How Tough Are You? How tough do you have to be? A new era is coming socially, economically, and politically. A selection of news stories about technology shows how quickly our world is giving way to something new. Socially our ideas about morality, fairness and even the nature of reality are evolving. Economically old systems are transitioning to new, even as industry and ideas minted at the turn of the twentieth century can still be dominant, new ideas in manufacturing, media, communications and the tools we use to do our work are beginning to take hold and to forge their own reality. Politically new issues, new ways to communicate and new kinds of candidates are emerging and wreaking havoc with ‘the process’. These are significant changes that make the world unfamiliar to people who became adults just twenty or so years ago. Our individual success, and our success as a country may depend on how tough we are and whether we adapt to these changes well enough not just to survive, but to thrive. It’s clear these days, that the new world will look nothing like the old. Even assumptions so called ‘experts’ make about the future are turning out to be not be so accurate. Rapid change can be disruptive and confusing to say the least. Especially when people have to live through it. With 64 percent of the working age population out of the work force in the United States, and the new jobs most vulnerable to new technology tough days might be ahead and we will have to be tough to deal with it. What is ‘tough’? What does it mean to be ‘tough’? We hear a lot about the difficulties individuals have these days, but we aren’t hearing enough examples of real toughness, and they’re out there. Maybe it’s time we started thinking that way as a nation? Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Polar Vortex 2015. Perhaps we should start off by saying, “Previously on Polar Vortex”. It happens just about every year around this time in the Upper Midwest. It gets real cold. We call it winter. A few weeks of below zero temperatures with little relief. It’s been colder. Where are the cavalcade of ‘economists’ (astrologists) predicting the inevitably dour economic effects of the ‘polar vortex’? Surprise! Now that a Republican majority is about to take office ‘economic experts’ are optimistic! Touting 5 percent GDP growth, lackluster employment statistics and a host of other debatable ‘facts’, some formerly doom and gloom analysts are finding rose colored glasses not used since the Bush administration. As a new Congress is about to be sworn in, scolds to tell Republicans, “It’s time to govern”! Isn’t ‘governing’ something both parties and all branches of government engage in? Not just a majority and not just one branch of the government? Freedom Works has declared Speaker Boehner ‘must go’, and thus the factional battles in the new Congress begin. Freedom Works instructs you to write, call or email your congressman and demand the speaker be retired! (Editor’s Note: A waste of time, since interns answer the phones, review emails and open letters, even writing replies. If you want to get your congressman to pay attention to you, you have to control votes or money, and preferably both. If you want to write, call or email, go right ahead, but don’t fool yourself. Until you’re organized, you’re nothing to them.) Next we have the ‘Restore America’ crowd. ‘Restore’ in this case means turning back the hands of time to 1950, everywhere in America. Uh…no thanks, there were no smart phones. Want to bet this will be Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan in 2016? What America needs isn’t ‘restoration’, but new ideas that meet the challenges of new technology and a world that doesn’t look anything like 1950. Now there is one place in the world where it is, in fact, still 1950. North Korea. Here’s a question; What if the Sony Hack wasn’t the work of North Korea’s ‘army’ of hackers? The FBI’s contention – and the President’s – is under fire from tech security companies. If it wasn’t the North Koreans and the President ordered a retaliation, this could be the first major Obama Screw Up of 2015. Stay tuned. Back home in the land of ten thousand lakes, and taxes, Minnesotans should prepare themselves for a gas tax increase. Democratic Governor Dayton has decided that while cheap gas acts ‘like a tax cut’, it just isn’t expensive enough for the dancing peasants, so we need an increase in the gas tax. Or something like that. Minnesotans need new trains, and bike trails and bridges are falling down, right? Not really, but it works every time. Meanwhile, Kurt Daudt, Republican Speaker of The House says there will be “give and take” this session. Sigh. And a final parting shot at ‘morning people’ and their arrogance. Nocturnal People Rule! Sponsored by X Government Cars, and Depotstar.
Virtue. Morality. The theme for Podcast 149. Three stories from today’s headlines that relate to the question: What do these words mean when applied to the nation? Is the United States a failing country when it comes to morality? What was our morality like in other times in US History? Is it moral to suggest war ‘should’ be more democratic so that we all sufffer destruction and death equally? Is it true that immigrants make more over a lifetime than Americans, and that if you’re a poor native born American, it isn’t your fault? And what of virtue and morality? While Americans struggle to hang onto their houses, cars and put food on the table, religious authorities in Roman bejeweled palaces, and behind crystal lecterns tell us we are amoral, and lack virtue. Its about time we tell them, we have had it with them telling us how we’re ‘supposed’ to act and feel, considering the last ten years of feckless leadership. Sponsored by XGovernment Cars.