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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Onion: Pros and Cons of Free Speech on College Campuses

Source: The Onion
Source: The Onion: Pros and Cons of Free Speech on College Campuses

To be completely serious second ( which seems to go against everything that The Onion stands for ) a pro for being in favor of free speech on campus is that you get to learn other views and what people who don't think or look like you. Perhaps who've gotten through an entire school day at least without their favorite fancy coffee drink, perhaps don't even have a favorite fancy coffee drink and perhaps even gotten through a whole hour without staring at their smartphone, or least gotten through that hour without a jaw dropping OMG expression on their face.

Well, that was mostly serious, but you get to hear views that are different from your own. You get to experience what living in a liberal democracy is like. What life at college is like and again we're talking about college which is supposed to be an institution of higher learning. Even in Alabama and Mississippi where perhaps their higher learning doesn't reach the top floor and in some cases struggles to get to the second floor. ( Hey, when you produce the Roy Moore's of the world, you're going to get jokes like that. )

A con I guess if you want to look at it that way and perhaps tend to look at life from a glass half empty I need I anti-drepressent pills right away or I going to die, is that of course you'll hear opinons and views that you not only disagree with but find offensive. And you might actually hear views that literally are offensive and not just critical views that some narcissistic tight ass who thinks they're the only perfect person God ( unless you're an Atheist ) has created believes are offensive even if they're just critical and even accurate.

But so what, what were you expecting when you decided to go to college? You learn about life there and what life will be like once your'e out of college and can hopefully afford and more expensive and bigger place to live than you parent's basement. If you want to be part of world where everyone thinks and acts the same, join a cult, or move to some communist or other authoritarian state. But if you want to live in a free world you have to accept responsibilities and realities that life there is not the same for everyone and not everyone thinks and believes in the same things.

And in that world you have people who didn't get any higher learning. Perhaps that was because they went to college in Alabama or Mississippi, or were to busy staring at their smartphone, when they should've been listening to their teachers and studying. Freedom is not free and life certainly isn't free either. When you live in a free society you have the freedom to be yourself and think for yourself, but what comes with that is that everyone else has that same freedom that you and might not look at things and think like you. Which is also a plus because it's how people get to know each other and learn about each other. Which make freedom and diversity so great which is the ability to learn and self-improve.
The Onion: Supreme Court Revokes Annoying Man's Free Speech Rights

Friday, March 16, 2018

George Carlin: 'Life is Worth Losing'- Dumb Americans

Source: George Carlin
Source: George Carlin: 'Life is Worth Losing'- Dumb Americans

Warning! This piece might contain language that may offend people who are still living in the 1950s and forgot to move with the times in America as the rest of country moved forward without them.

Just to say one thing about George Carlin: Goddammit George Carlin fuckin cussed a lot! What the fuck was his fuckin problem? What kind of asshole fuckin cusses that much? God dammit he must have been fuckin pissed off. Not that I would ever tell him to watch his fuckin language, because someone like that who is generally that angry not just at people, but basically an entire country, probably wouldn't like that humor and perhaps not have even understood it. But he might have grasped the hypocrisy from a statement like that.

As far as stupid people in America, not saying we have a monopoly on that compared with the rest of the world. Especially with countries that don't allow women to even drive cars or show themselves in public, who murder people simply for being gay through government force. As well as terrorists who murder people simply for not being Muslim, as well as gay. But we might have more than our share of stupid people especially with a region of the country that values their religion over education and knowledge. That alone can create a lot of problems there when people who simply don't respect knowledge and think Jesus or whoever they pray to is all they need. That alone would qualify as stupid thinking, or lack of thinking.

See, people who don't have knowledge tend to be stupid. Knowledgable people tend to be intelligent. The actual definition of intelligent is someone who is having or showing intelligence, especially at a high level. The actually definition of stupid, is having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense. Someone who takes America to war over bogus ( to be overly generous ) evidence that never existed in the first place, is the classic definition of s stupid decision. Making a decision on no real evidence and information.

Buying stuff ( or in many cases junk ) that you simply don't need and are buying it perhaps only because it's a status symbol for you like buying that latest smartphone simply because it's the latest smartphone, even though you bought the latest smartphone last week, would qualify as a stupid decision. Even if it did allow you to be one of the first five people to share that latest purchase on Facebook, Twitter, or perhaps my favorite Google+. Sure! That decision made you look like totally awesome ( or whatever ) for an entire five minutes. But now you have two smartphones that you're not using and still paying for both of them.

