Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Laura Flanders: Is A Socialist Future Possible? Sarah Leonard & Bhaskar Sunkara

Source: Laura Flanders-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

"Is a socialist future possible? Well I guess anything is possible at least in the future. I don't think this is the right question, becau..."

Is a socialist future possible? Well I guess anything is possible at least in the future. I don't think this is the right question, because it's sort of like asking will we one day see cars that fly for people who don't want to sit in traffic on the way to work. I guess that is possible, but who is expecting that. We need to separate the possible and the reasonable and realistic, because they're different things. The next President of the United States, won't be a Socialist or Social Democrat. (Sorry Jill Stein supporters) The next President will either a moderate pragmatic Progressive (which is what Progressives are) in Hillary Clinton, or a right-wing authoritarian fascist in Donald Trump. Whoever controls the next Congress, the Speaker of the House won't be a Socialist, even if it is Nancy Pelosi and the Speaker's members won't be social-democratic, at least the majority. Once you get past the Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus. The next Leader of the Senate, won't be a Socialist or Social-Democrat, even if it is Chuck Schumer. And his members won't be social-democratic by nature. Once you get beyond Bernie Sanders and Tammy Baldwin. So Socialists and Social-Democrats, won't control the next Congress in either chamber.

People point to the Millennial Generation as reason to believe we're moving in a socialist or social-democratic direction as a country as far as ideology. But go back to the late 1960s and early 1970s and yes George McGovern did win the Democratic nomination for president in 1972. But most of his support came from young Baby Boomers in their twenties. And look at the Baby Boom Generation today and you see a generation (with all due respect) that grew up. They got jobs (once they started showering and got hair cuts) and started paying taxes. They go involved romantically outside of their radical political movement and got married and had kids. They got comfortable in American society and became very successful in life and perhaps also learned about the limits of socialism and what government can do for people with their taxes. And didn't become Conservatives necessarily, but certainly moderated and became what Hillary Clinton is today. And took more of a pragmatic center-left approach to what government should and can do for the people.

Again to go back to my original point about what is possible, twenties years from now can we see an America that is a social-democratic country that looks like Canada or Scandinavia when it comes to economic and foreign policy, again what isn't possible until it's proven impossible. But I'm more interested in what's reasonable and realistic. I guess I'm just not very romantic and if the Millennial's are anything like the Boomers or even Gen-Xers and a lot of Millennial's are the sons and daughters of Boomers and Gen-Xers, they'll moderate as well. Some might even move to the Center-Right. We don't know where we'll be as a country even four years from now politically. A lot of that will depend on how the first term of the next president goes. But to say that a large percentage of the young adult generation (Millennial's) like socialism and  based on that America is moving in a socialist direction, I would ask you 5-10 years from now if you still believe that. If the Baby Boomers were Socialists, than Ronald Reagan probably never becomes President. So just I believe it's way to early to decide what direction America is moving in politically until we actually get there.
Laura Flanders: Is a Socialist Future Possible? Bhaskar Sundara & Sarah Leonard

Sunday, September 18, 2016

World Opinion Forum-CBS News: President Richard Nixon's Resignation Speech- Dan Rather vs Roger Mudd

Source: CBS News- Correspondent Roger Mudd-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

"CBS News Correspondent Roger Mudd- CBS News covering President Richard Nixon's resignation speech in August, 1974. (I wasn't born yet!) ..."

CBS News covering President Richard Nixon's resignation speech in August, 1974. (I wasn't born yet!) Of course because of President Nixon's involvement in the Watergate break in in 1972 where employees of the Richard Nixon Reelection Campaign, broke into Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in the summer of 1972. After it became clear because of President Nixon's presidential tapes that the President ordered the coverup. he lost most of whatever support he had left in Congress. At least enough in the House and even in his own party to prevent him from being impeached by the House with a bipartisan majority and win a conviction trial in the Senate. The President would have been impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate. That is how Congress can remove the President and Vice President from office. Congressional Republicans led by Senator Barry Goldwater, but Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott and House Minority Leader John Rhodes, told President Nixon that the gig was up, so to speak. Went to the White House and told the President he can't survive Watergate and if he tries to he'll be removed from off by Congress.

That is why President Richard Nixon resigned from office. Because had he not he would have faced a worst embarressment of being removed from office by Congress and perhaps losing half of his own party in the House and Senate on those votes. Senate Republicans told President Nixon that he might have twenty votes for acquittal in the Senate if it went that far. You need 34 to defeat impeachment in the Senate and Republicans had 45 seats in the Senate in that Congress. More than enough to defeat an impeachment trial if they're united on it. President Nixon had calculated that he would probably get impeached by the Democratic House that had roughly 260 seats, but the win the conviction trial in the Senate. But Senator Goldwater told the President that he didn't have enough votes in the Senate for that and that he Barry Goldwater would vote for conviction.  Perhaps Richard Nixon did want to end this and save the country from seeng their President impeached and convicted. But it's clear that a big part of him resigning was to save himself from further embarrassment.

