Monday, October 31, 2011

Carole Robinson: State of The Union (1948) Starring Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn

Source:Carole Robinson- from 1948, with an all star, Hollywood, Hall of Fame cast.

Source:The Daily Times

"Entertainment Purposes Only. Frank Capra and Van Johnson - Need I say more? Oh, yes - Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, and Angela Landsbury...enjoy the scene with tow plane in midair playing bumper cars. Claudette Colbert was originally cast in the Hepburn role." 

The State of the Union from 1948 is a very entertaining and very funny movie with an excellent cast. Spencer Tracy as the presidential candidate, Katharine Hepburn as his wife, who’s somewhat reluctant to get into politics. But who’s more than capable of taking care of herself. Van Johnson as the political strategist, Angela Lansbury as Washington political insider. A leader in I’m guessing the Republican Party. And some other great people as well and the Spencer Tracy character a private businessman from New York.

The Tracy character who basically up till this point never considered running for any public office gets recruited by these party insiders. To be their presidential candidate, because he’s a very successful and wealthy outsider. Who does seem to have an interest in current affairs and has an independent streak, but never gets around to running for public office. The Tracy character reminds me a little of Ross Perot and Tom Dewey. But charming and likable and someone who these insiders believe can beat the incumbent President.

Harry Truman gets mentioned as the President in the move, that the Republicans want to beat. This movie came out in 1948 the year of that famous election between President Truman and Governor Tom Dewey of New York. And the Tracy character reminds me of Tom Dewey, even though Governor Dewey had some experience in public service at this point as a prosecutor as well as Governor of New York, but politically the Tracy character reminds me of Dewey: Progressive on social issues and foreign policy and a believer in fiscal responsibility as well.

Spencer Tracy plays the outsider of outsiders running for President of the United States. Not just because of the fact he lived outside of Washington, never served in public office or public service. Never even active in politics or current affairs, but also someone who was an outsider with his politics as well. He was farther to the left than Woodrow Wilson on foreign policy, calling for a world government. That would go past the United Nations. But someone who was also an anti-Communist and believed America should be tough with Russia.

In that sense this character reminds me a little of Tom Dewey. This character was a strong Progressive on economic policy. In favor of very high tax rates. Even as a very wealthy businessman, to be used to pay for social insurance programs and public services: like health care, health insurance, education and other things. But also a strong believer in fiscal responsibility as well. That tax revenue shouldn’t be wasted and spent very wisely as well. Again reminding me of Tom Dewey and Ross Perot. And a presidential candidate like this today I believe could be very successful in appealing to Independent voters as an Independent. Because of their broad reach.

State of the Union was a great political movie back in 1948. And is still a great movie today over sixty years later. Because it’s very relevant to the politics back then. Third-party candidates like Henry Wallace of the Progressive Party and Strom Thurmond of the Dixiecrat Party. Candidates who could actually have an affect on the presidential election. And that the Democratic Party and Republican Party actually had to take seriously. And try to appeal to some of their supporters in order to get elected or reelected. And it would be nice if these third-parties were more of a force today. And give American voters more choices in who they can vote for. 

CBS News: Tony La Russa Retires as St. Louis Cardinals Manager

Source:The Daily Press 

The only thing keeping Tony La Russa out of the Hall of Fame as a manager was himself, because he's been managing for 33 years consecutively, his whole career, and I believe he's been the best manager in Major League Baseball that whole period, and that includes people like Tommy Lasorda, Billy Martin, Earl Weaver briefly, Bobby Cox. Joe Torre, Roger Craig, Jim Leyland, and many others.   Some may say Joe Torre because of the championships:  4 World Series Championships, 6 American League Championships, 11 Eastern Division Championships, and 13 playoff appearances.  Only Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox come close to those accomplishments in this time period.

But when Joe Torre was with the New York Yankees from 1996 to 2007, you could make a case that he had the best team in MLB every year he was there, especially from 1998 to 2007, but they came up short several times, as in 2001 losing to the underdog Phoenix Diamondbacks, 2003 losing to the underdog Miami Marlins, both in the World Series, 2002 losing to the underdog Anaheim Angels in the American League Championship, and 2004 blowing a 3-0 Series lead to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship, something that will always be hated by Yankee Fans and loved by Red Sox Fans.  I know a few of those fans myself. And of course the Yankees always had the most money in this time period and could always basically put all-star teams together to win the World Series.

