Thursday, November 24, 2011

ESPN: SportsCentury- Greatest Head Coaches: Vince Lombardi

Source:ESPN- Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka (1982-92)

Source:The Daily Press 

"Some of the best ever on what it takes to be a great coach. All rights belong to ESPN and Sportscentury."  


On this Thanksgiving and by the way Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there, I thought it would be a great time to blog about Vince Lombardi, the greatest head coach of all-time, not just in football, but perhaps in team sports period. 

I think you'll have a hard time finding a better head coach because football is not just a huge part of our Thanksgiving holiday and Vince Lombardi is a big part of football. And the Green Bay Packers are a big part of our Thanksgiving football tradition. The Packers have played a lot on Thanksgiving and Coach Lombardi coached a lot of those games.

When I think of Vince Lombardi, I think of what a head coach should be when they are at their best and when they are the best at they are. Someone who constantly strives at making his team the best that they can, at getting the best effort and performance out of his team all of his players at the same time in the same game.

I mean if you look at it thats what the job of a head coach is. Of course they want to win and the head coaches that do win are the successful head coaches, that is win more than they lose and a lot more than they lose. But really the job is to get the best performance out of your players that they can deliver. There have been teams that were 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 and of course missed the playoffs, but their head coach had a good year or a great year. They even had a great record that year because of the team that they had and the players that had to play.

The level of talent that they had to work with and there been teams that were 10-6, 11-5 but they didn't have very good seasons and didn't win championships even though they had the talent to, because their players didn't play very well as a team. They didn't work very well together, their head coach didn't get them to play as well as they could've. And they ended up basically having a mediocre or even a bad season because their head coach didn't get them to play as well as they could've. 

The job of the head coach is to get his team and all of his players to play as well as they can at the same time as one team and if he has a good team or a great team, like Chuck Knoll had with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s (to use as an example) then that will lead to a lot of wins and championships. 

The Green Bay Packers of the 1960s didn't have a dynasty in that decade and were the team of the 60s because they were loaded with talent and great players. They had some of those and some Hall of Famers, they won five NFL Championships in seven years from 1961-67, because they had the best teams and the best head coach. Best team and best talent are two different things. Best talent has to do with athletic ability and skills. Best team has to do with the team that plays the best together and plays the best as a team.

I'll give you an example: Super Bowl 36 between the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. The Rams I believe were a 10-12 point favorite they still had that great Vertical Spread offense (as I call it) with Kurt Warner, Marshal Faulk and all of those WRs. The Patriots were 5-11 the year before, snuck into the playoffs in 2001, winning their division. Beat the Raiders in a blizzard in the famous tuck game and then upset a very good Steelers team in the AFC Final. They had to beat two better teams just to make to the Super Bowl.

The Rams clearly had batter talent in that Super Bowl, but the Patriots had a better team and played better together and of course they had head coach Bill Belichick, perhaps still the best head coach in the NFL. Thats what Vince Lombardi had in Green Bay in the 1960s, he had the best teams, not exactly the best talent when he won those championships. 

So to use my definition of the job of a head coach, then no one is better than Vince Lombardi at getting his teams and players to play the best that they can at the same time. And he is the best head coach of all-time, because he was the best motivator and perhaps the best motivator ever as well.

And he would put it simple: "You want to play for the Packers, you're going to give me everything you have, or find another job or team to play for". He knew when to ride someone and when to pride someone and do both of those things in a way that showed the player that he's just trying to get the best out of him, kinda like a great father would be. Thats what made Vince Lombardi the best ever at what he did. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Joel Austin: 'The Rise of Liberalism- The History of The Christian Church'

Source:Joel Austin- one of the first great German philosophers.
"This is a documentary style video combining Tom Nelson's  audio lesson with images found on the World Wide Web. Video #12 covers the Rise of Liberalism (late 1800s to present day)."

From Joel Austin 

Liberalism and the Christian Church, which is what I guess what this piece is about. 

To start off as a Liberal I believe not just in the U.S. Constitution, but the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and Fifth Amendments, are my favorite amendments, because they guarantee Americans right to think for themselves, speak for themselves, and act for themselves. 

I'm an Agnostic, so obviously I'm not a believer in religion or God, because as a Liberal I'm a big believer in reason and facts and only put faith in things that I trust and know. Not what some spiritual power that may or may not exist anywhere in the world or universe. Liberals (at least in the classical, if not real sense) are the least romantic people you'll ever meet, at least in a political sense, because we're such believers in reason. And we're also the least idealistic people that you'll ever meet, because we believe in reason and progress, not idealism. 

