Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society

Fighting and Arguing

A presidential press conference that had the look of a Dino De Laurentiis movie. Angry tweets. Arguments about whether the president is a narcissist or psychotic. These days the argument is the thing. Division. Confusion. Anger. Frustration with the fact that everything is political. A friend said recently, “When civil society breaks down everything becomes political”. The more we fight about politics the less we know. Argument and rhetoric have replaced substantive discourse. This idea forms the basis of Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society.

What is Civil Society

People think Civil Society these days is political action groups. Angry protests. Social media rants. Angry calls to talk radio. Everyone wants the silver bullet argument. We want to be the guy on TV that ‘takes it to them’. This is not civil society.  In Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society.

Stop Yelling and Start Building A Community

Civil Society is community. It is distinct from government and business. Civil Society is individuals working together to solve problems, build community and be good citizens. People who have learned from experience to build consensus to get things done. Civil Society is the core of your town, village, city, county and state.

Fighting and Arguing Does Not A Warrior Make

Do you show up to set the chairs up and make the coffee for the community meeting? Help your neighbors? Attend boring public meetings no one else cares about?  Are you one of those people who responds to calls for help in the community regardless of where they come from?. Are you willing to work with people you may not agree with politically? Show genuine concern for others through your actions? You’re the real warrior. Commentators and people who imitate them are not warriors and they are not leaders. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society

Eroding Civil Society

There are times when political action is called for. When people who have different points of view try to gather people to their cause. These can be bitter contests. Bitter feelings linger after contests that inevitably produce winners and losers. These days people won’t convene with anyone they don’t agree with. Discussions descend into bitter screaming matches on Social Media, Talk Radio, and Cable TV News. The media cultivates and encourages anti social behavior. Friendships are ended. Familial relationships are strained.

Don’t Argue

A true warrior doesn’t yell and scream. A leader is a good citizen people trust. These are people who understand people of like mind have to work to see that their ideas gain support. Protests and rallies serve a purpose but they are just a starting point. You don’t win in the rally. You win because you can work behind the scenes to build support for a concept, idea, or a solution to a problem.

It May Not Be Working Anymore

Recent studies show the stress levels of Americans increasing since the election. Not just the left. People on political right show the same kinds of intensifying stress levels. This kind of stress can’t be sustained. We might be seeing the end of the efficacy of rhetorical argument to fuel a movement. People may have just about had it with all the shouting and arguing regardless of where it is coming from. Maybe rebuilding civil society is a good first step.

Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio.

Podcast 513

Advice for Podcasters. When I introduce myself as a podcaster at business network events, and events where I speak, or when I am singing the praises of podcast advertising to potential clients, they often say, “I want to do my own podcast”. I often have people ask me to tell them how to podcast, how to post their podcasts, what microphone I use, how I record and so on. I don’t give Advice for Podcasters, but this week a FaceBook announcement that a ‘big convention for podcasters’ would be held soon, triggered a response and the need for some Advice for Podcasters. The event includes a lot of radio people who will be on panels on which advice to podcasters will be presented, including ‘critiques’ of podcaster’s podcasts and ‘suggestions’ for what they need to do to ‘sound better’. If you’re a podcaster, should you listen to radio people when they give advice about how to ‘sound better’, or podcast ‘better’? First, podcasting takes a lot of work and effort, especially to stay in it and especially to make any money at all in it. We’re working on the monetization part, but who knows where the solutions will come from as far as making more money. Right now, about 25 percent of the public listens to podcasts – according to radio researchers. I think it is probably much higher, because it’s very hard to assess whether people listen to podcasts and how long they listen, when they listen. There’s no question podcasting – as all on demand services – are going to grow by leaps and bounds as smart phone penetration increases, and as new and more powerful iterations of these devices are developed and purchased. Let’s face it, radio is a contracting industry, and while people in the radio industry don’t like to hear it, it’s a sad fact that the old girl just ain’t what she used to be. What’s amusing about the radio industry is, radio people seem to think they ‘know’ how everything should be done, and aren’t shy about telling everyone else what they should do, and how they should do it. After pooh poohing podcasting for years, companies like Hubbard are jumping into the podcast business (Hubbard Radio just bought a huge share in Podcast One, for example), in an effort to establish a beach head in podcasting, even though everyone in radio will tell you how dumb podcasters are and how terrible they all are. Radio people are trapped in a paradigm, a specific approach to what they do. This approach is what has killed the business, and it will probably never get fixed. The same thing is happening to broadcast television, and movie studios and record labels to a lesser extent. This is a good podcast for you if you’re thinking about podcasting or doing anything creative today. Creative people; artists, writers, musicians, and DJ’s have tools that never existed before, and the ability to reach audiences we would never have been able to reach before the very real technology revolution. This is a change that calls for Revolutionary Thinking. Should you spend thousands of dollars to hang out at some radio convention and have them listen to your ‘tape’ and tell you what they think? Well, my Advice for Podcasters? This podcast is free. Listen to it first and see what you think. Sponsored by Hydrus and Brush Studio in The West End Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 507

