Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Week: Opinion: Ryan Cooper: The Beginning of The End of The War on Drugs

The Week: Opinion: Ryan Cooper: The Beginning of The End of The War on Drugs

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I think it’s a mistake to put same-sex marriage in the same group and discussion as the War on Drugs. Because a big reason why so much progress has been made on marriage equality has to do with the American courts. Ruling that these gay marriage bans are unconstitutional because they are discriminating, because they create two different classes. One for straits and the other for gays. Straights can marry because they are straight and gays can’t simply because they want to marry someone of the same gender. Which is why gay marriage bans are unconstitutional because it empowers one class of Americans over another.

I’m sure there are certain unconstitutional aspects of the War on Drugs. But the fact is under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Federal Government gets to decide what they’ll allow to be legal and what they won’t. Unless there’s already a constitutional right to own or purchase something, like firearms. Where all Americans have the constitutional right to purchase and own firearms. There is no constitutional right in America to purchase one drug or another. The Federal Government gets to decide what they’ll outlaw and legalize and what they’ll enforce and what they won’t.

Which is why we aren’t seeing state bans on marijuana being thrown out by U.S. courts or state courts because those laws are constitutional. And why the federal Controlled Substance Act won’t get thrown out by any court. Because those drugs are substances and potential commerce and the U.S. Government has the right to decide what commerce is legal and what isn’t. Look, I would love see the War on Drugs, a bogus war that is not real and not a real war, I would love to see it get thrown out as unconstitutional. And we legalize marijuana at the federal level and decriminalize heroin, cocaine and meth at least to the extent that users and dealers aren’t treated as the same. Users and addicts get rehab at their expense and dealers go to jail.

But these things aren’t going to happen through the court system for the most part. The way you defeat the War on Drugs as far as finally ending it, because it as already lost politically, is through the legislative and political process. Get the word out across the country that marijuana is not something that should be endorsed, but that is has similar side-effects as alcohol. And it is a waste of money arresting people and sending them to prison for simple possession or usage of marijuana. Go state by state and lobby Congress as well and not just young Democrats, but Representatives and Senators of both parties. As well as continue to push ballot measures.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bat Man: CNN World News Special- Pelican Bay State Prison

Source: Bat Man- CNN news anchor Susan Rook-
Source: The New Democrat Plus

First of all, just to speak of Susan Rook at CNN. I miss her, I wish she would come back. She’s so freakin cute and sweet and makes hard news worth listening to and watching just with her beautiful baby-face and sweet voice. She still looks great today from the few shots I’ve seen of her online. And works as a photographer and as an agent. She’s still pretty active, just not as a news anchor.

Now as far as Pelican Bay, maybe I should be careful how I put this, but if there’s such a thing as a human zoo it would be called Pelican Bay. Or the Colorado State Maximum Security Prison. Except that animals at zoos are able to move around in their yard and are probably outside most of the day. And can eat as much as they can handle and get plenty of exercise. As well as both human and animal contact. You get almost none of that if you’re an inmate at Pelican Bay.

I’m sure most if not all the inmates at Pelican Bay are quite frankly hard-core assholes who deserve to be at a maximum security prison. But there’s a right way to do that and the wrong way. The wrong way treats these people as if they’re wild animals like grizzly bears or tigers or something. And when you treat people like that, that is how they’re going to behave. But if you punish bad behavior while at the same time giving people incentive to improve, that is what will happen in most cases. The whole carrot and stick approach.
Bat Man: CNN World News Special- Pelican Bay State Prison

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Astro Kid NJ: Video: Later With Bob Costas: Camille Paglia Trashes Gloria Steinem Wing of Feminism, in 1992

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Good thing that Camille Paglia was never a U.S. Senator. Because they would never be able to shut her up. They would never be able to go home, Congress would always be in session, because the Senate was always in session. The House would be on vacation, with the Senate always open for business. Well always open to listen to Camille Paglia, if they hear very fast. Congress would have to create a new police force of Sergeant of Arms who would simply be there to shut Camille Paglia up and get her to yield the floor. To some poor freshman senator, whose been waiting for months to finally be able to speak on the floor. Because Senator Paglia has been speaking the whole time.

But having said all of that, I probably agree with just about Camille Paglia says about radical Feminists. People who I call man-hating dykes who essentially hate straight men and male masculinity. And are always putting down straight men, especially Caucasian men and especially Anglo-Saxon Caucasian men with southern or rural backgrounds. It’s not feminism or Feminists who are the problem. What they believe in is very mainstream. Which is equal rights and treatment for women under law. That men and women should be treated equally under law and not given special treatment either way for simply being a man or women. Which all Americans believe in. Well everyone to the Left of Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum, but not has Far-Left as radical Feminists who see women as better than men.

