Friday, December 21, 2018

Iconic: Governor George C. Wallace- 'Talking About His Ideas About Communism'

Source:Iconic- Governor George C. Wallace (Democrat, Alabama) perhaps in 1965.  
"George Wallace talking about his ideas on Communism

From Iconic

This was a common tactic the right-wing (Far-Right, actually ) in the 1960s to blame the civil rights movement, as well as the anti-Vietnam war movement on Communists. Arguing that Communists from Russia or some other Communist state were infiltrating protestors and demonstrators during this period. 

Dr. Martin L. King, was accused by the Far-Right back then of being both a Communist and Socialist. And of course none of these rightists actually bothered to offer any evidence supporting their claims, but when you're a demagogue like George Wallace or anyone else, evidence is the last thing that you look at, because evidence and facts tend to get in the way of your partisan arguments, because facts and evidence tend to contradict you. 

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

Foreign Affairs: Senator Elizabeth Warren: 'A Foreign Policy For All'

Source:The Atlantic Magazine- U.S. Senator's Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren 
"Around the world, democracy is under assault. Authoritarian governments are gaining power, and right-wing demagogues are gaining strength. Movements toward openness and pluralism have stalled. Inequality is growing, transforming rule by the people into rule by wealthy elites. And here in the United States, many Americans seem to accept—even embrace—the politics of division and resentment.

How did we get here? There’s a story Americans like to tell ourselves about how we built a liberal international order—one based on democratic principles, committed to civil and human rights, accountable to citizens, bound by the rule of law, and focused on economic prosperity for all. It’s a good story, with deep roots. But in recent decades, Washington’s focus has shifted from policies that benefit everyone to policies that benefit a handful of elites. After the Cold War, U.S. policymakers started to believe that because democracy had outlasted communism, it would be simple to build democracy anywhere and everywhere. They began to export a particular brand of capitalism, one that involved weak regulations, low taxes on the wealthy, and policies favoring multinational corporations. And the United States took on a series of seemingly endless wars, engaging in conflicts with mistaken or uncertain objectives and no obvious path to completion. 

The impact of these policy changes has been devastating. While international economic policies and trade deals have worked gloriously well for elites around the world, they have left working people discouraged and disaffected. Efforts to promote the United States’ own security have soaked up huge resources and destabilized entire regions, and meanwhile, U.S. technological dominance has quietly eroded. Inequality has grown worldwide, contributing to an unfolding nationalist backlash that seeks to upend democracy itself. It is little wonder that the American people have less faith in their government today than at any other time in modern U.S. history. The country is in a moment of crisis decades in the making."  

A "foreign policy for all", I guess has a real hipster ring to it, similar to Medicare For All or whatever example you want to use, but like most catch phrases whether they're pop culture or political, when you actually get into them the first question is always, "what does that mean?" What do you mean by that? As much as President Donald Trump's presidency contradicts this, the President of the United States and American government more broadly are actually serious things meant for serious people. This is not a reality TV show or some movie or hip sitcom or anything else. This is real-life where real decisions are made everyday effecting real people. "A foreign policy for all" might have a catch ring to it, but what does that mean and what is in that foreign policy.

So when Senator Elizabeth Warren, argues that it's time to bring our troops home, the first obvious question is, "bring them home from where?" If you're talking about bringing them home from Iraq and Afghanistan, then the next question would be, "what would happen instead after America is out of those two countries?"

Senator Warren, also argues that America spends too much on national defense, OK where would you cut the defense budget? It's hard to get official numbers from the U.S. Defense Department on this, but we're currently somewhere between 50-100 billion dollars on the defense of Europe in NATO. We currently make up just as one country 70% of the entire NATO defense budget. Would asking or demanding that Germany, France, Italy and other European states spend more on their own defense and take a good chunk of that revenue out of our own defense budget since Europe is now spending more on their own defense? America could do a lot with 50-100 billion dollars a year that it wouldn't have to spend on defense. 

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

Thursday, December 13, 2018

AEI: What is Pluralism?

Source:AEI- From The American Enterprise Institute. 

From Merriam Webster:

"4a : a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain and develop their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization. b : a concept, doctrine, or policy advocating this state."

The question has been asked over and over and has been debated over and over what kind of country is America and what type of government that we have. Are we a republic, are we a democracy, are we a liberal democracy, are we a pluralist society, etc when the fact is there's no wrong answer here.

Source:Slide Share- A pluralist society 
America, is a republic, but we're a certain type of republic. Egypt and China are republics, but we're certainly not Egypt or China. They have authoritarian societies and government's, we obviously don't.  Republic by itself doesn't equal democracy or freedom, it just means that the country is governed by civilians and not the military or a monarchy or some theocracy. America, is a democracy at least in the sense that we elect our political leaders and our political leaders are held accountable by the voters in free and fair elections.

The fact is America is a pluralist society and federal republic in the form of a liberal democracy. The largest most diverse melting pot in the world, the largest and oldest liberal democracy in the world where power is very decentralized unlike Egypt, China or Russia. Governmental power is decentralized through three levels of government. Federal, state, and local, but also with the people because we live in a  free society where the people have the freedom to manage their own personal affairs without having government trying to monitor their activities simply because they see them as enemies of the government or disapprove of their personal activities.

In a pluralist society like America, you don't have one dominant ethnic group. Roughly 7-10 Americans today are still of European background, but we don't have one dominant ethnic group in America unlike Britain, where roughly 8-10 Brits are ethnic English or Germany where roughly 9-10 Germans are ethnic German or go to Asia where most of Japan is ethnic Japanese. But 3-10 Americans aren't of European background. We have large African-American population, a major Asian-American population, a significant Middle Eastern population and I could go on. America is both multi-racial and multi-ethnic which is still one of the great and exceptional things about America.

