Sunday, May 31, 2015

CNN: Video: U.S. Senator Rand Raul: The Right to be Left Alone is The Most Precious

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

First of all, the Patriot Act is going to expire at midnight in less than two hours from the time this piece is posted, because of Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and his Neoconservatives in his caucus. They could’ve spent the last two weeks on either the USA Freedom Act. That was passed by the House with 388 votes. A huge bipartisan majority of Conservative Republicans and Liberal Democrats in the House.

Or, McConnell could’ve brought the version of the Patriot Act that he expires to the Senate floor. Opened it up to amendments from both sides. Including from Senator Rand Paul and Senator Ron Wyden and several other civil liberty minded Senators from both parties. Mike Lee, Pat Leahy, Jon Tester, Ron Johnson, Mark Heinrich and many others. What the Leader did instead, was to bring the Patriot Act up, knowing that he didn’t have sixty votes for it. And when that became reality, he decided to bring up an extension of the Patriot Act. To buy more time for the Senate to finally pass the bill. Translation, so he could lean on his own members to vote for a long-term bill. To keep the Patriot Act in place indefinitely.

McConnell, knows that if he opens up this debate to amendments, several of them will pass with bipartisan support. Civil liberties, is now a bipartisan issue in Congress. As we saw with the passage of the USA Freedom Act in the House and now with Senate Democrats and Republicans refusing to vote on the old Patriot Act. Because it doesn’t have those civil liberty protections when it comes to warrants. Under the Patriot Act, the government doesn’t need warrants to search people they see as suspicious. They don’t even need evidence, or at least share that evidence with a third-party. Senator Paul, Conservative Libertarian Republican and Senate Wyden, Liberal Democrat, both want the government to have to get warrants before they can search suspects. Which is really what the Fourth Amendment is all about. The protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The USA Freedom Act, certainly not perfect, but certainly an improvement over the original Patriot Act. And the Senate, could’ve spent the past two weeks debating the bill and voting on amendments and improving it. So the U.S. Government could protect both our liberty and our security. So the innocent are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. And government could investigate and prosecute real criminals and terrorists. Under the U.S. Constitution for one and the USA Freedom Act. But no! Thats not good enough for Leader Mitch McConnell. Give him a two-week extension of the old Patriot Act, that the House Republican Leadership has already said they won’t pass. Or give him the original Patriot Act without the new civil liberties protections. Which won’t pass the House, or Senate either.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Film Archives: Video: Kevin Phillips: The Triumph of Anglo-America: Religion, Politics & Civil Warfare

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

From this topic, I’m more interested in the founding of the American Federal Republic and American Liberal Democracy. Thanks to the American Founding Fathers, our Founding Liberals and the liberal democracy that they built-in America. After they won the American Revolutionary War against the United Kingdom and the British Monarchy.

The Founding Fathers, wanted to break away from the British Monarchy, the British King and build a free society in America. The U.K., obviously had a problem with that, since the American Colonies were still part of Britain. The Founding Fathers, wanted their own free society and no longer live under dictatorial authoritarian rule under the United Kingdom. Where there was a state religion from the U.K. Where they were taxed heavily for services that they didn’t receive. And build their own country and created a Federal Republic that was going to be a free society.

The Founding Fathers, our Founding Liberals, were very brilliant. Yes, they didn’t want this liberal democracy, liberal free society to be for everyone. At the time, just Anglo-American men who owned property. And they owned African slaves and treated the American-Indians like second-class citizens. But what they put on paper applies to everyone as far as our constitutional individual rights. And not just Anglos and Caucasians in general. And not just for men and men who are property owners. But the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, applies to all Americans. Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or property status. And they created a brilliant form of government and free society, that is our Federal Republic and Liberal Democracy.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The American Mind: Charles Kesler: Liberalism, Utopia & Government

Source:The New Democrat

Replace the words liberal and liberalism, with either statist and statism, or socialist and socialism and everything these four men were talking about in this video was accurate. They obviously, other than maybe Dennis Prager, don’t understand what liberalism is and what Liberals are. They see liberalism as a philosophy being about an unlimited state and superstate. That if people just gave up their freedom, or let the central state take it from them, everything would be swell, or great. Because people would no longer need to take care of themselves, because Uncle Sammy and his big government would do that for them.

Now, if you want to talk about the so-called Liberal Utopia, or Liberal State. It would be a society where the people would have the freedom to take care of themselves. Without big government minding their business for them and interfering in their personal and economic affairs. And no, I’m not talking about libertarianism. But liberalism, that believes everyone should be treated equally under law and that everyone is entitled to a quality opportunity to achieve freedom in life. And live their own lives and make their own personal and economic decisions with their own lives. And be held accountable for all the decisions that they make in life.

That government’s role is to see that everyone has the opportunity to achieve freedom. That means things like quality education for everyone. Including people who can’t afford private schools, which is where public education comes in. An infrastructure system, so we can all get around and our business’s can all get their goods to market. A regulatory state, not to run private business’s, but to protect the innocent from predators and prevent monopolies from happening. And a social insurance system, for people who fall down, or have never stood up on their own. So they can pay their short-term bills and get themselves on their own two feet.

Liberalism, when it comes to economic policy, is just about economic opportunity and freedom for all. Not about a superstate to take care of everyone, so people don’t have to do that for themselves. A superstate statist philosophy certainly exists. But that is not liberalism. Democratic socialism, or democratic statism, would accurately describe a superstate ideology that sees the role of government to take care of everyone. And views individual freedom as dangerous and is more about welfare rights than individual rights. But that is not liberalism. Which is about liberty for the individual.

US News: Eric Schnurer: 'A Modest Proposal: Stop Taxing The Rich'

Source:The New Democrat

I’m thinking that Eric Schnurer wrote his US News column here with at least a touch of sarcasm. “Let the Republicans get their way and pass laws saying that the rich don’t have to pay anything and give them all the power that they want. And then the rest of the country will wake up and figure out how dangerous this and demand to have their country back and be put in charge. That democracy will prevail and rule again and take down the Corporate State.” At least that is the point that I get from him and what I believe he is saying here.

Look, for anyone who labels them self a Progressive and perhaps because they don’t want to admit to their more socialist leanings and believe that allowing people to have a lot of money is a dangerous thing, even if they earned all of that money and just don’t want to tax them more for public investments, but somehow see wealth as a bad thing in America, I have a good suggestion for you. Tax everybody, except people who truly can’t afford to be taxed at all, people who work in poverty. But tax people based on what they take from society and not what they earn.

What Senator Ben Cardin who serves on the Senate Finance Committee and just happens to be one of my U.S. Senator’s calls a Progressive Consumption Tax and I call it that myself, would solve a lot of our tax problems in America. The poor, would still get their Earned Income Tax Credit and would only have to report their income to get it. Everyone else that is out of poverty earning an income would be taxed based on what they spend. And it would be progressive, because taxes on the basic necessities of life would be taxed fairly low. Luxury items including ball games and other forms of entertainment, would be taxed higher. The more expensive the purchase, the higher it would be taxed. And the rich would end up being taxed more, because they spend more.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

ABC News: This Week With George Stephanopoulos: Ron Paul (2012)

Source:ABC News- U.S. Representative Ron Paul (Libertarian, Texas) talking to ABC News.