End Of Primary Season. As June begins, the presidential preference primary season for 2016 draws to a close. What are the takeaways from the End Of Primary Season? Maybe some surprises. These days it can be difficult to do political media, since media types are expected to turn their microphones on and flap their lips, endorsing candidates and causes, and joining the partisanship parade on talk radio, cable television, and in the Op-Ed world. Even some reporters can barely conceal their biases. With no one to observe and present facts to the voters to help with decision making, people have either lost their ability to discern fact from conjecture and bloviating (a sort of alchemy in itself) or they just don’t care anymore. Maybe people have already made up their minds to be disappointed with the choices delegates eventually will make at the mainline conventions this summer, or to be excited. Lots of ‘analysts’ trying to explain the ‘Trump phenomenon’. Some of these explanations have become both absurd and comedic, if not outright ridiculous. A ‘resurgence’ of interest in Hitler in Europe (thinly based on sales of books and some ‘polls’ there) suggests the reason Trump is gaining so much support. This serves as underpinning for the ongoing anti-trump tripe that he is a fascist, or his supporters are fascists. Everyone forgets fascism itself was a center left movement in Italy and Germany as a third way between socialism and communism, and that the conditions that predicate fascism as a political movement require the failure of socialism, which looks like Venezuela, not the United States in 2016. Then of course there is the ongoing figurative suicide of talk radio, bloggers and television personalities. In the End Of Primary Season Glenn Beck is pulled off the air as one of his guests suggests armed revolution is the only path left for #nevertrumpers. The Red State Blog has become The Black and Blue Blog as Eric Erickson continues to trip on his shoestrings as he falls down the back steps. And Sean Hannity makes a fool of himself telling the world he is voting for Trump and can say that because he runs an ‘opinion’ show. MSNBC gets attention advertising that with Hugh Hewitt they might get tagged for being to right wing. Then there’s William Kristol – the establishment moderate – laying the groundwork for a challenge to Trump at the Cleveland Convention, up to and including the suggestion of David French as a potential third party presidential candidate. It’s only the beginning; next comes the remonstrations of Trump’s inability to win an electoral victory, which remains to be seen, and of course the suggestions the New York developer is tied into the Mafia. Moderates are trying to secure a disaffected evangelist/moderate/establishment GOP coalition to derail the Trump Train which is described as ‘inevitable’. Meanwhile in the democratic party the fight is only just beginning. Bernie Sanders won’t quit – one wonders why Ted Cruz did, watching the Vermont Senator wreak havoc with the Clinton campaign and the democratic establishment. By the way, there is a third party candidate and his name is Gary Johnson. Think he’ll be in the debates between the mainline party candidates? Despite all of this there is a nagging feeling our politicians are headed in exactly the wrong direction, regardless of party. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and by Brush Studio in the West End.(Editor’s Note: This podcast suggests Speaker Paul Ryan remains on the sidelines, in terms of endorsing Donald Trump as the republican candidate. This was true at the time this podcast was posted, early in the morning on June 2nd. Ryan endorsed Trump and the story broke later the same day, June 2nd, 2016.)