My personal politics here: I'm not colorblind, anyone who actually says that they're  colorblind and can't even tell what the color of their clothes are, or is simply just blind. I'm not race or ethnic blind, back to my point about color, because anyone who has even decent vision or can see with glasses can see someone's race or ethnicity. What I am is what I could call at least pluralist and individualist. I look at and judge people as individuals, not as members of a particular racial or ethnic group. That old but still great Dr. Martin King quote, where he has a dream that one day his children would be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin, I actually believe that and just wished more Americans both on the Right and Left believed that as well. Instead of looking at people as members of groups who should be judged that way.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Lew Rockwell: Bionic Mosquito: 'Liberalism and Christianity: Liberal Christianity'

Source:Disqus- Christian-Conservatives vs. Christian Liberals. 
“Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse, by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (EvKL) examines what he calls “Real Liberalism” in chapter 13 of this book. I think it is worthwhile to capture his understanding of this political and economic philosophy.

Let us look at the verbal meaning. The root is liber (“free”). The term liberalis (and liberalitas) implies generosity in intellectual and material matters.” 

From Lew Rockwell 


From The AudioPedia

Liberalism and Christianity implies at least that they're two different things when the fact is there's a fundamentalist and even theocratic version of Christianity way over on the Right, the Christian-Right in America represents that movement. There's a social democratic version of Christianity way over on the Left, that has been lead by people like Reverend Martin L. King, Reverend Jesse and many other left-wing preachers. And there is a liberal version of Christianity that is less government centric than the social democratic version and even the fundamentalist version. That is more about treating people the way you would want to be treated. About respect and earning the respect of others by how you treat people.

Source:Reformed Spirit- Good quote about Liberal Christianity 
As someone who is not a Christian of any sect or a member of any other religious sect, but who is also not an Atheist, but an Agnostic I actually agree with some of the Ten Commandments.

Thou shalt not kill: meaning we shouldn't take innocent lives.

Thou shalt not steal: any moral person can agree that theft and burglary are wrong and immoral.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

The Golden Rule is not a Ten Commandment, but it's a great rule and gets back to one of my points about Liberal Christianity having to deal with respect which is do unto others as you would have done to you. Treat people the way you want them to treat you. Don't live life thinking you're superior to everyone else and that it should be someone else's honor just to be in your presence. And therefor you can get away with being a jerk ( to be generous ) around other people simply because you're better than them and they don't want to lose you.

Live and let live: here's a moral value that Liberals and Libertarians at least can fall in love with. Also goes to Economics Professor Walter Williams broader definition of property rights which also goes to the liberal value of free choice. Which is free people should be aloud to live freely and don't need big government trying to manage their personal affairs for them and telling them how they should live. Short of hurting innocent people with our personal freedom and choices.

Goes back to two of the Ten Commandments that I mentioned earlier which are thou shalt not kill and thou shalt not steal. Add thou shalt not abuse others either physically or verbally. Thou shalt not rape would be another good example of this. Thou shalt not hurt innocent people with what they're doing especially children and women. The second one some might believe is sexist, but so what.

I'm not a Christian of any sect, but someone with my liberal values could get into a liberal version of Christianity instead of Christians trying to use government to manage people's lives for them and punish people simply because of how they communicate or what they do with their personal times and lives because they see those choices as immoral. Or the Christian-Left, trying to turn government into some national charity and perhaps even replacing charity with some national welfare or charity state using it to take care of the poor by taxing the rich, instead of using government to empower the less-fortunate to be able to take care of themselves. If there was a Liberal-Christian sect like I mentioned, I could become a Christian myself.

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

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

POLITICO Magazine: U.S. Representative Jackie Speier: 'Surviving Jonestown'

Source:POLITICO Magazine- Reverend Jim Jones and his People's Temple. 
“Jackie Speier is a congresswoman representing California’s 14th congressional district, which includes San Francisco and the peninsula.

Excerpt from UNDAUNTED: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back by Jackie Speier, reprinted under a license arrangement originating with Amazon Publishing.

Iwas 28, lying on a dusty airplane runway in the Guyanese jungle, and dying.

It was just a matter of time. Five bullets had ripped through me, devastating the right side of my body. Behind the wheel of an airplane, I waited for the shooting to stop and said my Act of Contrition, praying for forgiveness and waiting for the lights to go out.” 

“November marks 40 years since Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple, orchestrated the mass killing of more than 900 people in the jungle of Guyana at a place he called Jonestown. Rep. Jackie Speier of California, who was there that day and details her memories of being left to die in a new book, “Undaunted,” joins TODAY to share her story.” 
Source:TODAY Show- Representative Jackie Speier (Democrat, California) on the TODAY Show. 

From the Today Show

Almost 30 years before Jackie Speier was elected to the U.S. House herself and elected to the seat that her former boss Representative Leo Ryan represented in the San Francisco area, she was one of Representative Ryan's Congressional aides. A very young 28 year old aide who was part of Representative Ryan's Congressional delegation along with some reporters and other personal from NBC News, that were asked by constituents who had relatives that were part of Reverend Jim Jones's Jonestown in Guyana, South America.