Source:The New Democrat

"Despite third place Nevada finish, Ron Paul vows a long campaign battle." 

From ABC News

Ron Paul, is 2012, running for President in a party that still had a very young and developing conservative libertarian faction in it. And never had a blizzards chance in South Florida of ever winning the Republican nomination for president. 

Remember, the 2012 presidential race, was between Flip Flopper (I mean Mitt Romney, but we all know why Mitt is called Flip Flopper) and a big government Christian-Conservative (so-called)  in Rick Santorum, who spent sixteen years in Congress voting in favor of big government and higher debt and deficits. At least while he was in the Senate and especially after George W. Bush became President in 2001.

2016, can be different for Ron’s son Senator Rand Paul who will now have a growing and more mature and bigger conservative libertarian faction behind him. And the opportunity to combine his father’s positions on civil liberties and personal freedom and keeping Federal power in check and even shrinking it. While at the same time develop a national security and foreign policy that doesn’t try to have American policing the world on its own. But doesn’t turn the rest of the world off either. That listens too and works with our allies. A conservative internationalist foreign policy in the mold of Ronald Reagan.

National Constitution Center: Senator Mike Lee: Our Lost Constitution

I agree with Senator Mike Lee that Congress has not lived up to their responsibilities as being an equal partner in the Federal Government with the Executive. Senator Lee, should know being a member of Congress himself. And how long this has been going on, I would go back to the War on Terror with President Bush, that has just continued with President Obama and even gone further. That a lot of our laws, unofficially written even, are written by Federal agencies. And done through executive orders. And of course Congress can overrule executive orders they do not like, or see as unconstitutional. But part of Congress not doing their jobs is not overriding executive orders that they see are wrong, or unconstitutional.

One of the core values of liberalism has to do with questioning authority. Especially centralized authority and big centralized authority. Not anti-authority, but saying that a lot of authority in the hands of one person or one group of people, even on the behalf of all the people, is dangerous and anti-freedom. And the U.S. Constitution with its Separation of Powers and our Federal Republic and our Federalist system and all of our individual and constitutional rights, best and most accurately describes and represents liberalism at its core and realist form. And that is what the Founding Fathers (our Founding Liberals) laid out with the U.S. Constitution.

You could blame this President, or that President for our so-called lost Constitution if you want to. But when Congress doesn’t live up to their oversight authority, both the House and Senate, to see that they are involved in all laws and regulations that the White House and its agencies writes and to see that the executive is enforcing the laws passed by Congress and signed by the President, who is to blame here? The President? The Executive is just doing what they believe they already have the authority to do. And again if Congress doesn’t like that, they, or a group of Representatives, or Senators can stand up and take action. Hold oversight hearings, pass laws limiting the Executive, hold the Executive accountable through the appropriations process.

Plato Shrugs: What is Communism Without The Spin?

Source:The New Democrat

Before anyone throws Cuba, China, North Korea, Vietnam and all the former so-called Communist Republics at me, forget about all of those countries. The actual definition of communism and Communists are people who are anti-private property. They want most if not all private property replaced short of people’s homes and personal property. They want control of the economy to be in the hands of the central state. They are even to the left of the Social Democrat, or Democratic Socialist when it comes to economic policy. Because Democratic Socialists believe in property rights and private enterprise, to go along with a superstate to meet the basic needs of the people.

You could be a Communist and believe in democratic multi-party elections. And perhaps even individual rights, short of people acting against the state and threatening the stability of the Communist State. You could be a Communist and even believe in private small business’s short of big business’s. With the state being in control of the big business’s to be used for all the people. Communism is a statist authoritarian ideology, because of the nature of the size of the state in a true communist society. But it’s not necessarily anti-democratic or anti-free. There could be freedom in a true communist society. I doubt we’ll ever see that, especially with both Cuba and China moving to private enterprise economies.

But it’s not so much communism that is the real threat to freedom and individualism and the major competitor and arch-rival of liberalism. Liberalism, liberal democracy, being true philosophies that are truly about freedom, individualism and individual rights. But statism, whether it comes from the Far-Left, or the Far-Right, that are the arch-rivals of liberalism, as well as conservative libertarianism. Statism, being all about the state and that the state is superior. And that freedom can’t be trusted and is too risky. Because a Statist believes that freedom gives people the right to make mistakes that the state has to pay for. But if the state is completely in charge and people aren’t free to go out on their own, the state will be able to protect them and take care of them. And no one will have too much, or too little and immorality won’t become a problem.

There are Statists right and left in democratic societies and even in a liberal democratic society like America. (There’s that word liberal again) Statists on the Far-Left, who not only believe that people can’t be trusted with their money, because they’ll make bad decisions with it. Or will end up being really successful and productive and make a lot more money than most people. So you need taxes and regulations high enough to make sure that government controls most of those resources to see that everyone is taken care. And not free to make mistakes with their own money, or make a lot of money.

But on the social side, you have leftist Statists who believe people can’t be trusted as far as how they talk to each other. That hate speech shouldn’t be free and that their form of political correctness should be the law of the land. That minority groups should get special protection from government. That women should be treated superior to men. That people can’t be trusted to even get their own news and that right-wing media shouldn’t be allowed to exist. And that people can’t be trusted as far as what they should eat and drink. And that government should decide what people can eat and drink. The ultimate nanny state. A Statist on the Far-Left in America, makes Democratic Socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders look like a Moderate.

And you see Statists on the Far-Right in America, who tend to look at society through their own cultural and religious views. So-called Religious-Conservatives, but Neoconservatives who tend to share the cultural views Religious-Conservatives, but also come from a national morality and security bent as well. That security and morality should always come before liberty. That liberty should only be tolerated when it doesn’t threaten security and when people are acting moral in their view. And that government should enforce the Neoconservative’s view of national morality and security. And the Neo-Right has dominated the Republican Party for what twenty-five years now. With the GOP only moving back to their conservative-libertarian roots since some guy named Barack Obama became President of the United States. And they decided that they no longer debt and deficits and the Patriot Act and host of other policies started by the Bush Administration.

