Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

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


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Paul Krugman: 'New Deal Created the Middle Class': Not So Fast

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Paul Krugman: 'New Deal Created the Middle Class': Not So Fast

Government, doesn't create economic classes. They can assist people to do better. Which is where things like education, infrastructure, a modern working regulatory state, a tax code that encourages expansion and economic growth, a safety net for people who are struggling, etc. Government can also encourage people not to do well. We have ghettos, because of public housing being concentrated in low-income communities that have low education and high crime rates. Families with mothers who don't have the skills to take care of their kids and where their father of their kids are out of the picture, etc.

The New Deal was not an economic policy, or ideology. But the creation of the American safety net that is today even with the Great Society is still much smaller than European welfare states. I and others left and right would argue that is a good thing. But that our safety net need to be better, not bigger and designed to empower people to take control over their own lives. And not leave them in poverty. Which is really a different discussion. It wasn't the New Deal that created the American middle class. We already had one before the Great Depression. Just like the New Deal didn't get us out of the Great Depression. Since we were still dealing with the Depression at the start of World War II.

The role of government at least in a free society with a private economy is not to manage the economy. But to see that there is an environment where the most people possible can succeed. Which is what I mentioned in the first paragraph. Quality education for all, a national modern infrastructure system, a tax code that encourages economic growth, a modern regulatory state that does the same thing, while at the same time protects consumers and workers. You want government to promote your trade and your products and a safety net that empowers people to get up on their own feet. Doesn't hold them down with a few extra bucks. And then let the people make the most of the economy that they put into it and collect the results from it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Democratic Socialists of America: Thomas F. Jackson- Martin Luther King for Our Times

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Democratic Socialists of America: Thomas F. Jackson- Martin Luther King for Our Times

What Thomas Jackson was writing in his DSA piece about Martin King was the next stage of Dr. King’s civil rights and really people’s right campaign. His Poor People’s Campaign and his campaign for economic justice. Dr. King, was the Henry Wallace or Norman Thomas of his time. The 1950s and 60s version of Bernie Sanders. A hard-core self-described Democratic Socialist. Who saw racial bigotry and poverty, especially poverty that overwhelmingly affects one race of Americans over everyone else, as a horrible tragedy. As a national man-made disaster that had to be dealt with right away. Not just for people who suffer in deep poverty, but for the country as a whole. The fewer people you have in poverty the stronger economy you’ll have. More people working and consuming quality products.

Dr. King’s, vision of economic justice not just for African-Americans, but Americans in general was a welfare state that was big enough so no one had to live in poverty. Where all American workers could organize and become members of labor unions. Where the Federal Government guaranteed a national basic income for all of it’s citizens. Where no American was so wealthy that any other American had to live in poverty. Where quality education and housing would be available to all Americans. His agenda, would be even radical even today. Senator Bernie Sanders, is a self-described Democratic Socialist today. But a lot of his followers who are even to the left of Bernie are still afraid of that label and as a result won’t own their own politics. So you could imagine how Dr. King’s economic vision was viewed as back then.

Similar to Senator Sanders, I share many of Dr. King’s goals, but I don’t share the same vision for how to achieve them. But what I like and respect about both them is that they both put their visions and plans out there. And then let people let them know how they feel about them. Dr. King, didn’t want to assist people in poverty. He wanted to end poverty and have an economy where everyone could get educated and get good jobs. Including taxing the wealthy heavily to fund programs to help people achieve their own economic success. Which would be form of wealth redistribution. He put his whole agenda post-civil rights movement and the Fair Housing Law of 1968 out there. About what the next stage of his human rights campaign would have gone into the 1970s.

There was nothing mushy-middle about Dr. King. The civil rights movement of the 1960s was not considered mainstream. It almost destroyed the Democratic Party in the South. But as Dr. King said, ‘it’s always time to do the right thing.’ If something is right you do it whether it’s popular or not. Civil and equal rights are now the backbone of American liberal democracy. But they weren’t even in the 1960s and after that campaign was won. Dr. King didn’t decide to move to the center. But instead moved even farther forward. With his own democratic socialist vision for America that unfortunately, because of his assassination he didn’t have much of an opportunity to see it through. And his
movement didn’t really have anyone as strong as him that could pick up his mantle and move the ball forward for his campaign.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Marmar: Jane Fonda interview With Barbara Walters in 1978

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Marmar: Jane Fonda interview With Barbara Walters in 1978

Jane Fonda, I believe giving Barbara Walters an interesting interview in 1978. Whatever you think about her politics she’s very honest and open about them and her life as well. Like losing her mother at the age of 12, her somewhat distant relationship with her father Henry Fonda. Her political activism in and outside of the Democratic Party and I could go on. I believe that is what people like her whether they like her or not they at least respect her realness. And that there really isn’t anything fake about her. And as a result the characters that she plays in her movies come off as so real as well. California Suite, where she plays a somewhat cold and distant mother, is a perfect example of that.

