Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

We hear a lot of words used to describe various political factions in the US. Most will say the US economic system is capitalist but is this just an illusion? Are we socialist? Have we been socialist for a long time? It seems to me, we have. In Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Socialism Is Everywhere

Just because a country’s economic system is socialist, does not mean it’s a tyranny. Denmark and Canada aren’t dictatorships. Singapore is a Socialist Market Economy. Places where ‘the people’ own or control the means of production. Most socialist countries these days enjoy democratic political systems.

Government and Non Profits Dominate State Economies

Americans think of themselves as capitalists. The thing is, the top three employers in my state are public institutions. Americans depend on social security, medicare, or medicaid ‘entitlements’. Home buyers get tax subsidies. We enjoy many tax deferred investment options. Farmers get subsidies. Public workers get pensions. All kinds of grants for education exist. Then there are the business subsidies and government contracts. Some popular business personalities receive billions in subsidies from the government. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Both Parties Support Socialism

Democrats complain about light rail projects running through their backyards, but support government programs because ‘It’s the right thing to do’. Republicans complain about big government unless it’s the military, support for their businesses, home mortgage tax credit, social security and 401K programs.

The Right Thing To Do

It’s true that many of these programs date back to the depression in the 1930’s. Also true that creation of these programs came with the best intentions. Whether we like it or not, government is deeply involved in our lives. Of course, what the government giveth, the government takeaway. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Classic Liberalism Is Forgotten

Republicans and Democrats argue the same side of the coin. Both are collectivists. Neither adhere to Classic Liberalism, a philosophy of limited government with the sole purpose of securing a maximum amount of individual liberty, property rights and free markets. While no political scientist would argue the US is Socialist maybe we should consider the possibility we are and have been for some time.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars

Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624

Summer is coming. Peak Road Trip season in the United States. In Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624 we consider some road trip ideas, past and future.

Do You Travel Well?

Travel requires a bit of zen. A ‘let it come’ attitude. Excitable, exacting and difficult people don’t always travel well. There will be delays, bad food, wrong turns and unmet objectives. Those moments are usually when the magic happens. If you can let it happen. You want an objective, but you don’t want to over plan.

Weekend Road Trip or Mega Road Trip?

My preference is for the mega trip. Across the northern United States, down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. Down through the mid south all the way around Florida, along the gulf coast, back up through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Iowa to Minnesota. On those long trips you feel like you’re sailing. You forget what ‘home’ is, and let go.

So Much To See

Truth is, there are so many places to see within a day’s reach. All too often those of us who prefer the mega road trip forget the gems just around the corner. State Parks, small towns, little bits of forgotten history.

In The Blood

Most people I know who love long road trips have it in their blood. They remember warming up the wagon in the cold light of dawn in Illinois, or Massachusetts for the big escape to warmer Floria around Christmas time. Rock City, brand new freeways, Stuckey‘s, Travel-all and Howard Johnson’s.

What Is It About Road Trips?

You don’t need much money. Camping or staying in cheap motels. Alone or with friends or family. You see. Pass through. Learn. Butte, Montana. Duluth, Minnesota. Lincoln City, Oregon. Bizbee, Arizona. Mountains. Beaches. Deserted highways in the middle of the night. Everyone who travels comes back with great stories and memories. There’s no right or wrong. No arguing about whether Rapid City is better than Great Falls.

Enjoy

In Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624, just some thought starters for your next trip. Whether you’re pulling a vintage trailer, driving a brand new SUV, rolling in style in some kind of massive motor home or sporting the ten year old Subaru, there’s nothing like the call of the open road.

Sponsored by X Government Cars

Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

A friend asked me the other day if I was trying to alienate my audience. The reason for the question? I refused to take sides during election 2016 and will not do the bidding of politicians, in Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623.

On The Road

Last year The Bob Davis Podcasts went on the road to cover the primary campaigns. I traveled thousands of miles back and forth across the United States. When you roll on the backroads you see a lot and you learn a lot. Once you do that, you never view politics in the same way.

Manipulation

We’re being manipulated. Constantly. Republican and Democrat. Did a podcast about that. Detailed how we get our news from social media. Explained how to tell if a story lives up to journalistic standards. Asserted the idea that bad information leads to bad decisions. Apparently asserting ideas like this can put people on the defensive.

If You Want To Know The Truth

To know the truth, don’t take a side. It seems like everyone in media these days is taking a side. Defending a position. Making an argument. Demanding they be followed. Most information defends a point of view. This is the essence of our national manipulation. People say, “I don’t have time to sort it all out”. That is why I am doing these podcasts.

