Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lillian Ewing: Video: BIO-TV: Biography, Barbara Eden, The Baby Jeannie Comes to America’s Homes

Baby Goddess
Lillian Ewing: Video: BIO-TV: Biography, Barbara Eden, The Baby Jeannie Comes to America’s Homes

There is much more to Barbara Eden than her hot baby-face looks but it is really difficult for me to get past that and her role as Jeanie on the NBC hit 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeanie. I have, I believe, three seasons of it on DVD, even though it went off the air about 5 years, before I was even born, but when I think of Barbara, or Barbie as I call her, I still remember that baby face she still has today as she now approaches the age of 80 years.

When it comes to sexy women and not just little baby cuties who look like little girls their whole lives, but sexy developed women who still have baby faces, Barbara Eden may be the cutest woman to ever come out of Hollywood. If you combine that with great, quick comedic wit and timing and the ability to be adorable and funny at the same time while still knowing what the hell she is doing, you are talking about a great entertainer, with fans always coming back for more.

What comes to mind about Barbara Eden as well as her movies like Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter with Tony Randall and Jane Mansfield, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea with Walter Pidgeon, Five Weeks in a Balloon, and other movies that I believe led to I Dream of Jeanie in the mid-1960s is that people appreciated her looks and her great comedic wit and timing.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

67 Stats: Video: Jerry Jones vs. Jimmy Johnson: The Story of Jerry's Cowboys

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

As good as the Dallas Cowboys were in the 1990s with their three Super Bowl championships, three NFL championships, four conference finals appearances, and five NFC East titles and a lot of playoff victories, they could've been so much better had Jerry Jones gotten out of Jimmy Johnson's way and let him run the Cowboys' football operations department concerned with who was on the team and so forth and let Jerry worry about what Jerry is good at, which is managing the finances.

Jerry Jones had and still has the title of General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys even though he is also the owner of the franchise. But everyone in and around the NFL, and the fans as well, knew who was calling the football personal shots in Dallas, which was Jimmy because Jimmy was making the personal decisions, which was part of his job and in his contract. Jerry handled the contract negotiations of players that Jimmy wanted to sign and bring back but the Cowboys of the 1990s were built by Jimmy Johnson.

Jerry Jones wasn't an NFL man before purchasing the Cowboys in 1989.   He was someone who learned very fast on the job, but Jimmy Johnson was his man to run the team and they had been childhood friends in Arkansas. Jerry knew Jimmy's college football career very well at Miami Florida and in Oklahoma and had the guy he wanted all along, but he couldn't handle Jimmy getting the credit for building the Cowboys and returning them to power in the 1990s.  That is why they broke up.

In 1989 Jimmy Johnson inherited a 3-13 Cowboys team from 1988 with a huge deficit when it came to talent, especially young talent and young veteran talent, with most of their star players making their mark in the 1970s and early 1980s. Jimmy saw this right away and decided that the best way to rebuild the Cowboys was to get worse before getting better and releasing or trading or asking veteran Cowboys to retire to make room for college draft picks and young talented free agents.

The Cowboys went from 1-15 in 1989 to 13-3 by 1992, winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993 and doing it all through the draft and signing young talented free agents and trading for those players. That is how Jimmy Johnson rebuilt the Cowboys and he deserves most of the credit for this.  Had Jerry Jones' big fat ego not gotten in the way, Jimmy would be in Dallas probably 10 to 15 years and we are talking about perhaps the greatest NFL dynasty in history.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Common Sense Capitalism: Opinion: PBS NewsHour: Debate on the Minimum Wage Between Walter Williams and Charlie Rangel

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

If you want to encourage people, especially low-skilled adults, to work and not collect all of their income from public assistance, and you are not a Libertarian who believes that government has no role when it comes to public assistance, then work simply has to pay more than not working. The basic reason for a minimum wage is to have a floor that no one can fall through so they can pay most of their bills on their own.

