Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Young Turks: Ana Kasparian & Cenk Uygur: Jerry Seinfeld Caught By The Sensitivity Police

Jerry Seinfeld- What's The Deal With The Sensitivity Police?
The Young Turks: Ana Kasparian & Cenk Uygur: Jerry Seinfeld Caught By The Sensitivity Police

Damn! I actually agree with both Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur on the same show, about the same topic. They both just scored a touchdown and converted a two-point conversion in the liberal column for me. Maybe they aren’t as radical and socialist as I give them credit, or blame for. Depending on your perspective. It would be one thing if Jerry Seinfeld was just talking to comedians of one race, in this case Caucasian, because that is the only people he wants to talk to. But that is not what this is about. He interviews people he thinks are funny. And in this case the recent comedians he spoke to, all happened to be Caucasian.

It would be one thing if Jerry said and I can call him Jerry since I’m his German nephew whose not a Nazi, it would be one thing if Jerry said, “those African-Americans, always bitching about how life is tough in America. They can’t take a joke. I’ve seen Marxist dictators with bigger sense of humors. I know this since I interviewed them. If they think they got it so bad in America, why don’t they go back to Africa.” But he didn’t say anything like that and is not talking to people based on race, or ethnicity. He simply wants to talk to people who make him laugh. This current group he found just happen to all be from the same race.

And oh by the way, if lets say Chris Rock was doing a show and he only interviewed African-American male comedians, no one would be making an issue of this. Well maybe Breitbart, or Fox News. This same argument could be made against affirmative action. Why not just go where the talent is and just judge people as individuals and let the most qualified people regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, get the best jobs. And leave whatever is left for the wannabes of all races, ethnicities, male, female, who gives a damn! There times when one group of people, fill in the blank which group that is, looks a little better than other groups as far as having their members being part of what’s happening in America. That is the way freedom and private enterprise works.

Cenk Uygur made another great point and its the boy who cried wolf analogy. That real racism, is racism. When people are being denied access in life and given harsher treatment simply because of their race, that’s racism. But when you try to apply that label to anything you can think of to try to make people especially who aren’t minorities in this country, look like bigots and have no real evidence of the charge that you’re making, you become the boy, or girl who cries wolf. You end up looking worst than real bigots and sure as hell than the person that you want to look like a bigot. Its like swinging for the fences, to use a baseball analogy, when you’re a 150 pound shortstop who has never a hit a home run in your life, even in Little League. And every part of the outfield is at least 400 feet away. It doesn’t work.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Conservable Economist: Opinion: Timothy Taylor: States as The Laboratories of Democracy: An Historical Note: A Look At The American Federal Republic

U.S. Justice Louis Brandeis
Conservable Economist: Opinion: Timothy Taylor: States as The Laboratories of Democracy: An Historical Note: A Look At The American Federal Republic

I guess one of the advantages of living in a country of three-hundred and fifteen-million people that has fifty states, is that it gives you this great opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t. And what works and where it works and what doesn’t and where it doesn’t work. That is the beauty of a Federal Republic. We’re still one country as Progressives and Social Democrats like to say, which is true of course. But within that country you have all of these states, counties and cities, that are not just there, unlike lets says the United Kingdom, which has a unitarian national government, but they have real say over their own affairs within their own jurisdiction.

Federalism, doesn’t mean that states have all the power and that the Feds are just responsible for national security, foreign affairs, trade and the currency. And it also doesn’t mean that the Feds have most if not all the power. If we had one superstate with most of the power in the national government, we wouldn’t have a Federal system and wouldn’t be a Federal Republic. We would be a unitarian state and perhaps not even a republic. Federalism, simply defines the roles of the Feds, states and localities in what each level of government is responsible for doing. The Feds, are primarily responsible for national security, foreign affairs, but are also responsible for homeland security, interstate crime and commerce.

The states and localities, are primarily responsible for what happens in their own jurisdiction. Infrastructure, education, law enforcement, regulating and developing their economies, like encouraging investment prosecuting predatory behavior, to use as examples. But the Feds have a role here in how these issues relate to the country as well. Not to run them for the states and localities and take over them, but to offer input and resources. And regulate interstate commerce and trade and prosecute interstate crimes. And under a federalist system like this, you get to see what works and what doesn’t and where. As it relates to education, social insurance for people in need, economic development, energy, criminal justice and a lot of other areas.

Federalism and the Federal Republic, is essentially locked in stone in America. I’ve argued in the past that what today’s so-called Progressives, Social Democrats really, for them to accomplish what they want to do politically in America, they would need several constitutional amendments, if not rewrite it, or eliminate it. Because they would like to see a lot more power in America transferred from the private sector and states, to the Federal Government. As it relates to education, current social insurance programs and would like to create a superstate in America in the form of a welfare state that would be completely managed by Washington. But even people in their ranks like Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, aren’t looking to break up our federalist system.

