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Friday, March 18, 2016

Economic Policy Journal: David Gordon- A Libertarian Argument for the Welfare State

Left-Libertarian-
Economic Policy Journal: David Gordon- A Libertarian Argument for the Welfare State

Left-Libertarian, would be a solid way to describe my own politics I believe. I prefer Liberal or even Classical Liberal, Social Liberal even, but I'm someone whose all about individual freedom. But that it should be for everyone. That everyone should have the opportunity to achieve that and not have to live off any welfare state or private charity if just given the opportunity to live freely. And that is where government has a role. Not as the director of society, but as a supporter and even referee. Not to call the plays and coach the teams, but to step in when predators break the rules that hurt the innocent. So that is where I guess Left-Libertarians, or Social-Liberals and Liberals, disagree with the Ron Paul Classical Libertarians lets say. Who just want government to stay home and perhaps arrest people when take from someone else's freedom. Or stop invaders when they invade the country.

The Left-Libertarian argument for the welfare state or what I prefer is the safety net, is that poverty is a real threat against freedom. And it keeps people down trapped away from freedom. So what you can do with a social insurance system is to help those people in the short-term and prevent them from having to deal with the worst forms of poverty like homelessness. As well as help them get on their feet and live in freedom and not off of taxpayers. Which promotes freedom and for everyone else, because you're creating new taxpayers and real consumers with real resources to consume the products that are made by the private market. Which creates good jobs for everyone involved. Not an argument for a big centralized superstate where states and localities become almost non-relevant, or high taxes across the board. That discourages individual freedom and individualism. Just an insurance system for people who truly need it to help them achieve freedom as well.

Scott Rogers: The Steve Allen Show- Diana Dors Hooray For Love in 1960

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Scott Rogers: The Steve Allen Show- Diana Dors Hooray For Love in 1960

It’s simply not possible for me to see too much of Diana Dors right now and believe me I’ve tried. If I don’t get over this compulsion fairly soon I might seek professional help. She along with Anita Ekberg, Ava Gardner, Liz Taylor, Shelley Winters, are my favorite not just Golden Age Hollywood Goddess’s right now, but my favorite Hollywood Goddess’s right now. Add Angie Dickinson, Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak to that list. Diana, was so adorable with a hot baby-face, English accent and personality to match.

I’ve seen The Run For Doom which is her Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode from 1962, probably twenty times now. And it’s a very good show, but she makes it great. Simply because of her performance on it. Her presence on it is simply overwhelming by the way she moves and her adorable facial expressions. But keep in mind she was a hell of a lot more than a baby-face goddess with a great voice and personality. She was a hell of an actress and a very funny performer as well. She reminds me a lot of Shelley Winters as far as personality and comedic timing.

Diana could make serious parts look funny and keep people staring at her with her with her add living. Again watch The Run For Doom. Or be the funniest person in the room when you let her go off the cuff. Like she did with Bob Hope, Steve Allen and many others. As far as Hooray For Love, again Diana had many talents. She played a singer nightclub singer/gold digger in The Run For Doom. And in this performance she’s singing Hooray For Love on The Steve Allen Show, (Got me for who that show was named after) Great face, great voice, great body on a 5’6 frame. Tall and curvy, but definitely not too tall and I just wish she lived a lot longer and had a much longer career. Because she was so special.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Prager U: William Voegeli: Government: Is it Ever Big Enough?

Prager U: William Voegeli: Government: Is it Ever Big Enough?

William Voegeli, like most hyper-partisan right-wingers, makes the classical obvious mistake of mixing up social democracy, or democratic socialism or whatever you prefer, with liberalism. In Europe, Liberals, are considered right-wing. Why? Because Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists, are considered Center-Left there. In Canada of all places that constantly gets labeled as a social democracy, even though it has a federal system where the provinces and localities, have real power there, Liberals are considered centrists. Why? Because the social democratic New Democrats, are considered Center-Left or left-wing.

Voegeli, kept saying Liberals want more government and more spending and all the traditional Tea Party propaganda about what liberalism is supposed to be. Replace the name William Voegeli with Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin and you would get the same rhetoric. It’s supposed to be Socialists or Social Democrats, who are terrified of the socialist label (except for Bernie Sanders) who run for the hills every time they hear that label about them. So why are so-called Conservatives like Bill Voegeli afraid to use the s-word when talking about social democracy and socialism more broadly. Because they want to attach Liberals with every big government authoritarian ideology that comes down the pike. Even religious conservatism, whether its Islāmic or Christian. And they’ve been very successful at it at least since the late 1960s.

I’ll answer Bill Voegeli’s question in a couple of ways. The first way somewhat simplistic only because this is a simplistic question. And the second way in a more substantive way. The simple answer government is big enough only when it’s doing exactly what we need it to do. No more or no less, which is basically my definition of limited government. So when it’s doing too much, that’s called big government. When it’s doing too little, that would be called small government. Which is every Libertarian’s marijuana high or drunken fantasy.

The more substantive liberal answer is that you need government to protect, defend and promote.

Protect the people from predators, where law enforcement comes in. Defend the country from predators, which is where defense comes in, but foreign affairs and intelligence as well.

Promote freedom and the general welfare. And that doesn’t mean a welfare state, but protect everyone’s individual freedom and right to be free and live freely, short of hurting any innocent person intentionally or otherwise.

Assist people who need help and for whatever reasons get knocked off their feet. But only help them get by in the short-term as you’re also helping them get themselves up. Finding a job, job training, that sort of thing. Which is basically what the definition of a safety net is.

And then protect consumers and workers from predators that would hurt them in the economy. Not run business’s, but set basic rules again to protect workers and consumers. Which is what a regulatory state is.

Again, I know this sounds simplistic, but we’re dealing with a simplistic question and I’m really just correcting what Bill Voegeli said here anyway. Government is big enough only when it’s doing exactly what it should be doing and nothing more or less. You don’t need a big government managing people’s lives for them from either and economic or personal standpoint. But if you want government doing practically nothing and throwing caution to the wind, try living or visiting a stateless society that has practically no government. And see how long it is before you try to escape from that country.

TIME: Jeffrey Kluger- What Donald Trump Can Teach You About The Narcissists in Your Life – The Daily Review on WordPress

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review on WordPress: TIME: Jeffrey Kluger- What Donald Trump Can Teach You About The Narcissists in Your Life

To be fair to Donald Trump and every other American who has ever run for President of the United States the most powerful and important job in the world, (no offense to the rest of the world) anyone who runs for President of the United States, has at least a certain degree of narcissism. And no I’m not a psychologist, but I do have commonsense and I’m also a political and current affairs junky whose seen a lot of politics and debates about current affairs. I mean imagine a candidate for President of the United States who not only didn’t think they were up for the job, but made that clear on the campaign trail. How well would that candidate do?

Imagine a presidential candidate whose campaign theme was something to the effect, “vote for me, because I think I can.” Or, “vote for me and I’ll get it my best shot.” In other words the candidate thinks they’re up to the task, but lacks the self-confidence to know for sure. How would someone like that even get a single campaign volunteer let alone a campaign employee. Elitists get picked on a lot, but the fact is you want accomplished people to run for office. You don’t want people who’ve never accomplished anything in life other than being born to serve in the highest offices in the land. You want people who are accomplished and even wealthy from running a successful business and creating a lot of good jobs and selling a good affordable product.

