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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Woodrow Wilson Center: James Patterson- Freedom is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Woodrow Wilson Center: James Patterson- Freedom is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report

What I take from Freedom is Not Enough from the James Patterson book is that freedom is not free. Unless you have the skills to get yourself the job that earns you the income to live as a free person and be free from poverty and government dependence, then you’re not free. Sure! You have the right to vote, the right to assemble, speak, practice your faith, or not practice any faith, the right to self-defense and everything else in the Bill of Rights and privacy. But you don’t have economic freedom and the right to self-determination. Because your lifestyle and well-being is either partially, or completely dependent on what government will give you through public assistance.

Conservatives like to argue that what people in poverty need is freedom. That government should get-out-of-the-way and let the so-called free market take it’s course. But how is someone who didn’t even finish high school who has a couple of kids, maybe three kids and doesn’t have the education to get themselves a good job that brings her and generally we’re talking about mothers when it comes to single-parents, but not all cases. But how are single-parents under these circumstances suppose to live in freedom. They’re not going to be able to in many cases to be able to get a good job, because they’re under educated, to say the least. They obviously can’t afford to go to college on their own and they don’t even have a high school diploma. And even if they can go back to school, they need someone to watch their kids.

So for freedom to be real for anyone they have the skills that gains them their freedom. It starts with a good education that gives them the skills to get themselves a good job. Then they have to get a good job that they’re qualified for. Once they accomplish those things now they have the skills that they need to live in freedom. Before that they’re not free, but dependents on the state. Having to have public assistance and will probably need private charity as well in order to just barely get by. A roof over their head, the bare-minimum as far as food for themselves and their kids and everything else. Conservatives are right, freedom is not free. It’s something that you have to earn and then work to keep so you don’t end up on Unemployment Insurance or something.

So to move people from poverty into the middle class and better, they need the opportunity to do that for themselves. They need to be able to finish and further their education, child care for their kids if they have them, to go along with the current public assistance they’re receiving. And it shouldn’t be suggested that they improve their own lives, but instead required. Along with making sure their kids are going to and staying in school and learning. As well as getting their education so they don’t end up in the same economic status when they’re adults. Again freedom is not free, you have to earn it and government should require everyone on public assistance to work for their own freedom. And then give them the opportunities to do that. Otherwise people in poverty will never be free.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The New Republic: Opinion: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqif- America’s Most Electable Fictional Presidents

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The New Republic: Opinion: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqif- America’s Most Electable Fictional Presidents

Hey, what do you know. The New Republic with an article not only worth sharing, but commenting on and blogging about all in one. Maybe they’re partially only dead and when they’re finally sold and hopefully bought by people who know what they’re doing this time and who aren’t to the left of Bernie Sanders they may come back to life. And return as a great Center-Left liberal magazine that they use to be. And stop doing their impersonation of Salon. And leave socialism and political correctness for Socialists and political correctness warriors. Not people who call themselves Liberals.

I’m going to cover a few of the Hollywood president’s that I’m actually familiar with. I know, why not instead speak about Hollywood characters you know almost nothing about and pretend to be intelligent about them like every other asshole blogger out there who knows so much about nothing. I guess I just have this weakness called character and a conscience that prevents me from talking about people and things I’m simply not familiar with, because I lack interest in them. Anyone born before 1980 might think I’m talking about people from the 19th Century, or something. So you might want to leave this page and get back to your favorite reality TV programs. There’s the asshole in me.

This might sound corny, but I guess my favorite Hollywood president is Andrew Shepard. Who sounds like a Founding Father or something from New England, or some place. But even if Carl Reiner only spent all of two-minutes coming up with the name for Michael Douglas in The American President, this character is a great character. Douglas, plays a president with big progressive goals, but knows how to work with people even in his own party in order to move the ball forward and get a progressive accomplishment. Which is the definition of a pragmatic Progressive, something that I believe Franklin Roosevelt would be proud of. While at the same time he’s also a man and a widower and has needs and falls in love. And hopefully you’re familiar with the rest of the story.

Jack Evans from The Contender from 2000 played by Jeff Bridges. Someone whose determined to nominate and get confirmed a female Vice President after his first Vice President has the nerve to die before his term is up. There’s an unfortunate political correctness slant to this as well. That a President would go out-of-their-way to pick a women as his VP simply because there’s never been a female VP before. But the story is great and the Republican opposition especially in the House of Representatives wants to make Senator Lane Evans personal life especially her sexual history the focal point there. Instead whether she’s qualified for the actual job of both Vice President and President of the United States. Where they never question her credentials. And President Evans and Senator Hanson, never play ball with the House Republicans on her past and nomination.