Other than the time period during which Tony La Russa was with the Oakland Athletics from 1988 to 1990 or 1991, he was there from 1986 to 1995, but in those 4 years you could make a pretty good case that the Athletics should have won at least three World Series if not four, because from 1988 to 1990 they had the best three teams in baseball.  And they only won one World Series.  Of course, one is better then nothing but in the two World Series that the Athletics lost in 1988 and 1990, they won a total of one game.

They lost 4-1 in the 1988 World Series to, I believe, the worst World Series Champion since 1969, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who only won something like 85 games that season.  And of course you had the famous Kirk Gibson home run in game one to win that game against the best closer in baseball at the time, Dennis Eckersly.  When Tony La Russa was in St. Louis with the Cardinals from 1996 to 2011, he didn't always have the best team and he still won 7-8 Central Division Championships, three National League Championships, and two World Series, and made the playoffs 9-10 times again. When only four teams make the playoffs in each league, they may go up to 5-6 teams in 2012, but we'll see. 

Tony La Russa was the best manager in MLB in his era as well as today because of what he got out of his players for the most part, not including his time in Oakland, but definitely in St. Louis, a midsize market. But with a great fan base, if not the best in MLB, it was just a matter of when Tony La Russa would retire.  That would determine when he was going into the Hall of Fame, because he's a first ballot Hall of Famer in waiting.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

TNT Films: George Wallace (1997) Gary Sinise as Governor George C. Wallace

Source:TNT Films- actor Gary Sinise as Governor George C. Wallace (Democrat, Alabama)

Source:The Daily Times

"Teaser for George Wallace (1997) captured from the Contact (1997) VHS tape."

From what I’ve heard and seen, read about George Wallace the former long time Governor of Alabama, as well as multiple time presidential candidate as a Democrat, as well as an Independent, the 1997 TNT movie about him naturally called George Wallace, is a pretty accurate movie about him. George Wallace started off as a Progressive on economic policy. Things like infrastructure investment, public education, as well as higher education, housing. And was a moderate on social issues. Including civil rights, until he lost the 1958 election for Governor of Alabama.

And then George Wallace calculated politically that in order to become Governor of Alabama and have a future in national politics, especially as a Southerner, he could get by with being for economic progressivism, even tax hikes. As long as that money was doing some good for the State. With schools, roads and so forth. But that he had to run to the Right or Far-Right even on Civil Rights. That he couldn’t support integration, in order to get elected Governor of Alabama.

Even as someone who up to that point was basically a Progressive Democrat and had to been favor of states rights especially on civil rights. In order to get elected Governor of Alabama and reelected and have a future in national politics, or with another party. Which is what he did in 1968 running for President in the Independence Party and there was such a thing back then. The movie George Wallace I believe does a very good job of portraying the man George Wallace. Who was very different in public than in private.

Which is how Gary Sinise plays Governor Wallace in the movie. Someone who didn’t believe in integration in public. Even though in private got along very well with African-Americans and even managed to win some of their votes. Because he was a Progressive on economic policy. And built schools, roads, hospitals and other public infrastructure in their communities. Something that Alabama Governor’s apparently didn’t do much of in the past. And these African-American voters voted with their wallets when it came to Governor Wallace.

And thats what you see in this movie as well. Someone whose public persona was different from his private persona. And without the assassination attempt in 1972 in Laurel, Maryland, when Governor Wallace was campaigning for president in the Maryland Democratic primary, getting shot I believe in the back, maybe we have an Independence Party today. A clear third choice for Independent voters. And a party of their own that George Wallace could’ve continued to build. Along with John Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in the 1990s.

The TNT George Wallace movie I believe was very good. As well as the PBS documentary film about him. Setting the Woods on Fire from 2003. Because both films did their research on him and interviewed people who knew him and worked for Governor Wallace. And didn’t try to portray George Wallace as a devil or as a saint. But someone who was a lot more complicated than that, as he was. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ESPN: CFL 1995-Grey Cup-Baltimore Stallions vs. Calgary Stampeders: Highlights

Source:FreeState Now

When the Colts left Baltimore in 1984, Baltimore went out of its way to land a new NFL franchise, including landing the Stars of the USFL in 1984 who played two seasons there before the USFL folded in 1986.  After that Baltimore hosted NFL Preseason games at Baltimore Memorial Stadium, nicknamed, and for good reason, the "Outdoor Insane Asylum" because of the crazy fan atmosphere it had for sporting events.

