If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639

Coverage of former FBI director Comey testifying forces a political podcast. As a result, a velvet summer midnight in Western Virginia is the backdrop for  If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639.

People Actually Watch This Crap?

Out here the Internet is slow. With no movie packages we’re stuck with reality shows, local news and lots of commercials. I’ve seen a lot of drug commercials. I’m getting a lot of screen time on my ‘device’ because of the long commercial breaks. You know, the device get-off-my-lawn types complain about. Time to blow off some steam In If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639.

The Mighty Wurlitzer

Do I have to say it again? Everyone is selling a point of view. Like a thickener for soup. Depending on who owns or funds one of these partisan ‘news’ websites, it’s their point of view sold through shares on social media. And why not? If you agree with something, share it. Right? Truth is those shares aren’t aren’t news. Not ‘fake news’. Propaganda. In If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639.

Believe Whatever You Want But It’s Not The Truth

For example. the ‘biased mainstream media’ reported the FBI was investigating Trump, right? Are the Hillary Clinton emails and the Russia hack question one and the same? Does the now famous Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch conversation in the tarmac have anything to do with the Trump administration? Are you sure? How do you know?

Join Us As We Con America!

When you can’t tell the difference between the good stuff and formaldehyde and rubbing alcohol you take your life in your hands. Or so the story went in the 1920’s. As a result, we don’t know the difference between snake oil and snake oil.  Most of all, readers don’t fact check. We don’t know who funds these outlets. Eyeballs don’t google the author. Clicks. Shares. Numbers reached. Get your propaganda on twitter and Facebook. A majority of Americans get their news from social media. Especially relevant is the fact that Americans are being conned as never before. In If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639.

The End Of Politics In The United States?

Seems like we live on opposite shores of an ocean of opinion. Due to storms raging shore to shore, driven by outside forces seemingly beyond our control. As much as this may seem true the antidote is talking to each other. Especially relevant is the question, when was the last time you had coffee with someone to talk about solutions? Do we have discussions anymore about what actually works? Seems like our conversations are all about whether ‘we think’ this is or that is true. Furthermore, we live under brands and act as if our brand is the best. Are Republicans going make an already dangerous government less powerful. Moreover, who pays for minimum incomes and free health insurance, and free education Democrats promise? Meanwhile, a ‘conservative’ president pushes to borrow another trillion dollar stimulus for roads and bridges we don’t need.

Getting Nothing Done

Any analysis of the day’s news I might do inevitably leads to the conclusion very little coverage sheds much light on anything. On the contrary, it is designed to convince us to support a person or point of view. The bottom line is, while republicans have large majorities at most states and the federal level, they’re not getting much done while Democrats move further left every day.

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If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639

Trump’s Comey Con 2017-Podcast 629

President Trump fires FBI director Comey. The advocacy media goes crazy. Everything Trump does is wrong. Whatever Trump does is right. Everyone wants to hear what they want to hear. Republicans are good/bad. Democrats are bad/good. My team is better than your team. This is not an informed populace. This is the Roman Chariot races. In Trump’s Comey Con 2017-Podcast 629.

Media At Its Best

A blizzard of reaction, meetings in the bushes, comments at press conferences, tweets and opinions about what happened makes it impossible to advance the story. The President can fire the FBI director if he wants. No it isn’t unprecedented. Yes it is unusual. Bill Clinton was the last president to do it. Yes a President should have the people he wants in his administration.

That’s My Story and I’m sticking To It. Or not.

Believe what you want. Trump wanted to fire Comey from the get go. Or, Trump decided quickly he’d had it with Comey’s showboating and decided to fire him. Or, Trump fired Comey because the FBI director wanted more money for continuing the FBI probe of the allegations Russia tampered with the 2016 election. Pick and choose your truth.

Good Luck

If your two sources of information are the local talk radio station and a cable show in the evening you won’t know much. If you read all the columns and commentary from pundits trying to persuade people the red team is right, or the blue team is right you’ll be more confused. The commentary masquerading as news goes many layers deep. Actual reporting is scarce. Facts are dear.

What Do You Actually Know

Partisan reaction obscures a very important question. What is the truth regarding allegations of attempts by the Russians to influence the US Election? Is it true Trump campaign officials colluded with the Russians in an alleged effort to influence the US Election? Did the Russians work on behalf of the Trump campaign? Was then candidate Donald Trump aware? Did Trump collude with the Russians?

