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Monday, August 31, 2015

Brookings Institution: Government Studies: Thomas Mann: Election 2016: The Dumbing Down of American Politics: How Can American Politics Get Any Dumber?

The Donald
Brookings Institution: Government Studies: Thomas Mann: Election 2016: The Dumbing Down of American Politics: How Can American Politics Get Any Dumber?

Tom Mann-“Donald Trump and the chorus of Republican presidential aspirants may have appeared to monopolize the capacity to make fantastical claims about what’s wrong with America and how to fix it. But a new entrant–Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig–has outlined a very different sort of fantastical claim. In this post, Thomas Mann looks at Lessig’s candidacy and what it says about the state of American politics.”

The Dumbing Down of American Politics, so I guess American politics had reached a new low and American voters are now borderline retarded. And vote for people based on what realty shows they watch, or who they’re favorite celebrities are, or do they have the same smart phone. Wait, Americans voters already vote for candidates based on those things. How else do you explain our last two president’s. Neither one of them became president based on their deep knowledge of the issues, or their brilliant resumes. But because they’re likable and the country was looking for something different. And this coming from someone who voted for Barack Obama twice. But not because I think he’s like totally awesome, or whatever. But because he was the best person for the job.

I don’t think American politics can get any dumber. The presidential election is already a popularity contest. The candidate who gets the voters to personally like them the most for whatever the reasons tends to get the job. The most important job and election in the world is not rewarded to the person who has the best economic, national security, or foreign policies, but to the person who looks the most Hollywood, lets says. The person whose seen as the hippest. And a lot of our Congressional races both House and Senate are decided that way as well. That is you get a billionaire like a Donald Trump, who the whole country knows from his so-called realty TV show, looking like a contender for the Republican presidential nomination.

As George Carlin, politicians are us. They’re the people they represent. They weren’t beamed down here from Star Trek, or someplace to play career politicians on TV. They live and come from our communities and speak the language of the people they live with and share the same politics. And what career politicians do, that is people who get a heart attack at the even thought of having to have a real job and work outside of government and perhaps go back to selling shoes, or auto insurance, is take advantage of the communities that they come from. And the more extreme the community they represent, the more extreme rhetoric. Whether they actually believe the bullshit that they’re saying, or not.

If Americans want better politicians and politics, they need to be better voters. The only ways someone like a Donald Trump can get on the national scene is, that he’s a billionaire. who had his own so-called reality show and that there a lot of dumb voters in America who believe Latinos are invading America and raping their daughters , trying to occupy America as if they were a Western ISIS and want to create a Greater Mexico. And oh by the way. They believe Latinos are stealing their fast food, food service, retail and agriculture jobs. That most Americans wouldn’t take even if it meant they would have to starve. And what The Donald does, is play to those fears of a very ignorant people who simply don’t know any better.

American voters should look at politicians and political candidates the same way they look at buying a car, or house, or clothes, What’s the best purchase for them based on the money that they can afford to spend on that purchase and exactly who’ll represent them best with that purchase. And stop looking at American politics likes it’s a game show, or beauty contest. But instead whose the best candidate for the job based on how they would vote, or what policies they would push and what they would do for the country. Who would best defend, promote and develop the country so the most Americans possible can live well here. Instead of voting for people based on what they’re favorite movies, or entertainers are and do they watch celebrity TV and so-forth and so on.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Michaels Backporch: Good Day LA's Steve Edwards Interviews Robin Sax: Convicted Murderer Bruce Davis About to be Paroled?

Robin Sax
Michaels Backporch: Good Day LA's Steve Edwards Interviews Robin Sax: Convicted Murderer Bruce Davis About to be Paroled?

Whatever your position on the death penalty is and even if you’re in favor of the death penalty, but agree that forty-five years later not executing the Manson Family murderers other than Charlie Manson himself was the correct decision, I think most of the country can agree that once you intentionally take the innocent life of another human being and are convicted of that murder, or murderers, you forfeit your right to freedom for the rest of your life. I could imagine only anti-use of force at anytime groups, as well as anti-prison advocates, or Anarchists having a problem with that.

Bruce Davis, has never even admitted, or apologized for his role in the Manson murders. The only thing that puts him ahead of Charlie, is that he’s made a productive life for himself while in prison. Which is one of the reasons for having prison. Which is the whole point of rehabilitation which is self-improvement and not just preparing people who have a release date on the outside for life there, but empowering people who are serving life, or very long sentences to make a positive life for them self in prison and allow for them to give back. Which is what she should be doing a lot more with our prisons and would make them a lot more affordable to run. But that’s a different subject.