Myself, I’m a Liberal Federalist, which means that I might not agree with everything that a state is doing, but as long as what they’re doing is within the U.S. Constitution, they are within their rights when it comes to their own laws and policies. So for example, if Georgia wants private school vouchers and passes that law, I’m not a fan of private school vouchers, but they are within their rights to do that. But if they passed a law that says certain people can’t go to certain public schools, because of their race, ethnicity, or religion, they would obviously be violating the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and perhaps the Georgia State Constitution as well.

We have a U.S. Constitution, that is like the official rule book for American government at all levels. And as long as government is following the rules of the rulebook, they are within their rights. And if the people don’t like how their government is playing, so to speak, they can always fire them and replace them with people that they believe will represent them better. That is where liberal democracy comes into play in our Federal system. Which is why I call the United States a Constitutional Federal Republic in the form of a liberal democracy. We’re not really one, or the other, but a free society and state that operates under both systems into one bigger system.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Oxford Union: Jeremy Corbyn- Socialism Does Work

Source: Oxford Union- UK Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

Wow! My first opportunity to blog about Jeremy Corbyn, who may end up being the next Leader of the Opposition in Britain next month. I’m really only interested in democratic socialism when it comes to socialism. Marxism, I see as another ideology and an extreme form of statism as it relates to social, economic and political policy. Democratic Socialists, are not Marxists, otherwise they would be Marxists. And when you think of socialism, you should think of the European Union, especially the Anglo-Saxon states like Britain and look at the Nordic states in Scandinavia. When you think of Marxism, look at the old Soviet Union. And look at North Korea today.

For me at least, it’s not a question of whether socialism works, not, but how far you go with it. How much do you want centralized with the national government. With the state, or provincial government’s doing less, as well as the local government’s and private sector doing less. Because every developed democratic country in the world has a level of socialism in their national government at least. Democratic socialism, is really about having a big welfare state and big centralized national government, to see to it that no one in society has to go without. And that the central government is responsible for a lot of the basic human services in life. But that the welfare state is essentially funded by a large private sector. Yes, capitalism and private enterprise.

This debate is not whether you should have a command and control Marxist state-owned economy. Or do you want the entire economy to be left in the hands of the private sector. With government only being left with national security, foreign policy, national reserve and law enforcement. This is a debate about how much do you want government doing for the people. How big you want the central state to be versus the state/provincial government’s, local government’s and private sector. But that there is a private sector, because even Democratic Socialists know that Marxism doesn’t work. If it did the Soviet Union would still be in business today. Cuba, wouldn’t have started privatizing parts of their economy and North Korea, wouldn’t be the hell hole that it is.
Oxford Union: Jeremy Corbyn- Socialism Does Work



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Washington Monthly: Opinion: Martin Longman: White House Heroin Initiative is a Start

Just Say No
The Washington Monthly: Opinion: Martin Longman: White House Heroin Initiative is a Start

This is really something that we should’ve been doing since the so-called War on Drugs started in 1971. But then had we of done that, then maybe the War on Drugs is never started. Wait, that would’ve actually been a great thing. Just think of the hundreds of thousands of people we wouldn’t have in prison today. And instead of collecting tax dollars, instead they’re getting cleaned and paying into the system instead. What I’m getting at is not a question of whether this would be a good idea or not. That is treating non-drug selling drug offenders as addicts and putting them in rehab instead of jail. But the question is like any government initiative especially when budgets are tight, is how you pay for it.

Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which I believe I’ve made clear on this blog. But it does have at least three major shortfalls. Not creating a public option for Medicare. So non-seniors, could pay into Medicare along with their employers and use that as their health insurance. And it would have been their option, not mandate. Dealing with mental health care and not fulling paying for our mental health care system in this country. Had we done that, I believe we would have fewer shootings today. Because those shooters would have been in a mental hospital getting the help that they need. And the other has to do with drug rehab and the War on Drugs.

You put drug addicts into rehab and people who are caught in possession of heroin, cocaine, or meth, in halfway houses, if they’re not addicts instead of jail, or prison and same thing with small time drug dealers, we would have a mentally and physically healthier country. We would also have a hell of a lot fewer people in the criminal justice system. Instead they would be in the health care system as it as to do with drug abuse. And abusing alcohol, tobacco and legal medications, is also abusing drugs. Only you don’t go to jail for abusing those drugs if that’s all you’re doing. But you do make a mess of your life that others may have to pay for.