Firing the FBI director has done nothing but open a festering wound. Do you know whether there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign? Your congressmen and senators do not know either. We will eventually have to have a special prosecutor to settle the question. As this process works itself out, you and I will know even less.

Who’s Minding The Store?

Meanwhile not much is getting done, despite the first 100 days ballyhoo. The so called ‘ObamaCare repeal’ bill languishes in the Senate. Courts have tied up the most significant of the Trump executive orders, while others merely direct studies to take place or involve the normal process of running the executive branch. Congress passed and the president signed a budget that looks like a holdover from the Obama administration. This is draining the swamp? This is a new day?

Advice From Talk Show Hosts

Right wing talk show hosts are suddenly talking about how Trump can’t be Trump, or why we need a constitutional convention that mysteriously would only include ‘conservatives’. And yet, Trump appears to be doing quite well at being himself in spite of all the advice from those knowledgeable talk show hosts. Just look at his tweets.

Well. At least we’re not talking about a crisis in the middle east or North Korea.

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Trump’s Comey Con 2017-Podcast 629

 

 

 

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 522-BobDavis Podcasts Radio Show 34

Podcast 522-BobDavis Podcasts Radio Show 34. A tumultuous week ends in chaos and violence . Two officer involved shootings, and a sniper attack on police in Dallas, Texas which killed and wounded several officers. Further threats against police. People saying absurd and terrible things with no basis in fact, and that’s just the elected officials. News anchors, talk radio hosts, people on social media hurling accusations, name calling, explanations of what happened (especially by those who were not there), and terrible information on all these stories. A woman live streams an extraordinary event and the first reaction by FaceBook and some citizens is that people should not have the ability to live stream or post videos that might be considered ‘offensive’ or ‘controversial’? The original plan for the radio show this week was to condense Podcast 521 into three more palatable segments:  A segment focused on the decision by the FBI not to recommend indictment in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, which seems to have surprised only so called conservatives. One focused on how ill served we are by the media in general and a segment focused on a story no one is reporting; the financial situation internationally and the potential for a major breakdown due to the bad decisions that have been made by leaders on the economy. After delaying production of Podcast 522-BobDavis Podcasts Radio Show 34 to wait for more details on the big stories to break, I decided to change the opening segment and continue with the plan. Oddly enough, it all seemed to fit together. There are many problems in our society, but one of the big ones is how our media is not up to the task of dealing with the kinds of stories we’re seeing this week. Rather than investigate and report news, it advocates. Rather than investigate and advance the story so we’re better informed, it leaves that to cheeky types who yell at each other around a so-called roundtable, or interviews bystanders and calls it coverage. The population as a whole does not have the patience to learn the contours of an issue, is keen to argue and defend a position without any real knowledge on these stories, and social media seems to magnify the worst traits of the human character. Previous podcasts have discussed the possibility of unpredictable events to change our lives irrevocably. After what happened this week, I feel even more strongly that the black swan is just below the horizon. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Hydrus.

Podcast 512

Orlando Terror Attack. Another terror attack on US soil. This one, the largest death toll in a mass shooting in ‘US History’, gets the attacker’s name in lights, until the next attack that ‘breaks the record’. We now call it the Orlando Terror Attack. Or just ‘Orlando’, for short. I ask myself, how should podcasters cover this? Radio and TV stations called their A-Teams in on Sunday morning to do round robin coverage, spitting out facts and interviewing the usual experts and political prognosticators, all in hushed tones. On the cable news networks, and broadcast networks, it was all presented over video loops of SWAT Teams walking around with nothing to do, cop cars with their lights flashing, the anguish of victims and witnesses, and ambulances hauling away the dead, the dying and the critically wounded. From a podcast perspective, we don’t need to do this. Yet this is one of those topics that is unavoidable. A big story. Then the recriminations and lamentations. The demands for change and action throughout the political spectrum. Of course this attack – because the target was a gay nightclub – has something for everyone to be outraged about. Isn’t that the essence of terror as a weapons system; To divide and conquer? To bust open the old wounds and scar tissue, to make sure we never unite against a common threat? To provokeTexas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to say “men reap what they sow”, or politicians on the other end of the spectrum to demand that ‘sensible’ gun control legislation be passed. (Editor’s note: It seems to me this kind of thing would make people want to own guns in order to protect themselves, since clearly the government with all its power isn’t protecting us.) What would you have them do? Everyone has their list of solutions from bomb them back to the stone age – didn’t we already do that? – to seal the borders and only let ‘ethnic Americans’ in. How do we do that? The problem is, in the clear light of day, these ‘solutions’ are really just expressions of anger and don’t stand up under scrutiny. What will be done? Nothing. Nothing will be done. Why? Because no one knows what to do. The United States will hold an election in November, so any and all decisive action against this kind of attack will be delayed until a new president and congress can come to grips with it. That, of course, will take more time as policy solutions are developed, and sold to the American public. It isn’t as simple as ‘this one will invade and this one won’t’ either. Do you want to support Saudi Arabia and attack Iran? Do you want to support Iran against Saudi Arabia? the Saudis support ISIS and Iran supports the Shiites. How does that work? What about Russia? What about China? What about NATO member Turkey? How will they react? You might be surprised to find a President Clinton invading some foreign country in force, just as much as you might find a President Trump doing the same thing — assuming either one of them actually gets the nomination of their party. So, it’s a very complicated problem, a long term problem, with no real solution in sight. No, nothing will be done. There will be more attacks, and they will get more ferocious until the United States or the enemy — whatever you want to call it — miscalculates and goes too far. Then there will be a typically American overreaction. We’d all better hope it works, whatever it is, whenever it is. That is the takeaway from the Orlando Terror Attack. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by X Government Cars.

