Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

We hear a lot of words used to describe various political factions in the US. Most will say the US economic system is capitalist but is this just an illusion? Are we socialist? Have we been socialist for a long time? It seems to me, we have. In Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Socialism Is Everywhere

Just because a country’s economic system is socialist, does not mean it’s a tyranny. Denmark and Canada aren’t dictatorships. Singapore is a Socialist Market Economy. Places where ‘the people’ own or control the means of production. Most socialist countries these days enjoy democratic political systems.

Government and Non Profits Dominate State Economies

Americans think of themselves as capitalists. The thing is, the top three employers in my state are public institutions. Americans depend on social security, medicare, or medicaid ‘entitlements’. Home buyers get tax subsidies. We enjoy many tax deferred investment options. Farmers get subsidies. Public workers get pensions. All kinds of grants for education exist. Then there are the business subsidies and government contracts. Some popular business personalities receive billions in subsidies from the government. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Both Parties Support Socialism

Democrats complain about light rail projects running through their backyards, but support government programs because ‘It’s the right thing to do’. Republicans complain about big government unless it’s the military, support for their businesses, home mortgage tax credit, social security and 401K programs.

The Right Thing To Do

It’s true that many of these programs date back to the depression in the 1930’s. Also true that creation of these programs came with the best intentions. Whether we like it or not, government is deeply involved in our lives. Of course, what the government giveth, the government takeaway. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Classic Liberalism Is Forgotten

Republicans and Democrats argue the same side of the coin. Both are collectivists. Neither adhere to Classic Liberalism, a philosophy of limited government with the sole purpose of securing a maximum amount of individual liberty, property rights and free markets. While no political scientist would argue the US is Socialist maybe we should consider the possibility we are and have been for some time.

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Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624

Summer is coming. Peak Road Trip season in the United States. In Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624 we consider some road trip ideas, past and future.

Do You Travel Well?

Travel requires a bit of zen. A ‘let it come’ attitude. Excitable, exacting and difficult people don’t always travel well. There will be delays, bad food, wrong turns and unmet objectives. Those moments are usually when the magic happens. If you can let it happen. You want an objective, but you don’t want to over plan.

Weekend Road Trip or Mega Road Trip?

My preference is for the mega trip. Across the northern United States, down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. Down through the mid south all the way around Florida, along the gulf coast, back up through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Iowa to Minnesota. On those long trips you feel like you’re sailing. You forget what ‘home’ is, and let go.

So Much To See

Truth is, there are so many places to see within a day’s reach. All too often those of us who prefer the mega road trip forget the gems just around the corner. State Parks, small towns, little bits of forgotten history.

In The Blood

Most people I know who love long road trips have it in their blood. They remember warming up the wagon in the cold light of dawn in Illinois, or Massachusetts for the big escape to warmer Floria around Christmas time. Rock City, brand new freeways, Stuckey‘s, Travel-all and Howard Johnson’s.

What Is It About Road Trips?

You don’t need much money. Camping or staying in cheap motels. Alone or with friends or family. You see. Pass through. Learn. Butte, Montana. Duluth, Minnesota. Lincoln City, Oregon. Bizbee, Arizona. Mountains. Beaches. Deserted highways in the middle of the night. Everyone who travels comes back with great stories and memories. There’s no right or wrong. No arguing about whether Rapid City is better than Great Falls.

Enjoy

In Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624, just some thought starters for your next trip. Whether you’re pulling a vintage trailer, driving a brand new SUV, rolling in style in some kind of massive motor home or sporting the ten year old Subaru, there’s nothing like the call of the open road.

Sponsored by X Government Cars

Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624

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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The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619

Different Mysteries Left and Right

Susan Rice is the leaker. A political Flack. Running an operation to discredit the new president before he took office. Rice is at least guilty of a felony. At least that’s the story the right wing commentators are telling. In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

On the left it’s a different story. National security became a top concern after someone hacked the DNC computers. The Russians did it. The Russians did it because Trump did some kind of back room deal.

