Thursday, March 17, 2016

TIME: Jeffrey Kluger- What Donald Trump Can Teach You About The Narcissists in Your Life

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review on WordPress: TIME: Jeffrey Kluger- What Donald Trump Can Teach You About The Narcissists in Your Life

To be fair to Donald Trump and every other American who has ever run for President of the United States the most powerful and important job in the world, (no offense to the rest of the world) anyone who runs for President of the United States, has at least a certain degree of narcissism. And no I’m not a psychologist, but I do have commonsense and I’m also a political and current affairs junky whose seen a lot of politics and debates about current affairs. I mean imagine a candidate for President of the United States who not only didn’t think they were up for the job, but made that clear on the campaign trail. How well would that candidate do?

Imagine a presidential candidate whose campaign theme was something to the effect, “vote for me, because I think I can.” Or, “vote for me and I’ll get it my best shot.” In other words the candidate thinks they’re up to the task, but lacks the self-confidence to know for sure. How would someone like that even get a single campaign volunteer let alone a campaign employee. Elitists get picked on a lot, but the fact is you want accomplished people to run for office. You don’t want people who’ve never accomplished anything in life other than being born to serve in the highest offices in the land. You want people who are accomplished and even wealthy from running a successful business and creating a lot of good jobs and selling a good affordable product.

Now having said all of that, The Donald is beyond self-confidence. His body is on Planet Earth, but his mind is out of this world. If you combine the campaign promises that Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders have made to their supporters, you would never need anyone else to run for president for decades. Because both The Donald and Senator Sanders have promised so much without and clear vision and path to accomplish those promises they would have Congress and whoever is President at the time having to deal with their promises for the next twenty years or so. Bernie, with his political grocery shopping list that would empty every single grocery store in the New York area. The Donald saying America is going to win so much in the future that they’re going to get tired of winning. I guess America would become like the New York Yankees of the early 1990s. (Sorry, you have to be a baseball fan to get that) With his only plan being that he’s a good dealmaker.

Sure, I bet narcissist fits the personality of Donald Trump. And again I’m no psychologist, or try to play one on TV. But I think we need a new term for someone who tells everybody they speak to that they’re going to accomplish everything that is positive for them. Panderer is probably a better term. Out of this world, to describe the personality and overconfidence of Mr. Trump. Or a narcissist on a two-week drinking and marijuana binge that claims they see Martians all around them and that raccoons can fly. But again narcissism is not something I would suggest for anyone. At least not someone with a healthy mind. But the problem with American politics is not that we have too many self-confident qualified accomplished people in government. But that we have too many people who haven’t accomplished much. Who claim to be ready to serve in higher office and then get elected to it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

THULE: President Harry S. Truman Speech to Congress on Foreign Policy- March 12th, 1947- The Truman Doctrine

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: THULE: President Harry S. Truman Speech to Congress on Foreign Policy- March 12th, 1947- The Truman Doctrine

When I think of the greatest American president’s, Harry Truman would be on my first hand. When you’re talking about the 20th Century, I believe it comes down to either Harry Truman or Franklin Roosevelt. I would give the edge to President Truman when it came to civil rights and desegregating the military, to use as an example. Creating the tools to fight and eventually win the Cold War against Russia.

When you want to talk about the so-called progressive foreign policy and that phrase gets thrown around Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, you want to look at FDR and HST. A liberal internationalist foreign policy, that is not about basically going without any strong military presence at all, or trying to police the world. But working with our allies to promote freedom and democracy and keeping the world safe.

Conservatives, certainly had a role in creating the National Security State in America. Department of Defense, the CIA, United Nations, NATO, etc. But it’s really Progressives that were in power the whole time during this period. Like the Roosevelt Administration and then later President Truman and his administration, that decided the way to defeat the Soviet Union, is for the West to be strong and united against communism and authoritarianism in general. Which means a strong America, a strong Canada and a strong Europe. The whole point of NATO which is the North Atlantic defense alliance, that covers North America and Western Europe, for the most part, was to prevent Russia from attacking any of these countries. This was created by Roosevelt/Truman. Two Progressive Democrats.