Source:New York Post- U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, on Jonestown 
Anyone who is familiar with Reverend Jim Jones and his People's Temple first in San Francisco and then later in Guyana, know who they were. They were part of a left-wing religious cult, that wanted to a better life and world for themselves who believed that America was too racist, selfish, and materialistic, and wanted to create their own socialist paradise. That's what Reverend Jim Jones preached to his followers in San Francisco. What he didn't mention at all is that the number one reason why he moved his cult from San Francisco to Guyana, is that he and The People's Temple were under investigation by San Francisco authorities and perhaps were about to get raided and even arrested for physically abusing members of the cult.

Representative Ryan and his Congressional crew including Jackie Speier, along with personal from NBC News like reporter Don Harris, went down to Guyana on a fact-finding mission to find out exactly what was going on there and to talk about the people who were there. And soon find out that people there were looking to escape and wanted help escaping. Similar to how desperate prison inmates would look to escape from prison. Except the Jonestown members weren't criminals, but good and innocent people who simply fell for what Jim Jones was preaching and fell into his murderous trap. And were literally ready to risk their lives in order to escape Jonestown. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

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

Friday, November 30, 2018

WAWG Blog: Andy Hailey- ‘As A Progressive, Am I Too Extreme?’

Source:Slide Player- The Progressive Era in America 
Source:The New Democrat

From Andy Hailey

“Am I too extreme to want representatives who will unabashedly speak out against all forms of economic injustice spawned by right-wing extremists and their belief that only the wealthy deserve government aid?

Am I too extreme to want representatives who will unabashedly speak out against all forms of social injustice spawned by right-wing extremists and their denial of sexual diversity?

Am I too extreme to want representatives who will unabashedly speak out against all forms of racial injustice spawned by right-wing extremists and their arrogant belief in white supremacy?

Am I too extreme to want representatives who will unabashedly speak out against all forms of environmental injustice spawned by right-wing extremists and their desire for the end times or getting filthy rich in case they are not among the chosen?

Am I too extreme to want representatives who will make a moral commitment to equally protect all living and breathing citizens from the economic, social, racial, and environmental injustices committed by man-made, heartless, and greedy entities with their immoral, excessive, power and pursuit of profit without regard to harming citizens?

Am I too extreme to want representatives who will make a moral commitment to equally empower living and breathing citizens such that their freedoms to choose, like voting and medical procedures, are maximized?

Am I too extreme to want representatives who will make a moral commitment to equally empower living and breathing citizens such that their abilities, like critical thinking, are maximized?

Am I too extreme to want representatives who will make a moral commitment to equally protect living and breathing citizens such that they are free from medical bankruptcy caused by death panels protecting health insurance profits?

Am I too extreme to want representatives who will make a moral commitment to equally protect living and breathing citizens such that they are free from sacrifice in never-ending wars for corporate enrichment?

Am I too extreme to want today’s version of FDR’s second bill of rights written into law?”

This could’ve been written by Bernie Sanders today, George McGovern 30-50 years ago, Henry Wallace 70 years ago, David McReynolds or Eugene Debs ( multiple time Socialist Party nominees for president ) in McReynolds case 10, 20, 30 years ago. In Debs case 100 years ago. Socialists and socialism aren’t new to America. It didn’t arrive when Bernie Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving in the House for 16 years before the Senate. He’s not the only Socialist in Congress and never has been. He’s just the only self-described Socialist in Congress, ( but not the only current Socialist in Congress ) and he’ll only have that title until the end of this Congress. In the next Congress starting in January we could see 10-20 new self-described Socialists in the House.

What’s new is that we’re now seeing Socialists coming out of the political closet and making public that they’re Socialists. Democratic Socialists in most cases, but if you look at Far-Left like ANTIFA, they’re proud self-described Communists. It’s not extreme to want a country or world where there’s no racism, poverty, selfishness, crime, violence, war, anything else that’s bad about the world. Overly romantic, overly idealistic you wouldn’t have much trouble making the case for that. Anyone who lives in the real world has to deal with both good and bad. Things that are good about people and society and things that are bad. That’s called life and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve not only your own life, but the society around you. Overly romantic and idealistic sure, but there’s really nothing wrong with that so long as you keep at least one foot on Planet Earth and stay in touch with reality. As least in writing or texting, or email distance.

But if you’re someone who believes in making the world better, the question is how you go about doing that. Now, if you’re an actual Progressive ( and not a closeted Socialist instead ) it’s not a question if you want to make the world better or not, but how to go about doing that. When I think of Progressives, I think of people who want to make the country or world better through government action. Not people who are looking to create a Planet Utopia where there’s no such thing as poverty, racism, or violence, but people who want to use public policy to improve the lives of their fellow citizens and create genuine, noticeable progress with public policy. Not people who are looking to outlaw everything they don’t personally like including personal wealth. Or create a central government so big that personal decision-making and individualism become extinct. But people who want to improve the lives of their fellow people through public policy.

Source:Social Welfare Project History- Theodore Roosevelt, one of the first true American Progressives 
From Wikipedia

“Progressivism is the support for or advocacy of improvement of society by reform.[1] As a philosophy, it is based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition.”

Liberals, Progressives, Socialists including Democratic Socialists or Social Democrats, and even Communists tend to all get linked into the same political faction as if they’re all the same people with 6 different labels. When the fact is Liberals just by themselves are different from the other factions. For example an actual Liberal such as myself believes in liberal democracy. Communists, don’t believe in democracy at all especially liberal democracy. Democratic Socialists or Social Democrats believe in democratic socialism and social democracy. Progressives in the actual sense, are the most interesting in all of these political factions, because they’re the least ideological and most pragmatic of all these groups. They believe in liberal democracy, but they also believe in conservative values like property rights, the rule of law, and other values like that.