I think the way we finance drug rehab in America, is the same way we could finance mental health. Which is though the health insurance system both private and public. Require all public and private health insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid, to cover mental health and drug rehab. I would even be happy raise the payroll tax and cut the corporate tax to pay for this. So people don’t lose other benefits as a result. And tell illegal drug users, that they’re going to rehab instead of jail. And they successfully complete the program. They won’t get a criminal record as a result. Instead of treating essentially mental patients, which addicts are in a way, like felons.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Public Domain Footage: Robert F. Kennedy Speech at Columbia University in 1964

Liberal Democrat
Public Domain Footage: Robert F. Kennedy Speech at Columbia University in 1964

Robert F. Kennedy, running for U.S. Senate in 1964 and not to replace one of his brothers in Massachusetts, but to run for Senate in New York. A great opportunity for Bobby Kennedy as well in 1964. Because Senator Ken Keating, from New York wasn’t very popular in New York. President Lyndon Johnson, was going to win New York in a landslide. And here is where Bobby Kennedy, had an opportunity to jump on Lyndon’s coattails and take a seat in the U.S. Senate in the following Congress.

I believe Kennedy, answered the carpetbagger question very well. Of course with his Irish-Boston accent, he didn’t sound very New York. Either from New York City, or upstate like in Buffalo, or some place. But he grew up in New York City and spent most of his professional career in Washington and had a home in New York. This is not like Hillary Clinton, who grew up in Chicago and spent a lot of her professional career in Arkansas with her husband and then a New York Senate seat opens up in 2000 and she decides she’s going to be the next U.S. Senator from New York. A state where she didn’t have any roots in going in.

I think Bobby Kennedy, answered the presidential question very well to. You can’t run for both President and U.S. Senate at the same time. At least in most states and that would be borderline impossible to do so before you’re actually in the Senate. Kennedy, was clearly a Senate candidate in 1964 for New York. So that was the seat and race he was focused on. And again in 1964, LBJ looked like he would probably run for reelection in 1968 and perhaps even be popular. RFK and LBJ, were both Democrats. So as RFK said, 1972 eight years after 1964 would’ve been the earliest that he could run for president.

Bobby Kennedy’s politics, might have changed a bit from 1964 to 1967-68. But that had to do with the Vietnam War and growing poverty and racial division in America in the late 1960s. But in 1964, I believe RFK was still an establishment Center-Left Liberal Democrat like his brother Jack. And you could argue that he moved left from that by 1967. But in 1964 he was running for U.S. Senate essentially to continue the vision and goals of President Kennedy. Expanding freedom and opportunity to all Americans and dealing with civil rights, equal rights and equality of opportunity for the whole country.


Friday, August 21, 2015

TIME: Charlotte Alter: Sex Buyers: Why Cops Across the U.S. Target Men Who Buy Prostitutes

John
TIME: Charlotte Alter: Sex Buyers: Why Cops Across the U.S. Target Men Who Buy Prostitutes

I guess what Cook County, Illinois is doing by arresting johns, that is men who pay prostitutes for sex, is better than arresting both johns and the prostitutes. And getting the prostitutes off the streets and giving them opportunities to improve their lives by getting out of prostitution and staying out of jail. The problem, is you’re still arresting johns. And for what, paying women for doing their job. Which is to give johns a good time and even sex. You’re arresting john for participating in a consensual act. And even if the consensual act is dangerous, its still consensual. Between two parties.

Illegal and criminal, are two different things at least to me. Doing something illegal means you’re breaking the law. You ran a red light, parked in a handicapped zone, failed to signal a turn and there are many other examples. But criminal, is when you intentionally hurt someone and do something that is not only illegal, but its criminal. You stole someone’s money, you beat an innocent person up, you raped someone, you murdered someone and you can go down the line. Good reasons why these acts are not just illegal, but criminal as well.

Prostitution, of course is illegal in most places and always has, but we’re talking about something where two agreeing parties agreed to do this with each other. And where the prostitute makes money from this simply by doing her job. And I understand everything about the dangers that come with the prostitution business is, which is exactly what it is a business. But you can say that about a lot other business’s that are legal in many places. Pro sports, gambling, private detective work, bounty hunting, stunt work and even acting. And yet these business’s are made as safe as they possibly can legal and otherwise through regulation. These industries actually regulate themselves.

Is prostitution the sole reason why we have two-million people in the criminal justice system in America as offenders? Of course not, but a big reason why we have so many convicted offenders in our system is because we arrest and lock people up who haven’t hurt anyone. In many cases these offenders are in jail, or prison for committing acts that are technically illegal and dangerous. Prostitution, is obviously one of those business’s. It’s not the oldest profession in the world for nothing. So the question is how best to deal with that. Locking people up for it has not worked. So the question for me at least are what are the alternatives. And I go to regulation and taxation to make a business that is not going anywhere as safe as possible.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ray Red Spider: Blog: “Why Vote Bernie?”: Why Socialism Isn’t Free

Democratic Socialist
Ray Red Spider: Blog: “Why Vote Bernie?”: Why Socialism Isn’t Free

I saw a blog with the link to that blog up here, arguing about why people should vote for Bernie Sanders for president. The case being that he wants to give Americans all of these free services. And I’ve made this point before on my blog, but anytime a politician especially someone from the Left, especially Far-Left says, “vote for me and I’ll give you all of these free services.” Your question should be how are you going to pay for all of these free services?

