Travel Frustrations. When traveling sometimes, nothing goes as planned, and even the smallest effort to go where you intended, or do what you intended, fails. Its frustrating and eventually mind numbing. The bane of the digital traveler these days is Internet service that is too slow, spotty, or not robust enough to accommodate file uploads. Attempt after attempt to upload failed, in different villages all over Maryland’s Eastern Shore. From Salisbury, to Easton, and finally to Rock Hill. Literally the ends of the earth … but in the process riding on two lane farm roads in what is probably one of the most beautiful parts of rural America, in the middle of some of the largest population centers on the East Coast. There’s a great opportunity out there for enterprises to get free WIFI and robust Internet service right. As more and more people consider ‘untethering’; Something more big companies than you think are considering. It means closing offices, getting rid of big staffs and running things from the road, untethered. This is supposedly made easier with high speed Internet and WIFI, and autonomous software that does the work of the back office. All fine and well, but the places you want to go sometimes just don’t have the capabilities to accommodate a digital ‘road warrior’. So far, Starbucks has it down cold, with high speed internet for uploads, and free WIFI. Nothing to sign up for, nothing to log in on, no nonsense. There may be other solutions fine for surfing the net, but when it comes to uploading it’s a different story. Note to someone; We can’t work untethered if the upload capacity isn’t there. In spite of all that, there is enough technology present in the Mobile Podcast Command Unit, to make it possible to do quality audio from the road. The bottle neck is sending it somewhere. Travel may be frustrating but the happy accidents are what makes it worth the time. Having the opportunity to literally drive all over Del Marva Peninsula from the Atlanta to the Chesapeake Bay, from Norfolk and Virginia Beach, to Baltimore, also provides an opportunity to see a lot of this part of the country from the backroads. The reality? Some people may think the United States is coming apart at the seams, but it looks pretty prosperous from this perspective. Maybe some ought to stop shouting about the end of the world and start talking about how and why they think things should be a certain way. It’s hard to think people are enjoying these perfect summer days on the East Coast, shaking their heads and waiting for the ‘Walking Dead’ scenario to play out. Sponsored by X Government Cars.
UK Election Crushes Pundits. Most important story going into the new week is the British Election, and the chief casualties appear to be political pundits. The ‘experts’ predicted a victory for the left, and in fact the left in British Politics was handed its hat and shown the door. Political scientists and pollsters are becoming too famous, and becoming part of the story, rather than doing their job. Its one of the reasons we love it so much when they’re wrong. Next, the same bunch in the US will be telling us what’s going to happen in 2016, based on the experience of the British election. What they won’t tell you is how the two systems are different, and why. That’s where this podcast comes in. Dissimilarities aside, UK conservatives will move quickly to cut government costs and size and adjust the UK’s relationship in the EU. The most significant thing to come out of the British election is the fact that people told pollsters one thing, and voted an entirely different way. It’s become socially unacceptable to disagree with an overbearing and arrogant left, so people just keep their opinions to themselves and take their revenge at the polls. Could that happen in the US? As people bear up under a no growth economy, disorder at the breaking points, and constant denial from the left that their policies just aren’t working, the pundits ignore the fact that there is political rage just below the surface. Woe to the politician that ignores this, or doesn’t understand it. Will the polls pick it up? Not if the pollsters and political scientists keep thinking about politics in the old right/left paradigm. Things are changing. Fast. Meanwhile, candidates in the US keep doing the same things and expecting different results. At a cattle call for republicans in the Carolinas, Jeb Bush talks about Christianity (just to make you think he’s a conservative) and Scott Walker wants to send troops to Iraq to fight ISIS. A recent podcast included a discussion of the nature of work in Los Angeles, with freelancers working on projects ad hoc, as the model for work in the future for all of us. Some subscribers didn’t like it, suggesting ‘Hollywood’ is responsible for the decline of social morals in this country. In this podcast, a new article suggests an Uber style company that connects professionals and semi professionals with small businesses and individuals is already taking off, and will change the nature of work in this country. Finally, for people interested in political organization, or just being good neighbors and citizens, there are a plethora of local issues, from Common Core, the Tyranny of the Met Council, and out-of-control spending by city councils. While these are local Minnesota issues, every town in every state and territory of the United States has similar issues. They allow people to work together to solve problems without having R’s or D’s carved into their foreheads. When people work together and solve problems together, they’re more likely to listen to each other, as opposed to sitting in their chair watching Fox News or MSNBC and railing against those (fill in the blank). Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Image from telegraph.co.uk)
Baltimore. Riots in Baltimore overtake the national consciousness. Despite not wanting to talk about a story with facts that may change minute by minute, sometimes the ‘elephant in the room’ is the best conversation. What are the facts about the 25 year old Baltimore citizen who died in police custody? Did outrage cause the riot or was it outside agitators. While many blame Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, was she cautious because she did not want to make the same mistake the mayor and police chief of Ferguson, Missouri made when they deployed ‘militarized’ police? Meanwhile, the President can’t resist ‘weighing in’, suggesting that the whole nation has to do some soul searching. Maybe President Obama is the one who should do some soul searching. With so much government to be upset about in this country, disrespect for government and law is becoming a feature of life today. In some places, under extreme circumstances, it reaches a breaking point. Besides, there is little President Obama can do about Baltimore, even though he is just an hour away. It’s a city, and state problem. As nearly two thousand national guard deploy to the city streets (and not for the first time in history, either) calm appears to have been restored, for now. Will free college, minimum wage laws and more programs solve this problem? How much is race a problem in a city with a majority black population, mayor, police commissioner, and police force? And specifically, how much is race a factor in the death of Freddie Gray, the young man who died? Or, is it a problem of criminals pushing for and maybe winning a double standard for law enforcement. These questions remain to be answered. One thing is clear; As Baltimore burned, the President and the Washington Press corps, sipped champagne and fiddled at the Correspondent’s dinner, where both politico and news reporter feed each other’s ego. Politicians are out of touch, either running for high office to enrich themselves, and the media doesn’t report fact as much as it pursues the lurid, and tragic. The wake of the weak politician and selfish media is despair, frustration and anger. The dark side of America is the only America it sees. Who’s fault is it? Think about it. We’re at a low point in politics and leadership in this country. It seems more and more that we are on the verge of a seminal and unpleasant event, after which nothing is ever the same. And our leaders don’t seem to be interested in doing anything about it. Sponsored by Baklund R&D. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to Jon Baklund’s Webinar and have the date wrong. It is June 2nd, 2015).