So look, I’m not a Communist, or any other type of Socialist. Which shouldn’t be a newsflash to anyone familiar with this blog, or my blogging. But I don’t see socialism, or even communism as the main threat to liberty. And I don’t even see it as a real threat or competitor to liberalism. Because the Liberal, will always have better views and arguments than a Communist and even Socialist. Because the Liberals will explain what people can do for themselves if they just have the tools. While the Socialist, or Communist will always try to tell the audience what government can do for the people so they don’t have to act on their own. Which doesn’t tend to fly in America. But the real threat to freedom in America and in general, is statism. Whether it comes from the Far-Left, or Far-Right.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Salon: Simon Maloy: Bernie Sanders: How The Socialist Brings Out Socialists True Colors

Salon: Opinion: Simon Maloy: How The Socialist Brings Out Their True Colors

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

“Hey, Bernie Sanders is a Socialist and so am I! I just didn’t have the balls to admit it when he did. And I didn’t have the balls to admit it before he decided to run for president. Even though Bernie has been in Congress for now twenty-four years, including the last eight in the Senate.”

That is the main effect that a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign will have on the 2016 presidential race. People who up until now called themselves Progressives, or even worst, at least from my perspective Liberals, even though they represent the Far-Left in America, will now call themselves Socialists, or Democratic Socialists. Because, that is what their leader calls himself and they share his politics.

Actually, even though Senator Sanders is the only self-described Democratic Socialist in the U.S. Congress and I emphasize self-described. He’s fairly moderate and mainstream to people who will be supporting him. He might even be moderate and mainstream to a lot of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which he’s a member of, with most of the CPC members being in the House. I bet most of the CPC members in the House couldn’t get elected statewide. To use as an example, they need gerrymandered districts to keep getting reelected. Senator Sanders, represents the Socialist Republic of Vermont, as its called, but we’re still talking about an entire state. Not just part of one.

But, I wouldn’t support a Democratic Socialist for president, unless it was Bernie Sanders, or Mike Huckabee, or Rick Santorum. I could see my wallet and money running for the hills without me. Looking for new ownership, if they heard I was voting for Bernie Sanders for president. But I’m glad he’s running for president. Because it will give Democratic Socialists in the Democratic Party the opportunity to admit to who they are and own the socialist label and stop running from it. And say, “Bernie Sanders, is a Democratic Socialist and so am I. I’ve always been one and just didn’t have the balls to admit to it. Because of the negative stereotypes that comes with socialism in America.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Keith Hughes: Video: What is a Socialist?

I’m only interested in two types of Socialists when it comes to this post, at least. The Democratic Socialist, take U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, to use as an example. And the Socialist Liberal, take Professor Noam Chomsky, to use as an example. Someone who is as liberal as me on social issues. That the individual is exactly that when it comes to their own personal affairs. And doesn’t believe we need big government to tell us how to live. But where the Socialist Liberal separates from me has to do with economic policy and foreign affairs. That the Socialist Liberal believes the role of government, especially the central government, is to take care of people. The Liberal, just wants everyone to have the freedom to take care of themselves. That government has the responsibility to see that everyone can do that. But not manage their economic affairs for them.

And that is basically where the Democratic Socialist and Socialist Liberal are on economic policy. A central government big enough to make sure that everyone is taken care of. That all of our basic necessities are met and that the central government should provide these services for us. With a private enterprise system to finance all of these government services for us. Financed through high taxes and big regulatory state to see that the private sector is meeting the needs of the people. And not just to maximize profits. Which is what democratic socialism and social democracy are. Not run the economy, but to see that everyone’s economic needs are met.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Independent Institute: The Beacon: Randall Holcombe: Progressivism: Rhetoric Versus Reality

Independent Institute: The Beacon: Randall Holcombe: Progressivism: Rhetoric versus Reality

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

What people need to understand about progressivism, is that it isn’t socialism. Sure, they are both about big centralized government, but progressivism isn’t completely about government. And doesn’t think individualism and individual initiative is necessarily a bad thing. Or that freedom isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Progressives, unlike Socialists in many cases, believe in all of those things. A true Progressive, doesn’t believe that government can and should do practically everything if not everything for the people. Socialists, don’t seem to have a problem that a new tax increase and government program can’t solve and do something new for the people.

Progressivism, was basically born in the late 1890s and early 1900s, under people like Teddy Roosevelt and later Woodrow Wilson and many others, as part of the so-called Progressive Era. These people who might have seem radical then, but today they would be mainstream Center-Left Progressive Democrats. And thanks to the Great Depression and with Franklin Roosevelt coming to power as President in 1933 with an overwhelming Democratic Congress in both the House and Senate, the New Deal was born. The American safety net and social insurance system. To help people in need help themselves and get themselves back on their feet.

The originally Welfare system was badly designed. Because it didn’t require people on Welfare to finish their education and even look for work. Unlike Unemployment Insurance where people have to look for work and even get help from the program looking for work. But the basic idea of progressivism is that government can help people when they are down get on their feet. And protect the innocent from predators. Either in the economy with the regulatory state. And put criminals way when they hurt the innocent physically and otherwise with the law enforcement state. And protect the country from foreign invaders with the national security state.

If you look at the economic options of the 1930s, the progressive economic approach was actually the middle ground. Which might sound strange even for that period. But think about it, you had Conservatives and Libertarians on the Right, saying that government shouldn’t do anything to help people who are down and stay out of the economy all together. To Democratic Socialists and Communists on the Far-Left, saying that private enterprise and capitalism is the problem. And that government should take over a lot of these sectors in the economy to serve the people. Progressivism, is not socialism, but a very mainstream American ideology.

Tom Woods: James Ostrowski: 'Progressivism: The Idea Destroying America'

Source:The New Democrat

What I’m going to do with this piece, is to layout what progressivism and Progressives are and what they aren’t. I’ll start with what they are not. They aren’t Socialists and Statists, democratic or otherwise. Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich and many other Socialists, aren’t Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt. They are way to the left of FDR, LBJ and Harry Truman. Progressives, believe in the good of government and even expansionist government.

But Progressives also believe in the limits to what government can do for people. The Socialist, sees government as a director of society. “This is what everyone needs to do well in life. And the primary job of government is to make sure that everyone has what they need to do well in life.” The Progressive, wants everyone to do well in life, sure! But it’s not the job of government to do everything for everybody, or even try to. That people have to have a certain amount of freedom over their own lives. Or the economy will fail, because people will stop being productive.

Progressives, see government more as an insurance system that people can use to empower themselves and live as good as a life as possible. Especially people who need opportunity to do better in life. And that government should be there to do things that we as people can’t do for ourselves or do as well. Infrastructure, national security, law enforcement, foreign affairs, regulatory state, to protect the innocent from predators, but not to run the economy. Safety net, for people who are down to help them out, but to also help them get back up.

A lot of today’s so-called Progressives who either have adopted the label, or have had it put on them, really aren’t. Progressives, don’t believe most non-Caucasians in the criminal justice system are innocent. They are not anti-law enforcement, or even anti-military. Under FDR and Truman, Progressives built the national security state. America, became the military and diplomatic power in the world under FDR and Truman. Progressives, are also not conspiracy theory prone. And throw out ideas that 9/11 was an inside job, orchestrated by the Bush Administration. To use as an example.