Government’s aren’t business’s, or any other private organization. They get their money by taking money from their people, their taxpayers. And then give that money back in public services. Schools, roads, military, law enforcement, etc. At least that is all developed countries fund their government’s. So when Bernie Sanders, or any other so-called Progressive, Social Democratic candidate in realty says, they’ll give free public services, they’re either lying, or simply don’t know better.

Anyone in the world who pays taxes knows that government is not free. Including Socialists, because they know they’re giving up some of their income to fund the government. Not out of charity, or generosity. Generally speaking people expect their taxes to pay for infrastructure, education, even if it is not for their kids, because their kids go to private schools. Law enforcement, national security, social insurance for people who fall on hard times, etc. And Bernie Sanders and other Socialists and Progressives who are running for office would serve their own movement’s and people well, if they were simply more frank and accurate with what they say government can do for people and how it would be paid for.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Salon: Opinion: Scott Timberg: "Stop The Hand-Wringing Over Campus PC Culture": We Might do it, But so Do They?

Jerry Seinfeld & Chris Rock
Salon: Opinion: Scott Timberg: "Stop The Hand-Wringing Over Campus PC Culture": We Might do it, But so Do They?

Scott Timberg, in his column in Salon, which might be the Federal Chief of the Political Correctness Police, wrote the best piece I’ve seen from a New-Left generally pro-political correctness publication about PC. He basically said, “yeah we might do it. But so do they and they’re better at it than we are.” Which is sort of a childish sophomoric argument, but he least he admits his side believes in political correctness. And then he also goes onto say that comedians and other commentators should have free-will in what they’re allowed to talk about. Which is all I argue for in this debate. Free expression and personal responsibility for what you say.

I don’t see what political correctness warriors are fighting for. Do they want a world where everyone whose not male, Caucasian and Christian to not have to be subjected to criticism and humor, even when the criticism and humor is dead on? You’re not going to find that planet in the American galaxy outside of New York City, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and parts of Los Angeles? Americans, believe in free speech and free expression. Regardless of political affiliation. That is all Americans between the Far-Left and Far-Right. Which is eighty-percent of us. Liberals, invented free speech, so of course they’re in favor of it. Conservatives in the real sense, support free speech. And so do Centrists and Libertarians.

When someone uses humor in an accurate funny way to describe the shortcomings of someone else even if that person is from another group, religion, ethnicity, race, whatever it might be, what do the targets of the humor and criticism have to complain about? It would be one thing if the people doing the criticism and humor, just target one group of people, while they defend their group, or groups to the hill. But even then the commentator is subjected to criticism and reaction about what they said. And if the person is inconsistently critical that will come out and be made public. Especially if a lot of what they say is inaccurate.

But don’t try to shut people up in a liberal democracy of three-hundred and fifteen-million people who has the most liberal guarantee of free speech in the world. At least among large counties and one thing that truly makes America the number one country in the world, our right to be heard, but also our right to listen and to hear what others have to say about what we’ve said. Political correctness warriors, really need to take up pot and vacation in Hawaii. Perhaps start smoking Cuban cigars since they’ll be legal in America again and learn to chill. They’ll live a lot longer and better for it.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Reverb Press: Opinion- Akira Watts- The Greatest Threat To Bernie Sanders Is His Supporters: Bernie Sanders, The Moderate of The New Left?

Source: Reverb Press- Democratic Socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Keep in mind, Senator Bernie Sanders, now Democratic presidential candidate, is a self-described Democratic Socialist. Not the only Democratic Socialist in Congress, but the only self-described Democratic Socialist in Congress. So if he’s a moderate in comparison to his supporters, what would his supporters be? Marxists, Communists, welfare statists, nanny statists, political correctness warriors, a combination of all of those things? If any of those labels are your answer, or more than one of those labels are your answers, you would be right.

Bernie Sanders, like capitalism, he likes private enterprise, he supports property rights, he’s a fan of the U.S. Constitution and even Bill of Rights. He likes our military, he’s one of the biggest supports of our military veterans and he’s not a pacifist. I believe he voted for the Afghan War when he was in the U.S. House in 2001. He wants a bigger Federal Government especially as it relates to the economy and more social insurance programs and more investment in those programs. But he’s not looking to replace the states and localities and our federalist system with a unitarian superstate central government. So when he says America should be more like Sweden, not in every area.

