Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659

State Fair Time in Minnesota. A change in the weather. Time for Back to School. Back in the studio after summer traveling. An afternoon with FaceBook convinces me it’s time to start culling the social media herd. In Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659.

Back In The Studio

These days all of my travel is on America’s back roads. Summer 2017 saw thousands of miles of travel for The Bob Davis Podcasts. All of it on two lane state and US highways. You see a different United States from the two lane highways. Whether it was Joliet, Illinois or Rapid City, South Dakota or traveling through rural Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, West Virginia or mining towns in Ohio. I did not see Americans consumed with politics.

Backroads Education

When you travel the backroads you see people doing what they do every day. Getting up and going to work. Running their businesses. Taking kids to baseball, football soccer and hockey games.  This is not a country of feral political beasts. It is not a country of angry supporters of either political fringe. Looks pretty much the same as it did when my family toured the country by the same highways, back when I was a kid.

Social Media Cesspool

On social media though, it is a different world. In Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659 it’s time to cull the social media herd. Unfollowing those dear friends who post links to articles and demand your support or comment on the latest political and usually nonsensical missive from someone who exhorts you to think and act a certain way.

Where’s The Vision?

Back to School also means reengaging in a political process gone mad. Vision? Concrete plans for the future? Political organization? Those are relics of the past. What’s left are screaming matches, memes, reposts and going ‘live’ on FaceBook to grind your political axe. How does a podcaster add to this cacophony of ignorance and advance the story at the same time? In Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659.

No Good Citizens

Neither mainline political party serves the interests of its adherents anymore. Part of the reason is demographic. Much of the reason is people seem to think negatively commenting on a congressman’s FB Live post or protesting is the same as involvement. There are no political movements to convince legislators to take a course of action because no one wants to do that work anymore. Maybe the reason people have turned away from politics are the loud mouths and those who fill their social media feeds with partisan posts, and demand reaction.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659

Podcast 597-Pure Insanity

Trump Sets The Pace

In Podcast 597-Pure Insanity. Controversial executive orders. Cabinet confirmations. A Supreme Court nomination. The robust legislative agenda. Trump’s White House is setting the pace. Media and the partisan left is struggling to keep up. Any action taken by a republican is met with derision and a firestorm of social media reaction. Just mentioning a Trump initiative, executive order or tweet means an  argument. Scenarios of the death and destruction caused by all things Trump have reached hysterical levels.

Hysteria and Pure Insanity

Now it’s democrats talking about secession, impeachment and Coup d’etat. What is a coup? Why would the president plan a Coup against himself? There is no evidence of a Coup being planned against the United States government. Clearly those writing such things do not understand what a Coup really is. Dusting off an old French word to make the Trump administration seem darker and less legitimate is the goal. Defining the term and explaining why suggesting a Coup is an insult to your intelligence, is part of Podcast 597-Pure Insanity.

Cal-Exit

Talk of California seceding from the United States generated a lot of coverage. Remember when  right wingers talked up secession at the beginning of the Obama Presidency? Now it’s left wingers. Would California secede? Aside from the obvious question of legality, without California’s votes and money the chances of a democrat being elected President of the United States would be very low. So…

…Forget secession.

Trump will be impeached. Uh. No. Not unless democrats gain a majority in both houses of congress in 2018. Is it necessary to remind everyone Impeachment would result in the Presidency of Mike Pence? With no shortage of hate for the Vice President on social media and at protests, one wonders whether the overwrought and bereft left consider impeachment would leave them with an even more conservative president. Unfortunately it’s necessary to point this out in Podcast 597-Pure Insanity.

Why? Because They Can

Some have forgotten history and context and how the Representative Republic of the United States works. Some think cabinet positions are elected. Others don’t understand that while legislative minorities have rights, majorities do entitle control of committees, rules and certain appointments as well as the legislative agenda. Not only do republicans have legislative majorities the party controls the executive branch, many state legislatures and governor’s offices. While opposition and protest are the right of Americans maybe the opposition should be asking how did a supposedly dying GOP managed to garner these majorities? Is it possible some voters agree with them?

There are people in the United States happy with actions taken by the new president. They like his executive actions and his picks for the cabinet and his pick for the Supreme Court. They might even cheer when they hear Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary suggest government schools really aren’t doing a very good job and that competition in the form of vouchers and charter schools is a good thing. They are perfectly satisfied with the idea of cutting regulation and taxes. Despite the caterwauling on the left this is hardly a national crisis or the first glimmerings of American fascism.

Social Media Cesspool

In Podcast 597-Pure Insanity, nowhere is the left’s increasingly impotent rage more apparent than on social media. Memes, videos, live sessions, tweets, angry rants, de-friending and blocking. The Social Media Cesspool, with its misspelled signs confusion about history and how our government works has become a place where people post to live and live to post. A place where anger and extremism are encouraged. People wonder whether it will change. Will it? Why would it?