We could debate forever whether the minimum wage affects job creation negatively or positively. I'm in favor of  a minimum wage where employers, especially small employers, could receive a deduction or tax credit that is worth 30 percent of whatever the minimum wage at that point happens to be. This would keep their payroll costs down and I'm talking about employers who simply can't afford hikes in their payroll costs, not wealthy employers, just as long as we are encouraging work over unemployment.

I would like to see a $10 per hour minimum wage in America and index it for inflation, with a 30 percent tax credit for small employers and nonprofit employers. Then apply today's $7.25 per hour minimum wage to people who are on welfare and not working at all so they have more incentive to work and not remain unemployed, believing that work wouldn't pay their bills.

The Atlantic: Opinion: James Parker: Madder Than Hell: How Network Anticipated Modern Contemporary Media

The Atlantic: Opinion: James Parker: Madder Than Hell: How Network Changed Contemporary Media

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This is an interesting topic for a blog that I got from James Parker over at The Atlantic. The 1976 movie Network, which is not only a great movie but one of my all-time favorites, predicted and has influenced today's media. Network is about a struggling fictional TV network called UBS, probably United Broadcast System, and its struggling news division, UBS News, and how they are buried in the TV ratings.

So what do the genius executives at UBS, not including the head of its news division, do, but to find ways to boost the ratings of the network including UBS News by combining news with entertainment. They give their lead news anchor, Howard Beale, played by the great Peter Finch, his own satire/talk show or variety show where Beale can go off on what he sees in the world and what he thinks of it. Imagine Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley or Howard Smith given that role, because that would've sounded crazy in the 1960s and 1970s, but that is what UBS does with UBS, News, combining entertainment and news.

Go from UBS in 1975-76 all the way up to today with CNN and MSNBC, and to a certain extent FNC, and it's no longer what is newsworthy and what is important to know that are important to these news networks but what is interesting or, to use pop culture phrases, what is hot or awesome or, yes, sexy and what can we report that the non-educated population, at least when it comes to current affairs, finds interesting enough to watch.

The Trayvon Martin story from 2012 to 2013 is a good example, with CNN and MSNBC delaying or postponing current affairs programming to show the entire George Zimmerman trial or coming in with so-called special shows to show the latest on the story. But forget about 2012-13 and you could go back to 1994-95 with OJ Simpson, which started with the famous tedious Ford Bronco chase.  The next latest sexy trial, for lack of better phrase, could involve Justin Bieber and his drug case if it goes that far, starting with MSNBC breaking away from a discussion on terrorism and privacy to report Breaking News" on Bieber being arrested.

The way media have changed, especially the broadcast medium, is the perfect example of the dumbing down of our culture, and I'm not trying to sound like a stiff or anything, but it is the perfect example of how cable news and pop culture have changed the news media. What is popular or interesting or, yes, that word awesome is now just as important as what is considered essential for people to know that affects their quality of life, for example, whether our government is spying on us and checking in to determine whom we communicate with. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Boxing Universe: Video: ESPN's SportsCentury Evander Holyfield: The Warrior Who Wouldn't Quit

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I don't believe Evander Holyfield is an underrated boxer or an overrated boxer but he gets the respect that he deserves from the fans and media people who've covered his career and are familiar with it.  I've seen most of his fights as a heavyweight because he became a heavyweight when I was in junior high and high school in the late 1980s and early 90s. He gets the respect that he deserves as a four-time World Heavyweight Champion and a warrior whom you literally had to beat the hell out of to stop because he didn't know how to quit.

Evander Holyfield was a beefed-up heavyweight unlike a Muhammad Ali, George Forman, or Larry Holmes, who were simply born to be heavyweight boxers as well as champions. Evander wasn't born with that type of body even though he was 6'2", which is a good height for heavyweight boxers, but was still fighting at 185-190 pounds in his mid- and late twenties and bulked up and got to 205-210 by the time he started fighting as a heavyweight because he was dominating the cruiserweight division as the world champion and needed bigger stronger competition, which is what he got.