But having said all of that, just because I'm not religious, doesn't mean I want Big Government to tell people that they have to think and act like me. One of the great advantages of living in a liberal democracy is that everyone can act and think for themselves. This is not some communist state where individualism is almost completely eliminated and outlawed, including religion. Or some theocracy where it's not just religion that's forced on everyone, or a certain type of religion that's forced on everyone, but a certain fundamentalist religion that's forced on everyone. 

If there are liberal religious values, I guess they have to do with the Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. Respect others property and privacy, as much as you respect your own. And treat everyone as an individual, not as a member of any particular group, whether it's racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, whatever it might be. But myself as a Liberal I'm not a believer in religion. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Frozen Feet Films: Fritz- The Walter Mondale Story

Source:Amazon- About the life and career of former U.S. Senator and Vice President of the United States, Walter Mondale. 

"Fritz tells the story of the life and legacy of former Vice President Walter "Fritz" Mondale and his efforts to inspire a new generation to consider a life of public service. Featuring rare archival footage, family home videos, and interviews with President Carter, Vice President Al Gore, Geraldine Ferraro, Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, friends and family reveal a man who never wavered in his commitment to civil and human rights. Throughout his accomplished career - attorney general, senator, vice president, presidential candidate, ambassador, and teacher - Mr. Mondale has remained true to his small town roots, dedicated to helping others." 

From Amazon

Walter Mondale to me is someone who was ahead of his time, the way all Vice Presidents since are judged. Because he was the first Vice President with real authority or at least the first since Richard Nixon. But Vice President Mondale designed how the Vice Presidents Office looks today, serving as the President's Chief Counsel on policy and perhaps even politics as well. As well as basically the Chief Operating Officer of the Administration. Something he, Vice President Bush, Vice President Gore, Vice President Cheney and Vice President Biden all have done well. 

Pre-Walter Mondale except maybe for Vice President Nixon, the Office of the Vice President was basically ceremonial. Counting the days to when their term was over or when it’s time to campaign again or they would preside over the U.S. Senate. When Congress was in session, it wasn’t a very important office.

Today the Vice Presidency is important. When instead of the Vice President presiding over the Senate, they are basically the President’s Chief Representative to Congress. As well as their other duties at the White House. And Vice President Mondale made that office definite. 

Then Senator Walter Mondale worked out an agreement with Jimmy Carter when they ran together in 1976, that if he was to be Carter’s Vice President, that he would have to have real responsibility in that office. The Vice President under the U.S. Constitution, is the first officer in the Federal Government. Only the President out ranks him. And that’s how it was in the Cater Administration, except it was no longer just on paper, but in practice as well and I believe that job and office of the modern Vice Presidency, is a major part of Walter Mondale's legacy. 

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Associated Press: 'Raw Video: House Rejects Balanced Budget Measure'

Source:Associated Press- U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (Republican, Virginia) Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

"The House has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have forced Congress to balance its budget every year as a way to reverse years of deficit spending. (Nov. 18)" 

With the vote in the House of Representatives of 261 votes for the House Republican Balances Budget Amendment, at least the House Republican Leadership knows how many seats they have to pick up in the 2012 general elections. They need twenty-nine more votes to pass a BBA, probably won't get them for the next Congress. They probably have a better chance of losing twenty nine seats in 2012 then gaining them. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nancy Pelosi: 'Leader Pelosi on GOP's BBA Constitutional Amendment'

Source:House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) talking about the House Republican Balanced Budget Amendment.

"This week, the House is considering a GOP "Balanced Budget" Constitutional Amendment (H.J.Res. 2) which would destroy jobs, drastically cut Medicare and Social Security, and give federal judges power to raise taxes and make spending decisions.  H.J.Res. 2 not only provides that there be a balanced budget every year, unless three-fifths of the Congress votes for a specific excess of outlays over receipts; it also requires a three-fifths vote of the Congress to raise the debt ceiling.  It is likely that H.J.Res 2 would require balancing the budget by about FY 2018 (it states it shall take effect beginning with the fifth fiscal year beginning after its ratification; if ratification occurs in 2013, balance would have to be achieved by FY 2018.)" 

Anyone who believes that taxes are necessary in any country to fund government, understands that government's can't borrow indefinitely. And at some point bills have to paid, not borrow money to pay other bills, but actually pay up your bills. Otherwise taxes wouldn't be necessary and we could just borrow indefinitely to pay for anything. And I don't know anyone who believes that. The question is how do we pay our bills and to what point does our credit run out. 

If the United States were to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution tomorrow, not just Congress, but at least thirty-four States, two days from now we would still have a Federal debt of 15T$ and a Federal deficit approaching 2T$. A year from now we would still have a debt and deficit approaching those numbers, because Congress wouldn't agree to cut 2T$ from the Federal budget for one year. They may agree to cut 200B maybe 500B, pass tax reform that raises new revenue to cut the deficit in one year. 

