Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Friday, January 31, 2014

CBC: Video: Front Page Challenge: Malcolm X in 1965

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Malcolm X’s message was about self-reliance and self-defense for the African-American community. Not trying to destroy any other community in the United States. Which is something that the right-wing especially the far-right does not understand that prefers to view Malcolm X as a racist. At least towards Caucasians and a criminal looking to destroy the United States. What Malcolm X believed instead was empowering an entire community to be able to live in freedom. Wherever they wanted to live and be able to take care of themselves instead. And not have to be dependent on government or anyone else for their well-being. Conservatives should like Malcolm X actually because of his beliefs in self-reliance and education, freedom for people to be able to make their own decisions. And not have to be dependent on government for their economic survival.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Reason: Hit & Run: Jacob Sullum: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Major Sentencing Reforms

Reason: Hit & Run: Jacob Sullum: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Major Sentencing Reforms

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I agree that this bill that the Senate Judiciary Committee doesn’t go far enough. I would decriminalize cocaine, heroin and meth. Not legalize them which is different, but my drug policy would be that if adults twenty-one and over are caught in possession of cocaine, heroin or meth, those drugs would immediately be stripped away from them. And they would pay a fine upon conviction based on how much the illegal narcotics are worth. And if they are caught selling these narcotics or smuggling them into the United States or producing them themselves to anyone, they would be arrested along with stripped of those narcotics. But at worst looking at jail time. Unless they are convicted of smuggling or producing narcotics in America. Or selling or giving them to minors.

What the Senate bill does instead is reduce the prison and jail time for people caught with these drugs. But they still are in prison and that is still the biggest problem with failed so-called War on Drugs. Is that it punishes people for what they do to themselves. And you could say sure if you are selling these narcotics to other people, you are hurting them as well. The problem with that is those people had a choice to purchase or not to purchase narcotics and then use them or not. So we are really at the core talking about punishing people for what they do to themselves instead.

The paternalists on the Right and Left will say that liberty can’t be allowing people to live their own lives, even if that means doing things that may be dangerous to themselves. Well one problem with that and there more problems with that, is the result of attempting to protect people from themselves for the betterment of society, is you end up hurting society because now you fill up your prisons with people are by in large are good people. And even productive people before prison or could’ve been very productive people before prison. But now they are in prison and would leave prison with criminal felony records. Making it very difficult for them to get a good job on the outside because of their felony conviction.

So the Senate bill is a very good start and I hope it passes in the Senate even if it is not improved. Good luck with the Neo-Con drug warriors in the House though. But it is just a first step and going further we need to get non-violent inmates who are not in prison for hurting anyone else. Physically, economically or anything else out of prison and either in drug rehab or halfway houses. And allow for them to move on with their lives and be productive citizens.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Commonsense Capitalism: Video: PBS NewsHour: U.S Representative Charles Rangel Debate Dr. Walter Williams on The Minimum Wage

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Sounds to me that whatever spin that Common Sense Capitalism wants to give it, that Representative Rangel was arguing not only in favor of the minimum wage, but empowering those workers to be able to get additional skills so they wouldn’t have to work for the minimum wage. And be able to get better jobs and be able to support themselves. With Dr. Williams arguing and using traditional spin of the Right that the minimum wage kills jobs and costs others jobs even when some others are getting jobs.Representative Rangel was arguing for economic empowerment for low-income low-skilled workers. So they wouldn’t have to work for the minimum wage long-term. While Dr. Williams was making the so-called free market argument when it comes to employee compensation. “Let the free market decide”. When in fact the so-called free market wouldn’t decide that. Employers who just happen to be part of the market, would decide what wages should be for everyone including themselves.

Sunday, January 26, 2014 Opinion: Jason Kuznicki: Modern Liberalism and The Paternalism of Things Opinion: Jason Kuznicki: Modern Liberalism and the Paternalism of Things

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Modern Liberalism and the Paternalism of Things is the perfect way to describe what is called modern liberalism. Which is a bogus term because there’s only one liberalism and you are either a Liberal or not. Or perhaps have some liberal positions but not a full-time Liberal. But there really isn’t classical liberalism or modern liberalism. I use the term classical liberalism as a way to compare liberalism with a more state form of liberalism. That really isn’t liberalism, but a state form of leftist collectivism or socialism. That tends to get labeled as liberalism. But what is called modern liberalism is a state form of paternalism.