Evander, not being the natural heavyweight that he was, had to go through a vigorous training program to put on the legitimate muscle so he could not only fight as a legitimate heavyweight but also as a strong, successful heavyweight. By 1989 he was not a knockout artist who could take you out in a couple of punches but someone who could avoid getting hit and take huge punishment, as he did against George Forman and Riddick Bowe, but also beat the hell out of you with a variety of different punches from a variety of different angles with great hand-speed and solid punching power.

One good thing about Evander's career was that he was in the prime of his career as a heavyweight in the last good decade of the heavyweight boxing division in the 1990s, which meant he was in a lot of great fights, and it's the warrior in him taking on these bigger stronger fighters like George Forman, Larry Holmes, Buster Douglas, Riddick Bowe, Michael Moorer, and Ray Mercer and later in his career, Lennox Lewis, that empowered him not to take on a lot of these fighters, but to beat most of them simply by always going at them and refusing to be beaten.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Learn How to Box: Video: FOX Sports: Beyond the Glory Joe Frazier

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Joe Frazier was called Smokin' Joe Frazier, but I call him Iron Joe Frazier, even though Mike Tyson now owns that nickname, but that is exactly what Joe was.  He came from a generation before Iron Mike. But Joe Frazier had that iron face, neck, head, and hands.  He descended from sharecroppers in South Carolina and made it up to Philadelphia, where he learned how to box in the 1960s.  He was an Olympic champion at the 1964 Summer Olympics.

Joe Frazier had an iron body and came from a hard-scrabble environment that gave him an iron mentality.  No one was going to stop him. I believe that is what primarily contributed to Joe Frazier's style as a boxer.  He would close off the ring, especially against tall fighters, and you have to know that Joe Frazier was 5'10," if that.  Joe did cut off the ring and went right at you and dared you to stop him.

Joe Fraizer had an iron face and neck to go along with iron fists, and when he hit you, he broke bones and dared you to hit him back, and what you had to do was to basically try to kill him before he killed you. Which is what Muhammad Ali did to him in Ali-Frazier III and what George Foreman did to him when he beat him for the World Heavyweight Championship in 1973:  punch Joe as hard as you could over and over to prevent him from hitting you.

Learn How to Box: FOX Sports- Beyond the Glory Larry Holmes

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

Larry Holmes is the Rodney Dangerfield of heavyweight boxing, but he also deserved a lot of respect, because we are talking about one of the top three to five heavyweights of all time, who beat everyone in his prime except for Michael Spinks, a fighter he should have beaten. But if you look at the list of opponents he beat in his career, it is right up there with the list of Muhammad Ali when you are talking about Ken Norton, Ernie Shavers, Leon Spinks, Gerry Cooney, and many others.

A good way to look at the dominance of Larry Holmes is to look at the fact that he was the boxing heavyweight champion of the world for 7 years, from 1978 to 1985, when he lost to Mike Spinks for the first time. He was one of the most talented and intelligent boxers of all time, a huge man with great power and a devastating jab who pounded his opponent the whole fight until he finally fell.
The reason Larry's qualities are overlooked is that he was unfortunate enough to pop up in the same generation or era as Muhammad Ali, who is perhaps the most popular heavyweight of all time as well as the best. And another reason has to be the fact that Muhammad and Larry were similar fighters in style--tall, strong guys with agility and great jabs. Unfortunately, he lost to Mike Spinks, a bulked-up heavyweight, and lost that fight plus the rematch to Spinks because he fought with an inadequate strategy and moved far too much when he should have just pounded Spinks the entire time.  Fighters forfeit respect when they lose to people they were expected to dominate.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Reason: Hit & Run: Brian Doherty Why Are Progressives Attacking Libertarians So Frequently Lately

Reason: Hit & Run: Brian Doherty: Why Progressives are Attacking Libertarians so Frequently Lately

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

To put it simply, the reason Progressives have been attacking (I guess, how about critiquing instead) Libertarians so much lately whether it be in Salon or AlterNet or even The New Republic, which is now way to the left of the great liberal magazine it use to be is that Libertarians are all about both economic and personal freedom, which scares the hell out of people who are supposed to be the Progressives today, who sound more like Socialists and at times even Communists than they do Progressives.

