#TheIdesOfTrump, the problem with #resist and why persistence is more important

We are a heavily divided country. End of sentence.

Many of us feel left behind. Millions of people have turned out for demonstrations. Usually quiet town hall meetings this past recess saw people get left out because fire marshals were concerned about occupancies. Some representatives simply didn't have them; some of their constituents held town halls anyway and brought cardboard cutouts of their elected officials.

Tomorrow marks the Ides of March, the day immortalized as a day of which to be wary thanks to the murder of Julius Caesar.

It also marks a day on which many people will send postcards to the president — liberals to send negative messages and conservatives to send messages of support to counter what those on the left are calling #TheIdesOfTrump.

I'll keep the more amusing details of how I think this plays out to myself, but I think the larger result is the recycling pickup at the White House next week is going to be somewhat heavier than usual.

Before you drop me in a corner here, I want to remind you where I stand. As an American, if President Trump succeeds in improving education and trade and international relations and community relations, I succeed. I'm rooting for him.

I'm just not optimistic.

Don't point to the stock market, please. It works independently of the president, and consistently works its way up. We're in the midst of the longest bull market ever (eight years). Pundits who are crediting President Trump for the growth since the election didn't give President Obama any credit for the previous seven and a half years of steady growth; markets aren't partisan — they just grow. At some point we'll have a bear market for a little while. Every single bear market in US history has been followed by a bull within a year, with the one exception being the Great Depression (and technically, they called that a crash, not a bear).

Here's the problem with the liberal side of this postcard campaign: It takes up the battle cry #resist.

A couple of years ago, when it was announced that no charges would be brought against police in Ferguson, Mo., and the city went crazy, I wrote of police who came with armored vehicles and riot gear:

I understand you prepare for the worst-case scenario, not the best, but if you don't appear ready for the best-case, you're never going to get it.

I feel like that's what the left is doing with #resist. Says the dictionary of resist: "to withstand, strive against, or oppose; to make a stand or make efforts in opposition; act in opposition; offer resistance."

This is different from debate, persuade, seek to change or even to work within the bounds of constitutional process. It's to set up a physical opposition, not a political one. It's a very aggressive message to send, and not one that invites discussion.

There are hundreds of #resist meetups that have popped up around the US (and also elsewhere in the world). The conversation is not civil. It's mostly a lot of shouted threats, again, not at all like discussion.

Aggressors rarely come out on top without a strong show of actual force, and liberals are going to have to decide if they're liberals in the way of George Washington and Fidel Castro, ready to pick up arms and overthrow their government, or progressives in the way of Mahatma Gandhi and Ram Dass, willing to fight with their brains and their mouths for what's right and not quitting until they get it.

If it's the latter, get on the phone with your elected representatives. Show them the numbers. If Medicaid is shut down in 2020 and your parents won't be able to get health care because simply being 72 years old is a preexisting condition and your $100,000-a-year CFO salary belongs to the hospital after three nights recovering from a fall, they need to know.

If your kid's public school can't afford a new roof after 30 years because half the federal aid that would have gone to that school is going to a private school down the street, they need to know.

If the NEA disappears and all the museums in your city that might have inspired children to be artists and archaeologists and historians have to close and those kids wind up in gangs because that's the only way they've ever seen to break the cycle of poverty, your representatives need to know.

If you're worried because the administration is purposefully lying to media to keep the public in the dark as to what's really going on in the world, your representatives need to know.

I'm not saying roll over for your government — for sure, always stay vigilant — but understand when you meet fire with fire you get a bigger fire. When you meet fire with water, you get relief.

Here's how to contact your elected representatives. Don't give up until you feel you've been heard (be polite to staffers; they can pass along your message or not).

We can be resistant, or we can be persistent. We can't be both.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 48: There is not a finite amount of awesome in the world

I often get confused for a New York Democrat. The truth is, I don't wear team colors, and I'm from Massachusetts. I ramble a bit on where I stand policy-wise and we talk about lifting people up.

Links:
Get a free audiobook and a free month at Audible
Get a free month at BarkBox
Jesse Ventura on Joe Rogan's podcast
Regressing toward a higher mean

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#TryPod

There's a lot of stuff floating around in my head for more extensive blog posts coming up — I've done some deeper looking into our brains, I've recently read Abundance by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, and I didsome more window shopping at the library.