This Democratic Congress of 1973-74, was ready to get past impeachment and deal with other issues. Like making sure the Vietnam War ended swiftly and properly, the country was going through a recession and lacked affordable energy, inflation was becoming a big problem, rising unemployment, etc. But just as long as President Nixon was removed one way or another from office. Whether they had to do that themselves or the President voluntarily stepped down. So as Roger Mudd and Dan Rather were talking about as far as whether the House would go through on impeachment anyway even with the President resigning, there was no appetite for that in either the Democratic Caucus or Republican Caucus. And the Democratic Senate wanted nothing to do with an impeachment trial and neither did Senate Republicans, especially if the President already decided to voluntarily resign. Richard Nixon being the master politician he was, knew when to fold and when he lost all support which is why he resigned from office.
World Opinion Forum-CBS News: Roger Mudd vs Dan Rather on CBS News- "Go Soft on Richard Nixon"


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Objective Standard: Dr. Martin Luther King on Government and The Individual

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Politically Dr. Martin Luther King, politically was a Democratic Socialist and proud of it. At least when it came to economic policy and foreign policy. He was a democratic collectivist in the sense he believed that the job of government especially the central government, was to see that everyone was taken care of and no one had to go without. And believed in the democratic socialist model of the welfare state that is common in Scandinavia, where the job of the central government is to seen that a lot of the people's needs are met by the government. Education, health insurance, health care, child care, very generous benefits for the working poor and non-working poor, etc. But he also had what's called a classical liberal streak (that I call a real liberal streak) where all Americans are entitled to basic individual and equal rights. This quote in this photo is a perfect example of that. Where he's saying that, "man is not made for the state, but the state is made for the man.

Individuals, don't get their power from government, but vice-versa. All of our elected officials are exactly that. They have to run in order to serve us and be given the power and responsibility that we the people give them. The people aren't required to serve the government and serve the politicians, other than obeying the law and cooperating with law enforcement. We don't have all of these individuals rights under the Bill of Rights, because the current party in power at any given time says we do. Those individuals rights are constitutional and guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. And it's the job to make our rights are protected. Not to pick and choose who has them and who doesn't. Which is one reason why I'm such a big believer in civil liberties and freedom of choice and so opposed to political correctness. Dr. King here is speaking for We The People in an individualist way. Saying that we as Americans have basic individuals rights that don't come from government.

Something that I disagree with Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists on, is the relationship between government and society and government and the people. The socialist-left, tend to combine those groupings into one group. When they say society has done this and provided the people with these things or this country does this for it's people, they mean the government does these things for the people. When in fact government is the people that are supposed to work for the people and in many cases are elected. Society, is the people and in many cases the people are responsible for job creation, providing health care, education and so-forth and in many cases that is not done by government at all, not even through the financing. But that these services are provided by the private sector, the people who work for private organizations and business's. When Dr. King was talking about We The People here, he was talking about the basic individuals of the people. Not government and saying that government gets all of their power from the people they're supposed to serve.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

John Luton: Joan Collins on The Jonathan Ross Show- Nov 2015

Source: John Luton- Joan Collins-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I believe why Americans love soap operas and tabloids so much and now reality TV, is because of women like Joan Collins, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and I'm sure many others. But these three women come to my mind real fast. Because they lived and worked like divas and women who were simply more interesting than everyone else. For good and bad and a lot of that good, because Joan Collins is simply one of the cutest, funniest and best actress's of her generation. Who went toe-to-toe with Johnny Carson when he interviewed her on The Tonight Show. Great interview if you've seen that from back in 1983. Joan Collins is simply just a beautiful, fascinating, entertaining, funny and adorable women, who is never boring and always entertaining. The life of the party and interview, life of the show. Someone who was born to be in the public eye who is always off-script, because she is quick and honest and doesn't need a script to be serious or funny, because she's so honest and you always know where she's coming from. We need more people like her for good and bad and I wish we had people like that. And perhaps so-called reality TV would disappear and we would get the real thing instead with Joan Collins and others always showing letting us know exactly where they're coming from.
John Luton: Joan Collins on The Jonathan Ross Show


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Understanding Society: Daniel Little- Liberalism and Hate-Based Extremism: The History of The Dixiecrat Democrats

Dixiecrats-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

With all due respect to Daniel Little and I am going to respond to what he said in his own piece, because he did make some good points about liberalism, but this is really a response to what CNN pro-Donald Trump political analyst Jeff Lord, had said about the KKK, being the military wing of the Democratic Party. And saying that Liberals and Democrats, are responsible for slavery and racism to non-European-Americans and even non-Anglo-Saxon Americans in America.

From the start of the Democratic Party that Thomas Jefferson created two-hundred years ago, up until the 1970s and the 1980s, the Democratic Party had a southern right-wing in it. They were called Dixiecrats and were people who believed that Europeans, especially Anglo-Saxons, were superior to all other races in America, especially superior to African-Americans and American-Indians. They created the KKK and other European-American nationalist groups in America. Who saw their mission as defending Caucasians, especially Anglo-Saxon Protestants, from people they saw as Un-American and even as animals. They owned the African slaves in the 1700s and 1800s. And it took the American Civil War of the 1960s to end slavery in America. And forced Dixiecrats to give up their slaves who were kidnapped from their native Africa. So to say today's Democratic Party a party that is made up of Liberals, Progressives and now even Social Democrats, (thanks to Bernie Sanders) is responsible for slavery and other forms of bigotry in America, is nonsense. (To be nice about it)

Remember Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy of 1968 and the early 1970s, well if you weren't born yet of course you don't. But Dick Nixon wasn't recruiting southern progressive and liberal Democrats, to vote for him and join the Republican Party. He recruited right-wing Dixiecrats, who were still a large part of the Democratic Party back then, to vote for him and vote Republican. Where they've remained ever since. The Republican Party is not the party of slavery and racism. (At least not historically) The Democratic Party that backed slavery and racism back in the day, no longer exists. The Dixiecrats are now Dixiereps, or Dixielics, but they're right-wing Republicans today. People like Strom Thurmond and his followers who once was a Dixiecrat, but then moved to Republican Party over the civil rights debates in the 1960s. Along with his followers and Southern right-wing politicians that came after him. Like Trent Lott, who served in Congress for 34 years both House and Senate. Phil Gramm, again another long time member of Congress in both chambers. Was once a Democrat and today is a Republican. Senator Dick Shelby today, was once a Dixiecrat and now is a Republican Senator from Alabama.