What is called Modern liberalism that I call collectivism is a state form of paternalism. That puts its faith in the state through the voting process to decide what is best for everyone, the society. Instead of letting people decide these things for themselves and being able to manage and govern their own lives. Collectivists tend to see freedom as a dangerous because they tend to see it as the freedom to make mistakes. Instead of good decisions and that it needs to be regulated to the point that people can be protected from making too many bad decisions with their lives that the society has to pay for.

Liberalism in its classic and modern form is not about the state and that society needs to decide for everyone what is best for each individual in how they should live their own lives. But about the individual and that an educated public is much more qualified to make their own decisions. Because they have the knowledge to do so and when you also have an educated public you have the best and most productive society as possible. Allowing for an encouraging everyone to be as successful as possible.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Los Angeles Times: Editorial: A New Way to Attack Social Programs: Pay For Performance Projects

Los Angeles Times: Editorial: A New Way to Attack Social Problems: 'Pay For Performance' Projects 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Here’s an area where the public sector can work with the private sector and it is in the area of self-improvement for convicted inmates. So they can build up their lives and have a real shot at succeeding on the outside making a good living legally. And never needing to go back to jail or prison. It is pretty clear that locking up prison inmates and simply just keeping them there until their sentence is over, or just simply releasing them on the outside expecting to fit back into civilized society on their own, does not work. And that we need a new approach and this is where a public/private partnership could work.

If you want to talk about what happens to ex-inmates once they get out of prison as far as empowering them to build a successful life for themselves, we should say that all ex-inmates upon release from prison would then have to serve at a halfway house at their expense. Which would be like an apartment building or hotel for ex-offenders where they would stay and get help finding a job. And whatever rehabilitation service they may need as well so they can function successfully in society. Where they would have an outside job while still staying at the halfway house. Plus having a job inside the halfway house to help keep the place running.

The way this would work would be pretty simple. A prison releases inmates and then finds a halfway house for those inmates based on applications these places send to prisons. And then they get rewarded with the contracts to manage these ex-inmates in their houses. Until they are completely ready to be independent and live completely on their own. And the beauty of this approach is that the ex-inmates would pay for these services themselves. With money they get paid from their jobs outside of these homes.

Friday, January 24, 2014

TruthOut: Opinion: Joseph Natoli: Dark Affinities: Liberal and Neoliberal

TruthOut: Opinion: Joseph Natoli: Dark Affinities: Liberal and Neoliberal

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

You know I could write a blog arguing that these so-called ‘Modern Liberals’ of today who are supposed to be the Liberals of today and represent today’s liberalism are the ‘Neoliberals’. Because they do not represent liberalism at least as it was founded or liberalism of today. Liberalism is not about collectivism and having a superstate with its central planners making the decisions for the people or having the so-called popular will getting to decide what is best for everyone.

With this grand superstate getting to rule over the minority when it comes to decide how everyone should be able to get to live. But if you take ‘Modern Liberals’ seriously meaning they must be right about these things, you would get the idea that liberalism is about big central government and that the society as a whole should decide what is best for everyone instead of the people being able to make these decisions for themselves.

I really only need one example to show why so-called ‘modern liberalism’ is not liberalism at all, Liberals are taught to at least be skeptical about the establishment. That just because the majority says so, doesn’t always mean they are correct. Especially when it comes to personal-decision-making whether it is personal or economic. That the people tend to know what is best for them. Instead of some centralized authority that many times is far way trying to make these key decisions for the people instead. That for a developed society to succeed, you need an educated public so they can mange their own lives. Instead of one centralized authority trying to make these decisions for everyone as a whole.

If you are what is called a ‘Modern Liberal’ you are all about the state and superstate. That society as a whole meaning big government is better qualified to make these key decisions for everyone. Because they can collect all of this data and be able to decide what is best for everyone. Trying to manage the lives of people they do not even know. Sounds like a Communist society. But this is a far-left democratic form of collectivism. And these Collectivists can simply be voted out of office.

Liberals vs. the Collectivists is really about who get’s to decide and have the power over the people’s lives. The people themselves or government trying to make these key economic and personal decisions for the people instead. Should the people get to decide what they can read and what news organizations to follow. Or big government and can the people decide whether they should smoke or drink or not, or big government. And one final example should the people get to decide where they get their health care and who they pay for it. Or big government. And where you are when it comes to these key issues, determines whether you are a Liberal or a Collectivist when it comes to leftist politics.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

USFL Forever: Video: ABC Sports: USFL 1983-Week 6-Oakland Invaders @ Boston Breakers: Full Game

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

A crowd of less than eight-thousand at a major league pro football game. I guess the USFL was slow to catch on Boston which is too bad. Because the USFL had very good teams in it and a lot of NFL caliber players. Of course the weather looked horrible for this game. Which isn’t uncommon in Boston in early spring. But the Breakers were one of the USFL franchises that relocated and ended up in Portland in 1984 or 85. Boston was one of the mistakes if the USFL. Their idea that the USFL could take on the NFL in their own markets was one of their fatal errors. Oakland was one of their good moves, because Oakland is crazy for major league pro football. And the Raiders had just moved to Los Angeles in 1982. So the USFL going to Oakland was perfect timing on their part.

