Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

American Thinker: Opinion- Brad Lips: A Populist Libertarian Youth Movement?

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

As a member of Gen-X, I see two growing movements in American politics, both anti-big government. On the right, the young libertarians seem to be anti-government all together.  Both young liberals and young libertarians want the freedom to live their own lives and make their own economic and social  decisions without interference from big brother.

The polling data show that young adults are now voting Democratic overwhelmingly but they aren't voting in favor of bigger government and higher taxes.  In a lot of cases, they are voting against Republicans whom they see as intolerant.  They vote for Democrats whom they see as tolerant and liberal on social issues and not seeking to expand the Federal government and raise taxes.  This is a huge opportunity for the Democratic Party to advance Jack Kennedy's vision of an America with economic and personal freedom for all.

The Republican Party also has an opportunity, now, with the young libertarians on the right, if they can ever stop shooting themselves in the foot (or run out of toes) and divorce themselves from the Christian Conservatives and Neoconservatives.   It should be easy for them to convince the electorate that they  hate big government and don't want to expand it or raise taxes.  It will be much more difficult for them to convince the electorate that they believe that Americans should have the freedom to manage their own lives.

The capture of the GOP by the right-to-life movement indicates a strong tendency toward theocracy in which the religious principles of a few constrain the behavior of all.  The party seems hell-bent on imposing Christian sharia on America.  To be competitive for the youth vote, the GOP will have to move toward a libertarian philosophy and say, "No," to the Neo-Right.  They could then become a more truly conservative party that would be competitive with the Democrats for young voters.

The future of America is young people who build their own businesses and work for new businesses that look much different from American businesses of the past.  They want the freedom to run their own business and personal affairs.  The Democratic Party and Barack Obama have already figured that out. The Republican Party hasn't gotten the message yet and is still nominating people who can't get elected outside of the Bible Belt and rural America.  They need to get this message and bring in the libertarians, if they want to stay in business.  If they don't, the Democratic Party will end up governing most of the country.
Source: Young Americans For Liberty: Ron Paul- Speaks At The YAL 5th Annual Conference

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Reason: Video: Kennedy: CPAC Members on Federalism at the CPAC Conference

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

There seem to have been some real Federalists at the CPAC conference today, at least the people who were interviewed in this video. Or perhaps Kennedy only interviewed Federalists for this video. But as Fred Thompson, former U.S. Senator from Tennessee, said, the States are laboratories of democracy and the advantage of having a Federal system of government, unlike in a unitary system, where most of the power rests with the national government, is that you get to see what works in other places and what doesn't work instead of one government trying to figure out what works for the entire country, especially a huge country like the United States.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The New Yorker: Opinion: Jeffrey Frank: Rand Paul and the Eisenhower Dream: The State of the Republican Party

The New Yorker: Opinion: Jeffrey Frank: Rand Paul and the Eisenhower Dream

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

Back in the day, before, lets say, the Religious Right era, the Republican Party was essentially a classically conservative, if not conservative, libertarian party that used phrases like "Get big government out of my wallet, bedrooms, classrooms, and boardrooms, to paraphrase Barry Goldwater, and former U.S. Senate Leader Bob Dole believed in that as well, despite his effort to appeal to Christian Conservatives in his 1996 presidential campaign.

But up until the late 1980s or so, the Republican Party not only had this conservative tradition but also a progressive faction that voted for parts of the safety net from the New Deal and Great Society but would never go along with a massive Scandinavian socialist welfare state, although it approved of a modest safety net for those who needed it. The party also voted for and supported the civil rights legislation of the 1950s and 1960s and was really the Party of Lincoln up until the late 1980s or so.

By the 1970s, with the Goldwater Conservatives and the Nixon Federalists now in control of the Republican Party, they still believed in many of these things, especially as they related to the safety net, but they were Federalists who believed social policy is best handled by the State and local governments and that the Federal safety net in a lot of cases would be best managed at those levels where they would be more efficient.

By 1980 or so, what is today called the religious and neo-right was now part of the Republican Party, and the party cannot win in the short term without them, especially since they aren't doing much to bring in non-traditional Republicans, who aren't nearly as far to the Right as the predominantly Anglo-Protestant Southern voters, especially on social issues.  The Republican Party has now become the party of the libertarian Mountain West, Bible Belt South, and rural America.

Much different from where they were just 50 years or so ago, when Republicans were expected to be able to win statewide in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, California, and other places and when the Republican presidential nominee was expected to carry those States. The Conservative Libertarian faction is still alive and well and perhaps even growing in the Republican Party, but not big enough to govern the GOP by itself without the neo-right. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mises Institute: Mises Daily: Gary Galles: Labor Unions and Freedom of Association

Mises Institute: Mises Daily: Gary Galles: Labor Unions and Freedom of Association

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

Here's a perfect example of why I love being a Liberal. It is the perfect belief system for laying out the best plan in the fairest and most balanced way that protects everyone's freedoms. It is also a label under which so-called free market economic Libertarians, and pro-big labor Progressives should be able to find common ground when it comes to Freedom of Assembly and the Right to Organize, which give all workers the freedom of choice they deserve and need.

