Off The Rails. As we head into the long fourth of July weekend, world events aren’t taking the weekend off. On the heels of the British Exit vote, comes the Istanbul attack. Apparently we now live in an upside down world where speech is considered so dangerous, Nigel Farage’s speech to the European Union Parliament – an unelected body – can be considered hate speech, while an actor accepting an award in the United States — where free speech is a constitutional right — considers opinions opposite to his own on race to be so dangerous those who speak them should ‘sit down and shut up’. Then, inexplicably, in the wake of obvious ISIS style terror attacks in Istanbul, Secretary of State Kerry warns people not to rush to judgement on whether ISIS is involved or not. So let me get this straight. Speech is more dangerous than men with AK-47’s wearing suicide vests? Moreover, the Republican standard bearer – so far – is a trade protectionist who wants to double down on the Bush Steel Tariff debacle, republicans including a former president, are endorsing the ‘presumptive’ democratic nominee while Bernie Sanders of all people came off as the most reasonable person in Washington this week when he warned democrats to heed the results of the British Vote for what it might mean to ‘establishment’ politicians like Hillary Clinton. Off The Rails you say? Hell yes. There is a palpable feeling that all this is leading up to a major event; something that cannot be foreseen that changes everything: The stock market crash of 1929, Pearl Harbor, the JFK assassination, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and 9-11. World changing events after which you say, “Remember what things were like back in…? It’s so different now.” Have you ever been lost hiking? At some point you look up and say, “Where the Hell am I?”. Its feels like that kind of a moment in the world right now. How did we get here? What happens now? A late night podcast from the deck, examining these issues, but not too deeply. It is after all the 4th of July weekend, let’s party like it’s 2016. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, and X Government Cars.
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 517-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-32. With huge reaction in the financial markets, the media and in political circles raging over the British vote to exit the EU this week, it seems as though 2016 just kicked off in earnest. In fact, for me this week flew by. One of the week’s features was the visit of my son. Andrew Davis joined me on a radio show I did last week for the Northern Alliance, and then we came back to the ‘broadcast bunker’ to have some steak, father and son time, and record a podcast. Honestly, I would probably not have talked that much about the potential for the Brits to leave the EU and the impact on foreign trade, the markets and politics. Andrew Davis is an International Relations guy, with some experience in government (working on Capitol Hill for a couple of years). Our conversations about trade and the potential for a British Exit turned out to be prescient, given the surprise of a close vote in Britain on the EU question. My problem with the whole issue isn’t the vote so much as the coverage of this story by the media, and the coverage of trade issues in the United States. While trade as a whole is a complex issue that can’t be explained away with a soundbite or snarky comment, it is also a core issue in the 2016 election cycle. It is amusing and instructive that during the run up to the vote in Britain, republican candidate for the nomination Donald Trump said, as a private citizen that he could understand why the British would want to leave the EU, while President Obama condescended to lecture British on why they should stay and Hillary Clinton supported Obama. For its part the media characterized, and demonized a no vote as ‘xenophobic’, ‘populist’ and ‘nationalist’. My question is, what if the people have no words anymore to describe the frustration of living under a regime of regulation, taxation, laws that nudge (governenment-ese for encourage) certain behaviors and get in our business in so many other irritating ways? We’ve lived under a construct that government is the solution for so many years we don’t even have the words to oppose it anymore, but we do still have a vote…for the time being. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Hydrus.