Monday, January 20, 2014

National Journal: Opinion: Matt Berman: The Forgotten, Radical Martin Luther King Jr.

National Journal: Opinion: Matt Berman: The Forgotten, Radical Martin Luther King Jr.

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The radicalism of Dr. Martin Luther King had to do with his economic politics and philosophy. He would be what would be described as a Social Democrat both as it related to civil and equal rights. But when it came economic policy and having a big central government there to reduce poverty and what is called income inequality and that type of economic philosophy is very radical in America. Even though it is very mainstream in Scandinavia which is full of social democracies.

These partisan right-wing attacks that Martin King was a Communist because he believed in equality, are flat bogus to put it mildly. But he was certainly a Leftist radical a Socialist even who believed in using government to redistribute the wealth of the country. To take from the very wealthy in higher taxes to take care of the poor. He was even to the Left of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson when it came to economic policy. Who happen to be our two most progressive president’s.

The 1960s at least the early and mid 1960s was about equal rights under law the civil rights movement. But by the late 1960s after the passage of those very important laws, it became about the income gap and the lack of educational and economic opportunities not just for African-Americans, but other Americans as well living in poverty regardless of race. Which was what the Poor People’s Campaign was about that would’ve been the second act of Dr. King’s movement.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The USFL History: Video: ABC Sports: USFL 1985-USFL Championship-Oakland Invaders vs. Baltimore Stars: Full Game

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Baltimore the only city to win the Super Bowl, 1970, 2000 and 2012, the USFL Championship in 1985 and the CFL Grey Cup in 1995. And the Baltimore Colts won the NFL Championship in 1958 and 59 before that game was called the Super Bowl. So this is a big city with a great American pro football history. With a bunch of championships as well as playing in a lot of championship games. And some of the best American pro football fans in the world. The USFL didn’t fold because of lack of support, or lack of good players, or lack of coaching, or lack of quality play. They folded because of lack of management in the league administration and how their clubs were run. Had they stayed in the spring and summer and stayed out of NFL markets, they could very well still be in business today.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Classic MLB 11: Video: Reds-TV: MLB 1986-7/22-New York Mets @ Cincinnati Reds: Full Game

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The Reds were solid contender in the 1980s a divisional contender for most of that decade. They actually finished in the mid and late 1980s in second place several seasons in a row in that decade. But never quite good enough to win their division. The Mets obviously winning the World Series in 1986 and were very good in the mid and late 1980s. So this was a matchup of consistent 1980s contenders, with the Reds failing to ever win their division. The Reds never seemed to have enough pitching to win the NL West in the 1980s, which is where they played until 1994, but were generally very good offensively. And the Mets coming damn close to winning the NL East in 1985 and arguably had a better team than the St. Louis Cardinals in 85. But in 1986 is where they put everything together as a team. They had great pitching and consistent offense and defense and had all of those things for most of that season.

TruthOut: Opinion: Ellen Danin: Infrastructure 101, The Evolution of Building Big Things

TruthOut: Opinion: Ellen Danin: Infrastructure 101: The Evolution of Building Big Things

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Here’s one big issue where I tend to agree with people who are really are the Progressives in the country. Center-left Progressives who are to the Left of me, but definitely still mainstream leftists. And today’s let’s say so-called Progressives who have more of a socialist big government thinking when it comes to their politics. And infrastructure investment would be that issue and something we should’ve made a huge investment in as part of the 2009 Recover and Investment Act. Better known as the 2009 Stimulus bill.

There are even feelings on the Conservative-Right and perhaps even the Libertarian-Right, that we need to commit a lot of resources to our infrastructure system that we have a big financial hole there. And the questions have been about how to do this and how to pay for it. Conservatives would probably like to turn a lot over it to the private sector and perhaps pass a long-term highway bill in Congress as well and Libertarians would like to completely privatize a lot of our public infrastructure.

Progressives would like to raise a lot of taxes to pay for it and get that money to the states and construction industries to do a lot of this work as well. Myself as a Liberal would like to be a little more creative ad practical and sort of moved past Congress and the administration. Whoever is in power and get a lot of these decisions out of their hands and get a new independent authority involved. Who would spend all of their time on infrastructure investment. And simply being about what are the projects that need to be done.