Shooting The Messenger

There are many assertions in modern news coverage these days. Most of these assertions are little more than opinion. This doesn’t mean the facts might one day support one view or another. Sadly the first reaction is defensive when facts don’t support conspiracy theory, commentary, personality endorsements, wishful thinking or the need to feel secure about a decision.

My Style of Communication

I am passionate. Direct. Intense. When I direct that passion and intensity toward something important to a specific listener it can be disconcerting. The value is it is researched, honest and authentic. Not filled with small talk and an effort to ingratiate myself with people so I can finesse a politicians message. This style of communication has certainly caused me trouble, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

History and Peeking Ahead

In Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623, I take a look at talk radio and media history, and discuss aging and changing perceptions, personal growth. Also take a look ahead to plans for covering the next election cycles. Hopefully I’ll continue to ruffle some feathers and get some discussion and thinking going.

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

Sponsored by Brush Studio

 

 

 

Podcasting Life and Business After Four Years-Podcast 622

What’s it like to support yourself as a podcaster? I looked up the other day and asked, “How long have I been doing this?” 2009 was the actual start date. I’ve been in business supporting myself as a podcaster exclusively since 2013. Learned a lot of lessons in that time. It seems like I’ve been in business a lot longer than nearly four years. Hear some of those lessons in Podcasting Life and Business After Four Years-Podcast 622.

Soul killing corporate jobs aren’t for everyone

Some business owners wish for the peace of collecting a paycheck and doing what the boss wants. Not me. Going into business for myself has been a path of self discovery and self realization. You say goodbye to eight hour days and regimented work schedules. No more guaranteed paychecks. Some months are great. Some aren’t so great. You’re ‘On It’ pretty much 24 hours a day. Freedom is one of the rewards. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Self Realization

Surprisingly, how I spend my time has become one of the top priorities. I can do anything I want. Is what I am doing with my time going to benefit the business? How does the business grow? What is the core business? How is that going to change? Self Realization is one of the big benefits of being in business alone. No one around to give orders. Good decisions accrue to the business owner. So do the bad decisions. Thus, you spend a lot of time thinking things through.

Content Creators

Centuries of business have been about consolidating physical space. Farmers need more land. Ranchers need more space for more cattle. Retailers always want to open new locations. Content creators have real estate in cyber space. With the right tools we can make that space as big as it needs to be. A new world requires a complete change in thinking. Content creators don’t just have to change the ‘working for the man’ mindset, but how we think about what we do as well.

Podcasting As A Business

Podcasting is still a fledgling ‘industry’. We podcasters are cutting a new trail. As an advertising medium Podcasting works. Smaller podcasts can yield very good results too. Podcasts big and small tell stories and provide basic information on highly specific topics unavailable anywhere else. Podcasters make an authentic human connection with the listener not found in broadcast media.

Walk and Talk

The rules of the Walk and Talk Podcast are no prep, no plan. Just talk. Join me. What came up in this podcast are the life and business lessons I’ve learned since I started podcasting. If you’re considering going into business for yourself, especially as a content creator, do what you love. Passion for the work will get you through a lot of rainy days.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcasting Life and Business After Four Years-Podcast 622

 

 

 

Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621

Social Media Rules

More of us get our news from social media these days. Problem is most of the ‘news’ on social media doesn’t adhere to standards. Might feel better informed, but it’s hard to tell the difference between writing to a standard and propaganda. In Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621.

Internet Never Lies

People are in the habit of posting, sharing, liking and commenting on stories that support their point of view. People apparently believe anything published on the Internet that looks credible and comes from a site they visit often. We are floating on a sea of bad information.

Garbage In Garbage Out

News stories not written to standard assert things that turn out to be false. What’s worse, this kind of information poisons the discourse. Thoughts, insights and ideas based on bad information form into concrete assumptions and conclusions. Those conclusions drive people’s ideas about the world.

Propaganda and Manipulation

In Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621 I’ll provide some examples of story-lines that have not been proven. Most of the time these stories reinforce the right versus left thinking that ruins friendships and family ties. It’s what makes social media so angry and vitriolic.

There are standards. When you know the standards you can determine whether a writer lives up to those standards. Without standards we’re susceptible to a steady stream of propaganda and manipulation. It’s up to us to learn the standards and choose what we post, share, like and comment on accordingly.

