Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reform Party USA: 'Core Principles of the Reform Party

Source:Reform Party USA- the official logo of RPUSA.

"We, the members of the Reform Party, commit ourselves to reform our political system. Together we will work to re-establish trust in our government by electing ethical officials, dedicated to fiscal responsibility and political accountability."  

I hope the title of this post is long enough, otherwise the hell with it. But I agree with the notion of this blog post from the Reform Party that governing simply shouldn’t be about compromise. That even with a divided government with two parties that do not like each other (which is putting it very mildly) and certainly do not trust each other that both sides at the end of the business day still have a responsibility to not only govern, but to govern well.

And in divided government like today that means taking the best from both sides and putting into a package that works. And throwing out the garbage from both sides instead of just splitting the difference on each key issue. As if that is governing even when trying to go half way on each issue may not and in most cases does not result in a good end result. 

There are plenty of examples going back to the early 1980s when the Federal Government became very partisan with a new Conservative President in Ronald Reagan, with a Conservative Republican Senate. To go with a Progressive Democratic House where they managed to govern very well with divided Congress’s.

It is not so much the art of the compromise that should try to be reached. But the art of the consensus. What do both sides want and on a lot of key issues both sides tend to have the same end goals. And after that has been established now where are both sides, what would each side do if they were completely in charge. In other words: what is the opening offer from both sides so we know where both side is. And after that has been established you look to the common ground.

You find that and you put that in the final package and then after that you look for victories from both sides. The good from each side and put their ideas alone on certain key issues. For example the 1996 Welfare to Work Law is a perfect example. Republicans wanted time limits and work requirements in the new Welfare system. Democrats wanted job training, education, and childcare for people on Welfare. What happened is both sides won and the final bill had job training, education, childcare, time limits and job requirements.

You take the good from both sides and throw out the things that probably wouldn’t work. Or that both sides simply can’t live with. Meaning both sides get their victories, but do not get everything they are looking for. Instead of just splitting the difference and running for the middle on the key issues. And that is how you get good government in a divided government. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Times, on Blogger. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Times, on WordPress.

American Thinker: Christopher Chantrill- 'The Four Freedoms: "75 Years of Liberal Betrayal'

Source:Wikipedia- Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms.

“In the second half of the 2000s liberals did a fine job of blaming Bush for everything that went wrong in the US. His “neo-con” supporters, they asserted, were just as bad.

Now that President Obama and his signature legislation are a twin disaster the same opportunity beckons for conservatives. It’s not just Obama, it’s the whole liberal project that created this mess. So the road to 2016 involves discrediting Obama, but also the whole liberal ruling class.

A good place to start would be FDR’s Four Freedoms, for when the campaign to elect the un-Obama kicks off in 2016 it will be 75 years since Franklin Delano Roosevelt unveiled his Four Freedoms on January 6, 1941. In case you forgot, the freedoms were:

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Worship

Freedom from Want

Freedom from Fear”

“When Chris Morbitzer and his University of Cincinnati (UC) chapter of Young Americans for Liberty sought permission to gather signatures across UC’s campus for a time-sensitive, statewide ballot initiative, their request was denied. Morbitzer was told that if he and his group were seen gathering signatures outside of the school’s tiny and restrictive “free speech zone,” campus security would be called and they could be arrested.

“I think it is absurd that they were threatening to put me in jail for exercising what is a constitutional right,” says Morbitzer in FIRE’s latest video.

Dismayed that he might not be able to gather many signatures if he was confined to a free speech zone that comprised just 0.1% of campus, Morbitzer took a bold step: He sued his university.

“Me suing the university felt a lot like David versus Goliath,” says Morbitzer, “like, I stood no chance at all because, you know, I’m just a little student.”

On far too many campuses nationwide, universities unreasonably restrict students’ expressive activities to limited areas—so-called “free speech zones.” When challenged in the court of law and the court of public opinion, these zones routinely lose.

In this video, we chronicle Morbitzer and his student group’s fight against their school’s attempts to limit their speech. In the process, we examine the problem of restrictive free speech zone policies on and off campus—policies that exile would-be speakers to far off corners of their campuses or, in some cases, place protesters behind barbed-wire fences.” 

Source:FIRE- talking about free speech on college.

From FIRE 

I’ve seen a lot of dumb blog posts before that have close to absolutely no truth in them. But this post from Christopher Chantrill is right up there. It is nothing more than partisan right-wing talking points about what liberalism is supposed to be about and what Liberals are supposed to believe in.

First of all, if you do not believe in Freedom of Speech even as it relates to negative speech about groups of people, or even hate speech about groups of people, you are not a Liberal. Because liberalism is built around Freedom of Speech and Association for all. Without fear of government especially the central government bringing down negative consequences towards you.

As far as the religious aspect from Mr. Chantrill, (just to be nice) there are of course Atheists and even religious bigots in America who use their free speech rights to put down religion in America even if they aren’t big fans of free speech in America. And there are fundamentalist religious believers who use their free speech rights to put down other religions. Even if they aren’t big fans of free speech either. But the Atheists tend to be on the Far-Left people who worship the central state instead. And people on the Libertarian-Right who worship their notion of liberty instead.

