Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Daily Beast: Opinion: Nick Gillespie- Why Hillary Clinton Should Thank God for Donald Trump

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The Daily Beast: Opinion: Nick Gillespie- Why Hillary Clinton Should Thank God for Donald Trump

I'm not a fan of Hillary Clinton either and I don't come at that as either a Libertarian, or a Progressive, but just as a Democrat who is an American voter before I'm a Democrat, or even a Liberal. I don't like her because she gives political opportunism a bad name. There needs to be some new term to describe how Hillary has changed positions on critical issues over the years. Like con-women, career politician, politician junky, power-hungry, overly ambitious and these would just be the light terms that could apply with her.

Against same-sex marriage before she was for it, against allowing states to legalize marijuana, before she was for it, pro-Iraq War until it became too politically hard for her stand by it and came out against it. And when it comes to civil liberty issues where she does have a consistent record, she comes down on the wrong side at least from a liberal, or libertarian perspective. Pro-Patriot Act and NSA spying, to use as examples. I hate to say this as a Democrat, but in many way she's the Democratic version of Mitt Romney. And could marry Flip Flopper and become Mrs. Flip Flopper, instead of Bill Clinton. At least Flip, wouldn't cheat on Hillary every time she's out-of-town.

Why is Hillary the frontrunner not only for the Democratic nomination for president, but most likely the 45th President of the United States in January, 2017? Because her main opposition, (if you want t call it that) is the Republican Party. Who is literally running a one-man reality show in Donald Trump for president. And when the mainstream Republican presidential candidates like Jeb Bush, goes after The Donald, it hurts them in the GOP polls. But when they don't, they're devastating their own chances in the general election, if they get that far by not going after the reality TV con-man and fascist.

In a normal presidential election, Hillary is probably still the favorite to win the Democratic nomination at least with an edge going into the general election. But she wouldn't be looking at a landslide and would have a Center-Right Republican as her competition and instead of scaring Latinos, Muslims and women, would instead be reaching out to those groups and making inroads with those communities. She would most likely be facing a Jeb Bush, or John Kasich and perhaps a Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz emerges instead. But The Donald, would still be back at home hiring illegal immigrants, instead of bashing them. And perhaps preparing to file bankruptcy on another one of his companies. Because the GOP would never be dumb enough to give The Donald any credibility.

Similar to President Barack Obama in 2011-12, if 2016 was about Hillary's record as a politician and public servant and not about her lack of competition from the other side, she's not walking away with the Democratic nomination right now. Governor Martin O'Malley, my preferred choice, would be giving her a hell of a run for her money. Because he was a successful Center-Left Governor. A true Center-Left Progressive with results as Governor. Bernie Sanders, would be the Dennis Kucinich of 2016, but not as wild and fringe and having at least one foot on Earth. Unlike Kucinich, who lives on Planet Utopia mentally, where there's no need to even have a military. And Hillary, would have to take on Governor O'Malley, like she took on then Senator Barack Obama in 2008. And either earn the Democratic nomination, or lose it. But there's nothing normal about 2015-16.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Free Association: Stephen M. Walt- How the U.S. Inspires Anti-American Terrorism

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Free Association: Stephen M. Walt- How the U.S. Inspires Anti-American Terrorism

Watching the GOP presidential debate last night, I paid close attention to Senator Ted Cruz. For no other reasons to see how he would try to differ from the realty TV character The Donald, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Rand Paul, on foreign policy and national security issues. As well as the War on Terror and cvil liberties. Senator Rubio, Generation X's version of Dick Cheney on these issues, but at least he's consistent. Senator Paul, Generation X's version of Barry Goldwater. Fiscally conservative across the board, even as it relates to national security. Again his consistency is something to respect whether you agree with Rand or not.

Senator Cruz, the most interesting person up there and not because he's got an Anglo-Saxon Texas accent, to go with a Spanish face. But because he knows he can't beat Donald Trump by trying to more like The Donald. He probably can't win the GOP presidential nomination by being another Barry Goldwater. With the Christian-Right and Neoconservatives still calling the plays. So he's trying to carve out this new patch of space when it comes to foreign affairs in the GOP. That says, 'America, should not just worry about America first, but only worry about America. And when it comes to foreign affairs oversees, we should fund the lesser of all evils which are the monarchs and military dictators. To keep peace and stability in the Middle East.'