Context and Perspective

A steady diet of Social Media, 24 Hour Cable News and Talk Radio is like junk food for the mind. This ruins a person’s ability to discern whether assertions are true or just opinion. When all we do is read stuff online, watch You Tube videos and listen to cable news and talk radio we lose the context of major stories. We don’t get the details to be able to master the issues. Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621  explains how to do that.

Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621

Sponsored by X Government Cars 

 

 

Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620

Foreign Policy Based On Cable News and Twitter

Wars. Rumors of wars. In Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620 Trump breaks another promise. Remember 2013? That’s when Trump said Obama should forget about Syria. Save his powder for something more important. In the debates, then candidate Trump said the same thing. Leave Syria alone. We’ll get nothing out of attacking Assad.

Trump Fine With Assad Until…

At the end of March Senators McCain and Graham were pleading to attack Assad. However as late as last week Nikki Haley was telling her UN Counterparts and the world Assad could stay. Then came the chemical attack on Syrian civilians. Children. Pictures on cable news. President Trump saw the pictures and got mad.

Cable News Made President Mad

As Trump and his team met with the Chinese at his resort in Florida, he ordered a counterstrike. 59 missiles. 70 million dollars. The runway where the planes took off is still intact. Syrian military aviation continues to fly sorties from that runway. On a dime this president has changed US foreign policy. Changed one of the cornerstones of his campaign. Another major promise broken.

North Korea Too

Over the weekend the USS Carl Vinson Strike Force was detailed to the Western Pacific. Off the Korean Peninsula. Suddenly Donald Trump has become George W. Bush. If you voted for Trump is this what you voted for? We’re a long way from building the wall and getting China to send all those jobs back now, Toto.

Alt Right Deeply Misinformed

Then there are the rumors. The bad reporting. The discourse on social media. One hundred fifty thousand US troops to Syria? Says so right here. China deploying another one hundred fifty thousand of their troops to the Yalu river, China’s border with North Korea. Russia and Iran say they’ll respond if there are any more US attacks. Word is the Russian Navy is very busy in Europe. More activity than the cold war.

How About Those Twins?

Voters who didn’t want to talk about foreign policy because it was too complicated might want to bone up. TV producers and Radio Program directors and talk show hosts may want to drop the banter about sports and the weather. Republicans should take a look at the bargain they made with this president and ask themselves just what they bought and must now defend.

Trust Me. It’s Gonna Be Great

Welcome to Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620. Tax Reform, a trillion dollar stimulus program and another run at repealing ObamaCare loom. The US is twenty trillion dollars in debt. On top of that, perhaps a war in Syria he campaigned against and a crisis in North Korea. Don’t worry though. The president will tweet about it. Foreign Affairs crisis? Bah. More tweets. In Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620.

(Editor’s Note: Late Tuesday the President told the New York Post, “We are not going into Syria”, and blamed the confusion on his ‘aides’. Which would be his ambassador to the UN among other fairly senior administration personnel. Oddly enough regime change remains a new goal. He also said, “We’re sending an armada” to North Korea. Rhetorical Presidency indeed.)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619

Different Mysteries Left and Right

Susan Rice is the leaker. A political Flack. Running an operation to discredit the new president before he took office. Rice is at least guilty of a felony. At least that’s the story the right wing commentators are telling. In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

On the left it’s a different story. National security became a top concern after someone hacked the DNC computers. The Russians did it. The Russians did it because Trump did some kind of back room deal.

Opinion Is Not News

In America’s increasingly partisan media most people only want their beliefs confirmed. There’s no chance a political point of view different from my own can be right. Is there? A sea of information. Where opinion masquerades as fact and personalities beat the drums. We’re supposed to dance to their rhythm.

We Know Nothing…yet

Real Facts? In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 we’ll see there are few facts. Russians hacking the DNC? Not so fast. Trump making deals behind the scenes with Putin? Obama ordering illegal surveillance of a president elect? Maybe. Maybe not.

Tin Foil Hats Anyone?

Evidence supporting claims of the right and left in this case is thin. All of it has the classic elements of conspiracy theory. So we’ll take a moment in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 to detail the known facts. You can draw your own conclusions. Mystery lovers beware though. We’re along way from wrapping this one up in the final chapter.