As far as what Daniel Little said about liberalism and extremism. I agree with him, because Liberals believe people have the right to believe whatever they believe and even express their beliefs at will. Short of falsely libeling, threatening violence against people, or inciting violence in general. Where Liberals draw the line is how people interact with each other. You can think whatever you want about someone, but we don't believe you have the right to hurt someone simply because you don't like them, or disagree with them, or even see them as a bigot. Or hurt innocent people in general from your own actions whether they're intentional or unintentional. Mr. Little, gave an excellent and clear definition of liberalism there. The title of this piece might sound like Mr. Little and myself are implying that liberalism is hate-based extremism, which of course is false. What he did and I'm doing here is laying out the liberal position when it comes to extremism and the right for even bigots to believe what they believe. And everyone has the right to free speech in America.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Euro News: Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech- What MLK's Dream is About

Source: Dr. Martin Luther King-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

"I have a dream that one day my children will be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin." Dr. Martin Luther King, the leader of the African-American civil and equal rights movement of the 1960s. Not the only leader, but the leader as far as his importance and what he accomplished for that community. And I'm just quoting what he said in his 1963 March on Washington in his I Have a Dream speech. Dr. King, at the very least wanted an America where his family and the African-American community, would no longer be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Even if he didn't mean that for America as a whole, lets apply it to the rest of the country anyway. Lets create an America where individuals are judged simply as that. As individuals and not members of this group or any other group. But simply as people and what they have to offer and where they come up short simply as individuals. That is what the vision  of a color and race-blind country would be.

Whether someone is racist towards one race of American or another, they're still racists. If you judge people simply by their race and decide they should be denied access in America simply because of their race, even if you're attentions are good, you're guilty of racism. No matter what race you're a member of and what race or races you intend to benefit and what race or races you seek to deny. That is the opposite of a color and race-blind country. That is not Dr. King's dream, but the exact opposite of it. How well and how better off would we be as a country if racism and other forms of bigotry, whether they'r targeted against people simply because of their ethnicity religion, gender, or sexuality. We're not talking about levels of poverty that we are today if racism is simply not part of the picture. Because no one would be denied schools and employment, simply because of their race or any other characteristic that's part of their DNA. And to say that this group of Americans has been denied access because of their race, now we have to benefit those people by denying other races, is also racism. But from a different direction.

Racism even if it's used to benefit other groups at the expense of different groups, is still racism. And goes against Dr. King's dream of a color and race-blind country. What we should do instead is make Dr. King's dream a reality. And outlaw the use of racism when it's used to deny any American access, simply because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexuality. Whether it comes from the private sector or government. And instead don't automatically notice one's complexion when you first seem them and think they must be this way, because this is how they look. But instead see a person and someone you can either get along with and work with or not, because of how you individually relate with each other as people, but because of how you were born and how you look. That I believe is the America that Dr. King wanted. An America that worked for everybody based on what you did for it and what you did for yourself to make yourself the most productive and successful person you can be. But not because of how you were born and your racial characteristics.
Euro News: 50 Year Anniversary of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech


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 Plus

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

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

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.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

POLITICO Magazine: Paul Starr- Why Democrats Should Beware Bernie Sanders’ Socialism

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: POLITICO Magazine: Paul Starr- Why Democrats Should Beware Bernie Sanders Socialism

The main point I get from Paul Starr’s column are the differences between socialism and liberalism. And they’re not the same thing whether you’re talking about communism which of course is different from liberalism. Because liberalism is based on individual rights and equality of opportunity. Communism is based on the collective and what is best is for everyone in society generally. Or democratic socialism which again is based on the collective, but through democratic means. Instead of having the state completely in control of society.

Hillary Clinton actually gave a great definition of what economic liberalism is at the South Carolina townhall on Tuesday. Where she said she wants an economy where everyone can succeed and make the most out of their potential and be able to enjoy the rewards of that. I’m paraphrasing here, but that is very close. Socialists again are interested in welfare rights and the collective. An economy where no one has to go without the necessities to live well in life and where no one who works should have to live in poverty. Socialists aren’t so much interested in individual opportunity, as they are economic equality where everyone is the same and no one is rich or poor. Because they believe individual freedom leads to income inequality and people becoming super rich and they see that as bad things.

What Bernie Sanders wants to do is apply the Scandinavian economic model to the United States. The whole region of Scandinavia is roughly twenty-five-million people. With a lot of land and a lot of natural resources, including resources that Social Democrats tend not to be in favor of like oil and gas. And they invest heavily in those resources and use them to finance their welfare states. Along with high income and consumption taxes, but as Paul Starr said low taxes on capital and business, trade. Senator Sanders wants to bring the Scandinavian model of taxation and welfare, to a country of three-hundred-twenty-million people that still imports oil and gas to power this huge country. But have taxes in general much higher than Nordic Socialists would ever even dream of.

