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Sunday, August 28, 2016

ABC News: World News Tonight-Colin Kaepernick Refuses to Stand During The National Anthem: Opportunism at it's Worst

Malcolm X, Really?
This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

In life there are followers and there are leaders. There are trend-setters who would be leaders and there are people who follow whatever the latest trend is who would be faddists. Celebrity culture and pro sports is no different, is a very accurate reflection of this. Celebrities feel the need to be cool to the point they'll follow things and claim to support things that in many cases they don't even seem to understand. Ben Affleck, from a couple years ago where he essentially accused Bill Maher of being a racist, because Maher made critical, but accurate statements about Islam, is a perfect example of this. Even though Islam is not a race, but a religion and Muslims can be anyone of any race, since Islam is not a race, but a religion. With today's social media and broader media culture, things can become hot and go or go viral, in an instant. And when that happens, many celebrities feel the need to be associated with it even if they don't understand what they're associating with. Colin Kaepernick, to me at least seems like the latest celebrity faddist and getting on the Black Lives Matter train.

This is not a debate about whether there's racism and bigotry, as well as oppression in America. Because of course there is and we've had as a nation more that two-hundred years of it. This to me is a debate about whether a multi-millionaire San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, is the right spokesperson to address this issue. Who'll be paid eleven-million-dollars by the 49ers this season to be there starting QB. A man who has taken advantage of every opportunity he's had in America as an individual to live in freedom and become filthy rich. Oppression in America, again goes back more than two-hundred years starting with American-Indians. And then Africans being kidnapped from Africa and brought over to be the slaves of European-Americans who the land of the American-Indians. To women of all races not having the right to vote in America until a hundred-years ago. To Jewish and other European immigrants, being denied access in America by Anglo-Saxons, simply because their ethnicity and religion was different from English-Americans. To Latinos and Asians as well. With the Japanese, as well as German and Italian-Americans, being kidnapped and forced into concentration camps. Because the U.S. Government saw them as traitors during World War II.

Colin Kaepernick, has been in the NFL since 2012 and has been a millionaire his whole career. America didn't wake up to oppression when the Black Lives Matter moment started in 2014. We've known about it for over two-hundred-years. That is anyone who took and passed American history in high school. Mr. Kaepernick has had all this time to let his thoughts and views be known about racism and oppression in America. And waits till now when the Black Lives Matter becomes popular and not only that, but isn't putting himself at risk here at all. The 49ers won't cut him over this, because standing for the national anthem is voluntary. And the City of San Francisco is a capital of fads and trends and pop culture and leftist hippies who applaud anyone who takes on anyone they see as 'The Man.' If Mr. Kaepernick loses his job this season, it will have nothing to do with the fact that he supposedly took a stand against oppression. But that he once again failed to perform, and the 49ers have another mediocre or bad season. And head coach Chip Kelly decides to go in a different direction as a result.

Colin Kaepernick, showed no more courage in not standing for a national anthem for a country that has given him no much opportunity as someone who is African-American, to be very successful, than millions of teenagers who bought and wore Malcolm X hats in the early 1990s when the Malcolm X movie came out. Claiming to support a man they probably never even heard of before that movie came out. And perhaps don't have much knowledge about who Minister Malcolm is today. Someone who I have a lot of respect for an learned a lot about. What Mr. Kaepernick has done here instead is make a fashion statement. And use the national anthem of a country that's given him so much opportunity to be as successful as he had, has his target and launching point. Which makes him not different from people who eat whatever the latest hit dish is, or where whatever outfit, or claim to be behind whatever the latest movement or celebrity is. So of course he has the Freedom of Speech (even in the NFL) to do what he did. But he's nothing more than an opportunist when it comes to oppression and fashion statements.

Friday, March 18, 2016

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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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

Texas Abortion Case-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: 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.

Monday, March 14, 2016

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.


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?

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The Washington Post: Opinion- Jonathan Turley- 'Voters Want a Revolution- Here's What That Would Take': Rewrite The U.S. Constitution?

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.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

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.

Friday, March 4, 2016

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

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: 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.