I would be lax in my duty here if I didn’t mention a character who I spent too much of my life during their seven-year run watching, if I didn’t mention Jeb Bartlett. Who of course is played by the great Martin Sheen in The West Wing. I can’t think of a Hollywood character who was better suited for the job of President of the United States than Jeb Bartlett. Who always knew what was going on what needed to be done and what he needed to do to get it done. That he had his own politics and policies, but who never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. To use a cliché, but who had a Republican Congress his entire time as President. And had to deal with all sorts of horrible issues and a lot tough decisions that yielded him no political benefit. But made them, because they had to be made.

I think if you’re going to do a show or movie about an American president, you should be realistic. Either cover someone who has already had the job, but give your character a different name. But with the same character, personality, intelligence, demeanor, judgement and everything else. And cover similar stories that the real president dealt with. Or come up with your own president that perhaps represents America at its best, or worst and deal with stories that haven’t been dealt with, but are
realistic. I think the problem with a lot of Hollywood political movies especially about the President, is that they look like they come from Hollywood. And they look almost completely make-believe. Like Dave from 1993. The Hollywood president’s that I mentioned are realistic, because the characters are believable and so are the issues that they dealt with.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Reelz Channel: Steve Patterson- The Kennedys in Culture

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Reelz Channel: Steve Patterson- The Kennedys in Culture

The Kennedys, which I don’t believe was a great mini-series, but it was a very accurate series about The Kennedys. And showed Jack, Bobby and Jackie, for what they were. Not for how their followers want to view them as, but as they were. Jack Kennedy, as this very intelligent man, with a great sense of humor, whose Center-Left liberal politics which was probably ahead of its time back then, but I believe fits in perfectly where America is now. Who was a very hip and even cool man especially for his time, but still looks great today. But who at times had difficult even walking and physically was a very frail man with a serious back condition. Who was never made to be a husband and could never be happy with just one beautiful women.

They showed Bobby Kennedy as the tough bulldog who would have jumped out of an airplane without a parachute for his brother Jack. Who was a bit idealistic compared with Jack’s realism, but who also bring Jack back when he was lacking in confidence and not sure what the right course was to take. The Bay of Pigs fiasco is a perfect example of that where he encourages the President to admit he was wrong and to apologize for it. They showed Jackie as a beautiful adorable stylish women that she was, as if Cutie, I mean Katie Holmes is capable of playing anyone else. Who wanted Jack to be her full-time husband and hated his cheating. They showed Joe Sr. as the tough champion for his family who would do anything for his kids other than let them fail and succeed on their own.

At least one of these episodes is somewhat slow and almost wants at least me to turn the channel. Like the episode involving Rose and her mental retardation. Rose, was the Kennedy daughter who doesn’t have much if any impact on American culture, or politics at all. But that episode gives you an idea what Joe would do for any of his kids. But still, she’s not even a minor player compared with the rest of the Kennedy kids. The 1960 presidential election, the 1946 House election, the 1952 Senate election, the Bay of Pigs episode, the civil rights story, the days leading up to the assassination, President Kennedy’s womanizing, these are all the good stories. In a very good mini-series about the Kennedy Family.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

NBC News: NBC News-YouTube Democratic Debate- The Pragmatic Progressive Versus the Idealistic Socialist

Bernie,Marty, Hill-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: NBC News: NBC News-YouTube Democratic Debate- The Pragmatic Progressive Versus the Idealistic Socialist

If you’re familiar with what I wrote about Hillary versus Bernie on Friday, you should know where I’m coming from here. Hillary, wants to be the pragmatic Progressive in this race who knows how to get things done, because she’s already done them. The pragmatic Progressive is someone with progressive goals, but is willing to settle for less than the perfect if it means the compromise moves the ball forward on the issue and makes things better than they already are. That is basically her message so far and she wants Bernie Sanders to be seen as a Far-Left idealistic Socialist, who sees things as he wants them and whose not in touch with reality. And because he doesn’t see the world for how it is does not know what is possible and what can actually get done. That is Hillary’s message in this debate.