Progressives, are people who believe in progress through government action, but limited government action. They’re not looking to create a government that is so big that it essentially takes over the society and is able to manage people’s personal as well as economic affairs for them. Progressives, are people who believe in freedom, but that it should be for everyone and not just for people who are born to wealth or have a certain ethnic or racial background. And want to use government to improve the lives of people who are struggling so they can have the same freedom as people who are already doing well in society. That’s the main difference between a Progressive and a Socialist of any background. Which is Progressives, believe in progress through limited government,. Socialists, don’t believe in limited government and base their ideology around a big central government and what it can do for the people.
Source:Aaron Champaign: The Progressive Era- Women's suffrage in The Progressive Era 

Monday, November 26, 2018

David Von Pein: CBS News Special Report- Eric Sevareid: 'Presidents and Assassins, November 25, 1963'

Source:David Von Pein- CBS News Special Report from Eric Sevareid. 

From David Von Pein

This CBS News Special Report, was just 3 days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. This was all very new with if not most Americans, but certainly a lot of them. Maybe only the oldest people in America remember William Mckinley being assassinated in 1901 and people who would have to be in their early hundreds at this point to remember President Abraham Lincoln being assassinated in 1865. And to remember President Lincoln being assassinated in 1865 and to still alive and to remember that in 1963, you would need one helluva healthy mind and perhaps body as well.

Source:David Von Pein- CBS News Special Report 
And since this was all so new with most Americans and with network news not being the dominate factor in America media in the early 60s that it had become by the early 70s with the Watergate coverage and President Richard Nixon's administration, Americans weren't use to seeing these special reports from the networks devoting so much air time to covering current affairs especially during prime time when most networks back then were showing their family entertainment like sitcoms, dramas, variety shows. Forget about 24 hour news networks not being around yet in the early 60s, network news other than the morning show and nightly news wasn't much of a factor yet by this time.

Source:Assassination of John F. Kennedy- CBS News Special Report 
The JFK assassination changed America a lot as far as how it operated and changed both our government and culture as well. The President got a lot more security with the Secret Service now becoming a major factor not just in the President's life, but his family as well, and ex-president's and their families. Americans started becoming more interested in current affairs with the networks newscast moving from 11 minutes a night to 22 minutes a night ( not including commercials ) and with nightly newscasts expanding, special reports and documentaries that were produced by the network news divisions themselves like CBS News for CBS, because a regular part of TV network viewing in the 1960s.

This CBS News Special Report by Eric Sevareid, is something that today you would probably see from PBS, CNN, perhaps MSNBC or FNC, but probably coming from a real slant. C-SPAN or one of the 24 hour documentary networks like National Geographic Channel today because the broadcast networks don't want to donate even a hour of their time at night to showing a current affairs or history documentary and take that time away from one of their hit sitcoms or dramas, especially when there's PBS, one of the news networks, or the documentary channels like History and others that show this type of programming all day and all night everyday and every night. But post-JFK assassination up until really the 1990s or so documentaries and Special Reports about one particular subject that was going on in the country at the time were shown by the networks on a regular basis back then.   

You can also see this post on WordPress.

You can also see this post on FRS FreeState, on Blogger.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Atlantic: David Frum- President Trump's Attorney General: 'A Flaw in American Democracy'

Source:The Atlantic Magazine- The Atlantic's Editor David Frum. 
"“The Trump years have cast a hard light on many of the ancient flaws in American democracy,” says The Atlantic writer David Frum in a new Atlantic Argument. One of these flaws, Frum argues, is the fact that the 93 U.S.-government attorneys, including the attorney general, are politically appointed. Legal experts have long worried about the potential for abuse in these arrangements.

Just after the midterms, Donald Trump appointed “a scandal-tainted, under-qualified loyalist,” Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general. Now, it seems, Trump is poised to take advantage of the dangerous marriage of politics and law enforcement."

Source:The Atlantic

What President Donald Trump, doesn't seem to understand, unaware of, or could simply care less ( and that might be putting it lightly ) is that even though he's the most powerful and ranking officer in his latest business investment and new company that the rest of us call the United States Government, he doesn't own it.

Source:ABC News- Matt Whitaker, President Trump's temporarily acting Attorney General 
President Trump, is accountable to not only the voters, but Congress and the Judiciary as well. If he were still the President of the Trump Organization and he wanted to appoint a lackey because he was worried about current and incoming government investigations of his company and he didn't want to turn over key company documents to the government and he wanted a Trump loyalist to be his General Counsel of the company, he could do that because the TO doesn't have Board of Directors ( known as the U.S. Senate at the Federal level ) and no one would probably even say anything about that.

Source:Vox- President Donald Trump and company 
If President Trump, wants a Trump loyalist to be his Attorney General or even acting AG who has never worked in the Trump Administration before, he could do that, but for that person to take that job he would have to be approved by the Board of Directors also known as the U.S. Senate. He has a Republican Senate now and in January he'll have a Republican Senate again in the next Congress with perhaps two more seats than they have right now. And they could approve Matt Whitaker or Chris Kovach or anyone else to be the new Attorney General, because they're in the majority and Senate Democrats wouldn't be able to block the appointment just by themselves.

I'm not a lawyer and I've never even played one either on TV or played the part in some play let alone on some talk show or movie and I'm not going to pretend to a lawyer constitutional or otherwise here, but the law and Constitution regarding the appointment process here is very clear. If the President wants to appoint someone on an acting basis even to be full a cabinet level position who has never served in his administration before, like Attorney General which also just happens to be one of the 3-5 most important and most powerful jobs not just in the U.S, Government, but perhaps anywhere in America as well, the President needs to send that confirmation up to the Senate for their advice and consent. If the Senate approves the nominee, the President gets that nominee for that position. If the Senate votes that person down, it's back to the drawing board.

