Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Washington Redskins: Video: Coach Jay Gruden's Training Camp Press Conference: 7/31/14

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I liked Coach Gruden's comments about the defense talking about for the needs for the Redskins to tackle better. To pressure more and give more looks to give opposing offenses more to think about. Last year the Redskins defense was fairly conservative by design with Coach Mike Shanahan somewhat limiting what Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett could do on defense. But also because of the fact the Redskins were so weak in the secondary and gave up so many big plays in the passing game.

As far as the offense. I thought it was interesting in what he had to say about quarterback Robert Griffin and giving Griffin more looks and more packages and trying to get him to think more about being a quarterback and not just automatically taking off when under pressure. But Gruden wants Griffin to look at all of his options when under pressure, but in  other areas as well so he's not running when he has open receivers downfield.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Economic Policy Journal: Opinion: Michael Rozeff: "The Real Reason Why Harry Truman Backed a Jewish State"

33rd President of the United States

Economic Policy Journal: Opinion: Michael Rozeff: The Real Reason Harry Truman Backed a Jewish State

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

If you are going to say that President Harry Truman who is not only one of our best presidents, but perhaps our most honest president recognized the Jewish State of Israel for political considerations and the Jewish-American vote, then you need to back that up because that is a serious charge.

Jews were being murdered, genocide even in Europe mainly by the Nazi Germans. That is the main reason why the Jewish State of Israel was created and if President Truman was thinking "this could help me with the Jewish-American vote", so be it because the man is a politician after all and all politicians weigh those considerations. But it doesn't mean they make decisions simply based on if it can help them politically.

I kinda like the other idea that was considered apparently by President Truman about a united Federal Republic that could include both Palestinian-Arabs and Jews. Where there would be a United Federal Republic that would include what is the State of Israel and the Commonwealth of Palestine today. Palestine is not a independent nation right now, but they aren't a province or state inside of Israel. They are somewhat independent inside of Israel without the full benefits of being an independent nation. But under this Federal Republic there would be a Jewish state and a Palestinian state inside of this Republic.

Under that type of system maybe Israeli's and Palestinians aren't fighting each other today except for the radical terrorists like Hamas. But instead living somewhat peacefully inside of this greater country with both states having autonomy over their own domestic affairs.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vito Denelli: Video: George H.W. Bush & Ronald Reagan Debate Illegal Immigration at a 1980 GOP Presidential Debate

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

George Bush and Ronald Reagan both essentially arguing for some type of comprehensive immigration reform in the form of what is called a guest worker program. Where workers from lets say Mexico can some into America and work most likely jobs that Americans do not want to do and won't do. Pay taxes on that income here making probably a lot more than they could make in Mexico. But then need to go home when the season is over for the job they have here.
Strange Bedfellows?

Monday, July 28, 2014

American Thinker: Blog: Scott Mayer: Goldwater 2.0 and Smart Conservatives

Mr. Conservative 

American Thinker: Blog: Scott Mayer: Goldwater 2.0 and Smart Conservatives

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

I'm not sure what Scott Mayer means by "Smart Conservative" and I read his entire post on the American Thinker. So I'll give you my own interpretation of what a Smart Conservative is. It would be a real Conservative classical Conservative if you will. Not someone who bashes big government with one hand as they are trying to expand it on the other hand. Like with President George W. Bush in the early 2000s with No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act and later the Medicare prescription drug expansion which by the way wasn't paid for.

Or today's so-called Conservatives who sound like Ron Paul when it comes to the welfare state and putting down government involvement in the economy. While at the same time wanting to expand government when it comes to the Federal Government regulating marriage to prevent gays from getting married. Or trying to outlaw pornography from the federal level. Or trying to keep the failed War on Drugs alive at the federal level. Representative Michelle Bachmann (thank God she's leaving Congress at the end of this year) comes to mind as a phony Conservative.