Basic Framework

Is Susan Rice a political operative? What is the legal framework regarding National Security Agency intercepts. Why did the Trump administration leak NSA documents to a congressmen? What provoked the president to tweet he was ‘wiretapped’ in the first place? Is there a difference between a wiretap and an NSA intercept? Who gets to see intercepts? What are the significant legal justifications for executive orders in 2011 and 2017 allowing sharing in the first place. Lots of questions.

Where There’s Smoke

One thing is true. The dust kicked up by the Susan Rice story obscures real developments. North Korean Missiles. Syrian chemical weapons. Congressional action on the ACA, Tax Reform and Immigration. We’ll talk about it in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars.

The American Dream Is Killing Us? Really? Podcast 618

Deaths of Despair” is what some researchers call them. Death due to suicide, drug overdose and the consequences of heavy drinking. Alarm bells are ringing. Over the last twenty seven years deaths among middle aged white people with a high school diploma or less have doubled. So many deaths it has caused a fall in overall US life expectancy. Let’s talk about it in The American Dream Is Killing Us? Really? Podcast 618.

Failure Isn’t Your Fault Anymore?

This is a lurid headline. Lurid headlines get attention. Writers are writing. Talkers are talking. Princeton researchers blame ‘Cumulative Deprivation’. We’re suddenly wondering if The American Dream Is Killing Us? Really? Podcast 618.

American Dream Grows Up

What is The American Dream? James Truslow Adams tied it to the Declaration of Independence. All men are created equal. We have an unalienable right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Who Says You’ll Be Happy

When did it become The American Dream? Do we expect our government to help us be happy? Are we supposed to be guaranteed success in our pursuit of happiness. A house in the suburbs? Two cars? A great job? Happy children? Retirement? Health Insurance?

Economic Inequality

Robert Samuelson thinks economic inequality is the cause. Inequality causes slow active social forces accumulating and destroying the hopes and dreams of white people with a high school education or less. It drives them to despair. Drink. Drugs. Death. Writers like JD Vance add to the ‘White Trash‘ ethos with stories of poor, dumb white people living in Appalachia.

We All Have Tough Times In Our Family Histories

In The American Dream Is Killing Us? Really? Podcast 618 I tell some stories of my own family’s history in the coal mines. I wonder what people think we’re responsible for these days. All of us have some kind of despair but we fight it. We get knocked down and get back up. Live to fight another day. Never give up.

Get Up And Fight

Life is a challenge. It does not come with a guarantee. How we define winning and success changes with age and time. Happiness doesn’t require a house in the suburbs and two cars. Happiness requires a warrior mentality to some degree. Sometimes you just have to reach down and get it.

The American Dream Is Killing Us? Really? Podcast 618

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617

When You’re Up To Your Ass In Alligators It’s Hard To Remember Your Original Objective Was To Drain The Swamp. The president has turned Freedom Caucus supporters into enemies. Republicans learn governing without principle is tough. In Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Republican Division Caused By The Left?

If you want to know the truth, so the saying goes, don’t have an opinion. Some republicans believe their division is caused by the political left.  What’s dividing republicans is a lack of adherence to principle.

Drinking From A Poisoned Well

One of the lines from the “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” is, “Water Water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink”. The republican ship sits in a becalmed salt water sea, unable to drink, dying of thirst. Surrounded by a sea of information. Dying from a lack of wisdom. Talk about it in Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Details Details

North Korea? Budgets? Policy? Subsides? Federal Agencies and what they do? Foreign Relations? Whatever. Drain the swamp and call me when it’s over.

Goals and Principles

What is the goal of the modern republican party? Populism? I’ll tell you why the media’s term for republicans these says is more poison. What are the principles of the GOP these days? Why did you vote? Was there a reason behind why you got involved in politics in the first place?

House Divided

A political party that follows too many threads and calls them ‘principles’ is a party that can easily be divided. Churchill saved the west with one idea in mind. Never Give Up.

Controlling Means of Production

It seems like America is living in a socialist construct. Republicans and Democrats have consistently voted for community control through direct ownership or regulation of the means of production. Yes, Republicans and Democrats have built and empowered the surveillance state, conducted the wars, added regulations, let out the contracts.

Dependency

These days, dependence on the state isn’t just for the urban poor. Corporations and individuals are widely dependent on the government for all kinds of payments, contracts, subsidies and opportunities.