One thing social media is good for is cat and dog pictures and videos, performances of song and dance and all things pure and real. Maybe it’s time for everyone to take a step back, a break from the day to day news and social media and consider what is most important in life. Did you ever think you’d see the day when you would hope to see pictures of people’s dogs or see a performance of a song?

That day has come.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating Of Saint Paul, X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.

 

Podcast 586-Midtown Global Market

 

Giving 2017 context

Live from the Midtown Global Exchange in Minneapolis. (Editor’s Note: Unfortunately throughout this live podcast I refer to the Midtown Global Market as ‘International Market Square‘, which is somewhere else in the Twin Cities.)

In 2006 the Midtown Global Market opened to much fanfare after 192 Million dollars was spent to redevelop the old Sears Building on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Tens of millions of dollars in grants, aid and bonding helped pay for the project which was sold as the key to redeveloping a decaying neighborhood.

Just inside the entrance are several large photos of the neighborhood back in the 1920’s before the Sears Building was constructed, with no subsidies, at a cost of five million dollars. Looking at those old pictures, knowing the neighborhood, I think of change, and context.

Like any New Year, we’re always optimistic about the future. We need 2017 context. How was your year? How do you compare it to other years? Did you have a good 2016? Will next year be better? Life doesn’t follow neatly defined month and year delineations. Life cycles operate on other timelines.

We make decisions individually and collectively. Those decisions provoke change and reaction. It takes awhile for results to appear. Just like this place. The marketplace has struggled since it opened in 2006 and continues to require subsidies to survive. The neighborhood has struggled despite redevelopment at enormous cost to the taxpayers. Is it better?

We live in a time of intense chronicling. Like a teenager’s journal every slight, every insult and every joy is recorded and exaggerated. A person looks back on their journals twenty or thirty years after and does not remember every detail. On the other hand, the Internet records every insult and slight and magnifies reaction. In this environment perspective and context, so important in human decision making, is distorted as well.

As I begin 2017 I find myself unhappy with what I see on social media, in broadcast and so called traditional media. Now a primary source of ‘news’, social media sets the tone for all other media. These sources are mostly devoid of perspective and context. In this podcast some 2017 Context.

We’re told celebrities are dying like flies and this is terrible. Is a celebrity more important than anyone else? How many people die every year famous or not? What is the context? How many babies are born every year? The famous do not retain their earthly status when they crossover. We all know this. So, why all the hand wringing about celebrity deaths?

In Podcast 586-Midtown Global Market, some thought starters for your 2017, live from the Midtown Global Market. Why is history so important? Where does change come from. How is our time different from other eras? Why do things we don’t want to change, often change? How do we manage change? What do we need to know to manage change?

So many people post and tweet these days because they want to be thought of as beautiful, a hero or a friend. Many go on social media so they can stand on top of a hill and be recognized for the contributions they feel they’ve made. Why? Aren’t we special just because we’re alive and in the world right now?

2016’s events effected many of us deeply. Government’s power is pernicious and often malicious; Starting a war. Pouring tens of millions of dollars into dubious development project. To the degree people people engage in gossip and back fence judgement via social media, they have less influence over those they have selected to ‘run things’. Here’s to providing context and perspective in 2017. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55

Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55. As the Trump Transition rolls on, it’s The Messiah Syndrome, Partisans Painting Themselves Into a Corner and False Narratives. Eight years ago people in this country thought Barack Obama would fix everything. Obama was a God. The new Messiah is Donald J. Trump. He is going to fix everything. He has been ‘chosen by God’. Trump ‘will be defended by God’. We ‘have to pray for him’. It’s always good to celebrate a victory, but the US Presidency is a political office. All the things that are supposed to get fixed become a question of what is possible with Congress, the Courts, the executive departments and the states playing a role. When it comes to political nuts and bolts Trump supporters and most republicans can’t be bothered. From day one Messiah Trump will be embroiled a political struggle. The clock is already ticking on the next congressional cycle in 2018. Gubernatorial campaigns are already underway in many states. Cabinet Secretaries and bureaucrats don’t come from central casting. Many of the people who end up filling those positions will not necessarily be ‘Trumpers’. Many of them are Washington Insiders. Then there are the many new voices on the so called right that have emerged in the last few years. Many of them wholeheartedly endorsed Trump and they will now have to defend him. Have they painted themselves into a corner? False Narratives are also spreading like a bad virus. How and Why Trump won the election. What the electoral college is supposed to do. Russia hacked voting machines. Whatever the ‘theory’, the idea is to keep us watching and distracted. The Facts of Life present a major challenge to the future of this country. US Debt levels are over 100 percent of the total economic output of the country. Federal spending continues to skyrocket. Entitlements like Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare will swamp the federal budget in the next decades and we have plans to spend trillions on roads and bridges? We’re also facing significant foreign policy and economic challenges in the next few years. Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55 takes a look at what we have to do to meet these challenges in the next few years. Shouting at people in an airplane aisle, memes and tweets will not work. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance, Ryan Plumbing and X Government Cars.