When you have a country that is as vast and diverse from all sorts of vantage points and not just racially and ethnically, a country that is also as free and individualistic as we are ( at least outside of pop culture,where most people look like a clone of the latest hot celebrity ) and then you have an entire population that values their religious and cultural beliefs over knowledge, reason, and science, you're going to have a lot of stupid people. Because you're going to have a lot of people who are literally free to do whatever they want short of hurting innocent people, including deciding to not be educated and not believe evidence and facts. This is why America at times at least can look like a national morons convention where everyone is late, because everyone went to the wrong place for the convention.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Victor D. Hanson: Rethinking Watergate

Source: Hoover Institution
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I look at Watergate now more than 45 years after the 1972 break in and almost 45 years after Congress starts to look into the the Watergate break in and the 1972 presidential election with the Senate Watergate Select Committee,  in a couple of ways.

First, just the pure stupidity of it from several vantage points and perhaps the biggest being how unnecessary it was. We know that President Richard Nixon didn’t personally order the Watergate break in. Why, because he was already ahead of Senator George McGovern ( the 1972 Democratic nominee for president ) by 20 points or more at this point during the summer of 1972.

Not so much because breaking and entering into private property is morally wrong and illegal. That is probably not the reason why President Nixon didn’t order the break in, but because it would’ve been politically stupid for him to do that. Especially with a Democratic Congress with clear majorities in both the House and Senate. With network news media and the print media being such huge forces. The risks of these bunglers, I mean burglars screwing up the break in and perhaps not even finding anything that President Nixon could use against Senator McGovern. Unfortunately Richard Nixon tended to operate from purely partisan political calculations, instead of morality and doing what’s morally right and so-forth. Which is one of the reasons for his downfall, along with his paranoia and lack of self-confidence.

The other thing that makes Watergate so stupid and even laughable now at this point, but perhaps by 1973 or so, is that the crew that was put together and how they were put together and actually did the Watergate operation. ( If you want to call it that ) If you’re going to order a break in of private property and you’re not personally involved in physically committing the crime yourself, you would think that you would hire professional burglars to do the operation. You could learn that just from watching any half-decent caper movie.

That you don’t hire auto mechanics to perform brain surgery. You don’t hire dentists to represent you in court when you’re being charged with murder. You hire brain surgeons to perform brain surgery, criminal defense lawyers to defend you and when you’re being charged with crimes, and you hire professional burglars to pull off break ins. The Watergate break in team were former CIA officers who were accustomed to working in other countries and getting information for the U.S. Government. They weren’t professional burglars or criminals of any background. The Watergate break in was Amateur Night at the Watergate and when these guys knew they were a helluva lot of trouble and looking at doing 20 years or more in prison, they decided to talk to the prosecutors and that is where President Nixon freaks out or perhaps before that and decides to try to cover it up.

The Nixon reelection effort, looks like a bunch of guys in high school who decide to run for class president and pick one guy to run with his friends helping him out with the campaign, With this of course being the first time that any of them are ever involved in any political campaign ever. Not that different from the Donald Trump presidential campaign of 2016. You have a long list of 10-15 men who worked for President Nixon during the early 1970s either for the Administration or reelection campaign, who ended up in prison. Who pre-Nixon and perhaps post-Nixon were by enlarge good, intelligent, moral, productive people, but who got in way over their heads during this presidential campaign and simply made a lot of horrible decisions that put them all in prison. Watergate is a tragedy because of how stupid and unnecessary it was and the damage that these people did to themselves.
Source: CBS News: 45 Years After Watergate- Political Scandals Then & Now

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Atlantic: Helen Keller- 'The Modern Woman Puts Her Husband in The Kitchen- 1932

Source: The Atlantic
Source: The Atlantic: Helen Keller- 'The Modern Woman Puts Her Husband in The Kitchen'

It you were born let's say yesterday or at the very least have a personality and even intelligence level that makes you seem so young, naive, inexperienced, and innocent that you come off as someone who was born yesterday and perhaps don't even remember the 1990s, unlike some of us who were actually adults during a lot of that decade, 1932 and the 1930s could seem like a century ago. Like explaining the civil war to a 11th grade high school American history class in 1985 or something.

But there was a time even well before I was born where even though there was never any law saying that women weren't allowed to work and become professionals in America or simply low-skilled low-income employees or blue-collar middle class employees where you only needed a high school diploma to get a good job in America, women weren't expected to work at all outside of the house in America. They weren't seen as slaves to their men which is what Africans were pre-civil war in America in the South, but perhaps just a step up. And at the very least were seen as servants to their men and children.

