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

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

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Podcast 611-Define Political Progress

When it comes to politics these days noise is the norm. The latest outrage drowns out talk about political progress. Voters in 2016 made their choices for a reason. Not too early to ask whether the politicians are making progress toward addressing those reasons. We talk about it in Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

ObamaCare Repeal

Number one issue on the campaign trail. Bogged down in congress already. Republicans wanted a full repeal of the ACA. New GOP plan isn’t a full repeal. President Trump has already endorsed it. What happened to promises of a full repeal?

Economy

Somewhere around 96 million people are out of the workforce. Need to create 375,000 new jobs a month for several months to get those people back in the work force. For years we were less than impressed with a quarter of a million jobs each month. Economic growth has been promised. In Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

Cutting Federal Budget

Smaller government? Proposed budget cuts are accompanied with proposals to shift money to defense. Does this reduce the size of government? A hiring freeze can be considered progress. Corporate tax reductions can be progress. However making up corporate tax reductions with higher taxes somewhere else doesn’t cut the budget.

Foreign Policy and Military Spending

Resurgent Russia. Rising China. Political changes in Turkey. Expanding NATO. Cyber Threats. US troops in Iraq and Syria. ISIS. Terror. Climate Change. How will reducing foreign aid and increasing military spending address these concerns? What should the foreign policy of the US be? It’s all in Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

Too Early?

First benchmark on progress made by a majority republican government in the United States. Did you vote for republicans? Are they doing what you wanted them to do?

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

 

Podcast 610-Davis & Davis Discuss Right Wing Political Correctness

Republican “Political Correctness” Is Now A Thing

Right wingers are thinkers. Open to new ideas. Right? Nope. There’s a new kind of “Political Correctness“. “Patriotic Correctness”. If you question right wing ideas and conclusions? Present a source not ‘approved’? Say something not part of the right wing mainstream? You’ll receive the same pressure to tow the line usually reserved for the left. In Podcast 610-Davis & Davis Discuss Right Wing Political Correctness.

Republican Win

Republicans are happy about their victory in 2016. Makes sense. Putting on blinders can be politically dangerous though. Andrew Davis is a film maker and reporter in Los Angeles. Bob Davis is a podcaster living in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Father and son have discovered right wing political correctness at about the same time. Alex Nowrasteh of CATO is the subject of this father and son podcast. In Podcast 610-Davis & Davis Discuss Right Wing Political Correctness

Social Media

Say something that doesn’t support Trump? Tweet something raining on the republican parade? Insults and propaganda follow. Furthermore, ask for proof or supporting arguments you’ll get only right-wing approved links and comments. Seems like liberty people used to be about open discussion. Sadly, not any more apparently. It isn’t easy to talk about. We have to talk about the hard things. In Podcast 610-Davis & Davis Discuss Right Wing Political Correctness.

Alternate History

Rational right? Party of Reagan and Ron Paul? These days the right has it’s own media. It’s own history and narratives. Ask a question? Disagree? You’re a ‘democrat’, ‘communist’, ‘marxist’. Facts? Principles? Proof? Meme. Picture. Link. There! Shut up. These are reactions usually reserved for the political left. In conclusion we wonder what happened.

Socialist Construct For 70 Years

We have had big government since the 1930’s. Seems like we’re fighting over different sides of the same coin. If Patriotic Correctness demands loyalty to the right wing version of big government how does the right present an alternative? In conclusion, political correctness leads to tyranny. Especially relevant is the fact that it isn’t easy to point out. If you’re on the political right though, you have to point it out. Because most people are good, maybe it will do some good. In Podcast 610-Davis & Davis Discuss Right Wing Political Correctness.

Sponsored by X Government Cars.

 

Podcast 603-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes

We Love To Talk About The Weather

n Podcast 603-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes, people who live in the Upper Midwestern United States love to talk about the weather. Weather is safe. Talking about the weather offers a respite from political nonsense. Everyone has a pet theory about weather in all four seasons in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and Iowa.

Here It Comes

When it comes to a predicted snowstorm we go into high gear. Snow out west has given way to severe weather predictions for Minnesota. Heavy Snow. Severe Winds. Blowing Snow. The return of winter to the plains and upper midwest. After a long period of unseasonably warm weather the cold returns. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 602-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes.

March Is The Cruelest Month Maybe

In our neck of the woods we often say March is the cruelest month. 20 days or so before Daylight Savings and the start of spring does not mean daisies and green fields in Minnesota. It could mean deep snow drifts and freezing temperatures.

