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 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 441

Shopping, Trump, Lies & Liquor. Welcome back from the big Thanksgiving weekend. The weeks starts with the National Retail Federation, AKA The Propaganda Ministry for the Big Box Retailers. If they’re not making up stories about how many people will shop the day after Thanksgiving, they’re blaming lackluster retail numbers on … wait for it … The Internet and specifically Amazon.com. This is the latest nonsense cooked up to convince lawmakers ‘something has to be done’, and that something is regulation of the Internet, so people will continue to shop at obsolete brick and mortar retailers located inside something called ‘The Mall’. Do we have data that shows the Internet is killing the Mall? Not really. Meanwhile ‘Black Friday’ is more and more an example of all that is wrong in America, and provides a great ‘look at the fat Americans fighting over flat screen TV’s’ story often seen in the foreign media. Maybe people aren’t shopping because they don’t believe the fairy tail about our growing economy, or because the new job only pays half what the old job pays, or because there’s a double digit health insurance premium. Yeah, right. We’re going to ‘spend the savings on two dollar gasoline’ at the mall. You know, like a tax cut. Meanwhile, Political Information Lag produced a lot of surprises at the Thanksgiving table as relatives discovered each other were rooting for Trump, or Bernie Sanders. Both candidates are outside the ‘establishment’ Republican and Democrat story line. Everyone HATES Washington and they HATE mainstream media charlatans who lie to them, while they work for candidates like Hillary Clinton. Once real people actually start voting, we’ll see whether anti-establishmentarianism is a ‘thing’, or not. Jeb! shouldn’t hold his breath tho. Meanwhile the City of Edina’s liquor store apparently can’t complete with ‘cut throat’ discount liquor stores (that actually have a responsibility to their stock holders to make money; how quaint.) Thus, the Mayor of Edina wants a liquor store tax, to make up the loss. “It’s a good business, and we’re going to stay in it”. Why are municipalities in the business of selling liquor? Bottom line, if government can’t even make money selling liquor apparently its incompetence knows no bounds. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Trucks.

Podcast 407

Killing The Golden Goose. We’ve all heard the parable; The greedy farmer and his wife with the goose that lays the golden egg. As ‘back to school’ looms, the beginning of reengaging in the political process begins with a look at what the real issue might be in our economy and by extension, our politics in the United States. The question is, which is the goose and greedy farmer? Think of the economy – the sum total of all we consume and produce —  as a force of nature, like a hurricane rather than as some kind of Rube Goldberg device with dials and switches and levers. Or, as a golden goose. If the government takes more and more to sustain its operations and debt, where does that money come from? It comes from the individual. Can the government spend too much, and so require too much from the proverbial golden goose? You don’t hear this question discussed too much in the political arena these days. What you hear is a lot of nonsense about individual tax plans for the middle class, or taxing the so called ‘rich’. The fact is, the government takes your income — your wealth if you will — and uses it for its own aims. We’re supposed to have a conversation with our politicians regarding what those aims are, but we usually don’t. If government spending now, without calculating perpetual obligations like social security and other entitlements including medicaid, medicare and the so called Affordable Care Act is almost 40 percent of the country’s total economy, maybe this is the reason why our economy isn’t growing fast enough. Is it possible the greedy farmer is in the process of killing the golden goose? And if so, what do the perfumed princes on the campaign trail intend to do about it? The grey area between what is a public good, and greedy government is the crossroads where we are stuck. If we don’t figure out how to talk about it and to solve the problem, our goose is cooked. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 383 – Emmer on Trade