Watching the two-hour debate which I thought was very good and NBC News’s Lester Hold and Andrea Mitchell, other than the Bill Clinton’s and women’s issues, I believe did a very good job. After watching the debate I saw it as a draw with Hillary scoring big on gun control. With Bernie still being unable to answer why he believes voting for the Charleston loophole which you could make a case was a reason for the tragic shootings in Charleston last year. Not Bernie himself, but the loophole and he’s still unable to answer why voting for that loophole was a good idea. Bernie, came back on health care to a certain extent. But Hillary now being a very effective counter-puncher (similar to Muhammad Ali) hit him back with, ‘the Affordable Act, was the best that we can get right now. Lets not scrap it and try to start over especially when we might fail. Instead lets build on the ACA, like with a public option for Medicare and prescription drugs and make it better.’

Bernie, scored again on Wall Street and Wall Street reform. Mentioning that Hillary has received a lot of money from Wall Street. But again Hillary, is the only one up there with a plan to reform Wall Street that Progressive economist and columnist Paul Krugman, has endorsed. Professor Krugman, hardly a right-winger, (and the sun is hot and water is wet in the world of obvious) who has a lot of support with both Progressives and Democratic Socialists. And they get to foreign policy and national security, where I believe they all do well when it comes to civil liberties. At least in this debate, but of the three Democratic candidates, Senate Sanders comes out number three behind Secretary Clinton and Governor Martin O’Malley. And he’s been in Congress now for twenty-five years and unless he wins the presidency, will be a member of the next Congress as well. I mean calling the King of Jordan, whose a dictator, a hero, is hard to back up and explain to put it mildly. Putting Cuba in the same class a Iran, which is a state-sponsor of terrorism, is also hard to back up.

So on second reflection this was not a draw, but a clear victory for Hillary Clinton. Not a blowout, but maybe 10-14 points, (hey it’s NFL Playoff season) because again she knows where both the Democratic Party is and where general election voters are. And is putting herself in the position of a mainstream Progressive very similar to President Barack Obama. Who knows where the country is what she and the Democratic Party can do and get done. Who has both the Congressional and foreign policy background to be President of the United States, because she knows how the real world works in Washington. Going up against an idealistic Vermont Democratic Socialist who apparently believes the rest of the country is as Far-Left as he is. And believes the country as a whole wants what he wants and will pay the taxes for it. And I think she did an excellent job of framing the debate as a pragmatic Progressive who understands how government works. Going up against an idealistic Socialist, who sees things as he wants them and doesn’t know how to work in the real world.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Jonathan Turley: Hardball With Chris Matthews: Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Answer The Difference Between a Socialist and Progressive

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress: Jonathan Turley: Hardball With Chris Matthews: Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Answer The Difference Between a Socialist and Progressive

I’m going to answer Chris Matthews here on the difference between a Progressive, like lets say Hillary Clinton, even if she’s a moderate one. And a Democratic Socialist such as Bernie Sanders.

But before I do that I just want to layout why Hillary probably didn’t answer the question. Assuming she’s the Democratic nominee for president she doesn’t want to offend the Far-Left. She’s going to need them in the summer and fall and not working and voting, if they bother to vote at all for Jill Stein. Who would be the Socialist third-party candidate for president for the Green Party. So she doesn’t want to paint Bernie Sanders at least not too hard as some radical Socialist. Who doesn’t represent America and what we stand for. And instead save those charges for the Republicans. Which was probably a smart play on her part.

I’m not running for any office this year. So I have the freedom to answer this question without worrying about offending anyone. When I think of Progressives, I think of Theodore Roosevelt, his cousin Franklin, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and go up today to Senator Sherrod Brown. People who don’t want a government big enough to take care of everyone, but want a government with the resources to see that everyone can succeed in America. And have the freedom to do that. People who believe in public infrastructure, public education, job training for low-skilled workers and the under-skilled unemployed. A safety net for people who truly need it. And there other things as it relates to civil rights, national security and foreign policy. But these are good examples.

Democratic Socialists, don’t trust the private sector and private enterprise. See capitalism as a crony way to make a lot of money from investments. Only support private enterprise to the point that they understand economics enough to know that you need a vibrant private sector in order to have a strong growing developed economy with a thriving middle class. So you’re not a Marxist state where there’s no such thing as property rights. With the state in control of everything. But with the central government responsible in seeing that everyone gets the basic services that they need to live well. Education, health care, health insurance, childcare, pension and other examples.

Progressives, believe in federalism, checks and balances, put real limits on what the Federal Government should be doing in the economy. Believe in a regulatory state, but not an unlimited one. The Socialist, their ideology is all about not just the state, but the national state. No such thing as taxes being too high with all the services that people get in return. According to the Democratic Socialist. Believe in more of a unitarian government where most of the government power is with the national government. Socialists believe that wealth and being rich are bad things. Because it makes you unequal from people who aren’t wealthy.