Once you murder someone, you can’t take that back. Your victim never recovers from that. And because of that why should the murder be able to live freely when their victim, or victims can never live at all? So one should feel sorry for anyone who decided to hook up with Charlie Manson. None of the Manson Family members were kidnapped and all voluntarily joined that group. And they were all eighteen, or older when they got involved and they all knew what they were doing when they committed those murders. And they’re all paying the price for it in prison and will continue to pay that price as long as they’re alive. Because their victims will never recover from their murders.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Clinton Library 42: President Bill Clinton's Press Conference-March, 1994

Source: Clinton Library- President William J. Clinton-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

As unpopular as the first two years of the Bill Clinton Administration were and how unpopular that Democratic Congress was, it was a very productive Congress and two years for President Clinton. And he actually managed unlike President Obama, to get support from Congressional Republicans on some of his initiatives. Like with two 1993 trade deals, NAFTA and GAT, Family and Medical Leave, the 1994 Crime Bill and few other things.

What cost President Clinton Congress in 1994, was not Congressional gridlock, or even his unpopularity. But really two bills that the President got out of Congress and one bill that President Clinton failed to get out of Congress. That Congressional Republicans in both the House and Senate were able to go to town with. The 1993 Deficit Reduction Act, that not a single Republican in Congress in either chamber voted for. That had a tax hike on the wealthy. The 1993 Crime Bill, that had a gun control provision. A background check before people could buy guns. And of course President Clinton’s failed attempt at comprehensive health care reform.

Whitewater, was a distraction for President Clinton and his administration, but as we know now and as President Clinton told the press over and over more than twenty years ago now, there was nothing there. As far as evidence of criminal behavior from either Bill, or Hillary Clinton. And the whole Whitewater investigation was an example of the problems with the so-called independent counsel law. Because the Whitewater investment happened in the late 1970s and early 1980s. More than ten years before Bill Clinton became President of the United States. If the Independent Counsel, was only allowed to investigate Federal officials and what might have gone on while they were employed by the Federal Government, a lot of the Bill Clinton Federal investigations never happen.

What you see here with the questioning in this press conference, is a press that seems to only be interested in supposed scandal and not what is actually going on in the country and what President Clinton and his administration is working on. Like as it relates to the crime bill, health care reform, relations with Congress with both parties, what is going on in foreign policy, like with North Korea, Somalia, the Middle East, China, North Korea, Russia, etc. This press conference looks like CNN of today, where they are overly scandal hungry. And where they’re looking for the next so-called OMG, or awesome story. That will drive ratings and they can spend all of their coverage on.
Clinton Library: President Clinton's News Conference- 1994



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

C-SPAN: President John F. Kennedy's American University Peace Speech

Source: C-SPAN- President John F. Kennedy-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I believe the whole point of President Kennedy’s speech here is that as different as the American and Russian form of government’s and system’s during the Cold War were, that the American and Russian people actually have a lot more in common that a lot of people tend to think. That we all live on the same planet, breathe the same air, cherish our children’s future and so-forth. That as bad as the Russian communist system was, there were plenty of things to actually like about the Russian people and Russian society. The only thing a superpower war would’ve brought America and Russia, is mutual destruction.

I think what President Kennedy was calling for was to find ways where America could work with Russia on their common interests and actually learn from each other. That both countries were going to do their things so to speak and promote their interests and system’s, but trying to destroy each other was simply not an option. Because both countries would end up destroyed essentially even if one of them were to come out looking a little better. As long as the Cold War was, the United States and Soviet Union, never went to battle with each other physically. Because they were both smart and sane enough to know the consequences of such a war.

I believe had President Kennedy lived and finished out his presidency, he probably gets reelected in 1964 against Senator Barry Goldwater. And this peace through strength strategy that I believe he was laying out here would have gone into effect. That America, would have continued to be as physically and economically as strong as possible, but not to physically destroy the Soviet Union. But to show them that they can’t destroy us and that are economic and political system’s are so much stronger than their’s and that it would be in their best interest to work with us. Simply because they would never even be strong enough economically to even compete with us with their Marxist system.
C-SPAN: President John F. Kennedy's Peace Speech



Saturday, August 22, 2015

CBS News: 60 Minutes: Lesley Stahl Interviews Jimmy Carter: The White House Diary

Lesley Stahl
CBS News: 60 Minutes: Lesley Stahl Interviews Jimmy Carter: The White House Diary

I mentioned this last week, but President Jimmy Carter was not a failed president and I laid out why I believe that. And of course we have the benefit of history now. And the economy was in bad shape when he left and the Soviet Union seemed to be stronger, even though again from the benefit of history their economy was failing with all of their bread lines, unemployment, poverty, shortages, that took them at least twenty years to over. So of course the Soviet Union wasn’t stronger when President Carter left office. Their military was just doing more because they thought America was weak.

There a couple of reasons why Jimmy Carter wasn’t a great president. One of them his fault and the other partly his fault. His relationship with the two Democratic Congress’s that he had, especially with Senator Ted Kennedy, but Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil and Senate Leader Robert Byrd and many other examples. President Carter, actually had a better relationship with Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker, the ranking Republican in Congress during the Carter years, than he probably had with any Democratic leader in Congress. Including Southern Democrats who he probably had things in common with.

