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

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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 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show

Behind My Decision Canceling The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show

Big day at The Bob Davis Podcasts. Decided to stop doing my syndicated radio show; The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show. Podcasts only from here on. Pure Play Podcasting. Find out why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Mission Creep

The Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show has been on the air for seventy weeks. I started podcasting in 2009. After so many years I thought bringing content from my podcasts back to radio would be a good idea. Eventually I started posting the radio show as a podcast both to monetize it and because I wanted people to hear the show in the digital quality the Internet enables. In the end though, the show was beginning to take over the podcasts.

Podcasting vs. Radio

Pulling back the curtain for podcast subscribers starts with thanks, first of all, to Lee Michaels at Salem Broadcasting in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for believing in and airing the show. In the end, though, I came to realize radio and podcasting are two different mediums. For me the radio format has become too restrictive. I do not like what I sound like when talking about politics in the radio format. Plus podcasters can talk about other things that aren’t political. Like a trip to a motorcycle rally, an air show, or storm chasing.

Digital Marketing

Podcasters think having a radio show is a big deal. People think radio is a big deal. I don’t think it is anymore. Truth is digital marketing works better to build an audience for a podcast than radio. Podcasts have younger audiences more willing to take a chance on unique content. In Pure Play Podcasting we do not have to talk about issues the same old way. Hear about it in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Political Climate

Another factor is the political climate and mainstream media’s role in it. These days something true on Monday is proven false by Friday. Every media personality seems to be fighting to convince the audience of a certain point of view. Choosing a side and promoting that side has become the norm in modern ‘talk’. I don’t want to do that. I’ll tell you why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

French Revolution

Podcasters who only do podcasting may be the antidote for a discourse in this country that has come to resemble the French Revolution, as far as I am concerned. Thank you to those who helped me with the radio show. Thanks to the few that listened to The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show on the radio. Welcome to The Bob Davis Podcasts!

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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 605-Bannon’s Fourth Turning

Steve Bannon and The Fourth Turning

The President’s co chief of staff is obsessed with a book called The Fourth Turning. Podcast 605-Bannon’s Fourth Turning discusses reaction to the idea someone as powerful as Steve Bannon would formulate a political philosophy on a pop history/sociology best seller. The Fourth Turning co-author the late William Strauss was a playwright, theater director and lecturer. Co-author Neil Howe is a best selling author and consultant. Strauss and Howe coined the term ‘Millennial’. Both men described themselves as Amateur Historians. The Fourth Turning, Bannon’s apparent zeitgeist, was published in the early 1990’s. See a video of the two authors appearing on C-Span’s BookNotes here.

Chaos Dead Ahead

The book some say Steve Bannon has based his political philosophy on postulates every 80 years the United States is marked by crisis and chaos. Business Insider says Bannon believes the United States will soon reach our climax conflict and that Trump is in the White House to usher it in.

Is the United States in a Political Crisis?

Politicians tend to magnify the political challenges they face. Reporters play along. Divided since the beginning crises of one kind or another have been a way of life in the US. It’s very American to think of the government with distrust and apprehension. Especially when, as the saying goes, the legislature is in session. Are we in a political crisis?

Want To Know The Future?

Crisis will find the Trump administration. The response to crisis is what will determine it’s fate. Theories predicting ‘the’ crisis are questionable. Free Will is a gift to Human Beings. We think and act voluntarily. We can be the authors of our own stories. Controversy surrounding the Fourth Turning and Steve Bannon’s embrace of the theory encapsulates much of what is wrong with our politics. In Podcast 605-Bannon’s Fourth Turning I’ll tell you why.

One Day At A Time

Living one day at a time doesn’t mean avoiding passionate views. We do not remain passive and uninvolved but do the best we can with what we have. We will never know exactly what tomorrow may bring. Isn’t that the fun part of life?

