What Inspires You These Days? Podcast 628

Inspiration. We all need it. It is sadly lacking these days. In What Inspires You These Days? Podcast 628 I spend some time at my man cave garage. While waxing and buffing Mobile Podcast Command I talk about what inspires me. Maybe you can make your own list while you listen.

Dragging Us Down

So much of the news and social media is negative and frankly uninspiring. Mentally and emotionally taxing. A let down. Time to make a list of what inspires me. Your list will be different. My list isn’t a complete list. Preparing for this podcast did not mean researching a list of inspiring things. It’s a stream of consciousness list. Some things will be left off. These are the things that inspire me now. In What Inspires You These Days? Podcast 628.

Travel Frees The Soul

Mobile Podcast Command inspires me because it means travel. Travel inspires me. Every trip is different. Lessons learned each time I head out are different no matter what the destination. Travel will inspire a person. It makes me want to break free. Turn over a new leaf. Cut the cords.

Travel planning inspires me. What’s the next trip? Should I head out to cover the 2020 elections and stay out? How am I going to do that? Listen as I buff and shine the mobile podcast command studio, and talk about inspiration in What Inspires You These Days? Podcast 628.

Why Aren’t Some People Happy

Had dinner with friends recently. Someone said a lot of people they know aren’t happy. The people I know that are happiest are people who follow their passion. Following your passion helps with inspiration. Since it’s close to Mother’s Day, I should point out that my mother taught me that. She always told me I should do the things that I love to do.

There Was a Time

When we were kids, we ran free. We did whatever we thought of. We lived in the moment. No friction. Why? Because we followed our passions. Why should so called adult life be any different? I am inspired by people of all ages who follow their passions. Whether it’s chucking everything, buying a camper and hitting the road, or writing that book and getting it published. We talk about it in What Inspires You These Days? Podcast 628.

Yes You Can

When we ‘grow up’ we’re pushed into structures. We believe things like, “You’re too old to do that”, or “That will never work”. Like a crust you have to break through. One thing inspiring me on a day to day basis is Yoga. You start out thinking you can never do what others can. Then it comes to you. If he can do it, maybe I can do it.

Time to Break Free

To wash away the crust of expectations and the heavy weight of the day to day chatter. Throw off the yoke of what doesn’t matter. In the end it’s the little things. A gentle push from a friend to reach out to someone in need. Someone who shows by example what a great marriage is. The open road.

Sponsored by Brush Studio

What Inspires You These Days? Podcast 628

Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend

Surreal Weekend

The Inaugural Ceremony in the United States is supposed to symbolize the peaceful transfer of political power. Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend reviews my reactions to the weekend of January 20th, 2016 from the Inauguration speech of the new President Trump, to the protests on Sunday and a bizarre first-time appearance of the President’s new press secretary. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

After the new President’s speech, the arguments started almost immediately over how many people watched and attended. Sunday’s protests can only be described as the ‘anti-inaugural’. From talking vagina signs to the thugs smashing windows in Washington to Madonna fantasizing about ‘blowing up the White House‘, this was a was a Surreal Weekend.

FaceBook and Twitter were ghettos of dueling memes and videos posted by furious adherents to one side or another. An old woman berated a fellow passenger on a plane for being a Trump supporter, ending with her being escorted off the plane by police to the cheers of passengers.

If you did not support either mainline candidate you’re in a difficult position. The media believes its job is to react to whatever stimuli is thrown out by Trump’s team. When so called journalists aren’t taking the bait on Trump’s line they’re busy predicting the future. We’re swimming in a sea of partisanship. Pundits discuss the ‘significance’ of protests in urban centers that would have supported any candidate put up by democrats in 2016. News anchors debate something called ‘alternative facts’.

Did you think the tactic of distracting the media with one stunt after another would be over after the election? Think again. Apparently the media will take the bait every time. Hook, line and sinker. Pundits and talking heads will ‘explain’ whatever stunt was employed or argue the reaction to the stunt. ‘Guests’ will appear on every show arguing the merits of the silly outcome of the latest stunt. Popular songs will be written. Memes will be distributed on social media. Videos will be made. People will scream and yell at each other.

What if you support no one. If you don’t believe any of then are going to remove the boot heel on our necks, then what? Substance? Really? Compare the substance and specificity as well as philosophy of the first Reagan inaugural to the vacuum of Trump’s. Examine the difference between the language and intent of the so called protests this weekend to the language of Martin Luther King’s rally in Washington. America’s discourse today is a sad echo of the past. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

We don’t think anymore we attack. Attack the messenger. Or attack the source. Attacking the person is always good too. The method is attack and attack and then move on to the next target. This week’s talking head video says what needs to be said. Tomorrow it’s another meme or video. Ignorant of the facts? Unable to put a sentence together? No problem. Just post this meme or video and boom! It’s bad and its going to get worse.

