Goodbye To 2017-Hello 2018-Happy New Year-Podcast 690

As the year closes time for a look back at 2017. Some of the experiences, helpers, clients and some big thank you’s. Any look back also includes a look ahead. In Goodbye To 2017-Hello 2018-Happy New Year-Podcast 690.

Fast Changing World

The theme of 2017 for almost everyone seems to be fear and anxiety in a fast changing world. Boy is it changing fast. Biggest change in 2017? Our politics. Still, there was a lot of great travel and fun this year.

These days things change so fast. One story that is still with us? The so called Russian Hack and the Russian Collusion story. The media is still trying to predict the future, getting stories wrong or advocating for a point of view. It’s a theme of the podcasts this year and we’ll talk about it in Goodbye To 2017-Hello 2018-Happy New Year-Podcast 690.

The Truth Is On The Back Roads

With all the talk about political civil war and surreal protests this year, travel on the backroads of this country convinces me the real America is significantly different from the America we hear about in the media in general. There were some great trips this year. Sturgis, the Air Show, a crumbling home town and more. Too bad Burning Man didn’t happen for the Bob Davis Podcasts in 2017. Maybe next year. In Goodbye To 2017-Hello 2018-Happy New Year-Podcast 690.

We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles

Political fighting was all the rage this year. Especially relevant is the fact that most of the partisan bickering was free of principles. This was a year in which both mainline political parties seemed to have forgotten what they stand for. Good thing I can talk about small business and the role of the podcaster helping people in business.

Opening Up

This was also a year in which I started a podcast specific to Yoga, which has really enhanced my life in these crazy times. I’ve experienced some big personal losses this year. Between yoga and travel podcasts, it became clear to me there is a whole world out there which doesn’t turn on political develops in Washington. Thank God. In Goodbye To 2017-Hello 2018-Happy New Year-Podcast 690.

Thanks To Everyone

Whether its analysis, business, yoga, travel, storm chasing and the eclipse it’s been a big year for me. There have also been a number of great local stories to cover as well. Thanks to the clients, contributors, subscribers and listeners who make podcasting a great medium and help The Bob Davis Podcasts everyday.

Happy New Year!

Sponsored by Brush Studio in The West End Saint Louis Park, and Ciro 3D Motorcycle products and Accessories

Goodbye To 2017-Hello 2018-Happy New Year-Podcast 690

Summer Solstice Walk and Talk-Road Trip Takeaways-Podcast 642

After so many road trips I get a lot of questions. Why do you do it? What are the three best things that happened on the trip? In Summer Solstice Walk and Talk-Road Trip Takeaways-Podcast 642.

Long Road Trips Are The Best

Road Trips have been a part of my life since I was a kid. As an adult I would often drive pell mell to reach a location. Since acquiring Mobile Podcast Command I’ve spent more time on the road, taking my office and studio with me. Road Trips are an escape both positive and negative. For me, happiness is a clean windshield and a full tank of fuel.

Goals Are Good…And Bad

These days each trip has an objective or two. It‘s best though, not to fill your road trip with objectives even if you are a type A goal setter. You have to leave time to change your mind, turn around or stop in that town. In Summer Solstice Walk and Talk-Road Trip Takeaways-Podcast 642.

Is Life Real?

Travel is like a dream. Especially road tripping. The more you do it the less specific your memory is. I’ll be doing something and think about an experience and wonder, “Where was that?”. Don’t know. Doesn’t matter. The longer the road trip, the more surreal the experience. From Truck Stops and Wal Mart parking lots to State Parks and small towns. In Summer Solstice Walk and Talk-Road Trip Takeaways-Podcast 642.

Back Roads Are Better

This Bob Davis Podcasts Road Trip to me through Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas (twice), Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Pretty much all on backroads. The first takeaway is stick to state roads, and US highways, even county roads. In Summer Solstice Walk and Talk-Road Trip Takeaways-Podcast 642.