Freedom Isn’t Free

Freedom is a radical idea. We have less and less of it these days. If you want a party that promotes freedom more is required of you than repeating slogans and wearing hats. Freedom asks more than supporting a personality. Join me in Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Sponsored by X Government Cars [powepress]

 

 

Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616

In Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616. March 29th, 2017. Noon Pacific Time. Burning Man 2017 tickets on sale. Already did my ‘burner’ profile. 2 weeks ago waited on line to register for the ticket sale. Third year in a row. All out for tickets to the biggest party in the universe. Out in the Nevada desert. August 27th to September 4th.

Gonna Get My Burning Man Tickets!

Tick tock. One minute to 12 Pacific. Count it down. Here we go. This won’t take long. I won’t have to cancel the big client meeting at three in the central time zone. I’ll get on. Get my tickets. Smooth as silk. A friction free transaction. Forty-Five minutes later I’d canceled the meeting. Oops, tickets sold out. In Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616.

Scalpers

Quick Internet search. Stub Hub has tickets at double the price. Frustrated. Angry. Must have done something wrong. Maybe I should register for the STEP program like last year. Yeah. Or maybe call some ‘burners’ in Chicago. If you ingratiate yourself with the ‘burner’ community you might be able to score some tickets from someone who isn’t going to use theirs.

Jeff Bezos Party of 20? Come right in

Remember. Tickets to burning man in the general sale are 400 plus dollars and nearly 100 dollar for a vehicle pass. There’s a final sale coming up. Those tickets are 1200 dollars. What’s under my skin is the way Burning Man is sold. Over Sold and Under Delivered. Clearly there’s a lot of people who want to go and can’t get tickets. Fix it. Find out about my experience trying to buy tickets in Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616

We’re Hippies. Really rich hippies

This year Burning Man will gross 43 million dollars from ticket sales alone. They say It’s something you need to experience. A city in the desert. A culture of possibility. A network of dreamers and doers. Oh wait that’s the commercial. Reality is you’ve been waiting for 30 minutes for the kid with dreadlocks who can’t remember whether you ordered a strawberry smoothie or an emerald peanut butter…for the third time.

Not Radically Inclusive

Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616. Burning Man still sucks because if you’re wealthy enough to buy a thousand dollar ticket from some ticket reseller, which I am told Burning Man ‘doesn’t endorse’, you’re a ‘burner’. Part of a ‘radically inclusive experience’. Yeah. No. “A citizen of the worldview that is Burning Man. May it be encountered everywhere”. It won’t.

Drive a Maybach Motor Home? Coming out from Santa Rosa for the week to do some acid? Like the old days before, you know, all the corporate stuff. You’re in! Welcome Burners. And all your cash. A unique and distinctive culture awaits people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, but not us working stiffs.

Welcome To The French Revolution

Ten principles for Burning Man: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification (which basically means no sponsors), Radical Self Reliance, Radical Self Expression (although any and all media ‘projects’ have to be pre approved), and on and on. It reads like the French Revolution’s ‘Rights of Man’ Declaration. You know the one where the peasants are crushed and everyone ends up living through Thermidor II.

Stupid Rules At The Radical Burning Man Festival

And the rules. Don’t run that noisy generator at night. If your truck is old bring plywood to catch the oil dripping from that nasty crankcase. Watch out for the undercover cops checking up to see that you’re not trafficking. Be careful of your carbon footprint. Oh by the way, Burning Man has a bigger carbon footprint on average than the dirtiest of the dirty polluters. Don’t worry about that though. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

Burning Man is a symbol of the possibilities of Silicon Valley. That’s why I wanted to go. A temporary society built on the ‘No Rules’ Punk and Anarchist pathos. Sadly the Burning Man approach to customers is basically ‘so long suckas’. So yes. Sadly, Burning Man is in fact a symbol of the possibilities of Silicon Valley.

America We Have A Problem

Yep All this tech. We’re On It! Really good at customer service. We give you an experience. We’re here for the environment. We use cloth bags. We Care. The truth is you wait on the phone or on line for service for hours. You can’t get a seat at the Genius Bar and they’re just going to tell you to buy a new iPad. No one cares about your problem because you’re not Jeff Bezos. Steve Jobs is turning over in his grave.

I thought these burning man guys were really smart savvy artists and computer geniuses. Turns out they’re just a bunch of idiots. Despite all the tools available they can’t figure out how to create an event with a seamlessly positive experience for people from the first contact and ticket sale, to the event itself, to heading home happy after its over. And then there’s the police state thing. Customer satisfaction? Oh wait. That would be capitalism. Let’s talk about it in Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616.

Yes, I know this is sacrilege but…Sponsored by X Government Cars.