The progressive foreign policy or what I at least call liberal internationalism, is about being strong at home. A strong economy and strong military, not to police the world. But to prevent anyone else from even attempting to attack you. And to work with your allies to keep the world as safe as possible. Assist your vulnerable allies with military and economic aide. This speech right here from President Truman was about economic and military and economic aide to Greece and Turkey. Two long time aides of America. That was part of the Truman Doctrine. Being strong at home and working with your allies around the world like Greece and Turkey, to prevent Russia and other authoritarian countries, like China, from trying to take over peaceful countries.

President Truman’s main accomplishments as President were in foreign policy. Ending World War II against Germany and Japan. And again putting the tools in place to fight and eventually win the Cold War. The National Security State at home, United Nations and NATO abroad. Russia never tried to invade Western Europe the Democratic states there and the United States and Soviet Union never fired a shot against each other during the Cold War. Because both countries were so strong militarily and America was so strong economically most of this war, that both countries were smart enough not to go to war against each other, because of all the damage and lost lives that could have come as a result. And President Truman deserves a lot of credit for this.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Immortal Jukebox: Thom Hickey- To Have and Have Not- You Know How to Whistle?

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review on WordPress: The Immortal Jukebox: Thom Hickey- To Have and Have Not- You Know How to Whistle?

I haven’t seen To Have and Have Not in a while and perhaps I should have seen that movie again before I blogged about it. But this movie is classic Lauren Bacall-Humphrey Bogart. Their onscreen chemistry was very similar if not better than Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Both very sharp and very funny and perhaps sharing the exact sense of humor. Lauren Bacall if she’s 20 years old at this point, she just turned 20. And yet you could already see how great this young gorgeous baby-faced adorable women intelligent women was going to be. Bogie as the adorable Lauren Bacall called Humphrey Bogart, was of course already a star at this point. And old enough to be Lauren’s father.

Slim, as Bogie called Lauren Bacall, not just in this movie, but in their life together, was 19-20 years old. Playing a drifter who makes it to France. With very little if any money. Doesn’t sound that different from someone in their late teens early twenties in the 1960s. Who lets say grows up in Cleveland, Ohio and is somewhat lost and doesn’t know where they’re going or where they want to go in life. Who ends up in San Francisco and become a hippie. But hopefully never meets Charles. Which is sort of an inside joke. But Slim meets Harry Morgan, who sort of the definition of an American small businessman doing business in a foreign country. Not that different from Casablanca.

Slim and Harry get together, because basically they both need each other. They both need money. Harry’s client owes him money that Harry needs and he sees Slim pickpocket this guy that owes Harry money. And Harry sees her do that and that is how they get together. By making a deal with each other and helping each other out as they try to avoid having to deal with the Nazi-Germans who has just taken over France in 1940. There all sorts of crooked shady characters in this movie that Slim and Harry have to deal with. Including some adorable scenes featuring Lauren Bacall singing and doing other things. One of the best film-noir movies you’ll ever see.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Blue Dem Warriors: Liberals Want Everyone to Have The Same Freedoms and Opportunities

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Blue Dem Warriors: Liberals Want Everyone to Have The Same Freedoms and Opportunities

This is exactly what liberalism is about and what Liberals actually believe. Quality opportunity for everyone that lead to individual freedom for everyone. A society where everyone has the individual freedom to manage their own lives. Not the freedom from personal responsibility to manage their own affairs. Not the freedom to not have to figure out your own health insurance, retirement plan, where to send your kids to school, how much you should work during the week, what you can eat and drink, say to other people, watch on TV, who to sleep with, what music to listen to, etc. This is the main difference from socialism or what so-called Progressives like to call progressivism and neoconservatism. The question comes down to who has the power. The government or the people.