What are supposed to pass as today's Progressives are those who want a superstate, not a welfare state, which is a little different, but a government so big that individualism in a lot of cases is no longer necessary because the central government will now have the authority, whether it is currently constitutional in America or not, to make many of our economic decisions for us because they would have so much of our resources that we would be dependent on them.

I only wish it would stop there, but unfortunately it gets worse because those who are supposed to be the Progressives today would outlaw many activities they see as dangerous for society that are currently legal. Certain areas of personal decision-making, such as how we get our news, what we can eat, drink, and smoke, what we can say to each other, and even to a certain extent what we can watch on TV would be regulated if they find them offensive.

I'm not attacking or critiquing Progressives. I have a certain respect for Roosevelt, Truman, and Johnson, Progressivism that is the real Progressivism, and there are actual Progressive Democrats today. Representative Henry Waxman and Senator Tom Harkin are both great examples of actual Progressives who are in Congress today. I'm talking about the far left, a real statist form of Socialism that is far out of the mainstream in American politics. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Talking Points Memo: Video: MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus: Everything in Play For 2016

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Hillary Clinton is the clear frontrunner for 2016 for President, not just to win the Democratic nomination for president, but to be elected the next President of the United States. The Republican leadership knows this and knows they do not have anyone who can beat her at this point and not only win the Republican nomination for President but also win the general election as well, so they are getting their shots in early.

Paul Woods: Video: CFL 1994-Week 1: Baltimore Stallions @ Toronto Argonauts: Baltimore First CFL Game

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The first Canadian Football League game ever for the City of Baltimore, Maryland, which was starving for major league pro football again to the point they would take a CFL franchise to show they can and will support good pro football. This is not a shot at the CFL, of which I'm actually a fan and watch their games in America, but Baltimore is one of the greatest pro football cities in North America, with a long proud rich tradition. It is the only city to win the NFL Championship, including three Super Bowls, the United States Football Championship in 1985 with the Stars, and the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup in 1995 which you could make the case was the North American gridiron pro football championship in 1994 and 1995. The Baltimore Stallions played both games against the Vancouver Lions in 1994 and the Calgary Stampeders in 1995.

1994-95 was the final chapter in the Baltimore journey to be an NFL city, again by not only getting the Stallions as an CFL expansion franchise, but supporting them very well, and I believe they even led the CFL in attendance. Keep in mind an American franchise leading the Canadian Football League in attendance, but they wanted the NFL back in Baltimore so much that they would support another style of gridiron football from another country.

Thanks to the CFL and football fans of Baltimore and the State of Maryland in general and perhaps the Delmarva area and Southern Pennsylvania, Baltimore proved that they were an NFL-caliber market again after losing the Colts in 1984 and losing out on NFL expansion in 1993, that the NFL was losing money by not having a franchise in this great football city and market, and that the State of Maryland deserved its own NFL franchise again as well.  Now it has two:  the Ravens and the Redskins, who play about 40 miles apart from each other.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Reason: Opinion: J.D. Tuccille: The Right to Take Even Really Stupid Risks: Individual Freedom and Responsibility

Reason: Opinion: J.D. Tuccille: The Right to Take Even Really Stupid Risks

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

I have often said that the real difference between liberals and conservatives is not necessarily philosophy. We both tend to want the same things and both believe in limited government. I am not saying there are no real differences in philosophy, because of course there are, but that the real differences have to do with the role of government: How big we want the state to be and what we want it to do, instead of being concerned that there is too much freedom here or there. It is really about government's role in regulating activities instead of forbidding them or whether it is acceptable for government to get out of the way completely. Of course there are exceptions to this, but the 2012 presidential election pretty much made my point.