There are actual differences between a Progressive, again in the New Deal or Great Society sense. And a Democratic Socialist who didn’t emerge strongly in the Democratic Party until really when Senator George McGovern became a national player in the party in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But Progressives have been around in the Democratic Party at least since Woodrow Wilson if not farther. And they’ve never believed that the American form of government is flawed. And that we need to move a Scandinavian social democratic government where a lot more power is centralized with the central government.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Marmar: Cliff Michel Moore Interviewing Ginger Rogers in 1968

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Marmar: Cliff Michel Moore Interviewing Ginger Rogers in 1968

I've always thought at least since I started becoming pretty familiar with her career, that Ginger Rogers is one of the cutest and funniest actress's and perhaps women of all-time. She was so quick-witted and always had perfect comedic timing whether she was off script, like in this interview, or on script. And even when she was on script she was very adept at adding her own humor to lines and scenes. If you ever see the movie Monkey Business from Howard Hawkes where she plays Cary Grant's wife in that movie, they were an incredible comedy team in that movie. And I believe a lot of that had to do with them always being on the same page when it came to the wisecracks and physical comedy. She was the cutest women in that movie that had Marilyn Monroe in it.

I love women who can make me go, 'aw! You're so cute!' But who can also make me laugh and she was very adept at both. She was an actress who was a hell of a dancer, who could sing, but also give a great comedic performance all in the same role. Had Marilyn Monroe lived a natural life in years, maybe we're talking about her the same way we're talking about Ginger today. Someone who could sing, dance, act, make you laugh, looked great and everything else. That was Ginger Rogers, but she did it for a whole career. She was always as cute as baby physically, but always had the intelligence and maturity of a great women. Someone who didn't need money to be happy, but made a lot of it anyway, because she so good at what she did. And is one of the best entertainers we've ever produced.

Monday, January 11, 2016

BookTV: Lesley Stahl Interviewing Gil Troy- The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: BookTV: Lesley Stahl Interviewing Gil Troy- The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s

I guess I generally agree with Gil Troy about Bill Clinton, but perhaps I would put it differently. I don't see Bill Clinton as either a Centrist, or a Conservative, or a Center-Right Republican. Someone who would be mainstream on the Right, but certainly not Far-Right. Like Ronald Reagan, to use as an example, or Senator John McCain today. Clinton, was and still is a Liberal, but he's a true Liberal. Not part of the New-Left that is part of the Baby Boom Generation. But someone who wanted to use government to empower people in need to be able to get themselves up. But also have government do the basics that we need it to do. National defense, foreign affairs, infrastructure investment, law enforcement, promoting American trade. All while being fiscally responsible and operating under a budget and protecting Americans personal freedom and civil liberties.

Pre-Bill Clinton, Liberals were seen as soft and socialistic in nature. That had a new tax, or tax increase as well as new big government program to take care of everyone's problems for them. While believing government shouldn't do the basics and its first responsibility was to protect the country from predators. Protect the nation from terrorists and invaders, but also from hard-core criminals that needed to be in prison. Liberals were seen as people who put the rights of criminals over their victims, who had an excuse from every criminal for why they shouldn't do hard-time in prison. That American defense policy was the problem and not something we should do. That poor people shouldn't have to finish their education and work, because government should just take care of them.

I believe that then Governor Bill Clinton, ran for president in 1991-92 to not only save the Democratic Party and win back the White House, but to save American liberalism and Democratic liberalism, from the New-Left and even the Far-Left in the Democratic Party. That were more social democratic, if not socialistic in nature. That didn't believe in national defense and law enforcement, that there was no such thing as government being too big and taxes being too high. Because the people would just get that money back in government services anyway. Bill Clinton, wanted to not just bring liberalism back in the mainstream where it should always be. Not not some dovish big government philosophy, but wanted liberalism and Liberal Democrats to be seen that way as well.

It's not called the Reagan Revolution for nothing. Pre-Ronald Reagan, America was still in the Progressive Era of the New Deal and Great Society, but Americans were starting to get tired of paying for all of those taxes to fund all of those government programs. Especially if they were out-of-work, or not working enough and seeing their incomes go down and their taxes go up. Which is the 1970s from an economic standpoint. Ron Reagan, capitalized on that and brought a new Center-Right alternative to New Deal progressivism. What Clinton wanted to do, was to do what Reagan did against progressivism with his conservative philosophy of personal responsibility and freedom. But respond to the Reagan Revolution from the Center-Left. With a limited government philosophy that was about having government do the basics well. While at the same time helping people in need help themselves so they wouldn't have to stay on Welfare indefinitely.