And then Baltimore applied for an NFL expansion franchise in 1993 but was turned down and lost out to Charlotte and Jacksonville and then struck gold in 1994 when they landed a CFL franchise, the Stallions, that were around for two seasons, 1994-95.  It was two of the greatest two seasons that pro-football franchise had, especially for an expansion franchise, winning two Eastern Conference Championships, playing in two Grey Cup Finals, and winning the Grey Cup in 1995 and barely losing in 1994 to a very good Vancouver Lions team in Vancouver and then beating a very good Calgary Stampeders led by QB a Doug Flutie team in 1995 in Regina. I saw both games on ESPN.  They could've easily won both games, but in 1994 they lost on a last second field goal by Louis Pasiglia  The Stallions had two very good teams in their only two seasons.

But the Stallions were also very well managed, led by their General Partner Jim Speros, a native Marylander who understood Maryland and the City of Baltimore and how passionate they were for pro-football and how much they wanted it back as well as how much they missed the Colts and how much they wanted another pro-football franchise. Speros marketed his club very well and they played at Memorial Stadium, which has a great fan atmosphere.

For both football and baseball with the Orioles, he hired Don Matthews as his head coach/general manager, who had a long successful history in the CFL.  I believe he's in the Hall of Fame winning multiple Grey Cups, and they put two very good teams together, signing players, not based on how good they would be in the NFL, but on how well they would play in the CFL, such as QB Tracy Ham, RB Mike Pringle, WR Chris Armstrong, LB OG Brigance, and others.

And that's why they were so successful so early, because they had a team that had already been successful in the CFL and knew how to play the CFL brand of football, which is different from the NFL.  Without the Stallions and all the success they had and how well Baltimore and Maryland supported their new team by leading the CFL in attendance both seasons, Baltimore probably doesn't land the Ravens in 1995.

The Stallions proved to the NFL that they can support a major league pro-football franchise by how they supported the Stallions, even though Baltimore is only 40 miles from Washington with the Redskins and 90 miles from Philadelphia.  Baltimore could support its own NFL franchise and have the Stallions to thank for that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

C-SPAN: President John F. Kennedy's 1963 Address on Civil Rights

Source:FRS FreeState

When I think of how Democrats should be and this is going to sound real arrogant, but I look at myself when I’m talking politically. A Liberal, because we believe in individual freedom, maximize freedom for the individual, as long as we are not hurting anyone else with our freedom. That means economic, social, political, religious, freedom of choice, as long as we are not hurting anyone else with our freedom. That we get back to what Old School Liberalism is. Not how liberalism is stereotyped today, which looks more like socialism, or progressivism. Liberalism, which is about individual liberty, again as long as we are not hurting anyone else with our choices.

But that’s me. Every Democrat can have their own version of what Democrats should be. But to me we are supposed to be the Liberal Democratic Party in America. Because we believe in liberal democracy. Not a Social Democratic Party, that some so-called Progressives today would like us to become. Or a Centrist Democratic Party, where those people could probably be Republicans as well. Like Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. But when I think of people who come the closest in representing what democrats and liberalism should be, I think of Jack Kennedy with Bill Clinton being not that far behind. As well as some Liberal Democrats today like Senator John Kerry, another JFK with very similar politics as Jack Kennedy. Senate Deputy Leader Dick Durbin and a few others. People who are Liberals not because they believe in collectivism. That government can solve all problems. But because they believe in individual liberty.

Jack Kennedy, in particular comes closest in representing what democrats are supposed to be. Not just because of his politics, but with his power to communicate his views. Just like Barry Goldwater represents exactly what Republicans are supposed to be because he was definitely a Classical Conservative. And communicated classical conservatism as well as it could be communicated and I would add Ron Reagan to that list as well. Because even though President Kennedy was late to the dance on civil rights and had he got their earlier, maybe he could’ve got the ball rolling on it earlier, but he got there. And it wasn’t that he didn’t believe in civil and equal rights, but that it was politics that was keeping him from it.

Losing the South in the 1964 Election, which is a weakness on President Kennedy’s part and I’m not excusing it. President Kennedy comes closest to representing what democrats should be. Because he was strong and smart on defense not soft that a lot of democrats after him got accused of being. And to a certain extent for good reason, again supported equal rights, individual freedom. Didn’t want the Federal Government growing indefinitely, that there was a limit in what it can do to help the country. Fiscally responsible, these are all things that Liberals actually believe in. That government can help people who are down get themselves up, with what’s called a safety net. Not a welfare state and they are different.