Socialists are interested in Utopia and creating some perfect world where there’s no such things as sickness, poverty, war, bigotry, crime, etc. Liberals want the real world to work for as many people as humanly possible. And for everyone to be able to live their own dream in life and be productive and live in freedom. Quality education and infrastructure for all. a tax system that encourages economic success, a safety net that empower people to get on their feet and not to live off of taxpayers indefinitely, a regulatory state that protects workers and consumers, as well as business’s from predators. But doesn’t try to protect people from themselves. Which is why Liberals are still Center-Left in America, but Center-Right in Europe and other places. While Socialists are still considered Far-Left in America. Because of their heavy reliance on central planning and central government.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Politics of Writing: The Value of Comedy

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review on WordPress: The Politics of Writing: The Value of Comedy

I agree with most of what this blogger said. Who will go nameless simply, because the blogger doesn’t have a name. (My first joke) But I would put it different and I seem to be doing that a lot lately when I share other people’s pieces. The value of comedy is to make people laugh especially if they’re having a bad day or things aren’t going well for them.

I do that all the time to make people feel better. Someone tells me they lose their job and I’ll ask them, ‘where did you lose it? Maybe you should try to look for it. Don’t worry, you’ll find another one and a better one. And will do a better job of hanging on to it.’ And this is sort of extreme example, but that’s my point. Comedy should make people feel better even if it’s just for a moment before reality kicks back in.

I love comedy about life (as if there is any other comedy) but that is what funny people do. They share stories about what’s going on in their own life and what’s going on in the world and look for the comedic angle. Anyone whose spent more than five-minutes in America knows there’s always something to make fun of. Take our U.S. Congress to use as an example. The oldest comedy club in America and the National Comedy Club going back to 1776.

If you can’t find something funny about Congress, you either never drink, or are broth blind and death at the same time. Perhaps you live as a tomato with impersonating a human being and you’re simply not aware of the world that is right in front of your own face. Take the cloture rule in the Senate where 41 votes beats 59. Anyone familiar with math knows that 59 is more than 41. But not in the U.S. Senate and that is just one funny example about Congress.

I only thing about comedy when it comes to life and current affairs is that first it has to be funny and then it has to be accurate. Or at least not out of the ballpark where it doesn’t make sense. Like if you’re going to make a fat joke about someone, at least have the decency and intelligence to know that person is actually fat meaning clearly overweight. And not just a large muscular person who is very curvy.

There are plenty of three-hundred-pound football players who are just very big, because they have huge bones and are incredibly strong and can probably bench press someone’s car. (Hey, Yugo and Beatles are still cars) If you’re going to make a joke a politician, it should make sense and be in the ballpark. Make fun of Donald Trump, because any joke about him is probably true at this point.

When I finally get off the computer and done at my office and have some time to do things that have nothing to do with writing and blogging, generally the first thing I do is eat and try to relax. But after that I’m generally looking for something funny to watch. Not looking to read a book unless it’s something that I’m about to blog about.

Besides half of my job revolves around reading other people’s material anyway. I just want to relax and laugh at something that had nothing to do with my day and job. That is the value of comedy. That little escape that tells you that there’s another world out there that’s much different from your reality. And a chance to just kick back and take a deep breath. Before I have to get back to work.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Democratic Socialists USA: Social and Economic Bill of Rights

Source: Democratic Socialists USA-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

When you look at the New Deal from President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s, you see the creation of the American public safety net. With things like retirement insurance, which is what Social Security is. Unemployment Insurance, for people who lose their jobs. Welfare Insurance for people who don't have real skills and also have kids. Public Housing for people who can't afford a home. And there were other social programs and protections like that. Go up to the Great Society of the 1960s under President Lyndon Johnson and you see programs that build on the New Deal with more help for the poor. Medicaid, medical insurance for low-income workers and non-workers who aren't retired yet. Medicare for all retired seniors and seniors who haven't retired yet and other programs.

In 1944-45, President Roosevelt introduced what he called the Economic Bill of Rights. Which was phase two of his New Deal which would have gone much further than simple  social economic insurance, but to move us to a Scandinavian welfare state. Health insurance for everyone, a guaranteed quality education from government, guaranteed retirement income, guaranteed good jobs. If people can't find a job then government would give them one working for the government. President Harry Truman had similar proposals in what he called the Fair Deal in the late 1940s.  But by the time Lyndon Johnson becomes president in 1963 and he moves to his Great Society agenda in 1964, he's not looking at the Scandinavian welfare state as the economic model for America. But more social insurance to deal with poverty. Not a welfare state to manage everyone's lives for them.

What Democratic Socialists USA and other democratic socialist and social democratic groups and parties would do in America, is create that Scandinavian welfare state for America. To go way past the safety net and import Denmark or Sweden as far as our economic model. The whole idea of the safety net is a social insurance system for people who need it when they fall down in the private enterprise system. The welfare state is there to take care of everyone regardless of income level. Government provided education for everyone, government provided health care for everyone, government provided health insurance for everyone, government provided retirement for everyone, government provided leave for everyone, etc. All of these programs would become universal regardless of income level in a democratic socialist model.

