Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653

Every now and then you run across a perfect stretch of road. Didn’t start out as a perfect road trip, but it’s been close. In Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653 talk of interstate free road tripping.

Eclipse Coming

Especially relevant are two eclipses approaching. A lunar eclipse on August 7th, 2017 and then a total solar eclipse on August 21st. Is this the calm before the storm? Is Sturgis the ultimate party before the Walking Dead Scenario?

Travel Advice? Take The Road Less Traveled

Over the last few road trips I have been concentrating on staying off the Interstate. What are the pro’s and con’s? People have asked me for travel advice recently. At the present moment I can think of two things. Have a goal. Stay off the Interstate. In Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653.

While there was a little political content in the last podcast of the EAA’s Osh Kosh AirVenture show, some have wondered if I will ever fully reengage in the political sphere. Your answer is in Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653. It’s kind of like staying off the Interstate, isn’t it?

End Of Summer In Upper Midwest Is The Best

Better to enjoy these last few weeks of summer. The corn is high. Night driving reveals combines echeloned in huge dark fields in South Dakota, harvesting. Already. Blue Skies. Sunshine. Cool night air. A few motorcycles dot the lanes miles ahead, and a few well behind. Happiness is a full tank of fuel and a clean windshield. In Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653.

Special thanks to CIRO3D for making 2017’s Sturgis Visit Possible

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653

 

Playing The Something Is Going To Happen Game-Podcast 644

You can already feel it. The long fourth of July weekend approaching. We’re starting to slow down. So, for the ride to the lake. During periods of rain. It’s fun to think about what might happen. In Playing The Something Is Going To Happen Game-Podcast 644.

Podcasts Have To Go Deeper

I podcast a lot about media’s role in our society. For a deeper look at angst listen to Podcast 643. We’re awash in media informing us of the latest developments. ‘Breaking News’ is the norm these days. Podcasters have to go deeper. We’ll do that in Playing The Something Is Going To Happen Game-Podcast 644.

The Next Black Swan Event Is…

Truth is, I do feel a growing sense that ‘something is going to happen’. A true ‘Black Swan’ event is something unpredictable. An event that changes the course of history. Black Swan events like the stock market crash of 1929 or the September 11th Terror Attacks were not predicted, although some might have had some forewarning. Some predicted the financial crisis of 2008, but on the whole, it was a surprise.

A Personal Story Of A Shocking and Unexpected Event

A recent example of an unpredictable event in my own life illustrates the kinds of changes we go through when things change, unexpectedly and unpredictably. Moreover in my experience a sense expectation can mean something good is about to happen too. Especially important and relevant is an expectation of a major event that changes history. This kind of expectation is a sense of foreboding.

Not The Latest Dispatch From Washington

In a broader sense our social angst is driven by constant coverage of breaking news and new opinions on every little thing that happens in a place called Washington DC. Playing the ‘Something Is Going To Happen’ game is not anticipating news out of Washington.

Making History

A true Black Swan event is something out of the so called left field. An event in the financial world. Something breaking loose from the sense of normalcy in the rest of the world. An unexpected and totally new development from the world of invention. An event that changes history.

We Don’t Change on A Dime…Or Do We?

We think of eras as decades. The 1950’s, the 1960’s, and so on. We think of changes taking place when governments transfer power. So, the Obama era gives way to the Trump era. Except that is not the way it works, Steve Jobs said what we think of as the 1960’s actually happened in the 1970’s. Events actually determine when we move from one era to the next.

To sum up, a new president took office in January. After a lot of chatter and fireworks, nothing substantial has really happened. The test of the new president hasn’t really emerged yet. Fertile ground for our imaginations to break free from the daily news feeds and imagine what could happen. Enjoy the July 4th holiday! (Editor’s Note: In This Podcast I refer to Nouriel Roubini as the person who coined the term ‘black swan’. It was in fact  Nassim Nicholas Taleb.)

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Playing The Something Is Going To Happen Game-Podcast 644

 

 

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

A friend asked me the other day if I was trying to alienate my audience. The reason for the question? I refused to take sides during election 2016 and will not do the bidding of politicians, in Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623.

On The Road

Last year The Bob Davis Podcasts went on the road to cover the primary campaigns. I traveled thousands of miles back and forth across the United States. When you roll on the backroads you see a lot and you learn a lot. Once you do that, you never view politics in the same way.