To have Liberals who don’t believe in free speech, you would have to a Conservatives who don’t believe in private enterprise. Those things simply do not go together, meaning you can’t be a Liberal who doesn’t believe in free speech and you can’t be a Conservative who doesn’t believe in private enterprise.

Now people can call themselves whatever the hell they want too. That is also part of our free speech protections. But for me to take you seriously as far as how you label your own politics, you have to believe in and practice the values of that philosophy. And not just use the label. 

You can also see this post at FreeState Now, on WordPress.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library: ‘New Federalism: Returning Power to The People’

Source:Richard Nixon Presidential Library- President Richard Nixon's OMB Director Richard P. Nathan.

“August 08, 2011: Nixon administration officials discuss RN’s national policy to transfer power from the federal government to state and local governments.

Location: Richard Nixon Presidential Library

Edwin Harper, Nixon White House Domestic Council Assistant Director;
James Falk, Nixon White House Domesctic Council Associate Director;
Richard Nathan, Assistant Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Nixon;
Shirley Anne Warshaw (moderator), Professor of Political Science, Gettysburg College.

Organized by Nixon White House Associate Director Geoffrey C. Shepard, the forums are co-sponsored by the National Archives and the Richard Nixon Foundation.”

I think to understand what Richard Nixon’s vision for what they called the New Federalism, you have to understand the political climate of the 1960s, the 1970s, and even the 1950s, when Richard Nixon was Dwight Eisenhower’s Vice President. And then you also have to understand what the Republican Party was like back then as well. Otherwise the New Federalism, the concept of a public safety net coming from a Republican President, will look very alien and foreign to you. It might look like a hip-hopper at a Mississippi country music festival, or something so out of place like that.

During the 1960s, we had President John F. Kennedy’s vision for the New Frontier, where he wanted to use the Federal Government to help people in need, help themselves. Then we had President Lyndon’s B Johnson’s Great Society, where they believed so American  should have to go without and that it was the job of the Federal Government to make sure that everyone is taken care of.

When Richard Nixon becomes President in January, 1969, he didn’t come back to Washington to destroy the New Deal or Great Society. He didn’t have the power to do that with a Democratic Congress (House and Senate) with solid majorities in it. And he didn’t thinking eliminating those programs would be good politically or on policy grounds either. But he believed as a Republican that the country needed a choice and not have a Republican President that governs as a Progressive Democrat.

This might sound hard to believe with Watergate, the plumbers and all the constitutional civil liberty violations that the Nixon White House was guilty of in the early 1970s. But ideologically, Richard Nixon was a Progressive Republican. He had a lot more in common with Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Dewey, Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, then he ever had in common with Robert Taft, or Barry Goldwater, or Ronald Reagan. Nixon believed in progress and using government to help create that progress. But he wasn’t a Socialist either or even a Democratic Socialist.

The New Federalism is the Progressive Republican vision of the public safety net in America, where you would have public programs available for people who truly need them, but they would be designed to move people out of poverty, with educational and work requirements, as well as time limits on then. And they would be run by the state and local government’s. But by the Feds, unlike with the Great Society and New Deal. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

The New Republic: Noam Scheiber: ‘Raising the Minimum Wage Isn’t Just Good Politics: It’s Good Economics’

Source:The New Republic- supporters for raising the minimum wage.

Small Ivy: “Erik, this is a fantastic idea – cut the taxes for employers if they pay their employees more. How about this – how about making salaries paid to employees a direct tax credit, such that employers could reduce their taxes to zero if they pay their employees the money that would have been going to taxes. This would get the money right into employees’ pockets instead of needing to send it up to Washington and then back to the employees through welfare checks. Would teenagers get the higher wages too, or just adults with kids at home to feed?”

If you are a subscriber to The New Republic, you can read Noam Scheiber’s piece about the minimum wage, at The New Republic

There are both good political as well as economic reasons for raising the minimum wage in America. If it is done right and I’m going to give you an example of why it make sense to raise the minimum wage in America.

Raising the minimum wage in America if it is done right, makes so much good sense that I can give you two good examples from both a political, but as well as an economic example and give you both of them from the Right even though I’m a Liberal Democrat.

The political example would be this: Imagine you are Joe or Mary taxpayer in America and you work very hard for a living just to pay your bills and raise your kids and you are a little angry about that and feel overtaxed, because here you are playing by the rules and doing everything you can to pay your own way. But you are also paying taxes to pay for people who don’t pay their own way because they are low-skilled. You probably feel like you have an extra burden to pay to go along with yourself and your family, even though you are not getting any extra money to pay for that burden.

As a result, low-skilled workers work low-skilled minimum wage jobs and have to collect public assistance in order to survive. Because these low-wage employers are able to pass their employee costs onto you. And have you make up the difference for these workers housing, groceries and health care. But you raise the minimum wage to ten, twelve dollars and hour with a break especially for small employers and you keep their public assistance benefits where they are now, now these low-skilled workers can pay more for their costs of living. And Joe and Mary Smith (or whoever) and many others won’t have to pay as much in taxes to make up the difference. 

The economic example is pretty simple: You want more people working and fewer people collecting Unemployment or Welfare Insurance, then working has to pay more than not working so people are incentivized to work for a living. And not collect public assistance checks for a living instead. You raise the minimum wage to ten or twelve dollars an hour with a thirty percent tax break for employers especially for small employers and you have employers pay their share of the public assistance costs with like a payroll tax.