Opinion Is Not News

In America’s increasingly partisan media most people only want their beliefs confirmed. There’s no chance a political point of view different from my own can be right. Is there? A sea of information. Where opinion masquerades as fact and personalities beat the drums. We’re supposed to dance to their rhythm.

We Know Nothing…yet

Real Facts? In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 we’ll see there are few facts. Russians hacking the DNC? Not so fast. Trump making deals behind the scenes with Putin? Obama ordering illegal surveillance of a president elect? Maybe. Maybe not.

Tin Foil Hats Anyone?

Evidence supporting claims of the right and left in this case is thin. All of it has the classic elements of conspiracy theory. So we’ll take a moment in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 to detail the known facts. You can draw your own conclusions. Mystery lovers beware though. We’re along way from wrapping this one up in the final chapter.

Basic Framework

Is Susan Rice a political operative? What is the legal framework regarding National Security Agency intercepts. Why did the Trump administration leak NSA documents to a congressmen? What provoked the president to tweet he was ‘wiretapped’ in the first place? Is there a difference between a wiretap and an NSA intercept? Who gets to see intercepts? What are the significant legal justifications for executive orders in 2011 and 2017 allowing sharing in the first place. Lots of questions.

Where There’s Smoke

One thing is true. The dust kicked up by the Susan Rice story obscures real developments. North Korean Missiles. Syrian chemical weapons. Congressional action on the ACA, Tax Reform and Immigration. We’ll talk about it in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

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Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617

When You’re Up To Your Ass In Alligators It’s Hard To Remember Your Original Objective Was To Drain The Swamp. The president has turned Freedom Caucus supporters into enemies. Republicans learn governing without principle is tough. In Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Republican Division Caused By The Left?

If you want to know the truth, so the saying goes, don’t have an opinion. Some republicans believe their division is caused by the political left.  What’s dividing republicans is a lack of adherence to principle.

Drinking From A Poisoned Well

One of the lines from the “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” is, “Water Water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink”. The republican ship sits in a becalmed salt water sea, unable to drink, dying of thirst. Surrounded by a sea of information. Dying from a lack of wisdom. Talk about it in Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Details Details

North Korea? Budgets? Policy? Subsides? Federal Agencies and what they do? Foreign Relations? Whatever. Drain the swamp and call me when it’s over.

Goals and Principles

What is the goal of the modern republican party? Populism? I’ll tell you why the media’s term for republicans these says is more poison. What are the principles of the GOP these days? Why did you vote? Was there a reason behind why you got involved in politics in the first place?

House Divided

A political party that follows too many threads and calls them ‘principles’ is a party that can easily be divided. Churchill saved the west with one idea in mind. Never Give Up.

Controlling Means of Production

It seems like America is living in a socialist construct. Republicans and Democrats have consistently voted for community control through direct ownership or regulation of the means of production. Yes, Republicans and Democrats have built and empowered the surveillance state, conducted the wars, added regulations, let out the contracts.

Dependency

These days, dependence on the state isn’t just for the urban poor. Corporations and individuals are widely dependent on the government for all kinds of payments, contracts, subsidies and opportunities.

Freedom Isn’t Free

Freedom is a radical idea. We have less and less of it these days. If you want a party that promotes freedom more is required of you than repeating slogans and wearing hats. Freedom asks more than supporting a personality. Join me in Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

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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?

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Podcast 607-Twila Brase-CCHF-ObamaCare Repeal-Real ID

Top issues in the coming weeks. Real ID. Repealing ObamaCare. President of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom Twila Brase joins The Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show 68 this week in Podcast 607-Twila Brase-CCHF-ObamaCare Repeal-Real ID. Your issue is health care and privacy? Twila Brase is a nationally recognized expert on these issues.