I am about to give you a perfect example of this (self-high-five): what should be allowed and what should not be allowed in a free society, whatever your definition of that is, because both liberals and conservatives complain about the nanny state and want to see much less government regulation in their own lives. Now of course there are people further to the left and right of liberals and conservatives, respectively, who are in love with the nanny state, but liberals like to talk about freedom. Conservatives like to talk about responsibility and we both believe in a certain degree of both but tend to preach the other thing.

As a liberal I believe in both and I am sure that sounds weak,  but, seriously, what good is one without the other. Imagine a free society where we are as free as we want to be but do not have to pay for any of our decisions and freedoms. You drive a car without a seatbelt and crash it and are now looking at medical bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Assuming you survived, perhaps you were saved by an airbag. But remember, this would be a society free of responsibility so the state, meaning the taxpayers, are going to pick up your tab like an alcoholic at a bar giving away free booze all night but only to alcoholics.

This type of freedom would become very unaffordable in a hot minute with all sorts of people making assholes of themselves doing the dumbest of activities and not having to pay for hurting themselves. We simply could not afford that type of freedom unless we lived off Monopoly money and could pay for everything.  I am cool with allowing free adults to live their own lives again as long as they are not hurting any innocent people, but that is not good enough.  They must pay for the consequences of their bad decisions as well as reap the rewards of their good decisions.

Now try to imagine responsibility without any freedom. Now try to imagine a CEO, whether the CEO of a company or just his own life. What good would that role and the responsibility for all the decisions that are made on behalf of that company or individual if that person lacks the power to affect the company's affairs or his own life, or others are calling all the shots for that company or individual, with the CEO relegated to the role of puppet and responsible for whatever happens to the company or himself for good or bad. That CEO would have a title without a job.

There are plenty of things I would not do because I either do not want to do them because they do not interest me or I consider them too dangerous and risky.  I could give you some examples.  I do not smoke tobacco or use any other drug legal or otherwise. I do not drink alcohol. I do not gamble and if what you read earlier has not put you to sleep, perhaps hearing about things I don't do will. But my broader point is that my choosing not to engage in certain activities because I believe they are dangerous doesn't mean I believe they should be illegal,  because I don't.

If certain activities are dangerous, they should not necessarily be illegal, again with reference to a free society. It is about the amount of freedom that allows people to live their own lives and benefits society as a whole so we can all be productive and not require government to babysit us and make most of our personal and economic decisions. And that freedom ends for me when it comes to hurting innocent people and not taking responsibility for my own mistakes. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Atlantic: Opinion: Peter Beinart: Liberal is Good: Why More Americans Are Liberal Now

'The Atlantic: Opinion: Peter Beinart: Liberal is Good

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Liberalism is the perfect example of why education is so important in America, because the more Americans have learned about liberalism, especially the non-political junky American, the more they've learned that they at least respect the liberal philosophy if not embrace it altogether and view themselves as liberals because they know they have Liberal outlooks, whether it is on issues like Equal Justice and Opportunity for All, quality education for everyone, job training for adults so they can move on to good jobs, marijuana legalization, equal rights for gays, and so on.

The best way to view where Americans are ideologically is their position on the issues instead of on how they self-describe themselves.  If you look at their positions on a large variety of issues, they clearly indicate that America has become more liberal if not a liberal country altogether. This doesn't mean Americans are suddenly in love with the welfare state and begging government to increase taxes. But that has never been what liberalism has been about anyway. Instead it is about individual rights. Liberty, Equal Justice, and Opportunity For All.