And tell employers they can get all that money back if they instead just pay their low-wage employees those costs. Or train them so they can move up in their organization or a combination of both. Now employers won’t be able to pass their employees costs on to the backs of average Joe and Mary taxpayer (or whoever) and many others and you would be able to cut the middle class tax burden in this country. The politics for Democrats are very good here.

And this would be a very good way to get Democrats to the polls in 2014 and get organize labor to help them out. It is actually good politics for Republicans as well if they are truly interested in reaching out to the working class. And not just there to carry the water for the wealthy and corporate America. Because they could say they are in favor of this as well so we can cut the taxes for average workers. 

It’s not just the minimum wage, but every physically and mentally able adult in America should be incentivized not just to work, but to pay their own away. No physically or mentally able adult in America should be able to collect more from public assistance and not working, then working any full-time job. What you would make in a week working a full-time minimum wage job, should be more then what you would get from a Welfare check and not working at all. We should not just raise the minimum wage to a working wage, but subsidize the employment of low-income, low-skilled workers, to encourage as many Americans as possible to make it in America on their own. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Huffington Post: Richard Eskow- 'Was This the Social Contract’s Comeback Year?'

Source:Crooks & Liars- U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Democrat, Maryland)

"What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, a president and a party who had just won an election with progressive rhetoric were quickly pivoting toward a “Grand Bargain” which would cut Social Security and Medicare. Leaders in both parties were obsessed with deficits, and there was “bipartisan” consensus that these “entitlements” needed to be cut. The only questions left to debate were when they would be cut, and by how much. To resist these moves was to be dismissed as “unserious” and “extreme” — in Washington, in newsprint, and on the airwaves.

Today the forces of corporate consensus are on the defensive. It’s considered politically reckless to get too far out front on the subject of benefit cuts. Some of the think tanks who advocated Austerity Lite one year ago are focused now on inequality. And, as the leaders of Third Way learned recently, the same rhetoric which earned nods of approval all across Washington this time last year can get you slapped down today."  

From the Huffington Post 

"A promotional video produced by the US government to highlight the projects and programs of the Roosevelt's New Deal during the Great Depression." 

Source:All Histories- a film about the New Deal.

From All Histories

When it comes to things like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Insurance, Medicare. Public Housing, Food Assistance (to use several examples) I prefer the term safety net or a public social insurance system or PSIS. Which are insurances that people who need them can collect when, well they need them. But if you able to take care or yourself and you have what is called economic freedom that is the ability to pay your own bills and be self-sufficient in life with money left over to spend in things you want, then that is essentially the American dream.

Then that is exactly what you and this is how a safety net or PSIS would be different from what is called in Europe especially in Scandinavia a welfare state. Where there are all sorts of public programs funded through taxes (not free for the people) there to take care of people. 

I as a Liberal Democrat do not want to have to live off of government or anyone else if I’m able to take care of myself. That would be just one example that would separate me from a Democratic Socialist or a Social Democrat. Someone who bases their political philosophy on what government can do for people when it comes to economics.

If you want to use the term social contract, fine I’ll go along with that. But what I’m really in favor of when it comes to American capitalism is individual economic power. Again which is another way of saying economic freedom. And what I would like to see in this country and perhaps even go back to is an economic power system that is there for all Americans to be able to take advantage of to create their own economic freedom.

And this is where government plays its biggest role along with regulating predatory behavior. And this comes from making quality education and job training available for everyone universally to everyone K-adulthood if needed. So as many Americans as possible have that individual economic power or people power to be able to take care of themselves. And live a good life however they define that for themselves without having to use public assistance or private charity. In order to pay their own way and bills.

If you are talking about having a federal government so big especially as it relates to economic policy that it is designed to meet a lot if not most of people’s economic needs, you are no longer talking about a safety net or a social insurance system, but a welfare state. A socialist superstate big government at about as big as it can without nationalizing the entire economy and outlawing private property all together. And that is not what I’m in favor of. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Times, on Blogger. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Times, on WordPress.

Thom Hartmann: Follow the French on the Millionaire Tax

Source: PLYT-
Source: Thom Hartmann: Follow The French on The Millionaire Tax

You want everyone paying their fair share of taxes at all economic levels. Which is one of the reasons why I’m in favor of what I call the Progressive Consumption Tax. Which would accomplish most of that especially by eliminating all the wasteful tax loopholes in the tax system, including corporate welfare. But you don’t want taxes so high on anyone that it discourages people to be productive and successful. And gets them asking the question, “why should I work hard and be productive when Uncle Sam takes most of the money that I make anyway?”We do not want taxes so high to that point which is what we saw in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with a recession, followed by weak economic and job growth. Similar to what we’ve grown through the last five years. And even though the Great Recession wasn’t a result of taxes being too high, taxes that are too high can play a role in creating recessions with people not having enough money to spend to create strong economic growth. And what we saw as a result in the mid 1960s was a Progressive Democratic president in Lyndon Johnson and a Democratic Congress with Conservative Republican help, is cut taxes across the board for everyone. Which contributed to an economic boom of the mid and late 1960s.