Now having said all of that, The Donald is beyond self-confidence. His body is on Planet Earth, but his mind is out of this world. If you combine the campaign promises that Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders have made to their supporters, you would never need anyone else to run for president for decades. Because both The Donald and Senator Sanders have promised so much without and clear vision and path to accomplish those promises they would have Congress and whoever is President at the time having to deal with their promises for the next twenty years or so. Bernie, with his political grocery shopping list that would empty every single grocery store in the New York area. The Donald saying America is going to win so much in the future that they’re going to get tired of winning. I guess America would become like the New York Yankees of the early 1990s. (Sorry, you have to be a baseball fan to get that) With his only plan being that he’s a good dealmaker.

Sure, I bet narcissist fits the personality of Donald Trump. And again I’m no psychologist, or try to play one on TV. But I think we need a new term for someone who tells everybody they speak to that they’re going to accomplish everything that is positive for them. Panderer is probably a better term. Out of this world, to describe the personality and overconfidence of Mr. Trump. Or a narcissist on a two-week drinking and marijuana binge that claims they see Martians all around them and that raccoons can fly. But again narcissism is not something I would suggest for anyone. At least not someone with a healthy mind. But the problem with American politics is not that we have too many self-confident qualified accomplished people in government. But that we have too many people who haven’t accomplished much. Who claim to be ready to serve in higher office and then get elected to it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Constitution Daily: Constitution Check- Lyle Denniston- Where do abortion rights go from here?

Texas Abortion Case-
Constitution Daily: Constitution Check-Lyle Denniston- Where do Abortion Rights Go From Here?

I thought on this beautiful warm morning in the nation’s capital (the capital of the free world) that I would blog about something as unifying as abortion. Where there’s such an absolute consensus, arguing against it is like arguing in favor of slavery or something. Ha, ha! But to be serious I’ve always find it ironic that a state like Texas which claims to be so pro-life, consistently leads the nation in state killings. And the most uninsured and with high crime rates and not just in Houston and San Antonio and everything else. I mean I understand the mainstream pro-life position on abortion. It’s the other stuff that puzzles me. I would think anyway that a state that claims to be pro-life wouldn’t lead the nation in death penalties. But maybe that’s just too much common sense for the average American, or something.

As far as the Texas abortion case. If you try to shut down health clinics, because they perform abortion, you’re violating Roe V Wade. Because you’re essentially saying that women can’t get an abortion in your state. And you might say they could go to their local hospital, but a lot of Americans especially in Texas perhaps, live far away from hospitals and rely on local clinics for their health care. The neighborhood doctor, if you will. Or say women can’t get an abortion after a certain period of time. You’re still violating Roe V Wade. You’re putting the state’s view over the individual and saying the state knows best what health care people should have and when they should get it. States that claim to be anti-big government, shouldn’t be promoting it. And telling their people what they can do with their bodies.

To sound a bit more positive, if I was even offering free advice and no I’m not a charity, but if I had free advice for the anti-abortion movement, (I hate the term pro-life when it comes to abortion) I would suggest they become more consistent and positive on this issue. And then if they offered to pay me for my advice I would layout several steps for them to take. But if you want to hear it anyway. I would say people who claim to be pro-life, should be against the death penalty. Be against abortion with exceptions for life and health of the mother, if you believe fetus’s are babies and therefore alive and deserving of the same Right to Life as people. You say that the state should never promote killings, except and only as a last resort to defend the public. Lethal force to defend the public as a last resort, but if you have the murderer in prison for life, you’ve already removed that threat to the public.

My positive message for the anti-abortion movement would be yes you’re anti-abortion, but you’re also pro-life. So you’re promoting adoption and quality parenting for all. Quality education for all. And anti-poverty agenda that promotes economic freedom for low-income parents and school choice for their kids. You’re acknowledging the obvious (without stating it) that you don’t have the political power to outlaw abortion, so you offer an alternative instead. And get the message out that their options for women to take when they have unwanted pregnancies. Like adoption and for low-income women to self-improve and get the skills they need to be successful in life. Instead of passing laws that might look great in your state, but then get thrown out later on simply because they’re unconstitutional.

As far as abortion rights and reproductive rights in the future. We now no longer have 5-4 pro-choice position on abortion on the Supreme Court, but a 5-3. And most likely thanks to the Democratic Christmas gift known as Donald Trump, the next U.S. Justice will also be a Liberal. So whether the anti-abortion movement like it or not and you can pretty much put the nail in the coffin that they will hate this reality, they’ll probably be stuck with abortion for at least another generation. So again if I’m offering advice (free or otherwise) to the anti-abortion movement, I’m saying you need a positive alternative here that can actually become law. Trying to almost completely outlaw abortion if not completely do it (if you’re Governor Scott Walker) is not in the cards right now. So get involved in
liberal democratic marketplace of ideas and tell American women they have other options here.

IM Forever One 88: Donald Trump's Most Idiotic Moments

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: IM Forever One 88: Donald Trump's Most Idiotic Moments

Donald Trump’s most idiotic moments. Tough thing to write down and to name, because that list grows larger everyday. Sort of like the belly of an obese man stuck at an all you can eat meat lovers buffet. The only thing that Donald Trump’s reality TV show for a presidential campaign has proven and that’s exactly what it is and is only serious in a technical sense, but the only thing he’s proven is that he isn’t qualified to be President of the United States. You don’t get to the Major Leagues by never ever playing any organize baseball. You at least start at high school if not sooner. Then you get drafted and start your professional career in the minors, or you play college baseball. Because there’s a large learning curve between the little leagues and Major Leagues.

The Donald is trying to learn about American politics and government and what it means to be President literally on the fly. Perhaps getting some information from whatever advisors he might have who are risking their professional reputations by being associated with his reality show/presidential campaign. When Fox News struggles to take a Republican presidential candidate especially the frontrunner seriously as a presidential candidate and doesn’t believe he’s qualified to be President, whether it’s Megyn Kelly, Bill O’Reilly or Chris Wallace, you know their might be a problem with the frontrunner. Fox News makes fun of The Donald. This is not just MSNBC and NPR. The national media loves the ratings they get from him, but don’t see him as President and that includes FNC.

All right you want my list (so far) of most idiotic statements that Donald Trump has made since he launched his latest reality show called “Who Wants Donald Trump For President?” (Every stupid voter dumb enough to buy used cars at the original price. Even if they’re missing a tire and door) Well I’m going to tell you anyway.

1. “Mexico is going to build the wall.” With no plan to accomplish that.

2. “Mexican immigrants are raping American women.” With no evidence.

3. “Muslims celebrated 9/11 in New York and New Jersey. Again no evidence. Even Governor Chris Christie, one of his hostages, I mean spokesmen contradicted him on that.

4. “Barack Obama doesn’t have a legitimate birth certificate.” He became President of the Birther States of America when he said that. Which is every state that doesn’t have a metro center.

5. Saying he would pay the legal bills of people who beat up protestors at his campaign rallies. You could probably get him on inciting violence on that one alone.

If the Donald Trump reality show/presidential campaign was just a bad Showtime or HBO movie or mini-series, I wouldn’t have any issue with it other than it being bad TV. But as a free American I could choose not to watch it. But this guy actually is running for president and not only that, but is likely the next presidential nominee for the second largest political party in America. That actually does have a rich history pre-Tea Party meltdown that they’re still suffering through. A man who doesn’t have any qualifications to have the most important job in the world, but likely to be on the ballot for president in all fifty states.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

THULE: President Harry S. Truman Speech to Congress on Foreign Policy- March 12th, 1947- The Truman Doctrine


When I think of the greatest American president’s, Harry Truman would be on my first hand. When you’re talking about the 20th Century, I believe it comes down to either Harry Truman or Franklin Roosevelt. I would give the edge to President Truman when it came to civil rights and desegregating the military, to use as an example. Creating the tools to fight and eventually win the Cold War against Russia.