I don't know where Ted Cruz is getting his military and foreign policy advice, but it can't be from people who actually know what they're talking about. What the Senator doesn't seem to understand is that what fuels anti-American terrorism is the fact that America backs government's that these Jihadist's and just average people on the streets in these countries who aren't the bad people there, hate. The U.S. Government, is not popular in Egypt and the broader Middle East, because we've backed their dictators and authoritarian regimes over the years that have kept their people down and their countries in third-world status. That is how the Jihadist's have gotten their start and have kept going and have been attacking us at least since the late 1970s.

You don't defeat terrorism by backing authoritarian dictatorships that fuel terrorism by how they treat their people. What you do is cut off the dictator's legs and encourage people on the ground to stand up and demand change. As well as working with responsible government's like in Iraq and Turkey, to defeat the Jihadist's on the ground. And give the people in those countries the opportunity to create their own civilized societies. Create their own countries that are responsive to their people and there to serve their people and not crush the opposition, or simply look just to stay in power. How different would Egypt be today if we had never backed Hosni Mubarak. Or Iran had we never had backed the Shah.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hollywood Bug: Will Ferrell is Back- As George W. Bush on SNL

Source: Hollywood Bug- Will Ferrell, as President George W. Bush-
Source: The Daily Review

Watching the Republican debates tonight, just as a blogger and not a fan of really anyone up there, it does get me thinking about how great George W. Bush looks in comparison. The real G.W. could ask the question, "do you miss me yet?" And Barack Obama would have nothing to do that question. The Republican Party today looks like someone's home when the parents go out-of-town and forget to get anyone to babysit their kids. Peanut butter, all over the walls. The dog, eating half of the furniture, because no one has fed him in weeks. The kids, being expelled from school, because they haven't been there in weeks, etc.

The Republican Party today looks looks like chaos in America. No real leadership from anyone other than Governor John Kasich and Senator Lindsay Graham. Who both during a good week maybe hit ten-percent each. And then they both throw a big bash celebrating that they're finally in double-figures. Money they should've spent on advertising and their ground campaign. I don't miss the days of G.W. Bush, except as a Democrat it was more fun and real talking to and about Republicans back then, because at least they had a real agenda that most of the party could get behind. But that GOP has been abandoned by a new crew that debates each other about who hates Latinos and Muslims more.

The Republican Party under Dick Nixon, Gerry Ford, Ron Reagan, George H.W. Bush and yes even G.W. Bush, who negotiated with their enemies, (including Democrats) who said they, 'rather have most of the loaf now and come back for the rest later.' ( Which is Washington speak for compromise) now says, "surrender now and I won't destroy you and shut down the government." The Republican Party that supposedly believes in the republic which is a form of government, now doesn't believe in government. And will shut down the government if Democrats and Republicans vote to fund portions of the government they disagree with.

Whatever you think of the Bush years and for me personally as bad as they were, they were eight great years of disastrous comedy, at least it wasn't chaos. You had a Republican Party, that knew what it believed and what polices they would fight for and push. And a Democratic Party that didn't, at least until they won Congress back in 2006, but knew what they were against. Which looks like the glory days of American politics compared with where we are now. G.W. Bush, was like the single-father of a family who just had too much and was overwhelmed and left his kids with no supervision for vacation and came back and saw nothing but chaos when he came back from vacation.
Hollywood Bug: Will Ferrell is Back- As George W. Bush on SNL

Monday, December 14, 2015

Free Association: Sheldon Richman- The Phony Mystery of Why They Hate Us

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Free Association: Sheldon Richman- The Phony Mystery of Why They Hate Us

I don't tend to use the phrase of 'why they hate us', because it is a Far-Left way of almost justifying the 9-11 attacks without actually saying that. As if the 9-11 attacks are justifiable revenge for American Middle-Eastern policy. And then you have to go into who is they and do they really hate us or not. Its clear the Jihadist's not only hate American foreign policy and national security policy, America values and are liberal democratic values, American individualism and everything else. But that doesn't mean the average person in the Arab World hates us.

But the average person in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other countries in the Arab World if anything likes those things about Americans. They don't like everything about American culture, but they tend to like us. And a reason why a lot of them have emigrated over here to make a better life for themselves and to escape the authoritarianism from their own country. They want to build a quality life for themselves and live in freedom while they stay true to their own Arab and religious values that they brought from home.

I can give you excellent reasons why Arabs hate American foreign policy and our national security policy as it relates to the Middle-East and perhaps in general. Its the hypocrisy of it. We claim to be big champions of liberal democracy in individual freedom on one hand, as we back big government statist  authoritarian regimes who are the complete opposite of what we preach and practice at home. We claim to support individual freedom at home and even abroad while we back Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and his authoritarian regime. The same thing with the Shah in Iran in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. President Jimmy Carter even called the Shah a model of stability and leadership in the Middle East in 1977. And the Shah is thrown out of power by his own people just more than a year later.