You get to individual freedom through opportunity. You get to opportunity through education and economic development. Getting the skills that you need to get the good jobs and then selling yourself based on your skills to get that good job. That gives you freedom and ability to manage your own life yourself. Without government deciding for you how to get your health insurance, where to send your kids to school, how to plan your own retirement and how to spend your own money more broadly. And what you do with your own personal time. Individual freedom can only work through education and then later personal responsibility. So when people make good personal decisions they enjoy the benefits from that. When they make bad decisions they live with the consequences of that themselves.

You don’t need a big government big enough to manage everyone’s life for them if you have an educated society with the skills and freedom to make their own decisions. Government has a role to see that everyone has the opportunity to get the freedom that they need to live, in well freedom. But not hold people down, because they’ve decided that government should take care of those people instead. Or tax and regulate people to the extent that freedom is discouraged, because the people believe that government will take care of them. Or they won’t be able to enjoy their success once they get it. Government shouldn’t discourage people from being individually successful and put down individual wealth. But instead promote those things so we have more wealthy and successful free people. Which is better for everyone involved including government.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Remembering Lauren Bacall: Lauren Bacall- Speak The Truth

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Remembering Lauren Bacall: Lauren Bacall- Speak The Truth

Hollywood Goddess Lauren Bacall saying that she believes in the truth and saying what you think. And adds why not? And to make a political correctness point to that even though of course I agree with Lauren on this, whose at least arguably the greatest actress we’ve ever known even though this is not about her career. Political correctness advocates Left and Right and unfortunately more Left than Right would argue that sometimes the truth hurts. And we can’t always say what we think and know, because someone especially perhaps minorities might be offended by that. Which of course goes against liberal democratic values like fee speech. But that is really a different topic and this blog covers that a lot anyway.

The best tool that an individual has in life will ever have after life is not freedom. And that might sound surprising to some, but there’s actually something more important than that. That has everything that we all value and love built around this more powerful tool. That tool is the truth and without that and of course education which comes from the truth, nothing else matters. Without the truth and education we would never know what we actually know. You’ll never know how to improve yourself and where you do well and where you need to do better without the truth. And sometime you might have flaws that are so severe and screw up so badly that you need someone to get in your face and set yourself straight. (No offense to gays) The truth also helps you know where you’re doing well. So you can continue to do that as you’re improving on your flaws.

We’re nothing in a positive sense if we don’t have the truth and we don’t have an education. To know what’s going on and why it’s going on, to know what works and what doesn’t work, where we’re strong and where we’re weak, where we’re average. And then know to improve ourselves and emphasize our strengths. And yes that at times means hearing things about yourself and people you care about that are pretty negative. But the smart strong people can handle that, because they know themselves very well, because they value the truth and facts and rely on them to improve themselves. They know they’re not perfect and that there are times they need to be reminded of that and to see where else they may come up short. And there are times when the truth sounds real good. And you find out something good about yourself that you didn’t know before. But without the truth we would all be blind NASCAR drivers on the racetrack of life, hoping we get to where we need to go safely. But without a course that actually gets us there.

Friday, March 4, 2016

AlterNet: Alexandra Rosenmann- Why Noam Chomsky Won't Call Himself a Modern-Day Liberal

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: AlterNet: Alexandra Rosenmann- Why Noam Chomsky Won't Call Himself a Modern-Day Liberal

I’ve blogged a lot about Noam Chomsky over the last five years or so, because I find him to be absolutely fascinating as well as very intelligent. Even though we don’t tend to agree economic policy, foreign policy, history, America even, but he’s someone whose very consistent with his own libertarian socialist politics. Which is my point here. He’s one of the few people on the New-Left, (if that makes happier instead of Far-Left) but he’s one of the few people on that side who actually owns his own politics. While people who have a lot in common with him politically like former Representative Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader, still call themselves a Progressive, or Liberal (which gets my heart rate up when I hear that). Professor Chomsky says he’s a Libertarian-Socialist and has no problem with being called a Socialist.