When you want to talk about the so-called progressive foreign policy and that phrase gets thrown around Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, you want to look at FDR and HST. A liberal internationalist foreign policy, that is not about basically going without any strong military presence at all, or trying to police the world. But working with our allies to promote freedom and democracy and keeping the world safe.

Conservatives, certainly had a role in creating the National Security State in America. Department of Defense, the CIA, United Nations, NATO, etc. But it’s really Progressives that were in power the whole time during this period. Like the Roosevelt Administration and then later President Truman and his administration, that decided the way to defeat the Soviet Union, is for the West to be strong and united against communism and authoritarianism in general. Which means a strong America, a strong Canada and a strong Europe. The whole point of NATO which is the North Atlantic defense alliance, that covers North America and Western Europe, for the most part, was to prevent Russia from attacking any of these countries. This was created by Roosevelt/Truman. Two Progressive Democrats.

The progressive foreign policy or what I at least call liberal internationalism, is about being strong at home. A strong economy and strong military, not to police the world. But to prevent anyone else from even attempting to attack you. And to work with your allies to keep the world as safe as possible. Assist your vulnerable allies with military and economic aide. This speech right here from President Truman was about economic and military and economic aide to Greece and Turkey. Two long time aides of America. That was part of the Truman Doctrine. Being strong at home and working with your allies around the world like Greece and Turkey, to prevent Russia and other authoritarian countries, like China, from trying to take over peaceful countries.

President Truman’s main accomplishments as President were in foreign policy. Ending World War II against Germany and Japan. And again putting the tools in place to fight and eventually win the Cold War. The National Security State at home, United Nations and NATO abroad. Russia never tried to invade Western Europe the Democratic states there and the United States and Soviet Union never fired a shot against each other during the Cold War. Because both countries were so strong militarily and America was so strong economically most of this war, that both countries were smart enough not to go to war against each other, because of all the damage and lost lives that could have come as a result. And President Truman deserves a lot of credit for this.

Bernard Goldberg: "You Know Who Donald Trump's Media Groupies Remind Me Of?"

Donald Trump Network-
This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Bernard Goldberg: "You Know Who Donald Trump's Media Groupies Remind Me Of?"

Now I know I must be losing it and perhaps need to go through a long extended head examination. Because I’ve just agreed with Bernie Goldberg for the second time in two weeks. The first time two weeks ago at the FNC Republican debate. Where Bernie called Donald Trump essentially a panderer. Whose just telling his supporters what they want to hear essentially and that he would essentially destroy the Republican Party even if somehow he would win the presidency.

Because Donald Trump is so far out on the Right that he won’t be able to come through and if he did he would destroy the party, because Americans tend not to be Far-Right fascists and like the ideas of tolerance and inclusion and not dividing Americans. Bernie’s second point which is what this piece is about has to do with the Trump spokespeople at CNN especially. That the Trump Campaign doesn’t have real media consultants, but media groupies, cult followers that look at The Donald as some God or something that is incapable of doing anything wrong.

Thanks to Donald Trump CNN is getting their best ratings at least since the Malaysian Airlines crash. If not the Trayvon Martin killing in 2012 when they decided to donate their entire network to covering the George Zimmermann trial. But my main point here has to do with the fact I thought I was the only person who noticed this about the Trump spokespeople. Because thanks to the Tea Party/Neocon FOX News Channel and the Far-Left Move On MSNBC, I’m stuck with CNN and C-SPAN as my only real cable news sources. And CNN can’t get enough of the Trump media team.

Every burning house that Donald Trump walks in leaking gas and creating a bigger explosion, his media crew goes out-of-their-way to make it look like he’s completely innocent of whatever bonehead or bigoted thing he just said. The man picks up a KKK endorsement and instead of saying this might be a problem for them, they try to deflect it. And say that Trump is not a racist. Instead of acknowledging that maybe there’s a problem with their message if members of the Ku Klux Klan the most powerful domestic terrorist organization in America are endorsing their candidate.

Donald Trump tells people if they punch protestors in the face, he’ll pay their legal bills. “Back in the old days these protestors would have been taken out on stretchers.” Etc and unfortunately I could go on, but what does his media team that works for him do? Do they say he shouldn’t use violent rhetoric like that in public? No because that would be responsible and perhaps draw less attention and ratings to this horrid reality show of a presidential campaign. They say and I’m paraphrasing that since Mr. Trump didn’t actually hit the protestors himself, he’s innocent of whatever people around him do. Obviously none of these people are lawyers, because they would know about conspiracy to commit. When you get people to commit your crimes for you. Which is why Charles Manson is in prison today.

I swear to God as an Agnostic (so take that for what it’s worth) that Donald Trump could come out in favor bombing abortion clinics and perhaps saying in public that is what the pro-life movement should really do to prove they love Jesus. And his cult followers who are probably all addicted to Trump Vodka or Trumpism, which is a dangerous narcotic that is used to get people behind you, his supporters would say that, “that position just proves how pro-life Donald Trump is. By saying that people should be murdered, because they perform abortion.”

Tomorrow The Donald could come out in favor of President Obama and say how great of a man he truly is and a great president. And all of that birtherism was fun and games. And his cult followers would say, “see! We told you that Mr. Trump is a uniter and not a divider. He’s trying to rally the country behind our president.” Okay, the last one is a stretch about as long as the Mississippi River or Donald Trump’s hands, but you get the idea. But similar with any religious or now political cult, first with Ron Paul earlier this decade and now Donald Trump, their man is incapable of doing anything wrong. There’s no such thing as personal responsibility when it comes to their leader. Every time something goes wrong, it’s someone else’s fault. Or there’s some larger conspiracy trying to bring him down with these people. And they’ve created a really dangerous political environment for America as a result.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Daily Beast: Opinion- Nick Gillespie- Authoritarians vs. Libertarians Is the Real Fight on the Right

John Belushi vs Big Brother-
The Daily Beast: Opinion- Nick Gillespie- Authoritarians vs. Libertarians Is The Real Fight on The Right

I disagree with Nick Gillespie for a couple of reasons on this. When I’m willing to take Donald Trump seriously as a presidential candidate and not some bad reality TV performer whose just there to perform a role, draw ratings and attention and promote their future career, then I might take The Donald seriously as not just a presidential candidate, but a Far-Right fascist authoritarian. Every Anne Coulter Neoconservative utopian fantasy come true. But the problem is Senator Marco Rubio so far has the best comment about The Donald’s presidential campaign and that he called him a con man. The Donald you see today is not The Donald from even five years ago, let alone ten years. The Donald Trump we see today politically we’ve never seen before. No one has and he’s losing friends as a result.

As far as Senator Ted Cruz, I don’t buy him as an authoritarian either. Demagogue? Sure. Hyper-partisan? Sure. Someone who believes in shutting down the government over governing even though he’s an elected government official? Sure. But those things alone don’t make you an authoritarian. If you look at Senator Cruz’s positions when it comes to civil liberties like the Patriot Act and the broader War on Terror, marijuana legalization, criminal justice reform, right to privacy, he does very well there. And is one of the strongest proponents of civil liberties in Congress and he’s only been there for a little more than three years. And even on issues where he would disagree with Liberals such as myself and Libertarians such as Nick Gillespie, he takes a federalist approach. Instead of the neoconservative big government nationalist view.