Bill Clinton, is not an FDR Progressive and sure as hell not a George McGovern Democratic Socialist. But a Jack Kennedy New Democrat Liberal, who believed that government could be a positive force in people's lives. But to help them help themselves as they're helping them survive in the short-term. But that government shouldn't replace individual freedom and responsibility and that government again had to do the basics well. Defend the country, fund infrastructure, arrest, prosecute, and lockup criminals and do these things in a fiscally responsible way that promotes economic and job growth. If you look at Governor Mike Dukakis and his failed presidential bid of 1988, ideology Dukakis and Clinton, are very similar ideologically. But Clinton didn't run away from his liberalism, but instead sold it on what is truly is and not how it was stereotyped. Which is why he was politically successful.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Vicki Dahl: The Marilyn Monroe Story- A Life of Love, Glamour and Darkness Autobiography

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Vicki Dahl: The Marilyn Monroe Story- A Life of Love, Glamour and Darkness Autobiography

Had Marilyn Monroe been mentally as strong as she was physically, or even mentally half as strong as she was physically, she’s probably still alive today. Unless some jealous disturbed women murdered her, because she could no longer handle how much better looking Marilyn was over her. If Marilyn was strong mentally, to go with her appearance and body, we might be talking about the goddess of all-time. I would still be leaning towards Sophia Loren and perhaps a few other women. Imagine had Marilyn’s brain matched her face. Imagine if mentally she wasn’t as adorable and immature as she was physically. That she didn’t look at life from the standpoint of a 16-year-old girl, but instead as an early middle-age 36-year-old women. Which is how old she was when she died.

Forget about the great legs, the butt, the body that was perfectly designed and perhaps purposely designed for the skinny jeans in boots look today. The long strong legs and round butt, that of course she had. She was a hell of an actress, as well as a great comedian and when she was happy she was about as funny as anyone in Hollywood and probably could have written her own humorous scripts for TV and the movies in her forties had she just lived in a natural life in years. She was an excellent singer, she had great moves, she could act very well and probably ends up winning awards as an actress and not just as a comedic actress. But these were her talents and you don’t last in Hollywood simply on talent. You have to work and hold it together personally as well.

Unfortunately Marilyn Monroe fits the old cliché, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, like a glove. As perfect as she was on the outside, she was at times at least just as weak on the inside. With the personality and maturity level of a teenage girl and even the voice of one. She’s a women who never grew up mentally and could never see how great a talent that she was and how great of a future that she had only she was just reached and out grabbed it. Laid off the booze and pills, showed up for work on time and do the work and produce the great films and performances that she was more than capable of doing time after time being rewarded handsomely for her great performances. This is the Marilyn that we would have seen had she just had been mentally strong enough for it.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Crash Course: Craig Benzine- The Bicameral Congress: Crash Course Government and Politics

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Crash Course: Craig Benzine- The Bicameral Congress: Crash Course Government and Politics

The main reason why we have a bicameral Congress made up of a House of Representatives and a Senate, is because our Founding Fathers (The Founding Liberals) came from an authoritarian unitarian dictatorial country. That was run by a monarchy and had an official state religion. The United Kingdom of course and the Founding Fathers wanted to create a free society that had a limited responsible government. Where a lot of power wasn’t rested with one part of government, or in one office. But spread out and accountable to the people. For Congress to pass any laws, they have to do it together. The House and Senate, have to come together and work out the final bill that both chambers pass and get the President to sign what they agreed on.

As surprising and disappointing to today’s so-called Progressives as this may be, we don’t have a unicameral Congress and a Senate, that makes up our federal legislature. We don’t have a Congress and a Senate and every time I hear someone say that we do and say the Congress and Senate, or our Congress members and Senators, or even Congress people and Senators, I think to myself no wonder the world sees Americans as stupid. Because you have all of these people who not only don’t understand their own history, but don’t get their own form of government. And perhaps only have high school diplomas, because their schools were tired of seeing them and trying to teach them. The Senate, is a big part of Congress and the bigger part as far as power. And the power that an individual Senator has over a Representative.

We have 535 Members of Congress. 435 Representatives in the House and a 100 Senators in the Senate. Representatives, represent sections and generally gerrymandered House districts that are part of states. But Senators have to represent the entire state and are accountable to the entire state. Which is one example of why they’re more powerful than individual Representatives, because again their accountable to more people and have to speak to more people. Even if politically and ideologically they agree with what their party colleagues in the House want to do on a bill and even if they were once a Representative themselves, they might not be able to politically go along with what their party is doing in the House. Because it could hurt them politically at home voting for something that is so ideological and partisan. Which means they have to compromise.