This is what it means to be a Liberal Democrat. Now I’m sure I’m farther to the left on a lot of social issues than President Kennedy. Like decriminalization of marijuana and prostitution and perhaps Gambling as well. But those issues, weren’t considered mainstream back in JFK’s time. But he comes the closest from every Democrat I’ve ever seen, as someone who doesn’t believe in any form of big government. Doesn’t believe in collectivism, but believes in individual freedom instead. Which is one of the reasons why he was such a strong anti-Communist. Not only in Congress, but as President as well and I wish we had more Democrats today like Jack Kennedy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Liberty Pen: The Mike Wallace Interview: Ayn Rand- Saving American Liberty

Source:FreeState Now

I have some respect for Ayn Rand when it comes to individual liberty and even economic freedom. I’m not a fan of socialism either, but this idea of Cowboy Capitalism, which how we would describe her brand of capitalism today, is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing today. We have more than ten years now of evidence to know that doesn’t work. Cowboy Capitalism, is where you don’t regulate the economy at all. You essentially let American enterprise govern themselves and when they screw up, tough for taxpayers. Because now they have to bail them out. Which is what TARP represented in 2008 and why Dodd-Frank was passed in 2010 to reform how Wall Street was regulated.

One problem with the Bush Administration from 2001-09 was that they didn’t bother to do much if any regulating of Wall Street. They didn’t enforce the current laws that were on the book and the Congress not only passed new laws to go along with the laws that were already there, but not being enforced. So now the Federal Government has to figure out how to enforce its old laws which may be old and outdated now, as well as the new laws from the Dodd-Frank legislation. You need to have a referee in the economy. Especially an economy as large as America’s, otherwise people are going to be abused and screwed over. Because people can get away with it and you’ll see monopoly’s forming. Because again they can get away with it. Not public monopoly’s, but private monopoly’s and I’m not in favor of either.

American capitalism, works best when the Federal Government is spending a set amount based on what they take in. And only doing what they do well and can only do well. And you have to lay these things out ahead of time instead of letting them pick and choose what they do. The Federal Government, needs to be regulated as well and also when their taxes that we pay are low, but high enough not to hurt the economy. But so they can do the things that they should be doing. Again that are decided ahead of time. One of the problems with the Federal Government right now, is that it doesn’t budget and borrows 40% of the revenue it spends and this gives them a lot of freedom to do a lot of things.

The Federal Government, used to operate under a budget and we need to get back to that. We need a lot of economic freedom again that’s low taxed. With a maximum amount of free, fair and open competition. With anti-monopoly laws that can be enforced and are enforced. Let business’s and individuals run their business’s as they see fit, as long as they are not abusing anyone with their freedom. Including their workforce, without them they would be out of business. What doesn’t work in America is Cowboy Capitalism as we are finding out the hard way and socialism. Which so far we’ve avoided going down that road and only have a safety net. What works in America is American capitalism as I just laid out and regulation as well as economic freedom have to be part of that.

Firing Line: William F. Buckley Interviewing U.S. Representative Paul McCloskey & Allard Lowenstein- Dump Richard Nixon?

Source:The FreeState

Richard Nixon, wasn't a very popular President his first couple years as President, with the Vietnam War that he inherited and with the anti-war movement that was going on as well. President Nixon inherited a lot from President Johnson when he became President. And made a lot of tough decisions, like expanding the Vietnam War in an attempt to bring North Vietnam to the negotiating table. Which in the end worked. But he paid a heavy price for it politically and wasn't really a lock to get reelected until the spring or summer of 1972. After the Nixon Administration reached and agreement to end the Vietnam War with North Vietnam.

President Nixon, also had two successful foreign policy trips to Russia and China and opening up relations with both countries. The first American President to arrive in either country. Dick Nixon was about twenty years ahead of him time on foreign policy. Whether you like him or not or are in between, you have to give him credit for that. He's one of the most intelligent politicians and President's we've ever had. And for that reason he could see how things were developing and how they were going to look in the future. And this "Dump Nixon" movement in the Republican Party must of been a reaction from I guess the libertarian wing of the party.