Biggest Snow Storms In Minnesota

While late February and March is a transition period the standard weather theory is the biggest snow storms come in March. Statistically though, the biggest snowstorms have been in December and January, with only the fourth largest storm in Minnesota history occurring in March.

From November 1940 to Halloween 1991

Everyone here remembers the great Halloween Storm of 1991. Most everyone remembers twin snowstorms that his in January of 1982. The old folks remember the famous Armistice Day storm of 1940. Those did not occur in March. What happens in March though usually, is gloomy, rainy, snowy and cold weather. I’ll provide a list of the biggest storms in Podcast 603-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes.

We Aren’t Worthy

Warmer weather has lulled us into a false sense of security. Warm is something we Lutheran and Catholic Minnesotans do not deserve. When it is warm for too long in the winter we feel there must be a pay back.

We’re Gonna Get Clobbered

As if on cue, the National Weather Service models predict the possibility of a major winter storm with high winds and so much precipitation and if it is cold enough and conditions just right we will get clobbered. Accumulations of between ten and twenty inches of snow. A major winter storm. Get the details in Podcast 602-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes.

A Kid’s View of Severe Weather

In Podcast 602-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes some stories about extreme weather. Tornadoes. Snow Storms. The twister scene of the Wizard of Oz. Twisters that destroyed towns in Xenia Ohio, Siren Wisconsin and in Missouri. Tornadoes that blew over my house when I was a kid. Yes, they do sound like freight trains. Snowstorms that made schoolers happier than Christmas morning.

Turn Up The Heat and Plan The Menu

Get ready to make the trip to the store before the shelves are picked clean, Walking Dead style. Plan your menu. Get ready to settle in. Listen to a ridiculous list of tips for ‘staying alive’ during a snow storm. Get ready to shovel. The National Weather Service is predicting a major winter storm. No one is safe! Look at it this way. It gives us something to talk about on the bus.

Sponsored By Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars.

Podcast 591-Midnight Winter Walk Talk

Time’s Prisoners

Could leaders be Time’s Prisoners? This week Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Partisan congressmen and entertainment figures on the left are taking the extreme step of boycotting the peaceful transfer of power. Partisans on the right believe the New York Businessman will right all wrongs and solve all problems. Are we Prisoners of Time? Both sides might take a lesson from the administration of Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Johnson is certainly one of the best of the pure politicians to occupy the White House. Serving as a Congressman and then Senator from Texas, Johnson rose to Senate Majority Leader, Vice President and the presidency after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Johnson won the 1964 presidential election by one of the largest popular vote margins in history. Johnson’s administration overcame democrat opposition and managed enough republican votes in congress to pass the The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Johnson’s signature legislation creating ‘The Great Society‘ programs have been a centerpiece of the Democrat ideal that government can help ease the afflictions of the poor and downtrodden.

From that high political perch in 1965 Johnson backed into the war Vietnam and scuttled his presidency. Johnson will be forever remembered as the president who escalated the Vietnam War, rather than the president who did a great deal to ease the afflictions of the poor and downtrodden. It’s important to remember that many of the most experienced and smartest people in Washington backed Johnson’s war initiatives. It was Congress that gave the Texan full authority to do as he wanted in Vietnam after the Gulf on Tonkin incident.

In Podcast 591-Midnight Winter Walk Talk-Time’s Prisoners, I wonder how much the time we live in determines how much a government can do. This is a cautionary question for the vehement supporters of Donald Trump and his vocal detractors. Are the leaders we elect, their lieutenants and advisors prisoners of the time they live in? We can’t know the future and therefore may not be prepared to right all wrongs or avoid fatal mistakes.

We make decisions in everyday life based on the best information available and the best advice. Should I buy the chicken or the steak on sale at the grocery store? Should I buy a car now or later. Should I take that job and move to another city? It is the same with complex decisions and matters of state. State decisions have more weight but in the end, are often made the same way. People do the best with what they have and what they know at the time.

Two movies on HBO NOW depict the Johnson Administration. ‘All The Way‘ features Bryan Cranston as LBJ and depicts his struggle to pass the Civil Rights Act. The other is John Frankenheimer’s ‘Path To War‘ which depicts the Johnson Administration’s decisions to escalate the war in Vietnam ultimately foundering Johnson’s presidency.