But I wanted to talk a bit about #TryPod this morning. It's a month-long endeavor to push podcasts as a medium.

If you're not on board with podcasts yet, give one a try. If you have a smart phone, you probably have a podcast app built in, and there are plenty more that are easily installed.

Here are a few to check out outside of the biggest mainstream ones:
Josh: The Podcast — That's my podcast. It comes out on Thursdays.
JKWD (Josh & Kelvin World Domination) — A podcast I do with the great Kelvin Ringold. It comes out Mondays.
Another Round — Tracy and Heben bring a whole lot for ignorant white dudes like me to learn
We the People Live — Josh Zepps talks politics with comedians and others
Pod Save America — Some Obama staffers offer inside-inside politics. It's slanted way Dem, but how often do you hear people speak who have worked on a presidential staff?

If you're already a podcast listener, what are some of your favorites?

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 47: Our crazy brains

If it bleeds, it leads! Why news headlines and shows like "Law and Order" and "CSI" tap into the part of our brain that's scared of everything — and how to slow it down. Major League Baseball, Trump address Congress, Sessions lies to Congress. It's a rambler, folks!

Links:
Get a free audiobook and a free month at Audible
What are brain waves?
The amygdala
President Trump addresses Congress
Jeff Sessions met with Russian ambassador
How do you speed up baseball games?
Synagogue classroom in Indiana shot

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Would you still be doing what you’re doing?

I recently re-read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Maybe I should be doing it more often, particularly given it's about a three-hour read.

Here's something important I pulled out of it.

"Here’s another test. Of any activity you do, ask yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?"

It gave me pause, but not for very long.

Blogging and podcasting are how I understand the world. I would certainly still be doing those things.

My job in news? I would definitely do that. It's gathering information, processing it and sharing it.

Running? Yep. Eating? Yep. Meditating? For sure.

There really are a lot of lessons in that book. I recently ordered a copy on a whim for someone who needed it. It's that important.

Here are a couple of other lessons I've learned from the book.

What's the Platonic ideal for Resistance? »

Pressfield imagines Resistance as a dragon, and you, as artist or entrepreneur or whatever, must slay the dragon to do the work you want to be doing.

The thing is, upon further review, I'm not sure that dragon ever dies. Is wounded to the point of dormancy? Sometimes. Dead? Never.

We are nothing if not present tense »

There's a line. On one side are the people who say "I'm gonna" and "I used to" and "I wanna" and "I wish I could," and on the other side are the people who say "I am."

Be on the important side of the line.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 46: The repressive/regressive left, Milo, art and superheroes

We jump around a lot this week, discussing how the left isn't helping progressives right now, Milo Yiannopoulos, creating, why you're almost a superhero and more.

Links:
Get a free month of BarkBox
Get a free audiobook and a free month at Audible
Milo Yiannopoulos on Joe Rogan's podcast
Yiannopoulos speech blocked at UC-Berkeley
Yiannopoulos on Bill Maher
Yiannopoulos loses book deal
Yiannopoulos out at Breitbart
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler
The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler
Steven Kotler on Lewis Howes' podcast
Pod Save America
Pod Save the World
Buddy Carter's Town Hall in Savannah
Buddy Carter (R-GA-1) official page
The 14th Amendment
Constituents hold Sen. Pat Toomey town hall without Toomey
Seth Godin: Drawing a line in the sand

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Quieting down: A month without Twitter and Facebook on my phone

If you've been listening to the podcast the past few months, you know that I have not fared well living in my brain, from the election on through the first month of the Trump administration.

By inauguration day, it had gotten so bad that I was trawling news sites, Twitter and Facebook several times an hour looking for people to argue with.

Inauguration day also happens to be my dad's birthday. As we drove to Charleston to visit and get some lunch (the dictate was at a place without televisions), I knew I had to do something to change direction.

So when we arrived, I opened my phone and deleted the Twitter and Facebook apps.

I'm still plenty active on both (Twitter | Facebook), but I really am only on the platforms when I'm sitting in front of my computer.