American Thinker: Opinion: Trevor Thomas: Neal Boortz, Libertarianism and Moral Government: Differentiating Social and Religious Conservatism

Barry Goldwater- "I want big government out of the bedrooms, boardrooms and classrooms". This is what conservatism is about, conserving freedom for the individual. Familiar with individual freedom, well that is what it is. That the state meaning government whatever the level should but out of the personal affairs of the individual and that the individual is then responsible for their own decisions in life. 
People for good and bad are held accountable for their own decision and we do not have to bail out bad or stupid mistakes of others that others have nothing to do with. And so we hold people accountable for their own decisions in life. So when people make good decisions, they are rewarded for it and get to keep most of the rewards for those good decisions. But when people make bad decisions, they are then held accountable for their own decisions instead of forcing taxpayers to pickup up the tab for that bad decision-making.
That is still the definition of the Conservative and what conservatism is. The Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan school of Classical Conservatism which is the real Conservatism in America. Which is about conserving freedom for the individual when it comes to politics. And how much better off would the Republican Party be today if they stayed with that conservative philosophy. And had they not got in bed with the Christian-Right with their brand of big government. Trying to force their religious views through government on the rest of the country. 
Sure the religious-right was helpful to the Republican Party in the 1980s and 1990s. And to a certain extent in the 1970s helping to reelect Richard Nixon as President of the United States. But the Democratic Party still dominated both chambers of Congress in the 1970s and dominated a lot if not most of the state governments as well. The GOP would be better off today because Americans tend to want big government out of their wallets. But we want big government out of our lives as well.
Now here’s the definition of a religious or Christian-Conservative. Coming from either Reverend Pat Robertson or Reverend Jerry Falwell. Someone who believes that government should be based on their fundamentalist Evangelical Christian view of the bible that is anything they view as wrong or immoral, shall be illegal ,or at least looked down upon in the strictest terms by government especially the Federal Government. And the Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg has the correct term for the religious-right and calls them nationalists when it comes to social issues. 
Christian Nationalists in America do not  believe in states right at least as it relates to social policy in this country. But instead their interpretation of the Bible dwarfs state government and perhaps even the Federal Government. That any activity viewed as wrong or immoral by the Christian-Conservative, shall be illegal. Even if the activity is between consenting adults and not hurting anyone. So there you have it the political Conservative or Conservative Libertarian, the Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan and their real Conservative followers. 
Versus  the religious-right or Neo-Right that really has only been around since perhaps the mid 1960s. And if it wasn’t for my differences between Conservatives or Conservative Libertarians on economic, foreign policy and national security, I would probably be a Conservative instead of a Liberal myself. And you can see how they are much different from the Christian-Right or Neo-Right in America.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

MLB Vault: MLB 1986-ALCS Game 5-Boston Red Sox @ Anaheim Angels: Full Game

Source:MLB Vault- Boston Red Sox OF Dave Henderson's game winning HR, against the Anaheim Angels in game 5.
"Boston Red Sox 7 at California Angels 6, F/11 -- The Angels needed only one more out to earn their first World Series appearance, but it was the Red Sox who had destiny on their side. Angels closer Donnie Moore pushed Dave Henderson and the Red Sox one strike away from elimination, but Henderson earned redemption for an earlier fielding miscue by hitting Moore's second 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence to give the Red Sox a 6-5 lead. The Angels tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, but Henderson's sacrifice fly off Moore in the eleventh gave the Red Sox the lead and they went on to win the series in seven games."

Source:MLB Vault

Perhaps the best MLB playoff game at least in my lifetime. And the biggest choke in my lifetime at least in MLB with the Angels blowing a 3-1 series lead with the opportunity to win the American League Championship at home with their offense, defense and pitching. And they simply didn’t close the door to a team they probably should’ve beaten at least in six games if not five.

Wally Joyner not in the Angels lineup certainly hurt them in-game 5. But you got to know that they had the Red Sox beat in the ninth inning with their closer Donnie Moore who was lights out most of the 1986 season on the mound. He makes a bad pitch to Dave Henderson and that forces the game to extra innings. But Joyner would’ve been a big force in the Angels lineup in-game 6 and 7, when the Red Sox blew out the Angels at Fenway Park. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Real Redskins: Rick Tandler- 'Should Mike Shanahan Stay or Go'

Source:SD Sportzz- Mike Shanahan: head coach of the Washington Redskins.

"Apparently there has been some issues with Dan Snyder, Mike Shanahan, and RG3. Lets talk about it."  

"Should Mike Shanahan Stay or Go" 

Should Mike Shanahan stay or go as the Redskins Head Coach/Head of Football Operations: that will be the number one question and decision that Dan Snyder will have to deal with in the 2014 Redskins offseason, when their season is officially over after playing the New York Giants tomorrow.

Reasons for letting Coach Shanahan go outnumber the reasons for keeping him. In four seasons with the Redskins the Redskins have lost ten or more games three times. And if they do not beat the Giants at New Jersey tomorrow a team that has a better record than the Redskins, won twice as many games 6-9 than the 3-12 Redskins and have already beaten the Redskins on the road this year, the Redskins after already having the worst season of the Shanahan era at 3-12, will fall to 3-13.

And you can’t make the case that Coach Shanahan doesn’t have the players. For one he’s also in charge of personal and two they picked by most of the so-called experts people who understand the NFL to win the NFC East probably the worst division in football this year with the Redskins actually having the worst team. 