Emmer on Trade. Live from the Nation’s Capital, Washington DC, where it’s all about free trade authority. To talk about it with the Bob Davis Podcasts, Congressman Tom Emmer left the Cannon House Office building, walked a couple of blocks, to where the Mobile Podcast Command Unit was parked. He is the first official interview in the Podcast Mobile Command Unit. At issue, votes for three measures constituting fast track trade authority for President Obama on Pacific nations, not including China. Opposition to this package of bills being considered takes two forms; Some Republicans don’t want to grant this president any more authority, especially when considering his pen and love for overstepping pesky things like the constitution. Democrats oppose because they believe this trade deal will hurt American workers, and American jobs. Tom’s take is, this package of bills, particularly the TPA (Trans Pacific Trade Authority) actually limits the president’s unilateral authority, at least when it comes to congress, which is one of the reasons he supports the legislation. Are you a trade protectionist, or a free trader? What are the benefits, drawbacks of each position? Do you think a president should be given ‘fast track’ authority to negotiate these deals, considering the possibility for this president, or future president’s to include initiatives that could actually hurt the country, a concern for everyone regardless of where they ‘lean’ on the political spectrum. If you speak in political circles you’re going to hear “They shipped all our jobs to China” more than once from democrats and republicans. While IT, higher labor costs have been factors in company’s decisions to outsource and have cost American jobs, some say the country is much better off economically with free trade, than trying to protect American jobs. China itself (not a part of this trade deal by the way) has already eliminated millions of jobs with IT. Millions more jobs will be lost even more technology is installed in the coming years. What’s effected American jobs the most? Poor economic growth. Another factor in pushing this agreement is the idea that American soft power (trade and diplomatic relationships) is what we should be developing, because its less costly than troops and ships and weapons systems. But without so called hard power, is soft power possible to sustain? Apparently a congressmen some consider to be conservative thinks so. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul. (Editor’s Note: You don’t often see congressmen come to media on a backstreet behind the Cannon Office Building, and I want to personally thank Tom Emmer for doing so.)

 

Podcast 371

The Islamic State. Now What? Just recently the perfumed princes in Washington were thrilled about a Delta Force Operation that killed one of the Islamic State’s top leaders and included the arrest of his wife. It was the kind of adventure story the American Media loves, and they gleefully turned the raid into a cartoon complete with reports of casualty free hand-to-hand combat and lurid reports of the freeing of a slave held by the couple. It was a good story and served as a narrative the White House used to prove the President’s strategy was indeed ‘degrading’ the ISIS military capabilities. I decided to wait to talk about this story, because I knew another shoe would drop. Sure enough, within a few days we were greeted with grim reports of the rout of the Iraqi Army defending Ramadi, in the Anbar province, less than 70 miles from Baghdad. Even worse, as the Iraqis ran, they left lots of shiny new military equipment from the United States, which will now be employed against Iraqis and ultimately Americans. Within a few days it has become clear President Obama’s strategy isn’t working. Now what? The problem is, this country’s media, its politicians, and its leaders have no idea what to do about this problem. We need to have a conversation that starts with what the Foreign Policy of the United States is, and what it should be, rather than fifty reporters chasing a 68 year old woman around Iowa, while she has breakfast with ten or eleven people at a time, or demanding a former governor and head of a super pac tell the country what he would have done in 2003. Don’t hold your breath. Given the fast food nature of America’s media and political environment, I am surprised anyone even knows where Anbar province is, unless they had the honor of serving there. Yet the question remains. Do you want to invade Iraq again to stop ISIS? Should we stop ISIS, since they’re fighting Iran? What are we doing, when our allies don’t understand or trust our President, and 38 people are running for President? Are we in favor of early interventions in problem areas? Does it work? A new world is being birthed, and whole sections of the planet are slipping back in time, rather than progressing. When economies in the West, and in Asia start growing in earnest again we’re going to move very quickly forward. Some places are going to be left behind. When that happens, we’re going to see some bad things happening. Are we prepared? Are you prepared? Do you know what to advocate? Do you have an opinion about what’s best for the United States? Is there a politician that can articulate and execute that idea, after 2017. Because chances are, the next black swan event that changes the world will either be economic, or foreign related, or both. As ISIS beheads, burns, cages, kills children and adds to the chaos that is the Middle East these days, the US political clown show, including the one in the White House, doesn’t give me much faith. What about you? Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Photo from the New York Post) 