As far as Anita Hill, I’m one of the last people who would ever be a fan of U.S. Justice Clarence Thomas. Never heard of the man before President Bush appointed him to the Supreme Court in the summer of 1991. Shouldn’t be surprising since I was only 15 at that point. But even back then it seemed somewhat surprising to me that Anita Hill would finally make public her allegations once the Thomas Senate confirmations hearings finally started in I believe October of 1991. Maybe Professor Hill thought she should’ve been the one appointed to the Supreme Court in 1991, instead of her former boss Clarence Thomas.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Reason: Opinion: Jacob Sullum: "Ted Cruz is Right About Taxes": Really?

Reason: Opinion: Jacob Sullum: Ted Cruz is Right About Taxes 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Just once I would like to hear someone and its generally Republicans who support some type of flat tax, say, “I’m in favor of a middle class tax hike! Because middle class Americans are under taxed when it comes to the needs of the country and the Federal Government. And its time for middle class hard-working Americans who struggle to just pay their current taxes, to pay more in federal income taxes.” I don’t want to hear them say that because I believe middle class Americans are under taxed. Because the opposite is true, but for them to say that, because that is exactly what a flat tax is. At least as every plan that has been introduced inside or outside of Congress.

Why I say that? Because a flat tax depending on how you do it would be around 15-20% of people’s income. If you’re in the bottom tax rate right now, you’re paying ten-percent in federal income taxes. So now replace the current Progressive Income Tax with a regressive flat tax of anywhere between 15-20% and that would be anywhere between a 50-100% tax increase on someone making 40-50 thousand-dollars a year. Who are those people? Law enforcement, military personal, emergency management officers, teachers, truck drivers, construction workers, autoworkers and millions of other working-class Americans who struggle just to pay their current bills and that includes taxes. You really think they’re looking for a 50-100% tax increase right now to help them out?

I like the idea of tax reform and support it myself, including business tax reform. It is something that we must do as a country to get the type of economic growth that we need to not only get our economy back to pre-Great Recession levels, but to expand it further. But there are right ways to do things and there are wrong ways. I to personally would like to see us scrap the income tax and stop taxing production and creativity. And instead go with what Senator Ben Cardin, one of Senator Ted Cruz’s colleagues calls the Progressive Consumption Tax. A sales tax that would tax basic necessities of life at fairly low rates. But tax luxury items which would have to be defined at higher rates.

We could leave in the corporate tax, but have it much lower than thirty-five-percent, but make it progressive as well. Somewhere between 10-20 percent depending on the size of business and their profits. And scrap a lot of the, well garbage in the tax code. But individual and business to help pay for the lower tax rates. As well as to encourage more economic development in America both domestically and foreign. We could do all of these things without passing a single tax hike on middle class Americans. People that both Democrats and Republicans claim to support. But have different ways of showing it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Reason: Hit & Run: Ed Krayewski: Are You Ready For President Joe Biden?

Reason: Hit & Run: Ed Krayewski: Are You Ready For President Joe Biden? 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

There’s a reason that even though Joe Biden isn’t mentioned as a strong contender to Hillary Clinton in 2016 for president. Even though he’s Vice President of the United States and an influential and powerful one at that as far as influence that he has on his boss President Obama. And has probably somewhere around hundred-percent name id certainly in the Democratic Party or country as well. Vice President Biden doesn’t have a national constituency and even a Democratic one. Some public servants are simply just good at that and serving their bosses and their people. Just like some assistant head coaches are good at serving their head coach. But that alone doesn’t make you a good candidate for president or head coach.

And then throw in the fact that Joe Biden is serving a president whose very controversial. A lot of people like or love Barack Obama, including myself. A lot of people have serious disagreements with the President and wish his policies were dramatically different in some key areas. Take the War on Drugs and civil liberties to use as examples. And I’m one of them as well. And then are also a lot of people who simply hate the man. And lot that has to do with generation, culture, how Barack was educated and yes race as well as ignorance. And questioning the man’s religion and loyalty to the country and calling him a Socialist as if they were calling him a bastard.

Plus the Obama Administration has had a rocky up and down run on really every issue they’ve had to face. They’re up for maybe a few weeks or months and then something like Healthcare.GOV not rolling out properly, even though they had three years to prepare for it, happens. Or the southern border crisis of last summer happens. Biden is the Vice President second ranking officer in an administration that will look better in the future, even though it doesn’t look great now. Because they’ve been involved in things that take time and where you don’t see great results right away. Like with the economy where the economy is just starting to rebound strongly. Or health care reform where the Affordable Care Act is finally starting to pay off for them. Or with their war against ISIS in the Middle East, that may go on for decades.