Similar to Ronald Reagan Barry Goldwater suffers from a case of cherry picker's disease. People who claim to love the man and say they are that type of Republican or Conservative. But only based that love and affection on a handful of issues and policies. They cherry pick what they love about them and ignore their disagreements with them on issues they disagree on. Or even worst try to convince people that their political idols don't actually believe in what they believed.

The fact is Barry Goldwater doesn't represent the Republican Party of today. But at best a wing of the party the conservative libertarian wing of the party that may be strong enough to nominate their first Republican presidential candidate since 1964 in 2016. And of course I'm thinking of Senator Rand Paul and you see other Conservative Libertarians in Congress along with Senator Paul like Senator Mike Lee, Senator Ron Johnson, Senator Jeff Flake, Representative Justin Amash and Representative Walter Jones who represent this wing of the party in Congress as well.

But Barry Goldwater even though he probably is the father of the modern conservatism today and back then that type of conservatism is a classical form of it. The real thing which is how I would put it that truly believes in limited government and federalism and just doesn't cherry pick where they support limited government based on things they like and dislike. But believes the individual and states should be making of the decisions about their own affairs when it comes to both domestic and personal issues. Instead of those key and personal decisions being micro-managed from Washington.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Liberty Pen: Video: Glen Beck & Andrew Napolitano: The Future of the Republican Party

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The Republican Party could take three courses as far as their future goes, but I only see one viable course they could take that could make them a governing party again which includes the White House. You are not a governing party when you only control the lower chamber of Congress with a small divided majority at that. What you are is an opposition party with some power, but where you tend to be on the defensive a lot. Because the President is from the other party and you can't even pass anything out of Congress on your own and force a veto because the other party controls the Senate.

I'll start with the two dead bad courses the GOP can take. Stick with the establishment Neoconservatives who believe America should police the world and security and virtue before freedom. Who when it comes to the general election try to appeal to everyone while offending everyone at the same time. Mitt Romney case in point in 2011-12. Go back with the Christian Right and try to tell educated adult Americans "we know best how you should live your lives. And if you don't live your life this way, we'll put you in jail".

Or the only viable option being the Rand Paul Conservative Libertarians where I believe Glen Beck and Andrew Napolitano are part of. That basically says "live and let live when it comes to society and culture as long as you take responsibility for your own decisions and aren't hurting innocent people". When it comes to economic policy "get as much government as possible out of the economy. With the safety net, we can't end it or destroy it, but what we can do is turn it over to the states and locals to run it. And give people who need these services choice in how they get them". Foreign policy, "defend America first and always and be strong enough to defend America. And help our allies who need it, but don't try to police the world".

The last option is the only viable option for the Republican Party because that is where the country is. We are still not that social democracy hoping for some type of socialist utopia. But this is also not 1955 anymore and the country has changed so much politically and culturally and Americans want the freedom to live their own lives and not be directed by government. The GOP should embrace that as they counter Democrats when it comes to economic and foreign policy if they want to govern America again.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

American Thinker: Opinion: Bruce Walker: Barry Goldwater: The Birth of Modern Conservatism

Mr. Conservative 

American Thinker: Opinion: Bruce Walker: The Birth of Modern Conservatism

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

I agree with Bruce Walker that Barry Goldwater represents the birth of modern conservatism and that he and Bill Buckley are probably the fathers of modern conservatism. Similar to how I believe Wendell Willkie and Jack Kennedy to me are the fathers of modern liberalism which is the topic for another post. But perhaps where I disagree with Bruce Walker is what it exactly means to be a Conservative. That it is not about conserving a way of life and telling Americans through government force even "that this is how we live and this is they way you should live to".

Individual freedom which so-called Conservatives and real Conservatives along with Libertarians talk about all the time is exactly that. The individual freedom for individuals to live their own lives and not have government down their back regulating how they live their own lives. We are not talking about individual collectivism and the nanny state imposing regulations in how Americans should live their own lives. Barry Goldwater was a true individualist because he actually did believe in individual freedom.