We should certainly give the new president and his team the benefit of the doubt but I do not intend to defend him. He is capable of defending himself. When the new administration does something I think is right, I’ll say so. However, I do think people who supported President Trump all through the campaign have a responsibility to defend him. Trump supporters will have to develop the arguments to defend him and they’ll have to organize against what is already formidable opposition. If you’re a Trump supporter and you’re not our organizing your neighborhoods, good luck in the next election cycles.

I get this feeling there is something evil out there. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Maybe it’s the result of a surreal weekend, but something doesn’t feel right. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m not talking about the man in the oval office. I’m not talking about the left’s protests. It is a feeling that I can’t shake.

We’ll see.

(Editor’s Note: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton collapsed during the State of the State message at the Minnesota State Capitol Monday, adding to the surreal quality of the current time frame. While I find little to agree with the Governor on politically, I have interviewed him and he is a gracious and nice man. The latest reports in the current time frame are that the Governor is doing well.)

Sponsored by 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 571-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 52

Podcast 571-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 52. Final Thoughts On Election 2016. The biggest loser in election 2016 is The Media. Specifically, pundits, prognosticators and predictors of the future. The Media did it to us through the masochistic 2 year presidential election cycle. Before President-Elect Trump has had a chance to get a good night’s sleep after a grueling election, we’re already being told what kind of president he’ll be. He is either the second coming of Reagan or the Anti-Christ. Four new mini podcasts for your weekend and some reminders about why I did not endorse, promote, defend, or attack candidates and positions. In 2016 the Media failed to cover any of the issues in favor of lurid, shock oriented gossip. So a new administration takes office while a poorly informed public nurses preconceived notions about what is ‘going to happen’. First thing to tackle? “The Polls Were Wrong”. What is wrong is the media’s reliance on national presidential preference polls, drawing incorrect conclusions and making predictions based on those conclusions. If you were surprised at the outcome of election 2016 it’s because of what you were watching and listening to. The Bob Davis Podcasts steadfastly maintained the polls were too close to call in key states. Given how close the race was in Ohio, and Pennsyvania, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin, Trump won because voters for Obama in 2008 and 2012 did not show up for Clinton. Trump was able to get enough people to vote for him to overwhelm Clinton where it counted. Elections are not won with polls. Elections are not won with predictions. Election outcomes are determined by the people who vote. Second thing to tackle? “Donald Trump Is Anti Establishment. The Establishment was Beaten”. Really? Who’s in charge of the Republican Party, the US Congress and the Senate? Who are the people running Trump’s transition team and where do they come from? In 2016 both mainline political parties rejected the grassroots in their parties in favor of candidates they thought could win. Finally, travel is the best way to temper judgements about what is going on in this country and what will happen as a result. The United States is still vibrant. From Silicon Valley to the Chesapeake Bay, from North Dakota to the Texas Gulf Coast. In my travels in 2016 I met people going to work, running their businesses, taking care of their kids and living their lives. Guess what? They weren’t hanging on every word spoken by Wolf Blitzer or Laura Ingram. While there are places worse for wear or facing tough challenges, on balance this country is not falling apart, despite what the charlatans say. The country now needs to think about the challenges and opportunity ahead. We need to take full advantage of the technology revolution on our doorstep. In Podcast 571-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 52, I’ll run it all down for you. Sponsored by Brush Studio and Hydrus.

Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results

Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results. Comprehensive analysis and minute by minute vote totals for Election 2016. How do podcasters cover presidential elections in real time without being live on the air, and without streaming? Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results shows you how. Follow along as I experience the election in real time on November 8th, 2016. The world seems surprised at news that Donald J. Trump has won the presidential election in The United States. Podcast 570 and Podcast 569 are meant to be listened to as companion podcasts. Since I did not endorse either candidate, I was able to provide objective analysis and experience the race objectively. Podcast 569 broke down the final poll data for the state by state races, avoiding any analysis of the national presidential preference polls. This minimized the surprise for anyone subscribing to the Bob Davis Podcasts, because you already knew no one could comfortably call this race. That did not stop the charlatans in talk radio, cable news and on line from attaching probabilities, or calling the race for one or the other. Not only was this race surprising overall, it was surprising on the state by state level. For the most part though, the state by state polls were either close to the totals in some cases, or within the margin of error. The US election is a state by state election, with the electoral college actually choosing the president on or about the 15th of December. In this hour plus long podcast I’m joined by friends, and family on the phone as well as a late night visit from local Minnesota Politico and web developer Mitch Rossow. At the close of this podcast we’re still waiting for Michigan and Minnesota returns to come in. I’ll have to update those on the next podcast. With Republicans retaining the Senate and the House majorities, and now winning the Presidency, now it is a question of the way forward. We’ll be talking about these issues and more on future podcasts. Pundits like to say the country is divided. What they might say is we can now agree on one thing. The worst election in recent memory is now, mercifully, over. And, tomorrow is another day, after all. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.