There are people, let's say, on the far left who do not so much believe in the Right to Organize but would like to see it mandated, and all work places, both private and public, unionized, requiring union membership of all workers, with a non-participation penalty of paying union dues whether or not they are members. Then you have the so-called Libertarian right, which demands that unions be abolished and the market (meaning employers) decide what all workers get paid. They also would eliminate most, if not all, regulations, including the minimum wage.

But if you are an actual Progressive and not just someone who calls yourself a Progressive, then the Right to Organize is real, meaning that it should be a right and not a mandate for workers to join or not join a union.  If you are a real Libertarian and not just someone who calls yourself a Libertarian or a Conservative Libertarian, you don't want government power or corporate or business power deciding for individuals whether they should sign up for a union because you believe in the individual and freedom of choice and not government or employers making these decisions for the individual instead.

Now here is where the common ground can be found for actual Progressives and Libertarians, that is, let the workers decide for themselves whether to sign up for a union and let people unionize if they want but then have the union earn its union membership and members, including dues, and not let them be automatically rewarded just because they are a union. And if workers do not sign up for the union, then they do not pay union dues and do not get the benefits of being union members.  They work as free agents, negotiating their own wages and benefits. Both sides win. Big government and big business get out of the way.  Individuals decide for themselves. 

American Throwback: Video: CBS Sports: NFL 1975-The NFL Today Pre-Game Show For the NFC Divisional Playoffs: 12/28/75

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The pre-game show for one of the best NFL playoff games of all time was this 1975 NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys, led by, of course, Tom Landry and QB Roger Staubach vs. the Minnesota Vikings, led by, of course, Bud Grant and QB Fran Tarkenton. What is strange about this game is that the 1970s Vikings were famous for losing Super Bowls.  They lost three in the 1970s alone and one after the 1969 season. Actually, technically they lost four in the 1970s if you want to be real technical, since Super Bowl 4 was played in January 1970. But they actually had the better team in this game but lost on a Hail Mary touchdown pass at the end of this game.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lew Rockwell Blog: Opinion: Daniel Hannan: "Hitler Was a Progressive": This Needs Lots of Explaining

Lew Rockwell Blog: Opinion: Daniel Hannan: Hitler Was a Progressive

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

When I first saw the title of this blog on Lew, my first thought, to be perfectly frank, was "bullshit." I mean, what is progressive about murdering millions of people simply because of their ethnicity, which is exactly what the German Nazis did in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, I mean, where is the progress in that. What possible good could come from it, with those innocent lives lost simply because they were of Jewish ethnicity and not ethnically German.

But if you go into it deeper, the Nazi Party was a socialist party, not a democratic socialist party, which is more common today, especially in the developed world.  However, they did believe in nationalizing private businesses and industries, and probably even with good intentions.  So with all of this being true, how does this qualify as progressive when those who are actual Progressives don't just call themselves Progressives but do in believe in capitalism and private enterprise.

So maybe "bullshit" is not the correct word even though Nazis were economic socialists, but maybe the word should be "inaccurate" or "misleading" when in fact there wasn't really anything that was progressive, or is progressive, about the Nazi Party either back in Adolph Hitler's time or today in Germany, where the Nazi Party is not much more than a criminal or terrorist organization in the midst of ethnic Germans in Germany who detest Nazism. 

Rattn Katt: Video: CBS Sports: NFL 1989-Preseason Opener: Dallas Cowboys @ San Diego Chargers: Intro

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I am not so much interested in Troy Aikman's first NFL pass, since it was in a preseason game and technically didn't count. What I am interested in is Pat Summerall's intro to this game, because he was the master of that, with his great voice, knowledge of the game, and pure intelligence. He not only could have written his own intros, but he also had a great sense of humor. Then combine him with John Madden, the greatest NFL analyst you've ever seen, and you have a Hall of Fame duo.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Reason: Video: Sharif Matar Interviews Christopher Kay: What's Wrong With American Politics? Of By For the American People

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

There's an old saying about the American political system that goes something like this:  It is the worst political system in the world except for all the rest. Not exactly a high bar to shoot for, kind of like a football team that only wins one game all season and says, "Well at least we didn't go winless." And even if that saying about our political system is true, it's simply not good enough when you think about the power that is centralized in Washington with all that money coming into the city, buying influence, with most Americans not knowing how the money is spent and where it came from.