What I’m talking about is creating a National Infrastructure Bank. An infrastructure investment group that would be in charge of prioritizing a lot of the infrastructure in America. And if the administration and Congress sees projects they believe need to be funded that weren’t, they could still pass bills to fund those projects and do oversight of the National Infrastructure Bank. But the NIB would be taking the lead in this.

And concentrating on what needs to be created or repaired in this country. Based on the best economic data and evidence around and what doesn’t need to be funded. And then find the resources in the private sector investors who would invest in these new projects. And projects that are being repaired and get their money back based on how often these projects are used by the public. Through fees like what Americans pay for using a road or crossing a bridge to use as examples.

According to the U.S. Core of Engineers we have roughly a one-trillion dollar infrastructure deficit in this country. We put that money in the economy and we could get two-trillion back alone with all the jobs that would be created and people spending money in the economy. And all the new ways we would create getting around this huge beautiful country and an NIB which would finance itself. Because it would get money from these infrastructure projects as well which would be a great way to do this.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

American Thinker: Opinion: Peter Skurkiss: Smoking and Individual Liberty

American Thinker: Opinion: Peter Skurkiss: Smoking and Individual Liberty

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Just when I thought the American Thinker couldn’t be more neoconservative and big government enough. I read an article on their blog today from writer Peter Skurkiss who I’m sure means well. But a lot of bad things come from good intentions and his plan to outlaw tobacco in the United States is a perfect example of that. And why would we do it now when first of all it is already legal. Second we already tax and regulate the hell out of it and perhaps we should do even more short of outlawing it. Like moving the legal age from eighteen to twenty-one like alcohol. But third smoking has already come down so far in this country from what we’ve already are doing right now to it.

Look if we as a society do not like the actions others take and primarily the reasons for that is because we do not want to pay for their mistakes, remember a lot of America is about our economy and money, so if we do not want to pay for others mistakes, gee here’s an idea and let’s stop doing that. And let stupid people pay for their stupid mistakes instead. Not just tax tobacco, but tax it to the point that smokers will have a decision to make. “Do I really want to spend so much money on a product that could kill me?” But second to transfer that tax revenue to the health care that smokers will need to pay for their smoking.

Alcohol prohibition didn’t work, the War on Drugs has failed. Just look at all the ruined lives from it as a result. Like people not being able to get good legal jobs because of a drug conviction. Even though they didn’t actually hurt anybody. Same thing would happen with tobacco prohibition. Arresting people for what they do to themselves and overflowing and already overcrowded criminal justice system.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Liberty Pen: Firing Line With William F. Buckley- Milton Friedman on The Negative Income Tax

Source: Liberty Pen-Professor Milton Friedman-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I do not like Milton Friedman’s idea of what he called the Negative Income Tax. Or today what people on both the Left and Right are talking about which is the National Basic Income. Because for this idea to work we as a country have to rely on a low-skilled low-income population to be very responsible with the money we are giving them. When up to this point in their lives they haven’t been very responsible with their lives at all. And in many cases this is why they are on public assistance right now. Not finishing high school, having kids before they can take care of them. This may sound harsh, but these are facts.

Now I do like Milton Friedman’s idea of subsidizing independence when we are talking about our less-fortunate population. That is with the current system people on pubic assistance the more money they are able to make on their own, they go back to work, perhaps set up a small business in their own. Like taking care of their neighbors kids or doing other laundry. To use as examples or going back to work in a traditional way. The money they get is taken away from their public assistance benefits. Instead of letting them keep all of that money.

What we should be doing instead is allowing for people on public assistance to be able to make as much money as they possibly can legally on their own. And still allow for them to keep their current public assistance benefits up to the point that they are no longer in poverty. That they are now making enough money to get out of poverty. So we encourage economic independence instead of punishing people for seeking it.
Liberty Pen: Firing Line With William F. Buckley- Milton Friedman on The Negative Income Tax

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reason: Video: Legalize Prostitution to Fight Sex Trafficking? Sex Workers Say Yes

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This is a tough issue for me and certainly not an issue at the start of my day I was expecting to blog about. Because we are talking about a very dangerous business whether it is legal or not. And prostitution will always be a business in America illegal or otherwise. It is not the oldest profession in the world for nothing. Dangerous business, but then you also have the side that I tend to fall down on as a Liberal that we are talking about what adults do with their own lives both personal and economic lives. Who should make that call the state meaning government or the individual.