The other issue being all the problems that he had to deal with as president. Not his fault for the most part that they happened. Especially with the economy, but where he comes up short from my perspective at least was his failure to deal with them and gain traction and success in those areas. President Obama, inherited a worst economy than either President Carter, or President Reagan and yet the economy started moving again fairly quickly under his administration. And started creating jobs early in his second year.

I think what you see in the Carter White House diary, is what Americans back then and today really like and respect about the man. That Jimmy Carter, is a person and individual before he’s a politician.
He’s the politician that Americans say they want. Above board, free-thinker, free speaker, above politics, not all the time, but a lot of the time, does and says what he believes and then deals with the consequences. Including about how he feels with people he has to work with. As you see in his White House diary. The problem with Americans though and perhaps where Carter’s personality hurt him, is that is just what Americans say they want. They actually prefer bullshit artists who tell them what they want to hear, generally.


Friday, August 21, 2015

James Miller Center: President Jimmy Carter- University of Notre Dame 1977 Commencement: The Human Rights Foreign Policy

Liberal Democrat-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

This speech by President Carter in 1977 was not only huge, but I think the best speech he's ever given. And perhaps the best speech that any president has ever given when it comes to human rights and freedom. Making human rights an official part of American foreign policy and that the goal of the Carter Administration would be to promote human rights around the world. And that foreign aid would be one of those tools to do that. Which means to me at least that he wanted a foreign policy that would stop backing and subsidizing unilateralist authoritarian dictators.

This is really important, because the Soviet Union was making a big play to promote communism and their brand of authoritarianism around the world. They wanted to do that in Ethiopia, which already had an authoritarian government and they invaded Afghanistan that had a moderate monarchy. And while Russia is promoting their idea of authoritarianism around the world, here you have the leader of the free world, the leader of the most powerful and important liberal democracy in the world in Jimmy Carter, coming back and saying that human rights is what we should be talking about and what the world needs.

I would've liked to of seen more of this in his President Carter's foreign policy and make foreign aid a tool in promoting human rights, freedom and economic development in developing countries. And saying that the United States is no longer going to subsidize dictators and other authoritarians. And say if you want our assistance that assistance is going towards the benefit of your country. You're not going have a Marxist economy and you're free up your own people to be able to take control of their own lives. And no longer arrest people and hold them without trial. Or arrest people simply for speaking out against the government.

That foreign aid, has to be used for things like infrastructure, health care, education, economic development, foreign trade. And not be used simply to keep an authoritarian regime that doesn't know how to manage a command and control Marxist economy in power. Because America wouldn't like the regime that replaced the current regime that is in power. And where President Carter comes up short here, even though he had a lot of foreign policy accomplishments as I laid out last week, is that he kept in place the United States policy of subsidizing so-called moderate dictators in order to keep worst regimes from coming to power. Like with the Shah of Iran, which came back to bite him and America, well in the ass to be direct about it in 1979.

President George W. Bush's administration, made democracy the goal in their second term for the developing world and countries that live under dictatorships. I'm a Democrat and obviously I believe in democracy, but democracy by itself shouldn't be the end goal. Authoritarians, come to power through democracy all the time. The Nazis in Germany in the 1930s, the best example of this. What should be the goal here is human rights and freedom for countries that don't have those things. And where America can help here is by promoting freedom and human rights. You don't do that by invading and occupying countries simply because you don't like the current government. But you can do that through foreign aid and trade. And saying we'll help you if that help benefits the people and doesn't just keep the current regime in power.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

USA Today: Your Say: Legal Prostitution Poses Problems: Legalized Prostitution is Better Than The Alternative

Sex Shop
USA Today: Your Say: Legal Prostitution Poses Problems: Legalized Prostitution is Better Than The Alternative

I look at prostitution the same way that I look at gambling, homosexuality, marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and perhaps a few other things that come with real risks. These are not activities and things that I would personally get involved in, because they are not for me and the risks outweigh the rewards in my case. I look at these things as far as how they would affect me and society as a whole. Murder, rape, robbery and go down the line as far as activities I wouldn’t be personally involved in as far as the contributing party. Those things should be illegal, because you’re talking about crimes with real victims involved. The first group of activities whatever you think of them don’t have victims in them.

The reason why we have a prison population and criminal justice system that looks like something from the Eastern third world, is because we lock up so many people for non-violent victimless crimes. As well as sending people to prison when the offender and society would be better off if that person did their time in county jail, a halfway house, rehab, supervisory probation, or a combination of all of those things. Sure, their real victims in the prostitution business itself and no one is denying that. Prostitutes, who aren’t healthy and spread disease to their customers who didn’t know the condition of the prostitute. And of course trafficking and abusive pimps. But their victims in all sorts of business’s legal and otherwise.

The debate is not whether prostitution is dangerous, or not and does it come with risks. The debate is what to do about it especially since we now have and overcrowded criminal justice system with a huge national debate and a budget deficit that looks like it can never be balanced anytime soon especially with the current makeup in Congress and current President. Prostitution, should be looked at the same way as the War on Drugs. Legalizing and regulating marijuana and treating the addicts who are addicted to the hard narcotics. Legalize and regulate prostitution.