Whatever you think of Jane’s politics I think even her strongest opponents will give her that she’s a great actress. Perhaps would prefer her to stick with acting and leave political activism to people who know more about the issues that she campaigns on. But she’s a great actress and I at least believe if there wasn’t an actress named Elizabeth Taylor, I believe we’re talking about the greatest actress at least of the Silent Generation. And that includes women like Sophia Loren, Angie Dickinson, Kim Novak, Karen Black, to use as examples. When it coms to acting she’s in the same class as Liz Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Susan Hayward and many other great actress’s. And that should never be misunderstood and forgotten about Jane Fonda. Regardless of what you think about her politics.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The New York Times: President Obama's 2016 State of The Union Speech

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The New York Times: President Obama's 2016 State of The Union Speech

I believe President Obama, gave one of his best speeches tonight. Because it wasn't a laundry list of issues that he wanted Congress to address and pass bills on. But instead he focused on issues where there's actually bipartisan support in Congress. Criminal justice reform, mental health improvement, addressing poverty, to use as examples. While at the same time laying out the differences between Democrats and Republicans. Like gun control, to use as an example. The Affordable Care Act would be another, defeating ISIS. And giving Americans an opportunity to decide for themselves who has the better approach on the issues where Democrats and Republican disagree in 2016 to decide who should be in power next year. Who the next president should be and who should control the House and Senate.

A lot of what President Obama wanted to accomplish he already has and did it in the first two years as president. Dealing with the Great Recession, Wall Street reform, small business tax relief. And the next two years which were about the reelection and foreign policy he was able to address those issues without having to get much input from a divided Congress that still had a Democratic Senate, but with a Republican House. Like Libya, taking out Osama Bin Laden, ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The last three years really have been all about foreign policy and an expanded War on Terror. That now includes Syria and Libya will be next as ISIS is taking a beating in Syria and will move to Libya. And America will need to respond to that as well.

In 2015 alone he got Congress to end sequestration when it comes to the Federal budget and get that paid for. Was able to get a major trade bill passed out of Congress. Middle class tax relief made permanent. The American economy continues to grow and jobs continue to be produced. Unlike in Europe and even Canada now. So this speech I believe he wanted to focus on a few areas where he might actually get some bipartisan cooperation in Congress. Like criminal justice reform, additional Welfare reform, job training opportunities for the underemployed, unemployed, and low-skilled employed. Mental health reform, so we see fewer shootings that involved mentally impaired people in the future. And even regulation reform. And we'll see what kind of success he has in these areas this year.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Forward With Roosevelt: Paul M. Sparrow- FDR’s Four Freedom’s Speech Remastered

Forward With Roosevelt: Paul M. Sparrow- FDR’s Four Freedom’s Speech Remastered

President Franklin Roosevelt with his Four Freedoms speech, was essentially arguing for a society where everyone would be free not to have to go without. Because there would be a big federal government big enough to prevent that and be able to take care of everyone. Because everyone would have what they need to live well, because it would be provided for by government. At least for people who didn’t work, or simply didn’t make enough money to support themselves on their own.

If you’re familiar with this blog, you know I’m a big believer in both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. But this idea that we would have freedom from want, or freedom from fear, sounds very utopian and like someone’s fantasy. Perhaps a fantasy that comes from drinking too much, or smoking pot that is stronger than you thought it was before you smoked it. I don’t make fun of people who want a world where there is no poverty and fear. But coming from and living on Planet Earth my whole lifetime, I’ve learned that it helps to have a healthy sense of reality in life. What’s possible and what might be out-of-reach and what is the best that we can do at the given time.

To create a society where there’s no such thing as poverty and fear, you got to create an economy where everyone has the ability to succeed.Where everyone can get themselves a good education, where their good jobs and modern infrastructure in every community. Where people have the, yes freedom to succeed and even take risks even if some risks don’t pay off. And then you have an insurance system for people who truly need it to help them when they fall down. And need help getting by in the short-term, but also get help to get themselves up and live in freedom on their own.