As far as the future of the Republican Party. Do they want to be a big government neoconservative authoritarian party, or do they want to be a conservative-libertarian party where both Conservatives in the Ted Cruz sense and Libertarians in the Rand Paul sense, can thrive and succeed? Assuming Donald Trump is there next presidential nominee and we’ll know tomorrow night how close he is to that, they probably need to lose another presidential election big and lose most of the big states before we see which direction they go in. Because if The Donald is their next presidential nominee, he’s going to lose and lose big. Even if he moderates for the general, because he’s already on record for taking so many Far-Right neoconservative views. As it relates to women, Latinos, Muslims, etc. And won’t win the presidency simply by winning a shrinking a Caucasian working class. And the Christian-Right.

Slate: Chris Kirk- Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice Cabinet Generator

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Slate: Chris Kirk- Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice Cabinet Generator

This is exactly why I don’t see Donald Trump’s presidential campaign as nothing more than his latest reality show. That will become a movie titled something to the effect “Who Wants Donald Trump For President?’ Available at your local independent movie theater (if it doesn’t go straight to Netflix or DVD) by the spring or summer of 2017. Donald Trump’s campaign theme should be called, “When Reality TV meets the Real World.” And perhaps that could also be his alternative movie tittle for his next reality show or movie. If you just look at his supposed campaign spokespeople on cable news/cable talk, these are not professional politicos or politicians. Other than Jeff Lord at CNN. They’re business people and Hollywood and New York celebs who’ve worked for the Trump Organization. Which is his business.

The Republican Party is so screwed up right now that their inmates are running their prison. Or their kids are running their household with their prison staff or parents powerless to take back the prison or house. Until their inmates or kids meet their demands. The Far-Right of the GOP, is tired of their leadership trying to govern with the Democrats and trying to reach out to new voters who don’t look and think like them. Whatever you think of The Donald he’s a very successful businessman. And just because he’s stupid about government, policy and anything that involves the President of the United States and is less qualified to be President than Sarah Palin and a current president of a college student body, he knows a great business venture when he sees one.

Thanks to The Donald and the Republican Party, we now have a national network reality show that is shown by all of our news networks and broadcast networks, instead of just NBC. And celebrity culture and celebrity news have taken over our politics and current affairs. If you think Congress sucks and is an embarrassment, you haven’t followed the Trump Campaign very closely. Maybe you’ve been vacationing in Mongolia or did something so horrible that you were given a long-term sentence there and you’ve just been released. But Congress, other than Senator Jeff Sessions who just endorses The Donald, looks very responsible and competent compared with the Trump Campaign. That is run by New York and Hollywood insiders who think American politics is so boring that they have to make it look like reality TV in order to get people to vote. And what America gets in return is an international embarrassment compared with the rest of the developed world.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The National Interest: Opinion- Michael Lind- The Neocons Are Responsible For Trumpism

The National Interest: Opinion- Michael Lind- The Neocons Are Responsible for Trumpism

What is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump I don't think can be explained so simplistically as "blame it on the Neoconservatives." There are a lot of things like the facts that we do have a shrinking Caucasian working class in America in the South, Midwest and Northeast. The Caucasian-American working class is much smaller today that it was even ten years ago and is only going to get smaller. Most of the country hasn't seen their wages go up in the last fifteen years. These are the millions of Americans that Pat Buchanan was able to speak to in the 1990s and early 2000s. That Rick Santorum was able to speak to in 2012 and to a certain extent Donald Trump now. Millions of Americans who no longer see the America that they grew up which wasn't nearly as diverse in the 1960s and 70s as it is today.

We now have an African-American President of the United States. We could very well have our first female President of the United States next year if Hillary Clinton is elected in 2016. Homosexuality is not just accepted in America but gays can now get married everywhere in America. We've always been a diverse country ethnically and racially, but now those things are celebrated to the point where our two young adult generations my Generation X and the Millennial's, don't judge people by ace at all. Which is why things like affirmative action has lost so much political support and in danger of being thrown out by the courts. This is simply not the country that Richard Nixon's so-called Silent Majority grew up with where it wasn't just men that basically ran the country, but predominantly Anglo-Saxon Protestant men from the Northeast and the South.

Those Tea Party rallies from 2009 all the way to 2012, when they said they were going to "take back America", that is what they were speaking about. Take back America from people who've made America so much more diverse and tolerant. When Donald Trump says, "we're going to make America great again", I at least believe he's speaking to the Silent Majority and is saying that he wants to make America great again for them. The Caucasian American working class of Irish, Polish, Jewish, Italian, Anglo and other Americans of European background. He's not saying make America great for everybody, but for the Silent Majority that he believes have been left behind. Even though this man has nothing in common with these people from an economic, cultural, political or religious background. He sees a huge political opportunity here for himself that he's exploiting.

The Immortal Jukebox: Thom Hickey- To Have and Have Not- You Know How to Whistle?

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review on WordPress: The Immortal Jukebox: Thom Hickey- To Have and Have Not- You Know How to Whistle?

I haven’t seen To Have and Have Not in a while and perhaps I should have seen that movie again before I blogged about it. But this movie is classic Lauren Bacall-Humphrey Bogart. Their onscreen chemistry was very similar if not better than Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Both very sharp and very funny and perhaps sharing the exact sense of humor. Lauren Bacall if she’s 20 years old at this point, she just turned 20. And yet you could already see how great this young gorgeous baby-faced adorable women intelligent women was going to be. Bogie as the adorable Lauren Bacall called Humphrey Bogart, was of course already a star at this point. And old enough to be Lauren’s father.

Slim, as Bogie called Lauren Bacall, not just in this movie, but in their life together, was 19-20 years old. Playing a drifter who makes it to France. With very little if any money. Doesn’t sound that different from someone in their late teens early twenties in the 1960s. Who lets say grows up in Cleveland, Ohio and is somewhat lost and doesn’t know where they’re going or where they want to go in life. Who ends up in San Francisco and become a hippie. But hopefully never meets Charles. Which is sort of an inside joke. But Slim meets Harry Morgan, who sort of the definition of an American small businessman doing business in a foreign country. Not that different from Casablanca.

Slim and Harry get together, because basically they both need each other. They both need money. Harry’s client owes him money that Harry needs and he sees Slim pickpocket this guy that owes Harry money. And Harry sees her do that and that is how they get together. By making a deal with each other and helping each other out as they try to avoid having to deal with the Nazi-Germans who has just taken over France in 1940. There all sorts of crooked shady characters in this movie that Slim and Harry have to deal with. Including some adorable scenes featuring Lauren Bacall singing and doing other things. One of the best film-noir movies you’ll ever see.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Washington Post: Opinion- Jonathan Turley- "Voters Want a Revolution- Here's What That Would Take": Rewrite The U.S. Constitution?

The Washington Post: Opinion- Jonathan Turley- Voters Wants a Revolution- Here What That Would Take

The problem that Social Democrats have in America, the so-called Bernie Sanders movement, is that they don't live in a social democracy. So much of what they want to do simply can't happen with the way our constitutional liberal democratic federal republic is set up. You can't scrap the U.S. Congress and go to a unicameral parliamentary system that maybe has an upper house in name only, but without any real power. Like the House of Lords in the United Kingdom. You can't scrap the presidency and executive branch by referendum or by a simple majority vote in Congress with the House and Senate agreeing to it. And then go to having a Prime Minister who also happen to be a member of Parliament and the leader of the majority or largest party there.