Of all of those things that I listed that Bernie supports, a good deal of his followers who in many cases are coming over from the Green Party and Democratic Socialist Party, as well as the Far-Left of the Democratic Party, all have issues with several if not all of those functions of the U.S. Government and those parts of the U.S. Constitution and parts of our capitalist and private enterprise economic system. Bernie, wants to reform our Federal Government and economic system. He’s not looking to destroy it and create a new one. And not only that, the only constitutional amendment that he’s offered is overturning Citizens United. And moving to public financing of all Federal campaigns.

I believe the way to look at Bernie Sanders, is from a Democratic Socialist point of view. But take Sweden’s socialist economic system with the huge welfare state, funded by a private enterprise system. But then also add the Canadian federal form of government. Generous welfare state, but where the provinces and localities have a good deal of responsibility and autonomy over their own domestic affairs. Whereas his supporters, would probably scrap the U.S. Constitution, write a new one, or not bother replacing it. Scrap Congress, or at least the upper chamber the Senate and move to a unitarian parliamentary form of government. Where the House of Representatives picks our head of state.

As a Liberal who believes in, well liberalism and not socialism that is disguised as liberalism, I do not see Bernie Sanders as a threat and certainly not dangerous, even though he’s Democratic Socialist. He’s doing very well now, but the weather is still hot and perhaps even in New England.

One, most of the primaries and caucus’ will be held next year when the weather is cold.

Two, even if somehow he wins the Democratic nomination and becomes president, he’ll be dealing with Congressional Republicans that most likely will still control the House of Representatives. So he won’t get a lot of what he wants to accomplished done.

But three, again he’s not looking to blowup the system and completely change the American form of government. But reform certain areas and reform certain parts of the American private enterprise system. His supporters, are a different story.
Lovely 2002: Black Lives Matter Disrupt Bernie Sanders Speech



Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Daily Beast: Opinion- Michael Kazin- The Radical Left—Always a Bridesmaid

Source: The Daily Beast- Democratic Socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I agree with Michael Kazin that the New-Left, lets say has always been the bridesmaid in the Democratic Party. George McGovern in 1972, would be the exception to that, where the New-Left got exactly the presidential candidate that they wanted. But where the Democratic Party is smarter than the Republican Party, is the Democratic Leadership knows how to use their radicals to get them to vote for their mainstream Center-Left establishment candidates. 2008 and 2012 with Barack Obama, are perfect examples of that.

Where the New-Left, thought they were getting Dennis Kucinich, or Ralph Nader ideologically, they instead get someone more like Jack Kennedy in Barack Obama. Whereas the Republican Party will go out of their way to make it clear to their Christian-Right and Neoconservatives that their candidates are just as stuck in the 1950s as the people the Far-Right rather have representing the party. John McCain, in 2008, Mitt Romney, Mr. Northeastern at best a Moderate-Conservative Republican, depending on which Mitt you’re talking to. Are good examples of this from the GOP.

The term radical, is not necessarily bad. It just means you’re out of the mainstream in the time and place that you happen to live. Which is where the New-Left has been in America since it was created in the 1960s. America, is not Scandinavia ideologically, or anything else and never has been. We like our Constitution, we like our property rights, we like our federalist form of government, with most of the power not being centralized with the national government, unlike in Scandinavia. We like all of our individual freedom. Including the Right to Privacy and Freedom of Speech. Which even includes the right to offend. All things that the New-Left in America has been against at point, or another.

It’s hard to win politically in a country, when you represent something that is completely different from what the country is use to and what they want to keep. Where you’re literally running to remake the economic system and trying to convince hard-working middle class workers that they’re simply under taxed and need big government to take more of your money from you to serve you. Where you literally want to get rid of the Constitution and rewrite it, or simply not bother to replace it. And be able to do everything that you want through majority rule and referendum.

The New-Left, is part of the Democratic Party to a certain extent, because they need the Democrats and to a certain extent the Democrats need them. Not because ideologically even though at times they may have similar goals, are very different ideologically. Where the New-Left, ideologically would be better off in the Green Party, or Democratic Socialist Party and perhaps even the Communist Party. But are smart enough to know that if the bolt the Democrats for a Far-Left third-party they’ll lose their place in one of the major parties in the United States. The New-Left, are the bridesmaids of the Democratic Party. They come close, or at times look that they are, but in actuality simply get used by the Democratic Leadership time and time again.
HNN Editor: Michael Kazin on Barack Obama and The American Left



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

POLITICO Magazine: Opinion: Jason Sokol: How a Young Joe Biden Turned Progressives Against Integration

U.S. Senator Joe Biden
POLITICO Magazine: Opinion: Jason Sokol: How a Young Joe Biden Turned Progressives Against Integration

Just to give a little background on Joe Biden the current Vice President of the United States and a six term U.S. Senator from Delaware before that. He would be described today as a New Democrat, or what I like to call the real Liberals in the Democratic Party. And a moderate New Democrat at that. He grew up part of a generation that loved and admired John F. Kennedy and is a big fan of him. He’s to the right of myself and a lot of other Liberals in the areas of criminal justice and civil liberties, War on Drugs, to use as examples.