When you have conservatives or libertarians like Andrew Sullivan, of all people, saying that "liberal"is no longer a dirty word or a bad thing, you know America is moving in that direction. Liberals and progressives acknowledged in the 1970s and 1980s that America was becoming more conservative, which is how Ronald Reagan became President of the United States. That forced the Democratic Party to move away from the far left and become more of a center-left party. Republicans will have to correctly adjust as well if they want to acquire power in the future. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

XFL 2001: Video: XFL 2001-Week 2-Las Vegas Outlaws @ Memphis Maniax: Full Game

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Well I’ll give the Xtreme Football League as it was called not my name for it, but what they called it credit for a few things actually. But the first one not being their best credit. Is that combining pro football that is major league football NFL talent all over the XFL with pro wrestling was an interesting concept. But something that will probably never be done again for good reason. World Wrestling Entertainment Vince McMahon’s company are the people who produced this league and the games.

The XFL didn’t die after one season because they lacked talent or didn’t have the right coaching or anything really having to do with football. The XFL died because it was run by WWE. And having WWE personalities all over the league and turned the XFL in not so much a pro football league. But a celebrity reality show that was designed to look like a concert or a show and not football games. Which is not what football fans want to see which is football.

If you are familiar with the WWE and what they do and then watch a XFL game, the only thing that is different about either show is that instead of watching pro wrestling you are watching what is supposed to be pro football. But with all of these wrestling personalities involved in the production. And their little wrestling segments involved in the programs as well. Instead of seeing a serious pro football game and show that is only about pro football.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Atlantic: Opinion: Molly Ball: No, Progressives Don't Control The Democratic Party

The Atlantic: Opinion: Molly Ball: No, Progressives Don't Control the Democratic Party 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

To comment on the column in The Atlantic from Molly Ball. Actually Liberals do control the Democratic Party and this goes to the fact of why labels are not only important, but more importantly that people who especially do not follow politics closely understand what these labels mean. And who is a Liberal or a Progressive or a Conservative or a Socialist to use as examples. And not call people Liberals who are not liberal or people who are not conservative, Conservatives. And perhaps most importantly of all because Socialist tends to be used as an insult, do not call people Socialists who are not Socialists.

And because of the lack of political education in America especially as it relates to our political factions or tribes, the best way to judge where America is ideologically is where Americans are on the issues. Instead of how Americans self-describe their own politics. And based on that no matter whatever percentage of Americans are self-described as Liberals, Liberals do very well in this country especially in the Democratic Party, because of where we are as a party and a country on the issues.

1. As a country we want to see more infrastructure investment in the country

2. Tax reform so everyone pays their share of taxes.

3. Equal rights for Gays including marriage and adoption

4. Marijuana legalization and a new approach to the War on Drugs in general

5. Comprehensive immigration reform

6. A national energy policy that moves America to energy independence with Americans natural resources including renewable sources.

7. Civil liberties, privacy and personal freedom in general

8. More education and job training for low-income Americans so they can move up the economic ladder.

All of these issues are liberal democratic issues that bring the Democratic Party together and unites us. What divides us as a party is that not all Democrats are Liberals and I’ll explain that and it goes to my point about labels. That if you are going to label someone, first you better know what the label you give that person means which is very important. But also you better know what the person’s politics are that you are labeling. So you are not falsely labeling someone.

The Democratic Party has three strong political factions. Liberals and Progressives who are two different groups. The JFK Liberal New Democrats that Bill Clinton and his coalition brought to power in the mid and late 1980s as well as 1990s. And the FDR Progressive New Deal Democrats who are much more mainstream and not anti-business, anti-capitalist, anti-private enterprise and anti-military. Unlike today’s so-called Progressives who only call themselves progressive. And the third faction is a more socialist faction, the Far-Left of the party who look more Greens or Democratic Socialists. Than they do Liberals and Progressives.

