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.

Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles

Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show #67

In Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles. He is known as Milo. A self described agent provocateur. A guy who took it to the left using the left’s tactic. A person who could cause left wingers to spontaneously combust. Taken down by the right. Another personality raised up to do people’s thinking for them. Someone to speak for so called conservatives.

These days videos and articles by personalities suffice as arguments. Someone getting the best of you on FaceBook? Don’t like someone’s tweet? Bam! Throw up the Milo video and the other guy is toast. Want to say something about politics? Post someone’s video or article about what you think. It’s the ‘What He Said’ method of political discourse. Of course the bigger they are the harder they fall.

Suddenly a heavily edited video tape from the near past emerged. Milo allegedly appearing to condone pedophilia, Goodbye Breitbart. See ya later Book Deal. Forget about taking the purple at the Vatican Conclave known as ‘CPAC‘. Post that Milo video now and you’re a pedophile too. There’s a vacuum in the market for ‘What He Said’ videos and articles. Don’t worry. Plenty of future Milo’s into the breech, boys.

Principles Over Personalities

We’re urged to put principles over personalities. What principles? What are the principles of the republican party? Free markets. Oh wait. We’re talking about trade protection. Republicans and so called conservatives are for Freedom too. Oops! Not if you’re taking about increasing NSA surveillance of people we don’t like. The GOP is for lower deficits and ‘smaller’ government. Oh wait. We’re going to have a trillion dollar stimulus package and cut taxes. So. Yeah. Before people can support principles over personalities a political movement has to have some principles. Neither the republicans or the democrats have any. Welcome to Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles.

Business Unfriendly

Also in Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles. A new study ranks the most business friendly states. Vermont and Minnesota lead the least business friendly states. Nevada, Texas and South Dakota lead the most business friendly. The biggest problem according to the study is that the least business friendly states seemingly have no intention of addressing the thicket of taxes and regulations that prevent the formation of small scalable businesses. A little principle here might be useful. Of course most of the time its republicans in states like Minnesota that often are the first to propose more government solutions to problems created by too much government.

Taxing Robots

Robots and AI are nothing more than sophisticated tools. People think nothing of using the wheel or a wrench but break out in a cold sweat when confronted with the feared robot. Bill Gates has a solution for all that. Tax Robots. Employees are usually the biggest cost center for businesses. Its natural to want to cut those costs as much as possible. Cutting costs and freeing human capital to do better things is a natural part of human progress. Let’s slow it down by making robots more expensive. Principles? Lots to talk about in Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles.

Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio in the West end.

 

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 266

Rolling Stone’s Debacle. This weekend Rolling Stone Magazine admitted it did not properly fact-check a story about an alleged gang rape on the campus of the University of Virginia. So now we have a clear example of media bias in action and it goes way beyond fact checking. The editors liked the story, so they never pushed the reporter to interview the accused, or confirm the stories of the friends of the woman who claimed she was gang raped at a frat party. So, it took the Washington Post to go down to UVA and run down the particulars in the story. As this was going on, Rolling Stone defended its reporter, and anyone who questioned the woman’s story was pilloried. What did the Washington Post uncover? The discrepancies are so numerous, Rolling Stone had to issue an apology this weekend. ‘Narrative journalism’, combined with bias and shoddy editing is the order of the day in most of today’s news shops. Now the media, UVA, Fraternities, the alleged perpetrators, the victim, not to mention real cases of rape have all been thrown into question as the result of an editor and reporter, and magazine that did not do their job. And what can we say about the media? Charlatans, hustlers, think tank spokespersons, operatives are booked as guests on all the major news shows, round table shout fests, and empty suits abound. An informed populace/electorate is the one necessary ingredient for democracy, and we do not have it. America is being so poorly served by its so called media, its no wonder people cannot reason, don’t know the facts, scream and yell at each other, throw labels onto each other that are meaningless, and are deeply confused about how any process works, because they are uninformed. Who’s fault is it? What can be done about it? Have we reached the stage where the rule of the mob has become a reality? Unfortunately, it sure looks like it. Meanwhile, Mary Landrieu has lost her bid for a fourth term in the US Senate representing Louisiana, giving the GOP one more seat in the Senate, and an historic majority in the House. Wait until after January 7th for the fireworks to start when the 117th Congress is sworn in. The President has acid reflux, as does the rest of the country due to his policies. The media ballyhooed the latest unemployment numbers, but once you look under the hood, they don’t look so good. Surprise! We have yet to produce one month with over 375,000 new jobs, which is what the country needs to fully recover. It never ceases to amaze what the media thinks is ‘good’ versus what is factually needed. Sponsored by Baklund R&D. (Correction: I keep referring to the current congress as “the 116th Congress” in this podcast, and the next as the “117th Congress”. Getting a little ahead of myself; The current Congress is the 113th, and the incoming congress is the 114th.)