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 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.

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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 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 570-Election 2016 Results

Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results. Comprehensive analysis and minute by minute vote totals for Election 2016. How do podcasters cover presidential elections in real time without being live on the air, and without streaming? Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results shows you how. Follow along as I experience the election in real time on November 8th, 2016. The world seems surprised at news that Donald J. Trump has won the presidential election in The United States. Podcast 570 and Podcast 569 are meant to be listened to as companion podcasts. Since I did not endorse either candidate, I was able to provide objective analysis and experience the race objectively. Podcast 569 broke down the final poll data for the state by state races, avoiding any analysis of the national presidential preference polls. This minimized the surprise for anyone subscribing to the Bob Davis Podcasts, because you already knew no one could comfortably call this race. That did not stop the charlatans in talk radio, cable news and on line from attaching probabilities, or calling the race for one or the other. Not only was this race surprising overall, it was surprising on the state by state level. For the most part though, the state by state polls were either close to the totals in some cases, or within the margin of error. The US election is a state by state election, with the electoral college actually choosing the president on or about the 15th of December. In this hour plus long podcast I’m joined by friends, and family on the phone as well as a late night visit from local Minnesota Politico and web developer Mitch Rossow. At the close of this podcast we’re still waiting for Michigan and Minnesota returns to come in. I’ll have to update those on the next podcast. With Republicans retaining the Senate and the House majorities, and now winning the Presidency, now it is a question of the way forward. We’ll be talking about these issues and more on future podcasts. Pundits like to say the country is divided. What they might say is we can now agree on one thing. The worst election in recent memory is now, mercifully, over. And, tomorrow is another day, after all. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.

Podcast 568-BobDavisPodcastRadioShow-51

Podcast 568-BobDavisPodcastRadioShow-51. Setting the stage for the final two podcasts of Election 2016. Observations from the Fall 2016 mega trip. Fom Minneapolis to Seattle, down the PCH to Los Angeles, across the desert to Phoenix, across New Mexico to Roswell, up through the Texas Panhandle, through Oklahoma and Kansas back to the upper midwest. A circuit of the country that leaves an indelible impression on the eve of the 2016 election. In Podcast 568-BobDavisPodcastRadioShow-51, extemporaneous talk in four segments about the effects of travel. Seeing the country softens your judgements and opinions and strengthens the conclusion that the worldview we’re being fed in the media is not the real world. In reality people are going about their business, raising their families, living their lives. In reality America’s economy is a force of nature that does not react well to government attempts to stimulate or control it. In reality the roads and bridges are not crumbling. In reality people are not at each other’s throats. What is happening is a political realignment. Election 2016 may be the first indication of the coming realignment that may take a view cycles to work itself out. With so much focus on former ‘rust belt’ states and cities like Ohio and Michigan it is almost as if there’s a denial of the juggernaut that is the west coast, from Los Angeles to Seattle, or the industrial agriculture and energy producing states like Texas, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota. In the end, the election will be a state by state affair. In the end there could be surprises, or it may turn out to be a pretty conventional election compared to the last three or four cycles. While the media loads new story lines meant to control you, and push you into a decision, take a moment and allow this podcast to set the stage for what is about to happen. Or not. Sponsored by X Government Cars.

Podcast 555-The Bob Davis Radio Show-46

Podcast 555-The Bob Davis Radio Show-46. An all new podcast doubling as the radio show for this week. There’s two considerations here. First, if you’re a subscriber to The Bob Davis Podcasts, repeating content in the radio show is, well, repetitive. Second, the podcasts this week, whether Podcast 554 (State by State poll run down) or Podcast 553 (Interview with AgoraFest‘s Nik Ludwig), the content doesn’t lend itself well to be excerpted. So, for Podcast 555-The Bob Davis Radio Show-46, I did a completely new segment updating the polling data for just the so called ‘Toss-Up’ States in Election 2016 with special attention paid to the Senate races in key states. I also added a segment with a little bit more of a primer about polls, and how they are used or misused in media coverage. These two benchmarks; Podcast 554 and Podcast 555-The Bob Davis Radio Show-46 are great to listen to because then when you hear or see new information on state by state polling, you’ll understand which states are important and how the polling in that state may have changed. You’ll also understand trending polls from different pollsters isn’t necessarily providing an accurate picture of what’s going to happen when people actually vote. I use the electoral map from Real Clear Politics and you can follow along if you want. Others are available. Almost all of them are interactive. Finally, some words about Individual Sovereignty. There’s a lot of back-and-forth in this election cycle and a lot of coverage of the back-and-forth; What this one said about that one, whether this is going to effect his or her poll numbers. There’s a lot of content from shills defending one candidate or attacking another. There’s been very little actual discussion about what freedom is or how these new representatives, senators and presidents are going to insure we get to keep it. We can get distracted by the shiny things in the woods, or we can stay focused on claiming our personal sovereignty. How we personally define freedom in the coming months and years is going to become very important. The current two-party system is coming to an end. That is; The Republican and Democratic parties have lost touch with the people. Something new is coming and we need to make sure whatever that is protects and defends our individual freedom. Sponsored by X Government Cars.

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.

Podcast 553-AgoraFest’s Nik Ludwig

Podcast 553-AgoraFest’s Nik Ludwig. ‘Agorism’ or being an ‘Agorist’ has been defined a few different ways. Samuel Edward Konkin III says Agorism is simply “thought and action consistent with freedom’. Konkin also says Agorism is an “ideology…but it is also a scientific and definitely materialist way of thinking”, as opposed to say, a religious system of thought. AgoraFest celebrates Market Anarchy. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you have a weekend and you enjoy camping, listening to music, eating, consuming your choice of beverage be it coffee or beer, and endless substantive conversation, then you’ll enjoy AgoraFest. At last year’s AgoraFest – my first – I sat down with founder Nik Ludwig for a free wheeling conversation about the event and Agorist ‘way of thinking’. This year I continue the tradition. For last year’s conversation, check out  Podcast 416. This year we delve a little deeper into the concept of what real liberty is, with little reverence to the things mainstream ‘liberty’ advocates hold dear, like the US Constitution, American Exceptionalism, and a system of government sometimes reverently referred to as a ‘Representative Republic’. Joined by a phalanx of ‘AgoraFesters’, Nik shreds virtually all the preconceived notions of what most people on the right, even and especially the far right, think they are fighting for, and yes, even the Libertarians take their share of criticism. This is why AgoraFest isn’t for the faint of heart. Agorists don’t shred these notions because they’re advocating for their point of view. In fact, they’re more likely to disagree with you just because you agree with them (my kind of people, by the way). The whole point is open minds, the joy of discussions about any topic under the sun as long as it isn’t what they call ‘political violence’; the same old crap you hear on CNN and Fox News about the two party’s mainline candidates this year. You’re likely to sit down to breakfast and before you’ve had your coffee someone will ask you whether you think it is possible for a person to legally sell themselves into slavery, and in the next breath start talking about longevity drugs or fusion reaction. I can tell you one thing; Not one person brought up the Vikings, the Republican Party, whether they’d pulled the dock in yet for winter, or when the deer hunting trip is scheduled for this fall. Everyone was full on engaged in substance; even the question of whether Angelina Jolie was more beautiful than Jennifer Anniston, because value is subjective. So next year I’d love to see you at AgoraFest. Thanks to Nick and Steve and everyone else for making it a great weekend. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.