So when I hear things like Economic Bill of Rights, I hear about government guarantees so people don't have to starve, go homeless, go without health care, always will have a job even if it is working for government. At least that is the plan under these proposals and I would argue about whether we should do this or not. And instead offer an alternative that is based on empowering more Americans to have the skills to get the jobs and make the money to have the freedom to make the decisions for themselves in the private market. But that is what Democratic Socialists advocate that everyone shouldn't have to go without and they would argue the way to guarantee that is to have the central government not as the last provider of human services, but the sole provider. Which is a much different economic philosophy from what Americans are use to seeing.
Peace Takes Courage: President Franklin D. Roosevelt- A Second Bill of Rights


Friday, February 19, 2016

TruthDig: Jim Sleeper: The Blame The Campus Far-Leftists Campaign Aims at Yale

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I swear to God (even as an Agnostic) that the technological revolution of the last 20-25 years has really made America a lot dumber. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that America’s public education system as fallen in the same time. And keep in mind America elected Dan Quayle Vice President in 1988 and Floridian Jews accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan for President in 2000. So that’s pretty stupid and then add America went to war with Iraq over bogus evidence in 2003.

But take that up more than ten years and we now have a generation of Americans who believe that minority Americans have a right to not be offended and critiqued. Even though they live in a liberal democracy that has a guaranteed constitutional right to free speech under the First Amendment. I guess they were too busy texting their classmate who was sitting next to them, or got lost at Starbucks when they should have been learning about the U.S. Constitution. What the hell are you doing at college and drowning in student loans (because you never learned how to swim) if you don’t like debate. If you can’t handle politics that go against your own.

God help us if any of these Millennial’s ever become constitutional lawyers. Because they’ll look at the Constitution based on how they want it to read. Where their political correctness is the law of the land and there’s no such thing as Freedom of Speech, if it goes against their politics. Where the Right to Privacy doesn’t exist if people are engaged in behavior they disapprove of. I mean if I’m in college right now and I know I’m in student debt somewhere around fifty-thousand-dollars or more by the time I graduate, I’m busting my own ass (not my professor’s) to graduate and to learn as much about America and how the real world actually is. Not how I want it to be so I don’t think everything is swell when I enter the world. That I know everything won’t be paradise for me when I leave college.

But that is not the attitude of these Millennial goody two shoes who I guess got lost at a Karl Marx convention and gobbled up everything that Mr. Marx ever wrote and said. And now believe that is how the world should work if not currently works. God help us all if these kids ever to bother to graduate. Because they may end up dumber than when they went in, but now they won’t be a threat just to themselves. But if they were to ever get into power they’ll be a threat to anyone who believes in individual freedom both personal and economic. But especially when it comes to Freedom of Speech. But at least they’ll always have the latest smartphone, or computer, I’m sure paid for by someone else. And everything will still be awesome in their little worlds.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The American Prospect: Opinion: Harold Meyerson- Bernie Sanders and The New Left

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The American Prospect: Opinion: Harold Meyerson- Bernie Sanders and The New Left

Back in 2008 when then Senator Barack Obama was running for president, the New-Left in America which were predominantly Millennial’s in their twenties and Gen-Xer’s in their thirties and forties, overwhelmingly supported Senator Obama’s presidential campaign. Why? Because they saw him as one of them, a Socialist. Instead of supporting an actual McGovernite Socialist like Representative Dennis Kucinich, they supported Senator Obama for president.

An obvious case of high school students not doing their homework, or perhaps giving their homework to their dogs and then using that as an excuse for not doing their homework. Go to a bad enough high school and you might pull that off with one of your teachers. But Barack Obama is obviously not a Socialist. Even if the whacked out Tea Party believes otherwise. What President Obama has been, is a true Progressive. In someone who believes in using government to create progress across the board. But is very practical in how to accomplish that progress.

Now go up eight years later to today and the New-Left has finally found their McGovernite Socialist. Someone who wants to almost completely transform the American economic system short of nationalizing it. Which might be somewhat disappointing for some on the New-Left. As well as Senator Bernie Sanders not being on board when it comes to political correctness, outlawing private ownership of guns and the broader nanny state in general.

If you want to call Bernie a Liberal, fine! But add Socialist to that and you got a Socialist Liberal, whose very liberal on social issues. Meaning someone who believes in limited if not small government when it comes to personal freedom issues. But someone who is very socialist on economic and foreign policy. Big believer in big centralized national government. With high taxes across the board to finance it.

If somehow Minnesota were to go through an August heat wave next week and see temperatures of a hundred degrees in February and Seattle were to run out of both coffee and water as well during the same week and Uncle Sam were to outlaw all taxation, again in the same week and Bernie Sanders somehow managed to win the Democratic nomination for president in what is still a Center-Left liberal and progressive Democratic Party and not the Far-Left Green Party, some of his supporters might actually be disappointed in him.

