of the United States Government. How do we expect this group of out-of-touch politicians to address the challenges we face?

Since 2008 the US has had stimulus, banking legislation, the adoption of The Affordable Health Care Act and a change in Foreign Policy. The result is nominal economic growth, with 63 percent of the eligible workforce sidelined. A foreign policy that was supposed to herald a new era of peace and cooperation, didn’t. Despite major changes in technology, trade and comparative advantage the new story line is Manufacturing’s Greatest Days lie ahead. Is this true? Another initiative of the new administration is to force spending of a trillion dollars on ‘infrastructure’. Will this work? Is this a conservative economic policy approach? With only 8 percent of the work force is employed in manufacturing and construction and most of the rest of us are employed in value added services, one wonders.

Whatever the new president wants to do, it will be processed through the US Congress, State Legislatures and the Courts. With plenty of Democrats in congress and state legislatures ready to put up a good fight, we’ll see how much the GOP and Trump can get done. We’ll also see if the policy they end up with will work to address major challenges of the future.

Massive changes are taking place in our society and the world as the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes hold. While it’s good for Trump supporters and Republicans to celebrate, and for Democrats to prepare their opposition, the question is whether any of the leaders in Washington really understand what is needed for the people of the United States to grow our economy, move forward and prevail in the new world. Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars.

Podcast 583-Summer Storm

Podcast 583-Summer Storm. Nothing better than a summer storm to help you forget the bitter cold. It’s well below zero in Minnesota. While Europe and parts of the South consider mid twenties to thirties ‘bitter’ cold, in the Upper Midwest we’re talking minus twenty, thirty or even forty below. This is the kind of cold you don’t need windchill to exaggerate. If you’re in the deep freeze this podcast is designed to provide a half an hour or so of relief.

Last summer I had a chance to record a huge summer storm that rolled through the area. The storm track on this podcast isn’t edited. It was recorded in real time, complete with bouts of heavy rain and thunder. Interspersed throughout the storm are some thought starters to help subscribers to the Bob Davis Podcasts mentally escape.

Maybe when you were a kid your family did a road trip to Florida. Or while in college you and your friends took a trip through the mountains, or the desert. Many have had one of those summer college jobs for some agricultural company that required rolling around on back roads across Iowa and North Dakota, recording the growth of corn, or whatever those companies require people to write down on clipboards.

For me, sitting in a broken down old ’67 Ford Galaxy in the fields and watching the storms roll in across the prairie in Rural Illinois, will always remind me of deep summer. It’s easy for people to say, “Why don’t you get on a plane and go to LA, or Hawaii”. Yes, it sure would be nice. Thing is, not all of us can do that.

As we head into the deep freeze, keep this podcast handy. Put on your headphones for Podcast 583-Summer Storm and prepare to be transported to my porch during an awesome summer storm. Of course, you’ll have to put up with me talking in your ear about places I’ve been and places to go, but it’s better than looking out the window wishing it wasn’t twenty five below.

It is true we welcome the cold weather, at least the first blush and especially at Christmas Time. Trust me, though. You’re going to want to escape. If you can’t get away as soon as you’d like to or at all this year, Podcast 583-Summer Storm is your ticket to paradise. Summer in the Midwest. Storms. Thunder. Steady Rain. The hum of summer insects. Thoughts of rolling down two lane roads cutting through green fields. Freedom is a clean windshield and a full tank of gas.

Sponsored By Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57

Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57. Hillary Clinton’s Tribe Throws a Temper Tantrum. The Electoral College will soon gather in respective state capitols for the purpose of choosing the the next president of the United States. In a last ditch attempt to influence the outcome of this final hurdle for Republican President-elect Trump, democrat supporters are hurling unsubstantiated charges regarding Russia, Wikileaks, Fake News and Hacks. I separate and break down very different story lines behind it all in Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57.

New protests say the Electoral College should be abolished because it isn’t ‘democratic’, all while they try to influence electors to vote for Clinton rather than Trump. ‘The Electoral College’ is our last line of defense, they shout. Perhaps the most absurd assertion of all; ‘This is how Hitler came to power’. I also break this down in Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57. The Electoral College for all its faults is in fact a democratic process. Getting rid of the Electoral College as an institution would be a very complex process involving amending the US Constitution.