America, at one point during the Cold War, were allies with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, because he invaded the Islamic Republic of Iran. America has a seventy-year history of backing authoritarian dictators and regimes while we claim to be champions of liberal democracy and freedom. And Arabs on the ground who hate their authoritarian regimes, see through the American hypocrisy of it and stand up and even risk their lives as a result. And fall victims to Islamic theocratic radicals who if anything are even worst than the authoritarians that they want to replace. Which is what happened to Iran in the late 1970s as they became the Islamic Republic of Iran. And what happened to Afghanistan in the 1990s after they defeated Russia with American help and Islamic theocratic Taliban comes to power there.

The justification for American backing of Middle-Eastern dictators and their regimes has always been, "that if we don't do this, those regimes will fall, because they don't have the backing of their people and something worst will come in and replace it. Who would be anti-American." Well, what do you call the Islamic Republic in Iran? They came to power by overthrowing the Iranian Monarchy that was backed by America and Britain. What do you call ISIS in Iraq and Syria? They came to power in Iraq, because Iraq couldn't or wouldn't defend itself and had their own corrupt government led by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. We're still backing the Islamic Kingdom in Saudi Arabia, who still treats their women like slaves and second-class women. Who put people to death for being gay. Who finances schools and groups that put out this anti-Western and American propaganda.

Not saying that if America stopped backing Middle-Eastern dictators, or that he we never did that in the first place, that those countries would back Western liberal democratic values and individual freedom. Maybe they would replace those military and Marxist dictatorships with Far-Right Islamic theocratic states. The Arab World has no history of liberal democracy, liberal democratic values and individual freedom. But if you want to promote liberal democracy and freedom, you do that by encouraging people to get behind it and backing people who support it and would bring it to their country. Not by backing regimes that are anti-freedom and completely Un-democratic. What America has done is to back authoritarianism and statism in the name of American foreign policy interests. And the people in those countries see right through that propaganda.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Drew David: The Tonight Show Johnny Carson- Shelley Winters in 1987

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Drew David: The Tonight Show Johnny Carson- Shelley Winters in 1987

If Shelley Winters wasn't the great actress that she was, she probably would have been a standup comedian, or a variety show comedian doing skit-comedy, or a talk show host. She was an enormous talent and personality who had an incredible wit and intelligence. Literally not just one of the best actress's who has ever lived, but one of the greatest personalities and comedians as well. Great entertainer who reminds me a lot of the great Ginger Rogers. As far as an entertainer who combined such great talent for the dramatic, who also had a great personality and was very funny. Who was both very adorable and yet very bright and funny all in the same package.

Johnny Carson, was perfect for Shelley, because he was also very bright and had a very quick off the cuff humor and perhaps shared the exact same sense of humor as Shelley. So they related very well and could make fun of the same things and shared similar experiences. Like being married enough times to produce enough kids to fill up the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Or both having enough spouses combined (if not by themselves) to fill out an LAPD police lineup. They also knew each other very well. When Johnny was interviewing Shelley Winters, or someone like that, or a Burt Reynolds, Jimmy Stewart, he was interviewing actors who could match him joke for joke and even sound funnier.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Myrtle Beach News Examiner: Norman Byrd- A President Ben Carson to Police Liberal Colleges For Political Bias

Source: Liberty Pen- Dr. Ben Carson-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Presidential dreamer Dr. Ben Carson, the last few weeks has made it a point to show people how strongly he's in favor of Freedom of Speech and opposes political correctness, which is a form of fascism that comes from the Left and the Right. And has said things like, "PC is dangerous because it muffles people. This country was founded upon on Freedom of Speech, or thought and expression." Which is a great thing to say and believe and I agree with that, but saying those words aren't worth the air, or paper you used to express them if you don't believe in what you're actually saying.

But almost at the exact same time he proposes if he were to ever become president and his fantasy came to real-life, to use Federal taxpayer dollars and the U.S. Department of Education, that a lot of supposed Conservatives believe shouldn't exist in the first place, to monitor college and students for what he would call liberal bias and Un-American propaganda and speech. And threaten to strip those colleges of their Federal funding if they don't comply with his rule when it comes to speech on campus. I'm obviously not old enough to remember the 1950s and Senator Joe McCarthy and what others in Congress were doing in the 1950s, being born in the 1970s myself. But this looks like McCarthyism in the 21st Century to me.