If we passed a deficit reduction plan not over five years or so, but a year from now we would still have a deficit of over 1T$. And maybe even five years from now we would still have a deficit. So passing a BBA alone does not balanced the Federal budget, it just requires the Federal Government to do that. But doesn't lay out how to do that, just tells them they have to do it. But leaves it up to the Administration and Congress who lately can't agree on the time of day or the weather outside (It's chilly. No, it's cold!) on how to balanced the Federal budget. So any BBA would at best be a first step in balancing the Federal budget. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

VOA News: 'Struggling Detroit Seeks Economic Boost'

Source:VOA News- talking to John Mogk.

"Voice of America (VOA) is an American international broadcaster funded by the United States Congress. It is the largest[2][3][4] and oldest U.S. funded international broadcaster.[5][6] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.

VOA was established in 1942,[7] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415)[8] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford.

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent agency of the U.S. government.[9] Funds are appropriated annually under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million." 

From Wikipedia 

"Detroit, the heart of America's car industry, was once one of the richest cities in the United States.  But car manufacturers have downsized their work force, and, in recent decades, more than half of Detroit's population has left. Today, the city is one of the nation's poorest." 

From VOA News

With the decline of the City of Detroit the last twenty years or so, with three recessions including the Great Recession, with the decline of the American auto industry which is just starting to rebound and of course with Detroit being the American capital of our auto industry, Detroit has had their own personal recession (if not depression) the last 20 years or so.

And with the decline of public education in Detroit and the rising crime rates. Detroit as a city has been taking a whipping for about twenty years, to the point where they've lost half of its population. 

In 1990 Detroit was a city of about 1.5M people and a metro center of about 5M people, about the size of Philadelphia. The fifth or sixth largest city in America and one of the top ten metro centers in America and of the the wealthiest cities in America. To today they are still a big city but about half the size and one of the poorest cities in America. 

Detroit was so tied to the auto industry, sort of how Los Angles is tied to the entertainment industry, that when the auto industry is doing well, Detroit is doing well and when the Auto Industry is not doing well, neither is Detroit. And when the auto industry plummets like the last ten years, Detroit has plummeted. Their tax receipts have plummeted and as a result so have their public education, crime has gone way up and people have moved out as a result.  

When a city, even a big city like Detroit depresses, they tend to lose their population. As least the people who can afford to move out, like well-educated, middle class people, and the wealthy. And they take their money with them, which has cost Detroit a lot of people, but economic activity and development as well.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Democratic Media: '1960 DNC: John F. Kennedy Teams Up With Rival Lyndon B. Johnson'

Source:Democratic Media- U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts) accepting the 1960 Democratic Party nomination for President, in Los Angeles, California.

"JFK's choice of LBJ helps to deliver Texas and shows running mates can help win elections." 

From Democratic Media

This is obviously a photo of then Senator John F. Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts) and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat, Texas) running for President and Vice President together in 1960, after Senator Kennedy nominated Leader Johnson to be his running mate at the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California.
Source:Heritage Auctions- JFK and LBJ teaming up in 1960.

1960 was the last presidential election where a Vice Presidential nomination was the difference in who was elected President. Because Jack Kennedy already had the votes of the Liberal and Progressive Democrats. Especially in the North who could care less about Senator Kennedy being an Irish-Catholic, Northeastern Liberal from Massachusetts. 

But because of those factors Southern Democrats (who are Conservative Republicans today) weren't convinced that Jack Kennedy was acceptable enough to be President of the United States. Which is why Lyndon Johnson who was also the Leader of the Senate at the time, was so critical to this ticket, because he was a Southern Democrat at least regionally.

With the Kennedy-Johnson ticket, this meant Democrats could win both the Northeast and South, as well as California. Because Kennedy could work the liberal states and Johnson could work the Southern states. Because the Northeast was probably going to vote for Kennedy anyway, but with Johnson on the ticket, Johnson could convince Southern Democrats that an Irish-Catholic, Northeastern Liberal was acceptable enough to be President of the United States. And Senator Kennedy's speech to Southern Baptists in 1960 in Houston where he came out for being in favor of Separation of Church and State and that he wouldn't take orders from the Pope in policy and decision-making.

In some ways Democrats in 1960 had a dream ticket, with the future of the Democratic Party. A real superstar in the best sense of the word, not a flash in the pan running with the most powerful Democrat in the country. Someone who was more than qualified to be President of the United States 1960. 