Our U.S. Constitution and Federal Republic was set up by our Founding Fathers (our Founding Liberals) the way it was very specific and important reasons. They didn't like big centralized authoritarian government centralized with one authority. That was the system they were escaping from in Britain and a big reason for our Revolutionary War that gave us the United States of America. And because of all of this they set up different branches of government and checks and balances and specifically made it hard for one party to govern by themselves and run Congress by themselves. Especially if one party controls both the presidency and the House and Senate. As well as a judicial branch to serve as both a check on the President and Congress when they pass laws that go outside of the Constitution.

Because of the way our country and government is set up and with our political culture as diverse as it is, we don't see a lot of political revolutions that lead to changes that require amending the Constitution in order to bring about that revolution. Which means to make government work better you need better leaders and the only way you get that is through good people running for office and getting elected by smart voters. Who aren't dumb enough to vote for people who promise them all sorts of free stuff or take positions now that were the opposite of where they were just a few years ago. And if you follow American politics closely you know exactly who I'm talking about. Which means to make the current government better you have to work within the system to bring about that. And our current system already allows for broad progressive reforms.

I like Professor Jonathan Turley's proposal on the Supreme Court, but I would go even further and expand it to 50 members one for each state. Still all appointed by the President and having to be confirmed by the Senate. As well as ending lifetime limits and having each Justice having to come up for reappointment to stay on the Court. But that reform can be done within the current system through Congress and the President. I like Professor Turley's proposal to end gerrymandering in the House of
Representatives. And have each House district drawn to reflect the population of the state and overall voter registration. But I would go even further than that put in full-disclosure for all every member of Congress and candidate for Congress as far as where and when they get contributions. As well as all third-party groups that spend money on political campaigns. But again these reforms can be done through Congress and the President.

I've argued this several times before, but the problems with American government is not the system and the Constitution that protects it as well as the people. The problems with American government are our politicians and the voters who send them to government. With better voters and better candidates with more good people bothering to run for office, or at least voting, but voting for good qualified people and we could fix most if not all the problems in the country. Without spending anytime trying to pass one constitutional amendment. That even if were to pass both in the House and Senate, would take at least ten years for 34 states or more to ratify. When you could have passed your progressive reforms simply through statue through the Congress and the President.

Liberty Pen: The Fountainhead- Ayn Rand on Individualism

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Liberty Pen: The Fountainhead- Ayn Rand on Individualism

I agree with Ayn Rand's point about without individualism and individual initiative people wouldn't have the resources to help others, because no one would be creating, producing and taking care of themselves. And for this reason, every successful country has at least a certain amount of greed and individualism. We don't tend to be a country or world of angels and tend to be motivated to do the right thing. And sometimes that means taking care of yourself. And a collectivist could say that the people who aren't able to take care of themselves the community will step in and take care of them. Fine, but if there at least isn't a large population of people who are individually successful and taking care of themselves like paying their bills, putting money away and enjoying life, there won't be the resources to help the people who aren't doing those things.

There's a reason why we're all born as individuals and all separate people. Instead of being joined with others at the hip and other places on the body, legs, arms, etc. Because we're different people and our own person. At least that is how we start out in life. Some of us decide that we don't want to be ourselves and perhaps don't like ourselves that much and instead feel the need to be like other people that we respect more than ourselves. But we all start off in life with our own brains and the ability to think and learn and then use that knowledge to examine it and make our own decisions. These are great things to have. Diversity is a great thing whatever the situation or thing is. Whether is is race, ethnicity, religion and yes even politics. All democracies are very diverse when it comes to their politics.

Without individualism people become clones and cult followers of whoever the latest so-called celebrity is, even if that celebrity is in jail. Or some cases become cult followers of politicians they think are like totally awesome at the time or whatever. Ron Paul from 2011-12 comes to mind real fast. Barack Obama would be another from 2007-09. Where people would digest everything those men would say and do as if they became that person themselves. I unfortunately have personal experience with Ron Paul cult followers on Facebook. Where I would post something there and somebody could comment on it and in many cases using a screen name like Ronny Paul or some other name that sounds like Dr. Paul's, with one of Dr. Paul's quotes. Even if the quote has nothing to do with my post. That is not what we want to be as a country a liberal democracy that should always be the freest country in the world.

A certain cult following like that unfortunately seems to be developing for Donald Trump. One of the last people in the world who should have a cult following based on his own personal life. That is not healthy for a country that professes individual freedom, individual initiative, creativity, etc. We need a country of individuals who can think and learn for themselves and then apply that knowledge to become creative productive people as well. Who can bring people to themselves not as cult followers, but teach others how to be creative productive individuals as well. Who don't take everything that someone says even their American idol at face value, because they can think and reason for them self. And know when their heros are right and even wrong. Who can take the best available information and facts and imply them to make the best decisions for themselves. You can only have all the progressive social welfare programs that you can pay for. The people who pay for them are the individuals and creators who make those programs possible.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Blue Dem Warriors: Liberals Want Everyone to Have The Same Freedoms and Opportunities

This is exactly what liberalism is about and what Liberals actually believe. Quality opportunity for everyone that lead to individual freedom for everyone. A society where everyone has the individual freedom to manage their own lives. Not the freedom from personal responsibility to manage their own affairs. Not the freedom to not have to figure out your own health insurance, retirement plan, where to send your kids to school, how much you should work during the week, what you can eat and drink, say to other people, watch on TV, who to sleep with, what music to listen to, etc. This is the main difference from socialism or what so-called Progressives like to call progressivism and neoconservatism. The question comes down to who has the power. The government or the people.

You get to individual freedom through opportunity. You get to opportunity through education and economic development. Getting the skills that you need to get the good jobs and then selling yourself based on your skills to get that good job. That gives you freedom and ability to manage your own life yourself. Without government deciding for you how to get your health insurance, where to send your kids to school, how to plan your own retirement and how to spend your own money more broadly. And what you do with your own personal time. Individual freedom can only work through education and then later personal responsibility. So when people make good personal decisions they enjoy the benefits from that. When they make bad decisions they live with the consequences of that themselves.

You don't need a big government big enough to manage everyone's life for them if you have an educated society with the skills and freedom to make their own decisions. Government has a role to see that everyone has the opportunity to get the freedom that they need to live, in well freedom. But not hold people down, because they've decided that government should take care of those people instead. Or tax and regulate people to the extent that freedom is discouraged, because the people believe that government will take care of them. Or they won't be able to enjoy their success once they get it. Government shouldn't discouraged people from being individually successful and put down individual wealth. But instead promote those things so we have more wealthy and successful free people. Which is better for everyone involved including government.

Prager U: Adam Carolla- Who Not to Vote For

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Prager U: Adam Carolla- Who Not to Vote For

I agree with Adam Carolla’s point about the politician who says they’ll fight for you, but I think there’s a bigger problem in American politics. Actually its like a huge fast food combo of a problem. Imagine like a 40 ounce soda, a triple cheese burger and enough fries to feed three kids. But its only for one person and it cost around six bucks. Well if you eat this for lunch on a regular basis and you can eat like this at a lot of fast food joints in America, you’ll have a huge problem down the line in expanding body mass.