Podcast 362

No Growth Economy. New numbers say the US Economy grew by only .2 percent. Yet still, the Federal Reserve says the economy should grow now in the second quarter. Never mind all the ‘experts’ predicted 2015 would be a ‘blow out’ year, and that they have been revising their predictions down all through the quarter, they were still way above what the numbers actually show. Excuses? They have a few. The weather. The work slow down at the Port in Los Angeles. The weather. The strong dollar. Did I mention the dollar? The US has now had quarter after quarter of slow, no, or only anemic growth, and yet the Obama administration and its apologists, and the bone headed financial media call it a ‘boom’. Meanwhile small and medium sized businesses all over the country know it for what it is. A no growth economy. Why do business writers believe things will change if the policies don’t change? Does the consumer really account for 70 percent of the economy? What if we’re using the wrong tools to stimulate the wrong things? What’s that old saw about the definition of insanity? Banks aren’t lending because they can make more money borrowing at the discount window, reinvesting in the stock markets. Companies aren’t investing because they’re buying back their own stocks. The US corporate tax rate is the highest in the world (by far), and the tax code is so complex it costs us dearly in productivity lost (while we comply with the tax code) and literally billions of dollars spent complying with its byzantine rules. Regulations of all kinds make it almost impossible for small and medium sized businesses to grow. What are the policy ideas we need to hear from candidates (which we’re not hearing) to fix the economy. It’s not about inequality. It’s not about ‘reformicon’ tax policies (which are actually democrat tax policies warmed over), or making the government work more efficiently. In this podcast, some ideas you may agree or disagree with, but it will definitely start you thinking. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars

Podcast 323

Obama Checks Out. After the President’s White House summit on ‘extremist violence’, a firestorm of controversy erupted when he refused to characterize the ‘extremists’ – the subject of the summit – in language that would actually describe them. Our current problem is, after all, referred to as THE ISLAMIC STATE! The President reminds us lowly peasants we are not to refer to the Islamic State as Islamic Terrorists, or even ‘Islamic’. This is apparently so that the President will still be invited to cocktail parties with the nuanced and beautiful. Obama also took care this week to describe the ‘root’ of the problem in the Middle East as a ‘lack of jobs and democracy’. This is a statement which is patently false, since almost all top Islamists hail from upper middle class families, and are well educated. Critics say the President is never going to be able to defeat the Islamist Threat if he can’t name it. The bottom line? Whether President Obama knows it or not, he has telegraphed to the American people and the world he has checked out. Its clear he just wants to make it to January 2017 with his ‘legacy’ intact. For this, we are grateful. We do not want this president conducting a major war, as long as we can get through the next 22 months or so without being blown to smithereens, burned in a cage or beheaded by ‘extremely violent people’. If you’re upset about the possible threat, channel the angst into the 2016 presidential race, because the next guy in is going to have a lot of work to do. It will fall on the next President and Congress to figure out how to clean up this mess, because the current President isn’t going to do a damn thing about ISIS, Putin, or anything else. Do we really want him to? It seems all the world’s leaders are at a loss to figure out what to do about anything. The EU is on the verge of a financial crisis and is probably in a recession, while its leaders burn the midnight oil feverishly negotiating cease fires that are apparently meaningless to people like Putin. As fighting between Ukrainian government troops and ‘separatists’ in eastern Ukraine intensified, ending in a rout for the Ukrainian troops, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said of the short lived cease fire negotiated just last weekend in Minsk, “It’s not Munich’. Is there anyone in charge these days? Or are they all waiting for their people to tell them what to do? Do they know what to do? (Wait! Don’t answer that.) The real question is what the US role in the world should be, and how this country should handle itself. This is a question that is clearly being left up to the people. Some final updates and conclusions on the foreign policy front to end the week. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing

 

 