Podcast 563-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-49

Podcast 563-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-49. Father and Son Collaboration. New segments for Podcast 563-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-49. Original content for Bob Davis Podcasts Subscribers. In this show, you’ll hear discussion of the election so far. With the next scheduled state by state poll roundup podcast at the end of October and again just before the election we try to deal with substance in this show. Trump’s response in the debate to Chris Wallace’s question about abiding by the results of the general election on November 8th doesn’t come up. While we reacted to the statement in the debate, we’re both so focused on policy we didn’t think to talk about it in the show. The explosion of election and democracy issue the last few days shows the hysteria surrounding simple statements made by candidates. If you attempt to clarify a statement suddenly you’re “in the tank” for one of the candidates. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are adults and they can defend themselves without so called journalists, surrogates and talking heads telling us what the candidate ‘intended’ to say. Live from Los Angeles we talk about Los Angeles city issues, Trump’s foreign and economic policy and Andrew’s reaction as a Millennial to both candidates in the debate. While Trump is two or more points below Clinton in some of the key states, I bring up the wild card probability for the New York Developer to win the election. Could the pundits and the pollsters and so called ‘experts’ be wrong? We also look at Clinton and Trump claims concerning the economy, foreign policy, and their approach to governing. Political junkies should find welcome relief in this podcast from rhetoric because we deal with substantive issues. Old thinking, New Thinking, foreign affairs and policy, defense policy, economics and and rhetorical flourishes of the candidates. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul and Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 557-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show #47

Podcast 557-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show #47. Kitty Genovese was murdered on a street in Kew Gardens, Queens New York in 1964. She is famous because the New York Times ran a story that scores of witnesses saw Kitty stabbed by an assailant, and did nothing. Fifty years later her younger brother Bill Genovese did the legwork the New York Times did not do and guess what? It turns out the idea that decent people would ignore a woman being attacked and killed on the street in a major city turns out to be a myth. New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal thought it would help people to tell the story the way his paper told it. In fact as the new documentary ‘The Witness‘ shows, the idea that people would stand by and do nothing ended up having devastating consequences for Kitty’s brother Bill. No spoilers here, but a great piece of work from a citizen journalist who decided to get to the bottom of the story; something apparently the New York Times couldn’t do for fifty years. Or 60 minutes. Or dramas like Perry Mason and Law and Order, all perpetuated the myth no one did anything while Ms. Genovese, 28 was being murdered. It’s a great illustration of the fact that while we live in a supposedly modern society, we’re constantly told lies disguised as myths because an editor or producer or reporter somewhere decided it would ‘help people’, or because they’re lazy, or because it’s clickbait. If you want to know why Election 2016 is based on lies, fairy tales and myth, why the issues are fake, the candidates and the political parties are fake, ‘The Witness’ is a good place to start. Realizing the media is complicit in creating myths no less powerful than the old oral histories passed down by shaman and story tellers around the campfire, through family, clan and tribe, one wonders what it takes to get to the facts in a case. Fact is, most of the time all it takes is some time and shoe leather to check the source material and talk to people on the front lines. Does our media do that? No, it’s much cheaper and easier to sit in an air condition studio in Times Square, with a roundtable of other people who know nothing, telling everyone else what they should be thinking and doing. What implications does this modern myth making (called story-lines) have? How can you make good decisions with bad data? Welcome to 1984. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 551

Escapism. Given the sour nature of our political discourse these days what do you do to escape. A morning ritual turns into a content generator for the Bob Davis Podcasts in Podcast 551 Escapism. Lately I have been bingewatching TV shows on Netflix and iTunes, with the HBO series “Shameless’ and especially this weekend to watching the entire first series of the Netflix show “Stranger Things”. Stranger Things does such a great job creating an alternate reality, you just can’t get enough. Usually when people recommend TV shows I’m like, “Yeah whatever”. Stranger Things is the exception. What a great show. Getting back to the morning ritual; Every morning I get up, make coffee and head over to the park. I sit on a hill, drink my coffee and am alone with my thoughts. No phone. No social media. No talking to myself at least for that first few minutes of awake time. It’s been great for listening to the thoughts bubbling up from the subconscious and figuring out how to do podcasts about them. This weekend’s binge viewing of Stranger Things made me think about Escapism and how important it has apparently become considering the election year we’re having and coverage of it. When I first talked about the News Cleanse about three years ago on these podcasts, I had no idea it would end up having the power it has to generate new and different things to talk about in the podcasts. I know that, given the current discourse, I don’t want to be a contributing factor to what amounts to misinformation on breaking news stories like the attack at the Mall in Saint Cloud this weekend or the daily and predictable back and forth between presidential candidates trying to capitalize on these kinds of events. Aside from the stuff that actually moves the needle; shifts in the polls, candidates collapsing in public, huge breaking stories like a financial collapse or some major shift in policy from the current administration, it’s ok to check and once in awhile on political news, but I just can’t muster the intellectual interest in the day to day nonsense that seems to animate everyone on the radio, television and on the Internet. What do you do to escape? Movies, Trips to the Wilderness? Binge Watching shows. Drugs and alcohol? How much escape is too much escape. What is healthy escape? How many want to escape, and what happens after the new president is inaugurated in January 2017. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 549