The post I wrote yesterday about Traditional Values Conservatives is not the modern classical conservative movement that was fathered by Barry Goldwater and a few others. The Traditional Values Coalition is truly a collectivist movement at least when it comes to society and culture and how Americans should live their own lives. What Barry Goldwater and his followers believed was that Americans should have individual freedom both economic and personal the right for people to make their own decisions about their lives. And he was against both the welfare state and the nanny state  and wasn't political allies with the Christian Right that later emerged in the Republican Party.

And had the modern Republican Party took the Goldwater route in building their new national party instead of the Christian Right route they would be much further along today politically. Because that is where Americans are now believers in individualism that Americans should be free to live their own lives as long as they aren't hurting innocent people. As you see with the supporters of Ron Paul and Rand Paul where they both get so much of their support from young Americans.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The American Thinker: Opinion: Mary Anne Marcella: "The Death of America": The New America & What Makes us Americans

Traditional America?

American Thinker: Opinion: Mary Anne Marcella: The Death of America

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This post is somewhat challenging because it is going to be two parts. That by itself is not challenging, but one part is going to sound and be pretty negative and partisan. And the other part is going to be pretty positive and hopefully unifying and uplifting about why we are Americans and what brings us together. Which generally has nothing to do with religion, or ethnic or racial heritage, or the country from which our ancestors came. But the national values that we share as Americans.

The negative part first. There are those a major, but seriously shrinking faction on the Right people who I call Traditional Values Conservatives. Neoconservatives would be more accurate from a political point of view, but certainly conservative in a cultural standpoint in the sense that they want to conserve their way of life and how they grew and how America looked the way up until let's say the mid 1960s or so. And then of course went through dramatic national changes.

Traditional Values believers believe the country as it has become more diverse across the national spectrum and more tolerant of people who are not like them again across the national spectrum and more tolerant of different lifestyles, that the country as a result has been going downhill ever since culturally and politically. That their Protestant Anglo-Saxon way of life which tends to be deeply routed in the South and rural parts of America outside of the South is under attacked as there are now a lot less of them. And a lot more Americans of other racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

What the Neo-Right calls "Traditional America" starts with the founding of our Federal Republic that grants so many constitutional and individual rights to Americans regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious or cultural background. But Neoconservatives believe those rights are just for them. "Religious freedom doesn't include Muslims because Islam is not a real religion". Would be an example of their bigotry. But that would be the modern version of it to go along with how they feel about "homosexuals are people who are immoral and not deserving the same rights as straights. Latinos are Un-American and not deserving the same rights and do not deserve to be in America".

I could include how our Founding Americans felt about Africans and the African slave trade in America. "Africans are not people and as a result should be treated like animals or property". But that might be to harsh for some to hear. The problem that the Neo-Right has had in America is they've lost almost every cultural battle this country has fought in the Cultural War mostly through the court system and is a big reason why we are so diverse as a country to go along with our immigration system. That we take people from all over the world regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality.

Now for the positive side. One of the things that makes America exceptional and yes I do believe in American Exceptionalism is that unlike most European and Asian countries America is not dominated by one race, ethnicity, religion or culture. And yet post Civil War and civil rights movement we've managed to live pretty well together as one country that is at least physically still together. Sure there are a tone of things that divide us, but generally not relating to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or even sexuality. What tends to divide us has to do with economic and educational status. To go along with political ideology, lifestyle choices and social status.

What brings Americans together tends to deal with our national values that most Americans share. The beliefs in individual freedom both economic and personal. Our beliefs in the Constitution and at least most of that document, not parts that get cherry picked for partisan political reasons. Our beliefs in freedom to go along with responsibility and tolerance of other Americans who don't share their political, cultural or religious beliefs. Our beliefs in education, opportunity, helping those in need. That is the only way a country of three-hundred and fifteen-million people or so that is as racially, ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse can function as one country without separating into several different new countries.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mises Daily: Blog: Andrew Syrios: A Brief History of Progressivism: What is Progressivism?