We’re not talking about a Communist here who wants to outlaw all forms of individual freedom and individualism here. But a Socialist-Liberal or Democratic Socialist, who is down with the New-Left perhaps on 99% of the economic and foreign policy issues. But someone who is a big believer in personal freedom. Which is something for the New-Left to think about. We’re not talking about a Communist candidate for president, but a true Democratic Socialist. Like Norman Thomas, Henry Wallace, or George McGovern.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Conservable Economist: Timothy Taylor- Twenty Years Since The Welfare Reform of 1996: The Next Stage of Welfare to Work

President Bill Clinton-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Conservable Economist: Timothy Taylor- Twenty Years Since The Welfare Reform of 1996: The Next Stage of Welfare to Work

Tim Taylor, makes some great points about the timing that Welfare to Work was done in 1996. The economy started booming again in 1994. The budget deficit was falling, unemployment was dropping. But we’ve had good economic booms where poverty didn’t fall at all and if anything went up. In the 1980s homelessness, became a national issue. Poverty went up and the prison population boomed. In the 1990s the economy boomed after the 1990-91 recession, unemployment dropped dramatically, crime dropped dramatically and poverty which is the most critical issues in any Welfare reform, also dropped dramatically. Eleven-percent poverty level by 2000. The budget deficit didn’t just fall, but we had four balanced budgets in a row by 2001 and actually started paying down the national debt.

And yes the poverty level in America is now twenty-percent again, but that isn’t because of Welfare to Work. It would be higher without Welfare to Work. You might remember 2008-09 pretty well when we had this little economic disaster called the Great Recession. Which sent middle-income working families into families on Unemployment. You don’t get rich collecting Unemployment Insurance. People on Unemployment Insurance have lost their homes. Plus there was another recession from 2001-02 from another stock market collapse and thanks to 9/11. The only way you get out of poverty which means off of public assistance for non-retired workers is with a good job. You need good skills to get a good job. If you’re a single-parent without good skills you’ll need childcare and health insurance as well. That is all part of Welfare to Work.

As much as today’s so-called Progressives (New-Left in actuality) want to paint Welfare to Work as a racist scheme to kick minority families off of Welfare and force them to fend for themselves, you couldn’t be further from the truth if you were on Planet Pluto. Welfare to Work and going further with that, with more childcare assistance, a higher minimum wage and make it more like 10-12 bucks an hour, forcing neglecting parents to at least take financially responsibility for their kids and making even low-income work pay more than Welfare, are the best things we can do for low-income families. Work should never be an option on public assistance, but instead a requirement. Along with education and childcare, requiring parents, to keep their kids in school, would be big help as well.

Welfare Insurance, or cash payments, is only the first part in a new campaign to defeat poverty. That once you’re on WI you receive it but in a real short-term and take the first job that you’re qualified for. If you didn’t finish high school, you would do that as a condition for receiving Welfare. If you have a high school diploma now you’re in community college, or some other job training. Even if you have a job, but especially if you have a job and would get childcare assistance so you would have the time to get an education and work. So instead of Welfare just being a net that catches people before they end up homeless or in jail or something, it instead is a vehicle to help people move themselves out of poverty. And once they finish their education they would even be eligible for small business loans and go into business for themselves.

Welfare and Public Housing, shouldn’t just be tools to prevent people from homelessness and starvation. But again vehicles to transport people out of poverty along with their kids. If we truly want to fight poverty in America and I sure as hell do as both a Liberal and actual Progressive who wants to use government to empower people and create real progress, then homelessness and starvation prevention insurance, is not enough. You can’t just have people living a little more comfortably while still in poverty, but instead empower them to move themselves out of poverty. And even make it a requirement that people self-improve themselves. So we know who wants to work and be productive and who simply wants to live off of hard-working taxpayers.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Plato Shrugs: The Suspension of Disbelief: Bernie Sanders as President

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review on WordPress: Plato Shrugs: The Suspension of Disbelief: Bernie Sanders as President

I disagree with the blogger who wrote this piece over at Plato Shrugs on two key points. And I think we probably agree on the rest. But Bernie Sanders, is not the ‘liberal Ron Paul’. Bernie, is the Democratic version of Rick Santorum. Rick, being the Far-Right Big Government Neoconservative Republican, who even flirted with the idea of outlawing gambling from the Federal level. To go along with outlawing pornography and same-sex marriage in 2012. Bernie, might be liberal compared with Rick, but who isn’t. That would be like saying a politician is consistent compared with Mitt Romney. Or someone is short compared Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or Yao Ming. You know, who isn’t. You might have to send out a search party to find anyone who isn’t consistent, or short compared with these people.

Rick Santorum, represents the Far-Right fringe of the Republican Party. The Christian-Right and Neoconservative wing of that party. Bernie Sanders, represents the Far-Left Socialist wing of the Democratic Party. That wants to transform this Center-Left party that I’m proud to be a member of, into the Democratic Socialist Party. Where what’s mine and what’s yours, is no longer mine and yours, but now subjected to our nightmare of an Uncle Sam. To decide for everyone what we should have and be forced to give up. And I’m talking about money here and not physical property. Because Bernie is not a Communist but a Democratic Socialist who wants a big centralized national government. To go along with a highly taxed and regulated private sector.

I also disagree with Plato about Bernie Sanders having no shot and even being a long shot to win the Democratic nomination. Bernie, has been an underdog his whole life starting with being the son of poor Jewish-European immigrants in 1940s New York. And then making it all the way through college in the 1960s and being part of the civil rights movement. To becoming Mayor of Burlington, Vermont in the 1980s as an Independent Socialist. To being elected to the U.S. House in 1990 and being reelected there seven times. To being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, again as an Independent Socialist. To being reelected there in 2012. The longest-serving Independent in Congress in his 26th year in Congress. To underestimate Bernie and root for his defeat. Is like sticking your hand in a full shark tank with your eyes close. Not worth the risk.