Republicans who believed the Vietnam War was a mistake and one of the reasons why they elected Dick Nixon was to end the Vietnam War. But he expanded that war before he ended it. They must been the people behind the "Dump Nixon" movement. And thats not what they were looking for, but a complete end to the war. Its a huge risk to take on your own President the leader of your party, when he's in his first term. Which is exactly what President Nixon was by 1971. Because again President Nixon was no lock to get reelected in 1971, he wasn't very popular at this point.

Also the Democratic Party still has solid majorities in Congress. Both in the House and Senate and losing the presidency in 1972, which of course didn't happen, but had that happen, the Republican Party would once again find themselves out-of-power in the Federal Government. Just like in the 1960s when Congressional Democrats added to their majorities. Republicans had to retain the White House in 1972 to further their momentum that they made in the South in the mid and late 1960s. I wasn't aware there was a "Dump Nixon" movement. I didn't believe Republicans ever did things like this. The only other time I'm aware of this happening was in 1992. When Pat Buchanan and his supporters took on President George H.W. Bush and ran against him in the Republican primary's and had some success. This kinda thing generally happens in the Democratic Party, when the Far Left believes the President is not progressive enough like today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

VOA News: Activists Seeking to Capitalize on 'Occupy' Protests

Source:FRS FreeState

I believe at least a majority of the country supports these protests on Wall Street all across the political spectrum. Wall Street is not very popular with any political party right now, except for maybe the Libertarian Party and Tea Party. That's why we are seeing large protests all across the country against Wall Street and even corporate America to a certain extent. I wish these protests would reach Congress as well, both in the House and Senate. To get them to start moving an legislating and even coming together.

Occupying Congress and the members who are bought by Wall Street, at least in too many cases, would make more sense, than to simply try to occupy buildings where a lot of investing is done. I mean if this was a real occupy movement Left or Right and this time it is certainly coming the Left, if not Far-Left, you go where the money is so to speak. And occupy the people who take the money from the business's and investors you are say are destroying the American middle class. I know that sounds like commonsense and what does that have to do with American politics, probably nothing, but something to think about. 

And hopefully OWS will at some point, with a 13% approval rating of Congress and with the people who officially who approve of Congress either dead, living in Mongolia, or in a coma, because who could in their right mind who is familiar with our government, actually approve of the job that the U.S. House and Senate are doing right now. There's plenty incentive for them to do that, if they have the guts to take on their political bases. 468 members of Congress between the House and Senate are up for reelection in 2012. 

And if 2012 is another anti-incumbent election, then a lot of those members in both parties could be looking for new jobs after election night. Seriously, the scariest thought for any career politician, perhaps especially someone in Congress, is looking for a new job, Which is why pissed off Americans should be scaring the hell out of them right now.  But right now they are focused on Wall Street so I'll focus there. What these protesters have in common is that they are independent. Meaning they aren't Democrats or Republicans in a lot of cases. 

Not one national organization is running these protests and putting them together. But a bunch of different political organizations perhaps working together. And there's also political diversity within this movement. Socialists, Libertarians and some Liberals are all part of this movement, perhaps even some true Conservatives, who are fed up with bailouts corporate capitalism and want to see change in our economic system.A diverse somewhat American melting pot of political philosophy. Who have found at least one issue to not try to beat the heads of people they normally don't agree with.

The political diversity in this movement is positive for them in this sense, it indicates that there's broad support for it. That there's not one political party behind it and that the country wants to see real change in our country and our economic system. But it's a problem as well, because there isn't a consensus in what change and reform should look like. Conservatives and libertarians would like to see government less involved with our economic system spending less and downsizing and less regulation and no more bailouts and tax less. Socialists obviously are the complete opposite of that and perhaps would like to nationalize some industries, especially banking and health care. 

Liberals would like to see reform with our entitlements, cutting the deficit and debt, infrastructure investment, tax cuts for the middle class, expand free rrade. And bring our foreign troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq and other places. There's significant support for what Conservatives, Libertarians and Liberals want to do. Socialists have the most ambitious agenda of everyone, perhaps put together. Having a political coalition of LIberals, Libertarians, Conservatives and Socialists is not an odd couple. More like a melting pot put into a big stew, that makes people want to vomit after eating it. 