Political correctness and other forms of fascism, are not left or right, but wrong. Undemocratic, anti-free speech, anti-personal freedom, pro-big government and dictatorial rule. Political correctness from the Far-Left is well-known and famous. With so-called Social Justice Warriors wanting a society where minorities wouldn't have to hear any critical or offensive speech towards them. Even if the speaker's are right in what they say about minorities and minority groups. But its just as bad if not worst coming from the Far-Right with their goals of having a country that thinks and looks at the world they way they want them to even through government force. That you comply with what they believe, or else and or else has to do with government sanctions and stripping funding.

I'm not impress with Dr. Carson at all other than his professional background and he seems like a very intelligent and likable guy. Just not when he's talking about politics and expressing political opinions. He gives the term amateur new meaning when it comes to first-time political candidates and gets stuck either with making hypocritical statements like when it comes to political correctness, or speaking about issues he apparently knows very little if anything about. Like national security, where his own staff has admitted he needs to do a lot of homework. I see him as a lot more qualified being a hipster motivational speaker, or talk show host, perhaps like Tony Robbins and Dr. Phil McGraw, than actually running for, gee I don't know, the most powerful and important office in the world. Which of course is President of the United States.

If you believe in Freedom of Speech and are against political correctness, great! I and a solid majority of Americans outside of the New-Left, Millennial Generation and Christian-Right, agree with you. But again free speech is not speech that you agree with. It is also speech that you may disagree with, find offensive, sinful and even dangerous. To say you support free speech when it comes from your side, but fascism for everyone else, is like a company CEO who says he supports capitalism for the working people, but socialism for companies and executives when the executives run business's under ground and need to be bailed out. No one in their right mind would take that person seriously.

America, moved past the 1950s officially over fifty-years ago and culturally at least since the late 1960s. Women not just work, but most people don't have a problem with that. Gays, are no longer subjected to live in prisons, mental hospitals and closets, simply for being gay. America, is just a lot different culturally than it was fifty-years ago and has a lot more personal freedom now. Freedom that we've always had to live and think individually, but now are no longer looked down upon generally if we have different political views and different ways of living. The Christian-Right, has never gotten over that and have been looking for ways to take us back to the 1950s ever since. And there form of political correctness fascism would be one way to accomplish that.
Liberty Pen: Ben Carson- Political Correctness

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Libertarianism.Org: David S. D'Amato- The Most Liberal Value: Free Speech

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Libertarianism.Org: David S. D'Amato- The Most Liberal Value: Free Speech

If someone told you that believe in free speech all the time, except when someone says something that they disagree with, find offensive, or offends people they believe deserves special protection, how would you respond to that? Someone says something that offends someone all the time in America. Whether the supposed target of the speech is right to be offended or not. Welcome to liberal democracy where you always have to the right to express yourself. The right for people to be intelligent and ignorant in the same society and even in the same person.

Again, we're talking about expression and speech. Not politeness, or meanness. Free speech in America is a guaranteed constitutional to a liberal amount of free speech that covers both politeness and meanness. As well as criticism and constructive criticism. Which means Americans have a hell of a lot of freedom to express themselves. That is what liberal free speech is about. Our Founding Fathers, (Our Founding Liberals) made Freedom of Speech our First Amendment for a very good reason. They saw it as our most important constitutional right.

No such thing as liberalism without free speech, free expression, freedom of assembly, the freedom of beliefs and philosophy including freedom of, or from religion. Without these guaranteed liberal constitutional rights liberalism doesn't exist and we're left with a world with one statist collectivist ideology after another with no one on the Left promoting freedom and free democracy. Except for perhaps today's so-called Progressives, Democratic Socialists really, who are more interested in the collective than individual rights including free speech.

Without liberalism and Liberals, we don't have the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Think about that for a second for anyone who wants to or claims liberalism as their political philosophy. Liberalism, the philosophy of liberty and individualism, as well as tolerance and equality, just as long as they're not forced upon people by the state. Without liberalism we don't have all of those guaranteed individual rights that Millennial's today have no problem taking advantage of when they're expressing their own views. Just as long as others aren't able to do the same when they say things that these college students disagree with.

If someone wants to convince me they're a Liberal, I'm going to ask them about free speech. I imagine their first answer will be something to the effect that they're in favor of it. That will be the easy part, but then like a good prosecutor that I'm not I'll ask them about political correctness, critical speech and even offensive speech. If they say they have no issues with redneck or Christian jokes as far as people having the right to make those comments, or that they agree with them, I'll agree with that person on that.