If you really want to learn about progressivism, read up on FDR, Truman, LBJ and read and listen to their speeches. When it came both to economic, foreign and national security policy. Check out Senator Sherrod Brown, perhaps one of the few true of classical Progressives in Congress. Now that the Democratic Party has such a large social democratic wing in Congress, especially in the House. Listen to Senator Brown give a speech on the economy and the importance of the middle class. And things like infrastructure, the importance of manufacturing and small business in America. And you’ll have a pretty good idea of what progressivism really is and how it's different from democratic socialism.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

RAND: Publications: Paul Sorenson: Mileage-Based User Fees For Transportation Funding

RAND: Publications: Paul Sorenson: Mileage-Based User Fees For Transportation Funding

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Mileage-based user fees to help fund new roads, might be worth looking at to fund and repair infrastructure in America. The more you drive, you more you pay for roads, bridges and everything else. The more you fly the more you pay for airports. My issue would be that workers who perhaps aren’t poor, but have to drive a lot either on the job or to and from work everyday and perhaps qualify for public assistance, or make just over that, could get stuck with large transportation bills every week. If there would be some relief for low and moderate income drivers and workers, I would be open to that idea.

What I think our infrastructure system needs is a short and long-term financing system for our infrastructure. One, to keep up with current infrastructure investments in America, but also to further invest in this country and build new infrastructure. And we need new funding to accomplish a short and long-term funding system for our infrastructure. Short-term, would be a long-term infrastructure bill passed by Congress and singed by the President. The current gas tax, is simply not adequate enough, especially with autos now running on other energy resources. So you need to look at other potential sources to fund our infrastructure.

A short-term infrastructure bill, could be funded through perhaps user fees and fees for using roads, bridges and everything else. But we could also tax things that people simply don’t need and bring health costs in America to pay for our infrastructure. Things like sugar, salt, tobacco, alcohol, to use as examples. As well as encouraging private companies to invest in our infrastructure, that they would get back by people simply using it. Driving and flying to use as examples. And that is where something like a National Infrastructure Bank would come in.

A National Infrastructure Bank, would be a separate independent non-profit public company, that would be in charge of prioritizing infrastructure in the country. By working with people around the country to figure out what infrastructure projects need to be worked on and built. And then go to the private sector to get the funding to pay for the projects. That they would invest voluntarily and get their money back and then some based on how often people use the infrastructure that they invested in. That would be my long-term solution to fund infrastructure in America and it would create hundreds of thousands of good construction and engineering jobs every year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mises Media: James Ostrowski: 'The Illiberal Progressive Mind'

Source:The New Democrat

James Ostrowski, had the best line in this video, when he said that, “we should stop calling Progressives, Liberals, because they are not.” I would argue that todays so-called Progressives, even people who claim the label, because perhaps they don’t like the word Liberal, because they don’t want to be associated with Center-Left Democrats, or because of how successful right-wingers have made the label seem unpopular in the last fifty years, or perhaps are smart enough to know that they are further left than American Liberals, are not that Progressive either. They believe in progress, but are so government centric that they have more socialist or statist views with their politics.

Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, the only self-described Socialist in Congress, is not a Progressive. He’s a Democratic Socialist and proud of that. He even believes in capitalism and private enterprise, but wants government especially the Federal Government to be big enough so that everyone can do well in the private enterprise system. And not just people who were born to wealth.

A true Progressive, believes in progress and that government should be used to improve the lives of everyone and that everyone can succeed. But doesn’t want government so big that the individual becomes dependent on it and stops trying to take care of them self and live in freedom.

The Progressive, believes in things like public education, infrastructure, civil rights, equal rights, a safety net for people who truly need it, but not big enough to manage people’s lives for them. They believe in a big centralized government even, which is what we got from FDR and LBJ. But not to replace the private enterprise system and eliminate certain functions of the private sector. But go hand in hand and have an insurance system for people who don’t have access to a lot of the services that wealthier people can get in the private sector.

The Democratic Socialist, wouldn’t outlaw private enterprise in America. But have the Federal Government takeover basic human services in the country. And not have the private sector involved in them any longer. Things like education, health care, health insurance, childcare, retirement, banking and energy even. As well as big regulatory state to make sure the private sector is behaving properly and in the interest of the country.

The Progressive, wants everyone to be able to succeed on their own and have access to the tools that they need to make that happen. Government comes in especially for the people who can’t access those resources through the private sector.

The Democratic Socialist, believes the role of government should be there to take care of everyone. That government should be big enough to meet the needs of the people. That certain aspects of society shouldn’t be for-profit at all and can’t be trusted with the private sector. Like the examples that I mentioned before. And that is where government comes in to see that everyone’s needs are met and have a private sector big enough to be able to finance all of this government for the people. This Democratic Socialist ideology, is that ideology that Senator Sanders and his supporters in and outside of the Democratic Party supports.

Monday, May 18, 2015

AlterNet: Valerie Tarico: 'I Am Pro-Abortion, Not Just Pro-Choice'

AlterNet: Opinion: Valerie Tarico: I Am Pro-Abortion, Not Just Pro-Choice

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Reading this piece by Valerie Tarico, reminded me of a conversation that I was in about three years ago on Facebook of all places that was about abortion. And after I tell you about this conversation, you’ll know where my position is on abortion and choice when it comes to abortion. We were talking about abortion, obviously. But what made this discussion interesting was that we were both in favor of keeping and having abortion be legal. That the women should make the call when it comes to her own pregnancies.

But where we differ has to do with public financing of abortion. I’m against that, because I don’t believe taxpayers should be forced to finance someone else’s abortion. Especially if they view that as murder. Which I don’t, but only to save the life and health of the mother, or if she was raped. The person I was talking said that he supports public financing of abortion. But for fiscally conservative reasons. So taxpayers don’t have to support someone else’s kids that the parent or parents can’t support. He supports public funding of abortion to prevent low-income women from having additional babies while they’re still poor. I told this person that they sounded pro-abortion to me. And that I’m pro-choice, which is very different. The person said that they were pro-abortion.

As far as Valerie Tarico’s piece in the AlterNet. She compared abortion with knee surgery. She said she’s pro-abortion like she’s pro-knee surgery or supports chemotherapy or cataract surgery. Even though these procedures are completely different. To state the obvious and perhaps Valerie Tarico needs this stated. You don’t end pregnancies and future babies and children being born when you get a knee surgery, or get your eyes fixed. That’s what you do with an abortion. A women ends her pregnancy and as a result she’ll never have a baby from that pregnancy as a result. Unless the women was raped, she didn’t have to become pregnant in the first place. She chose for that to happen, along with the father together. And she can choose to end her pregnancy as well.

Pro-choice whatever the issue and freedom of choice just doesn’t cover abortion. So if you say you’re pro-choice on abortion and perhaps homosexuality, but you support big government and the state when it comes to marijuana and other drugs, perhaps even alcohol and tobacco and now sugar and salt, like with some paternalistic nanny statist Progressives today and add gambling and pornography and certain types of speech as well, your belief in freedom of choice is very limited. Really to just one or two issues, while you would have a big government there to stop people from making all sorts of other personal choices that you disapprove of. Even if they aren’t hurting anyone with what they are doing.