Manipulation

We’re being manipulated. Constantly. Republican and Democrat. Did a podcast about that. Detailed how we get our news from social media. Explained how to tell if a story lives up to journalistic standards. Asserted the idea that bad information leads to bad decisions. Apparently asserting ideas like this can put people on the defensive.

If You Want To Know The Truth

To know the truth, don’t take a side. It seems like everyone in media these days is taking a side. Defending a position. Making an argument. Demanding they be followed. Most information defends a point of view. This is the essence of our national manipulation. People say, “I don’t have time to sort it all out”. That is why I am doing these podcasts.

Shooting The Messenger

There are many assertions in modern news coverage these days. Most of these assertions are little more than opinion. This doesn’t mean the facts might one day support one view or another. Sadly the first reaction is defensive when facts don’t support conspiracy theory, commentary, personality endorsements, wishful thinking or the need to feel secure about a decision.

My Style of Communication

I am passionate. Direct. Intense. When I direct that passion and intensity toward something important to a specific listener it can be disconcerting. The value is it is researched, honest and authentic. Not filled with small talk and an effort to ingratiate myself with people so I can finesse a politicians message. This style of communication has certainly caused me trouble, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

History and Peeking Ahead

In Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623, I take a look at talk radio and media history, and discuss aging and changing perceptions, personal growth. Also take a look ahead to plans for covering the next election cycles. Hopefully I’ll continue to ruffle some feathers and get some discussion and thinking going.

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

Sponsored by Brush Studio

 

 

 

Podcast 611-Define Political Progress

When it comes to politics these days noise is the norm. The latest outrage drowns out talk about political progress. Voters in 2016 made their choices for a reason. Not too early to ask whether the politicians are making progress toward addressing those reasons. We talk about it in Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

ObamaCare Repeal

Number one issue on the campaign trail. Bogged down in congress already. Republicans wanted a full repeal of the ACA. New GOP plan isn’t a full repeal. President Trump has already endorsed it. What happened to promises of a full repeal?

Economy

Somewhere around 96 million people are out of the workforce. Need to create 375,000 new jobs a month for several months to get those people back in the work force. For years we were less than impressed with a quarter of a million jobs each month. Economic growth has been promised. In Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

Cutting Federal Budget

Smaller government? Proposed budget cuts are accompanied with proposals to shift money to defense. Does this reduce the size of government? A hiring freeze can be considered progress. Corporate tax reductions can be progress. However making up corporate tax reductions with higher taxes somewhere else doesn’t cut the budget.

Foreign Policy and Military Spending

Resurgent Russia. Rising China. Political changes in Turkey. Expanding NATO. Cyber Threats. US troops in Iraq and Syria. ISIS. Terror. Climate Change. How will reducing foreign aid and increasing military spending address these concerns? What should the foreign policy of the US be? It’s all in Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

Too Early?

First benchmark on progress made by a majority republican government in the United States. Did you vote for republicans? Are they doing what you wanted them to do?

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul.

 

Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message”

Media Event

US Presidents must report to Congress “from time to time” as required by the US Constitution. President Washington delivered the first state of the union message in person. Most presidents literally mailed it in after Washington. In Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message”.

Shifting Focus Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message”

Think Oscars. White House Correspondents dinner. Events made for the media. Perfect time for me to share in Podcast 606-My State Of The Union Message. A year of travel resulted in an increasing interest in the business of my business. In Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message” I talk about how my focus has shifted.

Purpose

Experts tell entrepreneurs to focus. Have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. They don’t say how much you’ll learn about yourself. How much you’ll change along the way. Starting a business is a process of self discovery. Working for ‘the man’ can cause needless worry about what happens if you make a mistake.

Good News

Every day is a new challenge. When you’re the boss all the good and bad things accrue directly to you. I am much more interested now in building a dynamic and creative business to provide resources for me to do the things I am passionate about doing. A business that serves clients and the audience. My business allows me to change and be more creative.

Breaking Free

Untethering has become my new passion. Selling everything. Getting rid of the house and car. Hitting the road. Staying on the road. Business consultants who travel all the time are doing it. Vagabonds have been doing it for years. The objective is to cover news stories as they happen and find interesting people and places to visit and talk about.