Joe Wilson would go out and work during the day earning a good living for himself, his wife, and kids. His wife Mary Wilson would stay home and raise their kids and take care of the house. The cooking, cleaning, getting the kids to and from school, etc. The whole family would meet in the dining room at around 7PM for dinner or perhaps Joe would take his wife and kids out for dinner to celebrate his new raise or promotion or whatever it might be.

That is what life was like in America before 1965 ( I still wasn't born yet ) or so. Joe worked and Mary stayed home at least once they were married and took care of the family and household. And there was never any government law requiring that women stayed home while men would work outside of the home. It was just a cultural norm, or a Phyllis Schlafly marijuana high or fantasy come true.

Not saying that all Christians are fundamentalists, Evangelical, or even Protestant, but there is a wing in that religion that view this period the 1930s through the 1950s as their Utopia. Their Christian Utopia where America was moral and before what they view as moral crisis that has been plaguing America as they would see it since the 1960s. Not sure a crisis can last 50 years or more, at some point the crisis has to stop and a new way of doing things and new norm emerges instead. But fundamentalist Christians or Christian-Nationalists, point to these 30 years from 1930 to 1960 or so as America's golden age where everything was utopian for them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing David Frum- Issues With Conservatism, Health Care & Donald Trump

Source: The Rubin Report
Source: The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing David Frum- On Issues With Conservatism, Health Care & Donald Trump

The first part of this interview Dave Rubin and David Frum are talking about Canada and Canadian politics and what I'm interested here since David Frum is Conservative ( as he puts it ) is that what it means to be a Canadian Conservative is even different from what it means to even be a British Conservative. And certainly different from what it means to be an American Conservative whether you're talking about Conservative-Libertarians ( the real Conservatives in America ) and extremely different from what it means to a a Religious-Conservative. Whether you're talking about Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or whatever else when it comes to Religious-Conservatives.

Canadian Conservatives are to the right of British Conservatives. British Conservatives operate in a socialist unitarian social democratic state in the United Kingdom, where Conservatives there in many cases are just less socialist than the Labour Party. Especially Jermey Corbyn ( the Leader of the Labour Party ) who represents the Far-Left of the Labour Party. But Canadian Conservatives are to the left of both Conservative-Libertarians on economic policy at least, and to the left of Christian-Conservatives in America are on social policy.

The main differences between Canadian Conservatives from lets say the Goldwater-Reagan Conservative-Libertarian wing of the Republican Party, is that Canadian Conservatives believe limited government, fiscal responsibility, a large private sector where private enterprise and economic freedom are encouraged, but where there is a large generous welfare state for people who truly need it. That taxes and regulations on businesses should be fairly low, but individuals are taxed fairly high to fund their welfare state like their national health insurance system.

When I think of a Conservative and yes of course I'm looking at this from the perspective of an American and maybe if I had duel citizenships I could look at Conservative from multiple national perspectives, but just as an American I look at Conservative from a U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, individual rights, traditionalist, standpoint. That the job of government is to defend the republic and defend our individual rights. Encourage individual freedom instead of using big government to try to manage people's lives for them either from an economic or personal perspective. Sounds very similar to my own liberal politics but we differ on the role of government as it relates to welfare policy. But tend to share very similar if not identical principles. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Onion: 'Dozens of Other Countries That Interfered With 2016 Election Annoyed Russia Getting All The Credit'

Source: The Onion- The Real Vladimir Putin - President of The Russian Federation-
Source: The Onion: 'Dozens Of Other Countries That Interfered With 2016 Election Annoyed Russia Getting All The Credit'

When I think of this Onion article, I go back to I believe the first Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump presidential debate in 2016 where someone asked Trump did he believe Russia was responsible for hacking into the election campaigns and hacking into the DNC emails and Trump said, "it could be Russia, it could be a lot of other countries, but it could also be some 400 pound and lying in bed in New Jersey or somewhere who is responsible for the hacking. We don't know who is responsible for it." In that same debate Hillary called Donald a puppet for Vladimir Putin. Truer statements have never come out of Hillary's mouth than that. The only dictator in the world that President Trump won't criticize is the Russian dictator President Vladimir Putin.

To say Donald Trump doesn't operate, live or even have visited the same planet that sane competent American call Planet Earth, is like saying that Wisconsin tends to see snow in January. Or it can get hot in the Arizona desert during the summer. Seattle tends to see some rain and overcast every year and people there like coffee and are into new technology. Jazz music is popular in New Orleans, Washington especially Congress and the White House, has more than their share of bullshit and hot air, as well as humidity. You would be doing the best imitation of Captain Obvious the world has ever seen to the point that you would be for not only a Golden Globe but an Oscar on the same night.