Podcast 380

Rural Virginia. The road trip continues in the Old Dominion. It’s already hot in the south. As darkness falls, the night is alive with frogs, and insects; Many invading the Mobile Podcast Command Unit. With no bug spray, an interesting collection of available tools was used to rid the unit of critters. A hair dryer, compressed air for cleaning electronics, swatting, biological cleaning spray, and lysol air freshener. Then, finally down to business. A few hundred yards down a dirt road where this podcast was recorded are the remains of a village that has been here since before the revolutionary war. How often do we think about where this country will be in one hundred, or two hundred years. The people who lived here two hundred years ago depended on an expression of modern technology – at the time – to assure their livelihood; The mill. They did not know they were living in ‘ancient’ times by our standards. They didn’t worry about slow Internet, or decry broadcast television and its endless commercial clusters detailing drug side effects or how much cheese is on a pizza. When it comes to the news, this podcast has some stories for political junkies to consider. No one seems to be able to say with any clarity or authority what’s wrong with economy, or why its important. Meanwhile the same story lines regarding the latest GDP numbers keep replaying. Then there is the trans pacific partnership trade authority bill republicans are inexplicably supporting. More executive authority for this president? American citizens can’t review or read the bill and reporters can’t read it either. That doesn’t stop Paul Ryan and the Speaker, and the Senate Majority leader and other so called ‘conservatives’ from supporting it. Meanwhile, the Chinese have apparently hacked all the US Government data bases and extracted potentially damning information about high US officials. How is it possible the FBI can fly over our cities listening to our cell phone calls, but the government is unable to protect our privacy rights from the Chinese? We have a government that can’t seem to protect our rights, is riddled with incompetence and corruption, but seems to be quite capable of violating our privacy, and running amok. Why couldn’t Americans find reasons to shut down the federal government, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum. And another theme that comes up every time we approach a presidential cycle is ‘why don’t we have an independent political party’. The solution, according to some brainy analysts, yet more candidates in the debates. Sigh. The fact is, American political parties have traded places, shifted and changed names, and have been born and died throughout our history. Sponsored by X Government Cars