This is not the last or first presidential election where the Vice Presidential nominee was important. It was also important in 1952 with Richard Nixon, 1976 with Walter Mondale, 1980 with George Bush, 1992 with Al Gore, 2000 with Dick Cheney, 2008 with Joe Biden. But 1960 was the last one where the VP nominee was able to deliver votes and states for the ticket. 

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Monday, November 14, 2011

James Miller Center: FDR Fireside Chat 7: 'On the Social Security Act- The History of Social Security'

Source:James Miller Center- President Franklin D. Roosevelt and company. 
"Edited version of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's seventh fireside chat, delivered April 28, 1935."

Source:James Miller Center

When Franklin Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1933, he had a mountain of challenges in front of him that he had to face. Dwarfing anything that President Obama inherited in 2009. The Great Depression was just starting and the country had at the time nothing to deal with it. No plan to get out of it and no safety net other than private charity to help sustain people as they go through it. These challenges were so big that it wasn't until World War II almost ten years later that America recovered from the Great Depression. Which is why President Roosevelt and others developed the New Deal and other legislation to deal with the Great Depression. And to establish a safety net in America.

Like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance and Welfare Insurance. Insurance programs that people can turn to when they can't support themselves. President Roosevelt brought economic progressivism into law in America. Something that we had very little of in America before that. We certainly didn't have a welfare state or even a safety net prior to the New Deal. We were basically an economic libertarian society before that, where everyone was on their own. And of course a lot if not most Libertarians would like to see us move back to that libertarian society. Where all Americans are responsible for taking care of themselves whether they are able to or not. Whether they have access to a pension or not, lose their job, makes mistakes early in life. Like having kids before they are ready to take care of them, etc.

Now I disagree with how a lot of these programs were designed originally. I believe most Americans would reform these programs in some way. Progressives would expand them, Liberals such as myself would decentralize them and turn them over to the states. Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has a plan to do that. Conservatives would privatize them all together and Libertarians would end them calling them unconstitutional. But what the New Deal and later Great Society in the 1960s, did was at least provide a basic floor for people to turn to. When for whatever reason they weren't able to fend for themselves and has been successful in doing that.

All of these programs need to be reformed in the financing like a lot the programs in the Federal Government. They didn't get us out of the Great Depression, at least on their own. World War II did most of the work on that, but the New Deal did for the first time in America, provide us with a basic safety net for the country. But a lot of these programs seventy-five plus years after they were created, need to be reformed. Because of how they were designed and need to be reformed to save them so they are there in the future. Part of President Roosevelt's legacy is that he transformed America into a country where we were basically on our own, into a country where at least to a certain extent we look after each other. Whether we want to or not, as Libertarians might phrase that. But the New Deal is not responsible for getting us out of the Great Depression. World War II and our involvement had a lot to do with that. 

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Napalm Captain: Michael Dukakis For President 1988- 'A New Era'

Source:Napalm Captain- Governor Michael Dukakis (Democrat, Massachusetts)
“Michael Dukakis: We’re going to build the kind of America where hard work is rewarded, where American goods and American workmanship are the best in the world. That’s what this election is all about.

Narrator: He turned around the ten-year economic slide and created a boom that has made Massachusetts one of the hottest economies in the country. He brought people together, created over four hundred t jobs and pushed personal income to the highest levels in the nation. He erased a massive deficit, balanced ten budgets in a row and cut taxes five times. It wasn’t a miracle. It was leadership.

Michael Dukakis: By working together to create opportunity and a good life for all, all of us are enriched, not just in economic terms but as citizens and as human beings.

Narrator: For a new era of economic greatness in America, Michael Dukakis for president.”

From Napalm Captain 

On paper going into the 1988 presidential election, Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts was a perfect presidential candidate to go against Vice President George Bush. He was a popular successful governor of a major state, a heavily Democratic state. Unlike Walter Mondale he had no ties to the Carter Administration. He was an outsider a governor. Someone with considerable executive experience running a major state.

Governor Dukakis, was an outsider running against the ultimate insider who since 1967 when George Bush took his seat in the House, was working in Washington and the Federal Government in some capacity. Except from 1977-81 when he was running for president and later vice president.

The Democratic Party had just won back the Senate in 1986 and added to their majority in the House. Iran Contra was still fresh in people’s minds politically speaking. Governor Dukakis was similar to Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas. Mike Dukakis was of course a Northeastern or Massachusetts Liberal as he was labeled by Vice President Bush and others. But not some Far-Left Socialist which is how Reverend Jackson was labeled, but a Classical Liberal Democrat. Someone who believed in individual liberty and limited government.