The so called ‘Russian Hack’ is actually a constellation of assertions and claims, circumstantial at best, from shadowy sources in the US Intelligence Community. Suddenly very entertaining ‘Fake News’ stories on the Internet require complex rules and warning labels from social media in what amounts to a George Soros funded violation of our First Amendment rights under the US Constitution. If you can’t make baseless assertions about child sex rings at Pizza Restaurants in Washington, you can’t make baseless assertions about Russians ‘hacking’ the US Election to put Trump in the White House.

What about the Hitler comparisons? How did the Nazis come to power in Germany in the 1920’s? How did Hitler come to power in the early 1930’s? How are these factors different from the Representative Republic known as The United States of America? Attempts to intimidate and influence Electors to comparisons of Trump to Hitler and Republicans to Nazis, fevered assertions about the wily Russians as Hillary Clinton’s Tribe Throws A Temper Tantrum.

We’re living through an age of disruption as technology destroys centralized processes, including a massive, sclerotic Federal Government. Forget Republican and Democratic. There are really two poles now. Tyranny and Liberty. Which do you choose? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.

(Editor’s Note: Since this show was produced and posted, the Washington Post is reporting Director of National Intelligence Clapper, and FBI Director Comey have ‘signed on’ to the assessment of the CIA regarding Russian “intervention in the US Election for the purpose of influencing its outcome”. This assessment remains classified and is therefore not public and one should read the statements of Clapper and Comey on this matter for more details.)

Podcast 581-Disruption

Podcast 581-Disruption. The 1950’s and 60’s Are Never Coming Back. Disruption is Radical Change with profound effects, usually Permanent.   I’ve tried to determine the root of the feeling we all seem to have that something is wrong. It comes down to a major disruption of our business, industrial, governmental and cultural processes.Podcast 581-Disruption started out to be a podcast about the industrial revolution and the 1950’s in the United States. It’s a theme I return to regularly, especially when I talk about technology.

The Industrial Revolution caused disruptions from the time it began until it peaked in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. We’re in the early stages of a technology revolution on a scale the world has never experienced. I call it the second industrial revolution. It is a technology revolution and will cause profound disruptions.

Some call what we’re living through the fourth industrial revolution. I use the term second industrial revolution because I think breaking the Industrial Revolution into parts minimizes its impact. We’re in the early stages of a disruption as significant as the Industrial Revolution has been overall. What I call the Second Industrial Revolution will have more impact on humans and the planet than the first. The effect of both concepts should not be underestimated.

One of the cultural effects of the ‘turbo’ into the future is longing and nostalgia for the past. The Post World War II period in American History appears to be one of those times when the world could be easily explained, people understood their roles, people of different races didn’t mingle and The United States was number one with a bullet. The problem with this idea is, the late 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s only exist in perfection in dreamy memories and pictures of Marilyn Monroe. Pretty pictures, faded with time. A time when ‘everyone’ was working. When small towns were strong, and big cities were booming. Yet even then, the beginning of the decline of one age and the dawn of a new were in the making.

Not all the gifts of the technology revolution are good. The gifts of technology can be used for dark purposes as well. Religions that spread like viruses. ‘Conventional’ war on an unprecedented scale. Surveillance and mind control of populations that are supposed to be free, to the point where they ask for laws to control speech. What seems like a dream to some, will be a nightmare to others.

This revolution will not be stopped though. It will flow around any obstacles put in its path. Much of the texture of the sense some have that ‘something’ is wrong can be expressed in fear and hate. ‘Fixing’ whatever is wrong, means going back to a world 60 or 70 years ago? A world that no longer exists. Much of the industrial revolution is based on centralization. Today centralization is being disrupted to the point of destruction by decentralizing technologies. What do we need to prevail, given these challenges?

Dealing with this change is a question of how we conduct our own lives and ensure our own happiness and freedom.  We’re living through the beginning of the greatest disruption in human history. It might be the greatest age of human beings and this country yet. Saying things change isn’t descriptive enough. Disruption means radical change. In Podcast 581-Disruption-The 1950’s aren’t coming back, when are we going to stop complaining about what is being done to us, and start taking charge of our lives and our world. When are we going to start looking forward and not backward.

Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and X Government Cars.

Podcast 580-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-56

Podcast 580-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-56. Four mini podcast for your weekend. It’s time to move beyond talk about fake news and false narratives. Time to work on becoming better citizens. We have to get beyond reactions to get what is needed to create better political structures for the future. People have very high expectations about a Trump presidency. Whether you fear the future or can’t wait for it, the President-Elect’s cabinet nominations are moderate and establishment republicans. Trump’s ideas are philosophically all over the road. The new republican administration may end up being just as statist as a Hillary Clinton presidency. One example is Trump’s penchant for roads and bridges and airports. Given the establishment congress of republican moderates expecting a reduction in the cost and power of the federal government is too much to ask for. Fake News is still ‘in the news’. There were suggestions from the CIA at the end of last week that the Russians ‘could have’ been responsible for the Wikileaks hack. Still no proof though. That doesn’t stop the media from feeding into the Clinton camp narrative that Russia put Trump in the White House. It’s impossible to say what influenced voters in Ohio, Pennsyvania, North Carolina and Florida where Trump won by tight margins. None of these facts stop demands to ‘do something’ about ‘fake news’. FaceBook is caving and censorship is suddenly now a big topic. There have also been reports that Electors (members of the electoral college for 2016) have received death threats. What happens if Trump doesn’t have a majority of electors? What is the goal of people supporting the effort to influence the Electoral College? Have you driven around the country lately? If you had, you would know the United States does not have an ‘infrastructure’ problem. Building new airports, roads and bridges will not create enough new jobs to influence a 16 trillion dollar economy. Moreover, trade protection, cutting taxes on the middle class, increasing spending and government power including military spending is fraught with problems and probably won’t result in economic growth. Where does the money come from for these shiny objects? It has to be taxed or borrowed, sooner or later. For those who supported Trump because he ‘isn’t Hillary’, there are no guarantees he’ll be materially different from Clinton, when it comes to results. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.[Powerpress]

Podcast 579-Internet Censorship

Podcast 579-Internet Censorship. The news media has a new story-line. Fake News Elected Donald Trump. We have to do something about fake news. It amounts to is censorship of the Internet. A violation of the right to free speech guaranteed by the US Constitution’s first amendment at least in spirt. What IS Fake News? I think of Fake News as False Narratives. Story lines seeded by politicians and corporate PR people. Narratives that are picked up and reported on by journalists who take down quotes for their stories rather than investigate and report. These story lines are picked up by more journalists who quote talking heads. Commentators commentate, more quotes and more stories until the narrative outlives its usefulness and then the whole thing starts over. Examples include explanations of why Trump won the election including, ‘Women voted for Trump instead of Hillary’. Another was the reporting on ‘What the Polls showed’ which usually meant Clinton was supposed to win. Facts in both cases debunked these claims. The definition of ‘Fake News’ we’re actually dealing with now are false stories presented as fact. You see them on You Tube, FaceBook and Twitter. But they are picked up by websites like Breitbart or Huffington Post if they fit a narrative. Since ‘fake news’ elected ‘a person like Trump’, Clinton backers are demanding social media and search engine companies like FaceBook and Google ‘do something about fake news’. In Podcast 579-Internet Censorship, we spend a little time explaining the American Political system, specifically the Electoral College. This explains how Donald Trump was able to eke out an electoral victory in key states, as well as a solid victory among the voters of Ohio, which gave him a victory in the presidential contest, regardless of popular vote totals, fair and square. There is virtually no evidence fake news had anything to do with these tight victories. If Clinton’s voters had actually voted in those states we’d be talking about a Clinton transition and Trump would be on a beach in the Caribbean somewhere. Despite the fact that Clinton has been a proponent of doing away with the electoral college for years, suddenly the hoary old institution is her best friend. We don’t know if anyone voted for Trump based on the Pizza Gate story, we can’t and we won’t. That doesn’t stop the left from putting immense pressure on FaceBook, the supposed culprit here in publishing so called fake news. What does Mark Zuckerberg the head of FaceBook do? He caves. A second story making the rounds in the alt-right community with headlines like, “We told you so” says they’re already censoring the Internet. Finally there have long been discussions in the national security and foreign policy community regarding censoring Islamic Jihad sites that radicalize followers. All three of these stories are being conflated right now online as though some imminent threat to free speech exists. Is there? Or are these companies simply formalizing procedures to suppress violent or illegal content that has been part of their service agreements? As a content creator the idea of ‘warning labels’ is chilling. The idea of some kind of algorithm to be defeated is chilling. That said, wouldn’t such procedures invite work arounds? Wouldn’t censorship invite efforts to defeat algorithms? Personally I don’t concern myself with speech control in countries that don’t have guarantees of free speech. I do care about attempts to limit speech in the United States where free speech is THE cornerstone of a successful representative republic and is constitutionally guaranteed in the first amendment. You can’t stop things you don’t agree with. As a content provider, this concerns me. Sponsored by X Government Cars and by Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 578-Jennifer Lokken-Culture Wars