You can say that Coach Shanahan doesn’t have a very good coaching staff especially at the top with his offensive coordinator who also happens to be his son in Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. But again Coach Shanahan picks his own coaching staff.

The reasons to fire Coach Shanahan are pretty sound and clear and a big reason why it would be a pretty popular decision in Washington. A city that hates to lose and hates losers. But some of the issues with the Redskins management even though Coach Shanahan doesn’t have complete control of the organization, isn’t all of Coach Shanahan’s fault and responsibility. He doesn’t have a solid football person like a team president that he can report too. Who can also supervise and advise him on things like how to sign players and manage the salary cap, negotiate trades, manage the facilities and so-forth. Not so much a general manager but someone at the top besides the owner that Coach Shanahan can report to that the coach can get advise from sort of like a partner. But someone who outranks the head coach, like a head of football operations.

Bruce Allen is the team’s official general manager, but he reports and works for the head coach and not the other way around. It is not that Coach Shanahan shouldn’t have the final say in personal, but he shouldn’t be running the entire football operations department either. Someone besides Dan Snyder needs to be there and be able to say: “I like what you are doing here.” But when the coach makes a bad decision be able to step in and say: “We shouldn’t do that.” And even be able to veto things that do not make sense. Someone with a football background.

One of the reasons why the San Francisco 49ers were so successful in the 1980s was because of how their management was structured. Ed Debartalo didn’t try to be the owner of the franchise as well as the team president. 

Bill Walsh was the head coach/general manager of the 49ers, but he had a team president to report to in Carmen Policy. Instead of Eddie Debartalo trying to fill both roles as owner and president. Well right now Dan Snyder is trying to fill both roles as owner and president of the Redskins. He’s simply not qualified as a businessman and not a professional football man to fill both roles as owner and president. And for the Redskins to succeed in the future with either Mike Shanahan or a new head coach, they need a new management structure.

Their management structure is going to have to change or they are going to remain in between mediocrity and a consistent, to a losing team without much of a future. And another thing that Dan Snyder needs to consider is who out there would be better than Mike Shanahan. To be their head coach/head of football operations who would also be willing to work for Dan Snyder. To make this a little personal.

I’ve made the case for both firing Mike Shanahan and keeping him on board with a new team president. And a new offensive and defensive coordinator and giving Coach Shanahan one more season. And reevaluating him at the end of 2014. Because I haven’t completely made up my mind. But if I’m Dan Snyder I’m leaning towards keeping Coach Shanahan under this new proposed management and coaching arrangement. Instead of firing Coach Shanahan and starting over.

But I would also tell the head coach that: “Look, our defense was horrible this year and that has to change. You need a defensive coordinator that is going to run the defense based on the personal that he has to work with. We are going back to the 4-3 and you are going to move either Ryan Kerrigan or Brian Orakbo to defensive end. And get an outside linebacker whose a very good pass defender and tackler as well. So you can blitz less and get more of a pass rush with just four or five pass rushers. Instead so you leave more help for your secondary. And give up fewer big plays in the passing and running games.”

This should be a tough decision for Dan Snyder and I hope he hasn’t made up his mind yet. And that postseason meeting with both he and the head coach happens with minds haven’t been made up yet. Because again a very good case for dumping the head coach, but there is also a good case for bringing Mike Shanahan back under the right circumstances.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Hampton Institute: Josh Hatala- 'The Socialist Party of America: A Historiographical View'

Source:The New Democrat- Socialist Party presidential candidate, Eugene Debbs.
"The Socialist Party of America: An Historiographical View." Originally from Joshua Hatala from The Hampton Institution, but the link for his article seems to have been deleted. 

"Russia Today host Thom Hartmann invited Libertarian Republic Editor Austin Petersen to debate the merits of San Francisco's city council voting to push chain store retailers out of the area. Hartmann questioned whether it was valid for citizens to vote if they don't want certain businesses in their area."  

Source:Austin Peterson- debating Thom Hartmann about socialism.

From Austin Peterson

Where I disagree with Josh Hatala on this where I could probably make this whole post about, is that there are still two somewhat viable democratic socialist parties in America: Democratic Socialists USA and the Green Party, as well as many leftist Democrats who are mainly in the Democratic Party for political reasons in order to get elected and be active in a major leftist party, even a center-left party. Socialism has failed as far as producing a major social democratic party that can compete and beat Democrats and Republicans on a regular basis.

But you got to know that U.S. Senator Bernie of Vermont (the only self-described Socialist in Congress) is a Socialist, as well as several members of the so-called Congressional Progressive Caucus, both in the House and Senate that Senator Sanders is a member of. But most of the members of the CPC prefer to be viewed as Progressives because of the negative stereotypes that come with being viewed as a Socialist or even a Social Democrat.

Socialism hasn’t failed in the sense that their ideas have failed or are considered too extreme. At least what would be viewed as mainstream both in America and in Europe that is democratic socialism, that combines both capitalism, a vibrant private sector, but that is heavily taxed and regulated to fund a very large welfare state to provide a lot of the services that people need to live well. From education to healthcare that is common in Scandinavia. A long with a safety net for people who are unemployed and so-forth.