The House of Representatives, or HR, is accountable to the popular will of the people. The people they represent and when something becomes very popular with the majority party in the House, they tend to act quickly and pass their own bill. With very little if any input from the minority party, even the minority leadership. The House is known for show votes, because that is what they do a lot of. They pass bills that either clearly don’t have sixty-votes in the Senate, or the other party controls the Senate and that bill won’t come up anyway, because the Senate Leader will kill the bill by himself. The Senate, usually is where the action is as far as bills that are passed that get signed into law by the President. The House passes a partisan bill. It dies or is blocked in the Senate and the Senate passes a compromise worked out by the majority and minority leadership’s.

Again, Senators have to represent an entire state and unless they come from a state where one party and one political philosophy is clearly in control, like South Carolina, or Massachusetts, there’s a limit to how partisan they can be and still be able to pass bills and even get reelected. Senators who are there to legislate, (Senators other than Ted Cruz) have to be able to work with their more moderate members in their caucus, their own leadership and even practical Senators from the other party. If they want top committee assignments, elected to leadership, build up a solid Senate record in Congress and even get consistently reelected. Because their own party in their state might not be that radical and part of the Center-Left, or Center-Right, depending on which party they come from. And because of this bicameral Congress it makes it difficult to pass bad partisan legislation in Congress. because you have a partisan House, but a Senate that has to work together to get anything done.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

NBC: Lenny Bruce on The Steve Allen Show in 1959

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: NBC: Lenny Bruce on The Steve Allen Show in 1959

Steve Allen, right before he brought on Lenny Bruce, made a great comment and I realize he was being humorous, but he was damn right on it. He said and I'm paraphrasing, 'we should just offend everybody so we don't have worry about offending anyone. And Lenny Bruce is the comedian to do that.' Because that is exactly what they meaning Steve Allen and Lenny Bruce, were talking about back then. Which was censorship and political correctness, but not from the Left, (the Far-Left really) but the Right. Lenny Bruce, had a message and his own act and issues he wanted to talk about. And he also believed in free speech, which all comedians really should. And he couldn't give a damn if his act offended people, especially when it was just entertainment anyway.

Comedy, is not for oversensitive tight asses, who think fat jokes are anti-obesity. Or gay jokes are automatically homophobic, or religious jokes Christian, Muslim, whoever else, that person is some bigot towards that religious group. Comedy, is exactly that, a way to critique life and people in life. Including groups and even talk people and groups and their shortcomings. Not to say that every member of whatever group, has some clear flaw, but to point out humorous flaws about members of certain groups and even flaws that some groups carry as a group. The political correctness movement of the 1950s, didn't want to hear jokes about sex, religion and sure as hell didn't want to hear adult language. Especially since they still saw adults as kids for the most part who needed to be babysat.

The political correctness warriors of the 1950s, didn't want to hear jokes about sex, because they believe sex didn't exist or something. They didn't want to hear jokes about narcotics, because they were on alcohol or marijuana highs and believed narcotics simply didn't exist. Lenny Bruce, challenged the political correctness establishment in America and paid a hell of a price for it. All he was about was free speech and talking about issues and using adult language even that most Americans, at least outside of the Bible Belt used anyway, but did it in public. Did it in a way that simply wasn't done back then for the most part and didn't become mainstream at all, at least until the late 1960s. He was a true American, because he was an individual who felt the freedom to be himself. And express how he felt about issues even in public.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Constitution Daily: Staff- As Expected, Affirmative Action Arguments Featured Anthony Kennedy & Antonin Scalia: The End of Affirmative Action?

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Constitution Daily: Staff- As Expected, Affirmative Action Arguments Featured Anthony Kennedy & Antonin Scalia: The End of Affirmative Action?

The end of quota set-aside racially and ethnically based affirmative action, is finally coming to an end in America. And may be headed out the door this year with the Texas case at the U.S. Supreme Court. The type of affirmative action that I just described, is not popular in America and that is because of the two young adult populations. The Gen-Xers and the Millennial’s, who simply don’t judge people by race and ethnicity, by in large with exceptions with the Far-Left in these generations. And we have a Supreme Court that at least has a majority that doesn’t want racial and ethnic set-asides and a Congress that can’t and won’t do anything to overrule the Supreme Court, assuming this affirmative action gets thrown out. Which means what comes after racial and ethnic set-asides and quotas once they’re thrown out.