Socialists want to return America to the 1950s as far as tax policy. Tax Rates starting at 25% and going up to 90% and people like socialist economist Richard Wolfe have been very upfront about that. As well as nationalizing our healthcare system, nationalizing our higher education system. With the Federal Government now paying for everyone to go to college at taxpayer expense. As well as other things. If you think America has a big government now, put Socialists in charge and this government would look like a midget that is shrinking in comparison to what they want to do.

There's potential for a movement here as being against something, but that's the easy part. The question is what do you do instead, what do you and what do you replace it with. And all of these political factions have their own agendas that they would like to see pass. This is not a governing coalition, but more like a protest coalition similar to what the Ross Perot movement of the 1990s. So I don't see a consensus right now in what to do instead after the partnership between Wall Street and the Federal Government is broken up. 

And that can only happen with either getting private money out of federal politics. Can't be done without a constitutional amendment, because the Supreme Court would throw it out. The only other alternative I see is full- disclosure which is very difficult to pass. Because it would require public officials to release to the public who they deal with and how much money they receive from them. Asking a career politician to release their political contributors, is like asking an obese food addict to give up eating cold turkey for a week straight without supervision. Good luck with that and let me know how it works out.

Until there's a movement that has broad support in not only what its against, but what they want to instead and can get elected and reelected and puts proposals on the table that becomes law, We are stuck where we are in gridlock, with a do nothing Congress with its first eye always on the next election and how to get their base to the polls and votes for them. But look at the bright side, when things aren't going well for you and you are in trouble, you'll always have Congress to make fun of and say, "at least I'm not as bad as those people and know how to get my work done".

Monday, October 3, 2011

John Fitzhamh: The 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis

Source:FRS FreeState

The 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis was awful for lots of reasons. For one the hostages who had to go through that ordeal. The hostages friends and families who had to go through that ordeal. The American People who had to go through this ordeal as well. With all the news coverage and news specials that was dedicated to covering the hostage crisis. The country had to not only go through this ordeal, but also the embarrassment that came with it. How weak America looked as a result, that a group of students Islamic Terrorists in a third-world country could essentially take a country hostage.

As well as take an American presidency hostage. President Carter as well and probably crushed whatever hope he had left in getting reelected in 1980. Especially with Senator Ted Kennedy announcing that he would run for president in the Democratic primary's. America in this period was already going through a very rough period especially economically. With double figure unemployment and interest as well as inflation rates, with another recession. In 1978 as well as 1980 and was facing several other issues that all commanded the attention of the Carter Administration. But when you have American hostages in a foreign country especially in a country thats not friendly with where we had already closed our embassy there, thats job one. And you stay on that job until you (pardon the pun) get the job done.

The Carter Administration was on top of the hostage crisis and I give them credit for that. Despite all of the other issues they were dealing with. Like looking weak to use as an example with Russia invading Afghanistan a neighbor of Iran in late 1979. To try to install a communist government there. There are lots of reasons that led to the Iranian Hostage Crisis, none of them justified taking innocent people hostage. But most of them America's fault and the Iranians were justified in being angry at America. The main reason I believe being the Shah of Iran who was installed by the United States and United Kingdom. And could be removed and replaced at anytime the U.S. and U.K. wanted to.

And the Shah even though he was pretty progressive on economic and foreign policy and was a very bright man, was brutal dictator in how he dealt with political dissent in Iran. And this was a reason why the Islamic Revolution started in 1978 and took over the Iranian Government in early 1979. And the Shah fled to Egypt and an Islamic Theocracy was formed in Iran in 1979. And of course the Iranian Hostage Crisis in November 4, 1979. And even though the United States officially declared War on Terror in late 2001 after 9/11, I believe we were already in this war over twenty years earlier.

I believe the Iranian Hostage Crisis was the start of it in 1979. The U.S. Marine Barracks Bombing in 1982. Libya's sponsoring of terrorism in the mid and late 1980s in Lockerbie Scotland and other areas as well. And then you go to the 1990s with the first World Trade Center Bombing in 1993. As well as Saudi Arabia in 1996 and the East African Embassy Bombings in 1998. America was already in the War on Terror long before 2001, we just hadn't officially declared it yet.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Battle Cry For Freedom: Richard Nixon on Democratic Failures in Leadership

Source:The FreeState

If there was ever a perfect time for someone to run for President of the United States and I guess I would add Ronald Reagan in 1980 to that list, but the person I'm thinking of would be Richard Nixon in 1968. One of the most divisive years at least in the 20th Century. America seemed to be going through both politically as well as a Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. The Democratic Party had all of the power in the Federal Government for eight of the first nine years. And there was this feeling that America was sort of coming apart.