None of these factors and situations that Joe Biden has been involved in as Vice President whose in on everything and has responsibility for carrying out a lot of these possibilities and selling them to the country, add up to someone saying, “look how great things are now. Lets keep them going and nominate Joe Biden for president to keep America on the same course.” Unless President Obama has a great 2015 and is very popular going into 2016 and essentially has the power to pick his successor and says to his loyal Vice President, “you know what Joe, things are finally going our way and America is moving again. And you were part of all of it and you’re the guy to keep it going.” And puts his support behind his Vice President succeeding him, I can’t see Joe Biden even running for president. Because what would be the reason other than wanting to be president.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Jeff Walsh: Video: Politically Incorrect With Camille Paglia

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I use to see Camille Paglia as the right-wing nut who put down feminism because Feminists wanted equal treatment for women. I use to put her in the same category as Ann Coulter. And saw Camille as Ann’s roommate at nut house. But thank God for education, because without that I wouldn’t of learned more about her and learn that it is not feminism, equal rights, equal treatment that she was putting down. She was putting down militant feminism and political correctness. Bill Maher had the best line in this video that he called his show Politically Incorrect, because he wanted to give liberalism a good name. That is sort of what Camille Paglia is about as well.

Maher and Paglia are two of the most anti-politically correct people you’ll ever meet. They aren’t fans of political correctness from either the Left or Right and most of it probably does come from Left. Political correctness are about as illiberal and anti-liberal as anything can get. Because it violates the most important aspect of liberalism and personal freedom. Which is the right to speech and the ability for people to express themselves and speak openly. Because someone in the political correctness, the Far-Left really will be offended by it. “Making jokes about Caucasian men and right-wing women is okay, but everyone else is unacceptable.” For political correctness supporters.

And what Camille Paglia and perhaps Bill Maher are saying is that the problem with feminism is not feminism. But militant feminism, this idea that women shouldn’t be treated equally, but better. And there other issue has to do with political correctness. That again people should feel free to express themselves especially if they are correct, even if that means it might offend someone. Like racial or ethnic minorities, women of all ethnicities and races. Or the political correctness Left. That people should be able to be themselves and express themselves, but then they also make themselves open to criticism as well.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Reason: Video: Everything's Awesome and Camille Paglia is Unhappy!

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Give Camille Paglia five minutes to talk and two days later she might still be speaking and about the same subject. She seems very pissed off and energized in this interview. But I actually agree with a lot of the points that she’s making here about feminism. That she’s a feminist in the sense that she believes in equal rights and equal opportunity. That women or men shouldn’t be denied access simply for being female or male. I believe in the same things accept that as a man and a straight one at that, (ha ha) I’m not sure that I can qualify as a feminist. But maybe that is a subject or debate for a different time.

But perhaps Camille Paglia’s larger point or the one these stresses more is that women or men shouldn’t be judged better simply for being a women or man. Her critique about Feminists is not about mainstream Feminists who believe in equal rights and equal opportunity. But against people who are called militant Feminists. People, women especially who believe that women are superior to men and therefore should be treated better and should be running the world. And those are the Feminists that I break away from not as a man, but simply as a Liberal who believes in equal rights and opportunity.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Reason: Hit & Run: Why Medicare Will Always Need Fixing: How to Reform Medicare

Reason: Hit & Run: Peter Suderman: Why Medicare Will Always Need Fixing

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

This is really about adding onto the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Which I supported then and I support now, but even great legislation which the ACA even with its best supporters doesn’t qualify as, at least yet need to be improve and reformed from time to time. But to talk about the so-called doc fix that is part of Medicare first and the I’ll get into expanding Medicare. But the doc fix is what is known as the physician payments from Medicare to doctors who take Medicare patients. It is very expensive because Medicare only takes senior citizens. Not exactly the most healthy members of our society. And as a result their health care can be very expensive. Which is one of the problems with Medicare.

The doc fix I believe is fairly simple to fix in practice, but harder to get passed into law, because it would mean that Congress wold have to take on people they aren’t comfortable taking on. The special interests that made it possible for them to be in the House of Representatives or Senate. Instead of paying doctors based on how much health care they give their patients, we could pay them based on their outcomes. Pay for quality care instead of quantity care. Subsidize doctors based on how healthy their patients are and encourage them to take steps to prevent their patients from having to have expensive health care in the future by taking care of themselves upfront. Instead of paying doctors based on how unhealthy their patients are and how much health care they have to give as a result. Similar to education, we should pay for performance, not pay for simply showing up to work.

Now another way to cut the costs of Medicare is to have more people on it. Young healthy people meaning and doing what we should’ve done in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act and putting in the public option. Making Medicare available to everyone and giving non-senior adults the option of taking Medicare as their health insurer for themselves and their kids. Which could be paid for simply by the people who use it. You wouldn’t have to expand the payroll tax because the new customers would pay for their own Medicare out-of-pocket and through their employer. Which would expand health insurance coverage, but also cut the overall costs of Medicare, because we would have younger healthier Americans on it including children.