Big Don simply sees things that aren't there. And that's assuming he's not an complete idiot and is being straight up when he says he doesn't believe Russia didn't interfere in the 2016 elections ( because his good friend Vladimir Putin told him so ) even though his own National Security Council and his own intelligence community where President Trump is personally responsible for the appointments of all of these national security and intelligence officials to work for President Trump and give him the best national security and intelligence advice that they possibly can. What they're telling the President and hold him more than a year ago is that Russia interfered into the 2016 presidential election.

But Donald Trump with an ego the size of the Sahara Desert simply can't bring his mind around to accepting that, because that would imply that Russia is partially responsible for the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States instead of Trump deserving all the credit ( or blame ) for that himself. Any responsible, sane, competent, intelligent, reality based, ( not reality TV ) person would've acknowledged as soon the evidence came out perhaps as early as November or December of 2016, that of course Russia interfered with the 2016 elections as Donald Trump said himself he wanted Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton's emails and releases the non released emails during the summer that year, because that is where the evidence points to.

Because responsible, sane, competent, intelligent, reality based ( not reality TV ) people have their reputations to protect and don't want to be perceived as not knowing what's going on and don't want to be divorced from reality like a gold digger who wants to divorce their wealthy spouse as soon as they have a lot of their money. Good, responsible, intelligent, sane people, don't want to be seen as idiots. President Trump apparently doesn't have that problem to worry about because he could care less if he's seen by an idiot even by people who personally work for him ( and that is already happening, just ask his Secretary of State ) as long as he gets what he wants. Which is to perform and entertain and try to convince people of seeing things that simply don't exist, because those perceptions or lies make him look better than he deserves to look.

Donald Trump doesn't live in a reality based world, but in a reality TV based world known as Donald Trump. With the latest series taking place at The White House as President of the United States. Some people have suggested ( me included ) that the name of President Trump's latest reality TV show is Amateur Night at The White House. He sees and acknowledges what he wants to even if those things obviously don't exist. Which in many ways is very funny and how you get an Onion article written about you and how someone writes a piece for their blog about you with that Onion link. But in most if not every other way it's very sad and dangerous to have a President of the United States who is so far divorced from reality and not able to make decisions based on reality and the best available evidence at the time.
Source: The Onion: The Onion Has Obtained Hundreds of Classified Documents From The Trump White House

Friday, March 9, 2018

Politics and Prose: Bruce Bartlett- 'The Truth Matters'

Source: Politics and Prose
Source: Politics and Prose: Bruce Bartlett- 'The Truth Matters'

I don't want to make this all about Donald Trump, but when I thinking about The Truth Matters I think of that Kellyanne Conway line from February last year I believe when she's on NBC's Meet The Press with Chuck Todd and Todd asks her something about the truth and facts and Kellyanne looking back at it I believe she was somewhat reluctant in saying this because of how bad it would sound and make her look with the mainstream media going after her for about a week on this, but she said, well there are alternative facts. With Todd essentially saying that no, there aren't alternative fact. There's the truth and then there are falsehoods.

Alternative facts and Martians have one thing in common and even that is only one thing it's a very important thing, they don't exist.

You have facts which is the truth and and how people know what's going on with either themselves or people around them or in society in general.

There are falsehoods things that simply aren't true. And then there's garbage ( to be nice ) which is a nice way of saying lies.

The truth is what's going on and what's happening what we know to be true. America is a federal republic. That would be one truth.

Falsehoods are things that are simply wrong and people unintentionally say falsehoods all the time thinking what they said is correct not having the right information with them at the time that they said what they said or did what they did. Like the weather report saying that i's going to rain tomorrow and maybe it's an overcast day but the weather is dry the whole day because the storm moved onto another area.

And there's garbage or lies when people are representing things as the truth that simply aren't true. Like Donald Trump claiming he would work all the time and not spend as much time playing golf as President Obama. That was obviously a lie.

There's no such thing as freedom without facts and real hard information that people have to have to make the right decisions. Without the truth you're a blind person with eyes feeling your way around the world never knowing for sure what's in front of you. But with the truth, as well as a sane, sound, intelligent, sober, experienced mind, you can be as free as a bird and do anything that you're personally capable of doing. The truth and always knowing what's going on and always knowing the truth about your self is the most important and effective tool and freedom that anyone can have. And when people especially public officials are caught telling either falsehoods or flat-out lying it's the job of the media and the public especially to always hold those people accountable. To promote this most important tool that people have and discourage the archenemy of the truth which is falsehoods and nonsense.