But then I'll ask them, "how about minorities and Muslims? Do you support free speech or political correctness? Do you believe minorities deserve special protection that majorities don't when it comes to criticism and humor, or that everyone has the right to free speech regardless of who they're speaking about?" Depending on how they answer those questions will determine if they're a Liberal or not. The person who says they're a Liberal and supports free speech regardless of who, or what it is about, will be the Liberal. At least when it comes to free speech. I would also want to know how they feel about Freedom of Choice in general and the Right to Privacy. Government's role in helping who are struggling, to use as examples. But my first question would about free speech.

Liberalism, of course is not just about free speech. Liberalism is about individual rights and free choice, quality opportunity for everyone to succeed and that government even has a role here to see that everyone can succeed in society. But a big part of liberalism has to do with free choice and free expression. Our liberal free speech rights, our liberal rights to express ourselves. Including public anger at our government when they do something that we hate and strongly disagree with and that even includes flag burning. Something that I'm against, but I support the right of others to disagree with me on that. Without freedom of speech as a liberal value, you don't have liberalism. It would be like being a Socialist who doesn't believe in the welfare state. A Libertarian who doesn't believe in the Right to Privacy. The philosophy would be destroyed as a result.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Economic Policy Journal: Richard Ebeling- 'Democratic Socialism Means The Loss of Liberty': The Definition and Results From Democratic Socialism

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

With this piece I'm going to layout what democratic socialism is and what Senator Bernie Sanders is running on as a Democratic Socialist for president and the results and what comes from democratic socialist policies.

Richard Ebeling, is right when he says that Bernie Sanders economic vision for America is what President Franklin Roosevelt laid out in his 1944 Economic Bill of Rights speech. Not talking about nationalizing private industries and companies other than health insurance and perhaps health care in general. What Democratic Socialists in America want to do is build off both the New Deal and the Great Society and create things like a guaranteed national basic income, attempting to outlaw poverty with a fifteen-dollar an hour living wage, plus government-run health care, guaranteed affordable housing, to use as examples. Democratic Socialists, want a superstate and regulatory state, to be balanced in with the American private enterprise system.

The problems with democratic socialism is that its very expensive. By simply saying all of these new government benefits can be paid for simply buy taxing the rich 50, 60, 70% or more, is not believable. The IRS, will never see that money from the rich, because the rich would end up moving that money out of the country before they get their tax bills. So of course the middle class would get stuck with these huge government funded tax bills. So their taxes will go up dramatically whether they can afford to pay them or not, while the wealthy will still do be doing very well in or outside of America. Depending on whether they decide to stay in the country, or move to a country where the government doesn't believe they own most of what a person makes in their country.

So the costs that come with democratic socialism is just one problem. And of course Democratic Socialists point to Scandinavia and how successful it has been over there. Which would explain why social democracies like Sweden have now cut back on their welfare state. And expecting more from their own people in paying for their own cost of living. So even Socialists now see the limits to what big government can do for their people. And not only that, but when you talk about Scandinavia, you're talking about four unless you include Iceland, small countries with a good deal of land. At least with Norway, Sweden and Finland, that are all bigger than Iraq in size and about the size of Afghanistan. That have very small Nordic populations and are all not just energy independent, but produce and export a lot of their own energy. They can afford to be very socialist.

But the costs of democratic socialism are just one problem that I have with it. This idea that people shouldn't be expected to work and achieve success in life, because big government has now assumed the responsibility for everyone's personal welfare, seems anti-freedom and Un-American to me as a Liberal. Americans, want to live in freedom and be able to take care of themselves. They want the skills to be able to get a good job and make their own way in life and not be dependent on big government for their personal welfare. A lot of Americans are ashamed when they need to go on Unemployment Insurance and other public assistance to get by. And we tend not to want to be guaranteed a basic middle class income simply for being alive in America.

To have the strongest economy possible in America, the most Americans possible need to be able to achieve economic success. And that comes with risks like some people doing a lot better than others and some people falling down and needing help getting back up. But to have the most successful people in America as possible economic success needs to be encouraged. Not discouraged with high taxes and huge welfare benefits. And you do that by encouraging economic development, quality education and making that universal, job training for low-income and low-skilled workers and a modern infrastructure system, so everyone can take advantage of what America has to offer. You don't do that through democratic socialism and encouraging people to live off of big government.
Brent Abrahamson: Franklin Roosevelt- Second Bill of Rights