Governor Dukakis, supported things as Governor of Massachusetts that became law by the Federal Government 5-10 years later. Like Welfare to Work, Three Strikes Law that was in the 1994 Crime bill, gun control same bill, deficit reduction. Mike Dukakis’s politics were pretty similar to Jack Kennedy, another Northeastern Massachusetts Liberal Democrat.

Mike Dukakis was even likable, reserve and cool sure which hurt him with connecting with voters in the general election. But he was up 17 points over George Bush when the Democratic Convention was over. So the Bush Campaign made a similar calculation that they did when they were trailing Bob Dole back in January and February 1988. That they aren’t going to beat Dukakis by showing America how great a guy George Bush was. That the way to beat Dukakis was to make him look like a bad guy, as someone who was Un-American, unpatriotic, soft on crime, etc. Someone who was a Far-Left Democrat that’s unacceptable to be President of the United States.

That’s why we saw the controversial Willy Horton ad, and the commercial of Mike Dukakis in a tank. All thanks to Lee Atwater George Bush’s chief political strategist. And with the Dukakis Campaign playing dead on these ads thinking that Americans won’t believe them and take them seriously. This is where we heard the term an attack that’s not responded to, must be the truth. And these ads killed Mike Dukakis’s chances of winning that campaign. Mike Dukakis brought a twig to a Gun Fight and got his head handed to him.

Mike Dukakis represents to me how not to run a presidential campaign. That its good to share your personal story and your family history and how you worked your way up in America. And what you want to do as President, but that you also have to understand that presidential elections are also wars. That if you don’t fight back it’s just as good as surrendering and you’ll get beat. And this is a lesson the Bill Clinton learned in 1992, with his War Room with Jim Carville and others. And while they were so able to respond to any attacks that were thrown at them in 1992. 

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Firing Line With William F. Buckley: Christopher Hitchens & Emmett Tyrell- 'Is There a Liberal Crack-Up? (1984)'

Source:Firing Line With William F. Buckley- self-described Socialist writer Christopher Hitchens, when he wrote for the socialist magazine The Nation, on Firing Line With William F. Buckley, in 1984.

"Episode S0629, Recorded on December 11, 1984. Guests: R. (Robert Emmett) Emmett Tyrrell Jr., Christopher Hitchens. For more information about this program, see:Hoover Institution

"The 1984 election suggested, as WFB puts it, "the collapse of liberalism as we

have known it during the past half century," and he asks his two guests, one on the right, the other on the far left, where liberalism is likely to go from here. Messrs. Hitchens and Tyrrell actually talk more about the past than about the future, and it is illuminating (when they don't indulge in billingsgate) to get such different takes on the same set of events. CH: "I believe that the American Left, in starting the civil-rights movement for black Americans, in combating an unjust war in Indochina, and in beginning the emancipation of women ... changed the way everyone thinks and the way everyone lives ... the whole world is in debt to the American Left for these three enterprises." RET: "In the Sixties and Seventies the liberals achieved most of the things they set out to achieve, particularly welfare and civil rights, and then were overtaken by a lust for power. They refused to notice that they had indeed achieved these things ... 

By the time the late 1970s came around, it was rough time to be a Democrat. The Democratic Party was becoming divided and running out of ideas in where to take the country. So-called Progressives (Democratic Socialists, in actuality) wanted to pass the next installment of the Great Society, what's called the Fair Deal: single payer health care, universal higher education, return to the high tax rates of the 1950s, etc. 

The New Democrats (the real Progressives) wanted to freeze new social insurance spending and balanced the Federal budget. And Conservative Democrats were becoming Conservative Republicans. 

Progressivism was the ruling political ideology in the Democratic Party and in the United States from 1933-81. There was a feeling that the Federal Government wasn't big enough. Conservatives make a big comeback in the late 1970s just as the Far-Left of the Democratic Party wanted to take over the party and move it way to the left and the Democratic Party becomes divided as a result, with the Progressives wanting to govern the party and country from the Center-left. 

There was a tax revolt in California and in other places in the country led by Howard Jarvis and his group, Kemp-Roth is proposed in Congress (Senator William Roth and Representative Jack Kemp) 1978-79. Which became the Economic Recovery Act in 1981 signed by President Reagan. And after having their clocks handed to them (to put it mildly) in 1980, the Democratic Party wasn't sure where to go. And I believe they basically settled for Walter Mondale in 1984, who was President Carter's Vice President. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

See Progress: 'The Progressive Values of the U.S. Constitution'

Source:Center For American Progress- talking about the U.S. Constitution.

"A panel explores the progressive values of the Constitution at the Center for American Progress's annual "American Idea Conference" in Washington, D.C.