Force people who work in the business to be licensed and registered. Same thing with the customers and make sure everyone is healthy and gets medically checked and have to pass those medical tests in order to continue to work, or be a customer in the business. As well as show people in the business that they don’t have to do this and empower them to work in other professions. As well as encourage people to not become customers in the business. And make sure that customers and employees are paying taxes for what they’re making and consuming.

The criminal justice system should be for criminals. People who intentionally hurt innocent people and hurt people in general and make their living by victimizing other people. Not people who are simply selling themselves to make a living. Where there’s a contract involved and that people get what they paid for and where everyone knows what’s coming going in. Prostitution, is not a good business and perhaps not a business that anyone should be involved in. Unless they’re uneducated and really only have their bodies that they can use to make a living. But that is different from locking people up simply for consensual sex, because there’s money involved.


Monday, August 17, 2015

President Jimmy Carter: One Ounce: Proposing Marijuana Decriminalization in 1977

Liberal Democrat
President Jimmy Carter: One Ounce: Proposing Marijuana Decriminalization in 1977

President Jimmy Carter in 1977, proposing what even now some Conservative Republicans, like Senator Rand Paul and a few others in Congress support today. Which is decriminalizing marijuana at the Federal level and allowing for states to make the decision of whether to decriminalize marijuana, or not. And if they decide to do that, their residents wouldn't have to worry about the Feds arresting them for marijuana possession, or usage. Remember, this is back in 1977. You didn't even have a majority of Progressive, or Liberal Democrats who thought this was a good idea.

President Carter, gets labeled as a centrist Democrat who was almost a President without a party and base. When the fact is he has a quality back then and today that a lot of so-called Liberals say they have to today. Which is foresight and the ability to see things happening in  the future and take steps now to prepare for what was going to happen in the future. I think he and his administration even when they entered office in 1977 could already see the harm from the so-called War on Drugs. And the fact that so many African-Americans were being locked up for just possessing small amounts of illegal narcotics.

The Nixon Administration, officially declares War on Drugs in 1971. By the early and middle 1980s the Reagan Administration escalates this so-called war and beefs up law enforcement against. By the way, an administration that was supposed to be against big government and yet all they did as increase the size of the Federal Government. The George H.W. Bush Administration, increases law enforcement to fight the War on Drugs and the Clinton Administration does the same thing in the 1990s. And you see why we have so many people in prison in America.

What if we went down the road that President Carter proposed in 1977 that the Obama Administration got the country back on when they came into office in 2009. And say the Feds won't interfere with states that decided to either decriminalize, or legalize and regulate marijuana including medical marijuana. And instead used those law enforcement resources against violent criminals and other real criminals. People who make a living profiting from their victims and who hurt people intentionally. Maybe today we have half the prison population that we have today. At least when it comes to non-violent offenders.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

NFL: Remembering Hall of Famer Frank Gifford: A Giant Living Legend

Source: NFL- A Giant Legend-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Frank Gifford, was truly one of a kind. I don’t believe we’ve had another Hall Fame football player and Hall of Fame sportscaster in one person. Frank Gifford, was the voice of Monday Night Football. Howard Cosell, was the comedian of that show, but Frank made that show with deep knowledge of the game. As a Hall of Fame player for the New York Giants, his intelligence and his great voice. He was both an announcer and an analyst and did both jobs at the same time. His main role was as the announcer, but the way he would call what he was seeing was from an analyst’s perspective. Because he knew exactly what he was seeing and why he was seeing it.

Growing up as a kid, I couldn’t wait for ABC’s Monday Night Football. Still the best football show on TV, at least prime time show. I couldn’t wait to hear Frank do the intro for that show. Because he brought such passion, intelligence and humor to that show and brought the audience into the show as if you were going to a football party at someone’s house. With the host welcoming you in as you were at home. That’s what it was like listening to Frank call games. It was like as if you were there with him. The only NFL announcer I would take over Frank Gifford would be Pat Summerall and maybe be Al Michaels. But Frank is in the same class as both of those men.

As far Frank Gifford the NFL player, when you talk about hybrid players today, guys who could play running back, or wide receiver and are so good at both you have to use them at both positions, Frank Gifford was the first great hybrid NFL player on offense. He would’ve been a great running back, or receiver. Because he had great hands, quickness, footwork and size. He could’ve played quarterback as well. Very similar to a Paul Hournung with the Green Bay Packers. Frank, was the leader of those great Giants teams of the 1950s that went to five straight NFL Championship’s. But he was also the leader of ABC’s Monday Night Football the best prime time NFL show of all-time.
NFL: Remembering Hall of Famer Frank Gifford



Thursday, August 13, 2015

The National Journal: Opinion- Peter Beinart- The Cost of Disowning Jimmy Carter

39th President of The United States-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Jimmy Carter, is one of those president’s who looks a lot better 30 years later than he did, really at anytime he was in office. By late 1977, President Carter’s approval rating was dropping he never gained any of the political momentum that he had when he entered office in January, 1977 with a Democratic Congress. That had a 2/3 majority in the House and a 3-5 majority in the Senate. Where Democrats and Republicans were becoming the Democrats and Republicans that they are today ideologically.