Ready To Go Again

Meeting interesting people, visiting prosperous and not so prosperous towns and villages, seeing family and taking a dream-walk through the town I grew up in are some of best things that happened on this road trip. In conclusion, most of this country is flat out empty, and it’s going to be just fine.

Sponsored by X Government Cars

Summer Solstice Walk and Talk-Road Trip Takeaways-Podcast 642

 

 

A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640

A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640 hits home, for me. Glouster Ohio is home to most of my family on my dad’s side. It’s been a long time since I visited. You hear a lot of talk these days about how towns like this are struggling. I’ve seen a lot of towns and cities on America’s back roads. Seems like this is one of the most challenged places I’ve been to.

King Coal

For over a hundred years it’s been all about coal mines in this part of the country. Back in the day, the idea was to get the coal out of the ground. Period. Companies didn’t care about the environment in those days and I would assume they didn’t care too much about their employees. This part of Ohio is the scene of mining disasters and pitched battles when the unions began organizing workers in the early twentieth century. My grandfather told me people carried guns in Glouster like the old west. My dad and uncle confirmed that story. In A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640.

Better Days

The Buckingham Coal Mine still exists a few miles from Glouster. There’s talk about opening a mine closer to town. I imagine there are still miners here. On the other hand, Glouster has been better days. I know there are people in town working to save it. As I walked the streets I wonder why this town decays while other small towns a few miles away seem to thrive. In conclusion, now I understand my Grandfather’s drive to get to a better place.

Sometimes Things Don’t Work Out

One thing you learn from travel is things don’t always work out. Glouster is already on a list of America’s most forlorn places. Especially relevant is the idea that this is the kind of town hit hardest by movement away from coal. Maybe that will change. In A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to the location of a mining disaster as Mill City. It is, in fact, Millfield. A few miles away from Glouster. My apologies.)

Sponsored By Brush Studio.

A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640

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 588-Russians Coming!

 

CIA Report on Russian Hacking

On this week’s Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show, we’re back in a news rich environment. The release of the CIA Report on ‘Russian Hacking‘ adds to the latest tempest in a teapot. A skeptical President Elect Trump got a briefing from top intelligence officials in the Obama Administration last week. What does ‘Russia Hacks The US Election’ mean to you? Does it mean the Russians managed to get control of voting machines and change votes in key states. Decidedly no.

In Podcast 588-Russians Coming! The story goes, the Russians, under order from President Putin, hacked into the DNC through John Podesta’s email, gaining access to the server for months. The Obama administration also has been told by its US intelligence employees that the Russians were responsible for the release of sensitive material from the DNC severs to Wikileaks. Oh, and the Russia Today network put a new TV show on critical of Hillary Clinton. The Russians also apparently employed a number of Internet trolls in service to Donald Trump. Or something like that.

The subliminal message here is Americans have lost control of their political process and therefore should have no faith in its outcome, which oddly seems like the original goal of Russia’s alleged interference. Proving the Russians hacked into the DNC is hard enough to prove. Proving it had any effect on the election is quite another. One should never say never and skepticism should be the first approach for people who want to believe the Russian Hack story and those who do not. Still, there are reasons why this is one story that may never be proven. Find out why in Podcast 588-Russians Coming!

While Trump supporters remain skeptical, Clinton supporters have latched onto the Russian Hack story as the new grand conspiracy theory in all that ails America. However, if you’re looking for a smoking gun you may be waiting a long time. Like the famous WMD in Iraq story, when a president asks the intelligence community to ‘prove’ something, a ‘report’ will be issued. Reports issued because a president wants one, usually include a ‘preponderance‘ of evidence.

Remember how the CIA managed to convinced Congress and most of the people in the country going to war against Iraq was necessary? While the left attacked Bush and the CIA for its ‘preponderance of evidence of WMD’s in Iraq’ finding, suddenly they’re ready to believe the ‘Russia Hack’ story. Even though we all know how the WMD story turned out for George W. Bush, the left wonders how else Hillary Clinton’s loss could be explained. It had to be the Russians.