We wouldn’t have to expand the Federal Government to cover the Medicare public option. We could allow for the states to set up their own Medicare systems under basic national standards. Not designed to run the states programs for themselves, but to see that Medicare dollars are used simply for that and nothing else. That their Medicare program remains non-profit and public and that it is treated no worse or better than private non-profit health insurers. This is something that we would’ve done 5-6 years ago. It passed in a Democratic House of Representatives and could’ve passed in a Democratic Senate under what is known as budget reconciliation. Where it only take fifty-one votes for final passage and not sixty. And something we should do now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Democracy Journal: Opinion- Robin Marie Averbeck- The History of American Liberalism

Source: President John F. Kennedy-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

The history of American Liberalism really goes back to the founding of the Federal Republic and even before that to the American Revolution. Where we broke away from a dictatorial British Monarchy in the United Kingdom to build the first ever liberal democratic Federal Republic. You want to know about and understand American Liberalism, read the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. The U.S. Constitution at least being something that today’s so-called Modern Liberals would throw out and replace. And perhaps not just replace at all so they can build their socialist collectivist centralized state. With a big centralized government big enough to take care of everyone.

American Liberalism is about basic fundamental American liberal values. Of freedom, individual rights, opportunity, liberation, empowerment, education and responsibility. Liberalism is not libertarian or socialist or even social democratic, but its liberal. Built around again common American liberal values of opportunity and freedom. That everyone should have the opportunity to obtain freedom in life. And not have to be dependent on government or others to take care of them. And this starts with things like infrastructure and education, which leads to the opportunity that everyone needs to live in freedom in life.

The old American political stereotypes use to be that the Liberal believes in personal freedom. And the Conservative believes in economic freedom. And they would compromise to see that the state especially the federal state doesn’t become so big that it threatens either personal or economic freedom. But in the last fifteen years or so at least when it comes to Liberals, we are stereotyped as people who not only don’t believe in economic freedom and perhaps not even private enterprise, if you read a lot of the so-called liberal publications today, but that we aren’t fans of personal freedom either. And that we need a government big enough to manage our economic and personal affairs. A welfare state plus a nanny state.

The facts are that if you’re truly a Liberal, you believe in both economic and personal freedom. The ability for the individual to manage their own economic and personal affairs. With the education and knowledge to have the freedom to make those decisions for themselves. We don’t want big government interference in our economic and personal lives. We want government to come in to see that everyone can get themselves the tools that they need to live in freedom. Again infrastructure and education, plus good parenting is where freedom comes from. And then after that it is up to the individual to make the most out of the good opportunities that they get in life.

Liberals wrote the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and we created the American safety net. A public social insurance system for people in need to help them get by in the short-term while they are getting themselves on their feet and able to take care of themselves. We didn’t create superstate, a welfare state big enough to take care of everyone. Which is something that the so-called New-Left, Far-Left really, at least by American political standards wanted to create in America in the late 1960s. That Democratic Socialist presidential candidates Henry Wallace and Norman Thomas wanted to create in the 1940s and 50s.

The Liberal believes in opportunity and freedom. That the job of government is to protect everyone’s freedom until they give that up by taking an innocent person’s freedom. Protect freedom for those who already have it and deserve it. Expand freedom for those who don’t have it yet and need it. The so-called Modern Liberal, whose really a Socialist or Social Democrat at least everywhere else in the developed world, believes in equality. That everyone should be equal and not have so much or so little compared with everyone else. And that it’s the job of government especially the central government through wealth redistribution to see that everyone is equal. But that is not liberalism, but a form of democratic socialism that is much further left than American Liberalism.
Universal Newsreels: Income Tax Cut- JFK Hopes To Spur Economy

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Atlantic: Opinion: Russell Berman: U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen Ditches The House For a Shot at The Senate

The Atlantic: Opinion: Russell Berman: U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen Ditches The House For a Shot at The Senate

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Just to start off, I’m a big fan of Representative Chris Van Hollen. I’ve hoped that he would at least look to run statewide in Maryland at least since 2011 when Democrats lost the House of Representatives. Had he run for Governor of Maryland last year, he’s probably Governor right now, instead of Conservative Republican Larry Hogan. Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown ran a bad campaign in a very Democratic state and lost to someone who ran a very good campaign. I consider Representative Van Hollen to be the star of the Democratic Caucus in the House and believe the House is simply too small of a stage for him. Especially serving in the minority where Democrats are now thirty seats away from the majority.

But lets look at some of the differences between being a U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator and especially in Chris Van Hollen’s case. And how running for Senate will change his political landscape. Representative Van Hollen is currently the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. If it were to snow in hell in 2016 and Democrats were to win back the House, Van Hollen becomes Chairman of that committee. As well as having a real opportunity to be the next Democratic Speaker of the House. Which might not be until 2020 at the earliest, especially if the next President is also a Democrat. But Senate Democrats have a real shot, perhaps 50-50 or better of winning back the Senate in 2016.

Which means that Van Hollen as Senator Chris Van Hollen could go from being in the minority even the ranking committee member, top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, to a freshman Senator with experience in the House Democratic Leadership, whose also a real policy wonk. Who could start of his first Senate term in the Democratic Leadership. As Harry Reid’s chief political adviser or something, perhaps caucus chairman. Unless you’re in leadership in the House or a leader on one of the full committees, Chairman or Ranking Member, it is very easy to get lost in the House. Especially if you’re in the minority, because you have 435 Representatives who don’t represent a state, but a section of a state. Where the majority rules on everything and where the minority isn’t even allowed to offer amendments and substitutes to bills that the majority writes them self, most of the time.