President Carter, had the economic crisis, or economic malaise and the Great Deflation on his plate. Which was at its strongest point by 1978 and the economy goes back into recession in 1979. High inflation, high interest rates, high cost of energy, energy shortages, the rise of Japan economically, all of these things led to a very weak American economy. With so many Americans simply struggling just to pay their bills. All of these things that the Carter Administration inherited, not created, but serious problems that they didn’t seem prepared for and have any answers for.

And then you go to foreign affairs, where America was still prompting up the Shah of Iran and seemed to not have any idea how unpopular he was at home and that the young people there especially wanted the Shah to fall. And be replaced by a different regime. I’m not sure its clear yet if they wanted the Shah to be replaced by an authoritarian Islamic theocratic dictatorship. But hated what they had in their leadership and President Carter and his team telling people in public how great a leader the Shah was with again not knowing how unpopular he was at home just made things even worst for everybody. So that is sort of the negative aspects of the Carter presidency.

The positive side and really the brilliance of Jimmy Carter and where he really is the Richard Nixon of the Democratic Party as far as pure intelligence and knowledge and the ability to see things way out in the future as happening in the short-term that know one else could, has to do with where the country was going politically and where the Democratic Party was going. President Carter, knew the days of the New Deal and Great Society were over. Not the support of those programs, but that America wasn’t looking to pay more in taxes and take more money out of their wallets to pay for knew welfare programs. That they believed there was a limit to what government could do for them.

I believe that President Carter, started to move the Democratic Party back to the Center-Left. We go from the George McGovern and the New-Left running the Democratic Party in 1972, to a Center-Left New Democratic in Jimmy Carter in 1976. Someone who didn’t believe in an expansionist unlimited government that could do practically everything for people if they just give them their money, or have it taken away from them in higher taxes. Carter, believed that government needed to be more practical, live in a budget and watch what it spends. Use government more to empower people to take control over their own lives. Instead of using government to manage people’s lives for them. Jimmy Carter in 1976, paved the way for Bill Clinton in 1992. Similar to how Barry Goldwater in 1964, paved the way for Ronald Reagan in 1980.

When it comes to foreign affairs. Who was the U.S. President that made human rights and freedom part of his foreign policy? President Jimmy Carter and he did that as part of his 1977 Commencement Address at Notre Dame. One of the best foreign policy speeches and speeches about human rights that you’ll ever hear an American President give. Which will be up on this blog hopefully next week. Where he said that, “recent democratic development’s and movement’s in Greece and India would free up the United States from the inordinate fear of communism that one led America to ally itself with brutal dictators who agreed to help fight the communist menace. What was needed in the New World that America faced was a policy based on constant decency in its values and optimism.”

The so-called Eastern Bloc of Eastern European Communist States in Slavic countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia, that were considered Russian satellite states during the Cold War, fell in the 1980s and the former Eastern Germany was part of the Russian bloc as well. The movements that led to those authoritarian regimes falling in the 1980s and led to democratic government’s coming to power there, said that President Carter’s 1977 human rights speech was part of their inspiration. President Ronald Reagan, gets a lot of credit for those communist states falling and perhaps he deserves some. And a lot of those states fell under President George H.W. Bush. But the fact is those movement’s started under President Carter’s watch and his administration helped them. The famous military buildup of the 1980s that partly led to the end of the Cold War, started under President Gerry Ford and President Jimmy Carter.

Egypt, recognized the Jewish State of Israel during the Carter Administration. Still the only Arab state to do that and that wasn’t an accident either. And Egypt and Israel have been at peace ever since. It was President Carter that brought Egypt and Israel together to sign the 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel. Which meant that Egypt would recognize Israel as a Jewish State and that Israel would give back some of the land that it won during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. And what would become what is known as the Palestinian Authority today, which is essentially the State of Palestine was part of that agreement as well. Where Israel would pull out of the West Bank and Gaza in Palestine and be replaced by a democratic Palestinian government.

How about the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977, where America finally gave up the Panama Canal to the Republic of Panama. Ending some American colonization in Latin America. And allowing for Panama and the Panamanian people to take control of their own country and land. Neoconservatives, obviously hated this, but this has been one of the most successful treaties that America has ever signed. President Carter, recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1979. And the United States normalizes relations with the Communist Regime there, the largest country in the world in people. And they have remained one of our largest trading partners ever since. President Nixon, went to China in 1971 and got the ball rolling there. But President Carter and his administration got the ball in the end zone.