2016’s presidential race heralded a tectonic shift in politics in the United States and perhaps the world. How politics is conducted. How it is reported on. How races are measured and predicted. Considering this shift, is it impossible to suggest people in the great lakes region in 2016 reached the point where they were just fed up with politics as usual? Maybe the cozy relationship between big government types, Hollywood and Wall Street just got to be too much for the little guy? Bernie Sanders thinks so. Senator Sanders has called Clinton out for choosing to hang with Gentry-Liberals rather than campaigning in Wisconsin and Michigan in the final stretch when it might have made a difference.

Foreign involvement in the US political process is nothing new. During the effort to ratify the US Constitution, in an effort to support arguments for an indirect election of the President through the Electoral College, The Federalist talked about foreign involvement in US Presidential elections. Historian Barbara Tuchman wrote a book about British subterfuge to get the US into World War I. The Soviets attempted to influence US politics through the creation and promotion of the American Communist Party from the 1920’s on. During those early decades of the twentieth century, some American intellectuals thought the Soviets had solved the problems of industrialization. Some Americans were happy to move to the glorious Soviet Union.

Will the new president plan a reorganization of the United States’ far flung fleet of intelligence agencies? The OSS was originally tasked with the collection and interpretation of strategic information. After the National Security Act of 1947, the newly formed CIA took up the job with some additional responsibilities. Federal agencies tend to grow and morph from their original mandate as time goes on. The United States now has scores of intelligence agencies. Are we sure our Congress and President knows what these agencies actually do? Are we sure that our government can actually supervise intelligence services that have a long history of making serious mistakes?

What is this story obscuring right now? As we argue about the ‘preponderance of evidence’ linking a spear phishing scheme to the DNC servers, a scheme that succeeded because DNC officials who should have known better did not follow security procedures, politicians in Washington, our State Capitols and City Councils are stealing us blind.

Sponsored by X Government Cars.[powepress]

 

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 580-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-56

Podcast 580-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-56. Four mini podcast for your weekend. It’s time to move beyond talk about fake news and false narratives. Time to work on becoming better citizens. We have to get beyond reactions to get what is needed to create better political structures for the future. People have very high expectations about a Trump presidency. Whether you fear the future or can’t wait for it, the President-Elect’s cabinet nominations are moderate and establishment republicans. Trump’s ideas are philosophically all over the road. The new republican administration may end up being just as statist as a Hillary Clinton presidency. One example is Trump’s penchant for roads and bridges and airports. Given the establishment congress of republican moderates expecting a reduction in the cost and power of the federal government is too much to ask for. Fake News is still ‘in the news’. There were suggestions from the CIA at the end of last week that the Russians ‘could have’ been responsible for the Wikileaks hack. Still no proof though. That doesn’t stop the media from feeding into the Clinton camp narrative that Russia put Trump in the White House. It’s impossible to say what influenced voters in Ohio, Pennsyvania, North Carolina and Florida where Trump won by tight margins. None of these facts stop demands to ‘do something’ about ‘fake news’. FaceBook is caving and censorship is suddenly now a big topic. There have also been reports that Electors (members of the electoral college for 2016) have received death threats. What happens if Trump doesn’t have a majority of electors? What is the goal of people supporting the effort to influence the Electoral College? Have you driven around the country lately? If you had, you would know the United States does not have an ‘infrastructure’ problem. Building new airports, roads and bridges will not create enough new jobs to influence a 16 trillion dollar economy. Moreover, trade protection, cutting taxes on the middle class, increasing spending and government power including military spending is fraught with problems and probably won’t result in economic growth. Where does the money come from for these shiny objects? It has to be taxed or borrowed, sooner or later. For those who supported Trump because he ‘isn’t Hillary’, there are no guarantees he’ll be materially different from Clinton, when it comes to results. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.[Powerpress]