As a Liberal myself I see this as a great opportunity, because once racial and ethnic set-asides are thrown out, we can get back to the heart of problem for why racial and ethnic majorities and really why African and Latin-Americans, are behind economically compared with Caucasian and Asian-Americans. Which has to do with things like education, economic development, infrastructure and civil rights enforcement. African and Latin-Americans, are behind Caucasian and Asians economically, not because of their race or their ethnicity. But because they tend to come from communities where education and economic opportunity, simply don’t exist. At least not to the point where these communities can be successful.

Before doctors can prescribe prescriptions to medical conditions, they first have to know what the problem, or problems that their patients are facing. And find a prescription to those problems. If you have communities that are dealing with high rates of poverty and they lack infrastructure, education and economic development, it seems to me at least that is where you go to fix that economic condition. Not give set-asides to people who don’t have the education and skills to take advantage of what you’re trying to reward them with. Especially when those set-asides come at the expense of people whether they’re Caucasian, Asian, or whoever, who are qualified to take advantage of those economic and educational opportunities.

A real affirmative action program in America, would look something like a Marshall Plan, but do it in America. Where we’re pouring in aide and resources, into underserved communities in America, urban, rural and even suburban, regardless of race. Empowering non-profits, building underserved communities, encouraging economic development in those communities, building schools, making higher education universally affordable, empowering people in those communities to become small business owners, toughen civil rights enforcement, so it’s not in the financial interest of organizations, to deny access to people simply because of their race, ethnicity, or gender. And then you would see real racial and ethnic equality in America when it comes to economics.

A real affirmative action plan would be a plan that would empower underserved and economically depressed Americans to be able to stand up on their own feet and acquire real economic freedom and live their own American dream. Simply because they were given an opportunity not because of their race or ethnicity, but because they are an American who simply needs an opportunity to get on their own two feet. Not giving people opportunity who are not ready for it, simply because of their race or ethnicity, especially at the expense of people who are qualified to have that access. Economic empowerment should be about empowering people in need. Again regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. Not about giving access to people simply because they’re a member of a traditionally underserved group in America.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New America Foundation: Double Take- Speaking on Freedom of Speech

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: New America Foundation: Double Take- Speaking on Freedom of Speech

At risk of sounding like a nationalist, but people right and left have debated whether America is exceptional or not the last ten years or so and debating what is called American Exceptionalism. Is America an exceptional place or not and if we are, are we exceptional in a positive sense. Do we represent as Americans the right values or not. Our First Amendment which of course is our guaranteed constitutional right to Freedom of Speech, is one example of why we are exceptional. Along with our diversity which is across the board and our other guaranteed civil liberties and constitutional rights.

No constitutional right is absolute and that includes both the First Amendment and the Second Amendment. But what it means is that Americans essentially have unlimited free speech and free expression rights and basically and unlimited ability to express ourselves and how we feel about things, places, issues, culture and even people. Short of inciting violence, violently harassing people, or falsely libeling people. And then others have the same right to express how they feel about us. Which means Donald Trump can run his nonsensical reality show disguised as a presidential campaign and say all sorts of garbage about groups of Americans. And the rest of the country has the same right to express out they feel about The Donald. The Captain of Reality TV.

Free Speech, is not a threat to America. The opposite is the truth, which is fascism in the form of political correctness, whether it comes from the Far-Left or Far-Right. That says the political correctness warriors knows best what is acceptable and unacceptable speech. And they’ll decide what people should think and what we can say. You can’t have a liberal democracy without free speech and a liberal right to free speech. Put all the views out there and then let the people weigh in on what the speakers and thinkers are saying. Correct the falsehoods, reward the truth tellers and critique the liars. That is how liberal democracy and free speech works. Instead of having some Board of Experts deciding what is appropriate and improper speech in a developed society.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Daily Review: The Week in Review- 2015 Holiday Season

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

My 2015 holiday season other than not seeing the sun at all until really my last day in Port Ludlow, Washington which is about an hour or so outside of Seattle in Kitsap County just off of Bainbridge Island, was by in large positive. I don’t see my family other than my parents that much to begin with. My family for the most part is now in California, while I’m in Maryland just outside of Washington. So we’re three-thousand miles apart physically, as well as miles apart personally as far as being very different people. I’m talking about my two brothers really. Who both are now married with their own families. So I don’t go out-of-my-way to stay in touch with them.