Richard Beeman, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

Jeff Shesol, Author, "Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court"
Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress

Akhil Amar, Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University" 

To me the U.S. Constitution is an individualist document designed to protect, promote, and advance individual liberty and limited government. Limited government being the key factor, the belief that if government becomes very big, it gets big at the expense of individual liberty, because it makes the people more dependent on government. Thats one of the beauty's of living in a liberal democracy especially if you are a Liberal. 

But I would argue for anyone who's not a Socialist, that individual liberty is protected to the point that we have constitutional rights protecting our individual liberty. Not a government designed to take care of the people, that we have the liberty to make our own lives better. 

There is a Welfare Clause in the U.S. Constitution, but that doesn't mean that government funded by taxpayers, but that doesn't mean that government is supposed to protect the country. But more about protecting the country from things that individuals can't do for themselves. Like being attacked by armed criminals, being attacked by a foreign country, being held hostage, people out of work not able to fend for themselves. Or are disabled and can't work enough to take care of themselves or can't work at all.  

If your definition of Progressive is Progressive in the classical (or I would argue real) sense that you are someone who believes in progress and that government is supposed to promote progress and work to make things better for people and for society, then you could argue that the U.S. Constitution is progressive, because it allows for government to try to make things better for the society. 

But if your definition of Progressive is more a pop culture political sense and that Progressives are supposed to be anti-establishment, anti-man (especially straight, Caucasian men) that Progressives are supposed to be radical, hippie, Socialists and are supposed to hate everything that America stands for and it's the job of Progressives who take down the current government and replace it with something that's supposed to be more Progressive, which are the basically the current stereotypes of what's supposed to pass as a so-called Progressive today, then of course the U.S. Constitution is not Progressive. 

Our Founding Fathers (our Founding Liberals) didn't break away from one authoritarian state (the United Kingdom) to create a socialist state in the United States. But wanted to create a society in America where Americans were free to be Americans, which is free to be ourselves and have the freedom to live our own lives and make our own decisions. With a limited government there to protect our freedoms, but not run our lives for us. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Learn Liberty: Dr. Nigel Ashford- 'The History of Classical Liberalism'

Source:Learn Liberty- Dr. Nigel Ashford, talking about classical liberalism. The real liberalism.
"Historian Stephen Davies describes classical liberalism as a comprehensive philosophy, which has had implications in all the major academic disciplines.  Learn More:Learn Liberty.

At an abstract level, classical liberalism offers three key insights:

1) The goal of life is human happiness and flourishing. 
2) Personal choice and individual liberty are crucial in explaining and appreciating how society develops.
3) Commerce, wealth, and trade are preferable to war and conflict.

If you agree with these classical liberal insights, you might be a classical liberal!

Source:Learn Liberty

The Professor in this video does a pretty good job of laying out what classical liberalism is. That it's about individual liberty and protecting individual liberty and is skeptical of power. Governmental power or too much power in the private sector. Because as the Professor says power is the ability to make people do what they otherwise wouldn't do. And liberalism is also about rule of law, not being so-called soft on crime as people have stereotyped Liberals. But that government should protect people from the harm of others, not try to protect people from themselves.

Liberalism is about individual liberty and limited government, which those being the main two principles. All other aspects of liberalism get to that. How to promote, advance and protect individual liberty. About individualism not collectivism which is about expanding government and spending more on social insurance. Or creating new social insurance programs, but laying out exactly what government should be doing. Socialism is about welfare state programs and using those programs so none has too much or too little, as they would see it.

Again, the role of liberalism is to promote, advance and protect individual liberty. The constitutional rights of individuals to live their own lives and be as successful in life as their production will allow. To take out of life what they put into it and limiting government to doing what it can and does well. And what it only can do and should do. Not having government try to solve every problem that society faces.

And these are the things that liberalism is about, coming from liberty. It's not socialism or even but like progressivism trying to use government to make society better. It is progressive though, because again it's about promoting, advancing and protecting individual liberty for all, not just some. In the early 20th Century during the Teddy Roosevelt era which was called the Progressive Era, there was this feeling that America had to much inequality. And that a lot of Americans were falling through the cracks in the economy and that government should step in and solve these programs.

That government should create things like Unemployment Insurance, National Health Insurance, protecting workers rights and worker Safety. And a lot of these things were achieved in the FDR New Deal in the 1930s. These are all progressive policy's and a lot of Liberals all support these goals. But these aren't liberal policy's, because they are about using government to help people in need. Instead of empowering people in need to help themselves become self-sufficient.

And some so-called Liberals may sound similar as Liberals, but they are different because a lot of people who are called Liberals today, are really not. They have some liberal positions on most if not all social issues. But they tend to have  social democratic views on economic policy. And that government especially the Federal Government should be a lot bigger to solve the problems that society faces. It's great that people who actually understand what liberalism is and what it's about speak out about it.