Podcast 482

The Story Less Travelled. As the pay for play media continues to chatter about what Donald Trump did this week, or Bernie Sanders’ predictions about democrat super delegates switching allegiance to him, maybe it’s time to take a look at The Story Less Travelled. Some percolating stories and issues people really aren’t talking about because they’re arguing about how tabloids post stories, how Internet rumors get started, how Donald Trump is going to make US allies pay ‘us’ for security, or why Bernie Sanders’ thinks Detroit became a hell hole in the last fifty years. There are real things happening in the world, most of which are reported on but not occupying very much attention, because too many pundits, talk hosts, talking heads, editors and managers are doing the bidding of political parties, candidates and their minders. What happens if Saudi Arabia decides to switch their alliance to China and Asia, which will account for the lion’s share of growth in energy consumption over the next ten years? What happens when economic instability due to massive debt and low profits comes home to roost in the banking system? How do you feel about academics going around saying the days of 4 percent and greater economic growth are over, and the solution is a world wide socialism-lite system, with more government and higher taxes? How will future presidents – the people filling your television screen with nonsense right now, and getting accolades from talkers, pundits and so called experts for it – confront a collapsing China, a Europe embroiled in a guerrilla war with thousands of ISIS fighters, and an economic depression. Maybe we should be talking about The Story Less Travelled more than what they want us to talk about. Sponsored by X Government Cars, Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park and by Hydrus. (Editor’s Note: This is not a ‘transcript’. Each podcast, which is original content in itself, also is accompanied by a short blog about the podcast. This blog is also original content, not a repetition of what is in the podcast, but a discussion of some of the ideas in the podcast. If you want to know what’s in the podcast, listen to it.)

Podcast 480

Brussels Attack & Foreign Policy. After putting off a Foreign Policy podcast two or three times this week, news coverage of the Brussels attack was so bad, it was time. Thus, the Brussels Attack & Foreign Policy Podcast. While this isn’t a discussion about media, one can’t resist complaining about the terrible coverage of this terror attack in the heart of Europe this week. If it wasn’t news anchors and talking heads trying to explain away defense and foreign policy issues with fairy tales and quips, it was the obligatory ‘False Flag Attack’ video on YouTube, within twenty four hours. Meanwhile, a talk show host who rails about “The Sheeple” being stupid and uninformed, endorsed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign with the statement, “He’s dumbing down his language so people will understand it”. The ‘truth’? It’s the international bankers (and other usual suspects) trying to bring in a one-world-government. According to the latest talk radio sell-out, Trump understands this because he understands banking. Hogwash. The main cable news channels are filled with hogwash. The Internet is filled with Hogwash from talk show and political charlatans to You Tube videos detailing ‘proof’ the illuminati is trying to take over the world. How do we know? Because a mind controlled sex slave says she heard Reagan and Clinton talking about it one time at the White House. Meanwhile voters in the United States are in the process of picking the delegates who will choose each party’s nominees for president, and we will choose a president, congress and one third of the senate in the fall. When it comes to foreign affairs, there are no easy choices and no simple solutions. People are deeply uninformed about foreign policy, poorly educated on history, and unprepared to analyze the consequences of rhetorical flourishes on the subject from political candidates. Watching more Fox News and CNN, or more videos on the illuminati take over and satanic sex rituals of the reptilian aliens on You Tube, no matter how slick, or the latest unrelated facts strung together with ominous black and white photos ‘proving’ the latest terror attack was ‘people in our government who want to make you think…(fill in the blank)’ isn’t going to help you make an informed decision. What happens when our presidents and congress make mistakes? Hint: What killed the Republican party wasn’t Donald Trump or Ron Paul. It was the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. So yeah. Your vote for president is pretty important. Sponsored by Brush Studio, X Government Cars and Hydrus.