I haven’t seen my brothers and sister in-laws, their wives for three years before we saw each other last week. My choice really. I’m fine with my older brother who generally speaking is a great guy with a great and really cute and friendly wife, my older sister in-law. And they have three great kids. My nephew and two of my nieces. But he rarely speaks unless spoken to. He’s pretty aloof, at least in my experience with him. How his wife communicates with him I may never know. Perhaps they just talk about what’s for dinner and whose picking up the kids, some weather we’re having and that sort of thing. But I had a great time with them and the two days I had with them last week. Especially my nephew Nicholas, who reminds me of me as far as his interest in sports and history.

My little brother, is sort of the opposite of Alex, but we don’t get along very well. He’s got an opinion about everything and we’re almost complete opposites when it comes to personality. He can be bit a judgemental prick and that might be an off day for him. As a Liberal, I’m a live and let live person. My attitude on life is basically, “its your life pal, as long as you’re not hurting someone.” And I could care less how someone eats their spaghetti and how they comb their hair. Plus, he can be very stupid, but in an insulting way. Ask really dumb questions as if they’re legitimate, or state the obvious as if he’s being informative. Our father, is very similar, but Kit is much worst and at least Dad won’t be really sensitive when I call him out on his insulting stupidity. Kit, will act like he’s completely not at fault. He and his wife, are perfect for San Francisco and that yuppie snobby universe.

But, it’s not as if I don’t love my family, including my in-laws. It’s just that I don’t feel the need to see and talk to them on a regular basis. But it was three-years and my little brother and his wife, just had their first baby in late 2014, so I was thinking this would be a good opportunity to meet my new niece. And catch up with my other nieces and nephew, as well as my brothers and sister in-laws. Even if it meant spending a week in the Seattle area, where you have a better chance of drowning in a flood, than ever seeing the sun while you are there. Which is why I went out there to hang out with them and see if I could get along with my little brother and little sister in-law. Perhaps hear my baby niece’s first words and try to have a good time.

Another reason why I don’t go to Seattle where my parents have a second home in Port Ludlow, is because it’s basically like flying to Alaska from the East Coast. You literally spend the whole first day traveling, or waiting for your plane, ferry, or ride. I tend to leave early in the morning East Coast time and finally get to the house late at night ECT. So that tends to wear me out. But the first three days that I had with my parents, little bother, sister in-law and brand new niece, were fairly positive. We saw Goodfellas together as a family. A movie the whole family likes. One of my parents friends from that area joined us for Christmas and she’s great and we had a good time with her. We managed to not get on each others nerves. Which is a hell of an accomplishment for the Schneider Family when we’re all together. I took a couple of hikes in between rain storms up there.

The next two days were with my older brother Alex and his wife my older sister in-law Sandra. Had dinner with them their first night in town. Played basketball, hung out with them at their second home in Port Townsend. Threw the football with my nephew Nicholas and talked NFL history. Think about that for a minute. I’m talking about NFL history and the history of the San Francisco 49ers, with a nine-year old boy. Hanging out with him was not like hanging out with a kid. We played basketball together. he knocked down a couple of three-pointers, we played pool together, threw the football around and talked football history. This is a nine-year old boy, who lives in the San Francisco area, that might know more about the Washington Redskins than a lot of Redskins fans. Hanging out with Nick, was like hanging out with myself, or grown man. He’s just a lot more advanced than a lot of kids his age. This coming from his uncle, but its true.

Coming back from Seattle, is really a blog in itself. Seattle, a little more than half the size of the Washington, DC area, is a fairly large community with a lot of tourist attractions, but they only have one big city airport, which is SeaTac. Which might be the worst big city airport in America. The Washington area in contrast, has three great major airports. So getting through SeaTac, plus dealing with TSA, is not fun. And by the time I get to my gate to go to Minneapolis, my stop before Washington, I find out my flight has not only been delayed, but by two-hours. So no I know my trip home has been screwed and what do I do once I get to Minneapolis. Delta, whatever you think of them, are very customer friendly and don’t like losing customers. They put me up for one night at the Raddison in Bloomington, Minnesota. Which is near their airport.

By in large, this was a very positive trip. Still not crazy about going to Seattle especially during their rainy season, which is only twelve months a year and every time I go out there the weather is Washington tends to be warm and beautiful, which makes the experience even worst getting local weather reports back home. But I will make bigger effort in the future to see my brothers and their beautiful families more often and would like to go to San Francisco to visit them. Where they all live now and perhaps avoid Seattle instead.
Grace Helbig: How to Deal With Family During The Holidays