Liberals whether you want to call us Classical Liberals, (which is fine if you're talking about John F. Kennedy) should give speeches and lectures about it and even make videos about it. Because a lot of Americans especially in the media don't understand what liberalism is. And get it mixed up with progressivism and democratic socialism. Which unlike liberalism aren't individualist ideology's, but collectivist ideology's using government through high tax rates to make society equal. Where liberalism is about using government to make people freer so we can all as a society enjoy individual liberty.

Liberalism is a political ideology based on realism and the real word. It's not about perfection and making the world as perfect and great for everyone, but instead creating a society where as many people as possible can thrive and achieve individual freedom for themselves. The ability for as many people as possible to live in freedom and make their own economic and personal decisions and then live with the consequences of those decision for the best and worst of their decisions. Doesn't sound very idealistic or realistic and something that some Hollywood movie would be based on that prefers socialism because of how romantic and idealistic it is. But liberalism is based on realism and how the world really works. Where the best decisions tend to be made.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Inside App: 'President Lyndon Johnson Signs Medicare Law'

Source:Inside App- President Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat, Texas) signing President Harry Truman's idea into law, in 1965.

"The Medicare and Medicaid bill passes both houses of congress by an overwhelming vote.  President Johnson signs it into law on July 30, 1965.  Harry Truman was present at the signing and Johnson helped Truman sign-up for Medicare." 

From Inside App

Source:Lyndon B. Johnson Library- President Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat, Texas) signing President Harry Truman's idea into law, in 1965.
When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law that guarantees health insurance for senior citizens provided by the Federal Government and financed by an increase in the payroll tax, President Johnson finished off part of President Harry Truman’s presidential legacy. His Fair Deal agenda that he tried to pass through Congress. But since the Republican Party took control of Congress in 1947 and with President Truman’s unpopularity, he wasn’t able to pass it through Congress.

Lyndon Johnson was actually in Congress during the Truman Administration. (Both House and Senate) Elected to the Senate in 1948, actually served in Congress during the entire Truman presidency. And was in House during the first four years of the Truman Presidency. Both Truman and Johnson were New Deal Democrats on economic policy. So signing Medicare into law in I believe was a big deal to both Truman and Johnson and why President Truman was at the Medicare signing ceremony.

Health insurance for senior citizens is something that both Truman and Johnson were fighting for a long time. But a couple of Republican Congress’s, one in the late 1940s and another in the early 1950s, as well as the Eisenhower Administration, got in the way of Medicare coming into law. Actually, President Truman wanted to go farther and create a single payer health care system, but for the same reasons wasn’t able to get that done.

The legacy of Medicare I believe overall is pretty good, because it’s guaranteed health insurance for senior citizens as it was intended to. It wasn’t designed to become a single payer health insurer. That would essentially be the sole health insurer for everyone in the country. And outlawing private health insurers. If President Johnson wanted to do that, he probably would’ve proposed that. Because he had huge 2/3 majorities in the House and Senate up until 1967. When Congressional Republicans picked up a bunch of seats in both the House and Senate.

So President Johnson basically had three years to propose a single payer Medicare For All health care system, if he wanted to. But chose not to for whatever reasons. Perhaps he didn’t believe in a government-run health care system like they had at the time in the United Kingdom. Perhaps he didn’t believe the country was ready for that type of health care system or even wanted that. Perhaps he believed he didn’t have the votes for it.

Perhaps President Johnson didn’t have the votes for Medicare For All, with probably all Congressional Republicans voting against it, led by House Minority Leader Gerry Ford, Souse Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, Senator Barry Goldwater and others. As well as the Southern Caucus of Democrats in Congress. 

Medicare has been very positive in guaranteeing health insurance for all of our senior citizens and at the time was considered revolutionary. But today would seem somewhat mainstream like and not trying to upset anyone or chop down a tree. But something that a consensus of Americans would support. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Associated Press: Mark Hamrick- 'Employers Add 80K Jobs, Rate Dips to 9 Pct.'

Source:Associated Press- welcome to the United States capitol.

"The jobs crisis may be easing slightly on the strength of a fourth straight month of modest hiring and a dip in the unemployment rate. (Nov. 4)" 

Any drop in the unemployment rate is good news especially since we haven't had one since July. And we've had an unemployment rate of 9% or higher since 2010. But 80K jobs in a country as big as ours with an economy as big as ours with a workforce the size of ours, is not a great number. We should be creating 2-3 times as many jobs each month. Even in an economy as weak as ours because we have the resources and population to do so.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge With Peter Robinson- Stanley Kurtz: 'Radical In-Chief'

Source:Hoover Institution- Peter Robinson is the host of Uncommon Knowledge, from the Hoover Institution.
"An author, journalist, and social anthropologist (PhD Harvard), Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a contributing editor to National Review Online.  His latest book is Radical-in-Chief:  Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism.