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Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles

Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show #67

In Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles. He is known as Milo. A self described agent provocateur. A guy who took it to the left using the left’s tactic. A person who could cause left wingers to spontaneously combust. Taken down by the right. Another personality raised up to do people’s thinking for them. Someone to speak for so called conservatives.

These days videos and articles by personalities suffice as arguments. Someone getting the best of you on FaceBook? Don’t like someone’s tweet? Bam! Throw up the Milo video and the other guy is toast. Want to say something about politics? Post someone’s video or article about what you think. It’s the ‘What He Said’ method of political discourse. Of course the bigger they are the harder they fall.

Suddenly a heavily edited video tape from the near past emerged. Milo allegedly appearing to condone pedophilia, Goodbye Breitbart. See ya later Book Deal. Forget about taking the purple at the Vatican Conclave known as ‘CPAC‘. Post that Milo video now and you’re a pedophile too. There’s a vacuum in the market for ‘What He Said’ videos and articles. Don’t worry. Plenty of future Milo’s into the breech, boys.

Principles Over Personalities

We’re urged to put principles over personalities. What principles? What are the principles of the republican party? Free markets. Oh wait. We’re talking about trade protection. Republicans and so called conservatives are for Freedom too. Oops! Not if you’re taking about increasing NSA surveillance of people we don’t like. The GOP is for lower deficits and ‘smaller’ government. Oh wait. We’re going to have a trillion dollar stimulus package and cut taxes. So. Yeah. Before people can support principles over personalities a political movement has to have some principles. Neither the republicans or the democrats have any. Welcome to Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles.

Business Unfriendly

Also in Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles. A new study ranks the most business friendly states. Vermont and Minnesota lead the least business friendly states. Nevada, Texas and South Dakota lead the most business friendly. The biggest problem according to the study is that the least business friendly states seemingly have no intention of addressing the thicket of taxes and regulations that prevent the formation of small scalable businesses. A little principle here might be useful. Of course most of the time its republicans in states like Minnesota that often are the first to propose more government solutions to problems created by too much government.

Taxing Robots

Robots and AI are nothing more than sophisticated tools. People think nothing of using the wheel or a wrench but break out in a cold sweat when confronted with the feared robot. Bill Gates has a solution for all that. Tax Robots. Employees are usually the biggest cost center for businesses. Its natural to want to cut those costs as much as possible. Cutting costs and freeing human capital to do better things is a natural part of human progress. Let’s slow it down by making robots more expensive. Principles? Lots to talk about in Podcast 604-We Don’t Need No Stinking Principles.

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

 

Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society

Fighting and Arguing

A presidential press conference that had the look of a Dino De Laurentiis movie. Angry tweets. Arguments about whether the president is a narcissist or psychotic. These days the argument is the thing. Division. Confusion. Anger. Frustration with the fact that everything is political. A friend said recently, “When civil society breaks down everything becomes political”. The more we fight about politics the less we know. Argument and rhetoric have replaced substantive discourse. This idea forms the basis of Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society.

What is Civil Society

People think Civil Society these days is political action groups. Angry protests. Social media rants. Angry calls to talk radio. Everyone wants the silver bullet argument. We want to be the guy on TV that ‘takes it to them’. This is not civil society.  In Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society.

Stop Yelling and Start Building A Community

Civil Society is community. It is distinct from government and business. Civil Society is individuals working together to solve problems, build community and be good citizens. People who have learned from experience to build consensus to get things done. Civil Society is the core of your town, village, city, county and state.

Fighting and Arguing Does Not A Warrior Make

Do you show up to set the chairs up and make the coffee for the community meeting? Help your neighbors? Attend boring public meetings no one else cares about?  Are you one of those people who responds to calls for help in the community regardless of where they come from?. Are you willing to work with people you may not agree with politically? Show genuine concern for others through your actions? You’re the real warrior. Commentators and people who imitate them are not warriors and they are not leaders. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society

Eroding Civil Society

There are times when political action is called for. When people who have different points of view try to gather people to their cause. These can be bitter contests. Bitter feelings linger after contests that inevitably produce winners and losers. These days people won’t convene with anyone they don’t agree with. Discussions descend into bitter screaming matches on Social Media, Talk Radio, and Cable TV News. The media cultivates and encourages anti social behavior. Friendships are ended. Familial relationships are strained.

