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 518

Skyfall. Last week’s vote by Britain to exit the European Zone provoked some of the most hysterical media coverage of an international news story I’ve seen in a long time. To begin with, there was little detailed coverage before the vote. Things we would need to know after the vote, like whether it was binding, how long it would take to negotiate an exit, what trade agreements might be effected, the defense agreements Britain has with other nations, the economic condition of the EU, Britain’s economic contribution to the EU in general, the percentage of the UK’s GDP accounted for in European Trade and so on. Then there is the issue of the world media being ‘on board’ with the remain vote, or at the very least reporting the story line that ‘leave’ would not pass. Consequently, no one was more surprised by a leave vote victory than the perfumed princes sitting in their air conditioned studios. If Skyfall was the fictional last resort of the embattled James Bond in the movie of the same name, watching anchors and pundits tear their hair out, one would think England is heading to Skyfall as we speak! Perhaps the EU’s unelected ‘leaders’ should be the ones heading to Skyfall. ‘Markets Crash’, the media moaned. From a distance, one might be forgiven for believing ‘The End Of The World’ is indeed near. Better head to Skyfall as a last resort! All is lost. The Leave Victory has jostled the carefully constructed ‘citizen of the world’ senses of a younger generation that apparently does not know the world existed before the EU. Well, the truth is the markets will regain their composure. In fact the British Pound recovered to pre-vote levels the Friday after the vote. It’s a tough thing to hear, but the EU has had problems for some time now, specifically the EURO, as southern Europe’s spendthrift policies have led them to demand relief from Northern Europe. Add to that trouble with the ECB, unpopular regulation and a failure to do anything about the Syrian refugee problem, and one wonders whether the EU hadn’t better clean up its act. Maybe Merry Old England delivered a slap in the face to the velvet suited technocrats, so they would go about getting their proverbial act together. Yes, there are real concerns going forward; What trade deals have to be renegotiated? While defense pacts like NATO really aren’t subject to EU control, there are concerns about defense issues and what about the idea of a strong European Community to foster cooperation and peace, to serve as a counterweight to an expansionist Russia, as well as China. There’s a lot to be worked out, but it isn’t the end of the world. The fact is, we are entering a new time, a new day, with new ideas and concerns. People may not have the language to describe their discontent and even disgust with over controlling governments, the edicts of unelected technocrats who spite ‘the great unwashed’, at their peril. When the winds of change blow, electorates have a funny habit of unpredictably lowering the boom on the haughty and confident. A new day indeed. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul. 

Podcast 482

The Story Less Travelled. As the pay for play media continues to chatter about what Donald Trump did this week, or Bernie Sanders’ predictions about democrat super delegates switching allegiance to him, maybe it’s time to take a look at The Story Less Travelled. Some percolating stories and issues people really aren’t talking about because they’re arguing about how tabloids post stories, how Internet rumors get started, how Donald Trump is going to make US allies pay ‘us’ for security, or why Bernie Sanders’ thinks Detroit became a hell hole in the last fifty years. There are real things happening in the world, most of which are reported on but not occupying very much attention, because too many pundits, talk hosts, talking heads, editors and managers are doing the bidding of political parties, candidates and their minders. What happens if Saudi Arabia decides to switch their alliance to China and Asia, which will account for the lion’s share of growth in energy consumption over the next ten years? What happens when economic instability due to massive debt and low profits comes home to roost in the banking system? How do you feel about academics going around saying the days of 4 percent and greater economic growth are over, and the solution is a world wide socialism-lite system, with more government and higher taxes? How will future presidents – the people filling your television screen with nonsense right now, and getting accolades from talkers, pundits and so called experts for it – confront a collapsing China, a Europe embroiled in a guerrilla war with thousands of ISIS fighters, and an economic depression. Maybe we should be talking about The Story Less Travelled more than what they want us to talk about. Sponsored by X Government Cars, Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park and by Hydrus. (Editor’s Note: This is not a ‘transcript’. Each podcast, which is original content in itself, also is accompanied by a short blog about the podcast. This blog is also original content, not a repetition of what is in the podcast, but a discussion of some of the ideas in the podcast. If you want to know what’s in the podcast, listen to it.)

Podcast 438

Post Paris Reset. In an odd way there isn’t much to add to the observations in Podcast 437. Almost everything predicted regarding coverage of and reaction to the Paris Attacks has come true. In the aftermath of ‘Paris’, an hour or two spent with cable news yields little new information, but provokes an emotional response with viewers. This emotional response is intensified hour after hour as the same footage is replayed, the crawl at the bottom of the screen details the statements of politicians, while ‘experts’ argue on screen. Conversely, in ten minutes spent on line, one gets an idea of the contours of new developments with the story. Yet, people sit staring at Cable TV News for hours expecting some new development, getting more and more frustrated and angry, or afraid and concerned. This doesn’t advance the story, and doesn’t make it any easier to understand what has happened and what can be done about it. The media is complicit in creating an all-or-nothing, right-left, up or down orientation to every story, especially big stories that get covered and discussed hour after hour. The results are predictable; Politicians are already urging we send hundreds of thousands of troops into Iraq, or to ‘declare war on ISIS’. The only reasonable conclusion that has been drawn is that the Syrian refugee program in the US should be suspended until Congress can determine whether the vetting process is effective or not and even that has become a contentious issue to be argued ad infinitum. Meanwhile we’re no closer to developing a foreign policy that addresses Russia, the Rise of China and Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and terrorism. Politically, we don’t seem to have any idea where we want to be as a country in fifteen or twenty years. Given this philosophical vacuum, the same voices that got us into Iraq twice in the last 20 years are already advocating a continuation of the same failed policies, with predictably negative results. Is this what you want? Best be sure, because you’re about to vote for it. Again. Sponsored by Hydrus, Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate

Podcast 437

STFU Media. Most of the time the blog I write to describe each podcast, as long term subscribers to the Bob Davis Podcasts know, is written in the third person. Not this one. In the wake of the Paris Terror attacks I am grateful I’m not getting paid to go on the air, flap my jaws, and spread utter nonsense about a breaking news story no one knows anything about as it breaks. This was the case for the weekend of November 13th, as terrorists attacked a theater in Paris, France. What is the total effect of this cavalcade of nonsense? Nothing will happen. There will be counterstrikes which will be pin pricks. Speeches will be given. Statements of ‘solidarity’ will be issued. There will be pledges to bring the ‘attackers to justice’, but that’s all a bunch of bull. These kinds of attacks benefit the media, the state and the terrorists. No matter what our so called leaders tell you, they’re not going to do anything about anything. Instant experts appear on television to pimp their blogs, books and radio shows. Politicians appear to make strong statements of condemnation or to suggest carefully that we ‘avoid the rush to judgement’, and the terrorists claim credit. Everyone wins, right? Given the stellar examples of US Government competence like the VA, the Obama Care Website, Amtrak, and the Department of Education, do we really believe they are going to be able to protect citizens from a bunch of determined terrorists with Ak-47’s, grenades and suicide belts? I wouldn’t hold my breath. As a presidential election cycle approaches candidates are throwing out one liners as ‘solutions’. It’s always someone else who has to ‘do something’. It’s as easy as pushing a button on your car radio, or switching to another cable news channel for the same nonsense under a different label. Except it isn’t. I’ve done several foreign policy podcasts and I have said again and again the United States needs a new foreign policy, and that it isn’t going to come out of a can or box. No one seems to have thought much about that, least of all the voters. The truth? We’re at the beginning of at least a multi decade struggle for our survival and something tells me, we’re still completely unprepared. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Pride of Homes

Podcast 418

Live From The Kitchen. The last few days in podcasting have been busy. Back in the bunker, and pleasantly exhausted from the weekend at Agorafest 2015, time for a podcast live from the kitchen. After a great dinner, sipping back coffee going over the day’s and the week’s news in the wake of a weekend discussing political and social concepts. It seems the news is more and more a rehash rather than focused on what really matters. It was said this weekend that the GOP has probably created more anarchists than anything else. That might be amended to suggest both mainline political parties are creating frustrated and angry people, and apparently not listening to them. It isn’t that congress can’t get anything done, it’s what congress, and the president actually does that’s creating the frustration, anger, discord and angst. We’re back to calling anyone who can’t be categorized a ‘populist’, including Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump the UK’s labor leader Jeremy Corbin and oddly enough, Pope Francis. The populist movement in the United States was primarily a movement that served the interests of midwestern farmers against the Republican and Democrat parties, and bears little resemblance to rhetoricians, marxists, and socialists. Yet the media continues to throw out the term, as though people actually understand what it means. As the Republican Speaker of the House resigns amid the ‘planned parenthood shut down fight’, people naively wonder whether the next speaker will be more ‘conservative’. Emphatically yes, they are all conservative in the sense that they serve the interests of big government against all the people. That makes them conservative statists (in my view conservative socialists) regardless of whether they have a D or an R after their name. This is the problem in American politics, not whether the Federal Government funds Planned Parenthood. Shut it down! Yes! Shut it down. Pull the fuel lines and plugs and batteries and let it rot in the wheat field! Don’t waste your breath on distractions, shut the government down because it is out of control, and all our so called representatives are part of the problem, they are certainly not the solution. We need new ideas, new concepts and these are not the people who will find them, develop them, and support them. Two stories to watch right now. One is economic, and the other is Russia in Syria. As debt levels increase to dangerous levels, the world’s central banks don’t know what to do. The danger of a meltdown is increasing. Putin has Obama checkmated in Syria. First the administration denied the Russians were going into Syria, then they minimized it. Now they’re actually negotiating with Putin. Russia is now fighting against ISIS, allied with Assad and Iran and Iraq. Where’s the US? Testing the idea of ‘non-interventionist’ foreign policy while Putin practices Realpolitik and Realist Foreign Policy brilliantly. Clearly it is necessary to point out yet again that we have exceeded all the political, social and economic constructs of the last thirty years and something new is coming. Are we ready for it? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Trucks