The Democratic Party has had a socialist wing in it and mostly democratic socialist, since the late 1960s with the emergence of the New-Left. And you could go back to the 1940s with Henry Wallace and others and people who worked for the Roosevelt Administration. The Democrats have always had a wing that believes American capitalism is immoral, that wealth and success are selfish. That the only such thing as the people’s money is money that belongs to Uncle Sam to give out to his nieces and nephews in allowances. That believes masculinity is somehow bad and that men are inferior to women. That there’s no such thing as racism towards Caucasians and perhaps even the wrong country won the Cold War. And now this movement is big enough starting with Occupy Wall Street in 2011 to have a major presidential candidate who represents them.

And I’m not putting Bernie down, because I actually personally like the man and respect him for his honesty and actually believing in what he says and his politics. And fighting all of those losing battles in Congress for over twenty-years as a result. There’s something to respect about a person whose willing to fight the lost causes, because he believes they’re right and everyone else is stupid. Sort of like the Chicago Cubs fan who refuses to root another club, because they can’t move on from the Cubs even after 50-100 years of praying for another World Series championship. Or watching games at some place other than Wrigley Field. But not only that, Bernie is a moderate compared with most of his supporters. He’s the liberal in the movement who believes in free speech and even Freedom of Choice when it comes to social issues. And not down with fascist political correctness movement on the New-Left.

So when you think of Bernie Sanders for president think of Uncle Sam, but change the name to Bernie. Our new Uncle Bernie who our parents sent us to, because they were tired of dealing with us and all of our demands that they simply couldn’t afford and we didn’t deserve anyway. So they send us to our father’s brother lets say to take care of us and we think that is going to be horrible until we get there. But then we’re there and Uncle Bernie has all of these goodies for us that he says are free. Until we find out that we’re doing all sorts of chores around the house (meaning taxes) to pay for all of these supposed goodies. That is Bernie Sanders for president. A Democratic Socialist who’ll promise you everything that you’ll pay for. As well as more stuff that you don’t want or need. And leave you with a tax bill for that as well.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Democratic Socialists USA: Myths About Democratic Socialism

Source: Democratic Socialists USA-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

With this piece, I’m going to layout as someone who is not a Socialist in any form, even in what I at least would view as the best form of a Socialist which are Socialist Liberals, what socialism is and what it isn’t. And again if you’re familiar with my blogging I’m more interested in the social democratic form of it, not the Marxist-Communist state-control form. I’m going to do this, because people who are Socialists, don’t own the label of their own politics. And prefer Progressive, or in Bill Press’s case Liberal. And all Socialists tend to get lumped in with Marxists. Which is something different.

Democratic socialism, is not about complete state-control. Sweden, is a successful social democracy with a very large welfare state and we can argue why they’re successful and why their system wouldn’t work here. But they have a large private economy with property rights and take home pay and a lot of other economic freedoms that every other developed Western country has. The world is really down to one Marxist state as far as state-control of both the economy, as well as social policy and politics and that of course being North Korea.

Democratic Socialists, aren’t Liberal Democrats. This is where I’m in complete agreement with DSA. Liberal democracy, is based on a guarantee of individual rights. Free speech, equal justice and equality under law, privacy, freedom of choice, personal responsibility even, rule of law, a national defense that defends the country, property rights, limited government, etc. As well as a safety net for people who truly need it, quality education for everyone and modern infrastructure. Liberal democracy, is truly about the individual. With a limited government there to protect everyone’s freedom equally.

Democratic socialism, is about welfare rights. Having a government big enough to make sure no one has to go without the basic necessities that everyone must have to live well in society. Health insurance, health care, education, pension, childcare, etc. And having a big centralized government with a lot of the power and responsibility in the country. Instead of the federal system where you have layers of government that each have real responsibility over their own affairs. Democratic socialism, is not just very government-centric, but big government-centric. And sees an entire country as one community. Instead of individuals living their own lives.

Democratic socialism, is not just an economic policy, but a political ideology. They have their own foreign and national security policy, as well as criminal justice policy. Which tends to be a lot more dovish at least compared with Liberals, Conservatives and even Libertarians. At least with criminal justice policy. But this is where even Democratic Socialists are somewhat diverse. Because you have Socialist Liberals, that sound like Liberals and Libertarians on social issues, even with free speech and personal choice. But are Democratic Socialists on economic policy. And you have the paternalists, who aren’t crazy about either economic, or personal freedom. Especially freedom of choice and free speech that can be offensive. And want government to regulate and prohibit.

If you look at the left side of the political spectrum, you have Liberals, or Social Liberals, who are Center-Left. Lets say FDR Progressives, who are more left, but still in the political mainstream in America. But move further left and you get to the New-Left, or even Far-Left with Democratic Socialists and even further left with Marxist-Communists. These are all different political factions and on the left, but they aren’t all the same political animal with four different political labels. They are separate political factions with things in common, but are very different ideologically.\
NYC Internationalist Socialist Organization: Socialism, Bernie Sanders, & The Democratic Party


Friday, February 5, 2016

GataBella: Ava Gardner's Private Moments

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: GataBella: Ava Gardner's Private Moments

I think what I love and respect most about Ava Gardner is not her beauty, (not many prettier) not her adorableness, (not many women cuter) not her sex appeal even though she was this gorgeous baby-faced brunette with a sweet body and great personality and sense of humor. What I love about her the most was her realness. The women you saw on stage and in her movies is the women you saw off camera. The people who worked for her and gave her roles knew her so well and set her up so beautifully.