That is basically Scandinavian or Nordic capitalism, which is the mainstream form of socialism in Europe. But even in America where capitalism was basically invented, we have a socialist component to our economic system as well in the form of our safety net for people who can’t take care of themselves. Who are out-of-work or can’t afford services that they need in order to survive like health insurance and food, even if they are working. It is just that our national social insurance system is a lot smaller in America than it is in Scandinavia.

It is not that so much that socialism has failed in America, because the democratic form of it that I just explained is alive and well. Just look at the popularity of Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. All of which could and have been labeled specially by their opponents and proponents as well as socialist programs. 

It is Marxism or Marxist socialism, where the state essentially is responsible for running the entire economy and to a large extent the people’s lives, that has failed everywhere that it has been tried. Which is why most of the world has moved away from it.  

You can also see this post on WordPress.

You can also see this post at The FreeState MD, on Blogger.

American Thinker: Opinion: John W. Howard: Liberalism and its Discontents

American Thinker: Opinion: John W. Howard: Liberalism and its Discontents

I can’t remember the last time I agreed with anything that was written on the American Thinker. And this is a publication I read practically everyday and maybe the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, was the last time I agreed with anything on the American Thinker. Actually I wasn’t alive in 1908, sorry Cubs fans. But is been a while since I’ve agreed with anything on the American Thinker. But John Howard makes some good points in this article even if it comes with some straight falsehoods.

Like Liberal Democrats back in the 1960s controlled Congress even though the Southern Dixiecrats who represent today represent a lot of the modern Republican Party had most of the power in Congress. The Senate filibusters of the civil rights laws are perfect examples of this. But John Howard’s good points are about how the Left has changed since the late 1960s and what it was before that. The emergence of the Far-Left or New-Left came about in the late 1960s as a response to the Vietnam War. And what these leftist radicals saw as out of control wealth and out of control American capitalism.

The people who today are called ‘Modern Liberals’ even though they aren’t that liberal at all, represent the New Left in America that before lets say 1965 were seen as Un-American and as extreme. Now seemed to have found a following in America. They are still Far-Left by American political standards, but the New Left in America is a social democratic movement that has strong socialist big centralize government viewpoints. That is strongly against local and state control and has problems with American capitalism and for profits all together.

People who want to see a lot of power centralized with the Federal Government with taxes that are lot higher. With a big federal state powerful enough with the resources to run most of the country. When the trend the last thirty-forty years has been about moving power out of Washington and back to the state and local governments and into the hands of the individuals themselves. These Social Democrats who are Democratic Socialists not Communists, generally want that power back in the hands of the Federal Government to create a Scandinavian style socialist superstate in America.

But if you are a true Liberal and I’m one of them in the Jack Kennedy school of liberalism, you have a healthy skepticism about government especially centralize big government that has so much power. That it leaves the individual dependent on the state, because they do not have have much power of their own lives. And that you aren’t anti-government, but you do not want government so big and centralized leaving people without much freedom to run their own lives.

Townhall: Michael Tanner: A Real Life Example of Welfare Reform

Townhall: Opinion: Michael Tanner: A Real Life Example of Welfare Reform

If you want more people in the workforce working with real jobs they can rely on that they are qualified for, than working whatever the job is has to pay more than not working and collecting public assistance at home. And that starts with having a real minimum wage that pays more than being at home and collecting public assistance per hour. But moreover we need a real education and job training system in this country that empowers our low-skilled workforce to finish their education. And that means both high school and at least junior college or vocational education.

And that also means that people on public assistance need to be required as well as encouraged to be actively searching for work while they are also finishing their education. And not passing up jobs because they do not like the job, or doesn’t pay a lot. Even if that means finishing their education while they are now working. And they could still get their public housing, Medicaid, food assistance, but as long as they are doing what they can to go to work, or go back to work and improve their employment outlook. 
I’m all in favor of education and job training in America especially for our low-skilled adults and kids who are still in school. But as long as the work is part of the puzzle and the end goal of having a good job that empowers people to finally get off of public assistance and become economically independent. Living in economic freedom with the power to take care of themselves and making these services affordable to taxpayers and the people eligible for them. But as long as work is part of the package and we are empowering people to get themselves solid job experience. 
Empowering people to finish their education with the skills that they need to be successful in life that comes with a good job that allows for people to become economically independent in life. And you don’t get there as long as we pay people not to work and not do anything constructive that empowers these people to improve their lives. And education, job training and work experience are investments that expand economic freedom in America. 
When you are talking about public assistance in America, you are essentially talking about public charity. Even though taxpayers do not have a choice in whether or not to help finance it. But if public assistance comes with education, job training and work experience, as people are collecting public assistance checks, now you are talking about economic investments that lead to good jobs with a high-skilled workforce. With a small population of people who still need to finish their education so they can get off of public assistance.

NFL Films: Vince Lombardi Teaches The Power Sweep

Source:NFL Films- Green Bay Packers head coach/general manager Vince Lombardi (1959-68)

"Power Sweeps" - Winning Football with Vince Lombardi (Volume 7)"  

From Coach D 

I think the best way to describe Vince Lombardi's brand of football, at least offensive football, is to do it with a hypothetical. 