Podcast 578-Jennifer Lokken-Culture Wars. A FaceBook friend of mine recently posted an article on her page about the Culture Wars. The Battle Of The Sexes. It’s clear there is a general rethink of the Feminism movement. Some call Feminism a cancer on our society. Some Feminists believe it is time for a shift in the movement’s focus from legal equality to attacking ‘The Market’. That’s right. The market is considered by them to be male dominated. In her mid thirties, Jennifer Lokken has had six children. She takes care of the house and homeschools her kids. Her husband works. Some data shows housewives are happier than feminists, indeed happier than women in any other occupation. Jennifer talks about her post and her ideas. Relationships. How men and women relate to each other. The question of whether women in other parts of the world treat men differently than American women. What men and women need and want. Much of what Mrs. Lokken has to say in this interview might be controversial. I present the interview without endorsement or judgement. My conversation with Jennifer illustrates the idea that there is a push back against feminism. We hear a lot about how men treat women in this country, but we don’t hear a lot about how women treat men. We don’t hear much about men who have gone ‘on strike’ refusing to have meaningful relationships with women. We don’t hear how men feel about being made the butt of jokes in mainstream media and entertainment. We don’t talk about how many boys and young men are confused about their roles. With fake news about rape how should we raise healthy boys and girls in this environment? How do we teach them to treat each other with respect and dignity? Is there a truly equitable way for men and women to marry and raise children, work and … be happy? By the same token, is the institution of marriage so sacrosanct as to become a jail for a women, or man? You may agree or disagree with Jennifer’s opinions and life choices, but she will definitely make you think. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul.

Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55

Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55. As the Trump Transition rolls on, it’s The Messiah Syndrome, Partisans Painting Themselves Into a Corner and False Narratives. Eight years ago people in this country thought Barack Obama would fix everything. Obama was a God. The new Messiah is Donald J. Trump. He is going to fix everything. He has been ‘chosen by God’. Trump ‘will be defended by God’. We ‘have to pray for him’. It’s always good to celebrate a victory, but the US Presidency is a political office. All the things that are supposed to get fixed become a question of what is possible with Congress, the Courts, the executive departments and the states playing a role. When it comes to political nuts and bolts Trump supporters and most republicans can’t be bothered. From day one Messiah Trump will be embroiled a political struggle. The clock is already ticking on the next congressional cycle in 2018. Gubernatorial campaigns are already underway in many states. Cabinet Secretaries and bureaucrats don’t come from central casting. Many of the people who end up filling those positions will not necessarily be ‘Trumpers’. Many of them are Washington Insiders. Then there are the many new voices on the so called right that have emerged in the last few years. Many of them wholeheartedly endorsed Trump and they will now have to defend him. Have they painted themselves into a corner? False Narratives are also spreading like a bad virus. How and Why Trump won the election. What the electoral college is supposed to do. Russia hacked voting machines. Whatever the ‘theory’, the idea is to keep us watching and distracted. The Facts of Life present a major challenge to the future of this country. US Debt levels are over 100 percent of the total economic output of the country. Federal spending continues to skyrocket. Entitlements like Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare will swamp the federal budget in the next decades and we have plans to spend trillions on roads and bridges? We’re also facing significant foreign policy and economic challenges in the next few years. Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55 takes a look at what we have to do to meet these challenges in the next few years. Shouting at people in an airplane aisle, memes and tweets will not work. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance, Ryan Plumbing and X Government Cars.