Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679

Thanksgiving dinner is supposed to be a fun family get together. At times this fall celebration of the harvest can erupt into ugly political and social disputes. Time for some ideas to flip the script in Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679.

Welcome To The Rollercoaster

Especially relevant is the fact that the holiday season from Thanksgiving to Christmas, can be an emotional rollercoaster for almost all families. Whether you’re hosting the dinner or heading out to a relative’s house it’s a good idea to be prepared.

Freedom of Choice

In Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679 I share some personal thanksgiving and family experiences to get you thinking. Most important is to remember we all have the freedom of choice about what we think about social or political issues. If you want to hear an example of my own personal thanksgiving experience a few years ago, click here.

What He Said!

When it comes to politics these days, you can bet there will be discussion at the Thanksgiving table about much of the reactive coverage about politics. Add alcohol to the mix, and you will have to decide whether to engage or not, depending on your situation. Of course, give yourself permission to keep your mouth shut, or leave right after dinner, if necessary.

SeaChangeTone

Should you make the decision to engage your crazy uncle on a political level Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679 gives you ideas on how change the tone of the conversation.

In conclusion when it comes to politics and social issues we could all do with a change in tone. Do we want to be leaders or followers? Rather than fighting about what someone else says on a TV Show why not talk about what we are for? What kind of a world do we think is coming? Where does our energy and advocacy belong.

The Old World Is Passing

Moreover we are seeing fewer positive interactions with the age old institutions of our society like government and religion. What kind of world is coming and what is our role in it? Throw that out over the mashed potatoes and see what happens. Or not.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Ciro 3D Motorcycle Products and Accessories

Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship-When The Famous Become Gods

Fame. Notoriety. Our fascination with famous people. Our fascination with those who are famous. One of the things I like to do in podcasting is to focus on the first thoughts I have at the beginning of the day. You might think podcasting in this manner is easy. Unfortunately sometimes these first thoughts turn out to be a lot deeper and complex than first imagined.

Two thoughts ignited Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship. First, the concept of fame itself. Where did it come from? When did it start in the United States? What makes someone famous these days? How is that different from what made someone famous three hundred years ago? Second, we form a bond with famous actors and musicians because of a movie or a song we connected with at a certain time in our life. The performer is forever part of our life because of a performance.

The kick off for these first thoughts is the HBO documentary ‘Bright Lights’ detailing the relationship Carrie Fisher had with her mother Debbie Reynolds. Both of these women are recently deceased. Carrie Fisher from a heart attack and her mother from a stroke shortly thereafter. Some of the content in the documentary has to do with Postcards From The Edge, first a book and then a movie about the relationship between Carrie and her mother, in which Meryl Streep played the role of Carrie Fisher.

All of this connected for me because Streep’s recent comments about the President-Elect at the Golden Globe Awards. The Golden Globes usually has lower viewership than the Academy Awards and would be forgotten save for unsavory comments from Streep this year. While any citizen has the right to say what they want about political events, stars seem to think they can use their fame to tell the rest of us what we should feel, how we should vote and how to live our lives

Back in the day, people became famous for doing something. They discovered a continent, or won a big naval battle, a war, or saved western civilization. One became famous for building a bridge, mass producing an automobile or opening the east to western trade. Great artists and performers became famous for work that changed the world. Today it seems like people become famous for being famous.

The roots of this kind of fame, or notoriety go back a long time. Dime store novels, traveling road shows, Vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, and the movies. It wasn’t long before you could become famous for just playing someone who had actually accomplished something. Actors who played western heroes, Pharaohs, and Great Leaders became associated with the accomplishments of someone else.

2016 was the first time I’ve seen the media tally the deaths of ‘Celebrities’ as they might natural disasters. We ‘mourned’ the loss of people we did not know as though they were part of the family, and seemed to forget the thousands who have been killed in America’s violent big cities, or in war zones across the world.

Prince, David Bowie, Carrie and Debbie Fisher and many others. Oh! What a loss!

Some people who are famous for a role they played in a movie forty years ago have insights into how fleeting fame is. Carrie Fisher reluctantly came to terms with her connection to the character she played in the original Star Wars, comparing it to her mother’s performance in ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’.

Fisher considered herself the ‘caretaker’ of the Princess Leia character, and felt she was irrevocably connected to her. A fact fans sometimes did not seem to understand. Or did they? We wonder what fame and fortune is like because we think of people who are famous and rich at the height of their powers. What is it like when people who live every day of their lives in scrutiny begin to age and decline?

We all love our movies and TV shows. We love our favorite music and performers. Human beings need entertainment. We all love a good story, told well. Great artists don’t do what they do because they want to change the world. They do what they do because doing it is what makes them happy. Sometimes the result of their work is world-changing. I don’t think they know this when they are creating these world changing works. Sometimes too, a movie is just a movie, or a song is a one-hit wonder, or a show only airs for two or three seasons. We want to know the people who write and perform these works, and some of us put them up on a pedestal.

Do we mistakenly worship these people and their works and believe they have some insight or power to be able to tell us how to live our lives or what kind of political system we have? What happens when the works of Hollywood form a bond with the works of fame-seeking politicians in our capitols? Are the performers worthy of our worship? What happens when powerful media mechanisms make politicians famous for being famous?

