Saturday, March 30, 2013

Loyiso Guma: Malcolm X- Our History Was Destroyed by Slavery

Source: Loyiso Guma-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

Malcolm X’s message was about empowering African-Americans who were simply being held down in America because of their race. To have the same freedom to live their own lives as Caucasian-Americans have. It’s really what his message is about and doing whatever it took to accomplish that and allowing for African-Americans to be able to decide for themselves how best to get to freedom in America. Even if that means going their own way and simply living in their own communities. And as he grew and developed personally and professionally, he realized that not all Caucasian-Americans were evil and devils.

Malcolm X, concluded and rightfully so, that it was the ignorant people in the Caucasian community that were the problem and need to be confronted and taken on. But the goal of Malcolm X’s message was always the same. Empowering African-Americans to be able to own their own business’s and homes and so-forth. And not have to be dependent on anyone including government for them to live. But he wanted them to have the power to be able to take care of themselves. Minster Malcolm, was a big believer in education, economic development and economic opportunity. Something that Social Liberals such as myself and Conservatives, should really respect about him.

Minster Malcolm X and Dr. Martin King, were both great men and both wanted freedom for the African-American community. They just went about it different ways and had different messages in how to accomplish those goals. Dr. King, wanted African-Americans to be freed from poverty and racism. Minister Malcolm, wanted the same community to be free. And be able to live their own lives and be able to take care of themselves. Not have to live off of government even though very generous benefits. Not have to live off of government at all. True individual freedom including economic freedom. The ability to take care of yourself and be able to defend yourself. Malcolm, was a true freedom fighter.
Loyiso Guma: Malcolm X- Our History Was Destroyed by Slavery

Monday, March 25, 2013

Think Progress: Politics: John Halpin: The Obama Coalition, The Working Class, And RFK: The Future of Liberal-Democratic Politics

The Obama Coalition, The White Working Class, And RFK: pThis is part 2 of a series on RFK and the Obama coalition.  Part 1 is here. The potential of the new Obama coalition is truly impressive, given its 2012 performance and how many of its constituent parts are likely to grow in numbers over the course of the decade.  But the word “potential” should [...]/p

The future of the Democratic Party to me at least and I really believe this is true. Is the Free State of Maryland as we are called, perhaps the most Liberal, not Socialist or Progressive but Liberal in a real. Sense state in the union, just like I believe the future of the Progressive movement is in Vermont but in a Progressive-Federalist sense. What has Maryland been doing. Just legalize Gay marriage and gambling including casinos, we are about to decriminalize marijuana and legalizing marijuana will be next. Medical marijuana is also coming to Maryland, we have the best public schools in the nation including colleges. We are one of the wealthiest states in the union if you look at our per capita income. We just abolished the death penalty, all of these things happening under Liberal-Democratic leadership led by. Governor Martin O'Malley and a Democratic State Assembly as well. Who fits in not only very well with Maryland-Democrats but national Democrats as well which. Is why I believe he'll make a great Democratic Presidential candidate in 2016 and why he might be the future of the Democratic Party.

The future of the Democratic Party is a very Liberal party on social issues that believes individuals should have the freedom. To make their own decisions as they relate to their own lives thats against discrimination and denying people freedom based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality or. Nationality that has an economic-Liberal message thats about expanding economic freedom for people who need it and creating. Good jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure system and an education system that provides economic opportunity for everyone. This is basically round two of the Bill Clinton era that Barack Obama had a lot to do as far as putting together and forming a governing coalition that could not. Only lead Democrats back to power but also had an agenda that it could put in place and be able to get reelected as well.

This is no longer your fathers or grandfathers Democratic Party of FDR, LBJ and George McGovern. The FDR/LBJ coalition is gone but the McGovern coalition is still there and represents what is the New-Left in America. That is antiwar period and basically anti-state all together as it relates to national security and law enforcement. But very pro-state as it relates to the economy and believes the Federal Government has a big role to play there. And this is a movement that was born in the 1960s as a reaction towards the Vietnam War and in support of the Great Society. But they don't run the Democratic Party and are not the future of it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Democratic Strategist: Economy: Karen Nussbaum: A Working America Message From The Field: "Tax Fairness Is The Best Answer in Budget Fights": He to Reduce Deficits Through Economic Growth and Job Growth

Karen Nussbaum: a Working America Message from the Field. "Tax Fairness Is the Best Answer in budget Fights" | Democratic Strategist

The best way to balance budgets or just cut deficits and get deficits and debt under control. Is through economic and job growth and reducing poverty. More people working and making a good living, more people paying taxes and who have money to spend and who spend that money. Which is good for everyone especially for business's with products to sell because now they have more customers and the. Customers they already had now have more money to spend on their products. Which drives up economic growth because now their are more consumers and more consumers with money to spend. Companies are now making more money because of their increase in demand and as a result now need more workers to. Meet the new demand from the new customers they are getting and as a result may be looking to expand because of the new influx of customers for their company. You can get to a balance budget on paper in a weak economy which is something that President Jimmy Carter tried to do in the. Late 1970s but you end paying a heavy cost for it with the amount of people who are now out of work.

President Obama and other members of the Senate Democratic Leadership like Senator Debbie Stabenow. Say that Democrats want to grow the economy from the middle out. Not cut taxes at the top and hope everyone else sees the benefit of it but that you increase economic growth by having more. People working and more workers with money to spend and you can do that by encouraging companies to invest in America. If you do business in this country or expand the business you are already doing in America. You'll not only not have to pay taxes on that but you'll see your current taxes go down. But if you take that money out of the country, you'll be taxed on that. The key to economic growth is not having as many business's as possible with record high profits, we already have that right. Now with the Stock Market at record highs with high unemployment and an economy barely growing. The key to economic growth is a lot of people working with high job growth and a lot of people with money to. Spend which leads to companies making record profits as well.