Not trying to make a libertarian anti-big government argument here, but they have a point that when so much power is centralized in one city and one government and when the two political parties are not even in favor of full campaign disclosure for all political incumbents, candidates and third-party campaigns, it is easy to see why you have such a corrupt political system, because regardless of what Washington politicians do for the most part, good or bad in a lot of cases, very few people know what they are doing, who they are talking to, where they get their money, and what their donors expect in return.

No wonder we have a United States Congress with an approval rating somewhere around 10 percent, with the people who do approve either no longer living or in mental institutions and who can't tell the difference between a good Congress and a bad Congress. Because this is why the word politician is equated with conman or scammer, "Oh, he is an elected public official, he must be up to no good," instead of applied to elected public officials as public servants. Because who are you really serving when your reelection depends so much on a few donors?

Ibhof 2: Video: Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes & Ken Norton on The Phil Donahue Show From 1990

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The four top heavyweights of the 1970s as far as wins, championships, and those they beat in the ring were Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, and Ken Norton. Three of these fighters beat Muhammad in the ring, Joe Frazier in 1971, Larry Holmes in 1980, and Ken Norton in 1973. The greatest heavyweight boxer of all time losing to these three fighters in 9 years is just one example of how great the heavyweight boxing division was in the 1970s and how far it has fallen today.

Washington Free Beacon: Opinion: Elizabeth Harrington: Tea Party Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary

Washington Free Beacon: Opinion: Elizabeth Harrington: Tea Party Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

To talk and think about the Tea Party, you have to know the state of the Republican Party in late 2008 and early 2009, when they were basically shut out of power at the Federal level, facing a new Democratic President with Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress, both House and Senate. To speak positively about the Tea Party for a minute, they were the energy that a badly damaged Republican Party, thanks to the Bush/Cheney Administration, needed to wake up and get back into the fight, not only with issues but also with rhetoric and an agenda to take on Obama Democrats.

To be real about it, we would probably be looking at not only a Democratic administration but probably also a Democratic Congress in both chambers right now, with Democrats still controlling a majority of governorships and legislatures, because the GOP was in debt. However, the corporate-funded Tea Party groups gave the GOP the resources that it needed to get back in the game politically and put many races that wouldn't have been competitive otherwise in play for Republicans to not only take on Democratic incumbents but also to beat them and beat them handily.

The Super Bowl for the Tea Party was November 2010 election day, when the GOP won back the House of Representatives with 62 seats but didn't win back the Senate because of their oddball Tea Party candidates, to put it lightly. It picked up six seats in the Senate, giving Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a large minority to be able to obstruct the hell out of Senate Democrats and the Obama Administration and gave the Republican Party a majority of governorships and state legislatures.

That is really where the story ends positively for the Tea Party and the broader Republican Party because the Tea Party is not representative of America as a whole, coming primarily from the South and rural America and older Anglo-Protestant stock in a country that is diverse racially and ethnically and becoming more diverse every day, where many of these Americans see the Democratic Party as diverse and tolerant, unlike the GOP.

In 2012 the Tea Party was a negative factor and, if anything, held them down as badly as President George W. Bush held them down in 2006 and in 2008, even though the GOP was able to hold onto the House. President Obama was reelected in an Electoral College landslide and again because of the Tea Party and some of their oddball candidates (Todd Akin comes to mind) pretty quickly trying to run statewide in swing States, Senate Democrats not only held onto the Senate with vulnerable incumbents, but picked up two seats as well.

We still have the 2014 mid-terms, but we are already seeing establishment Republicans now not afraid to take on the GOP, like Governor Jan Brewer in Arizona or former Tea Party candidates like Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey.  This suggests that the strength of the Tea Party peaked in 2010 and since the fall of 2011, they've been sliding, with 2012 almost a wasted election for the Republican Party, an election they should have won easily. We are seeing the adults in the Republican Party take over, charting a new course for the GOP. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Boxing Universe: Video: FOX Sports: Beyond the Glory Mike Tyson

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Mike Tyson was the most devastating and intimidating force in boxing for about five years from some point in 1985 to 1990 and I could end the story right there because that pretty much sums up his career. Oh wait, you want the rest of the story.  A man who was the most devastating and intimidating force in boxing for five years, who was undisputed World Heavyweight Champion during that time is not good enough for you. You actually want more than that?

That was really the only productive part of his career.  He was not only champion but was also winning  fights against major contenders. For the rest of his career, he was either in prison, beating fighters who had no business fighting him, or losing to simply better fighters like Evander Holyfield, twice, and Lennox Lewis.

But the five-year run that he did have was one of the most impressive careers any boxer had.  Not just because of the fights he won and how long he was undisputed World Heavyweight Champion but also because of how he won the fights, the title, and how he defended it against the best.  It is not his fault that he fought in a relatively weak era.