"President Obama is a socialist!"  The explosive charge has been made, rebutted, and laughed off since the 2008 campaign.  In Radical-in-Chief, Kurtz asserts that the charge is not off base and backs up his assertion with a detailed examination of President Obama's past from his college days to his Chicago associations with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright.  He details the gradualist, socialist strategy of Obama's mentors and answers the key questions at the heart of this issue.  "What difference does it make what Barack Obama believes?  All that need concern us is what he does.  Isn't that right?"

In today's politics when people on the Right and especially Far-Right when they are worried about a Democrat, especially a Progressive Democrat (take Barack Obama, to use as an example) they call that person a Socialist. 

The hyper-right-wing in America knows that Barack Obama is a likable man, with an excellent political skills and are terrified of him winning reelection next year, because they don't know if the Republican Party can beat him, even if they can beat Congressional Democrats in the House and Senate. So what they do instead of trying to beat President Obama in an election, they try to make him seem as unpopular and unelectable at the polls with Independent voters and perhaps blue-collar Democrats, so by the time the President is actually up for reelection, they think he'll be easier to beat. Which is what Stanley Kurtz is up too in his book Radical In Chief, which could've been written about a lot of members of the Tea Party.

I talk to Conservatives and Libertarians on a regular basis. Doesn't mean I'm one of them, I think for myself just like Barack Obama. The main reason why the Far-Left flank in the Democratic Party and social-democratic Independents, don't like President Obama right now and have threatened to run a so-called Progressive (Socialist, in reality ) candidate like Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich against President Obama in the Democratic primaries, is because President Obama is not a Socialist. He's not even a Democratic Socialist. 

Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders is and that exactly how he describes his politics and is or has been was a member of the Democratic Socialist Party. To know that Barack Obama is not a Socialist, just look at his presidency and the legislation he's passed and proposed and the reversals he's made on major issues.

To know that President Obama is not a socialist again just look at his presidency and how he's not done what Socialists wanted him to do. During the stimulus debate in 2009, Democratic Socialists were calling for a a stimulus of around 2T$, an FDR style New Deal stimulus. With all these new Federal agency's that would do all these works projects putting unemployed workers back to work. Which is what left-wing economist Paul Krugman was calling for. The President and Congress put together a bill called the American Recovery Act of around 800B$, about 25% of that tax cuts.

Another thing Socialists don't tend to like and the so-called House Progressive Caucus ( Democratic Socialist Caucus, in reality ) proposed exactly what Socialists were calling for back in April. The health care reform debate again another perfect example of that,. Socialists obviously we're calling for a single payer health insurance system. And settled for a public option in health insurance as their compromise, but President Obama who supports the idea of a public option, settled for the Affordable Care Act which instead has a tax credit for individuals to buy their own private health insurance. As well as a Patients Bill of Rights to regulate private health insurers.

If you're going to throw out the term socialist especially in America and you use that term to put people down, you should at least have some idea of what the hell you're talking about. Who the person that you are labeling socialist is and exactly what socialism is. Otherwise you're just throwing terms because you're ignorant or you're a political attack dog. Which is exactly what Americans hate about American politics right now.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

VOA News: 'US Charities Endure Hard Times'

Source:VOA News- Tasha Kennard from Second Harves.

"Voice of America (VOA) is an American international broadcaster funded by the United States Congress. It is the largest[2][3][4] and oldest U.S. funded international broadcaster.[5][6] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.

VOA was established in 1942,[7] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415)[8] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford.

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent agency of the U.S. government.[9] Funds are appropriated annually under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million.[10][11]

Some commentators consider Voice of America to be a form of propaganda." 

From Wikipedia 

"In most developed nations, services like sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry and treating the sick, are generally provided by government agencies. However, in the United States, many benevolent tasks are undertaken by non-profit or charitable organizations. All across the United States, those charities are approaching the last few weeks of 2011 with deep concern." 

From VOA News

Of course in a recession like this with how much the economy shrunk in 2008-09 and with the economy barely recovering now, even though it picked up to 2.5% last quarter, but still not enough to save Federal, state, and local government's from having to cut their budgets even in social services that help low-income people and other people and of course with people struggling to just pay their own bills if that, people are not going to be as willing to donate money to other people and charity's. And of course charity's and the people they are there to help suffer as a result, which is what is happening right now. 

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