Imagine the night before your football game and you just found your opponent's game plan and playbook. You now not only know what plays your opponent is going to run and how they're going to beat you. Just one problem: even though you know exactly what the Packers (in this case) are going to run against you, you are not good enough to beat them. 

While the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s and 80s ran so many different formations and plays to win their games on offense and the Redskins with different type of offense, but used a lot of different formations on offense in the 1980s, the Packers were beating their opponents simply by out executing their opponents and having better players. Losing to the Packers in the 1960s was literally the death by execution. They had the ball on 1st in 10 from their 20, you knew it was coming but you couldn't stop it. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Press, on Blogger.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Onion: Peter K. Rosenthal: 'Looks Back At It's a Wonderful Life'

Source:The Onion- Jimmy Stewart and friends.
"The Onion's movie critic Peter K. Rosenthal looks back at the holiday classic 'It's A Wonderful Life' in this week's Film Standard."  
From The Onion   
How can one Uncle Billy can completely change the complexion of a movie review? You know if I had an uncle who was that big of an asshole and screw up, I doubt my life would be so golly gee swell. (To use a term from that era) Especially if I was relying on a dip-shit like this to help me run my business.  
First of all, if I’m dumb enough to rely on a dip-shit to help me run my business, I’m probably not that much of a businessman to begin with. Maybe Uncle Billy has something that he can use as blackmail that keeps him in business with his partners. Maybe he saw Joe kissing Sally instead of his wife Mary and threatening to use that against Joe or something. But the people who go into business with someone like Uncle Billy are people who go out of business, because they are not smart enough to hire people who are not dip-shits to work for them. 
It's a Wonderful Life, is a classic 1930s, 1940s, 1950s Jimmy Stewart movie. Where he represents a a very simple man from a very simple time. (At least according to Hollywood) Where he's a very well-liked town and knows everybody there and they seem to like him, because he's just like everybody else in that town.  
In Jimmy Stewart's day you don't cuss, even words like damn and hell are considered sins. And if there wasn't for this little annoying thing like the First Amendment, you might get arrested for saying damn or hell in public. 
In Jimmy Stewart's day, Joe Smith is married to Mary and they have 2-3 kids. Of course Joe works and of course Mary stays home and raises their kids. Because it's considered a sin for women to work in Pleasantville. Because in Pleasantville women are not only not expected to work, but be subservient to their man. Perhaps Pleasantville is the capital of Saudi Arabia or at least part of Saudi Arabia. Except in Pleasantville the people aren't Muslin or Arab, but Protestant and tend to be Anglo-Saxon. Except for the servants, who of course are African-American and in some cases even use to be slaves. 
And Joe Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) is curious what life looks like outside of Pleasantville USA. And is curious what life looks like outside of his collectivist town where everyone seems to almost be a clone of someone else. Where everyone talks and thinks the same way, lives their life the same way. Again absolutely no cussing, no dancing in public, no drinking on Sunday. Everyone says Grace before they eat, etc. 
And Joe wants to know if everyone else in America lives this way and perhaps what big city life would be like. The problem is that Joe is dumb enough to get in bed, I mean go into business with his Uncle Billy and of course Billy's nickname is screwup, or dip-shit and runs the business into the ground like a drunk autopilot crashes a plane. And now Joe is stuck in Pleasantville or Bedford Falls (to be precise) and left there pick up the pieces and put his life back together. 
You can also see this post at The Daily Press, on Blogger.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Salon: Opinion: Hamna Zubair: Jon Stewart Defends Duck Dynasty Star's Right to Free Speech: The American Right to be Assholes

Salon: Opinion: Hamna Zubair: Jon Stewart Defends Duck Dynasty Star's Right to Free Speech

I’ve gone out of my way not to comment on the so-called Duck Dynasty controversy. From either the way so-called Progressives have responded to what Phil Robertson has said, or of course how the right-wing media has defended not only what Mr. Robertson has said, but his constitutional right to say what he believes and thinks. For one I do not watch the show and yes I’ve seen a few moments of it from time to time to time. Flipping around the tube when I’m up too late or turning on A&E when I’m waiting to see the A&E shows I’m actually interested in. Longmire, American Hoggers and now Rodeo Girls.

So I’m not a regular viewer of Duck Dynasty to so say the least. But also I’m not surprised by what Mr. Robertson said. I mean let’s be real about this show. It is in a part of the country where these views are fairly common. This is where the anti-sodomy laws are still in existence and where the same-sex-marriage bans come from. Not saying that everyone from the Bible Belt and rural America are bigots. Just a lot of ignorant people there to put more faith into their religious views, than education and America. But lets face it this is where these views tend to come from. But also so what if some asshole on a TV show doesn’t like homosexuals and sees homosexuality as a sin. 
How is some ignorant redneck's views on homosexuality news. And besides Phil Robertson has a constitutional right under the First Amendment to say these things and any ignorant garbage he wants to express. And of course A&E under that same constitutional amendment has the right to run their network under few exceptions the way they want to. But to kick off or suspend one of their cast members because he doesn’t like gays and made that public on one of their shows, looks like nothing more than political correctness leftist fascism politics run amuck. 
And doing it to avoid being sued out of business by so-called Progressives activists who want to outlaw any type of hate speech that may happen to offend minorities they care about. Phil Robertson is basically only famous because he happened to say on a TV show something negative about gays. And of course the national media and so-called Progressive media going out-of-their way to keep the story alive to bring attention to hate speech in America. And perhaps promote one of their lost causes of outlawing hate speech in America. Which of course is protected by the first amendment whether it comes from the Right or Left. That the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled time after time.