Podcast 312

The IRS Needs More Money? Another update podcast from the newsroom at the Bob Davis Podcasts. The head of the IRS was back on the hill recently crying for more money, saying the agency uses computer programs from the dark ages and can’t do what it is supposed to do, collect taxes, because it has too many things to do. Does the IRS have too much to do, and too little money to do it? Or, is it another VA; another poster child for the failure of big government. Meanwhile, you have a less than one percent chance of being audited, unless you make over a million dollars, or cause red flags (in those archaic computer programs) to be activated. Perhaps it is time to talk about a new head of the agency. Or maybe even a new method of taxation that does away with this agency. Should we pursue tax reform under President Obama or make it a campaign issue in 2016. What proof is there that anyone with an R in front of their on the ballot is going to actually ‘reform’ taxation policy? Colorado’s legalization of Marijuana has caused so many millions of dollars in taxes to be collected that a state law might require it be returned, much to the chagrin of republicans and democrats in the legislature. Guess what? They want to pass a law so they can keep it all … for education. Two shootings that involved police officers in Hennepin county this week provoked some to question how people who were either convicted felons, or known to be unstable (and thus afoul of the law) managed to get guns. While the gun control movement in the US thinks the solution is to pass a law that says people like that can’t have guns…yet they always seem to get them. Fifty Shades of Grey sex toys have hit the shelves … at Target. The company says the Fifty Shades marketing package which contains blindfolds – among other things – will be placed in an adult area of the store, but one pic surfaced of the Fifty Shades stuff next to children’s tooth brushes. Surprisingly, China will have the most robots in use in their manufacturing sector by 2017. Who will make the Robots? Swiss, German and Japanese companies. Expect thousands to be laid off in China’s automotive and technology sectors. Science may have figured out how to reverse the effects of aging and how to end the common cold. Sponsored by My Complete Basement Systems and by Depotstar

Podcast 311

Brian Williams and Truth. An Update Podcast that takes a foreign policy turn. As NBC News Anchor Brian Williams tries to maintain some credibility in the wake of his admission that he ‘conflated’ a helicopter he was in with another that received RPG and small arms ground fire in Iraq in 2003, veterans and viewers are furious with Williams. In a week in which a man was burned alive in a cage, and buried, Americans are concerned with the antics of a perfumed television presenter. Why do we expect integrity from television news? Much less journalism. For years, the line between entertainment and journalism has been blurring. Perhaps now people see it for what it really is. Meanwhile back on the ranch in the middle east, suicide bombings, and decapitations of hostages and prisoners aren’t apparently enough, so IS decided to put a captured Jordanian pilot in a cage, soak him in gasoline, burn him, then bury the cage with a bulldozer. Incredibly enough this provoked a theological discussion of whether such burnings are justified under Islamic Law. It was decided such barbarity is not acceptable, but the fact that it was even submitted as a theological question is instructive. What is to be done about the Islamic State? The Kurds will only go so far in defending Kurdish Iraq. The Jordanians are understandably angry, but are already asking for bullets, fuel, guns and American Forward Air Controllers in order to attack IS. Is America ready to send troops? The President has correctly described the IS as a death cult, with an Army. It seems, though, as if the United States is underestimating the Islamic State, which some say has a much deeper and stronger appeal to a base of young people world wide, and in the region. Eliminating it may take more than airstrikes and advisors. Now the question is what is he going to do about it? And in the Ukraine – a far more serious matter to the security of Western Europe – Russia is being presented with a peace offer this weekend, which may actually give Putin everything he wants. The end of sanctions in return for allowing Eastern Ukraine provinces self determination, and self government within Ukraine. This allows Russia to reactivate the separatists at any time as well as denying Kiev vital natural resources from these regions. It’s a win for Putin because it allows him to destabilize Kiev at will. Finally, what are the foreign policy ideas of the potential candidates for president in 2016? What are your concerns? Sponsored by X Government Cars and by Depotstar