So this idea that he would be in favor of what really is forced busing, when you’re talking about taking middle class kids out of good schools and forcing them to go to inferior schools just to make those schools more racially balanced, would be hard to believe. Joe Biden, has always supported and believed in a strong public education and education system. His record in Congress and as Vice President indicate that. I mean first we had forced desegregation from the Far-Right, where Caucasian and African-Americans were separated because of race. To then forced integration from the Far-Left to try to equalize and make up for the forced desegregation.

When what we should’ve been doing all the time is allowing for parents to send their kids to the best public school that is for their kid. Instead of having to send their kids to school based on where they live. Which would’ve meant kids from low-income communities being able to go to good middle class schools and get themselves a good education. And then as adults no longer having to live in low-income communities with high crime rates and everything else that people rather not have to live with. And with kids leaving low-income low-performing schools, school districts would’ve been forced to better fund their low-performing schools and get better results out of them.

I’m not a mind-reader obviously, but if I had to guess the goal of Senator Joe Biden when it came to public education in the 1970s for all Americans regardless of race, was to have a system where everyone would be able to go to a good school. Where low-income kids wouldn’t be forced to go to low-income schools. Where middle class kids, wouldn’t be forced to go to bad schools. And if I had to guess and not play a cynic here that is why he was against forced busing in the mid-1970s. 1974 and 75 is where forced busing happened in the Northeast and other places in the country.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

POLITICO Magazine: Opinion: Robert Gordon: The Fight That Changed Political TV Forever

Best of Enemies
POLITICO Magazine: Opinion: Robert Gordon: The Fight That Changed Political TV Forever

What this is about is the debate between Conservative Libertarian writer and publisher of the Center-Right publication The National Review, William Buckley and Socialist, or Social Democratic writer and author Gore Vidal. They were brought on as part of ABC New's coverage of the 1968 Republican National Convention and also went on to debate each other the Democratic National Convention that year as well. They were brought in by ABC News to offer contrarian views of what was going on at those conventions. Bill Buckley, was supposed to represent the Right, or the Republican point of view. And Gore Vidal, was there to represent the Left, I guess the entire Left and the Democratic point of view.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should if you're familiar with American politics today. Because that is now how its done, whether the coverage comes from the broadcast networks, or the cable news networks. You have a moderator which back then for ABC News would've been Howard Smith and today depending on which network you'll have that network, or news division's lead anchor lead their coverage of the conventions. And they would have several reporters there from their team to report what is actually happening. And then have an analyst from each side to tell people what they believe this all means. But that was not how it was done back in the late 1960s. Where you would have two people who are ideologically completely different debating what is going on.

But what happened at ABC News at the 1968 RNC was not CNN Crossfire of today. Howard Smith, was there to moderate and lead the discussion between Buckley and Vidal. But the problem is Buckley and Vidal were in separate rooms as Smith and you could barely hear, or see Smith during this debate. If you're familiar with Howard K. Smith, you know he wasn't some who was short on words and opinions. He had an opinion on practically everything. From things that he was very informed about like politics, to things where he wasn't that informed on like sports. But when you have a debate between two of the sharpest and quick-witted people at least in politics, but the media as well and perhaps in general and they don't even respect yet like each other, it is very hard to get any word in edgewise.

So what happens in 1968 at the RNC between Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal is what we saw with Crossfire in the 1980s and 90s. Essentially a free for all without a moderator. Where the two debaters would make their points, but also listen to the other side. They would debate and moderate the same discussion at the same time. With poor Howard Smith acting not much more as a presiding officer at a U.S. Senate session, or something. Perhaps signing autographs, or catching up on paperwork. And really just serving a ceremonial role. But that debate because of the two men who were involved and what they were talking about and the year that it happened in 1968, made for great TV. And changed how politics would be covered on TV in the future.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Blog: Judith Solomon: Medicaid at 50: A Critical and Evolving Pillar to U.S. Health Care

LBJ & HST
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Blog: Judith Solomon: Medicaid at 50: A Critical and Evolving Pillar to U.S. Health Care

Medicaid, is a very important health insurance program for people in poverty including the working poor, but also people who are disabled and senior citizens. The fact that it is also for seniors, I believe shows a problem for Medicare. Since Medicare is supposed to be for our senior citizens. But that might be for a different topic. But Medicaid is critical, but as long as we have it we need for it to be financially sustainable meaning affordable and the best way to do that is to pay for it. And no longer have this system where the Federal Government tells the states that they must have this program and only gives the states less than half of what they need to actually run the program. Without a revenue source to pay for their share and leaving the states to figure out how to pay for the rest.