Don’t Argue

A true warrior doesn’t yell and scream. A leader is a good citizen people trust. These are people who understand people of like mind have to work to see that their ideas gain support. Protests and rallies serve a purpose but they are just a starting point. You don’t win in the rally. You win because you can work behind the scenes to build support for a concept, idea, or a solution to a problem.

It May Not Be Working Anymore

Recent studies show the stress levels of Americans increasing since the election. Not just the left. People on political right show the same kinds of intensifying stress levels. This kind of stress can’t be sustained. We might be seeing the end of the efficacy of rhetorical argument to fuel a movement. People may have just about had it with all the shouting and arguing regardless of where it is coming from. Maybe rebuilding civil society is a good first step.

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Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!

Talking Politics Is Work

It is difficult to contemplate or talk about politics. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything! a phrase attributed to screenwriter William Goldman is applied to American politics. The guy who wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All The President’s Men once said “Nobody Knows Anything”. Goldman was referring to Hollywood know-it-alls. In those days as today producers, professors and other so called experts wanted to make people think they knew the ‘formula’ for success in the movie business. The truth is making movies is almost always a gamble because no one knows what’s going to sell before the fact. Nobody Knows Anything.

Nobody Knows Anything And Our Politics

What goes for movies goes for American politics these days. Everyone has a voice. An audience. A constituency. Everyone wants to tell you what is happening. What to do about it and what will happen next. Everyone knows. Except no one really knows anything. From the highest of the high to the lowliest position on a small town board of education. Everyone has a voice they can’t wait to use but what they have to say is empty. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!

Tell Your Audience What They Want To Hear

Social media. Local radio. The Internet. Protect your audience. Tell it what it wants to hear. Get accolades, speaking fees, book sales, click throughs and even election certificates. Commentariat. Bloggers and podcasters. Comedians. Subpar politicians and local political operators. All ply their political but noncontroversial wares to people only too willing to applaud when they hear what they want to hear.

It’s All About Power

For those in what is called the Deep Government where policies are implemented everything is theater. Everything is Pay Back. Get Back. It’s all about power and games. Using your constituency to get what you want. In office. Out of office. All part of the game in the puzzle palace we call government  in Washington DC or your state capitol.

The Fairness Doctrine

30 years ago a regulation called ‘The Fairness Doctrine‘ was rescinded by the FCC. The Fairness Doctrine simply required broadcast licensees to both present controversial issues and to do so in a manner that was, in the FCC’s view honest, equitable and balanced. 30 years ago there was no social media. There was no political talk.

Political talk was something you heard on Sunday mornings or read on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. The news was something you heard at the top of the hour. With a technology and media revolution, political talk today isn’t just a virus. Political talk has become a cancer.

Political Saturation

Every political development is dissected, repurposed, rewritten, opinionated, worked over, subjected to satire and analysis. Today’s demons and today’s heroes. They’re only too happy to tell you what will happen tomorrow. The louder the cacophony grows the less we know. The solution isn’t some kind of new Fairness Doctrine. Maybe the cure is more of the disease. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!

Nobody Knows Anything

The big talk radio guy speaking at your local political dinner doesn’t know anything. The guy who has the You Tube Channel or the Podcast? Nope. The local radio station talk show? Talk radio now depends on people calling in who don’t know anything to add to the conversation by two guys who don’t know anything either. Clearly the White House doesn’t know. The Pentagon doesn’t know. The people at your state capitol don’t know. The people behind the desk on the 24 hour news channel don’t know either.