Well that is how big my fast food combo problem is when it comes to American politics. Politicians and candidates and who over promise, combined with dumb gullible voters who are dumb and gullible enough to take those political promises at face value. Who if we required citizens to get licensed in order to vote would fail every time the test came up, simply for not doing their homework as American voters. So don’t vote for people without first doing your homework on them. Listen to their soundbites, go to their rallies, listen to their commercials and interviews on TV. All that stuff is good and a way to become and informed voter. But means nothing if you don’t bother to your homework on them. And check to see if their current rhetoric and positions matches their past record.

The other politicians and candidates who you shouldn’t vote for are people who’ll say they’ll give you free stuff. Unless they’re very rich and know where you live, they’ll won’t be able to give you free anything. If you’re currently paying taxes including payroll taxes. So no such thing as free stuff from government for taxpayers. Even government has to get money from somewhere and sometimes oversees to pay for the public services that it provides. They don’t get their money by being great Wall Street investors or poker players. They don’t use Monopoly money or grow money on their trees in our public parks. They get their money from charging their taxpayers. And what we’re supposed to get in return are public services that they promised us. Including for the people who don’t want them.

Not all politicians are crooks and not all politicians are liars. And some of our politicians are neither, which seems to be shrinking minority today. The politicians and candidates that you should vote for are the people who know what the situation of the country and your community is. Have a realistic solution to solve them based on real evidence, experience and pragmatic policies. Shown they already know how to govern, because of course governing is about choosing and even working with people from the other party from time to time. (A good lesson for the Tea Party) And who doesn’t promise to do this or that, especially promises that just seem impossible for them to accomplish in their first or next term. And who don’t say they’ll give you free stuff. But instead lays out how much their programs are going to cost and then has a realistic and responsible plan to pay for them.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Liberty Pen: ABC News This Week With George Stephanopoulos- Donald Trump on Government-Run Health Insurance

What's Donald Trump's position on health care and health insurance? Well to sound like Mitt Romney, it depends on which Donald you ask. In 2004 Donald Trump during that presidential election was asked about health care reform and said he liked the single payer government-run health insurance option, or at least was open to it. Lately he's expressed openness to the individual mandate when it comes to health insurance which is already in the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The individual mandate was actually offered by the Neoconservative Heritage Foundation in 1993. And was part of the Senate Republican alternative to the Clinton Administration's health care reform plan in 1993-94. Now he's saying that he would repeal the ACA, but would have some insurance plan for people who simply can't afford health insurance, but hasn't laid out yet what that would be.

This is just one big problem that two-thirds of Republican voters and a lot of the rest of the country have with Donald Trump for president right now. Who is this guy and what does he believe? The campaign he's running now looks more like Pat Buchanan for president in 1996 and 2000 than it looks like a Tea Party presidential campaign. Which is his current base right now. At least with the Neoconservative/Christian-Right wing of it. The Conservative-Libertarians, are going for Senator Ted Cruz. And Donald Trump supporters seem to have no interest in the man's actual record and apparently could care less about it even if they read it. Because if they looked at it they would see this guy has nothing in common with them and had been on the opposite side of most of their issues for most of his life. But now he apparently wants to be president and is speaking a different tune.

Donald Trump is nothing more than a used car salesman and a damn good wealthy one who owns his own chain of used car lots. Who has a supposed answer and solution to everyone's concerns and issues. And tell everyone he has a deal for them without being able or willing to put any details on the table. Because he doesn't want to or can't, because he's afraid to be seen as the fraud that he is. And nothing more than a big mouth who every time he opens it shows how lacking in knowledge and judgment and even demeanor he is when speaking about the problems and issues that he promises he'll solve. I think we saw some evidence about the Republican Party finally waking up to these facts this last weekend and we'll see what Tuesday night if more Republicans are waking up to that as well. Or does the Donald Trump Reality Show For President continue to roll on.

The New Yorker: Mary Norris- Comma Queen: “Awesome” Is the New “Massive”: How Real Words Lose Their Real Meaning

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The New Yorker: Mary Norris- Comma Queen: “Awesome” Is the New “Massive”: How Real Words Lose Their Real Meaning

Just a quick note and a bit of a warning. Valley people both girls, but valley guys, are not going to like this piece. Because this is all about them and how they talk and dominate pop culture in America. Where now every news shows sound like MTV or Bravo in some cases. Instead of professional news shows. But the genius’ at these networks feel the greedy need to sound like this crowd so they can actually understand what’s being reported and will bother to watch. And I’m thinking of Erin Burnett and Brooke Baldwin, specifically over at CNN. As well as Rachel Maddow at MSNBC and Megyn Kelly at FNC.

I’m not familiar with the over usage of the word massive and maybe that’s because I can’t even find Australia on a map, yet alone actually been to it. Maybe because Australia is too small or too unimportant. Just kidding. I can find Australia on a map. But living in the Washington area in Bethesda, Maryland my whole life I’m very familiar with the over usage of the word awesome. I can’t go anywhere without hearing the word and in many cases I hear the word accidentally. Because I get stuck listening to someone else’s cell phone conversation, because that person couldn’t wait five minutes before they got out of the grocery store to call that person or call them back. That would be a typical Washingtonian for you. Someone who thinks they’re too important to have to wait for anything or anyone.

The actual definition of the word awesome is something that is ‘extremely impressive or daunting. Inspiring great admiration, apprehension or fear.’ So that cup of coffee that you had at Starbucks yesterday that was the exact same cup of coffee that you had the last five days, because you feel the need to go to Starbucks every single day, is not awesome. Now if the four previous cups of coffee you had there were average, well maybe you should find somewhere else to get your coffee, or find something better to do with your time. But if you went back to Starbucks and got a great cup of coffee on your fifth trip there after the four previous cups of coffee were average, then maybe that fifth cup of coffee would be awesome. Awesome has become the early 21st Century word for cool. I guess Millennial’s got tired of sounding like their parents and felt they needed their own hip word.

Cool and awesome are completely different words. Cool has multiple meanings of course. You can use cool to describe one’s personality and demeanor. ‘Joe is so cool. Nothing never bothers him. He always looks great and knows what to say. And even knows the real meaning of the word awesome. Which makes him smart and cool.’ Or you could use the word cool to describe the weather. Your food to say that was a cool meal or that was a cool meal. One could be a way to say that was a great meal and the other could be a way to say the potatoes and soup were cool and undercooked. Or maybe you just had a salad which in that case could go either way. Or you can use the word cool to describe something or someone as hip. Meaning someone whose in on the latest trends, if not sets them and perhaps actually leads the pack. Instead of like a cult follower who always follows the pack even when the pack goes off a hill at a hundred miles and hour, or jumps off a bridge.

Anyone who writes or blogs for a living, you’re not only be interested in language, but also protective of it. Because without words we would be like race car drivers without cars. Doctors without patients. Comedians without jokes and hopefully you get the point by now. When words lose their meaning it makes our jobs harder to communicate for a couple of reasons. We run out of words, but also we’re talking to people who simply don’t get the American English language, because they’ve beaten the hell out of it and no longer get it. Not everything that’s positive for you is awesome. And not only that but awesome is not always a positive thing. A car crash could be awesome, just because of how devastating it was to the people involved. A massive pile up with cars being totaled. A severe weather storm could be awesome because simply of the amount of damage that it did to that community or region. World War II was awesome in a horrible sense because of all the destruction that came as a result of property. But the millions of lives lost as well.