If you are familiar with this blog, you it is against corporate welfare. And part of that welfare is business's getting away with not paying for their employees cost of living. The fact is if you're a cashier at a fast rood restaurant, or a grocery store, you're an essential employee. Because your employer can't do business without you and your fellow cashiers. And cashiers would just be one example of that. Good luck running a nice sit down restaurant without waiters and cooks. Or stocking a grocery store without stockers. Running a pizza joint without cashiers, cooks and drivers. And there are plenty of more examples like that.

So what I would do is what I would do with all public assistance programs and make them financially self-sufficient. Instead of having hard-working middle class taxpayers not only have to figure out how to pay for their health care and other life essentials, but have to pick up the tab for low-income workers have employers cover their employees Medicaid, public housing, food assistance, etc. Or give them an option and say you don't want to pay these payroll taxes on your employees, give your employees the money to pay for these life essentials instead. And I would happy to cut taxes on business's in exchange. But the idea that big employers who make a lot of money, but don't share much of that success even the basics like cost of living and instead pass those costs onto hard-working middle class taxpayers, is insulting.

Again, I would do this with all of our public assistance programs, but since this is about Medicaid, this is how I would reform it and make it financially not just affordable, but self-sufficient. Tell employers that they need to cover their low-income workers. Either through Medicaid with a payroll tax, or provide private health insurance that is just as good as Medicaid. Again, instead of allowing big for-profit employers the ability to pass their employees cost of living onto hard-working middle class taxpayers. As well as give low-income workers the option of taking either Medicaid, or private health insurance that their employer would cover part of that is just as high quality.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Rick Cooley: Blog: No Nukes: Only Through Multi-Lateral Disarmament

A Laudable Goal
Rick Cooley: Blog: No Nukes: Only Through Multi-Lateral Disarmament

Before we talk about eliminating nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth, which I would go along with as long as it's not just the United States that does that, but everyone else involved who currently has nuclear weapons, or is trying to develop them, lets first lay out who currently has nuclear weapons. This should be very helpful for people who are lets says a bit left of center and not quite center-left in America. Social Democrats who tend to be against the use of force, well for anything at least as it relates to governmental policy.

America, Britain, France, Russia, Israel, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea, all currently not just have nuclear power, but own nuclear weapons. Brazil, Japan and South Korea, have considered getting nuclear weapons. Iran, would like to have them. Libya, Iraq and South Africa, gave them up, or they were taken away from them. Two of the countries that are on the current nuclear weapons list are social democracies and tend to be a bit left of center politically than the United States. Britain and France.

Yes Britain and France that are two of most social democratic countries in the world when it comes to their form of government and economic systems. And yet they both use nuclear power for their energy needs and for their national security. Nuclear power, something that Social Democrats at least in America, are not fans of to say the least and would want to see outlawed in this country. See, most countries at least in the developed world, tend to look at foreign affairs and national security from a real-world perspective . It's great to live in Utopia and be govern by idealism on Fantasy Island. But when you live in the real-world where most of the rest of us live, you have to do what it takes to defend yourself from the worst possible threats.

Nuclear weapons and nuclear power, at least from democratic oriented countries are not intended to destroy other countries and kill people. And people can throw Japan and the nuclear bomb being dropped by America there all that they want. But the facts are we did that to end that war. To prevent a hundred-thousand America soldiers from being murdered in the next battle there. And whoever coined the phrase war is hell, sure as hell knew what they were talking about and probably experienced some of that hell for them self. What that means is that in war sometimes you have to do things that come with horrible consequences to prevent worst things from happening. Like your own people being killed.

Nuclear weapons, again when they are possessed by democratic countries are designed for self-defense. But more importantly they are designed for preƫmptive defense. "You do not want to hit us, because we can blow you away if you do." Again America, hit Japan with the bomb in World War II, but no other power with nuclear weapons has used them since. Because no one has been dumb, or crazy enough to call that play yet, because they know what will happen in response. When all the other nuclear powers come to the table and say, "we're ready to give up our nuclear weapons and we'll stop making them if you do the same." Then the United States will be ready to do the same thing. As we should, because of horrible consequences that come from using nuclear weapons.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Fame Music: Video: Jim Morrison: The Bad Boy of Classic Rock

The Lizard King
Fame Music: Video: Jim Morrison: The Bad Boy of Classic Rock

Jim Morrison aka The Lizard King, is the bad boy and frontman of classic rock and blues rock. I’m not interested in heavy metal and punk rock, where I’m sure you’ll find guys who got into more trouble and perhaps had even bigger addiction problems. Curt Cobain and Axel Rose come to mind damn fast for me. But, the heavy reliance and influence of black leather that you saw at least in the 1980s and 1990s especially with the leather jeans, boots, jackets, came from Jim Morrison. Which just to my point about how big a deal The Lizard King is when it comes to rock and roll and not just classic rock and blues rock where he made his biggest impact. But again heavy metal when you’re talking about wardrobe with the leather jeans, boots and jackets. That Jim Morrison made a staple of his wardrobe in the late 1960s, when almost no one else outside biker culture was wearing at all.