I look at prostitution similar to how I look at illegal narcotics and gambling. How many people do we really want to arrest and lock up for what they do with their own personal lives. This is not a profession that is going to go away there will always be a market for it. That is just type of country we’ve always been and will always be and if anything it will just grow. Because again of how liberal and libertarian we are becoming as a country.

Again I look at prostitution the way I look at gambling and marijuana.

1. Legalize it and then tax it and regulate it to make it as safe as possible. Regulate prostitution like alcohol. Twenty-one or over to work in the profession or be a customer in it.

2. Require workers and customers to be licensed by the state they work in.

3. Random medical tests for customers and workers to make sure they are healthy and not spreading diseases.

4. Tax profits made by workers and companies in this business. And tax the customers for what they pay for these services.

That is just how I view government that it is not the job for government to protect us from ourselves. But to protect innocent people from predators who would hurt us. And to make the activities that we choose in life as safe as possible through smart commonsense regulations.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Reuters: Video: Egyptians Prepare For Controversial Constitutional Referendum Vote

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Sounds like the Egyptian military is trying to expand their legal authority over the country. Whether or not they are able to put in another Hosni Mubarak like strongman to run the entire country or not. Which is a shame if the Egyptian statists are successful, because Egypt could become a great place and country if the people there just had the freedom to make that happen. And whatever is left of the liberal democratic movement there stood up and demanded their freedom for the country. Egypt is clearly not ready for liberal democracy and a liberal form of government based and society based on checks and balances and individual rights and freedom. Which should not be very surprising considering how long they’ve lived under statist authoritarian rule.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sky News: Video: A 5-Year Fixed Parliaments a Mistake?

When the British Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition agreed to a five-year Parliament and government, it meant that the British wouldn’t be able to vote at the national level or the closest thing they come to that by voting for their member of the House of Commons for another five years. Which means their national elections are less social democratic than America’s because we vote for Congress every two years in the House and Senate. And we vote for president every four years. Even though the United Kingdom is supposed to be a great social democracy and America is a liberal democracy. If you like to vote and you judge democracies by how often you get the right to vote and are able to take advantage of that, you’ll like American democracy more than Britain’s.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Brian Rob: Video: The Reason Why Black Men Won't Date or Marry Black Women

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Malcolm X seems to be saying in this video that African-Americans should be building their own livable middle class communities instead of feeling the need to have to live in mostly or majority Caucasian communities in order to feel the need to be successful in America. That African-Americans should be educating themselves so they can manage their own business’s in their own communities. Instead of feeling the need to have to live in middle class Caucasian communities to feel that they’ve made it in America. For me as a Caucasian-American, I don’t think you should base success on race. And that you need to have a country where people period can be successful and that is everyone. And where they and who they choose to live with, is up to them. Part of living in freedom in a liberal democracy.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Down To Buck: Video: Jan Vesely Full Highlights Against The New Orleans Pelicans, 1/08/14

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Wizards forward Jan Wesely looked like a pretty good all around NBA player, not just Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans, but the last few games as well. As someone the Wizards thought they were getting when they picked him up a couple of years ago as a very athletic forward with good size. Who has both small forward and power forward skills. Up to this point head coach Randy Whitman wasn’t sure what he was getting from Jan because he would look decent one night. And then completely disappear the next game and because of Jan playing well the last few games on both sides of the court, the Wizards bench has also improved a lot as well. And give the team more depth that they’ll need to make the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Na Radio Asami: Video: NBC Nightly News With John Chancellor and David Brinkley From 1978: Early Days of The Onion News Network?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Some of these stories sounded like the could’ve been written by The Onion. Like the anti-bussing advocate in Boston losing her City Council seat. Politicians collecting public assistance. I know law enforcement, teachers, fireman and the military are underpaid, but if anything politicians are way overpaid, at least at the federal level. And maybe that is why these real public servants, the teachers, law enforcement etc are so underpaid. There’s not enough cookies left in the jar and money in the piggy bank to pay everyone else what they deserve and even need just to pay their bills. As far as blizzards in the Dakotas in the fall, as if I didn’t already have enough incentive to live there. And TV ratings, if you don’t like what is popular, gee here’s an idea, don’t watch it and share that advice with others.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

WBAL-TV: Video: David Collins: Governor Martin O'Malley Focus on Minimum Wage Hike: The 2014 Agenda For the Maryland State Assembly