Pop culture, celebrity culture, tabloid culture and valley culture even, all have their places in America. But not to the point where they abuse the American English dictionary to the point that real words no longer have real meaning. When a real word like awesome becomes the way to describe any positive moment in one’s life like being able to leave work a half-hour earlier, or something as simple as that, then we have a real problem. Because what word would be use to describe your favorite team winning the Super Bowl that season when they weren’t even expected to make the playoffs. I mean isn’t that a hell of a lot more impressive than getting off work early on a Tuesday in Cleveland in February. All of these things have real relevance in America, but not to the point that it dumbs down our culture to the point that people no longer know how to talk to each other. Because they’re so worried about always looking and sounding cool.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Washington Examiner: Opinion- W. James Antile- Did Dumbed-Down Conservatism Lead to Trump?

The Donald-
Washington Examiner: Opinion- W. James Antile- Did Dumbed-Down Conservatism Lead to Trump?

What I’m about to say here may sound like that I’m at least implying that Donald Trump supporters are a pack of fools. Who’ll believe a used car salesman who tells them that Ford Escorts are as luxurious as Mercedes, if the salesman is charming enough. But that is not far off, because we have a reality TV star in a presidential candidate in Donald Trump who claims to be the person who’ll save America. And take America back as the Tea Party would put it and is some hard-core conservative or something, even though there’s nothing in his professional and personal background that suggests he has anything in common with them. Donald Trump ideologically, has been a Center-Left Democrat most of his career. His support for women’s rights and civil rights, etc. Pro-choice on abortion as late as 2004-05 when he was pushing 60.

But then Barack Obama becomes president and the Tea Party emerges and he believes he needs to change his tune if he wants to have any real influence on the Republican Party. Who doesn’t go Right, but goes Far-Right and doesn’t join the birther movement, but becomes the leader of it. Who claims based on nothing the Muslims were supporting 9-11 in New York and New Jersey. Who now has a base of support whose not interested in one’s record and professional background, but what they’re currently saying. And you speak the Far-Right’s politics that Christians should be in charge, Muslims don’t deserve the same constitutional protections as Christians, Latinos are Un-American and so-forth and so on, Barack Obama is destroying America, you play very well with this community. Which might be thirty-five-percent of the Republican Party, which is a sad state of affairs for them, but they represent maybe 15-20 percent of the country as a whole.

Donald Trump didn’t create the Phyllis Schlafly/Pat Buchanan and Donald Trump movement. What he did was own it and be able to speak to it and have the money to organize it to the point where now he’s to the point that he’s the favorite right now to be the next Republican nominee for president and take down the GOP with him in November. Where a lot more Americans will be voting along with Richard Nixon’s Silent Majority. Including women of all ethnic and racial backgrounds and Latinos and others that aren’t part of The Donald’s base. Even though Big Don had almost nothing in common with his voters five years ago before the birtherism and now is so loved by them that he’s getting KKK endorsements. But his voters don’t care about records and what people have done in the past. Just what they’re saying now. And the candidate who speaks to them is all they’re interested in.

Remembering Lauren Bacall: Lauren Bacall- Speak The Truth

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Remembering Lauren Bacall: Lauren Bacall- Speak The Truth

Hollywood Goddess Lauren Bacall saying that she believes in the truth and saying what you think. And adds why not? And to make a political correctness point to that even though of course I agree with Lauren on this, whose at least arguably the greatest actress we’ve ever known even though this is not about her career. Political correctness advocates Left and Right and unfortunately more Left than Right would argue that sometimes the truth hurts. And we can’t always say what we think and know, because someone especially perhaps minorities might be offended by that. Which of course goes against liberal democratic values like fee speech. But that is really a different topic and this blog covers that a lot anyway.

The best tool that an individual has in life will ever have after life is not freedom. And that might sound surprising to some, but there’s actually something more important than that. That has everything that we all value and love built around this more powerful tool. That tool is the truth and without that and of course education which comes from the truth, nothing else matters. Without the truth and education we would never know what we actually know. You’ll never know how to improve yourself and where you do well and where you need to do better without the truth. And sometime you might have flaws that are so severe and screw up so badly that you need someone to get in your face and set yourself straight. (No offense to gays) The truth also helps you know where you’re doing well. So you can continue to do that as you’re improving on your flaws.

We’re nothing in a positive sense if we don’t have the truth and we don’t have an education. To know what’s going on and why it’s going on, to know what works and what doesn’t work, where we’re strong and where we’re weak, where we’re average. And then know to improve ourselves and emphasize our strengths. And yes that at times means hearing things about yourself and people you care about that are pretty negative. But the smart strong people can handle that, because they know themselves very well, because they value the truth and facts and rely on them to improve themselves. They know they’re not perfect and that there are times they need to be reminded of that and to see where else they may come up short. And there are times when the truth sounds real good. And you find out something good about yourself that you didn’t know before. But without the truth we would all be blind NASCAR drivers on the racetrack of life, hoping we get to where we need to go safely. But without a course that actually gets us there.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Lynda Carter: Life is a Roller Coaster- Enjoy The Ride

Lynda Carter-
This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Lynda Carter: Life is a Roller Coaster- Enjoy The Ride

It is probably a good thing that we do have roller coasters in America, because they are a great way to describe American life. And of course so are sports analogies and even political campaigns. Life is all about ups and downs. Without our ups, life could be pretty depressing. Even prison inmates have good days in prison, the ones who use their time wisely anyway and avoid solitary confinement. And of course we all have our downs. But without those downs it would be hard to improve ourselves. Because we would always think everything and perhaps ourselves especially is perfect. And always one Wall Street crash away from coming down to Earth. Because of how overconfident we are about ourselves as individuals. Which would always be a great recipe for narcissism.

I guess my main advice for everyone everyday is to learn something new everyday. Especially about yourself and learn something that is somewhat negative about yourself so you always have room and opportunity to improve. Always learn something that is positive about yourself as well, if you can. So you can be as happy about yourself while always keeping it real (to use a cliche) about who you really are. Never think you struck gold about something and now you're invincible. Because every time you get to the top of the mountain know that the only way to go from there is down. And the question then is how far and how fast. Always know that there is a positive thing about being in the valley. Because the only way to go from there is up. And you always have that opportunity of self-improvement.

Life is a roller coaster, because we all make mistakes all the time. There's always something that we could have done or said to make something better than it turned out. Or perhaps there was something we should have said or known, but didn't because we didn't have enough knowledge at the time. Because we simply weren't as smart as we should have been. But again with mistakes come opportunities if played right at self-improvement. 'This is what I did wrong. This is what I should have done instead. Now that I know better I won't make that mistake again, because I've learned from it.' The smart people aren't perfect. The smart people are the people who know themselves the best. And because of that make mistakes all the time, but don't make the same mistakes twice. Because they learn from their mistakes. Smart people are always learning And that is what I call the roller coaster of life. Ups and downs and the smart people are the people who have the most ups, because they always learn  from their mistakes and don't make the same mistakes again.

Crash Course: Craig Benzine- Federalism: Crash Course Government and Politics

One of the things that makes America os unique and I at least would argue better in so many ways is how our diverse and large we are. And because of that we don’t have a top-down authoritarian centralized approach to government. We couldn’t and still be a liberal democracy because we’re so big. A unitarian government simply wouldn’t work here, because you would see states like Florida, Texas, California, Alaska, Hawaii and others move away from America and create their own countries. Because you have one government in Washington that’s thousands of miles away from most of the country telling other states and localities how to educate their kids, how to police their streets, manage their safety nets, etc. Even though the Feds don’t know the people they’re ordering around and don’t know their communities.