Energy policy, which has both to do with out economic policy and foreign policy. President Carter, knew that one of our foreign policy problems and economic problems had to do with the over reliance on Middle Eastern oil and foreign oil in general. A big reason why we were so close to the Shah of Iran and the Saudi Kingdom all of these years. Because we’ve needed their oil so much, even though they were both authoritarian states. President Carter, knew that we needed to get off of foreign oil and become energy independent. That we had all the resources to do that and that it was just a matter of developing them. He actually got an energy policy out of Congress in 1977 that started the development of alternative renewable energy sources in America. Solar and wind, are a couple of examples of that.

Not trying to make Jimmy Carter look like one of our top five greatest president’s, or even a great president. The reason why he lost reelection in 1980 had to do with his administration’s inability to deal with the economic and energy crisis of the late 1970s and political situation on the ground in Iran that led to the 1979 Islamic Revolution there and Iranian terrorists taking American hostages there in late 79. But to look at President Carter as a failure and as a weak President when he actually had a lot of great accomplishments during his term even just in four years, similar to President George H.W. Bush, is a big mistake.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Academy of Ideas: John Stuart Mill On Liberty

Social-Liberal
Academy of Ideas: John Stuart Mill On Liberty

When I think of liberty, I don’t think of the liberty to do whatever the hell I want without any consequences. I think of individual liberty, self-determination, free will, the ability for people to make their own decisions and make their own beds, just as long as they also sleep in them. That individual liberty is exactly that, for the individual. That the individual has liberty over their own lives, but not the liberty to manage someone else’s and certainly not to hurt innocent people with what they’re doing. Not talking about anarchy, but individual liberty, balanced by rule of law there to protect the innocent from predators and to handle the predators who hurt the innocent.

Individual liberty, again is exactly that. Not talking about economic freedom, or personal freedom, but individual freedom which covers both, plus political freedom. The ability to run for office and for voters to pick from a wide variety of candidates and to publicly weigh in on them. As well as to weigh in on government policy and potential future government policies. This blog covers freedom of choice a lot and has a whole section dealing with that. But that is exactly what freedom of choice is. The freedom for people to make their own choices in life, but then have to deal with the consequences of their decisions.

To me as a Liberal, a free society is an educated society. Without education, liberty doesn’t exist. So what you need for liberty to exist and be real is for the public to be educated. And once they’re educated they’ll have the tools and freedom to make the right decisions with their own lives. From where to work, where to live, what health insurance plan they should have, how to invest their money, whether, or not they should gamble or not, to smoke, or not to smoke and that includes marijuana, when it get married, or if to get married and who they should marry if anyone and even things like prostitution and pornography. Just as long as they know what they’re getting into before they make those decisions and the consequences that come with those decisions.

Now if you’re lets say a Religious, or Christian, or even a Conservative-Muslim in America and tend to look at politics from lets say a religious, or traditional perspective, the way I just described liberty probably sounds immoral and dangerous. That I want to destroy America and our traditional moral values and everything and perhaps even have anarchy. And if you’re part of the Paternalist-Left in America, people who I and others both Liberals and Libertarians call nanny statists, because you believe in the collective over the individual, you probably also see my politics as dangerous. Because I’m calling for free will and free choice and you don’t tend to trust the individual. And want a big government big enough to even protect people from themselves.

But that is not what I’m calling for all. Something that both Progressives and Religious-Conservatives have in common is the belief in education and that people should be educated and intelligent so they can live well and make good decisions. The only thing is that I take that a step forward and not just call for an educated society, because without an educated society you can’t have a free society. But then I also say that free individuals should have the education, power and liberty to use that power to make the best decisions for themselves. That you put out all the information there and let free people make their own decisions with that knowledge and hold them responsible for their own individual decisions. Individual freedom and responsibility.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Onion: Blog: Candidate Profile: Donald Trump

The Donald
The Onion: Blog: Candidate Profile: Donald Trump

I’ve actually sort of gone out of my way to not comment on Donald Trump for president for several reasons. One, just about everything I would’ve said about him most of it, actually all of it negative has already been said. Even by Fox News to the point that The Donald has added Megyn Kelly to his women’s enemy list. The fact that the Republican Party would have a joke like The Donald whose only able to run for president, because he’s a billionaire, just shows you how big of a joke the Republican Party is right now. I mean, their frontrunner’s last name is Bush. I’m sure Jeb is a good guy and all and probably would’ve been successful in life if his name was Kowalski and he grew up in Pittsburgh the son of a truck driver. But he’s the frontrunner, because he’s a Republican and his last name is Bush.

Don Trump, is not an idiot and he’s not crazy. A big asshole, no argument here. An egomaniac, I’m still looking for a bigger egomaniac. Actually I stopped looking when I first saw The Donald. He’s a guy who simply wants attention and for whatever he’s involved in to simply be about him. He’s a one man entertainment and comedy show who has no idea what he would do as president and has nothing to run on as far as what he’s in favor of and what he would do. I mean the guy is a Republican, who’s supposedly anti-immigration, even though he’s probably hired thousands of illegal immigrants. And those people not being from Ireland, or Britain, but Mexico and other Latin American countries.