Saturation Point

Open your mouth about a political issue on social media and you’re branded. We’re saturated with political talk and political partisanship. Our differences are encouraged by know it alls commanding increasingly misinformed tribes fed a steady diet of what they want to hear. A few sell ‘expertise’ on the US Constitution. Some are self appointed media experts. Many are the founders of popup political movements. Many more are simply political operators selling their wares to the highest bidder, behind the scenes. These are the new carpet baggers.

Hungry For Leadership

Those sold to us as heroes turn out to be pygmies and charlatans. We read their books. We cheer and believe in them. When they are destroyed we move on. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything I share with you my utter disgust with the political process in this country. You can forget the labels. They all suck. Republicans. Democrats. Socialists. Populists. Libertarians. It’s all noise. Memes. Rants. Photos. Guest Appearances. Stand Ups in front of the capitol. Everyone wants to be the next Juke Box Hero.

Republicans who claimed to be for freedom and less government continue to expand the scope and cost of government. Democrats who claimed to be for the little guy are increasingly associated with the rich and powerful. Both sides want to increase the surveillance state and curtail your freedoms. Are we reaching a tipping point?

In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!.

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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 596-Our Values

Journalism’s new norm is reaction. It is called News. In Podcast 596-Values, news coverage today is a reaction to something someone said or wrote. News is reaction to a new initiative by some government entity. Donald Trump hasn’t been president for a month yet. Already it seems like a year. Trump’s pace of executive orders, executive actions, tweets and initiatives allows him to dominate the media battle space while he cooks up another controversy stew to cauterize yesterday’s controversy.

In Podcast 596-Values, where is the media battle ground? It’s not the Internet. It’s some some battlefield in Europe or Virginia where armies clashed. It’s not a battlefield with stories of élan, bravery or great deeds. The media battle space is our brain. This battlefield is as small or as expansive as it needs to be. As the media storm rages and the wind blows, how do we know our tent is securely fastened and isn’t going to blow away? It call comes down to something called values.

In Podcast 596-Our Values, time to take a pause in this daily insanity of back and forth partisan media coverage. A break from ‘journalists’ who call two or three people, get some quotes, write it up and call it a day. Time to take a look at what we believe as individuals and as a people. Democrat, Republican, Populist, Populist Nationalist, Libertarian, Communist, Socialist, Moderate, Partisan, and Extreme alike. We’re all on a journey together in our lifetime on this planet.

What do we believe? What are the Values we hold dear? Where do those values come from? How do those values anchor us when the gales of change blow up even when those gales are generated from the hot air of politicians in Washington? Politicians who cry and grandstand secure in the knowledge the things they say and do won’t be investigated for any length of time or to any real conclusion?

Reporters determine our values by looking at the latest poll or driving to a shopping center and asking people in the parking lot a few questions. The result is a few hundred words taking the ‘temperature’ of regular everyday ‘folk’. Don’t have any supporters of the president in your state to talk to? Just drive across the state line to the first town and sit in the parking lot of a Safeway or Piggly Wiggly until mom and the kids show up, or chat up and write up what old uncle Frank thinks, while he sits in his 1997 Lincoln waiting for Aunt June. The headline? “Middle America Supports Trump”. Boom.

Work on a national TV show? Find that article about middle america. Get that pollster on the show. Find that Congressmen who says that crazy stuff. Get that woman on from that foundation. Say some stuff. Get some calls. Move on to the next ‘story’. Clicks. Listens. Comments. Calls. Ratings!

The battlefield is the mind. How do you avoid becoming a casualty in the partisan political war? It’s increasingly a battlefield filled with threats. More and more it’s a battlefield better characterized as a moonscape no man’s land, where the shell shocked wander, dazed and confused. Survival in this environment depends on what we believe. Why we believe it. Where we learned it. Who taught us. Where we get our information. How we check our information. What anchors us in the storm, or what kind of ground we have pounded our tent pegs into.

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.