America is in an interesting position because we have this rising debt that has to be addressed. But we have weak economic growth but with job growth picking up. So we are sorta in strange situation where we have to do two things at the same time. Jumpstart the economy but also start paying down some of this debt and deficit so the debt is no longer growing faster or as fast as the economy. But we won't be able to get our debt and deficit under control until we have an economy thats growing well and putting. A lot of people back to work with declining unemployment.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Heritage Foundation: Jim DeMint- Socialism Conservatism & Fiscal Conservatism

Source: The Heritage Foundation-
Source: The Heritage Foundation: Jim DeMint- Social Conservatism & Fiscal Conservatism

Political labels can be overused and I only tend to use them when describing my politics or someone else's politics and what these things mean. Because a lot of times people use these labels to put people who they disagree with or don't like down and when they don't even know what they are talking about.

Like people who are called social Conservatives when they don't believe in social freedom. At least to the extent that people should have the freedom to live their own lives because they see certain behaviors as immoral. Even when they aren't hurting anyone else with what they are doing. Someone who tends to look at politics from a religious lens especially social issues, whether it's Islamic or Christian, don't tend to believe in personal freedom. Personal freedom- the right for people to live their own lives. Religious-Conservatives instead believe government and the Constitution should be religiously based and that personal freedom needs to be restricted or conserve their moral code.

But personal freedom or any type of freedom can also be dangerous when it doesn't come with responsibility and the rule of law. Because with freedom of course comes risks, which is why so-called Progressives today don't tend to be in favor of economic freedom. And in some cases not big believers in personal freedom as well. For example things that can be dangerous for our health and economic well-being.

So basically people who believe in social freedom and individual freedom generally, believe in individual responsibility as well as the rule of law. So people can't hurt each other intentionally or by acting irresponsible. But also so people who make good choices with their freedom aren't forced to subsidize people who make bad choices.

Liberal democracy which is a free society, is a  great system for any society that believes in personal freedom, personal responsibility and the rule of law, to have in their country. But it isn't perfect and has it's drawbacks like risks versus reward. But as former British Conservative Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, "democracy is the worst system in the world, except for all the rest which is how I look at it." I would only add liberal democracy to that.

Whether you are a social Conservative or a Liberal in my case across the board or a Libertarian, the fact is you believe in social freedom. The right for the individual to live their own lives and be held accountable for the decisions that they make for good and bad. Not the right to hurt innocent people, but the right to live their own lives until they've given up that right by hurting other people. So when someone calls them self a social Conservative or social Liberal, I'm going to assume they believe in a high deal of personal freedom until I see evidence that contradicts that.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Foreign Affairs: Gideon Rose- 'Iraq in Retrospect'

Source:Foreign Affairs- welcome to Iraq, also known as Hell on Earth.
“Ten years ago this week, the United States and a few of its allies invaded Iraq, writing the final chapter in Washington’s checkered decades-long relationship with Saddam Hussein. Thanks to problems of both conception and execution, the Iraq war ended up becoming the most egregious failure in half a century of American foreign policy, costing a vast amount of blood and treasure for all concerned and tarnishing the United States’ reputation for international leadership, honesty, morality, and even basic competence.

A swift and successful invasion dissolved into chaos once Baghdad fell: liberation turned into occupation; local uncertainty turned into insurgency and then civil war. Four long years after the toppling of Saddam’s statue in Firdos Square, a new and better-resourced American strategy managed to build on some positive local trends and stabilize the situation, so that by the end of the decade Iraq had pulled back from the brink and gained a chance at a better future. But even then nothing was guaranteed, as low-level violence and political turmoil continued; the withdrawal of the last American troops in December 2011 left behind a deeply troubled country… 

“Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, discusses where planning for the Iraq war went wrong.” 

Source:Carnegie Council- Gideon Rose speaking about the Iraq War.

From the Carnegie Council

The Iraq War is a tough issue for me. Because pre-Iraq invasion and up until the summer of 2003 when it was discovered that there were no more weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that the Saddam Regime was so weak that it couldn’t defend itself and probably could’ve been taken out by what’s going on currently in Syria, or what happened in Libya by simply arming the Iraqi people and having a civil war and of course all the money that was not only spent but borrowed that American tax payers are going to have to payback, I was in favor of it.

Congress and the American people simply didn’t have enough information to make a decision like this and that had we just spent 3-6 months, or taken all of 2003 even to think about this, if we just had more information and better information, I don’t believe Congress approves of this war. Even if Republicans controlled both the House and Senate when. I’m not trying to sound like John Kerry from back in 2003-04 and say I was for it before I was against it, but that’s exactly my situation. And I’m not trying to make excuses about why I was for it.

I thought after 9/11 that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a Baathist dictator in the heart of Arabia in a big country the size of Iraq, we are talking about California here, with the Islāmic terrorists in the area, would be bad for not only the broader Middle East but for America as well. Because Saddam’s regime was so weak at the time and could’ve used the money that would come from selling his weapons to terrorists groups and other authoritarian regimes. What I didn’t know and this comes from not doing all of my homework is that Saddam no longer had any WMD and didn’t have connections with terrorists groups at all.

One of the legacies of the Iraq War is that there were many mistakes made upfront and have Bipartisan hands written on them. Like the fact that the Democratic Party led at the time by Tom Daschle controlled the U.S. Senate and that there was a divided Congress as a result. So Senate Democrats led by Leader Daschle could’ve simply said no to the Iraq War and killed it in Congress by themselves. Takes both chambers of Congress to write laws, but it only takes one chamber to kill laws and resolutions.

Senate Democrats could’ve simply said, “no, we are not ready to do this. Congress doesn’t have all the information that we need to make this decision.” And Joe Biden, Carl Levin and Bob Graham Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees could’ve spent the last couple months of that Congress in 2001-02 holding hearings to get more information about Iraq. And the situation it was in financially, militarily and everything else.

The legacy of the Iraq War is really about bad intelligence and not having enough solid information. How we not know going in that Saddam was as weak as he was and his country was as weak as it was. How we go in there without enough people to occupy this big country and not knowing that the Iraqi people weren’t ready to govern themselves. Takeover the military and law enforcement agencies and govern the country and the provinces and so-fourth. And how we not know how weak their economy was especially in the energy sector where this country should be energy independent.

All of these things we should’ve known especially Congress upfront before you commit your country’s resources and manpower to invade a country like this. Had we had this information upfront we would’ve known that Saddam isn’t a threat to anyone outside of his country. The legacy of the Iraq War on the positive is that one of the worst dictators and serial murderers and tortures of the 20th Century was eliminated allowing for a country rich in resources and in people to do very well.

With a real shot at a bright future, but at heavy cost for the Iraqi and American people. In lost treasure and in money and lives and for the most part. The lessons of it are how not to invade a country and do your homework and get all the needed information available and decide based on all of that. Is it worth it or not and go from there. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Classical Liberal: 'Dennis Prager's War on Drugs'

Source:Classical Liberal Blog- right-wing radio talk show Dennis Prager.

"Some numbers coming down the pike about legalization of marijuana.

See more here:Religion Political Talk." 

Source:Sean Giordano- the brain on marijuana or alcohol?

From Sean Giordano

Anytime I hear someone on the right (however they define their politics)  say they believe in individual freedom and are against big government, I want to know where they stand on the War on Drugs, especially as it relates to marijuana. 

People on the right unless they are actually conservative in the real sense, tend to speak in favor of choice and letting the individual decide, except when it comes to the War on Drugs and marijuana. Economic freedom especially as it relates to opportunity for people who need it and not overtaxing and regulating is critical. But the ability for people to be able to make their own decisions with their personal lives and have personal freedom is just as critical. Without big government interfering with how they live their lives. 

What Dennis Prager and I guess the Religious-Right in America, as much as they talk about individual freedom and the need for it, at the same time they bash Liberals for embracing individual freedom and freedom of choice when it comes to issues like marijuana and homosexuality and other key social issues. What Americans should be allowed to do in the privacy of their own homes.

Big Government Christian-Conservatives, have embraced big government prohibition as it relates to marijuana and harder narcotics. Which is just one example of why the Republican Party is having such a hard time right now appealing to young voters, because the Leave it to Beaver 1950s big government  wing of the party is seen as big government paternalists, who want to control how they live their own lives and young people now tend to be liberal-libertarian on social issues. 

Prohibition on its face is big government-paternalist idea, with the idea being that individual freedom is dangerous and when people have the freedom to make their own decisions, they make mistakes that s harmful to society. This was the case with alcohol prohibition in the early 20th Century and is the case with leftists who want to band tobacco, junk food, and soft drinks today and even marijuana in some cases. And yet now we see people on the right embracing the same thing which is prohibition.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Hill: Congress: Erik Wasson: House Democratic Budget Includes $1.2T in Taxes, $200B New Stimulus: How to Get to Deficit Reduction Through Economic Growth

House Dem budget includes $1.2T in taxes, $200B new stimulus - The Hill's On The Money

I like the House Democratic budget that was written by Chris Van Hollen the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. More then the House Republican plan but keep in mind that shouldn't surprise you because I'm a Democrat. The Van Hollen budget attempts to achieve deficit reduction with a three part plan which I believe has to be part of any final deficit reduction plan thats passed out of Congress. House and Senate and what the Van Hollen plan does, it says we need to cut spending in areas where we don't. Have to spend as much, cut wasteful tax loopholes which are tax expenditures that the Simpson-Bowles Commission labeled them as. But that we also will never achieve deficit reduction without strong economic growth, that we need a strong growing economy. With a lot more people working, fewer people in poverty which means fewer people collecting from public assistance. So it calls for 200B$ a year in new infrastructure investment to put unemployed people back to work.

I like the idea of closing wasteful tax expenditures as part of deficit reduction. We also can't get to deficit reduction without them but when you close those things for business's and leave the corporate tax in. Place where it is, 40% higher then Canada just North of the border. What happens is that you end up giving American business's a net tax increase money that won't actually go to the U.S. treasury but. Money that would end up going to other countries instead and creating jobs there, perhaps in the construction industries. Rebuilding areas of those countries instead of rebuilding things here. So what we should do instead in close wasteful tax expenditures including for business's but at the same time. Encourage those business's to invest that money in America instead. So you are creating economic and job growth while at the same time you are reducing your deficit. Closing tax expenditures should come in a broader tax reform package and do that while you are also investing in new infrastructure.

So thats what I would be doing when it comes to deficit reduction as well as economic and job growth. And when you are talking about cuts, you should also be talking about reforms. First cutting things you simply don't need and or don't need to spend as much on but them reforming things you need to make. Them work better but also more cost effective so you aren't hurting people that need whatever assistance they are currently getting.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Foreign Affairs: Latin America: Juan de Ornis: Reelect President Dilma Rousseff: Social Democracy in Brazil

Reelect Rousseff: In February, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced that she would seek a second term in office. Given the country's poor economic performance, the coming election season will not be an easy one for her.

From what I know about the Federative Republic of Brazil a country thats physically the size of the mainland United States. A country of 190M people with the fifth largest economy in the World, is that the two main political parties in that country are both Democratic-Socialist parties. The Workers Party led by President Dilma Rousseff and the Socialist Party so one way or the other Brazil is going to have. Some type of Social Democracy, the question is what type of a Social Democracy and how much will be expected of the Federal Government. There to meet the needs of the people and how much freedom will the Brazilian people have to meet the needs of themselves. And how much opportunity will be there for the people to move up and not be dependent on the state in order to survive. And the other question being since we are talking about a Social Democracy and not a Communist Republic or a country with. Social and political freedom but with essentially no economic freedom where the state does own the means of production in society and. By the way those types of Democracies do not exist anymore if they ever did. What does Social Democracy mean especially in a country as large as Brazil with this large of an economy.

This is a country thats deep in resources including oil and steel that can generate its own energy and export it. As well as deep in land and in people and is a Social Democracy with a considerable amount of freedom , economic, social and political. So Brazil is not only an economic power now but if they make the right economic decisions and continue to move people out of power and bring up living. Standards all over the country where all Brazilian people have access to a good education and can get themselves the skills that they need to be successful in life. And even start their own business's, this is a country that could be the next superpower in the developed Democratic world and a country that could. Not only take on America and Europe but even pass them and be the dominant economic as well as political and militarily power in Latin America. Depending on how well Mexico continues to develop its large Democracy as well.

So what you get with Social Democracy at its best, especially in a huge country like Brazil. With all of its people land and natural resources. Is a country similar to Canada, where there's a strong functioning safety net thats also affordable and doesn't drain resources from the private sector. That basically provides basic human resources that people need to live well but where the people have the freedom and. Responsibility to do the rest for themselves, so in a Social Democracy everyone has access to education and healthcare thats affordable. And generally provided by government but where taxes aren't so high that they discourage people from working hard, being productive and being successful because they are. Able to keep a lot of what they earn in society which could be the future of Brazil.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Hill: Congress: Erik Wasson: Senate Democrats Release Their First Budget Plan in Four Years: Tax, Cut & Invest to Deficit Reduction

Senate Dem budget includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes - The Hill's On The Money

If I had my way Congress and the President would pass two big bills as they relate to the economy and fiscal policy this year. And it would start with House Republicans passing their own budget plan with House Democrats presenting and alternative and getting it voted on. And then Senate Democrats passing their own budget plan with Senate Republicans probably using the House Republican plan as their. Alternative and getting a vote on it and then President Obama presenting his plan as well so we could see where both sides are in Congress. And where the President is as far as getting to deficit reduction and what do I mean by that. That we get the debt to a point that its not growing faster then the economy and that the economy is larger then the debt. With the deficit falling every year which would free up capitol for the Federal Government to invest in other areas. But also free up capitol for the private sector to borrow and invest because now the United States Government is not competing with them for such a. Huge chunk of the resources of the economy.

And then Congress would have what's called a conference committee, if you are familiar with the so called super committee. Well thats kinda what a Congressional conference committee is, between the House and Senate and when it comes to the Federal budget. Where members of both the House and Senate budget committees come together to work out what the final budget plan will be thats passed by. Congress but because of how divided both sides are right now and the fact we have a divided Congress with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. The White House would probably have to be involved in this meeting and the only way something gets passed. Is if both sides give, Republicans are going to have to give when it comes to tax reform and Democrats are going to have to give when it. Comes to entitlements, things like the home mortgage deduction when it comes to expensive homes and for millionaires. And the tax credit that encourages jobs to be shipped oversees.

Democrats are going to have to give when it comes to how Medicare and Medicaid compensate doctors and hospitals. And taxing Social Security for wealthy people who receive it, as well early Social Security income for wealthy people once they reach sixty two. We could even live with the sequester as long as its not a sequester and that Congress and the President work out how exactly those cuts are made and. Target them instead and let defense use as an example have input in where to find an additional forty billion dollars in savings. This scenario is probably still a long shot but Congress is closer now then perhaps even in the summer of 2011 of passing a comprehensive deficit reduction package when they. Almost reached an agreement on things like tax reform and entitlements where there seems to be movement in those two areas.

If Democrats and Republicans reach an agreement on tax and entitlement reform and replace the sequester. Then they could start talking about economic recovery and doing things to move the economy forward faster. If they get an agreement on tax reform they could tell American business's that the money we are taking back from you for sending jobs oversees. You can get that money back by investing that money in the United States and hiring workers in this country. And you can even deduct from your taxes the costs of expanding your operations in this country. New offices, factories, stores, equipment and so fourth and you combine that with an infrastructure plan of around 1T$ over 5-10 years and that we pay. For this entire package and start creating jobs and hiring people so we have more workers and more people with more money to spend in this country.

As a Democrat of course I prefer the Senate Democratic approach of spending cuts and tax reform. To get to deficit reduction but to get tax reform, entitlement reform is going to have to be on the table. For one because it needs to be done because we have 100B$ a year alone in savings that we should be. Making in Medicare and Medicaid alone when it comes to how they compensate hospitals and doctors. Thats money we shouldn't be spending and two it has to be done to get Republicans to agree to a comprehensive approach.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Durham University: Professor Connor Gearty- Liberty and Security For All

Source: Durham University-
Source: Durham University: Professor Connor Gearty- Liberty and Security For All

If you want to know what I think about the War on Terror. Here are a few quotes that I'll give you and that should give a pretty good idea. "Give me liberty or give me death", "without liberty, there is no security" and I would add vice versa. As a Liberal I believe the number and only role of government is to protect individual freedom and that security had to be part of that. But not at the expense of individual freedom, which has been my main problem with the so called War on Terror. Which more of a real war than the so-called War on Drugs. Because at least in the War on Terror, the United States Government has gone out and is doing everything it can to win this war. But the War on Terror as Vidal Gore once said is not real. Because the War on Terror is really just a phrase, a catch-phrase.

But wars are fought between people and against each other. The Gulf War and the War in Iraq were real wars fought between countries. Not a war against a certain philosophy or ideology. But my main problem with the so-called War on Terror is that its been a war to secure security at all costs. Even at the expense of freedom and constitutional rights. Which is why its doomed to fail because again without freedom there is no security. Democrats biggest problem as well as my biggest problem with President Obama has been when it comes to the so-called War on Terror. That except for Afghanistan and Iraq, its real hard to tell the difference between Barack Obama, whose a man in a lot of ways I like a lot and even love, but to tell him apart between President George W. Bush except for Afghanistan and Iraq, its real difficult to tell the two president's apart.

Both president's support the Patriot Act, actually it was President Obama who extended the Patriot Act after it expired. Which has Fourth Amendment flaws in it, like Uncle Sam being able to checkout what Americans are reading and who they are hanging out with. If they believe, but don't have to prove in a court of law that these people are terrorists, or associate with terrorists. They both support indefinite detention which is the U.S. Government being able to hold terrorists suspects again indefinitely, again if they just suspect them of being associated somehow with the broader War on Terror. But never even have to give these suspects a court date, or hearing. Or treat them with the basic constitutional rights that someone suspected of murdering their spouse, or something.

And then there's warrantless wiretapping, where the U.S. Government can snoop in on people and who they are talking with and associating with. Again if they suspect these people of being associated with violent Islamism. If you think about it, the so-called War on Terror has been a neoconservative dream, or fantasy thats come true to life. Thats now being carried out by someone whose supposed to be a Liberal Democrat and care a lot about things like individual freedom. Especially as they relate to civil liberties. The Far-Right, has to be in love with what they are seeing from President Obama when it comes to these things. Except for Afghanistan and Iraq where they would want the United States to be occupying those countries indefinitely. Which is all the reason  I need alone to have big issues with how President Obama has been carrying out this so-called war.

Social Democrats, or the Far-Left flank of the Democratic Party and the Far-Left in general in this country, have issues with President Obama across the board. Even though they backed him in 2008. Expecting he would be some type European Social Democrat ideologically in how he governed. And I could give you a whole list issues of why they don't like him. But economic issues, or his broader foreign policy, hasn't been my issues with President Obama. But with how he's conducted the bogus neoconservative War on Terror.

Friday, March 8, 2013

ABC News: Economy: Susanna Kim: February Jobs Report: Unemployment Falls to 7.7 Percent With 236K Jobs Added: Job Growth Moving Forward

February Jobs Report: Unemployment Falls to 7.7 Percent - ABC News

This is the best jobs report America has seen in about two years with serious job growth that moves us back towards where we were in 2006 and early 2007. With over two hundred thousand jobs which is where we need to be to move the unemployment rate down and having people not just looking for work. Which is good but actually finding work which is even better and creating more customers with money to spend. Which leads to better economic growth and even better job growth and actually helps us bring down our debt and deficit. With more people spending money and more people paying taxes especially income taxes and fewer people collecting public assistance. Which means we have a higher demand in the private sector with more people with money to purchase goods and using that money to purchase goods. And fewer people collecting public assistance which is he we get back to a full economic recovery. And not just an economy thats out of recession but not growing much.

Foreign Affairs: Latin America: Michael Shifter: So Long, Hugo Chávez: The Potential of Social-Democracy in Venezuela

So Long, Chávez: After a reign of 14 years, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died on March 5, 2013. Regardless of what follows, Chávez’s legacy, and the damage he left behind, will not be easily undone.

Now that Hugo Chavez is dead and of course no longer President of the Bolivar Republic of Venezuela. The Venezuelan people have a big mess to clean up because the only positive mark that President Chavez had on Venezuela. Was establishing some type of safety net in this country and building things like schools and hospitals, assistance for the poor and so fourth. But did very little despite Venezuela's wealth in energy resources to develop the Venezuelan economy and infrastructure to create a larger. Middle class in Venezuela so fewer Venezuelans would need public assistance in order to survive. Hugo Chavez was not the Franklin Roosevelt of Venezuela. But more like the Fidel Castro of Venezuela but at least under President Castro Cuba now has a education and healthcare system that even looks first world. Where Venezuela still doesn't have that despite Chavez being President of Venezuela for fourteen years. He did very little to advance the economy there or build much of a Democracy there.

The future of Latin America is not in Venezuela but in Brazil and Mexico two countries that are poised to becoming developed countries. And in Brazil's case a world power thats shown that Socialism can work as long as its combined with Democracy. Which is  what Social-Democracy is about, freedom to go along with a generous welfare state but also combine with economic freedom, to go along with. Social and political freedom so you don't have such a large class of people in one country dependent on the state in order to survive. But you use the resources that you have to build your economy so as many people as possible have a good opportunity to be successful in life. With things like healthcare and health insurance for everyone, a quality education for everyone, a modern infrastructure system and using. Your natural resources to develop your country and also so you have things you can export.

This is the model that Venezuela should be looking at if they want to be a Socialist State. Moving away from Castro/Chavez Communism or state ownership but looking to build a Social-Democracy where. The Venezuelan people have freedom to not only vote but able to live their own lives and not be dependent on the state. Where their infrastructure system is developed that benefits the entire Venezuela people and all they have to look at for a model is their neighbor Brazil.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

MSNBC: Republican Presidential Debate- U.S. Representative Ron Paul: Entitlements Are Not Rights

The word entitlements is use to describe Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as Unemployment Insurance. When as progressive columnist Jonathan Alter pointed out in Monday in his column, that these programs are really social insurances that people collect when they need them. Just because we pay into Unemployment Insurance, doesn't mean we'll ever see a dime directly from it. To use as an example and hopefully we would never have to. Medicaid would be another example of that even though it doesn't have a direct revenue source to fund it.

But we all pay for it through taxes even if we are never covered by it. Social insurance is exactly that it's insurance that people collect when they need it, which is how Social Security should be looked at as well. I would allow all Americans at any age level who pay into Medicare to be able to use Medicare as their main health insurer. And have the option before their senior years to pay into and collect Medicare as their health insurance. Instead of having to wait until 65-67.

I was for a public option as part of healthcare reform in 2009-10 that wasn't part of the final 2010 Affordable Care Act. But even then it's not an entitlement because under that plan non-senior citizens who collect from Medicare would still have to pay into it. Like they would pay premiums for other health insurance. But that doesn't mean we are entitled to Medicare, we still have to pay for it. We don't have a constitutional right for Medicare.

 Obviously there are different views to what Americans are entitled to in America. There's a liberal view which is what I share as a Liberal, there's a social-democratic view to what Americans are entitled to. There's a conservative or conservative-libertarian view of what Americans are entitled to. And of course there's a classical libertarian view to what Americans are entitled to as well. The view I believe in is that Americans are entitled to live in freedom and that it's the job of government to protect our freedom so we don't lose it.

The job of government is not to protect us from ourselves and treat us like their children with very little if any individual freedom for ourselves. But to protect our freedom and property rights. Protect our freedom for us to be able to live our own lives as we see fit, to be able to chart our own course in life. Ss long as we aren't hurting anyone innocent people with what we are doing. And for Americans who don't live in freedom who don't have the same economic and personal freedom that other Americans have, it's the job of government to empower those people to get the same freedom as the rest of the country has.

That Americans are entitled to freedom and an opportunity to live well in life. But at the end of the day we live our lives based on what we do with them. That nothing is given to us other than a good opportunity to be successful in life. The so-called progressive or social-democratic view to what Americans are entitled to is to live in security and to be protected. Not just as it relates to physical protection but economic protection as well. That all Americans are entitled to health insurance, a good pension, that we are entitled to make a good living, that anyone who works shouldn't have to live in poverty and so-forth.

Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists believe that no matter  the skills set is and so-forth, that we are all entitled to live well no matter what we do with our lives and what our skills are and what we produce for society. Which is one reason why Socialists tend to be reluctant to means-test programs like Medicare and Social Security. Because they believe all Americans are entitled to those programs. And thats the big Democratic divide on the left in the Democratic Party what are Americans entitled to in a democracy.

Are we entitled to property rights and right for one to chart their own course in life and live as well as they possibly can as an individual. With government seeing that everyone has the opportunity to achieve that freedom for themselves. Which is where I come down as a Liberal Democrat who believes in liberal democracy and the individual freedom and property rights that come with that. Or are we entitled to a basic quality standard of living simple because we're human beings. Which is what Democratic Socialists even in the Democratic Party tend to advocate. Even if that means individual freedom both economic and personal are restricted. To see that everyone has what they need to live well and equally. That is the current economic debate in the Democratic Party.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WMAR-TV: Maryland: Via AP: Senate Approves Measure to Repeal Capital Punishment

Senate approves measure to repeal capital punishment

If I was a Maryland State Senator I probably would've voted against this being in favor of a limited use of the death penalty. But its easy to see why Marylanders would be against this with the death row inmates who've been found to be innocent.

The Hill: Congress: Russell Berman: House GOP to Consider bill on Job-Training Programs: Reforming Job-Training in America

House GOP to shift focus from cuts to consider bill on job-training programs - The Hill

This is exactly the direction that the House GOP should be moving in whether this bill is good or not. But these are the things that they should be talking about instead of their whole message being about how do. We just the size of the Federal Government but also talk about how to make the Federal Government work better. So Americans who need public assistance don't have to stay on it as lone and can move to the workforce with a good job instead.

David Von Pein: President John F. Kennedy's Cuban Missile Crisis Speech- 10/22/1962

Source: David Von Pein-
Source: David Von Pein: President John F. Kennedy's Cuban Missile Crisis Speech- 10/22/1962

What President Kennedy showed during this crisis was to show that his National Security Council was on top of the situation from the beginning. And the question which was a huge question, was what to do about it to prevent missiles from being launched at the United States. President Kennedy, obviously did not want to go to war with another superpower and risk destroying the world in the process. Which might have happened had the United States gone to war with the Soviet Union. Trying to invade the Communist Republic of Cuba with Russian ships in the area was not going to happen without some war. Which meant that the Kennedy Administration, was going to need a negotiated settlement with Russia.

Russia, was literally able to stick their own nuclear weapons on the island of Cuba. Just ninety miles from Miami, Florida. With enough power to eliminate the East Coast of the United States. So President Kennedy and his National Security Council knew they had to get those weapons out of Cuba. They also knew that going to war with a country the size and that was as powerful militarily as the Soviet Union, probably wasn't an option at all. So they were going to have to work this out diplomatically. To get the weapons out of Cuba, America was going to have to give Russia something they wanted as well.

What prevented World War III during the Cuba Missile Crisis was Russia agreeing to pull their weapons out of Cuba. In return for America pulling their weapons out of Turkey. America, didn't pass new economic sanctions on Russia hoping that Russia would eventually take the weapons out of Cuba. As well as hoping they would never use them, or give them to Cuba. And America didn't go to war with Russia and try to settle it that way. Both countries had something that the other wanted and wanted something that the other had. And both were smart and sane enough to settle the crisis diplomatically.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

CFR: Video: The Meaning of Power in the 21st Century

Power in the 21st Century will be based on economic power and human capital. The countries that will do very well in these areas, especially large countries with large economies or the. Potential to have large economies, will be the most powerful in this century. And at some point in this century we'll have more then just one superpower in the World and I expect America to. Be one of those superpowers but it has challenges of its own to not only be the number one power in the World. But to remain a superpower in the World and emerging superpowers in the World all understand. That power in the 21st Century will be based on a countries economy and the amount of power it can generate from that. China, Russia, Brazil and I would add Mexico to that list all understand this and I believe the European Union understands this as well. Even though they are further behind economically except for Germany with huge debt and deficit. Burdens with economies that are barley growing if at all and not creating jobs.

Power in the 21st Century will be economically based because without strong economies. Its hard to generate the resources to be a major player in the World when it comes to military and. Diplomatic power, the Communist Republic of Korea is a perfect example of that where really all they have as far as leverage. Is their weapons programs but its a country that can't feed itself and relies on others to do that for them. But the reason why China, Russia and Brazil are emerging as world powers is because their economies are generating the power and influence. For them to do other things as it relates to world affairs and America not only needs to understand this but also successfully adjust to it. And not have a national debt thats growing faster then its economy and finally start generating economic and job growth that brings down. Its high levels of unemployment and poverty.

So the successful powers in the 21st Century will be the economic powers and the economic powers. Will be the countries that are the main players in world affairs and will be looked to, to use their power and influence. To deal with issues and concerns around the world, like governments that murder their people for wanting freedom to use as an example. And for America to remain the number one power in the World, they are going to have to have a strong economy again.

Ramona Horstlich: Ted Bundy Documentary- The Charming Serial Murderer

Source: Ramona Horstlich- One of Ted Bundy's murder victims-
Source: FRS Daily Press

Ted Bundy was a special serial murderer and I don’t mean that in a complementary way. But he was very successful at murdering people and even getting away with it up to a point. Because he had intelligence and an education level that murders or criminals in general simply don’t generally. To go along with possessing a certain amount of evil where he actually enjoyed raping and murdering women. And you put all of these characteristics together and you have a serial murderer whose able to rape and murder all the women he was able to.

I’m not saying that criminals in general are dumb and I’m not a professional criminal profiler. But what I do know about this is that the average career criminal who ends up spending at least a major percentage of their life in and outside of jail and prison, generally don’t have a very good education. And tend to get involved in crime early on and perhaps as a result don’t finish high school. Either drop out doing considerable time in juvenile hall. The average career criminal tends to be dumb in the sense that they’re not well-educated. They don’t have skills and knowledge that they can use to make a successful life for themselves outside of crime by the time they start doing hard time. And another thing that makes Bundy special is that he started his criminal career as a teenager as well.

Ted Bundy was a high school and college graduate who was studying to be a lawyer. Who defended himself in court and perhaps gave himself a better defense than the local public defender could have given him in Tallahassee where he was finally put way for good and given the death penalty. The average career criminal especially a serial murderer, doesn’t fit that profile. The average criminal that has Bundy’s criminal profile, is a screw up (to put it mildly) for the most part. Whose done time for shoplifting and knocking off convenient stores and stealing fifty bucks and so-forth. That wasn’t Ted Bundy. Bundy was someone who if he didn’t have this murderous addiction (no pun intended) would have ended up as a lawyer. And perhaps a damn good one but had this horrible side that cost the lives of at least twenty women that we know of.
Ramona Horstlich: Ted Bundy Documentary

Monday, March 4, 2013

David Von Pein: 1964 Interview With Karen Carlin: An Employee Of Jack Ruby's

David Von Pein: 1964 Interview With Karen Carlin: An Employee Of Jack Ruby's

Perhaps one of the most famous nightclub employees of all time. I don't know much about Karen Carlin and maybe that is because that there isn't much to know about her. But what I get is that she was an attractive women who worked for Jack Ruby at Jack Ruby's nightclub The Carousel in Dallas. And worked there simply because she needed the money. But that she's not someone who has much if any information about Jack Ruby. Other than Ruby might have shot Lee Harvey Oswald the assassin of President John F. Kennedy. She simply worked for the man and only worked there because she needed the money. Because he husband had a hard time holding a good job.

You have to know that this whole story had to do with the assassination of an American President. John F. Kennedy who was President of the United States. This was so very new to most people in the country and the first presidential assassination that was covered in the electronic age with network TV and network news. And any person that might of had some connection to someone who was a big part of this story was automatically seen as suspect, or at least as a potential suspect. Karen Carlin, not only knew Jack Ruby the killer of Lee Oswald who assassinated the President, but she worked for him. Which meant that people automatically assumed that she must know something important about this story.

FRS FreeState: President William J. Clinton- Memphis Church of God in Christ Speech: From 1993

Source:Pics Bud- President William J. Clinton, 42nd POTUS 
I saw this speech last week when I was watching a documentary about President Clinton and his Presidency. I might of seen this speech before, but I simply can't remember, but I already believe it's probably the best speech he's ever given at least as President of the United States. Even better than his first inaugural, or his 1992 or 2000 Democratic Convention speeches. All great speeches if you are not familiar with them, I suggest you watch or read them even if you don't like Bill Clinton, but someone who likes listening to good speeches. What made this speech great was the time that it was given, twenty five years after Martin Luther King was assassinated, not the anniversary of that assassination, this was November, 1993 MLK was murdered April, 1968, but twenty-five years after he was murdered and what else made this speech great was the simple honesty of it. He was attempting to speak for MLK, no one of course can do that we are simply talking about perhaps the greatest speaker this country has ever produced.

But what President Clinton was attempting to do was to layout what MLK would think of America. And the African-American community twenty-five years later and the progress that it has made. But the challenges that still remain and what he died for and what he didn't die for. That fewer African-Americans as a percentage of the country lives in poverty and more live in the middle class. And are well-educated but still too many live in poverty and so-forth. But the line in this speech that hit me the hardest not in a bad way, was when President Clinton said attempting to speak for Martin King, "I did not die to stop the violence from white people onto black people only to see black people killing other black people. I did not die to see that." And if you are an African-American I believe that's got to hit home that yes they've made progress, but we are still not at the mountaintop where Reverend King wanted African-Americans to join him.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

92nd Street Y: Video: Former Vice President Al Gore: Six Drivers of Global Change

Vice President Gore is right about how the World is changing but the question is how should America adjust to it so we are as strong as we need to be. At least thats the debate going on in Washington between the two major political parties but also different factions in those. Political parties because are challenges are clear.

With a economy thats barely growing if at all, with high unemployment, debt and deficits, the sequester will not make these challenges any easier. Along with high poverty and not enough Americans able to adjust to not only the challenges that they. Face today but the challenges that they'll face tomorrow in an economy thats not only knowledge based. Where future success for people is not only tied to not only what you know but what you can do and how well you can. Do those things to make yourself as successful as possible and thats just not how the economy is based today, domestically but also globally. But that it anything will not only become even greater and we simply don't have a large enough workforce in America. That has the skills to be successful in life, which is why we have such large population of people who. Live in poverty but a lower middle class who aren't that far away from having to live in poverty themselves.

So the challenges for America now but as well in the next 5-10 years will be economically related and if we solve these issues correctly. It will enable us to be able to deal with the issues we face militarily, foreign policy challenges, debt and deficits as well. But we can't solve these issues without solid economic and job growth, with a larger well educated. Workforce that will be able to take advantage of the new economy.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Brookings Institution: Video: An Enduring Social Safety Net: How to Have a Strong Safety Net in Times of Deficit Reduction

In times of deficit reduction its easy to cut the areas of the Federal budget where most Americans don't depend on. Benefits that don't directly effect them at least in the short term and this goes to the area of anti poverty programs. That effect roughly 1/5 Americans, as well as tax credits for middle class workers where most of the country does benefit from. But actual programs like Welfare Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, Food Assistance. Public Housing and so fourth really only benefits people who don't have a big say and power play in Washington. To speak up for them and a lobbying effort to see that their benefits are protected unlike corporations and labor unions to use as examples. So these programs are easy to cut because whose going to stop Congress and the President from doing that. And even though just cutting them to save money may save money in the short term. It costs us more long term because now we have people who've lost their benefits that they have to have to survive. And become desperate and do things they wouldn't normally do.

Myself as a Liberal I want the safety net to work better and be more cost effective. That is people who are on public assistance, don't stay on it as long as do not collect as many. Benefits and are paying more into the system instead because now they are working instead. With a good job because while they were on public assistance they were improving and educating. Themselves so they have the skills to get a good job and not have to depend on public assistance in order to meet ends meet. That the safety net becomes a way for people to build their lives up and improve themselves, not just there to collect public assistance checks. Which means investing more up front or investing differently which would save the country a lot more money down the run. Then simply cutting peoples public assistance checks or kicking them off of programs.

I would go further then that actually and change the way the Federal Government operates in the area of social insurance. And simply get the Feds out of the business when it comes to social insurance and not have them run a national system. But instead treat social insurance like it treats public education where the states and locals. Would have the main responsibility when it comes to running these programs but with basic national standards in place. To see that these programs remain in place and are serving the people who need them. Which would save the Feds somewhere in the neighborhood of one trillion dollars a year. And the Feds could just concentrate on doing the things that we need it do to. National security, law enforcement, justice system, foreign policy, regulation and the currency. And providing resources to states and locals who come up short financially and we could not only save a lot of money. But make these programs work a lot better for the people who need them.

There are ways to cut the debt and deficit just to cut it and make it look like you are saving money. At least in the short term and then there are ways to cut the debt and deficit that actually solves the problems. Both short and long term and a lot of times you can cut your debt and deficit by simply making programs work better with the resources that it has. And decentralizing how they are run which is my approach.

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