To know that Liberals run the Democratic Party, just look at the leadership of the Democratic Party. And where they are on those issues that I mentioned and that these are all liberal issues and have liberal positions on those issues. And that it is the Far-Left of the party the big government anti-business and anti-private enterprise in general in some cases who see most Americans except for the poor as under-taxed, who are anti-military and in a lot of cases pro-prohibition and would like to outlaw anything that could be unhealthy for us, as the wing of the Democratic Party without a lot of power.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lew Rockwell: Opinion- Laurence M. Vance: Libertarianism vs. Liberalism vs. Conservatism

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

This is an interesting discussion to have because as a Liberal myself who actually understands liberalism it burns me when I hear people who aren’t Liberals get called Liberals. And I’m think of the MSNBC talk lineup or Far-Left publications like The Nation and many others, Salon and AlterNet would be others. And when I hear liberalism being talked about like it is some big statist ideology that is socialist or communist in nature and even has things in common with what is called Islamism a big government ideology supported by radical Islamists and I’m know that is not liberalism at all.

I’m sure Libertarians get tired with being lumped in with people who are supposed to be Conservatives. Even though they really aren’t that conservative at all and I’m thinking of the Religious-Right and other rightists on the Far-Right. Libertarianism is very different from conservatism even, but similar. And it is sure as hell different from fundamentalist Christianity or the Bible Belters who claim to be real Conservatives. Even though aren’t interested in conserving freedom, but taking the country back to a certain way of life from the 1940s and 50s.

If you are talking about real Conservatives like Barry Goldwater and today Rand Paul they have a lot in common with Libertarians, but not everything. They are not so much interested in eliminating the safety net or welfare state as they are decentralizing it. And getting it out of Washington even though they wouldn’t of created it. Where of course the Classical Libertarian wants to eliminate it all together, Ron Paul comes to mind. And the Conservative Libertarian tends to have things in common with Classical Libertarians on social issues. That this is not the business of the Federal Government.

What separates libertarianism from liberalism and I mean real liberalism not what MSNBC puts up, which is supposed to be liberalism, but actual liberalism, is Liberals do have a role for government in the economy. But a limited role to protect workers and consumers from predators and to help people who can’t for whatever reasons take care of themselves. But also help them get on their two feet so they can take care of themselves instead. And we are much different on foreign policy, but we are very similar on personal issues. Civil liberties and other personal freedom issues.

The main differences between Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals and even Socialists has to do with the role of government in people’s lives. Libertarians would give you the smallest government and Socialists the biggest government. With Conservatives and Liberals somewhere in the middle. But with different roles for government. And if even these governing philosophies are similar, they are different enough where that should be acknowledged as well.
The Film Archives: Ron Paul- What is Libertarianism?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Liberty Pen: Video: Walter E. Williams: The Many Welfare State Beneficiaries

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

It depends on how you define welfare and who it is supposed to be for. That is who should benefit from welfare and those programs. But generally speaking Americans probably view welfare as public assistance for people in need. And if that is the welfare you are talking about, then that assistance benefits people in poverty. Whether they are working or unemployed or perhaps not working, but are adults who have such little job experience even at low-income jobs and perhaps do not qualified as unemployed.

If welfare only benefited people in need the less-fortunate whether they are low-skilled workers, or the low-skilled unemployed and they must have this assistance just to survive, then I believe welfare would not be popular. But Americans would say we need these programs to prevent people from starving and going homeless. And so the do not feel the need to steal and so-forth. Which would be bad for the society as a whole.

But a big problem with welfare is that it just doesn’t support the less-fortunate in America. But it goes to people who simply do not need it. Like big business’s, big farmers included. Walter Williams example in the video of it benefiting upper middle class. And wealthy families with the school lunch program even though these parents can more than afford to pay full-price for their kids lunch. And because of this at least some Americans people who work very hard just to pay their bills and not have to collect from public assistance, say “why do I have to pay for people who can pay for themselves.”