Donald Trump, either as President or as a one-reality show about his own narcissism ( also known 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue at The White House ) is an example of how bad a shape that social studies is in America and Americans lack of knowledge about how their own government works. And a great example of why Americans are viewed as dumb to the rest of the West and developed world. President Trump has this wild idea that he can basically do whatever the hell he wants regardless of what the law and Constitution says, just as long as his defenders in Congress and the Judiciary backs him up. And American government is just not supposed to work that way.

Ronald Reagan: Talking About One America and American Pluralism

Source:AZ Quotes- President Ronald Reagan, talking about one America.

“Let me speak plainly: The United States of America is and must remain a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. Our very unity has been strengthened by this pluralism. That's how we began; this is how we must always be. The ideals of our country leave no room whatsoever for intolerance, anti-Semitism, or bigotry of any kind -- none. The unique thing about America is a wall in our Constitution separating church and state. It guarantees there will never be a state religion in this land, but at the same time it makes sure that every single American is free to choose and practice his or her religious beliefs or to choose no religion at all. Their rights shall not be questioned or violated by the state.

-- Remarks at the International Convention of B'nai B'rith, 6 September 1984” 

"The right quotation can change your life. That condensed idea—expressed in just a few words or a sentence or two—can shift your thinking, trigger an epiphany, and alter your way of seeing the world. The wisest, most experienced, and most thoughtful people in history have left us these little thought-bombs, and this book collects them. Surprising, jolting, discomforting, and comforting insights urge us to live a full, unbridled life, question authority and reality, relate to fellow humans, create, risk, love, live with uncertainty, and stay sane in an insane world.

Poets, philosophers, scientists, musicians, artists, presidents, mystics, activists, academics, and others rub shoulders here and give us the benefit of their hard-earned wisdom, breakthroughs, breakdowns, bad choices, sudden illuminations, and lightning wit. Sharing some of life's most important lessons are William Blake and Bruce Lee, Abraham Lincoln and Lorrie Moore, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Terence McKenna, René Magritte and St. Teresa of Avila, Zelda Fitzgerald and James Baldwin, and hundreds more.

Neatly arranged into topics that everyone wonders about, this inspirational volume is filled with rousing insights and challenging thoughts that will appeal to anyone who is searching, anyone who doesn't fit in, anyone who questions the way things are . . . which is to say, everyone." 

From Amazon 

"Top 21 Ronald Reagan Quotes (Author of The Reagan Diaries)
The  American politician & actor" 
Source:Daily Quotes- The best of Ronald Reagan 

At risk of stating the obvious: does this sound different from any other Republican today who has major power and popularity inside the Republican Party today and not just within his or her own state? You can talk about Senator Jeff Flake and Governor John Kasich, ( to name a couple Reagan like Republicans ) but with all due respect, do either Senator Flake who is leaving office at the end of this Congress and Governor Kasich who is term limited and will be out of office in January, what power and popularity inside of today's Republican party does Senator Flake and Governor Kasich have outside of either Arizona or Ohio.

The modern Republican Party is the Donald Trump-Steve Bannon Nationalist party that picks winners and losers and decides for themselves at least who are the real Americans and who are the Un-Americans. And it's really this simply: you're either pro-Donald Trump and his America First nationalism and are a real American ( according to them ) or you hate America and the so-called real Americans. The Joe McCarthyite-Trumpains versus the rest of the country. 

What President Reagan was talking about here which was part of his speech to the International Convention of B'nai B'rith in 1984 was one America where we're all Americans who love America and what we stand for as a country and our values. Regardless of our race, ethnicity, religion, and any other irrelevant factors about us.

This Reagan speech and quote could've easily been delivered by Dr. Martin L. King in the 1960s when he was talking about an America where his children are judged by the content of their character and not by the color or their skin. Pre-1990 or so African-Americans were a major part of the Republican Party and a group that Center-Right Republicans could compete with for votes. The civil rights laws from the 1960s don't get passed in Congress without Congressional Republicans voting for them in the House and Senate.

Forget about the Republican Party no longer being a conservative party, just look at the big bloated spending bills that this Republican Congress passed in the last two years and the trillions they will be borrowing in their increases in spending and not just in defense, but President Trump's support for authoritarian regimes with Saudi Arabia being the latest today with his America First foreign policy, but they're no longer the party of Ronald Reagan either, with a few exceptions. 

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Biographics: Simon Whistler- Jim Jones Biography: 'Progressive to Predator'

Source:Biographics- Jim Jones, not very progressive, but definitely a predator. 
"Jim Jones Biography: Progressive to Predator"

From Biographics

Seeing this video and today's blog post is perfect timing, because Sundance will be showing a documentary about Reverend Jim Jones this weekend which will be a two-night event. If it's not perfect timing, you can see perfect timing from there and I'll have a new blog post about that documentary in a few weeks from today. This month and this year is the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, where most of Jim Jones cult were murdered by Reverend Jones and his men in Jonestown Guyana in South America in November of 1978. Which is why you're seeing several documentaries about Jim Jones this month on cable TV.