See, that’s the beauty of liberalism, liberty, liberation, liberalization, freedom in general. (Deal with it right-wingers) The ability for individuals to make their own decisions even if they’re making a decision that is potentially harmful, especially if they don’t know what they’re doing and others don’t approve of. But then also have to deal with the consequences of their choices. Including the financing of them, so we can’t pass the cost of our own decisions on to others, especially if those decisions are bad. But also so we aren’t financially endorsing bad decision-making in this country. And that is the difference from being pro-choice on multiple issues and publicly endorsing the decision-making of others.

The American Mind: The Fate of Modern Liberalism With Charles Krauthammer

Source:The New Democrat

It depends on what you mean by liberalism and this is a reason why I’m glad Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders is running for president. Because he’ll represent the so-called modern liberal movement in America and the so-called modern liberals. Even though he’s a Democratic Socialist. And this is what I mean, because what is called modern liberalism, is democratic socialism. Its America’s version of Britain, France and Scandinavia, Canada, and Australia as well. And the Democratic Party has a sufficient Democratic Socialist wing in it, led by Senator Sanders and others.

The reason why liberalism, classical liberalism if you want to call it that, but not libertarianism, but the reason why liberalism is in good shape, is because of the country. Americans, including young Americans, tend to like both personal and economic freedom. We tend to like the ability to manage our own personal and economic affairs and not need or want government do that for us. We also believe there should be a safety net for people who get knocked off their feet. Or don’t have the skills to take care of themselves. To help them get on their feet. America is as Barry Goldwater put it. A country where we don’t want big government in our wallets or bedrooms.

America doesn’t want a big government trying to run our lives for us. But to do what we need it to do. Like protecting us from criminals and keeping the air clean and products that make it to market safe and so-forth. Which is very different from having a government so big that the people don’t have to do much for themselves and don’t have choices in how they can live their own lives. Without much money after taxes to take care of themselves, because government is doing that for them. Liberalism in is real sense, classical or otherwise, is about personal and economic freedom. With a limited government there to protect us from people who would harm us and help people who are down get on their feet. A liberal government is an insurance system with law enforcement and a military. Which is what Americans tend to want from government.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Prison Planet Live: Paul Joseph Watson: 'Absolute Proof Liberalism is a Mental Disorder'

Actually, Info Wars or Prison Planet Live, the group I guess that Paul Joseph Watson works for, Alex Jones’s clan, is another way of saying The Onion. The difference being, that The Onion has a better record as far as reporting things that are actually true. Actually, Fox News reports more real news than Prison Planet Live and Info Wars combined. And if it wasn’t America’s liberal First Amendment, which is our Freedom of Speech for all you out there who don’t know what the First Amendment is, (God help you) PPL and Info Wars wouldn’t be allowed on the air.

They wouldn’t be on the radio or allowed to blog or anything. Because they have such a bad habit intentionally or just from being escaped mental patients of saying and reporting things that are simply not true. If they were operating in a much further left social democracy like Sweden, Canada, Britain or Australia, they would be put of business for reporting so many things that aren’t true. So they need to get down on their hands and knees and thank God for American liberalism. Because thanks to our liberal Constitution, they’re allowed to stay in business.

PJ Watson, or Paul, or Joe, or whatever the hell he goes by, talked about Sweden as this example of extreme liberalism. Where they take away a lot of someone else’s money to take care of people who simply aren’t productive enough and produce enough to take care of themselves. Another example of where he is wrong about liberalism. What this character is talking about and perhaps is not smart enough to be aware of it, is called socialism and a democratic form of it. Again, Sweden social democracy where the central government is expected to take care of the people. Perhaps the most socialist of any developed country in the world. And yes, they are a developed country.

Liberalism, is simply about freedom being available to everyone. Both personal and economic. That everyone has the opportunity to live in freedom and to be able to manage their own affairs in life. That it’s not the job of government to take care of everyone. But to protect freedom for the people who already have it. And expand freedom for people who don’t have it, but need and deserve it. Public social insurance and a safety net is part of that. But to empower people in need to get on their own two feet, while helping them pay their short-term bills to be able to survive in the short-term. Not taking from the successful to take care of the poor indefinitely.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Salon: Katie McDonough: Bernie Sanders, Feminist: Making America More Like Scandinavia

Salon: Opinion: Katie McDonough: Bernie Sanders, Uber-Feminist: Making America More Like Scandinavia

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I’m glad Senator Bernie Sanders, the only self-described Socialist member of Congress, but not the only Socialist in Congress, which I’ll get to later, is running for President in 2016. Not because I as a center-left New Democrat Liberal would vote for him, at least in the Democratic primary. Because I wouldn’t, I’m voting for Martin O’Malley who better represents my center-left politics. But because now Socialists will have a major party presidential candidate who calls them self a Socialist. And center-left Liberals will no longer have to hear someone like Dennis Kucinich whose just as far-left as Senator Sanders calling them self a Liberal, when they are Socialists.

Far-Leftists in America, who prefer to be called Progressives, even though they are way to the left of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, on foreign policy and national security at least, but economic policy as well, or Liberals, even though they are much further to the left of Jack Kennedy on both economic and foreign policy, as well as national security, will now be able to come out in favor of Bernie Sanders and his socialism. Because they believe in the same things. Higher taxes on everyone, small military, bigger more centralized Federal Government, the U.S. Government becoming responsible for the economic and personal welfare for all Americans. And providing most if not all of our basic necessities in life. While having a large enough private sector to have an economy strong enough to finance all of these Federal social services.

Social democratic publications like The Nation, AlterNet, Salon, TruthOut, TruthDig, The New New Republic and others and social democratic groups like The Daily Kos, Media Matters, MoveOn and many others, the Green Party, Democratic Socialists of America, will now not only have their presidential candidate, but a presidential candidate who quite frankly has the balls to self-describe his politics and ideology for what they are. Which is democratic socialist. Senator Sanders, like all Democratic Socialists, believes the role of government is to see that everyone is taken care. That everyone’s basic needs are met. Especially for people who aren’t able to take care of themselves, to take care of them. Even if that means less individual freedom for everyone else.

So you’ll have at least one Liberal in Martin O’Malley and perhaps Hillary Clinton, depending on how she runs for President, saying that what America needs is more opportunity. And for freedom for everyone to be able to succeed in America. And that government has a responsibility to see that everyone can get themselves the tools to be able to live in freedom. Built around education, infrastructure, economic development for struggling communities. Assistance for people on Welfare to be able to get themselves a good job and live freely. With the lone Democratic Socialist running for President in the Democratic Party, representing the Far-Left flank saying that what the country really needs is a government big enough to take care of everyone. Which should make the Democratic primaries interesting.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

CBS Sports: NFL 1982-NFC Wildcard-Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings: Full Game

Source:Minnesota Vikings- Atlanta Falcons defenders,

Source:The New Democrat  

“The Vikings battle the Falcons. All rights go to the NFL.