I do miss the opportunity to share from an app — most often Flipboard and my podcast app — but if there's anything I want to be sure to share out I'll email it to myself with a note.

There's something about deliberately visiting social media sites that makes my posting and commenting more deliberate. I have less time available, so I'm pickier about what I say and to whom I say it.

It's also led to some more in-person engagement. I'm certainly not pulling out my phone to look at it as often as I used to. I'm talking to more strangers, and I'm eminently more present around friends and family.

Need a break? Try it for a week. Enjoy.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 45: Chillin

We talk about CHILLING THE FUCK OUT, having a lovely Valentine's dinner with my favorite lady and we touch some political participation.

Links:
Get a free month of BarkBox
Get a free audiobook and a free month at Audible
Vitamin K Daily
I talk Freemasonry with Ryan Singer
US Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.-1)
Alligator Soul
Calm
Headspace
The 4-Hour Body
Savannah Entrepreneurial Center

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Dining Savannah: Alligator Soul

Today, the 14th of February, marks the seventh anniversary of my first date with my lovely wife.

Valentine's Day. That should be easy enough to remember, right?

This year, we decided to celebrate at a Savannah institution, Alligator Soul. They had a New Orleans-inspired menu for Valentine's Day.

Let's start right off with this is a place that knows how to treat diners. They took our coats, sat us 15 minutes ahead of our reservation and brought us a little take-home gift with our names on the sticker.

Our server, Robert, knew both the food and drink menus.

I started with a Sazerac, my go-to cocktail when I'm at anew place. Not my favorite version in town, but it paired really nicely with the carving board we picked as a starter. [Robert also recommend a cocktail for the Mrs., which she enjoyed, but there's a story with it.]

We were treated to an amuse-bouche of cajun beans with dried chorizo, and here's where that cocktail story comes in. The cocktail itself was lemon and cherry and a booze or two, and milady tried it immediately after the very lively amuse-bouche. She said it didn't taste like anything, and she handed it over. I took a sip of water and tasted it, and told her she was out of her mind.

Lesson: Cleanse your palate. After doing that, she was quite happy 🙂

The carving board came with a bleu, a cheddar, and something Robert called "gruyere-style." All three cheeses were from Georgia, as were the meats — bone marrow (a first for both of us), some rich, creamy pork belly and an added alligator sausage. Mustard, balsamic, grapes, pear, honey and three kinds of bread (toast, lavash and papadam) accompanied the meat and cheese.

The Mrs. had a perfectly prepared bacon-wrapped filet (medium-rare), while I opted for the game bird special, a medium-rare squab. I was undecided between the squab and the duck, but I'm glad Robert recommended the squab, because, frankly, I can go to my local grocery store, turn on my oven and roast a duck. Squab is probably not going to be on very many menus I see in my life.

As we dove into dinner, Robert found milady a riesling (she's a white-wine drinker, despite the steak) that she was happy with, and I tried what they call a gentleman's flight — a rye, sour-mash and bourbon whiskey sampler.

For dessert, the Mrs. opted for a chocolate parfait with amaretto creme, served in a champagne flute, while I went for the banana beignets, served warm over vanilla ice cream.

We were in a small room with several other couples, and we all got to talking, which, in my experience, is fairly uncommon at a restaurant of this caliber. Among other things, we discussed where everyone was from, eating something like squab, and my pants.

If you can fit it in your budget ($45 was a reasonable gratuity for our meal), I'd highly recommend a visit while you're in town.

My wife got me the best #pants ever ❤😀👍

A photo posted by Josh Shear (@joshuanshear) on

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 44: Presence

It's been almost three weeks since I took Twitter and Facebook off my phone. I'm not absent from the networks, my following is growing, and I'm so much more present in my everyday life. We talk a little about politics (of course), welcome family to town and the Super Bowl.

Links:
Harambe Cheeto goes for $100,000
Jeff Sessions confirmed as attorney general
Betsy DeVos confirmed as education secretary
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) found to be in violation of Rule XIX
Episode 43: Participate
How to contact your elected representatives
Mrs. Wilkes
Tybee Island
Tybee Island Social Club
Moon River Brewing
Congregation Mickve Israel
Super Bowl LI

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