You create a society where everyone is essentially dependent on government to take care of them and people won’t feel the need and freedom to succeed on their own. And more people will end up dependent on big government to take care of them. And people can point to Scandinavia all they want to, but very small countries in population, with a lot of land, that are not just energy independent, but export their energy and use those resources to fund very generous big centralized welfare states. America, is obviously not like that. Which means for this country to succeed the people need have to have the ability to succeed on their own.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Elizabeth Taylor Quotes: How to Live Life

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Elizabeth Taylor Quotes: How to Live Life

I think one of the reasons why Elizabeth Taylor was such a great survivor, was because she had a great sense of humor. I would have paid anything to hear her private conversations with Richard Burton. Who could be a Little Dick (ha, ha) when talking to Liz. I think listening to them talk to each other would be like being at a great two-person comedy show. Like watching the Rat Pack, Abbott and Costello, only funnier. If you’re familiar with the movie Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (That is not a question, but a movie) It is one of the most dramatic movies you’ll ever see. But Liz and Richard turn it into a comedy, because a lot as far as how the couple communicates with each other in that movie, is how Burton and Liz, communicated in real-life.

Without her sense of humor, I don’t think Liz makes it to 79. I mean think about all the bullshit she went through in real-life and that is not talking about her movies, but her own life. I mean boredom alone could have killed her when she was married to Senator John Warner when they were married in the late 1970s and early 80s. She loses husband Michael Todd, to a plane crash. She survives what seven divorces, but manages to hang on to all her wealth that she earned after each divorce. She survives cancer and again makes a better life for herself afterwords. She is sort of the Bill Clinton Hollywood. She shoots one of her toes off, but grows a bigger healthier toe after losing the original toe. You don’t live the life that she did without being able to make fun of people effectively. Especially yourself and all of your screw ups.

As far as Liz’s advice on life, that is the roadmap she lived by to get through her 79 years. What choice do you have when you’re consistently knocked down. Especially from walking into doors, because you’re not paying attention. You either first realize how stupid you were, or how badly someone screwed you and either learn from your mistakes and get back up, or you lay down and claim life is not fair and wait to die. It is not a question of whether someone gets knocked down in life, or not. And getting knocked down in life by itself is not a bad thing. Getting knocked down in life is a reminder that you’re not perfect and you’re only human which is all you should want to be anyway. It’s the aftermath that is key. Do you learn from experience and adjust appropriately and get back up as a better person. Or do you just stay on the ground and rot away.

Liz Taylor’s message on life, was one foot forward after another. Figure out where you’re going and then ultimately get there. You’re going to take wrong turns at some point as we all do, but the key is to recognize them and then correct your course as a better person. Not lie on the floor and bitch about how unfair life is, or yell at your GPS for giving you wrong directions. But instead figure out what is not working especially your own mistakes and fix the issues and move forward. Get to wherever which is the best place for you. Knowing you’re going to screw up again, but the more you learn about yourself and where you come up short, the better you’ll be able correct your own shortcomings. And make fewer mistakes in the future.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Peruser: Rf Schatten: Donald Trump- The King of Terrorist Recruitments

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The Peruser: Rf Schatten: Donald Trump- The King of Terrorist Recruitments

Whatever you think about Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and their presidential campaigns, they’ve both been right about the same thing the whole time they’ve run. Donald Trump, is a realty show joke and not a serious presidential candidate. The man is running for a job that he not only expects to never have, but probably doesn’t want either. A Republican presidential candidate who publicly bashes women and Latinos. You can forget about the White House doing that and would be better applying for a job to work for Rush Limbaugh, or someone like that.

The man has already said enough for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee to destroy him in the fall. With The Donald probably trying to sue Hillary and the DNC for every accurate campaign ad against him. With Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee, shitting bricks every time a new ad about The Donald appears. Which is something that today’s so-called progressive media simply doesn’t understand about the man. As they actually take him seriously. They don’t get that The Donald is simply speaking to Richard Nixon’s so-called Silent Majority. An Anglo-Saxon Protestant working class, that feel the New America has left behind. And he wants to be loved by this community.