Source:Tim The 5th- The Reverend Jim Jones 
When it comes to Socialists I think the real debate is which socialist camp do you put a Jim Jones in. Do you put in the Henry Wallace - David McReynolds - George McGovern - Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist camp, or do you put him in the Fidel Castro - Che Guevara and others Communist camp. Pre-Jonestown and Guyana, I think Jones falls into the Democratic Socialist wing as far as what he preached and what his organization did for his community. First in Indianapolis, Indiana and later in San Francisco. Even though he did have dictatorial leanings in his San Francisco People's Temple and there were real reports of his members being abused by Jones and his men there.

Source:Bio- Reverend Jim Jones, the dictator of Jonestown 
By the time Jones People's Temple left from San Francisco for Guyana and built Jonestown there, he was no longer a progressive minded Democratic Socialist purely looking to escape along with his people from what they saw as American capitalism, materialism, and racism. They had a communitarian-socialist organization in Guyana where everything was shared and nothing was owned, at least by the members there. But that can be said about a lot of Communist states over the years including Cuba and North Korea. What makes Jonestown different from Scandinavia lets say or even his People's Temple in San Francisco, is the relationship between Jones and his organization in Guyana, to the people they were supposed to serve.

Reverend Jim Jones, was essentially if not completely the Communist dictator of Jonestown. The authority that he had over his people and control that he had over their lives was very similar if not exactly the authority that Fidel Castro had over his people in Cuba. Actually, Jones probably had more power over his own people in Jonestown, then Castro had in Cuba. Jones, controlled when his people went to bed and woke up, what they did during the day, what they ate, when they ate, and how much they're allowed to eat. He controlled all the information there and what his people could for for entertainment and what if any free time ( if you want to call it free ) that they had at any point at least until his leadership collapses in 1978 and people literally start escaping from Jonestown as if they're escaping from prison. What is what always happen in Communist states where people escape from their own countries, because they're tired of living in prison.

If you call yourself a Socialist, Democratic Socialist, Progressive ( if your'e terrified of the socialist labels ) Jim Jones is one of the last people you should be defending, following, and admiring. Because of the damage and horror that he brought to his people. All the people he even killed especially in that last day and the mass-suicide in Jonestown in November, 1978. I made these point before on social media when I was watching Jonestown documentaries this spring and summer. If your'e a true Democratic Socialist or Social Democrat, there are plenty of good people that you could be following instead. Like Eugene Debs, Henry Wallace, Dr. Martin L. King, George McGovern, Bernie Sanders today and others like them. Instead of following Communists who are authoritarian and even murder people that get in their way or they view as disloyal.  

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Vanity Fair: Opinion- S.E. Cupp: 'The Conservative Coma'

Source:Vanity Fair- Take America back to the 1950s?
Source:Vanity Fair: Opinion- S.E. Cupp: The Conservative Coma

When I think of the Grand Ole Party ( and saying that with a straight face anymore is getting very difficult ) I think of a Conservative Republican Party that was hawkish when it came to not just Communists and communism, but authoritarians and authoritarianism in general. That actually believed deficits matter. ( Which night sound crazy in the Trumpian Republican Party today ) That actually believed not only in entitlement reform, but that it was necessary. That if Republicans as a party are going to believe in and support programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that they should all be on sound fiscal footing and not blow up the deficit.

It was a party that believed that race, ethnicity, and gender didn't matter. Which why it supported the civil rights laws of the 1960s while opposing affirmative action in the 1970s, because the GOP believed that people shouldn't be promoted, demoted, empowered or denied simply because of their race, ethnicity or religion. A party that not only believed in immigration, but that anyone regardless of what country or region of the world, regardless of their race or ethnicity should be allowed to come to America legally if they work hard and contribute to America and obey our laws.

A party that was strong on defense, but didn't believe America shouldn't try to police the world and try force our values on other countries and tell them this is how they should govern themselves. For the most part this Republican value is still in place with the Neoconservatives thanks to the Iraq War losing almost all influence on Republican foreign and national security policy. A party that still believed in limited government even with the Christian-Right becoming a force in the party, but that still believed in that Barry Goldwater line that said he didn't want big government in our wallets, bedrooms, boardrooms, or classrooms.

That was the Republican Party that I grew up. I come from a Democratic family, but that's what the Republican Party use to be and what the Republican Party was when I grew up. And expect for the national debt and deficits, President Ronald Reagan believed in most if not all of those values. He did have his own big government issues with the national debt, deficits, and his expansion of the War on Drugs in the 1980s, but basically he represented and lead what was the Grand Ole Party very well in the 1980s. This is not the Republican Party today and I when I think of RINOS,  ( Republicans in name only ) I believe in so-called Republicans who don't even really believe in the concept of a republic and instead want to create a fundamentalist Christian society where their religious values are not only dominant, but become official government policy.

The GOP is not dead. You still have the S.E. Cupp's of the world, as well as Republicans like Margaret Hoover, Amanda Carpenter, Tara Setmeyer, Bill Kristol, and a few others at CNN. They're still some GOP Republicans in Congress like outgoing Senator's Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan, incoming Senator Mitt Romney once he takes his Senate seat in the next Congress. But the Republican Party today is now the Donald Trump Nationalist Party. That puts groups of Americans against each other and no longer preaches about America being the city on a shining hill. And instead preaches that, "you're either with us or against us." Meaning you either support President Donald Trump, or you're Un-American and a RINO.

The Republican or Nationalist or RINO Party ( depending on how you want to label the modern Republican Party ) is now the party that represents the 1950s that was reborn in this century, but come from the 1950s culturally and ideologically. Where women's place in the world is at home, African-Americans and other non-Anglo-Saxons are second-class citizens if citizens at all. Gays are either locked in the closet, or locked in prison or some mental institution.