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Appears to be plenty on the legislative plate for Maryland State Assembly members in 2014. Everything from tax relief to actually legalizing marijuana in the Free State. As well as increasing the minimum wage in Maryland. And I support all of these ideas if done in the right way that benefits the Maryland economy. And doesn’t send Maryland money and jobs out of the state things that should be here instead.
I’m in favor of these things because Maryland is a high cost of living state. Whether you think our taxes are too high or not and I’m a Democrat who believes they are, all of these new ideas are about economic development, economic and job growth. As well which would allow for us to cut taxes without creating a new deficit or adding debt. We could increase the minimum wage while cutting business taxes and legalizing marijuana. But regulating and taxing marijuana as well so the economy, public safety and the state has the revenue it needs to do the public services that we need like new infrastructure investment.
Maryland should increase the minimum wage to around 10-12 dollars an hour. And include tax relief to make up the difference in additional payroll costs. So we get more job creation and more people working and not less and more people investing in Maryland not less. Similar to what has been done with gambling legalization in this state. Which has already created new jobs in this state. And legalize marijuana, but regulate it like alcohol which would include taxing it and licensing dealers and sellers like for alcohol. And have more money coming into and staying in the state and less going out to nearby states.
The Free State House
The Free State House

Monday, January 6, 2014

Slate: Interview: David Weigel: Brian Schweitzer Interview: The Former Montana Governor is The Most Likely Democrat to Challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016

Slate: Interview: David Weigel: Brian Schweitzer Interview: The Former Montana Governor is The Most likely Democrat to challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The libertarian Reason Magazine posted the link for this Slate interview of Brian Schweitzer. Who happens to be just one of my favorite Democrats and a real Liberal Democrat. And I mention that for the simple reason that Reason called it, “Brian Schweitzer the Libertarian Democrat?” Well if you look at state of the current libertarian movement you know why Libertarian and Democrat tend not To go together. And yes Libertarians and Liberals tend to agree with each other on social issues and personal freedom related issues.

But Liberals and Libertarians are very different when it comes to economic policy and on foreign policy. Libertarians tend to sound more like the Far-Left social democratic Dennis Kucinich wing of the Democratic Party. Than they sound like Center-Left Liberal Democrats. Brian Schweitzer the former governor of Montana which recently at least looks like a very Democratic state. At least at the state level and why the governor and the two U.S. Senators are Democrats. The one U.S. Representative isn’t, but Montana is a state that appeals to both liberalism in its real sense and libertarianism as well.

And Governor Schweitzer who was governor of Montana from 2005-13 has been labeled as a Moderate, a Conservative Democrat, a Liberal and apparently by Reason as a. Libertarian. And if you look at where Governor Schweitzer is on civil liberties and personal freedom in general like privacy, homosexuality, speech, the 2nd Amendment which by the way is also a personal freedom issue but, then look at the fact that he’s a Democrat which should be a pretty good clue that he’s not a Libertarian.

And where Governor Schweitzer is on economic policy. Like on things like infrastructure, and energy where he would like to see us use all of our natural resources. And Montana produces a lot of them and not just oil and where he is on immigration and supports a comprehensive approach. His liberal politics are pretty clear, but he’s a real Liberal whose Center-Left. And doesn’t want big government in our economic affairs either.

When I saw the Reason headline, “Brian Schweitzer the Libertarian Democrat?” I almost laughed and got me thinking maybe The Nation magazine a more socialist Far-Left magazine will have a headline something to the effect, Susan Collins the U.S. Senator from Maine a Moderate-Conservative lets say, “Susan Collins the Socialist Republican?” Which would be pretty difficult to take seriously if you know anything about Senator Collins or socialism.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cato Institute: Video: Richard Epstein: The Classical Liberal Constitution

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The Classical Liberal Constitution is the United States Constitution. With all the constitutional and individual rights that it protects. The problem with the USC is not the Constitution itself, but big government supporters on the far-right and far-left who do not support the Constitution and judges they believe who do too far to protect our freedoms. And then they back politicians who look for ways to try to change our Constitution.
The way to know that our Constitution is a Classical Liberal Constitution, just look at our Bill of Rights and all the amendments to it and I’ll give you a few of them.
1. Our Freedom of Speech that gives us the right to essentially say whatever the hell we want to. As long as we aren’t libeling people or threatening people or inciting violence.
2. Freedom of Assembly the ability for Americans to get together with each other and even hold meetings. Without government getting in our ways as long as we aren’t planning criminal activities.
3. Freedom of Religion to go along with Separation of Church and State. The ability to practice or not practice any religion that we want. But that we are a federal republic and governed by our Constitution and not by any religion.
4. The Right to Self-Defense which is critical in a developed country our size with all of our wealth. The fact that law enforcement can’t protect all of us all the time.
5. Our property rights and Right to Privacy which in a way go together. The fact that government can’t come into our homes and take our property from us without just cause.
6. Our Equal Protection Clause that guarantees under law that no American is discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion which is critical in any liberal democracy.
It is not the United States Constitution that is the problem in America. But the people on fringes of both political wings who believe we have too much freedom. And have too much power as far as the political offices that they hold on both sides. So the solution to this is to elect more people on both the Left and Right who support our Constitution and will defend it.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Baseball Hot Corner: Opinion Rob Downey: The St. Louis Cardinals All-Time Starting Lineup