1. Click the “i” icon at the top right of the video.

2. Click one of the bubbles that has a question(s).

3. Done! Enjoy your stay! Like, Subscribe, Comment and more!

Voting ends 2PM ET/11AM PT.” 

A very interesting matchup of two pretty different, but pretty good teams in the 82 Falcons and Vikings. The Falcons of the late 1970s and early 1980s, were a power running football team, with a strong offensive line and very good running backs in William Andrews and Lynn Cain and added Gerald Riggs in 1982.

The Falcons had a good strong-arm quarterback in Steve Bartkowski, who could go deep to wide receivers Alfred Jackson and Alfred Jenkins. And on defense, they had what was called the Grits Blitz. Very similar to the Chicago Bears 46. But they did it out of a 3-4, but like the Bears would rush and blitz everyone on their defense.

The Vikings, no longer had their dominant Purple People Eater Defense. But they were solid on defense and still had a very good offense. That was now led by quarterback Tommy Kramer instead of Fran Tarkenton. That would throw the ball a lot and throw the ball to everyone with their possession passing Spread Offense. The Vikings could run Ted Brown, Tony Galbreath and Darin Nelson out of the backfield.

So this was a matchup of a power football team in the Falcons on both offense and defense. Against a more finesse but tough Vikings team, that could beat anyone in the NFL.

Friday, May 8, 2015

My Vintage Video: The Capital Gang, March 27, 1993: Foreign Policy and The Clinton Budget

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

President Boris Yeltsin who certainly has his issues as President of Russia, looks like a good guy if not a saint, at least compared with Vladimir Putin today. It would’ve been nice had Russia been able to transition away from President Yeltsin and to someone like him. And continued with the economic and political reforms in Russia. And not of moved in a neoconservative if not Far-Right direction. That they’ve been on ever since Putin became President of the Russian Federation in the late 1990s.

As far as the Clinton 1993 budget, I agree with then Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole. Who then was not only highest ranking Republican in Congress, but in the U.S. Government at least, when he said that President Clinton shouldn’t get that much credit for getting his budget plan through. Because he had an overwhelming Democratic Congress back then. Of something like 257 seats in the House and 57 in the Senate. And where the Senate Minority can’t block the budget and require sixty votes to pass it. Leaders shouldn’t get extra credit for simply doing what they are able to do and should do.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My Vintage Video: The Capital Gang, February 20, 1993: The Clinton Deficit Reduction Plan

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

This whole show was about the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act. That was offered by President Bill Clinton, which was his first major economic bill as President. That was passed by a Democratic Congress by a total of two votes. One vote majority in the House and a one vote majority in the Senate. With only Congressional Democrats voting for the DRA. With not a single House or Senate Republican voting for it. You can make a case that the DRA cost Democrats Congress in 1994. But the plan worked with the budget almost balanced by 1996. With most of the new revenue to the Federal budget coming from the new revenue and tax hikes from the 1993 plan. Which was a combination of spending cuts both in defense and non-defense and a tax hike on the wealthy. And reversing some of the tax cuts from the Reagan Administration from the 1980s. The plan was costly politically, but it worked.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Journey Into Evil: The Charles Manson Story

Source:The New Democrat

A lot can be said about Charles Manson most of it bad. I mean he was the leader of one of the most evil crime families that America has ever seen. And this wasn’t a crime family that was built around enriching themselves financially off the backs of people who’ve made it in life. But a crime family that was built around destroying the establishment essentially. That if you were successful in life, especially if you were a successful Caucasian-American in society in the Los Angeles area and Charlie Manson knew about you and could get to you, you were a potential target of the Manson Family.

If you were on the Manson Crime Family’s hit list, they were not going to take what you earned in life. They weren’t after the wealth, but the person themselves. That the establishment was the problem in America. And Charlie Manson had this fantasy that if all of these wealthy people were murdered, that these murders would get blamed on African-Americans in Los Angeles. And that Caucasians would be so mad by this, that it would unite some type of race war between Caucasians and Africans in Southern California. This sounds crazy, but that’s the fantasy that Manson had. But what he didn’t realize apparently as well as several other things, that he was in California not Alabama. And race wars just didn’t happen there. People in LA learned to live with each other.

Charlie Manson’s life was tragic enough and to a certain extent society was partially to blame for this. With the way Manson was raised. But the bigger tragedy was, its one thing to destroy your own life, but its another to destroy others. And his family members are responsible for their actions in the Manson Family. But without Charlie Manson the Manson Crime Family never gets created and he targeted young adults in the late 1960s to join his family and show them another way of living.

Manson gave his members what they were missing in life, in exchange for doing Charlie’s evil business. Do the deeds that Manson didn’t have the guts to do on his own, which is murder people. And thank God most people don’t have the guts to murder people, or this would be a much different country. Thats how the Manson Family operated and how they were able to be in business. Charlie Manson was sentenced to prison for the last time in his life in 1970 after being convicted of conspiracy to commit murder of the people his family murdered.

Charlie been in prison ever since and will never leave prison for what he did. Nor should he, because he’s clearly not rehabilitated. And even the California corrections system recognizes this. But he’s lucky in once sense to even be a live for the murders he’s responsible for. Had the death penalty not have been outlawed in 1973, Charlie and his followers would be dead right now. Probably executed by the late 1970s and early 1980s. And how his members, most of the women anyway have turned out and conducted themselves while in prison and are now rehabilitated, that may have been a tragedy. But Charlie is still the same person he’s always been as an adult.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Angie Gibson: Video: MASH Series Finale: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

As the people who created and written the last episode of MASH said, this just wasn’t a comedy. And as funny as the rest of its episodes. But MASH was never a pure comedy to begin with. It was a show about the Korean War and America’s involvement in it. And handled a lot of life and death serious issues, but did it with a lighter touch. And as character Captain Trapper McIntire put it played by Wayne Rogers who was joking around in surgery one day as he was operating on someone and his nurse said, “do you always have joke around while you’re performing surgery?” The Captain said, “yes, because it his what keeps me sane around all of this insanity and death that is this war”. That is what MASH was about. Humans trying to do their best under horrible traumatic conditions.

Humor, is a form of communication. And a way a lot of people, funny people, or people with good sense of humors at least, use to express how they’re feeling. And it can come out at anytime and be used appropriately and inappropriately. MASH, didn’t use humor to make the Korean War look any lighter and less serious than it was. But to show how horrible and crazy of a situation that a lot of America’s Army personal had to work under as part of their service in that war. I think I would go crazy if I had to work under those conditions with a complete straight face all the time. I think I would have a better shot at keeping my sanity in solitary confinement for ten straight years. Than to try to save lives while people are being killed around me and innocent people are being killed.