Real ID

Minnesota Republicans have once again proved themselves to be slaves of the Chamber of Commerce or ‘The Chambers Of Italian Fascism‘. Republican legislators are pushing Real ID. Real ID is a national ID Card. “You won’t be able to get on an airplane without one”. “You won’t be able to visit your sons and daughters on military bases without one”. “48 states have already approved Real ID”. Not True. Twila lays out the real deal in Podcast 607-Twila Brase-CCHF-ObamaCare Repeal-Real ID.

ObamaCare Repeal. Maybe.

Since 2010 repealing the ACA has been the centerpiece of the GOP campaigns. Republicans control Congress and the Executive Branch. Suddenly they’re singing a new song. Repeal. Maybe. Repair. Reform. Twila lays out the complex effects of ObamaCare. She’ll tell you why tax credits and maintaining medicaid benefits won’t fix it. The culprits are Managed Care and government regulation.

Breaking Their Promise

Promises on the campaign trail. Demands to repeal ObamaCare. Now its more complicated than they thought. Now Republicans have a secret plan to ‘fix’ it. Broken promises can be a tough sell come election day. Longer it takes. Closer we get to election 2018. The more wobbly they get. President Trump included.

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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 603-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes

We Love To Talk About The Weather

n Podcast 603-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes, people who live in the Upper Midwestern United States love to talk about the weather. Weather is safe. Talking about the weather offers a respite from political nonsense. Everyone has a pet theory about weather in all four seasons in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and Iowa.

Here It Comes

When it comes to a predicted snowstorm we go into high gear. Snow out west has given way to severe weather predictions for Minnesota. Heavy Snow. Severe Winds. Blowing Snow. The return of winter to the plains and upper midwest. After a long period of unseasonably warm weather the cold returns. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 602-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes.

March Is The Cruelest Month Maybe

In our neck of the woods we often say March is the cruelest month. 20 days or so before Daylight Savings and the start of spring does not mean daisies and green fields in Minnesota. It could mean deep snow drifts and freezing temperatures.

Biggest Snow Storms In Minnesota

While late February and March is a transition period the standard weather theory is the biggest snow storms come in March. Statistically though, the biggest snowstorms have been in December and January, with only the fourth largest storm in Minnesota history occurring in March.

From November 1940 to Halloween 1991

Everyone here remembers the great Halloween Storm of 1991. Most everyone remembers twin snowstorms that his in January of 1982. The old folks remember the famous Armistice Day storm of 1940. Those did not occur in March. What happens in March though usually, is gloomy, rainy, snowy and cold weather. I’ll provide a list of the biggest storms in Podcast 603-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes.

We Aren’t Worthy

Warmer weather has lulled us into a false sense of security. Warm is something we Lutheran and Catholic Minnesotans do not deserve. When it is warm for too long in the winter we feel there must be a pay back.

We’re Gonna Get Clobbered

As if on cue, the National Weather Service models predict the possibility of a major winter storm with high winds and so much precipitation and if it is cold enough and conditions just right we will get clobbered. Accumulations of between ten and twenty inches of snow. A major winter storm. Get the details in Podcast 602-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes.

A Kid’s View of Severe Weather

In Podcast 602-Snowstorm! Predictions Stories Hopes some stories about extreme weather. Tornadoes. Snow Storms. The twister scene of the Wizard of Oz. Twisters that destroyed towns in Xenia Ohio, Siren Wisconsin and in Missouri. Tornadoes that blew over my house when I was a kid. Yes, they do sound like freight trains. Snowstorms that made schoolers happier than Christmas morning.

Turn Up The Heat and Plan The Menu

Get ready to make the trip to the store before the shelves are picked clean, Walking Dead style. Plan your menu. Get ready to settle in. Listen to a ridiculous list of tips for ‘staying alive’ during a snow storm. Get ready to shovel. The National Weather Service is predicting a major winter storm. No one is safe! Look at it this way. It gives us something to talk about on the bus.

Sponsored By Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars.

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!.

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