Podcast 478

On Media. It started out as an idea for a podcast on Friday. A departure from the increasingly tedious, even terrifying and depressing world of politics. As the weekend progressed and opportunities for socializing were offered, ‘On Media’ moldered, then morphed into something more complex. After several attempts to assess what the podcast would be about, one attempt to write it and three attempts to record it, I finally just said the hell with it and decided to talk it out. Thus ‘On Media’. Some of it is a repackaging of ideas behind the podcasts I’ve done about the fact that the mass marketing most of us have gown up in is gone, replaced with a new world of mass specialization. People ask me all the time what is going on in the world. What’s wrong with the media. Or, they tell me the media is at fault. The media is bad. What is the definition of media? What is it’s role in society? What’s really going on? These days we have millions of sources of information available at any time. Any one of those sources can be the most viewed in any single day. It is not unusual for You Tube channels to have more views in a few hours than the cable news channels have all week. In the middle of this is politics. All news coverage is emotional and symbolic. There used to be a tactic called political theater. Now it’s all theater. Politics is media. We are submerged in images of persuasion everywhere we go. From the logos on the clothing we wear, to the TV’s in bars pouring their images into our minds while we eat our burgers. All these images are emotional, and emotional because emotion persuades. You think people seem angry, frustrated, confused? Wonder why? We can’t seem to get a handle on what’s wrong. Our government is the product of something called The Enlightenment. Are we enlightened? Or enslaved? Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park, and by Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 458

Not George Washington. With the Iowa Caucuses less than a week away, political prognosticators have finally gone off the rails. This week’s poster child for idiocy goes to the talk show host who claims Texas Senator Ted Cruz is ‘The New George Washington’. How is the ‘endorsement’ of candidates from personalities, talk show hosts and commentators different from endorsements that come from governors, senators and candidates who are exiting the race? How has the endorsing of candidates by talk show hosts hurt talk radio? Ted Cruz is Not George Washington, but that fact doesn’t stop charlatans from saying so. Why do they do it? It’s a desperate quest for something called ‘relevance’, which is yet another example of the talk radio cesspool. This podcast has been steadfast in not supporting any candidate for president in 2016. The penchant commentators have this year, to influence voters to support candidates based only on polling data, is shameful. Moreover, participation in primaries and caucuses is very low. The result of primaries and caucuses this spring and summer have more to do with the nominating conventions for both mainline parties than the general election. Despite this fact, talk radio and the media are already making predictions and issuing endorsements for the presidency? The victors in the first few primaries or caucuses, at least on the republican side, are usually not the nominee. The only reasonable conclusion is that commentators are manipulating their listeners and voters for their own gain; a sad feature of a presidential cycle already off the rails. You can imagine how the real election will be reported. This podcaster is not going to endorse anyone for president, since all of them are more like Nucky Thompson than anything approaching George Washington. Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate and Hydrus.

Podcast 452

Jeb’s Baack! With less than a month to go before people actually start voting for candidates to lead their party’s presidential bids in 2016, get ready for the story lines to change. In this first of the year podcast, we get back on the political horse to both warn and speculate on the potential changes in media story lines, which have come to constitute ‘political’ coverage in our time. Our media may think of itself as an informal ‘fourth estate’; an additional fourth branch of government. Fortunately the founders vested sovereign power in the people as represented in three estates of our republic; The legislative, executive and judicial branches. Our media is more like The Borg, or a mob. A faceless, brainless maw that seizes on reactionary story lines, based only on the personality of various politicians, the things they say and outrage generated from it. These form story lines that run until they wear out, or some new outrage is manufactured, or some actual event called ‘news’ happens. The lack of actual journalism and reporting on issues is palpable. The dominant story line that started this political season was that flash in the pan known as Donald Trump. Now that Trump is the dominant candidate on the Republican side, a new story line is being manufactured that says, ‘Hang on, Jeb Bush is going to reemerge’. Given the power and money behind the Republican establishment, don’t be so quick to discount that one. When people start voting, look for candidates to get out. Those who stay in will reap the benefits. On the democrat side, the story line was Hillary Clinton was the inevitable candidate, then Bernie Sanders was going to upset the apple cart, now the story line is what kind of presidency Mrs Clinton will have. Fasten your seat belts; the one constant in politics is change. Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate, and Hydrus Performance