Today's so-called Republican party is really now an anti-conservative party, because they now believe character and morality doesn't matter just as long as you either serve, back, or defend President Donald Trump and the people who support the President. And that instead of defending and supporting the status quo and and conserving our individual rights which is what Conservatives are supposed to support, they now want to blow up the system and establishment and create a society and establishment that supports them and what they being the Trump Nationalist movement supports and believes in.

If you read Joshua Green's The Devil's Bargain, he reports and argues that the Republican Party Leadership and base got in bed with Donald Trump in 2015-16, because even though they were aware of all of Donald Trump's faults when it came to his lack of character and civility, that if he became President with a Republican Congress and Judiciary that they would get from a President Trump the things that they've been fighting for and wanted ever since Barack Obama became President. Things like deregulation, tax cuts, judicial appointments, a larger defense budget, etc. And that every time President Trump would do something that's unconventional ( to be kind ) or irresponsible, reckless, anti-conservative like appeasing dictators, they would just chalk it up to Donald Trump not being a conventional politician and new to Washington. Which is exactly what' we've seen the last two years with Donald Trump as President.

The GOP is not dead, but they're not unfortunately now a small faction of the Republican Party. The never-trumpers are what left of the Grand Ole Party. They're the Republicans ( not RINOS ) who believe that deficits and the national debt actually do matter, expect for perhaps Bill Kristol who is a Neoconservative. They don't just support entitlement reform, but believe it's necessary. They support legal immigration and believe it benefits the country and aren't worried about America losing it's European culture because they don't believe one race or ethnicity is superior to any other. They by enlarge don't want big government in our economic or personal affairs. I've argued for a while now that the Republican Party is no longer a conservative party, but  party with a conservative faction and the Donald Trump experiment and his movement make that argument for me perfectly.
Source:CNN: State of The Union- S.E. Cupp: Conservative Movement is in a Coma - CNN political analyst S.E. Cupp 

Monday, November 5, 2018

The New Yorker: 'A Hundred Years of American Protest, Then and Now'

Source:The New Yorker- American liberal democracy in action.

"A split-screen look at how protests in America have evolved over a hundred years. From the civil-rights movement and the Ku Klux Klan to the March for Our Lives and Unite the Right, here’s how mass protests have changed."  

There's an old American cliche that this is as American as apple pie. Baseball is as American as apple pie. Hot dogs are American as apple pie. Going to church or your house of worship on Sunday is as American as apple pie. Which is all true and I like apple pie as much as the next American, especially with vanilla ice cream and I love baseball and hot dogs especially when they go together. But there's something even more American than all of those things that is older than all of those things as well and I would argue even more American than all of those things and as liberal democratic as anything you'll ever find which is our First Amendment and constitutional right to free speech which includes our right to protest.

Source:The New Yorker- Americans marching fro civil rights in the 1960s 
The phrase American exceptionalism gets thrown around a lot and considered racist by the Far-Left and some now on the Far-Right don't like it because it's used to complain about how undemocratic right-wing government's around the world operate, but this expression not only exists, but is true. 

Our diversity not just ethnically, racially, culturally, religiously including people who aren't religious at all such as myself, and our political diversity all makes America very exceptional. And one thing that Americans all have in common is that they believe in the right to protest and are more than willing to express ourselves when we see something in government or is going in the private sector that we don't like and feel the need to express ourselves about what we don't like.

To just use the example from The New Yorker about American protest from the last 50 years, but I would take that up to the last 55, 60, 65 years with the civil rights movement that was about expanding civil rights to African-Americans who were being denied their constitutional rights in America simply because of their race and denied access in America simply because of their race. 

And someone like Dr. Martin Luther King comes along and says this is not only wrong, but needs to stop and that there is not only something that can be done about this racism, but has to be done for the Constitution to mean anything when it says that all American men ( which includes women ) will be treated equally in America with all of us having the exact same basic constitutional rights.

The anti-war movement from the 1960s and 70s with all of those Baby Boomer Americans protesting the Vietnam War, is another great example of liberal democracy in action in America. Americans protesting for a cleaner environment, the women's movement that said that women shouldn't be treated inferior to men in America simply because of their gender and should be allowed to pursue their own American dream just like men. The gay rights movement from this era that said that gays shouldn't be locked up institutionalized or denied access in America simply because they're gay.

If you want a Republican leaning example at least, I would give the start of the Christian-Right movement in the late 1960s that protested the cultural changing of America with personal freedom on the rise with Christian-Conservatives protesting against what they see as immoral. Like women's and sexual liberation, homosexuality, pornography, essentially protesting against the 1960s. 

As well as Conservatives protesting in favor of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan in the 1960s and then again in the late 1970s which you could at least argue was the start of the early Tea Party movement in America before the Tea Party movement from 10 years ago.

You don't have to agree with every protest and every political movement that happens in America to believe in free speech and the right to protest, you just have to understand the First Amendment in the Constitution and our constitutional right to free speech which of course includes political speech which is just one thing that it protects. 

But I think you'll have a hard time arguing with any credibility whatsoever that you believe in America and love America and are a true American Patriot, if you don't at the very least acknowledge our right to free speech and to protest. Even if you don't agree with that fundamental right, because our right to protest and free speech in general is as American as the American flag itself. 

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Barry Goldwater: On Christian Conservatives

Source:Jason Vanderbeck- Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater, on the Christian-Right.
"“On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.

I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.”

~Barry Goldwater
Speech to the Senate

From Shin Do

Source:Shin Do- U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, R, Arizona- Mr. Conservative 
When you look at Barry Goldwater and his politics, you have to look at Conservatives and conservatism and what Conservatives actually believe believe and what conservatism actually is and what it isn’t.