Baseball Hot Corner: Opinion: Rob Downey: The St. Louis Cardinals All-Time Starting Lineup

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The thing about the St. Louis Cardinals is that they are not only one of Major League Baseball’s best franchises right now, but all-time as well. And perhaps the premier franchise in the National Baseball League and haven’t had any real off decades were they weren’t contending at all, or stuck in mediocrity except for perhaps the 1970s and 90s. Where they didn’t make the NL Playoffs at all in the 70s and only made the NL Playoffs once in the 1990s.

Which would be 1996 Tony LaRussa’s first season in St. Louis, which means there are a lot of great player from the Cardinals to choose from a franchise that has won eleven MLB World Series. Something like twenty National League Championships and a bunch of division championships. A franchise that at best plays in a mid-size market in St. Louis, but has fans and reach that goes all over the Midwest. Especially the Western Midwest.

This would be my all-time Cardinals lineup as someone whose not even a Cardinals fan.

1. Leading off Lou Brock- I would have of course Lou Brock and in the outfield. The only leadoff hitter I would take over Brock would be Rickey Henderson. Brock stole over eight-hundred bases, hit around three-hundred in St. Louis scoring a lot of runs. And even had occasional power as a leadoff hitter.

2. Hitting 2nd and playing 2nd Base Rogers Hornsby- Perhaps the best all around 2nd Baseman of all-time hitting four-hundred with power twice in his career. Had a lot of great years in St. Louis.

3. Hitting 3rd and in the outfield Stan Musial- Even with Albert Pujols I still have Stan The Man as the greatest Cardinal of all-time. Especially considering he played his whole career in St. Louis. And by the time Big Al is done he may have played about half of his career somewhere else.

4. Cleanup Hitter Albert Pujols- With the Cardinals Big Al was not only the best hitter in baseball, but I believe the best all around player in baseball. And a very good first baseman as well.

5. Ken Boyer hitting fifth and playing 3B- A very solid power hitter with the Cardinals and a very good third baseman as well. Hit over two-hundred home runs in St. Louis and drove in over a thousand runs as well.

6. Hitting sixth and doing the catching Ted Simmons- Unfortunately for Ted Simmons he played for the Cardinals in the 1970s the entire decade. When they were in transition and no longer a NL contender. So he doesn’t get the respect owed to him for being a great player. But perhaps only Johnny Bench with the Cincinnati Reds was a better all around catcher than Ted Simmons in his era. Someone who hit three-hundred, with power and would drive in over a hundred runs as well. And was a very good defensive catcher as well.

7. Hitting seventh and playing in the outfield Enos Slaughter- With Enos Slaughter you have a three-hundred hitter hitting seventh for this Cardinals team. I have him there because the guys ahead of him have better power.

8. Hitting eighth the best all around defensive SS of all-time Ozzie Smith- Almost exclusively known as a great defender before he came to St. Louis, but someone who developed into a solid 270 hitter, run scorer and base stealer who fit the 1980s Cardinals offense perfectly as a solid contact hitter. Who didn’t strikeout with great speed who was also a great baserunner.

9. Hitting ninth and doing the pitching Bob Gibson- Bob Gibson might have been a better hitter than Ozzie Smith and you could go the other way with Gibson pitching. And have Lou Brock end up following Ozzie Smith and sorta have a lineup with two leadoff hitters. But Bob Gibson I believe is the greatest big game pitcher at least of his generation. And only Sandy Koufax was better in the 1960s.

You would win a lot of championships with this lineup. A team that could hit for power that wouldn’t need to score much with Bob Gibson pitching, but would be able to do so anyway. That would’ve also had a lot of speed and would’ve been able to steal a lot of bases as well.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Economic Policy Journal: Opinion: Robert Wenzel: Happy New Year from the Freedom Socialist Party!

Economic Policy Journal: Opinion: Robert Wenzel: Happy New Year from the Freedom Socialist Party!