But as a Senator, you’re not just one vote, but a real decider. Where not just your leader needs to listen to you and take you seriously, but the leader of the other party may need to consult you as well. Especially if you’re trusted and respected by at least your caucus. Because the Senate Leader and Minority Leader both need votes. The Leader needs sixty on almost everything and generally doesn’t have it with just their caucus The Minority Leader generally needs forty-one to stop whatever the majority wants to do by them self and generally has that with just their members. But to pass a final bill the Minority Leader needs to get sixty as well. A lot of their members and work out an agreement with the Majority Leader to get the other votes.

And because of how the Senate works which many times looks like two competing lawyers working out settlements with each other, each member is very important. Each member can say to their leader or the leader of the other party, “look, I know you need my vote on this. I can help you if you agree to do this for me.” Like supporting an amendment or putting new language in the bill. But if you’re in the House, all you really have is the ability to vote yes or no for the most part. And if you’re in the minority, you’re voting no on a lot of bills that are going to pass anyway. Which becomes the ultimate losing cause.

Chris Van Hollen is someone who could potentially be the next Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Housing or Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative, Attorney General of the United States, Vice President and even President at some point. There’s so much potential for him as a public servant because of his background and knowledge. And being a member of the minority in the House of Representatives, even a senior member is simply too small of a stage for him. If not the Senate in 2016, then maybe the cabinet under a Democratic President in 2017. He’s more than ready to take the next step in his public service career. And its time that he makes this move.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Reason: Video: Author Jeremy Lott on William F. Buckley's Faith and Politics

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

William F. Buckley is someone who I at least call a Classical Conservative, as well as Libertarians and even Liberals such as myself should definitely respect, if not like and I believe like as well. Because he was a very intelligent and honest man who gave his views based on facts and evidence. And someone who went with the evidence and not a pure ideologue in the sense that he kept a position no matter what even when the facts and evidence changed. And that he was also a real Conservative. Not a big government supporter on the Right, but someone who believed in both economic and personal freedom.

Bill Buckley is not the father of American conservatism. But he’s the father of the American conservative movement as far as making it a national movement and something big enough to the point that it could compete with Liberals and Progressives and people further left than that by the 1960s. Richard Nixon becoming President of the United States by 1969 has something to do with Bill Buckley and his National Review and other writings. To go along with Barry Goldwater and the Goldwater Conservatives of the mid and late 1960s.

Bill Buckley I believe is the first of the likable Modern Conservatives. Someone with strong center-right conservative to conservative-libertarian leanings and someone who could and would defend his position to any point. But do it in a way where he didn’t make his positions and rhetoric disrespectful and personal. He would attack and critique his opponents case and views. But not attack them personally and make his positions based on facts and solid evidence. And not simply just throw things out there and demagogue the other side. Which again are reasons why Conservatives, Libertarians, Progressives and Liberals should respect if not like him.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fora-TV: Video: Brian Doherty: 1960s Counterculture and Libertarianism

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

“1960s Counterculture and Libertarianism”, seems like a strange title to me. And you might say that, “well its the title of your piece, so why did you call it that?” That would be partly true, but the title of this piece has to do with the title of Brian Doherty 2007 book about 1960s counter-culture and libertarianism. But why is that a strange title to me? I’ll tell you anyway, because libertarianism wasn’t even a term back then. They came around in the early 1970s with the creation of the Libertarian Party. Which isn’t much bigger today then it was back in 1972 or so. And I’m not saying there weren’t Libertarians back in the 1960s, because of course there were. Milton Friedman comes to mind and even Ayn Rand, but they were called other things.

People who believed in individual liberty back then were called Liberals and Conservatives. But they had different versions of what individual liberty meant to them. And I’m not talking about the Religious-Right or the New Left. But true Liberals and Conservatives not trying to change the definitions of those terms, but who truly believed in liberalism and conservatism. Conservatives who believes in conserving liberty and conserving the state and not expanding it. And Liberals who believed in expanding liberty for people who don’t have it and protecting liberty for people who don’t have it yet.

And that is where Libertarians come in and that is what gave them their opening. Because Libertarians didn’t want to conserve the state, or expand the state. But they want to expand liberty and they believe the way you that is by shrinking the state and getting government almost completely out of people’s lives. And just leaving government to protect our freedom from predators who would take it away. And by doing this both economic and personal liberty would be expanded to people who don’t have it yet. Which is much different from the Conservative who wants to conserve freedom and decentralize government, but not shrink it. And the Liberal who wants to use government to expand liberty both personal and economic.