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbings and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

 

Podcast 587-Easy Talker

Decoding The New Year’s Media Nonsense

Key stories from the first week of 2017 provoked me to do a podcast type I call an ‘Easy Talker’. In Podcast 587-Easy Talker, I’m grabbing a few key stories and taking a little time with each before guests come over to the broadcast bunker for some hang out time.

Podcast 587-Easy Talker brings you up to date as the Republican Congress is sworn in. We’re back into a ‘news-rich’ environment. There is need for Decoding The New Year’s Media Nonsense. Media outlets are firing on headlines with little or no follow up. With all the talk recently about ‘fake news’ you would think the country’s biggest newspapers and broadcast outlets would put some effort into improving their approach to actually covering the news.

The Washington Post has retracted a story that reported the Russians hacked into Vermont’s power system. In fact the paper never talked to anyone to find out whether a ‘hack’ happened in the first place. Allegedly an employee’s computer had been infected with malware, supposedly put there by Russians, thus ‘infecting’ the power grid. Subsequent efforts to run down the story revealed that the computer in question may never have been infected with Malware to begin with.

As I post this podcast, we’re told US Intelligence Honcho Clapper is convinced ‘The Russians Intervened In The US Election’. Clapper promises to reveal all to President Elect Trump very soon. After the big reveal evidence will be released to the public. Of course if the CIA had released its evidence to the public when they released their “13 page report” (really was only about 2 pages of information about the alleged Russian Hack) then we would know. All media outlets now refer to the story as “The Russian Hack of The US Election” which is a lie. We have seen no direct evidence of a Russian Interference in the US Election. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Just means we haven’t seen any direct evidence proving the allegation.

What’s to be done about poorly written and edited news stories? Do we need a law or commission? No one seems to understand this would contravene our rights to free speech. If people can’t understand they have to use multiple sources and look at source documents no law in the world will fix the problem. We are a poorly informed population drowning in a sea of dis-information. This podcast attempts to provide context and perspective. It isn’t always pleasurable to do so. People have told me they depend on The Bob Davis Podcasts for this kind of coverage. Ignorance does not mean stupidity. If someone is ignorant they can inform themselves.

As the new Congress prepares some kind of action on the repeal of Obama’s Signature Affordable Care Act, now come stories warning of impending doom. Republicans ran on the promise of repealing ObamaCare. If the Republicans do not repeal the ACA regardless of whether they replace it, they will lose all credibility with their voters. On a side note, Republicans in Minnesota are preparing to spend 300 million dollars from the so called ‘rainy day fund’ to keep MNSURE going. These are the same people who trotted through tea party meetings all over the state selling themselves as ‘conservatives’. Proof positive, the best thing to do is to wait and watch what the politicians do and then punish them accordingly.

If you dispute the idea that the American Electorate is grossly ignorant, in Podcast 587-Easy Talker consider a Facebook post in which the writer wrote, “If you’ll notice when the economic numbers come out, they quietly revise them up”. It is fact that all economic numbers released from the government undergo normal revisions as new information comes in. Sometimes they are revised up. Sometimes they are revised down. This has been the case for many decades.

Along these lines, a story is circulating that upward revisions of November construction and manufacturing numbers mean Trump has had a positive effect on the economy. This is fake news from the right. Remember when so called ‘conservatives’ were furious over then President Elect Obama’s blaming of the 2008 crisis and subsequent recession on Bush? Suddenly now they’re giving credit to Trump for things that happened on Obama’s watch. And revisions at that!

With people getting their news in shards and memes from social media, and refusing to inform themselves completely on any issue they might be interested in, it’s no wonder the elites in Washington and in State Capitols continue to do exactly what they want. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.

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 455

Impeach the Con Con. All hands will be required on deck to win the 2016 election. Caucuses and Primary Elections produce low voter participation. What is the tea party doing? Sending out petitions to impeach President Obama and calling for a constitutional convention to pass a grab bag of wacky amendments. In 2012, only about 7 percent of Iowans participated in precinct caucuses. Sadly, in Minnesota, which depends on caucuses for political volunteers to turn out the vote, turn out in 2012 was in the single digit range. Tea Partiers may be ‘angry’ and ‘frustrated’ with Congressman Tom Emmer and Speaker Kurt Daudt, but are so busy with the Obama Impeachment, they don’t have candidates to oppose either. Meanwhile Democrats are already door knocking and asking for contributions for a surfeit of candidates. Barack Obama leaves office on January 20th, 2017. Then there is a pesky detail that if an impeachment, guilty verdict and removal from office could be accomplished during a presidential election year, Joe Biden would be president of the United States. The constitutional convention idea, pitched several times in the last 60 years, is currently championed by talk show hosts, who apparently think delegates to such a convention would only be Tea Party members from deep red states like Texas and Kansas. Think California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Minnesota would send conservatives? If you wonder why the conservative movement in this country is dead, look no further than this kind of folly. It’s a sad waste of people earnestly concerned about their country’s future. Help turn out the vote? Build an organization with lasting political power? Forget it. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Ryan Plumbing and Heating.