How do you take someone like that seriously for president. He wants to be President of the United States and talks about our eighteen-trillion-dollar national debt and two of his companies have gone bankrupt. So ironically that sort of makes him an expert on our bankruptcy laws. What is The Donald’s message on fiscal policy? Don’t run the United States the way he ran his companies. Because it will fail and instead of filling for bankruptcy and being bailed out by taxpayers, we’ll try to get bailed out by China, or Saudi Arabia?

I did see the Republican debate on FNC on Thursday. And actually I think the FNC panel did a very good job questioning the candidates. I was expecting to see batting practice at a home run derby from the questioners. And see them loft up a lot of hanging curves and softballs at the candidates. For them to well hit out of the ballpark and look good. But as I was watching the debate I was sort of thinking to myself how would Saturday Night Live play this. And looking at The Donald, you don’t need to see SNL doing their version of this debate, because what they would’ve done is what we saw on Thursday.

The panel, asking The Donald very tough questions and trying to put him on the spot. With Trump coming back with some wisecrack to get the audience behind him. This is what running for President of the United States the most important job in the world to the The Donald. His own reality show and all about him and nothing else. With every network that covers politics picking up the series. The reason why The Donald is in first place in a single a baseball league as far as the quality of talent when you’re talking about the quality of candidates that they have, is because the state of the Republican Party right now. Not because of how great a presidential candidate that The Donald is, or his qualifications for being President of the United States.


Friday, August 7, 2015

VOA News: Video: Mil Arcega: US Economy Adds 215K Jobs in July

VOA News: Video: Mil Arcega: US Economy Adds 215K Jobs in July

The fact that the Federal Reserve is considering raising interest rates, tells me as a non-economist that the American economy is starting to do well. That people are going back to work, that their incomes are rising and spending money. The Fed, has kept interest rates at practically nothing since 2008 when the Great Recession started, because the economy for most of this period was pretty weak. 2010 and 2014 would be exceptions to this, but by in large economic growth has been fairly weak since the Great Recession even with job growth being steady and solid since 2010. Which tells me we can forget about another recession at least in the short-term.

Congress, has lately has started to become helpful with the economy. They passed another short-term extension to the highway program. The Senate, passed a a six-year highway bill last week that is fully paid for. The House, is going to take up that bill and hopefully pass their own bill when Congress comes back from recess in September. So we're starting to see some real healthy signs with the economy. That even though the economy actually shrunk in the first quarter this year, the economy by in large is ready to do well and hopefully take off again. And do well for the rest of 2015 and hopefully take off next year.

Kids going back to school in September so there will be a lot of back to school sells for the next couple of months. As well as this being August and Americans still vacationing. And then once we get through September and October we're into the holiday season. And then you may actually see the Fed raise interest rates. So I believe there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the American economy right now. And with a healthy economy would also mean the budget deficit will continue to fall and we'll see more investment in America as a result.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Life & Liberty Magazine: Opinion: Julie Borowski: Should Pro-Life People be Forced to Subsidize Planned Parenthood?

Wishful Thinking
Life & Liberty Magazine: Opinion: Julie Borowski: Should Pro-Life People be Forced to Subsidize Planned Parenthood?

With all due respect to Julie Borowski over at Life and Liberty Magazine who I personally don’t know and just saw her name for the first time a couple of days ago, she poses a silly question about Planned Parenthood. If her question about whether pro-life people should be forced to subsidize Planned Parenthood is serious, than so are questions like should anti-death penalty advocates be forced to pay for the death penalty of convicted murderers. Or should anarchists, be forced to pay for law enforcement. Should pacifists be forced to pay for the military. Should isolationists and people who are against foreign aid be forced to pay for foreign aid. And I could go indefinitely. But don’t worry, because in the interest of time I won’t.

When you live in a liberal democracy especially the size of the United States where we pick our leaders by majority vote in most cases and when each of us only have one vote, you’re not always going to get who you voted for. Because sometimes your candidates the people you voted for don’t win. Which means the opposition comes to power and if they have the power to do what they want, or win some political battles perhaps through compromise, they will get to set policy. And that even means establishing policy and laws that others disapprove of. Whether it is continue to fund law foreign enforcement, fund foreign aid, continue the death penalty with taxpayer funds, continue to finance corporate welfare with taxpayer funds and yes continue to fund Planned Parenthood. Which does perform abortions, but without taxpayer funds.