Hillary’s 911. Finally the mainstream media is picking apart the vagaries of the Clinton response to her health scare in New York on September 11th, 2016. After months of harping on the republicans with Trump this and Trump that, suddenly the former Secretary of State is the lead story, and it is not flattering. After Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton had to leave a 9/11 memorial event, and collapsed on the street before she got into a van, every news source, advocacy media, You Tube Video, Podcaster, and blogger including yours truly, is speculating on what her problem might be. The answer? No one knows. No one knows no matter what they tell you. No one will know whether Hillary Clinton becomes President, or loses the race to Donald Trump. In the short term the video from this weekend is damaging enough that one would expect future polls – state by state polls – might dip in favor of Donald Trump. On the other hand, don’t count your chickens Trump supporters. First, there’s always the sympathy vote, and second democrats might conclude that Clinton would make a better president on her worst day than Trump on his best. In a race characterized by high negatives, the two worst presidential candidates in a long time continue a comedy of errors, lurching from one rhetorical flourish to another, up to and including Clinton’s latest health scare. Either way, voters will have to make a choice in November to vote for one of the mainline candidates – unless she drops out and don’t count on that – or one of the so called independent candidates. Meanwhile speculation continues with social media denizens and yes, conspiracy theorists armchair and otherwise, telling you she’s an alien, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, a cancer victim, a stroke victim, a victim of brain damage and anything else that can be ‘proven’ by slow motion video, short cuts of her responses to question, speeches on the campaign trail and whatever people can get their hands on. None of it proves anything other than, we don’t know. We won’t know in the near future and we may never know. We’re still going to have to vote. As predicted the democrats have trotted out pictures of FDR in a wheel chair, campaign staff are crying ‘mea culpa’ in response to questions about who knew what and why the media wasn’t told about ‘pneumonia’ and on and on. Yep. Hillary’s 911. All Hillary All The Time. One more necessary breaking news political podcast in this worst-election-in-memory-and-maybe-in-all-history podcast. Sponsored by Brush Studio at the West End and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 545-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-42

Podcast 545-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-42. It’s labor day weekend, and as people head to the lake or to the State Fair, Podcast 545-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-42 is almost an hour of brand new content for the trip, and for your extra long holiday weekend. We start with a review of the week’s political landscape. Despite better national presidential preference numbers for Trump, state by state polls have not tightened appreciably in key electoral vote-rich states. Hillary Clinton continues to pace Barack Obama’s averages from the 2012 presidential election. Of course the state by state averages can change so we’ll revisit this polling at the end of September and again just before the election at the end of October. Meanwhile, neither of the two mainline presidential candidates is talking about permanently reducing the size, scope and power of governments, federal, state or local. In Minneapolis and Saint Paul we have had yet another example of government overreach in the form of an unelected body of Dark Lords known as the Met Council. After the Minnesota House decided not to fund the controversial South West Light Rail Project, which Minneapolis’ richest and most liberal precincts fiercely oppose, the Met Council decided to issue their own bonds to the tune of more than a hundred million dollars, and ask metro counties under its control to issue tens of millions in debt as well, all to end run the legislature and green light the project. Much has been made of the republican’s distaste for the council, but when they had a chance to drive a stake through its heart earlier this year, the legislature rearranged some of the terms of the councilmen and women, and some of the funding. A local mayor found a way to kill the Met Council last summer by empowering local municipalities to say no to them. Yep, local towns and cities – by state law – cannot say no to the Met Council. This law can be changed by the legislature. Why haven’t they done it? This is just one example of government overreach. In this Labor Day weekend’s radio show the dangers and costs of too much and too powerful government; something neither of the mainline candidates and their parties are going to do anything about. One wants to hand out free education and health care, and the other wants to spend billions to build a wall. Both will increase the size, scope, cost and power of the federal and state governments. This is a discussion we aren’t having now because we’re too busy arguing about whether one of the candidates should go to jail and whether the other one is a fascist. Meanwhile the advocacy media just keeps on covering politics like sports, and people keep watching and listening, all the while complaining about it. This podcast closes with something fun, a throw back podcast to the Minnesota State Fair from the early 80’s; an audio montage done then, just for fun. It’s amazing how much the fair and the people have changed. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Hydrus Performance.