This last episode was about the last days of the Korean War. A peace agreement between America and the Communist North was being worked out. And the personal at this MASH unit were waiting for the word and being told that they can go home. And how people who’ve spent a year or two-years or perhaps the whole damn war together, how they would say goodbye to each other. And get ahold of each other when they’re back in the states. This episode wasn’t a pure comedy, but again MASH never was. But what it was, was a realistic look at how Army personal enlisted and draftees perform at an Army medical hospital during the middle of a war. Trying to save as many lives as they possibly can while so many people around them are being killed in battle. And they did a hell of a job.

You Politics News: Mike Huckabee 2016 Announcement Speech

Source:The New Democrat

Well I give this to Mike Huckabee, here’s a Republican with true blue-collar appeal. Because that is how he grew up and was raised and where he’s from. Similar to Rick Santorum, but the problem that both the Governor and Senator Santorum have, is that their blue-collar support is only in the Republican Party. And within the Christian-Right of the Republican Party at that. I mean imagine Mike Huckabee as the 2016 GOP presidential nominee. And also imagine Alabama declaring Islam as their state religion, which has just as big of a chance, while you’re at it. What state north of Florida and south Virginia could Mike Huckabee win. What state east of the Great Plains and west of California could Governor High and All Mighty Jesus win?

There are still a enough sane and smart Republicans left to prevent someone from the Far-Right of their party from winning their presidential nomination. And without gerrymandering in the House of Representatives, the GOP wouldn’t be in the majority in the House right now. And yes a lot of the Far-Right is in the House, but that is thanks to gerrymandering. Not because they’re great politicians and public servants. You can say the 1960s and 1990s ruined America all you want and its time to return America back to the 1950s and party like its 1955 all you want to. With a lot of our personal cultural freedom being thrown out in the trash all you want. But the part of America that The Huckster represents is all but dead now.

Americans by in large are comfortable with women working and working well and being paid well. We’re comfortable as a country with romantic couples who are not married living together and even having kids. We’re comfortable in most cases regardless of race, ethnicity and religion living and being around Americans of other races, ethnicities and religion. We are no longer a predominant Anglo-Saxon Protestant nation, but a nation that represents the world and have the whole world living here. And we’re also by in large comfortable with not just homosexuality, but even gay marriage. Because most Americans are smart enough to know that what people do in their private lives is exactly that. And not the business of big government.

So yeah, Mike Huckabee will be a lot of fun for bloggers, comedians and reporters to talk and blog about. And the Governor is a bit of a comedian himself with a good sense of humor and maybe he’s running for the fun of it. But what’s the point of his campaign? How does he appeal to young Republicans who tend to come from the Rand Paul conservative libertarian wing of the party. And are not interested in how Americans live their own personal lives. And certainly don’t want big government involved in their lives. And how does he appeal to the business Republicans who are interested in economic and security issues and don’t concern themselves with social issues generally. Again The Huckster will be a lot of fun in 2015-16. But that won’t be enough for him to win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Movie Clips: I Want To Live! 1958: The Story of Barbara Graham

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I saw this movie today in preparation for this blog. Thank you TCM! This movie is about the adult life and criminal career of Barbara Graham. And this movie gives perhaps the most positive light possible of a career criminal Barbara Graham. Who before she was convicted of murder, the most serious crime she was ever convicted as far as actually hurting another person was check forgery. Not to put down check forgery and to make it look anything other than what it is which is, a serious economic crime. That has to be treated seriously with serious consequences for offenders who commit this crime. But Graham, was an economic criminal, not a terrorist, or violent criminal. But she did hang out with people like that.

If I knew nothing about this case before I saw this very good movie with the gorgeous and adorable great actress Susan Hayward as the lead in the movie playing Barbara Graham, I would say that Graham didn’t deserve the death penalty. And if I was a judge on this case or the Governor of California back when the case was going on, I would’ve commuted her sentence to life without, or life with the possibility of parole after twenty-five years. I think there is actual doubt in whether Graham is guilty of this murder, but I haven’t seen anything that suggests that she’s innocent either. But even if I believed she was guilty, I would still give her life without or second degree murder.

Barbara Graham, was no angel. She just looked like one and was a career criminal, but a small time economic criminal at worst. Someone who wrote bad checks, prostitution, doing and perhaps using illegal narcotics. But she wasn’t again violent criminal, at least in the sense that she made a career out of physically hurting people. Even if she did commit the murder that she was convicted of. Life without parole or twenty-five to life would’ve given everyone involved the opportunity to prove one way or another where Graham was guilty or not. And again we’re talking about one murder, which is bad enough, but she wasn’t likely to murder again. At least based on her personality and past. And was someone who society could’ve worked with and even gotten something out of.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dyan Cannon & Raquel Welch: The Last of Sheila (1973)

Source:The New Democrat- Hollywood Goddesses Raquel Welch and Dyan Cannon, in The Last of Sheila, from 1973.

Source:The New Democrat

“Richard Benjamin plays the has-been screenwriter who needs a job – so he spends far too much time sucking up to James Coburn…and he has a few secrets of his own as well… 

From John Reiber 

The Last of Sheila is a very good movie and very funny, but you take Raquel Welch and Dyan Cannon out of the movie and you have a good movie, but you don’t have the eye-candy that can take a b-movie and make it look like an a-movie, because of the great humor and acting, but the sexuality as well in it.

There are other great scenes in The Last of Sheila, most of them with either Raquel or Dyan in the movie, but the swimsuit edition of the movie with Raquel and Dyan, brings guys into a movie and forces them to watch a soap opera crime story, that most guys at least back in the 1970s wouldn’t be caught dead watching, unless their girlfriend was interested in it, because they would’ve viewed this type of movie as feminine or gay.

CBS Sports: NFL 1985-Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears: Full Game

Source:The New Democrat

I think at least and I bet a lot of Vikings and Bears fan agree with this, but I believe this is one of the most under appreciated rivalries in the NFL. It is not the Bears-Packers rivalry, or the Vikings-Packers rivalry, but it is at least as good the Packers-Lions rivalry, which use to be a very good rivalry at least. I don’t know if there are two better teams that better represent the old NFC Central, or as ESPN’s Chris Berman called it the NFC Norris Division, play better than the Vikings and Bears. Both teams, are traditionally tough and physical on defense and come right at you on offense. And both teams love to play in cold weather and won a lot of big games in cold weather.

The 1985 Vikings, were a lot different from the traditional Vikings teams that we saw in the 1960s and 70s and the late 1980s. They no longer had the great defense or running game that they could count on. They were a pass first and almost pass all the time team. And the running game they got was from their passing game. And defenses having to respect their passing game a lot. Tommy Kramer, was a very good if not a Pro Bowl quarterback, but not the type of quarterback that could put his team on his back and lead them to championships on his own. He needed a good running game and defense to play their part as well. And the Vikings from 1983-86, missed the NFC Playoffs four straight seasons. Which never happened again until the 2000s. The Vikings missing the playoffs at least four straight seasons. And a big part of that was they no longer had that great defense and running game to complement their powerful passing game.