I’m both a Liberal and a Federalist which would almost sound like an Oxymoron to people who aren’t familiar with liberalism and see it as some socialistic big government ideology. But Liberals created our federalist system and our Constitution. I’m a Liberal-Federalist which means I believe the states and localities have the right to manage their own domestic affairs just as long as they’re within in the Constitution. So if they decided to segregate their schools by race with the good schools left for one race of people, with everyone else going to the failing schools, that would obviously be unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause. But if they decided to have both public schools and subsidize private schools for low-income students, that would be their right. Since that’s certainly constitutional.

Federalism, is not anti-government. You still need a military, you still need Federal law enforcement to deal with interstate crime and regulatory state to regulate interstate commerce, a national currency, foreign policy, national security state, etc. The Federal Government obviously has to collect revenue to pay for their limited, but important functions. But you don’t need a Federal Welfare program, you don’t need a Federal health insurance program even for the poor and seniors. You don’t need Federal Unemployment Insurance. You don’t need a Federal Department of Education. You don’t need Federal Public Housing and Retirement Insurance. We need programs like this, but they should be run by the states with a Federal basic standards to ensure that these programs actually serve the people who are eligible for them. But with the state having the resources and authority to run them.

Not talking about anti-government or creating some voluntarist society. But limiting the Federal Government simply to exactly what we need it to do with the resources to perform those missions. And having the states and localities simply run their own affairs. Leaving the Feds to do only what we need it to do including seeing that these programs are run as they were designed, but no longer responsible for running them. In Washington this would be called a block grant system. Turn these vital and important safety net programs, including job training over to the states. With the states responsible for running them properly and then lets see what works where and why and what doesn’t work. And allow for our states to be laboratories for liberal democracy. With an effective limited government to do only what we need it do and do it very well.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

AlterNet: Alexandra Rosenmann- Why Noam Chomsky Won't Call Himself a Modern-Day Liberal

AlterNet: Alexandra Rosenmann- Why Noam Chomsky Won't Call Himself a Modern-Day Liberal

I’ve blogged a lot about Noam Chomsky over the last five years or so, because I find him to be absolutely fascinating as well as very intelligent. Even though we don’t tend to agree economic policy, foreign policy, history, America even, but he’s someone whose very consistent with his own libertarian socialist politics. Which is my point here. He’s one of the few people on the New-Left, (if that makes happier instead of Far-Left) but he’s one of the few people on that side who actually owns his own politics. While people who have a lot in common with him politically like former Representative Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader, still call themselves a Progressive, or Liberal (which gets my heart rate up when I hear that). Professor Chomsky says he’s a Libertarian-Socialist and has no problem with being called a Socialist.

What is a Libertarian-Socialist? You take libertarianism or liberalism on social and personal freedom issues and combine that with a socialist economic policy. As well as a dovish-isolationist foreign and national security policy. Which puts him to the left on really all social issues of the Christian-Right and Neoconservatives, as well as so-called Progressive-Humanists. Who think they know better than anyone else what people should think and say and even think big government should decide what people should eat, drink, smoke, even what entertainment what we watch. These Progressives are supposed to be on the Left, but they have more in common with the Christian-Right when it comes to a lot of Freedom of Choice issues and gambling is another example of that. As well as being big government on economic policy. Noam Chomsky is a hard-core Liberal on social issues and against big government there.

Professor Chomsky, described his own politics as Libertarian-Socialist as early as 1977 in a BBC News interview. And Bernie Sanders is probably the closest thing we have to someone who is that liberal on social issues today and doesn’t want big government interfering there short of stepping in when people get hurt. But is a Democratic Socialist on economic policy. High taxes across the board, in exchange with a lot of Welfare subsidies. With a very limited military and foreign policy. There’s a lot for Liberals such as myself when it comes to social issues, Libertarians when it comes to social issues and Progressives and Democratic Socialists, when it comes to economic policy, to like about Noam Chomsky. And at least respect him in other areas. Because even though he’s someone who wants a big government involved in the economy, he believes in small government when it comes to social issues and civil liberties.

Skep Torr: The Dark Side Of Political Correctness

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Skep Torr: The Dark Side Of Political Correctness

The dark side of political correctness, where should I start? The two most offensive aspects I find about it are the hypocrisy and the pure fascism of it. Apparently in PC World minorities are entitled not to be offended even if the critic is correct with everything they’re saying. But majorities are essentially free speech targets. In PC World you would almost be expected to make fun of criticize Caucasians, especially if they’re on the right. What the New-Left calls white people or the man. But even if you’re correct in how you criticize anyone else you’re somehow a bigot. Someone is bigoted to point out the horrible human rights record of Saudi Arabia when it comes to women especially. Because Saudis are Arab and Muslim. Even though they have a horrible human rights record.

But if you make fun of and criticize Southern Anglo-Saxon Protestants when they make bigoted statements towards women and gays, you’re somehow progressive, because you’re speaking the truth. Even though SASP’s are no more bigoted towards gays and women as Islamists. And then the fascist element if it. This idea that you can’t say something, because it might offend someone else even if you’re correct in what you’re saying and you especially can’t do this in college. Perhaps the first place where you want free expression and ideas to be heard so people can learn about them and learn how to think for themselves. I mean where do political correctness warriors think they live? It can’t be Communist Cuba where they wouldn’t be allowed to hold these PC rallies without government permission. They live in America where we all have a guaranteed right to free speech.

The alternative to political correctness is education and I mean real education. Not someone standing up in front of a class and telling people how to think, but instead sharing actual facts and real information and different philosophies out there and then letting the students figure out what this all means and what’s good and bad based on what they have learned. And instead of banning language because it might offend someone you use criticism that is correct to improve yourself. And use language and thought that’s simply wrong as an opportunity to point out how ignorant the commentator is. Instead of trying to shut someone up simply for being stupid and expressing themselves. Instead educate them on their own stupidity and see if they’re smart enough to learn and improve themselves. But fascism is never the answer in a liberal democratic free society.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Liberty Pen: John Stossel Interviewing U.S. Senator Rand Paul- Liberty vs Security

One of my favorite Milton Friedman quotes is 'without liberty there is no security.' As well as without security there is no liberty, because then there would just be chaos. But I hate this neoconservative argument that somehow individual freedom and privacy threatens security, because somehow it gives people freedom to threaten the state and the security of the people. You need a limited government and national security state protecting the people from predators foreign and domestic. But you do that by targeting criminals and terrorists. Not treating everyone as terrorists and eliminating the guaranteed Right to Privacy in America and suggesting that everyone is a potential suspect until proven otherwise. Even in this so-called War on Terror that Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution is still there and still relevant.

There's no such thing as individual freedom and limited government in a national police state. Whether it is in the Middle East or Russia or North Korea or what Neoconservatives want in America. But with limited government even the national security state in that government is held accountable and is limited under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as far as how it can regulate society and what it can do and for the people. You eliminate the Fourth Amendment and the Bill of Rights and you not only eliminate limited government in what's supposed to be a liberal democracy, but you eliminate individual freedom. Especially personal freedom and the Right to Privacy. So when Congress and the President pushes anti-terrorism laws, they still have to comply with the U.S. Constitution, or they're simply unconstitutional and should be thrown out.