Classical Progressive 

Mises Daily: Blog: Andrew Syrios: A Brief History of Progressivism 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

What is a Progressive? It depends on what you mean and almost who you ask. But whatever a Progressive is, they aren't Liberals unless the idea of what a progressive is means someone who believes in progress. But without some real ideological vision in how to achieve progress. So if that is the case than I would be both a Liberal because I believe in individual freedom, individual and equal rights for all and responsibility, constitutional law and rights that can't be taken away just through majoritarian rule. Limited government that protects people from predators, but doesn't try to run our lives for us.

But I'm also someone who believes in progress and that even government has limited role in seeing that progress is achieved for the people. To me that is what a classical Progressive I guess the Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt's, Lyndon Johnson's back in the day Progressives who believed in progress and using government including the Federal Government in a limited way to bring about that progress. But if you watch MSNBC now and read so-called progressive publications like The Nation, Salon, the AlterNet, TruthOut and now the new New Republic progressivism doesn't look the way I described it.

Lets say today's Progressives or a lot of people who are labeled as Progressives are really what I call Eurocrats. Social Democrats people who believe in social democracy and that "freedom economic and otherwise is essentially dangerous. Because it comes with so much individual choice and decision-making that can be overwhelming for an individual. So you need a government big enough especially at the federal level to ensure that dangerous even individual choices aren't made. Because when bad individual choices are made the society as a whole as to pay for those bad choices".

That is not Lyndon Johnson progressivism. President Johnson never wanted a government so big that it could essentially run Americans lives for them and outlaw and remove risk completely. He wanted to use government to empower as many Americans as possible to be able to live the American Dream. (For lack of a better phrase) And what I mean by that is that LBJ did believe in public social insurance and the safety net. But not use it to run people's lives for them, but to empower people in need to be able to help themselves. Today's so-called Progressives are much further left than that.

If you really are a Progressive you believe government especially the Federal Government has a role limited at that, but a major role in seeing that everyone has the ability to live well in life. And even live in freedom with the ability to take care of themselves. So you believe in things like like public financing for infrastructure and education and even health care. But you don't believe government especially the Federal Government should have a complete monopoly over these services. You believe in things like the safety net, but not having it so big that people no longer have to make economic decisions for themselves.

A real Progressive believes in public broadcasting, but doesn't believe government should own and operate all media. Just having an independent public broadcasting option for people to use as well. And if you are a real Progressive you are not a prohibitionist or a nanny statist. Someone who believes in outlawing personal choices that are dangerous. Like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and add junk food and soft drinks today. And if you are a real Progressive you believe in gun control to keep firearms out of the hands of predators and the mentally disabled. But not outlaw them from responsible individuals who use them for protection and have them in private hands.

Progressives, statists, and Communists aren't the same people with three different labels. Progressive are not only democratic, but believe in a certain level of individual freedom because they don't believe you can have a government big enough to run people's lives for them. But also because a government that big would be regressive and not serve anyone well. And that educated people tend to know what they need to do and have in order to live well and be productive responsible people. But you want government strong enough to ensure that everyone has a quality opportunity to live in freedom.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Los Angeles Times: Opinion: U.S. Representative David Dreier: Can We Make Congress Move?: Why Congress Doesn't Work

Do Nothing Congress

Los Angeles Times: Opinion: U.S. Representative David Dreier: Can We Make Congress Move? 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

With all due respect to Representative David Dreier who served in the House of Representatives from 1981-2013 and has and inside view of Congress at least the House, "it is worst than it looks". To paraphrase a title of a book from Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein in their 2006 book about Congress. The public is obviously not always right and because of that I'm one of the last people who would ever advocate for a pure majoritarian social democratic form of government. But back in 2006 Congress's approval rating was somewhere around fifteen-percent and now it is ten-percent on a good day.

And if you just look all of the available evidence about Congress both the House and Senate, Congress is clearly broken. And then if you look at how the House and Senate deal with each other, which in a lot of cases is not at all and how representatives and senators talk about the other chamber, it is even worst. Forget about liking each other the Republican House and Democratic Senate do not even respect each other. The American people voted for a divided Congress in the last two elections and that is exactly what they have. And Congress as a result is so divided that it can't get it's basic work done like a highway bill.