There are Conservatives and then there are Conservatives who are very different and don’t sound like Barry Goldwater or William F. Buckley and other Conservatives who represent the Center-Right at least in America.

There are political Conservatives who are conservative in a constitutional sense and they believe in conserving the U.S. Constitution and our individual rights. If you want to use the term Conservative-Libertarian that would be fine, but that’s what they’re about meaning the job of government is to protect out individual rights and protect all of them for all of us and every American including our civil liberties. And not trample on them because our liberties and free choice violates one’s religious beliefs like members of the Christian-Right in America.

And there are Religious Conservatives, or Cultural Conservatives, Christian Conservatives. I don’t like using the term Social Conservative like the Family Research Council and other groups like that, because my definition of a Social Conservative is someone who believes in conserving our social or personal freedom, not trying to use big government to trample on our personal freedom and civil liberties.

Political Conservatives are what’s known as Constitutional Conservatives. People who believe in conserving our Constitution, not trampling on it because some of our rights protect what the Christian-Right would call immoral behavior. And not just abortion, but homosexuality, pornography, adultery, entertainment, and unfortunately I could go on.

The Ron Paul’s of the world and to a certain extent his son Senator Rand Paul even though he goes to sleep every night with President Donald Trump politically, ( and I mean that figuratively ) represent what’s left of the Constitutional-Conservative or Conservative-Libertarian movement. The Conservatives on CNN the so-called Never-Trumpers people like Tara Setmayer, Amanda Carpenter, S.E. Cupp, the faction of the Republican Party that use to dominate the GOP really until George H.W. Bush left The White House in 1993 and the Christian-Right essentially took over that party.

Conservatism, in a political sense is about conserving the U.S. Constitution. That’s what conservative is about which is conserving what you believe in and value and in a political and governmental sense that means conserving the U.S. Constitution and our individual rights. Not trying to use big government to erase them, because our individual freedoms violates one’s religious and moral beliefs.

Christian-Conservatives, are different because they’re not about the U.S. Constitution, but instead their interpretations of the Bible and conserving their Christian way of life. And believe that big government has a role to play in seeing that no one lives outside of their religious and moral values and outside of their cultural lifestyle. It’s not individual freedom that they’re interested in, but their religious and moral values.

When I think of Conservatives, I think of Barry Goldwater and the movement that he represented and still represents today. People who believe in individual freedom period and that it’s not the job of big government to decide how free Americans should live in what they do in the privacy of their homes and free time, just as long as they’re not hurting innocent people with what they’re doing.

I don’t think of people who believe their religious and moral values should be forced on everyone else in America, including non-Christian or even non Protestants or non-fundamentalists. And I don’t think of people who believe America is being going to hell since 1965 or so morally and are worried that modern America doesn’t look like the America they grew up with culturally, or even ethnically and racially. 

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sargon of Akkad: Interviewing Steve Bannon- 'Bannonism: The Revolt of The Little Guy'

Source:Sargon of Akkad- The Steve Bannon interview. 
"Steve Bannon, Ex-Trump chief strategist, lays out what's behind Brexit and Trump's populist revolts, Kavanaugh, #MeToo​, #TimesUp​ and more."

From Sargon of Akkad

This is a good way to talk about Nationalists and nationalism, because they're Nationalists and then are Nationalists. Similar to there are Socialists and then are Socialists. Not all Nationalists are Nazis and not all Socialists are Communists. As someone who is not a Socialist or Communist and strongly dislikes both, I would tell you Steve Bannon is a Nationalist, but in the best sense. As someone who loves his country ( in this case America ) and believes his number job is to look out for America and stand up for America regardless of what the rest of the world thinks or does about that.

Source:Sargon of Akkad- Steve Bannon 
Steve Bannon, comes from a small town, blue-collar mindset which is now a solid percentage of the Republican Party now with most big city and big metro Americans either Democrats, Independents, or right of center Republicans especially on economic and foreign policy, but want nothing to do the Nationalists and Christian-Right when it comes to social policy.

Source:Sargon of Akkad- Interviewing Steve Bannon 
And Nationalists in the Bannon sense not the Nazi or right-wing Socialist sense, view people that they see as the elite who went to the top Northeast schools in America and come from money and probably inherited a good deal of money, who've worked in and out of government and when they're not doing that they're working for think tanks or professors at elite colleges, Bannon Nationalists view people of this background as the problem with America.

Bannon Nationalists, view elitists as people who looked down on people who physically work hard for a living, work hard just to pay their bills and mortgages, who don't live in or outside of a big city like Washington, New York, Boston, San Francisco, etc, people who frankly wanted Hillary Clinton for President who Hillary represents.

The 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, was essentially blue-collar Nationalists represented by Trump. And white-collar elitists represented by Clinton. A big reason why Trump defeated Clinton, is because the Clinton elitist wing of the country was in charge for America for a very long time. And the Trump blue-collar folks felt left behind and believed they were losing their America. Some would argue that part of that had to do with cultural, racial, and ethnic reasons and I would agree with that as well.

To say this is not your father's Republican Party anymore, would be like saying that if you jumped in a lake there is a high percentage that you'll get wet in the water. It would be one of the worst cases of stating the obvious since it was announced that water is wet. The country club Republican Party that were Conservatives and in some cases Progressives even that were primarily interested in economic and foreign policy, is still around, but on life support in the Republican Party. Today's Republican Party is based in the South and small town Midwest and rural America in general. And that's what the Steve Bannon's of the world represent in American politics. 

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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

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