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 569-Final State by State Round Up

Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up. Where the state polls stand for presidential candidates right before election day 2016. This podcast does not endorse a candidate. I will not make you feel good or bad about your vote, or non vote. I will not attach ‘indexes’ and ‘percentage probabilities’ to potential wins or losses for the candidates. In Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up, how candidates fare in each of the states according to existing polls. Partisan and advocacy journalists don’t provide insight on survey research. I do. What you’re getting from the cable news channels and advocacy news ‘websites’ are charlatans pushing their point of view. Fact is, no one knows how the election will play out in any of the so called battleground states. That’s because despite all the best effort, even the best political researchers are challenged to determine who is actually going to show up to vote especially when the polls show a close vote, within the margins of error. Elections are made on who votes. Not the number of signs. Not the number of people who show up at rallies. Not who ran the best TV spots. It’s all about getting the vote out. Once the vote is in, it’s all about counting. Is the election rigged? In a sense, yes. The United States is a representative republic which elects its executive not by the popular vote but through an institution known as the Electoral College. Some states’ electoral slates are proportionally chosen. Some states select electoral slates by party. The electors themselves have already been chosen. They will actually select the President of the United States on December 15th, 2016. In some states the popular vote determines how the electors are ‘supposed’ to vote. In some states it depends on which party’s candidate wins the overall vote. No so called ‘rogue elector‘ has ever been prosecuted for voting outside the state statute guidelines. In the event of an electoral tie, the election will be decided by the US House of Representatives. One thing is true, the republicans are the ones talking about ‘rigged’ elections right now, but if Donald Trump wins the presidency they’ll stop talking about that immediately and the democrats will start talking about things being ‘rigged’. The only thing coverage of these kinds of conspiracies do is reduce the faith Americans and the rest of the world has in the electoral process. In reality, ‘rigging’ a national election is a difficult task, despite what movies and conspiracy theorists say. If you are concerned about your candidate winning the election, the best thing you can do is turn off the TV and get out and help them win by driving people to the polls or making last minute calls, poll watching, or if you’re qualified, volunteering as an election judge. Thankfully we’ll be looking at election night results in the next podcast. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio, in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 566-BobDavisRadioShow-50

Podcast 566-BobDavisRadioShow-50. October final State By State Poll roundup. Podcast 566-BobDavisRadioShow-50 covers the hysteria around polling these days and what to watch for in the final two weeks of campaigning. Charlatans abound in the political world. Almost everyone telling you one candidate, or the other, is going to win has a hidden agenda. Some want to make themselves famous. Some are shilling for a candidate. Ignorance on what political research actually is has now commingled with Trump’s claims the polls and thus the election are rigged. My response to a subscriber email about push polls is typical. Someone, somewhere talked about push polls so now everyone thinks the polls are push polls. Or, the John Podesta email suggesting internal polling over same democrats has everyone convinced all the pollsters are in the tank for Clinton. Sigh. The polls used on Real Clear Politics, and the polls I use for Podcast 566-BobDavisRadioShow-50 are polls taken by media organizations or university political science departments. A push poll is a poll designed to ‘push’ a respondent into voting one way or another. Usually there is very little polling data collected in so called Push Polls. Are the polls right? A good poll isn’t right or wrong, it is reliable. Listen to this show and you’ll know more about polling than anyone on your block. Listen to the other podcasts about polling I have done and you’ll understand more about what is going on. First, it is not a popular vote that elects the President of the United States. The US Election is an electoral affair so all the action is in the state by state polls. You can aggregate these polls. You can average these polls. However, you cannot aggregate and average them and place a probability on whether one or the other candidate will win. All the poll averaging does is give you a birds eye view of the battlefield. The must win electoral states change election cycle to election cycle. No predictions will be made here. I will give you a truthful and honest analysis of where the mainline campaigns stand on the eve of election day, 2016. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance, Ryan Plumbing and X Government Cars.