When Congress actually does come together and does some work. It generally starts with the Senate because House Republicans have this take it or leave it approach over there. "Pass our Republican bill, or we'll pass nothing". Which gets blocked by Senate Leader Reid because Democrats are in the majority and get to decide what comes to the floor in the Senate. Senate Democrats will then try to write their own bill that gets blocked by Senate Republicans because Senate Democrats don't have the sixty votes for cloture which is how debate ends.

And then when cooler heads prevail which is how the Senate is supposed to operate anyway, practical Senate Democrats and Republicans come together and write a compromise. Which passes unless a group of very partisan Democratic and Republican Senators are able to block it, or get an amendment to the bill that makes the bill unpopular on both sides. But even when the Senate gets a compromise passed it is dead on arrival in the House because it is not a House Republican bill. And the bill at best is a temporary fix to a long-term problem. Which that line right there is all you need to know about why Congress doesn't work. Temporary solutions to long-term problems.

If you think that is as bad as Congress can get, stay tuned because there is plenty more that will be written in the future. And no I don't have a solution in how to fix Congress in one post. Because it is a bicameral legislature with both chambers needing fixing. I'm not sure I could write one post about how to fix the House or Senate that could cover all of the issues in one post. And anyone including Representative David Dreier still wondering why Congress doesn't work?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Learn Liberty: Video: Alex Kreit: Don't be a Victim: The Drug War and You

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I guess Alex Kreit is saying that "we shouldn't be a drug war victim unlike the millions of Americans who are already drug victims". Since this wasteful authoritarian paternalistic bogus War on Drugs was created by the Nixon Administration in 1971. And has been enforced by every other American president both Republican and Democratic since some forty-three years after this so-called war on what people put into their own bodies has been launched.
Drug War Opponents

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reason: Hit & Run: Elizabeth Nolan Brown: What Libertarianism Isn't: Also What Liberalism Isn't

Face of a Real Liberal

Reason: Hit & Run: Elizabeth Nolan Brown: What Libertarianism Isn't 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

I'm getting tired of hearing people say when I tell them or explain in my blogs about what liberalism really is which is about individual rights, individual freedom both personal and economic. Rule of law, constitutional law, equal rights, creating opportunity, education, responsibility, freedom is worth defending even the costs of defending it. Tolerance, open to different views and evidence with the willingness to change. These are the true liberal values and why the ideology was founded and what it was founded on. And I'm getting tired of hearing people say "that is not what liberalism is about now".

Values of an ideology doesn't change. Otherwise it is no longer that ideology especially if now looks a hell of a lot different and that ideology. It becomes something different that should have a different name and label. Only people change and when people who have different ideological values, but claim to be part of a another ideology then from one they claim to be associated with like a Socialist or some other type of collectivist on the Left claiming to be a Liberal, then the ideology loses it's meaning and becomes something else that should have a different label to it.

The MSNBC talk lineup and their audience (even as small as it is) to go along with all of the so-called liberal or even so-called progressive blogs and other publications like The Nation, AlterNet, Salon the modern New Republic (lets call it) are not liberal media outlets. They call themselves liberal except for maybe the AlterNet, TruthDig and TruthOut, which is has the guts to use the socialist label. Because they are afraid of what comes from the political stereotypes and political stigma with being associated with Socialists and socialism.

There is nothing liberal about fascism. Liberals wrote the First Amendment and created Free Speech for crying out loud. But if you listen to these collectivists and communitarians on the Left they seem to think "fascism is what is needed to create their progressive utopia". Or whatever except they don't call it fascism when they try to get a right-wing radio host or columnist shutdown even through government force when they say things that goes against their values. Especially as it relates to women's issues as we saw with Rush Limbaugh in 2012 and George Will in 2014.