What is a Libertarian-Socialist? You take libertarianism or liberalism on social and personal freedom issues and combine that with a socialist economic policy. As well as a dovish-isolationist foreign and national security policy. Which puts him to the left on really all social issues of the Christian-Right and Neoconservatives, as well as so-called Progressive-Humanists. Who think they know better than anyone else what people should think and say and even think big government should decide what people should eat, drink, smoke, even what entertainment what we watch. These Progressives are supposed to be on the Left, but they have more in common with the Christian-Right when it comes to a lot of Freedom of Choice issues and gambling is another example of that. As well as being big government on economic policy. Noam Chomsky is a hard-core Liberal on social issues and against big government there.

Professor Chomsky, described his own politics as Libertarian-Socialist as early as 1977 in a BBC News interview. And Bernie Sanders is probably the closest thing we have to someone who is that liberal on social issues today and doesn’t want big government interfering there short of stepping in when people get hurt. But is a Democratic Socialist on economic policy. High taxes across the board, in exchange with a lot of Welfare subsidies. With a very limited military and foreign policy. There’s a lot for Liberals such as myself when it comes to social issues, Libertarians when it comes to social issues and Progressives and Democratic Socialists, when it comes to economic policy, to like about Noam Chomsky. And at least respect him in other areas. Because even though he’s someone who wants a big government involved in the economy, he believes in small government when it comes to social issues and civil liberties.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Rubin Report: Lalo Dagach and Dave Rubin: Regressives, Religion, and Politics

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The Rubin Report: Lalo Dagach and Dave Rubin: Regressives, Religion, and Politics

Just to respond to Lalo Dagach’s question about what should Liberals do (and I mean real Liberals) when the question is about what should be done when it’s a question of tolerance or standing up for liberal values. Like equal rights and women being treated equally and not worst under law. The answer to that is pretty easy. The Liberal always stands up for liberal values. Liberal values mean nothing when Liberals don’t stand up for them.

Even if that means telling people that they’re wrong and they have real serious regressive faults. Where a lot of people and in this case women, are hurt from a result of religious authoritarianism in the Middle East. When pointing out the real faults of people becomes a form of bigotry, then we’re in real trouble. You might as well move to North Korean and oh by the way, leave all your personal-decision making and individualism there, because that won’t be tolerated there. If you want to live in a place where the truth doesn’t matter, because someone might be offended by it.

Nothing bigoted about the truth. Especially when the truth is negative, because without negative truth and facts we would never be able to improve ourselves. Because someone is always giving up medals for showing up and participating when life is so much more than that and being there is just the beginning. When instead of getting participation medals you need a verbal slap in the face. And for someone to tell us, ‘you fucked up buddy and this is where you come up short and this is what you should’ve been doing all along instead.’

Now these Far-Left Commie Regressive’s who has this Che Guevara notion or wherever the hell they got it that says putting down or critiquing non-Caucasian-Christians, especially Anglo-Saxon Christians, is a form of bigotry even when the critic is correct, what are they smoking? And can I get some of that when I need to take a break from reality? What’s progressive about putting now Southern Anglo-Saxon Protestants when they show bigotry against women and gays, but you ignore the exact same things that happen in the Middle East and in some cases even worst. Like being put to death simply for being gay and sometimes for not being a Muslin.

I’ve argued this before, but Liberals believe in liberal values. I know, that’s just commonsense and now I’m going to tell you that business people believe in enterprise and Vince Lombardi believed in the power sweep and Air Force generals believe in a good air attack and etc. But what’s the point of liberal values if Liberals don’t believe in them. People have the right to call themselves whatever the hell they want. If a red-haired Irishmen wants to call himself Frank Sinatra or Jesus Christ, who am I to say he can’t.

But if you want to be taken seriously for what you say you are then you have to believe in the values of your self-identification. You’re not a Liberal if you don’t believe in liberal values and tolerance is just one of them. Liberalism is based on factually based evidence and the truth. And the first liberal value if free speech. And when you say certain things shouldn’t be allowed to be said even when they’re true, because they may tend to offend, you’re not being liberal.