It was like she was never acting in her movies, because she was so natural in the roles that she played. She always said that the only thing that she wanted was to be happy. Those are the characters that she played. She had the reputation of a somewhat immature wild child who went too far and had too much fun and then would pout when she wasn't happy. You see her first seen in the movie Earthquake that she did with Charlton Heston and they have an argument and she's in early fifties at this point and still very beautiful and adorable and she runs to the bathroom almost like a little girl and takes a lot of pills. Heston, her husband in the movie finds her and saves her.

She was always playing a bit of a wild child who loved to have a great time and took it too far. Because as she would tell you life to her was about being alive and living and not just being around. And enjoying life and being happy as much as you can. She died at 68, but she lived her life her way (to paraphrase Frank Sinatra) and was Ava Gardner her entire life. This gorgeous baby-faced adorable brunette with the personality and sense of humor to match. And I believe this is all part of why she's so likable then and still so popular now. Because she was this goddess who was so sweet, charming and funny, but so real and you always knew who she was and what she wanted. Not a lot of mystery with Ava Gardner.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The New York Times: Room For Debate: Andrew P. Kelly- The Problem Is That Free College Isn't Free

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The New York Times: Room For Debate: Andrew P. Kelly- The Problem Is That Free College Isn't Free

I believe the main problem with many of these political debates has to do with language and how things are described. Whether it’s called free health care, free health insurance, free education, free college, free anything else that could be viewed as a positive thing that people should at least want to have. When the fact is none of these things are free for everyone if they’re provided by government. Because who funds government? Of course the taxpayers and anyone who pays taxes. You even now have Democratic Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders saying tuition-free college when he talks about his college plan. Because he knows he’ll have to have new taxes in order to pay for his so-called free college plan.

Just replace the word free with affordable and apply affordable to every new service that you want government to provide for people and now you’ll be telling the truth when speaking to voters. Instead of giving voters impressions that you would be giving them all of this free government stuff, you’ll be treating them like adults and taxpayers. You tell them that you have a better deal for them with deal being the key word, because better of course would be debatable, because it would depend on the plan. And then tell them how you would pay for whatever you want to provide for them. Democratic Socialists like Bernie, Jill Stein and whoever else, would earn credibility with Joe and Jane Average taxpayer who are already paying a lot in taxes who know the government services that they’re currently receiving aren’t free.

So of course Bernie Sanders so-called tuition-free college funding plan, sure as hell won’t be free. At least not for anyone who pays taxes including payroll taxes. Bernie will say he’ll tax corporations and rich people to pay for his plan. But then those business’s will raise the costs of their customers, because they don’t want to see their cost of business to go up. Rich individuals will take their business and investments somewhere else where taxes aren’t as high. And Bernie might come back with passing some new law that outlaws business’s from raising their prices to cover their tuition-free college costs. But again those business’s will just take their business somewhere else where their cost of business isn’t as high. Every service anywhere that comes with a cost in creating that service also comes with a cost in providing that service to their customers. Why would government be any different?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Marmar: Jane Fonda Interview With Barbara Walters in 2006

Source: Marmar- Jane Fonda-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

At risk of sounding exactly as I wrote with what I put on my Google+, Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook accounts, (do I have enough social network accounts?) I love the realness of Jane Fonda. There’s nothing phony about her, at least in real-life. Keep in mind she’s an actress and a damn good one and as I said in my last piece about her, the best actress of the Silent Generation not including Liz Taylor. So she can play real as well as it can be done, at least onstage. And since I’m not the purely cynical asshole that I tend to get seen as, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt here. And say she’s truly a real person in real-life. What you see for good and I believe at least the majority is good and for bad and I have my own political and judgment issues with her, what you see is what you get.

Despite Jane’s Far-Left collectivist politics there’s a real individualistic side to Jane Fonda. That says people should be who they are and then own that. Instead of feeling the need to fit in and be other people. Which is exactly how I look at life as a Liberal. Personal freedom can never be real if individuals are not only free to be themselves, but then accept that and take advantage of that. But to paraphrase Jane, then you have to own who you are. ‘This is who I am as a person for good and bad. This is where I do well and perhaps could do better. This is where I come up short and need to work on to be a complete person.’ Not that you try to be perfect, but that you’re as good of a person that you can be. Because you know who you are and where you’re strong. While you’re improving at your flaws.

Without Jane Fonda’s activism against the Vietnam War and how big she was with the anti-war movement and the broader New-Left, I don’t there’s a whole lot to criticize her about. I don’t think there would be much that is controversial about her. The Christian-Right would still get on her about sexual movies in the 1960s like Barbarella, but that was in the 1960s at the heart of the Counter Culture and Cultural Revolution. And today if anything she’s still very popular, because she did movies like that and others like The Chapman Report. That looks at sex between married couples as well as adultery. Which was still very controversial in 1962. Jane Fonda, is someone who you really have to look at the whole picture before you make up her mind about her. Because she’s truly a complete and real person who can’t be looked at as good, or bad, or in black and white. Because like life in general she’s complicated.
Marmar: Jane Fonda Interview With Barbara Walters