There is nothing liberal about nationalizing the news media even so the progressive message can get out. Which was proposed by Fred Jerome in Salon back in February or January. There is nothing liberal about proposing to nationalize Google even "for the better good of the general public". As Richard Eskow proposed to do last week in the AlterNet. See what is supposed to pass as liberalism today is not just about the welfare state and a collectivist state with no poor or rich where we are all the same. Because government would be so big to make sure that everyone has what they need to live well.

So-called modern liberalism has also become about the nanny state and telling people what is good for them even if it means protecting people from themselves. As it has to do with junk food, bike helmets, soft drinks, how we are able to talk to each other and even what we say in the media. So-called modern liberalism which again is not liberalism, but something different has become about using the state meaning the national government to look after the general welfare of people for them. Which includes both economic policy and how we live our personal lives as well. "That freedom is dangerous and must be regulated to the point if there is any freedom so people don't make bad choices and hurt themselves.

Liberalism is about the liberal values that I mentioned early on. And you might think that sounds like libertarianism. Well I agree and great ideologies tend to overlap because they have values that are so great that other people want to share them as well. But Liberals aren't anti-government that at least the modern Libertarian tends to sound like they are. Liberals just want a limited government to do for the people what we can't do for ourselves. Which is a topic for a different blog, but it is smaller than what these modern collectivists on the Left want and a little bigger than what Conservative Libertarians advocate for now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Econ Corner: Milton Friedman Schools Brainwashed Socialist on School Choice

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

The man in this video trying to explain why school choice does not work even though he failed to do that and at best laid out some of the disadvantages that poor Americans especially African-Americans face in this country was just repeating talking points of leftist supporters of teachers unions and so-forth. Along with questioning motives and reasons why people who support school choice That supporters of school choice assume that school choice is the answer to education and that they assume everything being equal with each racial group in the country. No one is making these assumptions.

Parents who have experienced school choice and let's take charter schools to use as an example schools that are owned by government but operated independently like school choice. Because they see their kids actually getting an education. With a real shot of making it in life unlike their parents who were probably stuck in school where they weren't able to do that, or didn't take advantage of the opportunities given to them.

You need to know about the opposition of school choice and why they oppose it. Who do teacher unions represent and why they are in business. If you guessed teachers, well good guess captain. Would you like another question? And what school choice represents is competition inside of the public school system when you are talking about public school choice including charter schools. Which means if parents don't believe their neighborhood school is effectively raising their kids, they can send their kids to a better school. Which means fewer resources and students going to that underperforming school.

Public school choice means competition inside of the public school system where teachers wouldn't be guaranteed of advancement and raises just for simply being a teacher. Where public schools wouldn't be guaranteed new students for simply being in existence. Which means teachers would actually have to produce. Meaning their students would actually have to learn what is being taught and be at grade level. Or they could lose students to other schools and teachers may be out of jobs. And that scares the hell out of teachers unions.
Econ Corner: Milton Friedman School Brainwashed Socialist on School Choice

Monday, July 14, 2014

Future of Freedom Foundation: Opinion: Sheldon Richman: Crime and Punishment in a Free Society

War on Drugs Victim

The Future of Freedom Foundation: Opinion: Sheldon Richman: Crime and Punishment in a Free Society 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

Before you talk about crime and punishment in a free society you should first talk about what exactly is crime and punishment and what is a free society. If you are currently confined in prison as a convict or in jail either serving a light sentence as far as time, or awaiting trial for a felony, well obviously your world or society is not free. I mean seriously what sober person in their right mind not mentally challenged in any way would choose to live in prison or jail. But what is crime and punishment? Well I'll tell you what it should be which is punishment for crimes against society and innocent people's freedom. Especially the Right to Life that jail or prison is the only option as a suitable punishment for the offender once convicted.

A free society is not the freedom to do whatever the hell you want including hurting innocent people. Which is what Neoconservatives and to a certain extent Progressives seem to think it is. Which is why I'm neither a Neoconservative or Progressive. A free society is where a society where the people have the right to mind their own business and manage their own individual affairs. As well as being held responsible for how they manage their own affairs. Where law enforcement comes in is to manage how people interact with each other. Not arrest people for what they do to themselves and try to protect people from themselves.

