Where’s My ObamaNet? FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler wants to expand a program that dates back to at least the Bush Administration, which became known as the ‘Obama Phone’. Originally the program was intended to make sure older people with no communication could get phone lines, then it was expanded to include cell phones, and was made famous during the 2012 election cycle. Now the FCC wants to expand the program to include free broadband Internet! Surprise! We all pay extra on our phone bills to fund this program, now we’re paying so people who don’t work, can get free or low-cost Internet. When is it time to draw the line? Warning! This podcast includes a freewheeling discussion of technology it all its many forms, economic growth, dystopia, Paul Krugman, Solar Power, Wind Power, the smell of cigarettes and Martinis on a warm summer night, the sound of planes landing, and more! Big argument in the tech world after The New York Times Astrologer in Chief, Paul Krugman claimed the technology revolution has produced no economic growth. Is that true? Then there is the bizarre reaction to Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Machines, Robotics and Additive Manufacturing (to name a few new technologies) threatening to eliminate jobs. Most of the time, it’s disbelief, followed by the darkest predictions about the future. And yet, technology revolutions throughout history while tumultuous, result in economic growth and more jobs. Why does the future have to be so bleak? What if the future is so bright, you’ll have to wear shades? Now, you might have to wear shades because you live next door to a giant solar farm — subsidized by the state and federal governments — while solar produces less than one percent of our power and pollutes the Earth. Why is it, news coverage of the spread of ‘friendly’ solar power doesn’t include stories about the pollution in creating, and eventually disposing of panels, and batteries? Sponsored by Baklund R&D.
Dandelion Fire. Usually I don’t write podcast liner notes in the first person, but this podcast starts with a bit of my frustration with politics at this time. The actual presidential election is in 2016, but the way candidates and potential candidates are being covered, you would think it was next week. Can you imagine how sick and tired we will all be of this, in November of 2016? What’s the reason for all this coverage? A score or more of ‘candidates’ on the republican side. Most of which haven’t a prayer, but that doesn’t stop them. These Republican candidates are kind of like Ray Donovan’s father, Mickey. At the beginning they’re kind of fun, and very quickly you just wish they would leave. The first republican ‘presidential’ debates are scheduled for this August. THIS August. Meanwhile, while it can be said democrats have an uphill struggle for the presidency in 2016, losing an incumbent president, and the 2014 off year elections, there’s really only one democrat anyone in this country sees on a day to day basis. Analysts have seemingly missed the tremendous value Hillary Clinton will gain from her face, voice, words, and activities being covered 24/7, and talked about by republicans bent on her destruction. No wonder she has the highest name recognition of any candidate. What is the republican strategy with all this? Who knows. I don’t think they know. With Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindahl, John Kasick and Lindsay Graham about to add their names to the list, the republican presidential field is starting to look as big as congress itself! The new US Attorney General says Soccer in the US is corrupt. Meanwhile, in Minneapolis a rich businessman is trying to get taxpayers to foot the bill for a soccer stadium. Why is it you never hear inequality discussed when it comes to sports stadia? The Pedal Pub Stupidity continues in Minneapolis, with those arrested after they showed their ‘hate’ for pedal pubs by attacking one carrying a raft of off duty Burnsville Police Officers, using high velocity squirt guns and water balloons. Now comes the charges of abuse and – shock – profanity! And the blame of social media, from the University of Minnesota. Who’s to blame? The knuckleheads that thought attacking pedal pubs was a good idea. Those arrested were all adults in their twenties, thirties and forties. Some will be charged with felonies. Hopefully they will have a chance to mature in the work house. The Tribune screams, ‘Bridge Collapse’. A rail road bridge, that was on fire, in Northern Minnesota, had to be destroyed. Wait for the recriminations about ‘infrastructure’. Just remember, the Keystone Pipeline would have taken the pressure off rail to haul oil from North Dakota and Canada. Finally, a discovery about those white, snowflake like dandelion seed pods floating through the air. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Pedal Pub War. On a three-day weekend during which Americans remember those who have died in military service to the country, a group of bicyclists in Minneapolis decided to make war on people who enjoy the fun and conviviality of something called a ‘Pedal Pub’; a bar on wheels which the patrons pedal down the street. Apparently pedal pubs are so controversial that a group of brown shirted cycle thugs decided to go ‘mad max’ on the pedal pubs over the weekend, with water balloons and squirt guns. After two ‘successful’ attacks on unsuspecting pedal pubs, you can imagine the surprise when attackers learned the hard way they had attacked a pedal pub full of off duty Minneapolis police. Seriously? Who appointed bicyclists as the arbiters of all that is good and bad in the city? While thanking a veteran for their service is a good thing on any day, Memorial day has a specific purpose. Do you know what it is? Is it possible that ‘mindfulness’ training can actually cause depression and psychosis? Just ask Russell Brand and Gwyneth Paltrow (need we say more?). Finally, medical and scientific advances as well as development in IT put us on the edge of an age in which human beings can be modified genetically, aging can be slowed, even reversed, intelligence and strength can be enhanced. Not much is being written about the potential for the development of super human beings, literally Demigods. Would you get these enhancements if you could. Since these kinds of technological advances are always available to the rich first — because they’re expensive — will this create a special class of ‘enhanced’ humans to rule over the rest of us Plebeians? Updates for a slow start to a short work week after Memorial Day. Sponsored by X Government Cars.