The Donald’s narcissistic ego is so big and he wants to be loved so much by a community that has been left behind, that he’ll run for president a job he doesn’t want and knows he probably won’t win and put America’s national security at risk. Including the people he claims to love and will bash Muslims and Islam in general and say they’re aren’t welcome in America. And we should close our doors to Syrians and Mexicans, because they aren’t American enough in his pint-sized mind and world. It’s as if The Donald reads Ann Coulter’s mind, or she’s feeding him material like a parent feeds their baby and is telling him what to say. Donald Trump is a 365 day a year Christmas gift, or whatever Muslims celebrate instead of Christmas, that keeps on giving for ISIS and their ability to recruit new fighters.

Just like Senator Joe McCarthy was lucky to be an American with a First Amendment constitutional right to free speech in the 1950s, Donald Trump is lucky to have that right today. Or he would have been shut up for the sake of national security a long time ago. The man is now guest starring in ISIS films and movies and used to bring people to their organization. His presidential campaign is not real and its as if, he must be an escaped mental patient who simply doesn’t understand what the hell he’s saying and doing and failed presidential politics 101. The part that says you don’t say stuff that can devastate your campaign when you’re running. Perhaps he didn’t have the grades to get into politics 101. And Hillary and Jeb, knew this about The Donald on day one.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Izzy Santino: Hunter S. Thompson's Famous 9/11 Interview

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Izzy Santino: Hunter S. Thompson's Famous 9/11 Interview

I don't quite see George W. Bush as the devil that a lot on the lets say further Left, if not New-Left, or even Far-Left do. I see President Bush 43, more as an average guy who was way over his head and had he stayed in Texas, probably would have been fairly successful there. But I don't disagree with much if anything that Hunter Thompson said in this video. The Bush Administration, at least the National Security Council, wanted Iraq and 9/11 and the so-called weapons of mass destruction, became the original reason. For invading a country that was simply not capable of even defending itself. I mean how long was the 2003 invasion, a week, maybe a month. It looked like a state high school football championship team taking on a winless freshman team in a football game.

By the anniversary of 9/11 in and even before that in the summer of 2002, the Bush National Security Council, had already decided it was going to invade Iraq and knock out the Saddam Hussein Regime. It was just a matter of finding enough evidence to get a divided Congress with a Republican House and Democratic Senate and the American people to back them. Hunter, the smart guy he was, knew this and that is what he's talking about here. 'What comes after Afghanistan?' In the so-called War on Terror. And they decided that since the terrorists hit us from Afghanistan, we should attack a country and a dictator who had nothing to do with that. Which is what you call Neoconservative thinking. Which is an insult to real thinking everywhere in the world.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Conservable Economist: Timothy Taylor- President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the Opportunity Cost of War

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Conservable Economist: Timothy Taylor- President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the Opportunity Cost of War

General and then later President Dwight Eisenhower, represents at least one major lesson that Neoconservatives never learned. Which is the limits of American military power and the limits to what America can do by ourselves militarily. President Eisenhower, in his 1961 farewell presidential address, made the term Military Industrial Complex famous. When he said that he was worried about the growing military industrial complex in the United States. This is not some Far-Left dovish pacifist, whose always opposed to American use of force. But a World War II general, who commanded Allied Forces during World War II in Europe. Every dollar that is spent on defense that is not needed., is money that is not spent on other priorities, or money that Americans can't spend for themselves.

Dwight Eisenhower, was not just a strong anti-Communist, but he led the battle against Nazism in World War II and led the battle for America during the Cold War against the Communists as President during the 1950s. But being against communism and being in favor of an unlimited national security state and unlimited national defense, are two different things. Conservatives, are anti-Communists, but put limits on what ever the American military can do. Neoconservatives, I'm sure are anti-Communists as well, but don't out any limits on military spending, or the national security state, even if that means infringing on civil liberties to protect the state. Which is how we got the Patriot Act in 2001-02. A true fiscal Conservative, could never believe in a neoconservative foreign and national security policy. Because it is too expensive and puts civil liberties at risk.

But that is all before you get to waste in spending money on defense that you don't need to spend on things that you don't need, or already have plenty of. Because that is money you might have to put on the national debt and keep your deficit up as a result, or taxes up as a result, as well as money that could be better spent on real defense priorities. Or money put into infrastructure, or research, or cut taxes. So having a defense budget that is too big not only comes with costs to your financial outlook as a government and a country, but it can hurt you economically as well. Money that otherwise could have been invested in the economy, or to pay down you deficit and debt. And Dwight Eisenhower knew these things more than sixty-years ago.