Live Your Passion

The State of The Union Message is an opportunity to talk politics. It’s also an opportunity to examine our own lives over the past year or so. Are we living our passion? Doing what we love? Sharing the passion with business associates, family and friends?

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Hydrus Performance.

 

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship-When The Famous Become Gods

Fame. Notoriety. Our fascination with famous people. Our fascination with those who are famous. One of the things I like to do in podcasting is to focus on the first thoughts I have at the beginning of the day. You might think podcasting in this manner is easy. Unfortunately sometimes these first thoughts turn out to be a lot deeper and complex than first imagined.

Two thoughts ignited Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship. First, the concept of fame itself. Where did it come from? When did it start in the United States? What makes someone famous these days? How is that different from what made someone famous three hundred years ago? Second, we form a bond with famous actors and musicians because of a movie or a song we connected with at a certain time in our life. The performer is forever part of our life because of a performance.

The kick off for these first thoughts is the HBO documentary ‘Bright Lights’ detailing the relationship Carrie Fisher had with her mother Debbie Reynolds. Both of these women are recently deceased. Carrie Fisher from a heart attack and her mother from a stroke shortly thereafter. Some of the content in the documentary has to do with Postcards From The Edge, first a book and then a movie about the relationship between Carrie and her mother, in which Meryl Streep played the role of Carrie Fisher.

All of this connected for me because Streep’s recent comments about the President-Elect at the Golden Globe Awards. The Golden Globes usually has lower viewership than the Academy Awards and would be forgotten save for unsavory comments from Streep this year. While any citizen has the right to say what they want about political events, stars seem to think they can use their fame to tell the rest of us what we should feel, how we should vote and how to live our lives

Back in the day, people became famous for doing something. They discovered a continent, or won a big naval battle, a war, or saved western civilization. One became famous for building a bridge, mass producing an automobile or opening the east to western trade. Great artists and performers became famous for work that changed the world. Today it seems like people become famous for being famous.

The roots of this kind of fame, or notoriety go back a long time. Dime store novels, traveling road shows, Vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, and the movies. It wasn’t long before you could become famous for just playing someone who had actually accomplished something. Actors who played western heroes, Pharaohs, and Great Leaders became associated with the accomplishments of someone else.

2016 was the first time I’ve seen the media tally the deaths of ‘Celebrities’ as they might natural disasters. We ‘mourned’ the loss of people we did not know as though they were part of the family, and seemed to forget the thousands who have been killed in America’s violent big cities, or in war zones across the world.

Prince, David Bowie, Carrie and Debbie Fisher and many others. Oh! What a loss!

Some people who are famous for a role they played in a movie forty years ago have insights into how fleeting fame is. Carrie Fisher reluctantly came to terms with her connection to the character she played in the original Star Wars, comparing it to her mother’s performance in ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’.

Fisher considered herself the ‘caretaker’ of the Princess Leia character, and felt she was irrevocably connected to her. A fact fans sometimes did not seem to understand. Or did they? We wonder what fame and fortune is like because we think of people who are famous and rich at the height of their powers. What is it like when people who live every day of their lives in scrutiny begin to age and decline?

We all love our movies and TV shows. We love our favorite music and performers. Human beings need entertainment. We all love a good story, told well. Great artists don’t do what they do because they want to change the world. They do what they do because doing it is what makes them happy. Sometimes the result of their work is world-changing. I don’t think they know this when they are creating these world changing works. Sometimes too, a movie is just a movie, or a song is a one-hit wonder, or a show only airs for two or three seasons. We want to know the people who write and perform these works, and some of us put them up on a pedestal.

Do we mistakenly worship these people and their works and believe they have some insight or power to be able to tell us how to live our lives or what kind of political system we have? What happens when the works of Hollywood form a bond with the works of fame-seeking politicians in our capitols? Are the performers worthy of our worship? What happens when powerful media mechanisms make politicians famous for being famous?

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbings and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

 

Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016

Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show Number 59.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016 Guest Andrew Davis and I have a father and son discussion of some of the big takeaways from 2016 and a look ahead to 2017. This isn’t one of those big stories of the year countdowns that populate the media at the end of every year. Just some thoughts about the year from both of us. What we have seen and what we thought was significant.