But that is not how crime and punishment works in America. You can be a victim of a real crime with the offender getting away with it because law enforcement, or the prosecution, or a combination of both screws up the case with the guilty walking away because their constitutional rights were violated. And you can end up doing time in jail or prison for something that is not really a crime in a true free society. But government has taken upon itself to try to protect us from ourselves. Like being arrested for gambling your own money. Or being arrested for possessing or using pot to use as examples.

We have roughly two-million Americans give or take in one form of incarceration in the United States if you add up federal, state and local government's. And a big reason for that and not the only reason is because America is truly not a free society. We are freer than most if not everyone else when it comes to individual rights and personal freedom. But a big reason why we have so many Americans in prison is because we arrest people for either their own good. Or sending people to state or federal prison when they could've been given probation, or sent to a halfway house, county jail or even rehab.

It is not just that we aren't a true free society that America has no many prisoners. But also because we over-sentence and too many times use prison as the first if not only option when it comes to felonies in America. And I'm talking about real crimes, but also things where the prison should be the last option because the only person the offender is hurting is them self. The War on Drugs comes to mind damn fast. And if you are thinking I'm not offering any solutions to this problem, think again. Because I already have, but I'll repeat them. Make America a true free society and don't use prison as the first option for lower-level felonies especially where there are better options available.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Washington Free Beacon: Opinion: Matthew Continetti: "The Old New Europe": Defining Soft Power

The Obama Doctrine

Washington Free Beacon: Opinion: Matthew Continetti: The New Old Europe

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

Look I'm not crazy about President Obama's foreign policy right now either. Just three years ago and even through 2012 I thought I had a pretty good idea about what it was. What is called the Obama Doctrine speech from early 2011 laid out clearly what the Obama foreign policy at least was then. And was built on what is called Soft Power. Which means you are strong which includes military, diplomacy and economically so you don't have to use that strength. Meaning you are so strong that other countries would be crazy to want to mess with you.

Another part of Soft Power has to do with when you use your strength. The obvious one being when you are under attack by either another country or some terrorist group. Or when another country is protecting terrorists that just hit you. Which is the reason why we invaded Afghanistan in 2001 because the then Taliban Afghan Regime was protecting terrorists in their country that were part of the 9/11 attacks. And another being you use force when your allies are under attack and do not have the resources to defend themselves. As we saw with Britain in World War II.

The third one is trickier and a hell of a lot more controversial than just the second one. Which has to do with what do you do when innocent people are being murdered especially by their own government. As we are still seeing in Syria and as we saw in Libya in 2010/11. Do you but out and say "that is none of our business what countries do to their own people". Even if you can do something constructive about it. Or do you act and say the "developed world or West will not sit on our hands and watch innocent people being murdered".

But again Soft Power is not just about military force. There are strong diplomatic and economic components to it as well so you never have to use the military to intervene in the first place. Under Soft Power military is always the last option. With Neoconservatives it tends to be first if not the only. With Liberals and Soft Power is a liberal foreign policy military force is generally the last option. Because you only want to risk the lives of your military when you have to. So you take advantage of all of your diplomatic and economic options first .

In the first term except as it related to Syria I thought President Obama and his National Security Council had this policy down. But lately it seems to be that they are worried about disasters and things blowing up in their faces so much which makes it very difficult to act on anything controversial. So what we see instead from this President is inaction. That "it is better to not act and rick some situation blowing up in our faces then to act and making the situation worst". Which is not Soft Power or Hard Power, but No Power and it makes America look weak as we've seen with Russia with their actions against Ukraine.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Week: Opinion: Damon Linker: The Laughable to Get Mitt Romney to Run in 2016: Mitt Who in 2016?


The Week: Opinion: The Laughable to get Mitt Romney to run in 2016

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Hubert Humphrey had a great line in 1968 when he and Richard Nixon were the Democratic and Republican nominees for president. Vice President Humphrey's line was about one of Mr. Nixon's campaign themes for president in 1968 which was The New Nixon. And talking about Nixon's multiple political comebacks in his career as well as attempted political comebacks.