One thing that I believe Libertarians can at least respect if not like about the 1960s counter-culture movement. Not the New Left crowd that was not just anti-war and use of force from government and wanting to tear down the American liberal democratic form of government and economic system. And replace it with a socialist collectivist model. But the anti-establishment movement that believed people should be free to live their own lives and even live differently from their parents and grandparents. Which is really individual liberty is about, right. The liberty for the individual to live their life the way they see fit, just as long as they aren’t hurting any innocent person.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Atlantic: Opinion: Bourlee Lam: America's Unemployment Insurance Programs Need to Be Re-Imagined

The Atlantic: Opinion: Bourlee Lam: America's Unemployment Insurance Programs Need to be Re-Imagined 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I agree with everything that was said in this Atlantic article. Which is saying something, because generally when I read The Atlantic, the writer is a bit left of me to put it mildly. And sometimes reading The Atlantic can be like reading The Nation or Salon. But we need to get proactive in how we deal with unemployment and Unemployment Insurance. And instead of just having that program there for people to who are out-of-work and need help paying their bills, use that program to actually put people back to work. With things like retraining, subsidize unemployment, small business capital and perhaps other steps.

That instead of collecting financial assistance while you’re on unemployment and looking for work at the same time, that if you’ve been unemployed for a long time, whatever that figure is and you’re about to run out of Unemployment Insurance, that instead of cutting you off, you would get an extension. And with that extension would come job training, like at a community college or seminars. Subsidize unemployment where you would take a job that pays a lot less than are used to making, but you would keep your UI to make up the difference up to a certain point. Lets say ninety-days and then your employer would get to decide to keep you on or not but at full-pay.

Something else we could do would be to turn long-term unemployed workers into small business owners. That if other companies won’t hire these workers, the workers would be eligible for small business loans to start their own business. And perhaps link people up who are in a similar situation in similar fields to work together and start their own business’s. Instead of just giving these workers unemployment checks while they look for work, or forcing them to take the first available job that is offered to them. Even if it doesn’t allow for them to pay their bills. And make all of these benefits available to people once they are on UI, so they don’t become long-term unemployed.

Congress should’ve extended Unemployment Insurance a year ago, because of all the workers who’ve been unemployed for so long. And yes they should’ve paid for it as well and could’ve done that several ways without hurting anyone. But the way to extend UI is to do it in way that actually puts those workers back to work. And doesn’t leave them unemployed with more UI checks. And while extending UI, they could’ve made these reforms so we would have not just fewer unemployed workers, but fewer long-term unemployed workers. Which is even worst and worst for the economy to have so many people who haven’t worked in a long time and not ready to retire.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Michaels Backporch: Video: NBC Nightly News: Charles Manson Family Trial 1970-71

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I couldn’t dream up a stranger trial than the Manson Family trial of the 1970s. It’s not just that you had so-called Hippies involved, except for Charlie Manson who was label all to himself. He was just purely anti-establishment to the point that he didn’t believe that any laws applied to him because of how society screwed with him his whole life. And that he was entitled to get back in any way he saw fit. So perhaps criminal anarchist would be the best way to describe him. And then you throw in his so-called family, a crime family criminal gang really and his soldiers being doped up all the time and you have a script that Hollywood couldn’t dream up.

What California or I guess Los Angeles County had against Charles Manson was the facts. And an army of witness’s that could back up the facts. Including Manson’s own soldiers former soldiers. Now since Manson never physically acted in the murders except for ordering them, the prosecutors led by Vince Bugliosi had to prove that Manson ordered them. And prove which solders that he selected to carry out these murders of actress Sharon Tate and several others. And that is where the witness’s come in and all the evidence that they left at the Spawn Ranch where the Manson Family lived.

Not a conventional case where you have lets say one murderer whose guilty of murdering at least one person. And you basically know the defendant is guilty based on the current evidence at hand. And it is just a matter of showing and proving how murder or murders by the defendant happened. The motive, the opportunity, the weapon and everything else. And looking at things like DNA, witness’s if any, lack of an alibi and everything else. With this case you have to prove that one man ordered a certain group of people to murder several others. Without the leader actually saying, “go murder these people over here and at this time.”

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Celebrity Universe: Real Time With Bill Maher- U.S. Representative Ron Paul in 2008

Source: Celebrity Universe-Bill Maher & U.S. Representative Ron Paul R, Texas-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Based on this interview and the fact they were talking about Rudy Giuliani the way they did, I would have to think this show was done in 2007-08, when Representative Paul ran for president the second time. And I mention that because Bill Maher I believe was still calling himself a Libertarian back then. And I think he even called Ron Paul his political hero. How four years or less can really change your political philosophy, or at the very least how someone displays what is supposed to be their politics.

Because Maher is still pretty liberal when it comes to free speech and defending the right to speak hate and say really insulting things and is still anti-political correctness. And some other key social issues involving civil liberties and personal freedom. But he’s way over the left now on economic policy and even calling for caps on how much money Americans should be allowed to make. And that we need a European sized superstate to take care of everyone. And that government should be completely running things like health care, health insurance, education and I’m sure some key areas of the economy.