Of course in the United States, the big story of the year was Election 2016. Father and son talk about the winners and losers this year and how to stay informed going into 2017. The biggest loser of 2016 was traditional broadcast and cable television news and what is generally referred to as the mainstream media. This year though, you could add broadcast talk radio to the list. The biggest offense for these outlets was the penchant for predicting the future, picking a winner and endorsing a candidate.

From the media perspective the biggest winner was social media and You Tube. According to a recent study by Pew, more people got their news from social media and You Tube than ever before. This is a tectonic shift away from broadcast radio news and news delivered over traditional sources like broadcast television and cable television. This shift has provoked efforts to control what news and links people see and hear on social media sources.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016, the biggest surprise in 2016, for traditional media and politics in 2016 was Trump’s Electoral Victory. For political elites inside the beltway and those who believed what old line traditional media told them, the emergence of Donald J. Trump in the primaries, his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate and his electoral victory was a shock. The biggest factor in politics in 2016 were the misconceptions fostered by terrible reporting and analysis.

Late in the election season the Clinton campaign and the White House introduced the idea that the Russians somehow ‘hacked’ the US election. While a convenient explanation for bereft democrats, even at this late date proof of a Russian Interference is lacking. Moreover, proof the alleged Russian intervention resulted in actually effecting the outcome of the election is even more elusive. Father and son disagree on this topic. This disagreement that carried over from the radio show to intense discussions with friends well into the evening.

With change back on the front burner in 2017 our discussion turns to how to get good information. There will be a need to evaluate the performance of the Trump administration and arguments against its initiatives. With so called fake news, opinion journalism rather than good investigative journalism, having good sources is more important that ever.

Once you have goos sources, you also need context. Good sources include source materials such as reports, think tank studies, documents, and live video. Context comes from reading history, source documents, non fiction books on various topics and your interests. Both of us caution against pop culture books which are nothing more than the same type of rehashing and alarmist coverage you see in social media, cable news and talk radio. They are designed to persuade, rather than inform. Certainly one can say think tanks have biases, which are usually fairly obvious, but reliance on source material from different parts of the spectrum and academic interests gives you the background and context to understand the biases without being manipulated.

Finally, the big issues in 2017 to watch will be the Trump Team’s transition, foreign policy issues including the South China Sea, ISIS, Europe, Russia and China, foreign trade, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s role in US foreign policy, United States Economic policy. Politically what the 115th congress does and how it does what it does will be significant stories in 2017. Supporters of the new President will be hard pressed almost from day one to defend his actions, and the opposition is treading through brand new territory. Both sides will need objective facts.

Finally, we have a little fun with the millennial obsession with smart phones and the hand wringing over ‘so many’ celebrity deaths in 2016 and thank the sponsored, supporters and listeners to the Bob Davis Podcasts throughout 2016. Happy New Year. See you in 2017.

 

Podcast 583-Summer Storm

Podcast 583-Summer Storm. Nothing better than a summer storm to help you forget the bitter cold. It’s well below zero in Minnesota. While Europe and parts of the South consider mid twenties to thirties ‘bitter’ cold, in the Upper Midwest we’re talking minus twenty, thirty or even forty below. This is the kind of cold you don’t need windchill to exaggerate. If you’re in the deep freeze this podcast is designed to provide a half an hour or so of relief.

Last summer I had a chance to record a huge summer storm that rolled through the area. The storm track on this podcast isn’t edited. It was recorded in real time, complete with bouts of heavy rain and thunder. Interspersed throughout the storm are some thought starters to help subscribers to the Bob Davis Podcasts mentally escape.

Maybe when you were a kid your family did a road trip to Florida. Or while in college you and your friends took a trip through the mountains, or the desert. Many have had one of those summer college jobs for some agricultural company that required rolling around on back roads across Iowa and North Dakota, recording the growth of corn, or whatever those companies require people to write down on clipboards.

For me, sitting in a broken down old ’67 Ford Galaxy in the fields and watching the storms roll in across the prairie in Rural Illinois, will always remind me of deep summer. It’s easy for people to say, “Why don’t you get on a plane and go to LA, or Hawaii”. Yes, it sure would be nice. Thing is, not all of us can do that.

As we head into the deep freeze, keep this podcast handy. Put on your headphones for Podcast 583-Summer Storm and prepare to be transported to my porch during an awesome summer storm. Of course, you’ll have to put up with me talking in your ear about places I’ve been and places to go, but it’s better than looking out the window wishing it wasn’t twenty five below.