James Miller Center: Video: President Gerald R. Ford State of The Union Address, January 12, 1977

Whatever you think of Gerry Ford the man, you have to at least give him the facts that he was a man of class and character. Not someone who said he had these things, but showed the people that by how he represented them. And how he went about his business and did his jobs. Either representing his Michigan constituents in the House of Representatives, leading the House Republicans, as Minority Leader, Vice President of the United States or serving the country as President of the United States. And this is a speech he did not have to give since he lost the presidential election in 1976. But chose to give this speech to let the country know the State of The Union as he was about to leave office. Most president’s after losing reelection, use the last few months to just wrap up their presidency and administration and work on the transition to the next president. And perhaps prepare for life outside of the White House. But President Ford as a losing president, saw his duty to give one final report to the country and perhaps let the future president know where we stand.

VOA News: Judy Taboh- ‘Prison Work Farm Rehabs Inmates, Horses’

Source:VOA News- an ex-inmate who now works at this prison as a freeman.

“An innovative program in the United States is giving man and beast a second chance at life. VOA’s Julie Taboh takes us to a prison farm in the state of Virginia where inmates are gaining valuable job skills as they learn to care for retired racehorses, that in turn receive attention and a well maintained facility.” 

From VOA News 

“Voice of America (VOA or VoA) is the state-owned international radio broadcaster of the United States of America. It is the largest[3] and oldest U.S.-funded international broadcaster.[4][5] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by a non-American audience.

VOA was established in 1942,[6] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103–415)[7] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. 

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent agency of the U.S. government.[8] Funds are appropriated annually under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million.[9][10] 

Voice of America is generally viewed as positive from many foreign listeners,[11][12] while a smaller listening percentage consider it to be a form of propaganda.” 

From Wikipedia 

This is exactly what prison inmates in general population who want to build their lives and become productive in life should be doing, which is working. But working in a field with the skills needed so they not only have good jobs in prison, but also now have the right job skills and job experience needed to get themselves a good job once they leave prison. And not need to come back to prison because now they have the skills they need to do well in life legally.

This is a much taxpayer investment than to lockup inmates all day except for their meals and yard time and perhaps doing a few chores, that is for inmates who are in general population, where all they learn there is how to become better criminals. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The American Prospect: Monica Potts- 'Paul Ryan's Misguided Poverty Plan'

Source:The Washington Post- U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (Republican, Wisconsin) 
"Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, launched by President Lyndon Johnson. But don't expect a golden anniversary party for the tired, poor, huddled masses.

Johnson's initiatives passed beginning in 1964 and throughout his second term, and were aimed at the communities left out of policies that had created the widespread prosperity enjoyed by most Americans after the Great Depression-especially the rural poor and African Americans. It wasn't long, however, before those programs came under attack. The next president, Richard Nixon, used resentment over expanded rights and anti-poverty legislation to wrench the votes of Southern whites away from the Democrats: Ronald Reagan began dismantling these programs in the 1980s. Since then the country has concerned itself more with policies that help businesses grow than with the plight of the least well off. It's part of the reason we suffered through the Great Recession, and why poverty remains stuck at 15 percent.

"John Harwood sat down with Congressman Paul Ryan to discuss his new anti-poverty plan." 

Source:Nightly Business Report- John Harwood, interviewing Representative Paul Ryan (Republican, Wisconsin)

From the Nightly Business Report

There are good progressive policies in dealing with poverty in America. Like increasing the minimum wage or even creating a new living wage of around twelve-dollars an hour. That I would be in favor of if it came with a thirty-percent tax break for employers, so their payroll costs do not go up too much, especially for small employers.

Another good progressive policy would be to have employers who pay their workers poverty wages to the point that they need both public and private assistance to survive, have employers subsidize their low-wage workers public assistance, instead of middle class workers.

Have these employers pay at least part of their low-income workers public assistance costs. Which would also make our debt and deficit outlook better as well. But going forward we need to think more liberally in how we try to reduce poverty in America. And get more pro-active and develop policies that empower these people to become economically independent so they can take care of themselves and move off from public assistance. It is not like we need to develop some new grand strategy or plan to combat poverty in America.

And we simply do not need to create some type of new War on Poverty or Great Society to do this. The information, evidence and facts are already in how you reduce poverty in America. First, yes you need public cash assistance for low-skilled adults whether they are working or not so they can cover their short-term bills. But long-term to actually move these people out of poverty, you have to be more liberal and less government centric and oriented.
We need to be less socialist when it comes to poverty and more about individual empowerment even. And be less about government taking care of people and become about empowering this population to be able to take care of themselves. And that gets to things like education and job training for adults who need it to finish their high school education. But moving forward moving to higher education with junior college and vocational opportunities opening up for these adults.
When it comes to combating poverty in America, you need to know what your goals and plans are, what are you trying to carry out. And for eighty-years this country has mostly been about giving people in poverty more money so they can live more comfortably while still living in poverty. What I’m interested in doing is actually empowering this population so they can move out of poverty into the middle class and become economically independent.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

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