This question about whether the pro-life community should be forced to fund Planned Parenthood with their taxes, sort of reminds me of the question that Libertarians and Conservative Libertarians like to pose about the safety net, or the so-called social contract. And they say why should they be forced to pay for something that they didn’t personally sign and approve of when it was passed. Well, again a country is a community we all have to play by the rules that the leadership who are hired by the people put in place. And if we don’t like the rules that are put in place we can always vote out if we have a majority support the leaders who enforce the rules. But to try to put out this argument that you don’t like the rules so you’re not going to follow them, is quite frankly silly.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Keith Hughes: Video: Roe vs Wade Explained: US History Review

Keith Hughes: Video: Roe vs Wade Explained: US History Review

Roe V Wade, is one of the most important decisions ever decided in the United States when it comes to women’s health and individual liberty really for everyone in the country both female and male. Because it is about when can the state regardless of governmental level can come in and tell someone, “no. You can’t do that to yourself, or for yourself. Government knows best over the individual.”

Whether you’re pro-choice, or pro-life I believe people make that decision based on when they believe life starts. With Christians, especially fundamentalists Christians, life begins at conception. “Once a women is pregnant, she is now carrying life and because of that she’s carrying someone who should be protected as much as anyone who has been born.” According to Catholics and other Christians. If you’re pro-choice, again regardless of what your religious affiliation may be, or if you’re Atheist, or Agnostic, life begins for you when the fetus is already born. And once the fetus is born then its a baby that deserves the same human rights including the right to life as everyone else who has been born.

That is really what the abortion debate is about. When does life start and again depending on when you believe life starts will determine your position on abortion. Now for me as an Agnostic, I guess I have a little more freedom to make my own decision and take my own position here. Because I’m not constrained by religious affiliations and beliefs. Wasn’t raised in a Catholic, Protestant, or any other religious family. So for me it becomes and individual liberty and role of government issue. Not a religious issue and it comes down for me who gets to decide in this case. And whether government and others can, or not force people who don’t share their religious to live by them on one of the most important decisions that a women will ever make.

As a Liberal, I’m pro-choice on practically everything short of someone hurting another innocent person. And if you want to call abortion hurting an innocent person by murdering an innocent baby, I can’t stop, but I also don’t have to listen to you either. I’m 98-99% pro-choice on abortion. The 1-2% on this very key issues comes down to public financing of abortions which I’m against. I agree with Democratic Senator Chris Murphy on this issue for the most part. That government should be completely out of abortion. But then he says government, meaning taxpayers should pay for abortions and not just when the life, or health of the mother is involved. So he contradicts himself there and speaks out of two mouths, which is actually common in Congress. But I take Senator Murphy’s words on abortion literally as far as government shouldn’t be involved in abortion period. Short of making sure they are safe for women to have them. But they, meaning taxpayers don’t have to pay for them.

As a Liberal, pro-choice is exactly that. The right for the individual to decide for them self what is best for them when it comes to their own life. Doesn’t give them the right to make decisions for other people like intentionally to take their own life even not in self-defense. Or intentionally hurting another person. And abortion similar to a whole host of issues that also have something to do with privacy and personal freedom comes down to this question. Who gets to decide? The government, or the individual when it comes to a women’s productive rights including when she should give birth, or not. For me since life doesn’t begin at conception, but when the fetus actually becomes a baby and is born that is when their right to life begins. And when they get the same right to life as someone who is in their forties, or whatever their age may be. Government, except when it comes to making sure abortions as safe as possible, should be completely out it. Even funding abortions, except to save the life and health of the mother.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

CBS News: The Longines Chronoscope: U.S. Representative John F. Kennedy in 1952

Liberal Democrat-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

John F. Kennedy, at this point was Representative John F. Kennedy who was completing his third and last term in the House of Representatives. And was running for Senate against a moderate-conservative Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. Jack Kennedy, was only thirty-five at this point and would become one of the youngest people ever elected to the U.S. Senate at thirty-five. JFK, served a total of fourteen-years in Congress both in the House and Senate and yet he was forty-three when he left Congress for the presidency in 1961. He is someone who wanted to move up quickly in American politics and not stay in one office for very long.

The House, was too small of a platform especially if you’re last name is Kennedy. So it’s a little hard to believe that JFK would’ve been someone who would’ve spent 20-30 years in the House even if it meant being Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, or serving in the Democratic Leadership. I think JFK like his brother Ted, would’ve made a terrific U.S. Senator if he wanted it and served four, or five terms in the Senate after the House and completed his Congressional service and even public service in the Senate. And perhaps would’ve ended up chairing a couple of committees and maybe even becoming Democratic Leader in the Senate.

Jack Kennedy, didn’t have a very good record in the House. He was bored there and had a hard time dealing with being one of 435 Representatives there and a back bencher at that. And wasn’t a very serious Representative who missed a lot of floor votes and committee hearings and not known for passing any legislation. He wasn’t much better as a Senator at least in his first term. But he writes a book Profiles in Courage in 1956, he marries Jacqueline Kennedy and his name is always in the news and starts to draw a serious following in the Democratic Party and becomes serious as a U.S. Senator. Which is how his name starts to get floated around as a possible presidential candidate. Who almost becomes Adlai Stevenson’s vice presidential nominee in 1956. And after that he when he puts most of his focus into becoming President of the United States.