Podcast 286

Speaker Boehner. US Speaker of The House Boehner has survived a challenge from so called ‘insurgent conservatives’ to replace him. According to some reports this was the strongest effort to replace a sitting speaker since the 1860’s. As many as 24 Republican members voted against the Speaker. ‘Insurgents’ are unhappy with the Speaker because they do not feel he fights for principles. Freedom Works had urged its followers to write, call and email their Congressmen to vote against Boehner. Once again so called Conservative Insurgents across the country are learning an important lesson about politics. That would be money talks, you know what walks. Whatever you want to call them; Tea Party, Liberty, Insurgent … until this group commands a political machine that actually holds real political power, these kinds of demonstrations (or stunts as some call them) will continue to be just that. When you have the power, you win the vote. Nice try though. There is a lot of snark on this story, which ignores the fact that the insurgent movement — people who actually think our legislators should govern from principle rather than expedience — is growing in strength, contrary to reports of its demise. Meanwhile, what is the agenda for so called ‘moderate’ Republicans in Congress? Make changes on the margins? ‘Restore’ faith in the IRS? Vote tax breaks to teenagers? Really? There are rumors the Keystone Pipeline will come up for a vote soon. As usual all the ‘journalism’ concentrates on the GOP majority in the Senate as being ‘filibuster proof’. This isn’t the question. The question is whether the House and Senate can muster the two-thirds majority needed to override an almost certain Presidential Veto, unless moderates cram all sorts of goodies into the bill. If you want to use email, your phone or write a letter to someone in the government, you might try send a letter to the FCC to demand it does NOT reclassify the Internet as a Utility. The last thing the world needs is regulation and taxation on the Internet. How expensive will Obama Care be in 2015? Aside from some who are now earning more than they did when they qualified for ACA subsidies in 2014, having to pay those subsidies back (yes, it’s true), copays and insurance fees are increasing so much and so quickly the Harvard Professors who supported and demanded the ACA pass, are now protesting those same copay and insurance increases! For Thee, not me, these perfumed princes and princesses are saying. That’s why we trust their positions on other political issues so much. Meanwhile, as the US makes nice with Communists in Cuba, they’re cracking down on dissidents sending thousands to jail. Same thing is happening in China and North Korea. One thing about Maoists, they don’t like dissent. And what happens when a Chicagoan rides his bike to the Police Station to report a theft? Sponsored by Baklund R & D

Podcast 284

Polar Vortex 2015. Perhaps we should start off by saying, “Previously on Polar Vortex”. It happens just about every year around this time in the Upper Midwest. It gets real cold. We call it winter. A few weeks of below zero temperatures with little relief. It’s been colder. Where are the cavalcade of ‘economists’ (astrologists) predicting the inevitably dour economic effects of the ‘polar vortex’? Surprise! Now that a Republican majority is about to take office ‘economic experts’ are optimistic! Touting 5 percent GDP growth, lackluster employment statistics and a host of other debatable ‘facts’, some formerly doom and gloom analysts are finding  rose colored glasses not used since the Bush administration. As a new Congress is about to be sworn in, scolds to tell Republicans, “It’s time to govern”! Isn’t ‘governing’ something both parties and all branches of government engage in? Not just a majority and not just one branch of the government? Freedom Works has declared Speaker Boehner ‘must go’, and thus the factional battles in the new Congress begin. Freedom Works instructs you to write, call or email your congressman and demand the speaker be retired! (Editor’s Note: A waste of time, since interns answer the phones, review emails and open letters, even writing replies. If you want to get your congressman to pay attention to you, you have to control votes or money, and preferably both. If you want to write, call or email, go right ahead, but don’t fool yourself. Until you’re organized, you’re nothing to them.) Next we have the ‘Restore America’ crowd. ‘Restore’ in this case means turning back the hands of time to 1950, everywhere in America. Uh…no thanks, there were no smart phones. Want to bet this will be Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan in 2016? What America needs isn’t ‘restoration’, but new ideas that meet the challenges of new technology and a world that doesn’t look anything like 1950. Now there is one place in the world where it is, in fact, still 1950. North Korea. Here’s a question; What if the Sony Hack wasn’t the work of North Korea’s ‘army’ of hackers? The FBI’s contention – and the President’s – is under fire from tech security companies. If it wasn’t the North Koreans and the President ordered a retaliation, this could be the first major Obama Screw Up of 2015. Stay tuned. Back home in the land of ten thousand lakes, and taxes, Minnesotans should prepare themselves for a gas tax increase. Democratic Governor Dayton has decided that while cheap gas acts ‘like a tax cut’, it just isn’t expensive enough for the dancing peasants, so we need an increase in the gas tax. Or something like that. Minnesotans need new trains, and bike trails and bridges are falling down, right? Not really, but it works every time. Meanwhile, Kurt Daudt, Republican Speaker of The House says there will be “give and take” this session. Sigh. And a final parting shot at ‘morning people’ and their arrogance. Nocturnal People Rule! Sponsored by X Government Cars, and Depotstar.  

Podcast 82

What do we do in Minnesota when it is cold? We go to the mall! Podcast 81 gets you set for the week of December 9th, 2013, at the cornucopia of modern American capitalism know as “The Mall”. What are the top stories this week? Obamacare, Inequality, The Pope and the Vatican Bank, Minimum Wage and the FBI turning on your webcam without you knowing! Bob Davis gives you a heads up and some context for how to argue these issues. By the way I keep calling this Podcast 81, but it is, in fact Podcast 82. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, Minnesota.