The 1952 Checkers speech that kept then Senator Nixon on the Republican ticket for Vice President.

The experienced and ready to serve Nixon in 1960 when he ran for President the first time.

The New Nixon 1962 when he ran for Governor of California in after losing the 1960 presidential election to Jack Kennedy.

And what Hubert said about all of these new Nixon's was that "a man who has had as many political face jobs and touchups in his career can't be very new". I'm paraphrasing here but that is damn close. And you go to Mitt Romney and doesn't matter which Mitt you choose and I'll get into more of that later, but Mitt Romney has had a similar political career. One of the differences between Tricky Dick Nixon and Flip Flopper Mitt Romney is that Dick won most of his political elections. Nixon was 8-2 as a political candidate and incumbent which covers all of his Congressional, Vice Presidential and Presidential elections. Mitt is 1-3 not exactly as winner as a politician.

But let's take a look at Mitt Romney's political career because that should explain that 1-3 record. He was Liberal Democrat Mitt in 1994 essentially running as a New Democrat in Massachusetts (even though he is a Republican, go figure) for U.S. Senate against the progressive champion Senator Ted Kennedy. He lost that election overwhelmingly an election where he was a strong favorite going in. Then Moderate Mitt shows up in 2002 when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts. And of course that is still the only election Mitt has ever won in now sixty-seven years on this planet. Moderate Mitt managed to stay around as Governor until he ran for President the first time in 2007.

In 2007-08 Religious-Conservative/Neo-Con Hawk (even though he's a Mormon and comes form a religion that believes in multiple spouses) Mitt shows up to run for President the first time. Mike Huckabee deserves the credit for the best line about Mitt Romney in that campaign. When Governor Huckabee said that "Mitt looks like the man who fired your father". Mitt Romney has Wall Street country club Northeastern conservative establishment Republican written all over his chess and back. And yet he's never run as someone who is proud of his success in life. But the candidate who runs as the guy who tries to please everybody, but instead offends everyone at the same time.

In 2009-10 was probably the best part of Mitt Romney's political career where he was once again out of public office because he couldn't get a job in it. But that is a time when he did some real studying about current affairs especially foreign policy and learning about the United States Government and issues that the country was facing. The problem was that he didn't use that knowledge very well to communicate a reason for why he should be elected President in 2012. But instead focused on who does he need to vote for him and how to talk everyone at the same time with different messages for each group.

2012 is the biggest stain not only on Mitt's career and something the Republican Party is going to have a real hard time living down especially if they lose again in 2016 and fail to win back the Senate in 2014. Because 2012 at least based on history and the economy was an election they should've won at least on paper. Going up against a fairly weak incumbent (but not weak enough for Mitt Romney) in President Barack Obama who was somewhere around 45% approval nationally with a struggling economy that had eight-percent unemployment most of the year that was barely growing. With a high budget deficit and national debt.

But again we are talking about Mitt Romney here so what does he do, but of course changes his political appearance once again. Who is Mitt Romney? You ask Mitt and put him on truth serum and he might say "I'm who I need to be to accomplish what I want to accomplish at any given time". You ask him off of truth serum and you may get five different answers to the same question at the same time. 2012 was Flip Flopper Mitt because I'm still struggling to figure out what his campaign theme was about because he changed it multiple times. At best it was successful businessman with a history of turning struggling organizations around who would turn the American economy around Mitt. Not exactly inspirational.

When the main question about a politician or a politician wannabe in Mitt Romney's case who has spent only four years of his entire life in public office (not for a lack of trying) because he lost most of the elections he's run in, but when the main question is after twenty years on public life as far as being well known and the number one question is "who are you?" Or "who is he"? You know you are in trouble as a political candidate. And that pretty much summarizes the political career of Mitt  Romney. The man who didn't even have the guts to let voters know who is he and what is he about and why they should vote for him.