I’m not sure how someone can say that government should stay almost completely out of people’s affairs as long as we aren’t hurting people, which is where Bill Maher was 7-8 years ago, can then say that government doesn’t mind the business of the people enough. And that we have too much choice and individualism to manage our own economic affairs at least. Wait, I got it, I know how someone can do that because it has been done before. Just ask Arianna Huffington. Who made a very similar political transition just 10-15 years ago.
Celebrity Universe: Real Time With Bill Maher- U.S. Representative Ron Paul in 2008

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Roll Call: Congress: Emma Dumain: New Democrat Coalition Wants Bigger Role in Party's Message

Roll Call: Congress: Emma Dumain: New Democrat Coalition Wants Bigger Role in Party's Message

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The New Democrats to me at least are the Liberal Democrats in the Democratic Party. There whole message is about growth, opportunity, freedom, responsibility, investment and that government has role in seeing that everyone can achieve these things, but through limited government. And these are the Democrats that represent especially under the current gerrymander political system for how we elect representatives, represent the difference in whether House Democrats are in the majority or the minority. When there’s a large New Democrat Coalition in the House, as well as Blue Dogs, Democrats tend to control the House. Because these two factions come from swing districts in the country.

And to me their message I believe is fairly simple and shouldn’t be wishy-washy muddy middle. And they could use JFK or Bill Clinton and even Barack Obama rhetoric in laying out their message. They should say, “we believe in growth, opportunity, freedom and responsibility, but for all Americans who do their part to achieve those things. That freedom in America shouldn’t be decided based on the income level of your parents and where you grew up. But based on one’s own talents, ability and character and what they produce. That quality education should be for everyone. Not just for people whose parents can afford private schools, or live in areas where there are good public schools. But for everyone with parents being able to decide the best public school for their child. Not the central office.”

And then lay out a real agenda with real concrete proposals.

When it comes to issues like energy that is about all the above American energy resources that uses all of American energy resources including oil and gas in the short-term to move to renewable sources long-term.

Comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders as best as possible. While bringing 10-15 illegal immigrants who aren’t criminals and work hard for a living out of the closet to pay a fine, any back taxes that they may own and to work towards legal status. That brings in well-qualified immigrants from other countries.

Infrastructure investment to rebuild America that is paid for by everyone since we all consume infrastructure. And something like a Nation Infrastructure Bank that brings in private investors to rebuild the country long-term.

Education reform that is about new investment in low-income low-performing school districts. But also investing in good teachers whose students actually learn and encouraging well-qualified adults to become educators, but teach in low-income districts. And public school choice so low-income students can go to good schools. With their parents making those decisions.

An anti-poverty agenda that is actually about moving Americans out of poverty. And not leaving them on public assistance with bigger Welfare checks. But about things like Welfare to Work, where people on Welfare can get the education and job training they need to get a good job and get out of poverty. Job training for low-income workers so they can get themselves a good job and become middle if not high-income workers.

What would really help New Democrats with young voters (such as myself, if I still qualify as young) would be taking strong stances against the War on Drugs. Being in favor of rehab over prison for drug users and addicts. People who successfully complete drug rehab at their own cost wouldn’t have a criminal record. Marijuana decriminalization and legalization for adults twenty-one and over that comes with taxation regulation.

Criminal justice reform where we’re not locking up so many non-violent offenders who don’t need to be incarcerated at all. And those who do we would be better off if they are in rehab or in a halfway house or even county jail doing short-term sentences. And for offenders who need to be in prison offer them opportunities to give up their criminal careers and become productive inmates. With educational and work opportunities so they can become productive citizens when they are out.

The difference between a New Democrat, Liberal really and a centrist is that the New Democrat has real policies based on things that work. The centrist tends to sound all over the place because that is where they are. And have a hard time taking hard stances because they tend to sound like they are talking out of two mouths. Democrats from the Far-Left to the Center-Left tend to believe in similar things. And the debate tends to come down to how big should government be.

New Democrats tend to believe in things that most Americans tend to believe in. Growth, opportunity, freedom and responsibility, but for all and not just the wealthy. That should be the message of New Democrat with an agenda that achieves all of those things. With a limited government, as well as the private sector involved. But where the individual plays the biggest part and does a lot of the work since it is their life. This is what our message should be.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Roll Call: Congress: Bridget Bowman: House Republicans Investigating Washington D.C. Marijuana Legalization

Roll Call: Congress: Bridget Bowman: House Republicans Investigating Washington D.C. Marijuana Legalization

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

First of all to dare to correct Roll Call, this is not about the U.S. Congress or even Congressional Republicans against the City of Washington when it comes to legalizing marijuana. Which they already have and marijuana is now legal in Washington for adults. This is about a group of House Republicans on the Government Oversight Committee led by Representative Jason Chaffetz who is Chairman of that committee and other members of that committee who want to put Uncle Sam’s big foot in the way how Washington deals with marijuana in their city.

Apparently the party that is supposed to be anti-big government and Uncle Sam and pro-federalism which is what Republicans have traditionally advertise them as, is now Uncle Sam’s favorite nephews and nieces. And marijuana in Washington is just one example of that. Same-sex marriage and pornography are other perfect examples of that. But the problem that House Republicans have as it relates to marijuana in Washington is that Congress the House and Senate together passed their bill that would throw out marijuana legalization that President Obama signed after the city passed their legalization bill.