Whether that was true or not and Richard Nixon, who had been running for president at least since 1965 after sitting out in 1964, sensed this being the great politician that he was. President Lyndon Johnson was very unpopular especially with the Vietnam War. The Hippie Revolution was going on and there was this feeling with Conservatives and perhaps Independents as well, that liberalism at least social liberalism had gone too far. I disagree with that as a Liberal, but that was the feeling from Conservatives. With the civil rights laws, anti-war movement and the Hippie Revolution of that decade as well. And there was this feeling that America needed a change a new direction and Dick Nixon picked up on this.

Dick Nixon had already paid his dues with the Republican Party so to speak. He was already a known name in the party. Serving in Congress from 1947-53, Vice President from 1953-61. And losing one of the closest presidential elections in American history to Jack Kennedy in 1960. Nixon was smart enough not to run for president in 1964 where Senator Barry Goldwater lost in a landslide to President Johnson. But Senator Goldwater did manage to win some conservative Southern states in that election. That the Democratic Party used to own which also helped set up Dick Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign.

And Nixon also campaigned for Congressional Republicans in the 1966 mid-term elections. Where the Republican Party picked up around forty seats in the House and four in the Senate. The Democratic Party still had large majority's in the House and Senate. But these gains also helped set up the 1968 campaign for the Republican Party. Which made Nixon look like the clear frontrunner in the Republican Party in 1968. Because a lot of Republican politicians owed Nixon favors. Dick Nixon saw that America was divided and that he would be candidate to try to unite the country. Or at least unite part of the country behind him and the Republican Party. The people who he called the "Silent Majority", the people who weren't part of the Hippie Revolution or the anti-war movement. And 1964 and 68 was the start of the Republican Party taking over the South and winning more offices. Where over forty years later they basically own that region politically.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Liberty Pen: Milton Friedman: The Welfare Establishment

Source:The FreeState

The term “Welfare Establishment”, I find interesting, because it suggests that there’s a group of people, who get together to design social insurance programs for people, who for whatever reasons can’t support themselves. Or these programs go to help these people support themselves. That these people get together to plan how they are going to take care of low-income low-skilled people. With other people’s money. Which is my main problem with the welfare state. I don’t support the idea of a welfare state, because a Welfare State is basically for anyone who pays into them. And it makes people dependent on them, because they expect to get them. And less independent than they can be, because they know they have these Welfare programs coming their way to take care of them.

And people on Welfare, feel that they don’t need to work as hard. Or be as productive as they can be, because again they have these Welfare programs coming their way to take care of them. I believe in a safety net which is different. A safety net, is for people who need them. Who don’t have a large enough pension fund to take care of them. Can’t afford enough health insurance once they retire, can’t afford enough health insurance while they are working. Lose their job and can’t find new work right away. Can’t afford a home on their own, can’t afford private education, etc. Basically a safety net, is for the people who lack the skills to take care of themselves. For whatever reasons, but then its up to the safety net especially since its funded by taxpayers, to help these people who are physically and mentally capable, to get the skills that they need to be able to take care of themselves.

If we had a public assistance system that was about self-empowerment instead of dependence, guess what, fewer people would need public assistance. Because more people would have the skills to take care of themselves. Which would make these social insurance programs more cost-effective and efficient. Because fewer people would need them, because they would be supporting themselves and be self-sufficient. Its basic economics and more people would instead be paying into public assistance, instead of collecting from it. Which is why people who can fund their own retirements, unemployment, health Insurance etc, should be doing exactly that. Instead of collecting from Social Security, Unemployment Insurance and Medicare.

Again Welfare State for everyone, whether you need it or not and now we are wondering why we are going to have trouble funding it. Safety Net, for the people who need it that empowers those people to be able to take care of themselves and be self-sufficient so we have fewer people dependent on public assistance. Two different concepts when it comes to social insurance. Social insurance, should be exactly that. A social insurance system, that people can collect from when they need it. That buys them time and allows for them to pay their short-term bills. While they are putting themselves back on their feet, or on their feet for the first time in their lives. Because they grew up on Welfare and perhaps never saw their parents work at all. And made similar mistakes as their parents. Like dropping out of high school and having kids before they were ready to take care of them.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

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