I don’t know of a frontman that meant more to his band than Jim Morrison. Not to take anything away from Ray Manzarek especially, who was great on the keyboards and also had a great singing voice. And Robby Krieger was an excellent guitarist and John Densmore could play the drums. But The Doors are famous because of Jim Morrison, but Morrison wouldn’t have needed The Doors at least the group that was put together to be famous and successful. How many other rock frontman at least from that generation, had the intelligence, the wit, the writing ability and then throw in the style that The Lizard King had. In an era where frontman looked somewhat preppy except for the long hair and looked like hippies, I mean we are talking about the late 1960s after all, Jim Morrison is wearing a black leather suit. Skin-tight black leather jeans, that would be called skinny leathers today. With a black leather suit jacket, an Indian concho belt and black suede and leather boots.

Jim Morrison not just put leather jeans on the map in rock and roll, but leather period. To the point that Elvis Presley starts wearing a black leather suit in the late 60s and early 70s. John Kay, from Steppenwolf has his own Lizard King outfit. With a leather vest, black leather jeans and an Indian belt. The hard rockers of the 1980s Kiss, Motley Crew, Guns N Roses, as well as heavy metal bands like Skid Row, are all wearing leather jackets and leather jeans. But much more casually than Jim Morrison and wore biker jackets and t-shirts with their leathers. Morrison, again was a rebel and did his own thing and did it so well that he made it so cool and had others following him. To the point that there are countless Doors cover bands and Jim Morrison covers. With the Jim Morrison figure always in his black leather and concho belt and at times with the black leather jacket.

But with The Lizard King, it’s not just his leather rock and roll fashion. And the fact that perhaps no other man has ever wore a black leather suit better. Or the fact that thousands of women went to Doors concerts to check the man out every night and to see what he would do on the stage next. But it was also his music and the fact that he and The Doors did their own thing and made their own music and to a certain extent sung about the times the 1960s, but did it their own way. Morrison, especially didn’t want to fit in some place, but instead create his own place that was even different from his own band members from again how he carried and presented himself on stage. And then see if others would follow him. The Baby Boom Generation, the 1960s rockers who made it big in that decade, lost three great stars. Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. But I’m not sure as great as Jimi and Janis would’ve been even combined would’ve they’ve meant more to rock and roll than Jim Morrison. The Lizard King was one in a kind and great at simply being himself as an entertainer. And we haven’t seen anyone as good, or similar since.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Grit-TV: Video: Richard Wolff: Bernie Sanders and Socialism

Democratic Socialist
Grit-TV: Video: Richard Wolff: Bernie Sanders and Socialism

I guess I look at socialism like I look at conservatism. Not that they are similar, but that both have two competing factions in them. With conservatism, you have Conservatives, or Conservative Libertarians and you have Libertarians. And lets leave the Religious Conservatives and Neoconservatives out of this for the purpose of this piece. And with socialism, you have the Marxists, who are way out in left field. And is an ideology that has almost no power in the world now. And then you have the Democratic Socialists, or Social Democrats. People who not just believe in socialism and a democratic form of it, but believe that for socialism to be as effective as possible, you must have a sufficient private sector and private enterprise. To generate the revenue needed for the socialist state to thrive.

And Bernie Sanders and a lot of his supporters and before him lets say George McGovern in the 1970s, Norman Thomas in the 1960s, Henry Wallace in the 1950s and 1940s, all of these men are Democratic Socialists, or Social Democrats. People who are very democratic in nature and even believe in a level of both personal and economic freedom, but who believed that you needed a welfare state-run by government to see to it that no one was left behind. That everyone was taken care, that there was a social insurance system for people who go through tough times in the private enterprise economy. And to take care of people who are disabled and who simply can’t work at all.

In a democratic socialist system, you would have some industries that are nationalized as well. In the areas that Socialists believe everyone needs to have and be able to use at an affordable rate. Things like health care, education, health insurance, pension, energy, banking to use as examples. But by in the large the economy would be in private hands. People would not just own their own personal property, but could start their own business and run their business. You would even see large private business’s. Including automakers, telecommunications, media, manufacturing, all small and local business’s. But they would all be subjected to high taxes and regulations to see that no one has to go without. These being the differences between socialism and statism.