Now, these films reflect and bias and perspective. It may not have been the intent of the film makers to show a president’s power is tentative, dependent on the best advice he can get, and his own experience. The presidency is a political office. I think congresses and presidential administrations are prisoners of their time. The decisions they make and the reaction to them are as much determined by the time we live in, and the experience it has given us, as any other factor. Call it fate. Call it blindness. Either way this is a sobering concept if you believe the new president is the second coming, but a comforting thought if you think he is the devil incarnate.

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

 

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 573-Fake News

Podcast 573-Fake News. Suddenly everyone is upset about ‘Fake News’. In Podcast 573-Fake News, Fake news and propaganda sites are the latest demon to have spawned the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States. Well. President-elect. After years of the right blaming ‘the media’ for everything wrong in society, the poles have shifted. Now democrats are blaming their beloved media for electing the antichrist. If it weren’t for all those propaganda sites from Eastern Europe and Russia spewing anti Clinton poison our country would not now be plunged into a cesspool of populism, racism, woman-hating, republicanism. Sigh. Fake News? It’s all fake. It’s all fantasy and it has been for some time. Broadcasters in radio and television, cable news channels and big money backed ‘news’ websites are obsessed with social media and user driven sites like You Tube. Every waking hour for a broadcast executive is spent quaking in fear over the question of relevance. Content is driven by FaceBook and You Tube, Twitter and SnapChat. Historic election? Not bloody likely. No one knows yet because we still have to sift through the voting data. Women putting Trump in office? Isn’t your vote supposed to be anonymous? How do they know? A review of the outcome in a few of the battleground states reveals the one fact we know. In key states the republican vote turn out was better than the democrat vote turn out. If democrats had voted to the margins for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, Hillary Clinton would be the president-elect right now and we’d be listening to the right whine about the media and demand something be done. What is News? Far from a recitation of the events of the day or new information on a particular subject, ‘News’ has become a roundtable discussion with people who don’t have a clue what’s going on because they sit in air conditioned studios in New York, or a gossip fest between washed up TV stars and entertainment figures, or shouting back and forth at each other through cameras on both coasts. News? People don’t want news. They want to be reassured. They’re pretty. They’re strong. Their guy is gonna win. All is well with the world. News? Here’s something you already know, packaged differently and stated firmly. Passing a law to regulate news outlets? Check the first Amendment. No. What’s the antidote. Turn. It. Off. Read. Be a good citizen, Become the warrior you are. Protect your own media battle space: Your mind. Refuse to accept the storyline they want to upload to your hard drive and create your own story line. There’s a reason for the Trump victory in this election, and it’s not fake news websites. It’s a simple fact that more people voted for Trump in key states than Clinton. They had their reasons. Personally, I am sick and tired of being told what to do, and what to think by thieves in Washington DC who will increase their power and the size of the government whether there is an R or a D in front of their name. Sponsored by X Government Cars.

Podcast 568-BobDavisPodcastRadioShow-51

Podcast 568-BobDavisPodcastRadioShow-51. Setting the stage for the final two podcasts of Election 2016. Observations from the Fall 2016 mega trip. Fom Minneapolis to Seattle, down the PCH to Los Angeles, across the desert to Phoenix, across New Mexico to Roswell, up through the Texas Panhandle, through Oklahoma and Kansas back to the upper midwest. A circuit of the country that leaves an indelible impression on the eve of the 2016 election. In Podcast 568-BobDavisPodcastRadioShow-51, extemporaneous talk in four segments about the effects of travel. Seeing the country softens your judgements and opinions and strengthens the conclusion that the worldview we’re being fed in the media is not the real world. In reality people are going about their business, raising their families, living their lives. In reality America’s economy is a force of nature that does not react well to government attempts to stimulate or control it. In reality the roads and bridges are not crumbling. In reality people are not at each other’s throats. What is happening is a political realignment. Election 2016 may be the first indication of the coming realignment that may take a view cycles to work itself out. With so much focus on former ‘rust belt’ states and cities like Ohio and Michigan it is almost as if there’s a denial of the juggernaut that is the west coast, from Los Angeles to Seattle, or the industrial agriculture and energy producing states like Texas, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota. In the end, the election will be a state by state affair. In the end there could be surprises, or it may turn out to be a pretty conventional election compared to the last three or four cycles. While the media loads new story lines meant to control you, and push you into a decision, take a moment and allow this podcast to set the stage for what is about to happen. Or not. Sponsored by X Government Cars.