It is true we welcome the cold weather, at least the first blush and especially at Christmas Time. Trust me, though. You’re going to want to escape. If you can’t get away as soon as you’d like to or at all this year, Podcast 583-Summer Storm is your ticket to paradise. Summer in the Midwest. Storms. Thunder. Steady Rain. The hum of summer insects. Thoughts of rolling down two lane roads cutting through green fields. Freedom is a clean windshield and a full tank of gas.

Sponsored By Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 556-Defining Freedom

Podcast 556-Defining Freedom. There Is No Liberty Movement in the United States. Got a chance to talk about personal sovereignty on the radio and it was so much fun, I decided to do it as a podcast without the time constraints associated with radio. Plus, I do not have to do all the disclaimers about why I don’t like to take calls on talk radio anymore, and the commercial for my radio show, or the podcasts. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am much more a podcaster these days than a radio guy, although I will always love radio. Truth is, this concept for Podcast 556-Defining Freedom is a good radio show and podcast. With today’s political discourse descending into cartoonish fights, there’s little substance. I believe this is the cause of the rapid decline of the broadcast medium but it also applies to cable television news channels and unfortunately a good many You Tube, FaceBook and Twitter videos. Fighting back and forth about tactical political issues like Donald Trump’s Federal Tax Bill, Hillary Clinton’s Email and who called who a pig, by the way, is not substance but instead a distraction from the vital discussion we should be having; Neither one of the two major political parties is going to do anything about protecting your freedom. No one reads source material these days on economics, or history.  In fact, more than likely they’ll use your precious constitution and Declaration of Independence to take your freedom away. Even more depressing for some to hear; It will be the Republicans that do it. We already know democrats believe in the power of government to do ‘good’ things. Caught up in an ocean of political apologists shouting that if we don’t vote republican we’re going to get Hillary Clinton, we apparently don’t know The republicans are just as likely to limit our freedom as the democrats. While we’re caught up in the right-left political spectrum debate, both candidates are talking about taking more of our freedom away. How do you define freedom? I define it as Personal Sovereignty. The individual supersedes the government. Our right to sovereignty precedes the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. So how is it then, that we exist as servants to the government? How is it then, that the government thinks it is the sovereign. Nothing’s going to change until we take our power back. How do we do that? How can we benefit from the break down of the existing two-party system? How can we start a nationwide movement that ends government power over us permanently? Going to meetings and poring over copies of the constitution isn’t accomplishing this. That’s why I say, there is no liberty movement in the United States. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 554-Latest Election State By State Polls

Podcast 554-Latest Election State By State Polls. For you political junkies, which includes me, it’s been a month since the last analysis of political polls state by state, and I promised another one at the end of September, 2016. If you want to compare the two state by state poll podcasts to really get a sense of movement check out Podcast 541. I do not intend to analyze the debate. I will not tell you who won the debate. I will not tell you whether people pay attention to the debates. None of the current state by state polls were taken after the debates so they do not reflect the effects on either candidate of the debates. With this in mind, over 80 million people watched the September 26th debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The next state-by-state poll roundup podcast at the end of October will show what effect – if any – the debates may or may not have had. The biggest change between this podcast and the podcast in late August is that there are now more ‘toss up’ states — that is states with poll averages for president within the margin of error. In Podcast 554-State By State Polls, I am drawing on data from Real Clear Politics. Follow the link directly to an interactive electoral map of the United States and follow along, or may your own map. The tightening could be knock on effects from Clinton’s bad week of September 11th, or it could just be due to more polls closer to the election, when respondents start paying attention and are more likely to give responses. You’ll have to listen for my conclusions about whether more toss up states mean anything, but for the most part, both candidates are within the margins in 2012 and 2008 in the states they lead, or are trading leads. The big questions remain Florida, Ohio, Pennsyvania, Virginia, and to a lesser extent North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and western states like Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. This is a state by state electoral election, so the national polls don’t matter, and the snap polls on who won the debate don’t matter. All that matters is the candidate’s performance, and get out the vote efforts for them in key electoral states. Listen and learn the state by state strongholds, battlegrounds, advantages and disadvantages, roughly a month out. We’ll come back at the end of October and again just before the election in early November, and see how the campaigning, media, and news events have changed the political landscape. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul.