Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Classic MLB 11: Video: MLB 1984-NBC MLB-GOW-6/23-St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs: Full Game

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Press on WordPress

The baseball game that seemed like to would never end. A classic game in this great Cardinals-Cubs rivalry, great rivalry even though the Cardinals are traditional winners and champions. And the Cubs generally are not only losers, but tend to finish way out of contention. A great game if you hate pitching and perhaps see pitching as an inconvenience to slugfest and perhaps as a necessary evil that is necessary so that baseball games actually come to conclusion at some point. This game was essentially a home run derby where the team that could find away to get more outs and scored last was going to win. But not a great game in the sense that it was a great all around played game. With good pitching, defense and with timely hitting, that went down to last outs and into the ninth inning not knowing who was going to win at the end.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Foreign Affairs: Francis Fukuyama- Future of History: Can Liberal Democracy Survive the Decline of the Middle Class?

Source: Foreign Affairs-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState Plus

I saw a blog last night on The Dish with Andrew Sullivan which is also on WordPress, if you are interested in The Dish and the blog was called, "Why hasn’t there been a Liberal version of the Tea Party." I’m paraphrasing, but that is pretty close to the title of it. Referring to groups like Occupy Wall Street as if these are liberal groups. Granted these groups are on the Left, but they aren’t liberal. And ideologically have more in common with Social Democrats in Europe than they do with Liberal Democrats in America.

Liberal Democrats like Wendell Willkie from the 1930s and 40s, or Jack Kennedy or Bill Clinton or Dick Durbin the Assistant Leader in the U.S. Senate, or Representative Jared Pollis one of my favorite members of the House who I would love to see run statewide at some point a real New Democrat, a true Liberal Democrat who is pro-gay rights, anti-war on drugs, pro-marijuana legalization, fiscally responsible. The men that I mentioned are the real Liberals in the Democratic Party and the country. Senator Ron Wyden would be another and I’m sure there are plenty women like this, Wendy Davis in Texas. That make up the real Liberals in America as well.

So perhaps Andrew Sullivan’s blog should’ve been titled something to the affect. How come there hasn’t been a leftist version of the Tea Party. Whether it comes from Liberals where I am or Social Democrats. Who are a bit further to the Left and perhaps not even center-left. But the point is taken that there hasn’t been a liberal response to the Tea Party in this century. When Republicans took control of the House and the state governorships in 2011 after the 2010 elections, the Democratic response led by President Obama was a defensive one.

President Obama responded with you meaning the "Republicans are back in power and we have divided government now, but we are here to stop you and prevent you from getting everything you want". And this went on for over a year until Democrats got back into campaigning and decided they wanted to get reelected. And not have a President Mitt Romney with a united Republican Congress including the Senate. And set out to essentially destroy these people . Tea Party Republicans running for election in swing states and of course Mitt Romney who gave Democrats plenty of weapons to hit him with. But it wasn’t a positive reaction to the right-wing Tea Party.

In 2005-06 when the Democratic Party started rebounding thanks to the Iraq War, President Bush’s failed Social Security reform effort, Hurricane Katrina after President Bush was reelected in 2004-05. And with Republicans in Congress going downhill thanks to corrupt House Republicans and President Bush’s lower thirties approval ratings. One poll I saw in late 2005 had President Bush at twenty-nine percent. And to go along with the Iraq War and House Republican scandals some bad Senate Republicans incumbents, running for reelection in 2006.

Senator George Allen in Virginia and Conrad Burns in Montana, all of these things led to the first Democratic Congress since 1993-94. Democrats won back the House and Senate in 2006, but not because of some liberal or social democratic revolution similar to the Tea Party on the Right. But because Republicans had ten toes that year and probably shot off eight of them. So Democrats coming back to power in 2006 was a response to Republicans failing in out-of-power with a united government. Not because of a Democratic revolution liberal or otherwise.

To go back even further with the Goldwater-Reagan Conservative-Republican movement, that started in the mid 1960s and went up all the way through George H.W. Bush losing reelection for president in 1992. And this revolution was in response to the Progressive Era of FDR and LBJ. Where Progressive Democrats essentially were in charge of the United States from 1933 until 1969 with a small break with Eisenhower years in the 1950s. Who did not seek to roll back the New Deal. But even added to it with the creation of the interstate highway system.

There wasn’t a counter-movement from the Left at all until the mid or late 1980s after Democrats had taken it on the chin for twenty years. Basically at least at the presidential level losing 5-6 presidential elections from 1968-88, four of those by landslides. Jimmy Carter’s defeat to Ron Reagan in 1980 was so bad it also cost Democrats the U.S. Senate. And gave House Republicans a large minority working with Southern Democrats an ideological majority in the House. But it wasn’t really to 1985 or later that Liberal Democrats woke up and said "we need to take the party back from the Far-Left if we are going to govern again".

The closest thing I believe we’ve seen to a liberal version of the Tea Party as far as in power and the ability to mobilize is what is known as the New Democrat Coalition in the Democratic Party. An organization that was put together to respond to two ideological factions the Goldwater-Reagan Conservative Republicans. And the George McGovern Social Democrats in the Democratic Party. New Democrats are Democrats whose message is basically this. That we aren’t crazy like these people on the far-left in the Democratic Party and we are responsible and know how to govern".

New Democrats  aren’t going to tax or regulate people out-of-business. But they aren’t Conservatives either, but that don't believe government has a strong role to try to take care of everyone and try to run people’s lives for them. But there to support people who need it and to see that there is opportunity for everyone to survive on their own. And government is there to protect consumers and workers from predators. Not try to protect people from themselves which is different. And this movement produced Mike Dukakis for president in 1988 who ran a horrible campaign. And Bill Clinton who of course was elected president in 1992 and reelected overwhelmingly in 1996.

But since the Tea Party was created in 2009, there hasn’t been a strong Democratic movement that could gain the support and manpower. As well as a political and governmental agenda to counter the Tea Party from the Liberal-Left in America. And I would like to see that happen, because if this movement were put together and it would have more than enough resources to compete with the Tea Party because it would be business friendly. Not owned by business, but be able to raise funds from them. Because there are plenty of liberal business groups, as well as be able to raise a tone of money online from individuals as well. And as a Liberal Democrat I would love to see this happen.
WKC Media: Real Time With Bill Maher- General Wesley Clark: We Live In a Liberal Democracy

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Economist: Phillip Coggan & Ryan Avent- Money Talks: Losing faith

This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState Plus

As Ryan Avent said the United States economy could takeoff if the U.S. Government and I mean the U.S. Congress especially, like the House Republican Conference, stopped shooting the economy in the foot. And get out-of-the-way and stop creating all of these new crisis’.

And taking positions, “like we’ll only do what we have to do like paying the government’s bills or avoid default. If you give us something or we’ll only do what we are supposed to do if you do this. And if you don’t give us exactly what we want or mostly what we want, we’ll shut the government down or default on the U.S. Government debts run up by Congress in the last 10-15 years.” Just when this huge country the largest economy in the world as well had paid off its last budget deficit it ran up in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. But by the late 1990s we not only had a balanced budget, but were looking at actually paying off the national debt as well. It was an amazing time talking about accomplishing things that looked impossible just ten years earlier.

But now we are in a situation where the U.S. Government can’t even fund itself. Because we have a minority inside a majority party in the House of Representatives that is saying, “do it our way, or we as a government won’t do it anyway. Meaning repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act.” Or do something else that essentially kills the law that was passed by Congress. Signed by President Obama and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Or they won’t fund the government and when it comes to the debt ceiling. Again, the Tea Party will probably say, “destroy the ACA one way or the other or we’ll default on our debts.” And then who knows where the country goes from there and whether we go back into recession or not.

The good news is that the government shutdown is hammering the House Republican Conference. And there are enough Republican Representatives who would like to be a member of the next Congress as well. Who are saying, “let’s end this and move on to other issues.” But the problem is the Speaker of the House John Boehner knows if the Senate passed bill passes the House mostly with House Democratic votes, he’ll look like a bigger weakling than he already is. And even risk losing his speakership for the rest of this Congress.

Instead of default and government shutdown, the Congress and President Obama could be talking about the great economy that could takeoff and get a lot of credit for that. Both with what this country could be doing towards moving to energy independence, tax reform to get more investment in this country and rebuilding this country through infrastructure investment. But thanks to the House Tea Party some 50-55 members that is not possible right now. As long as Speaker Boehner is taking orders from them.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jack Scalia: Torch Song (1993) Starring Jack Scalia & Raquel Welch

Source:Jack Scalia- Hollywood Goddess Raquel Welch and Jack Scalia, in Torch Song from ABC.
Source:The Daily Press

"Paula Eastman (Raquel Welch) with an alcohol problem goes into rehab where she meets a fireman, Mike Lanahan (Jack Scalia) with similar problems.  Visit Jack Scalia's official facebook page at:Facebook."

From Jack Scalia

I’ll be the first to admit, Torch Song is not a great movie. It was probably one of the last made for network TV movies, which were all but gone by the late 1990s. But Raquel Welch and Jack Scalia are great in this movie and I believe Alicia Silverstone is as well.

Raquel plays an alcoholic actress whose career is now suffering as a result. The last straw with her alcoholism and what gets her to admit it, is that her daughter not only catches her drunk one night, but catches her drunk on video tape and shows her. That is what gets Raquel’s character in alcoholic rehab where she meets a man there another alcoholic played by Jack Scalia. And they start a relationship.

Even drunk Raquel is still a hot baby-face goddess who is also pretty funny.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The NBA History: NBA 1979-Christmas Day-Philadelphia 76ers @ New York Knicks: Highlights

Source:NBA History- the 76ers and Knicks from 1978.
Source:The Daily Press 

“Dr. J, Henry Bibby, ”Jellybean” Bryant and Doug Collins took the floor against Earl ”The Pearl” and the Knicks.” 

From The NBA History

Philadelphia-New York, is a great rivalry in any sport. Eagles-Giants in the NFL, which is probably the best one. Flyers-Rangers, in the NHL, Phillies-Mets in MLB and yes the 76ers-Knicks in the NBA. Which today is not nearly the rivalry it was twenty-five or thirty years ago. But it was a big deal in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

But now both franchises, especially in the 76ers case, haven’t been very good for a long time. The 76ers, have only been to the Conference Finals twice since winning their last NBA Finals in 1983. And the Knicks have struggled just to make the Eastern Conference Playoffs for the last ten years or so.

As far as this game, the 76ers were still one of the best teams in the NBA at this point. They lost in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1978 and got to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 1979.

Dr. J Julius Erving, certainly the best forward in basketball at this point and arguably the best all around player in the NBA as well at this point. Trying to lead the 76ers under head coach Billy Cunningham back to the NBA Finals. This was a bit of a homecoming for The Doctor who played for the Nets on Long Island. And the fact that he now played for the 76ers in this game was on Christmas Day, 1978 and they Sixers won big, made this game much more special.

What is also interesting about this game, is that Bob McAdoo, one of the top power forwards in the NBA in the 1970s was playing for the Knicks in this game. That were a pretty bad team in the late 70s. After leaving Buffalo in like 1976, he ends up playing for like three teams in four years. Here’s one of the best players in the NBA at this point getting shipped around from bad team to bad team in the late 70s. Before finally finding a home where he could finish his career with in Los Angeles with the Lakers in 1982.

There was a lot of talent on both teams in this game, especially for the 76ers, but they were clearly the better team.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Folkert Leffring: Video: CBS Sports: NBA 1988-Chicago Bulls @ Detroit Pistons: Fourth Quarter

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Press on WordPress

The Chicago Bulls weren’t that bad in 1988, they were actually good winning fifty games, but were still developing as a team and still not good enough to beat a team like the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers. They had Horace Grant developing at power forward with Charles Oakley still having that position, who was very solid and very good for them. But the Bulls by the late 1980s were moving to become a quicker, more athletic, trapping type of team on defense. That moved the ball a lot on offense to the open scorer.

The Bulls traded Oakley in the offseason. And made Grant their starting power forward for the next season. Scottie Pippen wasn’t even starting for the Bulls during the 1988 season. So the Bulls were still about Michael Jordan on offense, with Orlando Woolridge as their second option. Who at times was very good, but not a great player. And the Pistons were one of the teams that they had to get by in the Central Division to accomplish what they wanted, which was to win the NBA Finals. And this was the start of the Bulls-Pistons rivalry, which is still alive today, but not as strong.

The Pistons in 1988 were an NBA Finals contender, but better than they were in 1987. Because they had already gotten to the Eastern Conference Finals and lost it and knew they were very close to what they wanted which was an NBA Championship. And if Isiah Thomas doesn’t sprain his ankle of game 6 of the 1988 NBA Finals, who knows maybe they win the championship that year. The Celtics were getting older and no longer had a good bench and the Pistons already knew they were good enough to beat the Celtics.

Colgate University: 'Liberal Democracy and Its Limits'

Source:Colgate University- talking about liberal democracy.
Source:FRS FreeState 

"As a regime type, liberal democracy is defined in terms of its limits - respect for personal freedom; reliance on market mechanisms; governance through the rule of law, articulated through representative government, responsive to the peopel in periodic elections. It also limits its aspirations - it seeks to secure rights, rather than to save souls or mold the character of its citizens. Through limited, could liberal democracy be the "final" form of government, the end of history?" 

"Slides regarding Liberal Democracy for an undergraduate course in Political Thought that I taught between 2003-2005." 

Source:Slide Share- with a look at the real liberalism.

From Slide Share

I’m not sure there is an actual limit or limits to liberal democracy, other than the fact that people who aren’t fans of liberal democracy and individual freedom have the same freedom as people who believe in freedom. Even as much freedom that comes from liberal democracy. Whether they are on the Left or Right and because people who have more of a statist, or authoritarian beliefs when it comes to government. And can and do use their freedom to work for, donate, work and elect people whether they are on the Far-Right and Far-Left to put in their authoritarian form of government in place.

But the whole ideas and notions of liberal democracy and the liberal form of government and constitution, is built around a Constitution and Bill of Rights. And I would argue that it is built around the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. That is the people have a basic set of constitutional rights built around free speech, free assembly, right to privacy, freedom of press, the right to be educated, the right to practice, or not to practice religion. And that religion is separate from state in the sense that society isn’t governed based on religious beliefs.

But the best available facts not faith on the ground and the United States Constitution as well as the right to self-defense. And what separates liberal democracy from social democracy or majoritarian democracy, is that the constitutional rights that individuals have are constitutional and can’t be taken away from us, because they may seem to be unpopular at the time. That we are essentially guaranteed these basic rights our entire lives.

Just to add one more, property rights and self-ownership: that the people and not government own the economy and own their own property including themselves. And what comes with that is not only economic freedom, the right for one to chart their own course in life and make out of life what they can make of it and keep the rewards of what they produce for themselves. And society and not government collecting most of what people produce and giving it to other people, or spend that money for the people because they believe they better know what people in life need to live well.

And where a limited government comes in is to see that everyone has the ability to access freedom in their lives. To do for the people what they can’t do for themselves, or not do as well. And that we all have access to get the tools that we need to be successful in life and to live in freedom. And to me that comes with education, regulation to protect workers and consumers, not run business’s. And law enforcement and defense so the society has the freedom to move around and operate with a certain level of security.

You want to know what liberalism and liberal democracy is about, it’s these things. Individual freedom and rights and not having a superstate that is there to take care of us for us. And to protect us even from ourselves. Like having to see or hear speech that they may offend us to use as an example. Someone who believes in a superstate is not a Liberal, but a statist, or a paternalist whether they come from the Right or Left.

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democracy