The thirty-day period that Congress has to review and overthrow laws that Washington passes themselves has already expired. With neither the House or Senate acting on anything that would overturn the city’s law. So the Washington marijuana legalization law goes forward. And House Republicans led by Representative Chaffetz are left to hold hearings over the Washington law, but without much if any ability to actually overturn it. Because they decided to act against the law after the law was already passed.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tom Woods: Video: Murray Rothbard: How Interventionists Wrecked The Old Right

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

This blog blogs a lot about how the Far-Left especially in the Democratic Party and how they give Liberals and liberalism a bad name. Especially far-leftists who self-describe themselves as Liberals or are called Liberals in the media. Liberalism which this blog subscribes to and is about as Liberals who love liberalism, but the Far-Left makes us look like statists and collectivists who want government to do practically everything for everybody and see freedom as dangerous. When the fact is the opposite is true and Liberals want to defend everyone’s freedom and expand for those who don’t have it.

But as much as the American left-wing has a New-Left that makes its center look like something they are aren’t, so does Conservatives and the Center-Right in America. People who are called Neoconservatives who have a bigger role for the government in America as it relates to foreign policy and national security, but social issues with the Rick Santorum’s and others on the Religious-Right in America. But also as it relates to the economy and wanting government to do more for low-income Americans and actually caring about poverty. While still keeping taxes low on everyone.

Pre-1990s or so the Republican Party wasn’t a big government party as it related to economic, foreign or social policy. Barry Goldwater and Ron Reagan and their supporters were still running the party for the most part. That all changed in the late 1990s or so when leaders in the Republican Party after losing the last two presidential elections were looking to win back the White House. And it started going downhill for them after that as far as classical conservatism in America. Because they turned to George W. Bush and people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Pearl and others.

According to these Neoconservatives the old American foreign policy of containment when it came dictators and authoritarian states that were armed with weapons of mass destruction, was exactly that which was old. And that America needed to be more bold and brave. That instead of containment how about we just go into those countries like Iraq and physically not only take out their weapons, but remove the regime there and replace it with a government that is more friendly to America.

Thanks to the second Bush Administration as if one Bush Administration wasn’t enough, we get two wars at the same time. Neither one paid for and have been borrowing trillions of dollars to pay for all through the Bush Administration. We get the Patriot Act because privacy and personal freedom is dangerous to the Neoconservative mind especially when we are at war. We get two unpaid for tax cuts in the trillions of dollars and instead of containing if not reducing the size of entitlement programs, we get a seven-hundred-billion-dollar expansion of Medicare. But the way, that was borrowed as well. And instead of reducing the role of the Federal Government in education, the Bush Administration expands it through No Child Left Behind.

The Republican Party is not as unpopular as it is right now because of conservatism or Conservatives. But because the party is not conservative enough. This is no longer a limited government party, but a big government party that supports their big government policies. As it relates to foreign policy, national security and the economy. G.W. Bush didn’t destroy the Republican Party, even though he came damn close, as well as the American economy. But he basically has destroyed conservatism where even Republicans like Rand Paul who really is a Conservative Libertarian, checks to see that he doesn’t move to far away from Neoconservatives at least on foreign policy and national security.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Celebrity Universe: Video: The Tonight Show With Jay Leno: Bill Maher in 2012

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Going back three years here so I have to dig deep into my memory bank and see what is still there. Oh wait 2012 was an election I lived through and was somewhat active in it as a voter and blogger. So I guess this shouldn’t be so difficult. But the fact that someone like Rick Santorum could actually challenge someone like Mitt Romney tells you have screwed up the Republican Party is. If this was 1980 or 84 Rick Santorum would’ve been taken as seriously for president as Don Knotts or Rich Little or Artie Lang, some comedian like that. Because he would’ve been seen as a joke who probably needs to finish high school and grow up before he tries to do anything big.

If I’m Barack Obama I’m not hating my opposition, but getting down on my knees and thanking God everyday for the opposition that I do have. And writing them a check everyday for all the stupid and outrageous things they do and say. Like with defunding of Homeland Security to use as an example. Because when the GOP’s support goes down, President Obama goes up and even if Americans regardless of race and party are not in love with the man as President. But he looks like God in comparison to especially the Tea Party wing of the GOP. Because Americans have basically said that “yea Barry is not great and makes mistakes. But look I’m glad he’s there instead of Ted Cruz or the House Tea Party.”

But with the Tea Party in power especially in the House of Representatives and with the economic recovery now feeling like it is real with solid economic and job growth and with the falling deficit and with President Obama having the country on his side against ISIS, he looks pretty good. But without the Tea Party, perhaps President Obama is still Senator Obama sitting in on Senate committee hearings about agriculture spending or looking into the spending on school lunches and how much protein kids get from them. Which I’m sure is important, but a big step down from being President of the United States.