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

American Thinker: Opinion: Trevor Thomas: Bill Maher, High Priest: Morality in America

American Thinker: Opinion: Trevor Thomas: Bill Maher, High Priest

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This subject is the perfect example of why we still need the Fourth Amendment our Right to Privacy in America. Because imagine if the Religious-Right or the Far-Right in general was in charge in the United States. And we didn’t have the Right to Privacy and how much of their big government agenda they would be able to get through. And being able to outlaw any type of behavior even among consenting adults that isn’t hurting anyone. Without the United States Constitution to stop them.

Morality it get’s to what is your position of morality. For me it is about good behavior and how we treat each other. And for me moral behavior would be to treat people the way you want to be treated. Most of us are good people so we would treat people the way we want them to treat us. Unless we simply do not like them and could care less what they think of us or how they would treat us in response. But even with people like that, we generally do not intentionally hurt people especially if we have better things to do. And are good productive people who aren’t going to be worried about what some jerk is doing.

The liberal tradition of morality is about how we treat each other as people. But even as kids we tend to be raised regardless of our parents ideology to treat people well the way we would want to be treated. And we tend to learn these things as kids and that is how we are able to make friends and work with other people. Because we treat people well and in a moral way and we do not hurt people intentionally. Especially if they are innocent people.

But if you are on the Religious-Right or the Far-Right in general, morality is not just about how we treat each other, but how we live our own lives as individuals. How we live individually and even if we aren’t hurting anyone, even ourselves we could be viewed by the Far-Right as either immoral or involved in immoral behavior when it comes to activities they disapprove. Homosexuality, adultery, gambling, drinking, smoking, using illegal drugs, pornography, are just some of the examples of activities that the Far-Right would like to outlaw in the United States. Because they see these things as immoral.

If you are a Liberal you believe that government should mind their own business. And allow the people to mind their business. Instead of government getting in the way and telling free adults how they should live their own lives. But for the Religious-Right there is no such thing as individual behavior at least as it relates to personal issues and that all of these things are the public’s business meaning government’s, in order to have a moral code that protects everyone even from themselves.

Monday, February 3, 2014

National Journal: Opinion: Peter Beinart: The End of American Exceptionalism: What Makes America Exceptional

National Journal: Opinion: Peter Beinart: The End of American Exceptionalism

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

American exceptionalism is an interesting difficult thing to talk about because it is hard to define. And the fact that exceptional is by itself neither good or bad, it is just different. You could have an exceptionally bad or good football team. The positive being the good which is why American Exceptionalism might not be the right discussion or debate for America. But perhaps the way to talk about America in a positive sense would be American Greatness. Or for people who like to speak a lot about the weakness’ of America especially the far-left and Libertarian-Right, would be to talk about American Weakness.

What makes America exceptional not necessarily for bad or for good, but when used right from a positive aspect would be our individualism. Which I believe comes from our Constitution. The First and Fourth Amendments the ability for Americans to be themselves and our racial and ethnic diversity. And our cultural diversity just highlights these aspects about America. We are so much different from the rest of the world because the whole world lives here. And brings their way of life and being with them and these things makes us so much different from the rest of the world.

So again I do not believe that it is so much that America is so much better than the rest of the world. And we could debate even if we are or are we not. That makes us exceptional, but what makes us exceptional is our diversity the freedom for Americans to be Americans. Which is individuals where I believe Europeans because they are not as diverse and tend to live in countries where culturally and ethnically one group makes up most of the country, they are less individualistic. And more collectivist not just from an economic point of view, but how they live their lives as well.

Our constitutional rights and our individualism is what makes America better than anyone else. And why I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but that alone doesn’t make a country the best place in the world. It is just that these aspects work for me and a lot of other Americans, but perhaps not others who take a traditional mostly religiously based way of what it means to be an American. Or people who want to make America more like Europe and where Americans are less individualistic. And more dependent on the state for their well-being.