Teams like the 85 Vikings, played into the Bears 46 Defense perfectly. The Bears were always going after the quarterback with their defensive line and blitzes. And probably blitzed 90% of the time. And if they didn’t have a running game to have to worry about and giving up a big running play on a blitz, it meant they could blitz all the time and attack the quarterback every single play. Remember, the 85 Bears were 18-1 including playoffs and Super Bowl. The only team that beat them in 85 were the Dan Marino Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins had Dan Marino, but they also had a very good offensive line, that could pick up their own man and pick up blitzers on the same play. And they also had 4-5 really good and quick receivers. And could spread the Bears out on defense. And had enough of a running game to keep defenses honest. The Vikings, weren’t that good of a football team

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Warner Archive: Video: Back to Eternity 1956: Complete Strangers Surviving in The South American Jungle

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

This is one of the best soap opera/airplane disaster movies that I at least have ever seen. They set up very well as far as what the crew and passengers are about and why they’re on the plane and what they’re trying to accomplish. You have a couple that wants to get married, trying to get South America. You have men simply trying to get there to open and be at a new casino there. You have a Nordic goddess, played by the great Anita Ekberg, whose former boyfriend a mobster, is simply trying to get rid of her. And sends her to South America with a lot of money. She essentially has to go, or risk being killed by this mobster. You have a hotshot pilot played by Robert Ryan, who is probably a bit too cocky and doesn’t take all the precautions that she should. And is a reason why the plane crashes.

You have a condemned convicted murderer, who is being extradited to some South American country to be executed, played by the great Rod Steiger. Whose character gets to decide who leaves the jungle and goes back home on the plane once it is fixed and who stays and has to take their chances. Simply because he has the gun and the power. But he knows he’s rotten, or garbage, perhaps you have another word you prefer. And decided the people who are the most unselfish and the people who are the best in the group will leave on the plane. And people who are closest to him as far as goodness, I guess and character, will stay with him.

Anita Ekberg, is a goddess and was a goddess in this movie. And she was hot, sexy and really adorable in this movie. But she also plays a big important role as the person who essentially takes over as the parent or guardian of the lone kid on the plane. Whose mobster father has sent him away. She also serves as inspiration for the Captain and Co-Pilot, who aren’t sure they can pull this off and get the back and running. The first seventy-minutes or so of this plane, are really good and interesting. The last twenty other than the killer deciding who gets to stay and go, slows down somewhat. But this is still a very exciting and interesting movie.

NBC Sports: NFL 1980-AFC Final-Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers: Full Game

With all due respect to the Air Coryell Chargers, they weren’t a complete all around great football team. They had a great offensive minded head coach in Don Coryell. They had a Hall of Fame quarterback in Dan Fouts and a great passing game as a result. With great receivers, Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joyner, John Jefferson and perhaps a few others. And they had a pretty good running game with Chuck Muncie. This was a team in the late 1970s, through 1987, which was Dan Fouts last season, that scored a lot of points and gained a lot of yards. But gave up almost as many points and yards as they gained. Great teams don’t do that. If they have a great offense, they at least have a good defense to go with it. So they aren’t winning and losing a lot of shootouts. But winning a lot of blowouts. The San Francisco 49ers of the 1980s are a great example of that.

The 1980 Raiders, were a great team, at least in the second half of the season and through the playoffs, including the Super Bowl. Because they could score a lot of points and gain a lot of yards. Both passing and running, but their defense shut teams down. They shut good offenses down, like the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 15. And this first quarter is a great example of that. The Raiders scored 21 points, the Chargers scored a touchdown. But the difference being the Raiders were able to shut down the Chargers in that quarter, even though the Chargers did score a touchdown. And the Chargers, give up three touchdowns in that quarter.

The Raiders, simply matched up very well with the Chargers that season. The Chargers had the great passing game, but the Raiders had a great pass rush and great secondary. They were big and quick on defense and caused a lot problems for the Chargers offense. And the Raiders had a balanced offense and with the Chargers being prone to giving up a lot of yards both from the pass and run, meant the Raiders could move the ball and score and get the ball back. Which created separation on the scoreboard. Super Bowl teams, aren’t great on one side of the ball and weak on the other. Even if their strength is on one side of the ball, they’re good enough on the other side to complement their strengths. Which gives them a good team. That was the difference between the Raiders and Chargers in this game.

Friday, May 1, 2015

ABC Sports: NFL 1984-Super Bowl 19-Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers: Full Game

I remember this game fairly well as a nine-year old who was already sports junky and loved football and football was probably already my favorite sport to watch. I remember looking forward to this game and then watching it. The two best teams in the NFL the Dolphins and 49ers, with the two best quarterbacks in Dan Marino and Joe Montana. And arguably the two best head coaches as well in Don Shula and Bill Walsh. Similar to 1983 with the Redskins and Oakland Raiders, this looked like a real Super Bowl matchup between two great teams. And if you’re familiar with football and this game, you also know that games aren’t played on paper and the game didn’t live up to the billing.

The difference in this Super Bowl, is that the 49ers were truly a great team. On both sides of the ball. They had the best defense in the league in the NFL in 1984. They had a great quarterback, with a lot of good receivers. Dwight Clark, Freddie Solomon, Earl Cooper and others. And a great running game as well. Their running game might have been better than their passing game. If you look at the fact that they had two Pro Bowl running backs in their backfield. In Wendell Tyler and Roger Craig. And that Roger Craig, who should be in the Hall of Fame was also a great receiver and perhaps the 49ers best receiver and a great blocker as well. The 84 49ers, you could make a case that they are the best team of all-time in the NFL.

The 1984 Dolphins, I believe were actually somewhat underrated. They weren’t a one man team with Dan Marino with a great coach in Don Shula. With no running game and no defense. They had a very good offensive line, which allowed Marino to throw the ball as much as he did and gave him the time to throw the ball as well as he did. They did have a running game at least in 84. With Woody Bennet and Tony Nathan. But losing Andra Franklin, who would’ve given them that one lead running back and a power running game was a big lost for them. And without Franklin, they didn’t have that one great running back that could put the team on his shoulders and lead them. And defensively, they gave up a lot of yards on the ground. But teams ran the ball a lot against the Dolphins in 84 to keep the Dolphins offense off the field. And the Dolphins were solid against the pass.

What I think the difference in this game is that the 49ers again were great on both sides of the ball. They ran and threw the ball very well. They had a very good strong and athletic offensive line. That pass and run blocked very well. They had a great QB obviously and also had a great defense. The best defense that the Dolphins saw during the 84 season, was against the 49ers. Who practically shut them down after the first quarter in this game. And then add that the Dolphins didn’t have a lot of speed on defense to matchup with all the 49ers receivers and had a hard time getting to Montana most of the game and the 49ers ran the ball so well in this game, meant the 49ers could move the ball up and down the field in this game. And as a result this game turned into a blowout

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

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