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The Freedom Socialist Party, hum that is a title that makes me want to go well, hum. Yes I know there are Democratic Socialists and Bernie Sanders comes to mind pretty quickly. But when I and a lot of other Americans and myself perhaps less than the average American think of socialism at least the economic form of it, I think of really high taxes, lots of regulations, huge centralized government, huge welfare state and that is assuming that the private sector and private enterprise is left in place. In most socialist countries today there is a private sector and private enterprise. But every other socialist characteristic is also in place. So I don’t tend to think of freedom when it comes to socialism, at least not economic freedom.I think of all sorts of centralized government programs and services. With people not being able to decide for themselves how they receive these services.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

TruthOut: Opinion: Cliff O'Connor & Michael Steven Smith: Imagine, If Mayor Bill DeBlasio Really Were a Socialist

TruthOut: Opinion: Cliff O'Connor & Michael Steven Smith: Imagine, if Bill De Blasio Really Were a Socialist

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Here some examples of why I would never live in New York City unless was making north of ten million dollars. And could actually afford it even with the NYC taxes and New York State taxes. Because there are New Yorkers and perhaps Bill De Blasio is one of them, we’ll find out soon enough who agree with. These Socialist ideas I guess proposed in this TruthOut column. As far as what they wrote, this I believe were supposed to be about NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio whose been. On the job for what two days now and what he should do if he were really a Socialist.

Yet most of the ideas being proposed like Medicare For All Single Payer can only be done by the Federal Government. Granted New York is a city roughly of eight-million people but it is still one city in a country of three-hundred. and ten million people the Mayor of New York may have more influence than any mayor in the country. Big or small city but mayors whatever the city are still very limited in how they can affect the country as a whole. And a lot of the ideas that Cliff Connor and Steven Smith are proposing can only become law from the federal level.

But just for the fun of it lets imagine a Socialist administration of New York with Mayor Bill De Blasio. And what could they do and I’ll put out my own possibilities if Mayor De Blasio is a real Socialist.

1. Increase taxes across the board to pay for all sorts of new municipal investments that I’ll mention later.

2. A new Wall Street tax of course especially on Capital Gains about fifty percent.

3. City takeover of all private schools including public charter schools.

4. Of course a city version of Medicare For All but it would be called something like NYC Care or something. With an outlaw of private insurance companies in New York.

5. The tax hikes I was talking about would go to cover most of these public investments. Including new investments in public infrastructure like in new schools and hospitals that of course would be run by. The NYC Government.

The suggestions that I’m talking about that of course I disagree with as a Liberal. But they are socialistic and could actually be passed at least in theory by New York City. The Mayor would need to propose then and the Council would have to approve them or vice-versa. But these would be things that New York could do legally because they run their own city affairs.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lew Rockwell: Blog: Ron Paul: Learn a Little Economics

Lew Rockwell: Blog: Learn a Little Economics

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

If you are talking about raising the minimum wage from $7.25 and hour to 10-12 dollars an hour without any relief for small employers especially people who run, lets say local restaurants or hardware stores, then I would agree with you that giving low-skilled workers making seven or eight bucks and hour would hurt those business’s. But that is not the minimum wage increase that I’m on favor of. What I want to do is raise it to 10-12 dollars an hour with a thirty-percent tax break at least for small employers.

Which means these employers payroll costs wouldn’t go up a dime based on the minimum wage. And for any minimum wage increase to come out of this divided Congress with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate, the tax break I’m talking about is probably going to have to be part of that minimum wage increase. Otherwise it probably has about a zero percent chance of passing and even with the tax break, the chances of it passing aren’t very good to begin with.

The economics of increasing the minimum wage to 10-12 bucks and hour again with the tax break that I’m talking about are very clear. You want more people working and fewer people collecting public assistance, then work simply has to pay more than not working. And that is not the case right now if you add up all the benefits that low-income people can make in dollars from public assistance. A low-skilled person can get more money not working at all and perhaps not even looking for work. Which doesn’t do that person much good or their kids much good or the economy as a whole much good.

The minimum wage isn’t a cure-all for poverty in America. You need more educational and job training opportunities for our low-skilled adult population as well. But you increase the minimum wage to the point that this population makes more money working whatever the job, than not working and you make education and job training available for these adults, they can get themselves good jobs and get off of public assistance all together which benefits everyone.

Actually having the minimum wage as low as it is right now at $7.25 an hour hurts the economy, because the taxpayers have to pick up the rest of the bill that these employers don’t pay to take care of our less-fortunate population. And that means keeping taxes high to the point to pay for those public assistance benefits. Which any real Conservative shouldn’t be in favor of.